September 17, 2019 - by Seth Trachtman
Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers can finish anywhere from the No. 1 seed to the No. 6 seed in the NFC (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire)
In this post we highlight our biggest NFL Week 3 rankings and predictions changes, after a week that featured big wins by San Francisco, Indianapolis, and Dallas.
Here are the biggest increases in team predictive rating heading into Week 3. Our predictive ratings are measured in points, with a 0.0 rating equivalent to a “perfectly average” team on a neutral field:
|Team||Division||Result||Old Rank||New Rank||Old Rating||New Rating||Rating Change|
|San Francisco||NFC West||W 41-17 at CIN||13||5||1.6||4.1||2.6|
|New England||AFC East||W 43-0 at MIA||1||1||7.6||10.1||2.5|
|Cleveland||AFC North||W 23-3 at NYJ||22||18||-2.1||-0.1||2.0|
|Tampa Bay||NFC South||W 20-14 at CAR||26||23||-3.3||-1.7||1.5|
|LA Rams||NFC West||W 27-9 vs. NO||6||3||4.1||5.6||1.4|
San Francisco entered Sunday’s game at Cincinnati as 3.5-point favorites in our ratings and 1-point favorites in Vegas, but the Bengals were toothless in the 41-17 San Francisco win. The 49ers racked up an impressive 572 yards in the win. The last time the franchise had that many yards in any game was back in 1988, when Joe Montana and Steve Young combined to throw five touchdown passes.
The 24-point margin pushed the 49ers to 2-0 and vaulted them up our rankings, as they’ve won both of their games so far by at least two touchdowns. Cincinnati’s close loss at Seattle in Week 1 is also helping with their rating, along with Tampa Bay’s upset of Carolina after the 49ers took down the Bucs easily in Week 1.
New England remains atop our predictive ratings, but saw a sharp 2.5-point increase as a result of their 43-0 win at Miami. The Dolphins continue to look like a bottom feeder of historic proportions, losing their first two games by a combined 92 points. Still, the Patriots have now exceeded expectations in consecutive weeks, and are going into another juicy matchup against a Jets team starting their third-string quarterback.
See where every team currently stands in our NFL rankings.
Here are the top gainers in projected total wins for the 2019 season heading into Week 3:
|Team||Division||Result||Old Proj Wins||New Proj Wins||Proj Wins Change|
|Tampa Bay||NFC South||W 20-14 at CAR||5.9||7.2||1.4|
|San Francisco||NFC West||W 41-17 at CIN||9.2||10.5||1.3|
|Cleveland||AFC North||W 23-3 at NYJ||6.8||8.2||1.3|
|Indianapolis||AFC South||W 19-17 at TEN||7.3||8.6||1.3|
|Buffalo||AFC East||W 28-14 at NYG||8.1||9.2||1.1|
After a two-touchdown loss at home to the 49ers in Week 1, Tampa Bay got off the mat and beat the division rival Panthers on the road in Week 2. The Bucs seven-win projection would be their best finish since 2016, when they were 9-7.
Each of San Francisco, Cleveland, and Indianapolis also saw a 1.3 projected win increase. Those three teams exceeded expectations, either with their winning point differentials (Buccaneers and 49ers) or pulling off an upset (Colts).
See our latest projected season win totals for all teams on our NFL projections.
The following teams increased their odds to win their division the most last week:
|Team||Division||Result||Old Div Win Odds||New Div Win Odds||Odds Change|
|Dallas||NFC East||W 31-21 at WAS||39.8%||57.6%||17.8%|
|Kansas City||AFC West||W 28-10 at OAK||56.7%||72.8%||16.1%|
|Atlanta||NFC South||W 24-20 vs. PHI||17.3%||32.7%||15.5%|
|Indianapolis||AFC South||W 19-17 at TEN||15.4%||29.9%||14.5%|
|Tampa Bay||NFC South||W 20-14 at CAR||5.9%||19.3%||13.3%|
Dallas saw the biggest division odds increase of the week, taking down a division opponent on the road, while the other two NFC East teams, the Eagles and the Giants, also lost. Some are already penciling in a 3-0 record with a game against the Dolphins on deck.
Similarly, Kansas City beat the AFC West rival Raiders and benefited from losses by AFC West foes Los Angeles and Denver. The Chiefs get their first big challenge in Week 3 in their home opener vs. Baltimore.
Oh, what a difference one week makes for Atlanta. After getting dominated by the Vikings in Week 1, the Falcons beat the Eagles in a thriller in Week 2 and saw losses by New Orleans and Carolina. Both of those NFC South rivals are also having quarterback issues, with Drew Brees set to miss time with a thumb injury and Cam Newton possibly missing Week 3 after re-aggravating his foot problem. Head coach Dan Quinn could need to make the playoffs to keep his job, and his prayers might be answered.
See our latest division winner odds for all teams on our NFL projections.
The following teams increased their odds to make the playoffs the most last week:
|Team||Division||Result||Old Playoffs Odds||New Playoffs Odds||Odds Change|
|Indianapolis||AFC South||W 19-17 at TEN||25.2%||43.7%||18.5%|
|San Francisco||NFC West||W 41-17 at CIN||50.3%||67.8%||17.5%|
|Cleveland||AFC North||W 23-3 at NYJ||18.8%||35.9%||17.2%|
|Buffalo||AFC East||W 28-14 at NYG||32.6%||48.7%||16.1%|
|Dallas||NFC East||W 31-21 at WAS||55.8%||69.7%||13.9%|
No Andrew Luck, no problem for the Colts, who pushed the Chargers to overtime in Week 1 and took down the AFC South rival Titans in Week 2. Parity has been a theme in the division in recent years, and that looks like the case again this season with three teams now 1-1 and Jacksonville at the bottom with a 0-2 record.
Things are looking up for the 49ers, who are trying to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. They’re already halfway to last year’s four-win total and have yet to play a home game. As luck would have it, they now get to play the Steelers without Ben Roethlisberger in the home opener, and then are on a bye in Week 4.
The panic in Cleveland has calmed just a bit after an easy 23-3 win over the Jets on Monday night. The Browns still have an uphill battle to make the playoffs, and will get the Rams this week in what could be a good measuring stick.
Buffalo is a big beneficiary of the disasters in Miami and New York, combined with Pittsburgh’s sinking fortunes in the AFC. The Bills now have the sixth-best odds to make the playoffs in the AFC.
See our latest odds to make the playoffs for all teams on our NFL projections.
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