The Top Dog: Dallas Cowboys
I know what you're thinking: "how can a 2-2 team with a negative point differential be the top team in the league?" While both of those facts are true, the Cowboys have also had an unfavorable schedule, as they have faced three top-12 clubs. Early in the season, this model will heavily weigh "strength of schedule," so there you go. Also, Dallas feels like one of those teams that can put up good numbers on a regular basis without winning many games. A paper team, if you will. The 'Boys get a break this week to prepare for the Patriots offensive attack.
The Undefeateds: Green Bay and Detroit
Green Bay being ranked outside the Top-5 is due to them allowing a huge amount of passing yards. In fact, they are second worst in the league in terms of yards allowed through the air while they are second best in the league when it comes to yards allowed on the ground. They probably aren't the second worst pass coverage team or the second best at stopping the run, as their offensive firepower forces teams to pass on them more often than they would against other opponents. Detroit's problem, on the other hand, is their strength of schedule. They've gotten to face the Chiefs already, and they barely sneaked out a win against the lowly Minnesota Vikings.
According to these rankings, the Colts are the best winless club, with the Dolphins, Rams and Vikings all following suit. The Rams will still be in this group next week since they have a bye, and the Colts are most likely to pull out a victory against the Chiefs this weekend.
Other Fun Facts:
- The Falcons, who were picked to win the Super Bowl by many, are ranked second to last. Sure, they're 2-2, but one of those wins came against the Seahawks, who had a chance to win the game on their final drive. Watching the Falcons with my own two eyes, they didn't look like anything special. Julio Jones is nice and all, but they really could have used their other picks to improve this club in a couple other places (such as the defensive interior).
- The 49ers are the worst team in sole possession of first place in their division, but the Buccaneers are ranked much lower and are tied for the NFC South lead with the number two Saints. San Diego is the next worst, perched right in the middle of the rankings.
- Oakland is ranked in the top half despite being the worst team in all of football when it comes to how often they are called for penalties. Tenessee and New England are also higher on the list than you'd expect to find a title contender.
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