NFL Week 17: Power Rankings

NFL Week 17: Power Rankings
by
Aaron Chou
__
December 30, 2020
New Orleans Saints running back, Alvin Kamara (#41), gestures after first down against the Minnesota Vikings during NFL week 16
Photo By Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Entering the final week of the 2020 NFL regular season, we feel there are five teams in the NFL that have separated themselves from the pack as the top teams:

  1. New Orleans Saints - After an offensive explosion against the Minnesota Vikings where they scored 52 points, the Saints regain the #1 spot in our EPA model from the Kansas City Chiefs.
  2. Kansas City Chiefs - At 14-1, the defending Super Bowl champions are in a great position to repeat. However, despite defeating the New Orleans Saints 32-29 in Week 15, as well as a 17-14 victory over the Atlanta Falcons that improved their defensive rating, we still view the Chiefs as underdogs versus the Saints. 
  3. Green Bay Packers - Powered by their #1 ranked offense, the Packers are very much Super Bowl contenders. Similar to their 2010 title run, their defense will need to continue to force turnovers and rely on their high-powered offense.
  4. Baltimore Ravens - Despite all the talk of how the offense has stalled, the Ravens still have one of the most balanced teams in the NFL. Our EPA model ranks their offense #6 in the NFL and their defense #5.
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - With an offense coming into form ranked #8 after blowing out the Detroit Lions, the Buccaneers also boast the #3 defense in the NFL to support Tom Brady. 

Offense Power Rankings

The Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, and New Orleans Saints offenses are playing at a level above the rest of the field, making it no surprise as to why they are top contenders to win the Super Bowl:


Defense Power Rankings

However, the reason why we believe the New Orleans Saints are the top team in the NFL is that unlike the Packers and Chiefs, they also boast a strong defense:


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