After a short hiatus due to ‘technical difficulties’, the Fake Teams NFL RODS rankings are back!
Since the rankings were last updated after Week 3, there is a new team at the top of the rankings. The Baltimore Ravens have overtaken the Los Angeles Rams to lead the way, despite the Rams remaining the only unbeaten team in the league. The Ravens are riding high after putting on a defensive masterclass as they shut out the Titans in Week 6, posting 11 sacks of Marcus Mariota and allowing just 106 total yards. The +91.4% Week 6 grade is their second grade of over 90% this season after a +90% grade in Week 1 and the Ravens’ defense is by far and away the top defense in the NFL and is currently on record setting pace with a season to date grade of -15.8%. The best defensive grade I’ve ever recorded was -16.1% from the 2010 Steelers, but the Ravens will face a stiff challenge in Week 7 as they face the league’s top offense in the Saints at home.
The Rams retain second place but have come back to the pack over the past couple of weeks as they have been run relatively close by both the Seahawks and Broncos and have posted negative grades in both games. They retain the top special teams unit in the league by a big margin however.
The Chicago Bears sit third in the rankings, despite their loss in overtime to the Miami Dolphins, though they did post a significantly better rating of +12.9% compared to -8.6% for Miami. Along with the Ravens, the Bears are one of only two teams to post a top 10 offense, defense and special teams through Week 6.
At the bottom of the rankings we have a new worst team in the NFL in the Oakland Raiders. I was on hand at Wembley Stadium on Sunday to witness their total defeat by the Seattle Seahawks, and the -84.3% rating was the worst they’ve posted since a 52-0 loss to the Rams in Week 13 of the 2014 season. Driven by the 30th rated defense and a special teams ranked dead last, the Raiders appear to be in free fall and are the current favorite for the number one pick in the 2019 draft.
Making up the bottom three are the Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons. Both teams are buoyed by one decent unit, but are being let down by the other two. The Cardinals defense is an above average unit in 14th overall, but the offense ranks 31st as they go through the growing pains of transitioning to rookie Josh Rosen at quarterback. It’s the opposite for the Falcons who continue to put up points (8th in scoring) with an offense ranked just outside the top 10. However for them it’s the defense that’s holding them back and that phase sits dead last in both scoring and overall RODS ranking. The Falcons biggest issue is their ability to get off the field on third down as they also rank last in third down conversions allowed at 56%, one of only two teams to allow a conversion percentage above 50% (Bengals 53%). Their season to date grade of –67.5% is a historic low in the 12 years I’ve ranked teams’ offensive and defensive performances, with the previous worst defense graded the 2015 Saints, who had a season long grade of -52.4%.
The previous worst ranked team, the Bills, sit just outside the bottom three but have the worst rated offense in the league. The season to date rating of just +7.9% is in the bottom five of all offenses I’ve grade since 2007, and by the far worse over the last five years.
2018 NFL RODS Rankings
Do the rankings match up with your views of the league’s best teams? Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on twitter @PaddiCooper