And we’re off!
Week 1 has come and gone with a bang and the overreaction train has well and truly left the station. Well, here I come along the tracks to throw in my team rankings. These rankings are based on the statistical performances for each team in each of the three phases of the game and the week results have been calculated. Common sense will tell you that the rankings will be lopsided at first with just the one week of data to work with, but things will start to even out as the season wears on.
And so the early pacesetters in the RODS rankings are the Baltimore Ravens, who dismantled the Bills in Week 1, 47-3, giving them a RODS grade of +90.0%. Their grade was driven by a defensive grade of +13.8%, the only team to produce a positive defensive grade in Week 1. The Ravens held the Bills to just 153 yards, as well as totalling six sacks and two interceptions. The offense also held its end up, finishing with the third highest grade of the week as they scored 6 total touchdowns and dominated time of possession against what looks like the worst team in the NFL. The Bills by contrast finish Week 1 as the worst rated team with a rating of -92.9%. Their offensive rating of -20% is their worst since the 2010 season and starting quarterback Nathan Peterman posted a 0.0% QB Index rating.
The Jets, led by rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, posted a +80.0% rating in defeating the Lions on the road. It was their best rating since the 2010 season and was led by the second best defensive performance of the week as they intercepted the Lions five times and scored a touchdown in all three phases of the game. That Darnold was able to come back from having his first ever pass in the NFL intercepted and returned for a touchdown and lead his team to victory will give the Jets some confidence leading into their Week 2 divisional match up against the Dolphins. Again on the flip side, the Lions had the second worst rating of Week 1 with -91.4%, their worst rating since the 2009 season.
Other standout performances to mention include the Saints -85.0% defensive rating in their 48-40 loss at home to the Buccaneers, which is the worst rating they’ve had in the 11 seasons I’ve graded games. The Bucs’ +83.8% offensive rating was the best they’ve had over the same period.
The Titans and Chargers were both defeated in Week 1 but both can count themselves unlucky as they posted higher grades than the teams that beat them. The Chargers narrowly outgraded the Chiefs +2.9% to -4.3% but the Titans graded significantly better than the Dolphins at +10% to -8.6% as they dominated defensively on third down and in the red zone.
Despite the tie that broke the Browns’ losing streak, they were by far the poorer team by grade achieved, finishing with a rating of -21.4% compared to the Steelers +18.6%.
Do the rankings meet your views on the opening slate of games? Let me know in the comments below.