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Final NFL Power Rankings 2019

Which team ended the season as the best in the NFL?

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Final Power Rankings time! After 17 long weeks, the final ratings have been tallied and I am ready to crown the champion for the 2019 season, and the team definitely poised to lift the Lombardi in Miami in a month’s time. But seeing as that has only happened once in the 13 seasons I’ve been compiling these rankings (2016 Patriots), it’s probably not going to happen, but a bit of hyperbole never hurt anyone.

To clarify for anyone new to my Power Rankings, they are based on a set of team efficiency ratings I have developed over the past five years, analyzing the key statistical metrics and weighting each one based on its impact on team wins and losses. This gives every team a rating out of 100% for their offense, defense and special teams, plus an overall rating so we can benchmark each team’s relative set of performances.

It will come as no surprise that the Baltimore Ravens finished 2019 as the top rated team in the NFL, moving up one place from last season. For the second straight season, the Ravens were not lower than 6th at any point and finished with a final team grade of 30.4%, which is an increase from 21.1% last year and is the third best grade I’ve ever recorded in the 14 seasons I have produced these rankings. The only two teams to finish with a better season grade are the 2007 patriots (42.2%) and the 2015 Seahawks (31.4%). The Ravens were dominant as they finished with a 14-2 record to take the number one seed in the AFC and head into the playoffs after 12 straight victories and a +249 point differential.

The Ravens were driven by their offense and led by MVP favorite Lamar Jackson, which finished with a rating of 56.8%, the 3rd best I’ve ever graded behind the 2007 Patriots (+60.5%), and the 2018 Chiefs (+57.5%). They finished first in many categories, including points (531), rushing yards (3,303, rushing yards per attempt (5.6), Total touchdowns (64), 1st downs (386), time of possession (34:47) and sacks allowed (29), as well as second in 3rd down conversions (47.1%) and Red Zone conversions (67.2%). The rushing offense totalled the most yards ever and graded as the best rushing offense I’ve ever recorded and by quite a distance, with a rating of +72.3%. The 2011 Panthers had previously been the best rushing offense with a rating of 67.5%, Cam Newton’s rookie season. On the other side of the ball, the defense improved steadily throughout the season to finish as the 5th rated defense with a rating of -29.2%, allowing the 3rd fewest points and finishing 7th in turnovers with 25 (13 interceptions, 12 fumbles recovered).

Here are the Power Rankings Champions over the 14 years I have produced them:

NFL Power Rankings Champions 2007-2019

Year Team Rating
Year Team Rating
2019 Baltimore Ravens 30.4%
2018 Chicagio Bears 24.4%
2017 Jacksonville Jaguars 26.6%
2016 New England Patriots 20.0%
2015 Seattle Seahawks 31.4%
2014 Seattle Seahawks 20.0%
2013 Denver Broncos 24.5%
2012 Denver Broncos 26.1%
2011 New Orleans Saints 28.4%
2010 San Diego Chargers 26.3%
2009 Green Bay Packers 29.1%
2008 Baltimore Ravens 26.7%
2007 New England Patriots 42.2%

Behind the Ravens, the Patriots finished as the second highest rated team, with an overall rating of 27.3%. Despite what has been seen as a down season for the Patriots, they achieved their best season rating since their 16-0 regular season in 2007 (42.2%), and their season was driven by one of the most dominant defenses I’ve ever recorded. The Patriots were my number one defense, achieving a grade of -19.5%, the 7th best defense I’ve ever recorded (2010 Steelers, -16.1%), but the best since 2013 Seahawks (-16.8%). They allowed the fewest points, yards, completions, completion %, touchdowns (both rushing and passings), and were first in 1st downs allowed, third down conversions, Red Zone touchdown conversions and led the league in interceptions with 25. The Patriots finished 1st against the pass and 11th against the rush, with the pass defense grade (65.8%) finishing as the 4th best I’ve ever graded, and the best since the Seahawks in 2013 (66.8%). The offense finished as the 13th rated offense in the league, with a rating of +40.2%. their lowest since 2015 and down from 52.9% last season.

In third place were the San Francisco 49ers, who jumped up from finishing 26th last year thanks to the 5th rated offense and 3rd rated defense. Their offensive rating of 46.3% is the best I’ve ever recorded for the, with their defensive grade of -25.5% their best since their last playoff appearance in 2013. The 49ers were in the top 3 of the rankings since Week 2 and were at the top of the rankings at the end of Week 14. The 49ers go into the playoffs as the number one seed in the NFC and earned that position through overcoming the toughest strength of schedule in the league.

At the bottom of the rankings, the Dolphins finished as the lowest graded team despite finishing with a better record than the Bengals, Redskins and Giants. The had the 29th rated offense (22.4%) and last ranked defense (-55.1%). Their overall grade of -33.4% is the 6th lowest grade I’ve ranked since 2007 but was a higher grade than last season’s bottom rated team (Cardinals, -35.9%). That bottom rated defense (-55.1%) is the second worst defense I’ve ever graded and only slightly ahead of the worst ever, last season’s Raiders (-55.4%). The Dolphins also had the worst rushing offense with Ryan Fitzpatrick the team’s leading rusher. Their 31.5% rating is the the lowest I’ve ever rated.

Other nuggets from this year’s rankings include seeing last year’s Power Rankings champions the Bears finishing 25th, having been 28th in 2017 so their rapid rise last year feels very much a 1 year aberration.

The Texans have for the second straight year won the AFC south and not finished as the top rated team in their division. In fact the Texans are lowest ranked playoff team I’ve ever recorded (27th), mainly thanks to their bottom 3 rated defense (-52.3%). They get JJ Watt back for their Wild Card game against the Bills, though they were consistently ranked in the bottom 10 before he got hurt. They’ll need to lean on their top 10 offense (+42.1%) if they want to progress in the playoffs. The Texans faced the third toughest strength of schedule in the league in 2019, having faced the easiest in 2018.

Of the 12 playoff teams, 10 finished in the top 12 places in the rankings (9 last year), with only the Seahawks (16th) and Texans (27th) outside of those places.

Other than the Texans, 4 other playoff teams made it facing a top 10 strength of schedule; the Ravens (4th), Chiefs (6th), Titans (8th and Seahawks (9th) .

The Eagles made the playoffs with the 4th easiest strength of schedule, having faced the toughest strength of schedule in 2018. The Bills (10th) and Patriots (7th) are the other playoff teams with bottom 10 strength of schedules in 2019.

The Cowboys were the highest ranked team to miss the playoffs as they finished 5th overall with a top 10 offense (3rd) and defense (8th). No team has ever finished as high in the Power Rankings as the Cowboys and missed the playoffs.

FINAL 2019 NFL POWER RANKINGS

Team Record Total Rating Rank Offense Rank Defense Rank Special Teams Rank
Team Record Total Rating Rank Offense Rank Defense Rank Special Teams Rank
Ravens* 14-2 30.4% 1 56.8% 1 -29.2% 5 1.3% 15
Patriots* 12-4 27.3% 2 40.2% 13 -19.5% 1 14.1% 2
49ers* 13-3 21.3% 3 46.3% 5 -25.5% 3 -7.0% 26
Saints* 13-3 18.8% 4 54.7% 2 -39.5% 17 4.2% 11
Cowboys 8-8 16.8% 5 53.2% 3 -33.7% 8 -16.1% 31
Vikings* 10-6 16.3% 6 45.9% 6 -31.3% 6 -1.3% 18
Chiefs* 12-4 14.2% 7 49.1% 4 -37.8% 13 3.6% 12
Eagles* 8-8 12.2% 8 42.0% 11 -33.7% 8 7.8% 4
Bills* 10-6 8.6% 9 34.0% 19 -27.5% 4 3.4% 13
Buccaneers 7-9 7.0% 10 39.1% 16 -34.5% 10 5.2% 10
Packers* 13-3 4.8% 11 44.5% 7 -39.5% 18 -2.3% 20
Titans* 9-7 4.6% 12 43.7% 9 -38.8% 15 -3.1% 21
Rams 9-7 4.3% 13 39.3% 15 -37.3% 12 6.0% 8
Colts 7-9 -0.8% 14 35.6% 18 -38.7% 14 7.8% 4
Raiders 7-9 -3.3% 15 44.1% 8 -46.9% 28 -0.3% 17
Seahawks* 11-5 -4.0% 16 41.6% 12 -44.0% 23 -3.9% 23
Steelers 8-8 -7.0% 17 20.6% 31 -23.7% 2 -10.2% 28
Broncos 7-9 -7.2% 18 30.2% 25 -36.1% 11 -1.3% 18
Falcons 7-9 -8.9% 19 37.6% 17 -43.4% 20 -6.5% 25
Chargers 5-11 -9.3% 20 39.6% 14 -43.8% 22 -13.3% 30
Jets 7-9 -11.1% 21 21.9% 30 -33.5% 7 6.5% 7
Giants 4-12 -12.1% 22 31.0% 24 -43.4% 19 5.7% 9
Panthers 5-11 -13.5% 23 27.0% 27 -46.3% 25 25.0% 1
Browns 6-10 -13.9% 24 33.3% 22 -43.7% 21 -6.0% 24
Bears 8-8 -14.5% 25 29.2% 26 -39.4% 16 -8.3% 27
Cardinals 5-10-1 -14.8% 26 33.6% 21 -47.4% 29 2.9% 14
Texans* 10-6 -15.7% 27 42.1% 10 -52.3% 30 -12.0% 29
Jaguars 6-10 -16.3% 28 31.6% 23 -44.8% 24 -3.4% 22
Bengals 2-14 -24.2% 29 23.4% 28 -46.7% 26 7.3% 6
Lions 3-12-1 -28.8% 30 33.9% 20 -54.2% 31 -16.1% 31
Redskins 4-12 -29.0% 31 18.7% 32 -46.8% 27 9.1% 3
Dolphins 5-11 -33.4% 32 22.4% 29 -55.1% 32 0.3% 16