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Pooch Punts

Something goes here as well.


- Despite blowing an 11-point fourth-quarter lead, the Miami Dolphins remain entrenched in the No. 2 spot after losing to the Denver Broncos.  The Fins are likely a bit too high, but it's no longer foolhardy to suggest that Miami is a top 10 team, even with a playoff berth far from a lock.

However, the model does not consider injuries, and a high concentration of casualties along the offensive line and at cornerback could jeopardize the two most important variables—pass offense and pass defense.  Starting tackles Branden Albert and Ja'Waun James have gone down the past two weeks (though James should return soon), while Cortland Finnegan, Will Davis and Jamar Taylor have all suffered injuries of varying severity over the past three weeks.

There's reason to believe that Ryan Tannehill can handle the increased pressure, as play-action fakes and roll-outs are staples in Bill Lazor's scheme, which should minimize the opportunities for opposing pass-rushers to simply pin their ears back.  The pass defense could be another story, though, as opponents have averaged 6.2 yards per pass attempt over the last three games, well above the league-leading 5.6 yards per attempt mark Miami notched over the first eight games.

At 6-5, the Dolphins do not exactly have much room for error.  Their season likely comes down to a Week 14 game against Baltimore.  If Miami holds serve at home, the Dolphins will hold head-to-head tiebreakers over the Ravens, Chargers and (probably) Bills, though the Chiefs did beat Miami in Week 3.  Still, even with the KC defeat, that's a lot of ammo that would likely push the Dolphins over the top in the event of ties at nine or 10 wins.


- Much of the discourse surrounding the Seattle Seahawks revolves around Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and the general decline on defense.  While the issues surrounding Wilson and Lynch are mostly locker room rumors contributing to the overrated factor of team chemistry, the defensive decline is the one very real on-field aspect of Seattle's inconsistencies this season. 

However, that defense may have received a huge boost last week with the returns of Bobby Wagner and Kam Chancellor.  The injuries to Wagner and Chancellor, coupled with nose tackle Brandon Mebane's season-ending injury, left Seattle dangerously thin up the middle.  Unsurprisingly, Jamaal Charles exploited the soft interior to the tune of 159 yards two weeks ago.

With Wagner and Chancellor both back in the lineup, Seattle set season-lows in points and yards allowed.  In terms of success rate, the Seahawks' 19-3 win over the Arizona Cardinals suggested that the win was Seattle's best defensive performance of the season:



Some of that stemmed from Arizona's own pervasive injury woes, but it's hardly a coincidence that the Seahawks finally resembled the aggressive, flow-to-the-ball unit that tortured the league last season.  With a massive Thanksgiving game against blood rival San Francisco, it will be intriguing to see if Seattle can replicate that style to shut down a very simplistic 49ers offense.


Here are the updated team efficiency rankings after 11 weeks.  As always, observations, questions and snide remarks are welcome in the comments section.


RANK TEAM LAST WK GWP Opp GWP O RANK D RANK
1 DEN 1 0.71 0.51 4 1
2 MIA 2 0.68 0.52 12 3
3 GB 3 0.64 0.49 1 11
4 IND 6 0.59 0.50 2 21
5 SEA 4 0.59 0.50 8 8
6 NE 8 0.58 0.52 7 13
7 SF 7 0.58 0.50 19 4
8 KC 5 0.57 0.52 18 7
9 DAL 10 0.56 0.47 5 24
10 CLE 9 0.56 0.45 9 6
11 BUF 14 0.55 0.51 26 2
12 NO 12 0.54 0.49 3 30
13 BAL 15 0.54 0.49 11 15
14 DET 11 0.54 0.50 21 5
15 CIN 16 0.53 0.50 15 10
16 PHI 13 0.52 0.49 14 14
17 PIT 18 0.51 0.48 6 27
18 WAS 17 0.49 0.47 10 17
19 ARI 19 0.49 0.50 24 9
20 TEN 20 0.48 0.52 20 16
21 HOU 21 0.47 0.50 16 25
22 SD 24 0.46 0.49 17 18
23 CHI 22 0.46 0.50 13 29
24 CAR 23 0.45 0.50 25 19
25 NYG 25 0.41 0.52 23 31
26 MIN 29 0.38 0.50 30 12
27 NYJ 26 0.38 0.54 29 20
28 JAC 28 0.38 0.54 31 23
29 STL 27 0.37 0.52 27 26
30 ATL 30 0.34 0.46 22 32
31 OAK 32 0.33 0.54 32 28
32 TB 31 0.32 0.45 28 22

TEAM OPASS ORUNSR% OINT% OFUM% DPASS DRUNSR% DINT% PENRATE
ATL 6.6 36 2.3 1.5 7.6 58 3.1 0.43
ARI 6.6 32 1.6 1.5 6.6 63 3.7 0.40
BAL 6.8 41 2.1 1.3 6.6 66 1.7 0.39
BUF 5.9 38 1.5 1.8 5.4 62 3.3 0.50
CHI 6.2 47 2.9 2.0 7.1 59 2.9 0.50
CAR 6.0 40 2.6 2.1 6.7 62 2.3 0.39
CIN 6.7 38 2.8 1.5 5.9 51 2.5 0.37
CLE 7.2 39 2.2 1.7 5.9 55 3.6 0.40
DAL 7.3 44 2.4 2.5 7.0 62 3.0 0.37
DEN 7.6 40 2.0 1.2 5.4 67 2.4 0.55
DET 6.1 41 2.4 1.4 6.0 64 3.2 0.49
GB 7.6 43 1.1 1.6 6.1 50 3.8 0.40
HOU 6.5 40 3.0 1.9 6.7 55 2.8 0.37
IND 7.3 45 2.1 2.1 6.6 55 2.3 0.40
JAC 5.4 35 4.2 1.6 6.7 61 1.3 0.26
KC 5.9 43 1.2 2.3 5.5 53 1.1 0.30
MIA 5.7 52 2.0 2.3 5.4 63 2.5 0.32
MIN 5.1 41 3.4 0.5 6.3 57 2.8 0.45
NE 6.8 45 1.4 1.1 6.2 54 3.0 0.57
NO 7.1 47 2.4 1.6 7.3 60 1.7 0.34
NYG 6.3 38 2.9 1.9 7.6 60 3.7 0.33
NYJ 4.7 47 3.2 2.3 6.6 63 0.8 0.52
OAK 5.3 35 2.8 2.1 6.8 58 1.4 0.42
PHI 6.8 41 3.5 1.8 6.4 61 1.9 0.43
PIT 7.0 43 1.4 1.6 7.0 60 2.2 0.51
SD 7.0 32 2.5 1.5 6.2 53 1.6 0.48
SF 6.2 40 1.7 2.0 5.7 62 4.2 0.45
SEA 6.1 51 1.6 2.1 6.1 61 2.0 0.50
STL 5.8 38 3.3 2.1 7.0 64 1.9 0.58
TB 6.2 34 3.6 2.5 6.8 61 2.1 0.51
TEN 6.6 38 3.2 1.9 6.3 55 2.9 0.52
WAS 7.0 42 3.6 2.0 6.6 65 1.1 0.55
Avg 6.4 41 2.5 1.8 6.4 59 2.5 0.44