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- On the other end of the spectrum, the Oakland Raiders finished dead last in the rankings, despite a late-season surge.  In actuality, the Raiders might as well share the Sacko Award with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars, however, as that trio stood out as a whole different kind of bad this season.

The terrible troika all finished with GWP's that would suggest a win total between 4 to 4.5 wins.  The 29th-ranked Atlanta Falcons had a GWP that was eight percentage points better than 30th-ranked Tampa, resulting in a win projection of 5.8.  In other words, all three performed roughly 1.5 to 2 wins worse than even the fourth-worst team in the league, an astounding number when one considers how little typically separates the teams at the bottom of the standings.

When digging for common denominators, all three failed most prominently in the passing game.  Jacksonville and Oakland were the two worst teams in the league in terms of net yards per attempt (NY/A), while Tampa finished fourth-worst.  The Jags and Raiders were also the two worst teams in terms of EPA/P and success rate, a byproduct of rookie struggles from Blake Bortles and Derek Carr.

Given that these were also the bottom three teams in last year's final rankings, it's legitimate to wonder whether these franchises are essentially dogs chasing their own tails in a circle.  All three teams switched quarterbacks from last year, while Tampa and Oakland made coaching changes.  Instability has been a constant with these franchises—since 2000, the trio have combined for 16 head coaching changes and 43 starting quarterbacks.

While finding a franchise quarterback is always priority No. 1 for franchises that don't have one, it's possible to win big without one.  The signal-callers of the last three Super Bowl champs finished 15th, 23rd and ninth in success rate.  On the other hand, blowing top-10 draft picks on a routine basis will destroy a franchise unlike anything else.  Here is the wildly depressing list of Pro Bowlers the three teams have combined to draft over the past 10 seasons:



Yep, that's seven total—between all three.  Khalil Mack probably deserves to be on that list, but that doesn't make the overall picture look much prettier.  Jacksonville and Oakland have now gone a combined 14 consecutive drafts without selecting a Pro Bowler.  Given that Pro Bowl rosters have swelled so that there are roughly as many players as fans in attendance at those games, that distinction is even more ignominious.

Such sustained incompetence is essentially the purpose of the relegation system in European soccer, but alas, no such salvation exists for this trio.  At some point, it might be worth an article to explore how these eras compare to other sustained stretches of failure in NFL history.


- In terms of movement from this year's initial rankings, here were the biggest risers and fallers from the initial post-Week 3 rankings:



This isn't necessarily surprising data—though in hindsight, how the Titans were ranked fifth is beyond explanation—as there is "filler" data used at the start.  In other words, three games of perfectly league-average performance are used as a counterbalance to whatever outliers may be weighing a team's stat in one direction or the other.  One of those average counterbalances is removed each week until, after six weeks, we get the first unadjusted rankings.

Even with those balances, it's clear that one-game outliers are still going to alter the picture significantly, and this is just a quantifiable illustration of that truth.  There are always methods to improve the model; hopefully this final look shed some light on the methodology that goes into those neat little tables at the end of these.


Here are the final team efficiency rankings for the 2014 season.  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 0.77 0.49 4 1
2 SEA 2 0.72 0.49 6 3
3 GB 3 0.69 0.49 1 12
4 IND 6 0.62 0.49 5 17
5 MIA 4 0.61 0.50 9 11
6 NE 5 0.60 0.52 8 14
7 DAL 7 0.59 0.47 3 24
8 BAL 8 0.59 0.49 10 7
9 PIT 10 0.58 0.48 2 28
10 BUF 14 0.58 0.52 26 2
11 DET 9 0.56 0.49 18 4
12 KC 11 0.55 0.51 20 8
13 CAR 16 0.55 0.49 17 9
14 NO 13 0.54 0.48 7 29
15 CIN 12 0.53 0.52 15 13
16 HOU 17 0.52 0.47 16 10
17 CLE 15 0.51 0.48 21 6
18 PHI 18 0.51 0.50 11 21
19 SF 19 0.51 0.50 24 5
20 NYG 20 0.47 0.49 13 23
21 ARI 21 0.44 0.51 23 19
22 SD 23 0.44 0.51 22 20
23 MIN 24 0.43 0.50 25 15
24 WAS 25 0.40 0.48 12 30
25 NYJ 29 0.40 0.54 29 22
26 TEN 22 0.39 0.50 27 18
27 STL 26 0.39 0.50 28 16
28 CHI 28 0.37 0.52 19 31
29 ATL 27 0.36 0.49 14 32
30 TB 31 0.28 0.50 30 25
31 JAC 30 0.27 0.52 32 26
32 OAK 32 0.25 0.55 31 27

TEAM OPASS ORUNSR% OINT% OFUM% DPASS DRUNSR% DINT% PENRATE
ATL 6.9 35 2.4 1.2 7.6 58 2.8 0.41
ARI 6.4 34 2.1 1.4 6.8 62 3.1 0.35
BAL 6.7 41 2.2 1.3 6.2 66 1.8 0.42
BUF 5.8 40 2.2 1.8 5.4 62 3.4 0.50
CHI 5.8 45 3.1 1.5 7.2 57 2.6 0.50
CAR 6.0 44 2.2 2.2 6.1 62 2.5 0.37
CIN 6.5 40 3.4 1.9 6.2 54 3.3 0.39
CLE 6.5 37 3.2 1.5 5.8 54 3.6 0.44
DAL 7.4 43 2.3 2.1 6.9 62 3.2 0.42
DEN 7.5 42 2.5 1.3 5.3 65 2.8 0.50
DET 6.2 40 2.0 1.7 5.8 64 3.4 0.49
GB 7.5 41 1.1 1.8 6.0 53 3.2 0.38
HOU 6.5 39 2.7 1.9 5.9 56 3.2 0.39
IND 7.1 44 2.4 2.2 6.3 57 2.2 0.40
JAC 4.8 36 3.2 1.3 6.6 60 1.1 0.28
KC 5.9 42 1.2 2.1 5.5 53 1.1 0.34
MIA 5.8 52 2.0 2.2 6.2 60 2.6 0.31
MIN 5.7 43 3.5 0.8 6.2 56 2.4 0.42
NE 6.5 46 1.5 1.0 6.2 57 2.8 0.51
NO 6.9 45 2.6 1.6 6.9 57 2.2 0.32
NYG 6.7 38 2.3 1.7 6.8 59 3.3 0.43
NYJ 5.4 43 3.0 2.3 6.4 59 1.1 0.46
OAK 5.0 34 2.5 1.9 6.8 58 1.7 0.46
PHI 6.7 42 3.4 2.0 6.6 61 2.0 0.44
PIT 7.4 42 1.6 1.3 7.0 61 2.0 0.41
SD 6.7 34 3.1 1.3 6.2 54 1.3 0.48
SF 5.7 42 2.0 1.8 6.0 62 4.2 0.47
SEA 6.6 49 1.5 2.4 5.4 64 2.6 0.52
STL 6.0 38 3.1 2.5 6.6 65 2.4 0.58
TB 5.7 34 3.8 2.5 6.8 62 2.5 0.47
TEN 6.1 38 3.1 2.1 6.5 58 2.2 0.48
WAS 6.7 41 3.3 2.6 7.1 63 1.3 0.57
Avg 6.3 41 2.5 1.8 6.3 59 2.5 0.43