For more from ESPN Analytics, visit the ESPN Analytics Index.
#1 September 28, 2:28 am
For more from ESPN Analytics, visit the ESPN Analytics Index.
What are the five must-watch NFL games this week? ESPN's matchup rays Youth Jersey quality metric, which utilizes ESPN's Football Power Index to rank games on a 1-100 scale based on the quality of teams and projected closeness of the final score, tells us the top games of Week 4. Monday Night Football should be excellent this week, as it features a Washington team that is riding high after a big win over the Raiders against the Super Bowl favorite Chiefs. That's right -- even though FPI believes the Patriots are the best team in football, the projections indicate that Kansas City is much more likely to earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC and also more likely to win the http://www.authentictampabayrays.com/Corey-Dickerson-Jersey Super Bowl. One potential point of concern for the Chiefs is that Alex Smith has not maintained the excellence he displayed in Week 1. Smith posted a Total QBR of 8.6 last week, though it was overlooked because the Chiefs earned the win. While he received praise for throwing the ball downfield in that season opener, Smith has returned to his old ways and now ranks 31st in percent of pass attempts that travel more than 10 yards in the air (19.3 percent). Smith may have a tougher time in this game than we might have imagined at the beginning of the season: The Redskins have the third-most Authentic Bobby Jenks Youth jersey efficient defense in the league so far this year. How sure are we that Derek Carr is all that much better than Trevor Siemian? Sure, Carr has been knighted as one of the next great quarterbacks, but that might be a little premature. Consider: Siemian enters this game with a 2017 Total QBR of 58.8, even after a down week against the Bills. That's actually slightly better than Carr's QBR of 56.1 from all of 2016 (Carr's Total QBR this season is 43.9). To be fair, Siemian wasn't great last year (49.7), but it's worth noting that the difference in perception of these two QBs may be off. We'll see a pretty good showdown of talent when Carr is on the field though, as he'll lead FPI's No. 6-ranked offense against Denver, the model's top-ranked defense. After the Vikings' win over the Bucs, FPI has deemed them slight favorites (46 percent) to win the NFC North. It's a competitive http://www.authenticchicagowhitesox.com/Bobby-Jenks-Jersey three-team race though, and the Lions have a 20 percent shot to be atop the division standings when the season is over. That number drops to 11 percent should they lose on Sunday, however. What's fueling a team quarterbacked by Sam Bradford/Case Keenum to a 2-1 record and projected success? A couple of excellently quarterbacked games (it's true) and just some old-fashioned, all-around solid play. FPI sees Minnesota as above-average in all three phases of the game going forward. Overall, the Vikes have been the sixth-most efficient team so far this season. Both teams are coming off surprising losses, and that won't lessen the intensity when these AFC North rivals get together in Baltimore; no game carries more division or playoff implications for the teams involved than this matchup. Both teams stand to have a 31 percent change in their chances of winning the division based on the outcome. For Adidas Authentic Ryan Murray Womens Jersey Baltimore, a win would mean the difference between a 42.3 percent and a 11.8 percent chance of taking the division. A Pittsburgh win, however, would place the Steelers as a firm 87.1 percent favorite, compared to a 56.1 percent favorite should they lose. FPI has the teams rated nearly the same on defense, but after Baltimore's rough outing in London against the Jaguars, the Steelers' offense is what FPI sees as the difference. This may be a matchup of teams with an identical 2-1 record, but that doesn't mean FPI sees the teams as equals. The Patriots are FPI's top team and have what FPI predicts as the top offense in the league, a whopping 7.8 points above average (Atlanta is second at 5.5). Carolina is 18th overall in FPI and 19th when ranking offenses (-1.5). This can be a statement game for Carolina, as the Panthers were only able to muster 13 points against FPI's bottom-rated defense in New Orleans. Carolina does hold an edge on the defensive side, with the third-ranked FPI defense topping New England's 16th rank, but http://www.authenticcolumbusbluejackets.com/authentic-ryan-murray-jersey that may not be enough. The Patriots are a 78 percent favorite to win the game. The somewhat surprising Rams are 2-1 but will be facing their toughest competition yet as they travel to Dallas. FPI isn't quite sold on the Rams yet, having defeated FPI's 29th- and 31st-ranked teams in Indianapolis and San Francisco. They will be underdogs in the system's eyes for the first time this year. A Rams win would make them legitimate contenders for a playoff spot, as their odds would climb to 32 percent. A loss, however drops them to 17 percent. The division also comes into play for Los Angeles, as a win gets the Rams to a 24 percent chance at the NFC West crown and a loss drops them to 14 percent. Dallas has even more on the line, as FPI projects a 1-in-3 chance at the NFC East with a win and a 1-in-5 chance with a loss, while the Cowboys' overall playoff probabilities would be 54 percent with a win and 34 percent with a loss.
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