Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC West [Print without images]

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Where NFC West teams rank: Week 1

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Tuesdays during the regular season are generally when we examine statistical rankings for NFC West teams on offense and defense.

These gain in meaning as teams play additional games, of course.

The charts at the bottom of this item carry the rankings. I've added columns for NFL passer rating and QBR because both correlate strongly with game outcomes. QBR has a higher correlation with winning since 2008, which is as far back as QBR currently goes, but both are useful. The way I see these stats, NFL passer rating reflects results while QBR seeks to determine how much credit the quarterback should get for those results.

The chart above breaks down 2008-10 winning percentages for teams based on which statistical categories they led in each game. For Week 1 this season, teams with higher NFL passer ratings went 13-3, compared to 12-4 for teams with higher QBR marks.

Tennessee, Carolina, Dallas and Denver lost even though their teams had the higher QBR marks. The Panthers and Cowboys surrendered pivotal touchdowns on special teams.

Back to the charts below. Quite a few teams are tied within various categories because teams have played only one game. Points per game totals include those scored on defense and special teams. I've sorted the teams by points per game, although the special-teams touchdowns Seattle allowed shouldn't count against their defense.

The first chart shows offensive rankings.

The second chart shows defensive rankings. Note that the order changes slightly based on points per game.

The defensive chart initially showed rankings for rushing yards allowed per carry. I have updated it to reflect totals. Thanks for noticing, desk_jet30.