NFL Power Rankings: How they voted

December, 4, 2012
12/04/12
12:00
PM ET
The Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles are riding eight-game losing streaks 16 months after making the Kevin Kolb trade.

Those losing streaks were enough for me to list them 31st and 32nd, respectively, on my ESPN.com NFL Power Rankings ballot heading into Week 14.

Both teams are on the road this week -- Arizona at Seattle, Philadelphia at Tampa Bay -- against opponents blessed with hot quarterbacks and fighting for playoff spots.

Life might get tougher before it gets easier for these trading partners. Some of the teams near the top of our rankings have it rough, too.

The top-ranked Houston Texans visit the third-ranked New England Patriots in the "Monday Night Football" matchup for Week 14. Sixth-ranked Baltimore visits Washington, which has won three in a row.

Our two highest-ranked teams, Houston and Atlanta, sit atop their conference's playoff seeding charts. Third-ranked New England and fourth-ranked San Francisco are second seeds. There's some disagreement over where the Ravens and San Francisco 49ers should stand. Ashley Fox and I discussed our thinking on those teams in this week's video.

And now, a closer look at the rankings heading into Week 14:

Falling (12): New Orleans Saints (-3), San Diego Chargers (-3), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3), Arizona Cardinals (-2), Baltimore Ravens (-2), Chicago Bears (-2), Miami Dolphins (-2), New York Giants (-2), Detroit Lions (-1), Jacksonville Jaguars (-1), Minnesota Vikings (-1), San Francisco 49ers (-1).

Rising (13): Cleveland Browns (+3), Dallas Cowboys (+3), Washington Redskins (+3), Denver Broncos (+2), Green Bay Packers (+2), New England Patriots (+2), St. Louis Rams (+2), Buffalo Bills (+1), Indianapolis Colts (+1), Kansas City Chiefs (+1), New York Jets (+1), Pittsburgh Steelers (+1), Seattle Seahawks (+1).

Unchanged (7): Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans.

Deadlocked: We broke no ties this week.

Like minds: All five voters ranked the Texans first and the Patriots third.

Agree to disagree: The Rams, Titans and Seahawks generated the largest disparities between highest and lowest votes.

A look at all teams generating high-low gaps of at least six spots in the rankings:
  • Rams (9): Jamison Hensley 16th, John Clayton 25th.
  • Titans (8): Clayton 22nd, Dan Graziano 30th.
  • Seahawks (7): Sando eighth, Graziano 15th.
  • Chargers (6): Clayton 21st, Fox 27th.
  • Browns (6): Graziano 22nd, Clayton 28th.
  • Cardinals (6): Hensley 25th, Sando 31st.
Power Rankings histories: These colorful layered graphs show where each NFL team has ranked every week since the 2002 season.

Ranking the divisions: The AFC North overtook the NFC North as the highest-rated division on average. The NFC West was third, followed by the NFC South, AFC South, AFC East, NFC East and AFC West.

A voter-by-voter look at changes of at least five spots since last week:
  • Sando: Cardinals (-5), Saints (-5), Browns (+6).
  • Clayton: Giants (-5).
  • Graziano: none.
  • Hensley: Browns (+5).
  • Fox: Chargers (-6).
For download: An Excel file -- available here -- showing how each voter voted this week and in past weeks.

The file includes a "powerflaws" sheet pointing out potential flaws in voters' thinking by showing how many higher-ranked opponents each team defeated this season.

For example, the Texans outrank the Packers even though Green Bay defeated Houston.

A quick primer on the "powerflaws" sheet:
  • Column Y features team rankings.
  • Column Z shows how many times a team has defeated higher-ranked teams.
  • Change the rankings in Column Y as you see fit.
  • Re-sort Column Y in ascending order (1 to 32) using the standard Excel pull-down menu atop the column.
  • The information in Column Z, which reflects potential ranking errors, will change (with the adjusted total highlighted in yellow atop the column).
  • The lower the figure in that yellow box, the fewer conflicts.

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