Shockingly there was some upheaval within the world of NFL power ranking averages after one week of the season. Now with actual games to base the rankings on we go from pure speculation to what can be fairly described as wild overreaction.
The Packers stayed on top of the rankings while the Patriots stayed right behind them at number two, and rightfully so. The Ravens and the Steelers nearly switched places with the Ravens moving up from ninth to third and the Steelers falling from third to eighth. By virtue of losing to the Bears the Falcons slipped six spots as Chicago rose up six spots themselves.
The Redskins climbed the most spots of any team, rising from 28th to 15th - a pretty large leap for a team most experts were convinced would be terrible. Plummeting down the rankings, and perhaps rightfully so, were the Chiefs who fell from 17th all the way to 31st, getting three votes for dead last along the way. If week 1 was any indication, they may want to get comfortable down at the bottom, however ESPN still holds out hope for the Kansas City, as they only ranked them 21st.
The team with the comically high ranking outlier however is the Vikings. Jeff Saragin's ranking system has the Vikings up at 14th with the rest of the rankers placing them somewhere between 24th and 31st. The Saragin system also discounts the Lions, ranking them 25th, with the rest placing them between 11th and 13th. As the Saragin rankings are completely data based, it makes sense for them to be the least in-line with the other ranking sites early in the season. They also rank the Colts 10th (way higher than the rest) and Rams 32nd (far lower than the rest).
The Saragin rankings are not the only source of large discrepancies between the rankings, excluding Saragin, nine teams have a range of at least ten ranking spots between the various sites. Once you include the Saragin rankings that number grows to 12.
Divisional Ranking Averages
1. NFC North - 12.19
2. AFC East - 12.91
3. NFC East - 13.47
4. NFC South - 15.10
5. AFC North - 15.85
6. AFC South - 19.50
7. AFC West - 20.66
8. NFC West - 22.35
The NFC North overtook the NFC South as the top division in football, thanks in large part to beating them in three head-to-head contests. The winless NFC South slipped to fourth but remained ahead of most AFC divisions. With nine of the bottom 14 teams it's no surprise to see the AFC lagging behind the NFC. The NFC West is still the worst division in football, but there appear to be challengers to the throne as both the AFC South and particularly the AFC West (home to the bottom two teams in the league) showed an impressive lack of talent.