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Every week we update our NFL Power Ratings to project odds and find the best betting edges, but how have the first seven weeks shifted expectations across the league?
We’ve identified the two biggest risers and two biggest fallers in our ratings since Week 1 as a way to reset expectations as we enter the second half of the season.
Before we dig into those results, let’s clarify why the Kansas City Chiefs have been left out of this piece. Yes, their rating took a big hit as a result of Patrick Mahomes’ knee injury, but it’s temporary — he’s already back at practice. So while their rating has technically dropped the most (8.5 points), it’s not predictive of what we should expect once he returns, which is looking like it’ll be sooner rather than later.
NFL Power Ratings risers
Week 8 Rating: 10.5
Week 1 Rating: 6
We already know the Patriots are an elite team. However, their defense has been arguably the best in the NFL this season and has taken them to a whole new level.
It also doesn’t hurt that they have had by far the easiest schedule to date. We’ll get a better sense of how they stack up against better competition over the four-game stretch following their Week 10 bye: at Eagles, vs. Cowboys, at Texans and vs. Chiefs.
Week 8 Rating: 5.5
Week 1 Rating: 1.5
They’ve seen the second-biggest rise thanks in large part to their dominant defense, which has paired nicely with their efficient running game.
I’ve mentioned before that coach Kyle Shanahan is one of the more underrated coaches and that the 49ers have been slowed by brutal injury luck during his tenure. But as long as they can stay healthy, the 49ers should be a top-five team the rest of the way.
NFL Power Ratings fallers
Week 8 Rating: -12
Week 1 Rating: -5.5
We knew the Dolphins were the worst team in the league heading into the season. We also knew they were likely to tank in an attempt to lock in the No. 1 pick of the 2020 draft. But they’ve been even worse than we could have imagined.
For a team that could go 0-16, the market has been trying to gauge just how bad this Dolphins team actually is. Covering back-to-back spreads in losses to Washington and Buffalo finally stopped their free fall in the power ratings, and we think they’ve arrived at a stable rating for the time being.
Week 8 Rating: -7.5
Week 1 Rating: -2.5
It’s only a matter of time until they switch to rookie QB Dwayne Haskins. It won’t be a move done to improve the team’s chances of winning — it will be to get him in-game reps. Either way, it could lower their power rating a bit more.
Power Ratings risers & fallers
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