Week 6, NFL scoring stats:

Atlanta leads in no statistical category except their won-loss record.

To explain the columns above, Median is a median point spread, and can be used to get a feel for how good a team is without overly weighting a blowout win or blowout loss. HS is Brian Burke’s Homemade Sagarin, as implemented in Maggie Xiong’s PDL::Stats. Pred is the predicted Pythagorean expectation. The exponent for this measure is fitted to the data set itself. SOS, SRS, and MOV are the simple ranking components, analyzed via this Perl implementation. MOV is margin of victory, or point spread divided by games played. SOS is strength of schedule. SRS is the simple ranking.

Houston lost to Green Bay, and so for now, they’re no longer the statistical darling of the NFL. Chicago is now the top dog. The Bears are a team that can play great offensive games or horrible ones, and it’s anyone’s guess how long their offensive explosion will last. Minnesota appears to be competitive, and Green Bay and Detroit are coming out of their funks, so I expect a tough divisional battle.

That said, the surprise of the NFC is the tough division race in the NFC West. 3 of the 4 teams have real chances this year, and maybe even Saint Louis will be in the race in a year or two. The conference overall seems to be improved, with tough defenses becoming the norm this season.

The New York Giants won a game that impressed the critics, and if both Dallas and Philadelphia remain snake bitten teams that shoot themselves in their own feet, that could manifest in a great set of statistics over the year. More likely though, the Giants will play everyone tough, perhaps even play a great 8 game stretch, and then have 2-3 mystifying losses to teams they are better than. The lack of a running game makes it hard for the Giants to close out games. What they do will be on the backs of a calm collected QB, their pass rush, and large, gifted wide receivers.