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Which Teams Are Trending Up Or Down?

The Eagles have outscored their opponents by 17 points this year, but Philadelphia is obviously trending in the wrong direction. The Eagles began 3-0 with wins of 19, 15, and 31 points, but have now lost five games in a row.

So what if instead of using traditional points differential, what if we used a weighted version based on when the game occurred? To do this, we multiply the Eagles points differential in each game this season by the game number; that means the team’s third game counts for three times as much as the first game, and the ninth game counts for three times as much as the third game. With 14 games so far this year, to determine the team’s weighted points differential, we sum the weighted results and divide by 105 (14+13+12+11…+1).

By doing this, Philadelphia’s points differential moves from +1.21 to -3.72. Here’s how:

1Philadelphia EaglesCleveland Browns291019119
2Philadelphia Eagles@Chicago Bears291415230
3Philadelphia EaglesPittsburgh Steelers34331393
5Philadelphia Eagles@Detroit Lions2324-14-4
6Philadelphia Eagles@Washington Redskins2027-75-35
7Philadelphia EaglesMinnesota Vikings211011666
8Philadelphia Eagles@Dallas Cowboys2329-67-42
9Philadelphia Eagles@New York Giants2328-58-40
10Philadelphia EaglesAtlanta Falcons24159981
11Philadelphia Eagles@Seattle Seahawks1526-1110-110
12Philadelphia Eagles@Green Bay Packers1327-1411-154
13Philadelphia Eagles@Cincinnati Bengals1432-1812-216
14Philadelphia Eagles@Washington Redskins2227-513-65
15Philadelphia Eagles@Baltimore Ravens2627-114-14

What if we use this methodology for every team? Well, the Falcons, who have now won back-to-back games by 28 points, jump to #1 with a +10.61 points differential. But perhaps more interestingly, it’s the Colts who have the biggest increase when moving from points differential to weighted points differential:

RkTeamGRaw Pts DiffWeighted Pts DiffChange
1Indianapolis Colts141.644.683.03
2Tampa Bay Buccaneers14-0.642.092.73
3Atlanta Falcons147.9310.612.68
4Chicago Bears14-5.14-3.221.92
5Cincinnati Bengals14-0.361.471.82
6Tennessee Titans141.212.731.52
7New York Giants141.573.041.47
8Miami Dolphins140.071.421.35
9Green Bay Packers141.712.901.18
10New Orleans Saints141.002.181.18
11Baltimore Ravens143.073.950.88
12Oakland Raiders142.933.780.85
13Detroit Lions141.141.700.56
14Washington Redskins140.140.620.48
15Pittsburgh Steelers144.645.060.41
16New England Patriots149.439.840.41
17Seattle Seahawks144.504.860.36
18Jacksonville Jaguars14-7.07-6.720.35
19Houston Texans14-3.14-3.050.10
20Carolina Panthers14-1.07-1.09-0.01
21Kansas City Chiefs143.213.19-0.02
22Dallas Cowboys147.717.07-0.65
23Buffalo Bills143.142.43-0.71
24New York Jets14-8.29-9.15-0.87
25Cleveland Browns14-13.43-14.69-1.26
26San Diego Chargers140.00-1.68-1.68
27Denver Broncos142.930.46-2.47
28San Francisco 49ers14-12.14-14.63-2.49
29Arizona Cardinals141.07-1.43-2.50
30Los Angeles Rams14-9.36-12.40-3.04
31Minnesota Vikings140.36-2.98-3.34
32Philadelphia Eagles141.21-3.72-4.94

Unsurprisingly, the Eagles rank a very distant #32, with the Vikings and Rams rounding out the bottom three. You probably could have guessed that, which makes me think this does a pretty good job of matching our intuitions.

  1. This is the sum of the numbers in this column divided by 105, which is the sum of the numbers in the column to the immediate left. []
  • LightsOut85

    With the Vikings’ death spiral almost complete, I’ve wondered – when was the last time the “last team to lose a game” ended up not making the playoffs?

  • Richie

    Naturally, this got me thinking what if we adjusted for strength of schedule.

    But the SOS adjustments for each team end up being small compared to the weighted MOV numbers. So there isn’t much change.

    But Oakland gets a nice bump up the rankings, and Seattle takes quite a fall.