It was a champagne weekend in Perfectville. With the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles both losing on the road in Week 6, the 1972 Miami Dolphins will remain the only undefeated team in NFL history for at least another season.
A shakeup in the standings also meant a shakeup in Dalton Miller’s power rankings. The top five spots are all held by the NFL’s five 5-1 teams. But did Miller order them correctly?
Let’s break down the numbers — and, when appropriate, bust our colleague’s chops. The numbers in parentheses following the statistics are where the team ranks in that category among the 5-1 teams.
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Power Rankings for the NFL’s Five 5-1 Teams
Kansas City Chiefs
- Wins: @ JAX, vs. CHI, @ NYJ, @ MIN, vs. DEN
- Losses: vs. DET
- Strength of Schedule: .444 (2)
- Strength of Victory: .367 (4)
- Point Differential: +59 (3)
- Pythagorean Expectation: 13-4
- Offensive EPA: .093 (3)
- Defensive EPA: -.123 (2)
- Analysis: The Chiefs are certainly the best team in the AFC right now, and — surprise, surprise — the defense is leading the way. But with just one quality win, their body of work — in our eyes, at least — is second-best among the 32 NFL teams. Games against the Chargers, Dolphins, and Eagles in the next month will be revealing.
San Francisco 49ers
- Wins: @ PIT, @ LAR, vs. NYG, vs. ARI, vs. DAL
- Losses: @ CLE
- Strength of Schedule: .424 (4)
- Strength of Victory: .393 (3)
- Point Differential: +97 (1)
- Pythagorean Expectation: 15-2
- Offensive EPA: .174 (2)
- Defensive EPA: -.150 (1)
- Analysis: Dalton booted the Niners from the top spot for one reason and one reason only: Jake Moody missed a very makeable field goal at the end of the Browns game in Week 6. That seems overly penal. San Francisco is the most dominant team in football — although injuries to Christian McCaffrey (oblique), Deebo Samuel (shoulder), and Trent Williams (ankle) are worrisome.
- Wins: @ KC, vs. ATL, @ GB, vs. CAR, @ TB
- Losses: vs. SEA
- Strength of Schedule: .485 (1)
- Strength of Victory: .464 (1)
- Point Differential: +55 (4)
- Pythagorean Expectation: 12-5
- Offensive EPA: .066 (4)
- Defensive EPA: -.102 (3)
- Analysis: The Lions have the best win of any of these teams, beating the Chiefs in their home stadium on Banner Reveal Night. Yes, Kansas City was without Travis Kelce and Chris Jones that game, but there’s no asterisk in our book. This team is legit.
- Wins: @ LAC, @ NE, vs. DEN, vs. NYG, vs. CAR
- Losses: @ BUF
- Strength of Schedule: .265 (5)
- Strength of Victory: .179 (5)
- Point Differential: +67 (2)
- Pythagorean Expectation: 12-5
- Offensive EPA: .251 (1)
- Defensive EPA: -.003 (5)
- Analysis: If the Dolphins had a slightly above-average defense, they would be far and away the best team in football. Their offense — powered by MVP candidate Tua Tagovailoa and record-setting receiver Tyreek Hill — laps the field. But the doubters remain because of a ridiculously easy start to their season. The cupcake stretch is over. They face the Eagles and Chiefs in the next three weeks.
- Wins: @ NE, vs. MIN, @ TB, vs. WAS, @ LAR
- Losses: @ NYJ
- Strength of Schedule: .429 (3)
- Strength of Victory: .414 (2)
- Point Differential: +31 (5)
- Pythagorean Expectation: 11-6
- Offensive EPA: .049 (5)
- Defensive EPA: -.027 (4)
- Analysis: The Eagles were the NFL’s last undefeated team. But they’ve also been the least impressive of the five 5-1 clubs. They’ve built their record on the backs of close wins over bad or mediocre teams, and Sunday’s loss will be the first of several if the Pythagorean Expectation is a reliable guide.
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