Koerner: Biggest Risers, Fallers In My NFL Power Ratings
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Jimmy Garoppolo
- Sean Koerner highlights the biggest risers and fallers in his NFL Power Ratings heading into Week 8.
- The San Francisco 49ers have been on an upward trajectory since the season kicked off.
- Two of the league's worst teams have only seen their rating fall even further.
Every week I update my NFL Power Ratings to project odds and find the best betting edges, but how have the first seven weeks shifted expectations across the league?
I’ve identified the two biggest risers and two biggest fallers in my 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, I’d like to quickly clarify why I’ve left out the Kansas City Chiefs. Yes, their rating took a big hit as a result of Patrick Mahomes’ 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 than later.
NFL Power Ratings Risers
New England Patriots
- Week 8 Rating: 10.5
- Week 1 Rating: 6
- Difference: +4.5
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.
San Francisco 49ers
- Week 8 Rating: 5.5
- Week 1 Rating: 1.5
- Difference: +4
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 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
- Difference: -6.5
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 to potentially add Tua Tagovailoa as they look for their QB of the future. 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 my power ratings, and I think we’ve arrived at a stable rating for them for the time being.
- Week 8 Rating: -7.5
- Week 1 Rating: -2.5
- Difference: -5
With their season swirling down the drain, the Redskins fired Jay Gruden. They ended up winning their very next game by one point, though it was against what could be the worst team in NFL history, then they got shut out by the 49ers.
It’s only a matter of time until they switch over 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.
Full Power Ratings Risers & Fallers