NFL Power Points: Bills exposed

Updated: October 14, 2003, 12:17 PM ET
By By Ryan Early | NFL Insider
Overtime games against two good teams did little to alter the overall ratings of the chart-topping Colts or undefeated Chiefs. The Colts' rating was lowered one point, but it was still high enough to remain the highest in the league heading into their bye week. For the Chiefs, Trent Green's 400-yard passing day moved them past the resting Vikings into second place. Indy's and K.C.'s opponents, the Panthers and Packers, had their overall ratings bumped up over two points apiece, but their ranking slipped as some other teams made bigger moves up the chart.

The Power Points are formulated by comparing each team's performance to its opponents, re-running the season over and over until numbers are found that accurately show what has happened in the season so far. Early in the season, a group of teams can face one other, without having many games against the other teams in the league. This is what happened with the NFC West, until this week. The Rams, Seahawks, 49ers and Cardinals have mostly played one another or NFC North opponents. The Power Points had a good feel for how they ranked against one other, but had little data to use to compare them to the league's other 24 teams.

When the Rams blew out the Falcons on Monday night, in addition to the Cardinals playing much better than expected against the AFC North-leading Ravens, the Power Points formula took this as evidence that the NFC West teams as a group were much better than previously thought. All four teams were given big boosts in the overall ratings, with an average increase of 5.3 points. For the Rams, Seahawks and 49ers, they were all moved into the top 12. For the Cardinals, the increase was enough to finally get them out of last place.