You may not like advanced stats. You may also change your mind when the stats go in your favor, as they did on Tuesday when ESPN’s FPI rankings came out. The advanced analytics side of ESPN noted this week that with their 41-point outburst against the Houston Texans on Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks are the best team in the NFL at this point.
After a strong offensive performance against the Texans, the Seahawks slipped ahead of the Chiefs and Patriots to claim the top spot in our Football Power Index rankings. That means that FPI now believes, going forward, the Seahawks are the best team in the NFL.
The Seahawks moved up two spots, ahead of New England and Kansas City, and four spots ahead of the next-best team in the NFC, the Eagles. That’ a fairly surprising development given how many people out there right now would tell you that Philly is clearly a better football team than Seattle based on their 2017 results. FPI is not the end-all, be-all, of course, and DVOA certainly won’t have the Seahawks at number one or even ahead of the Eagles, but it is evidence that something good is going on in Seattle.
Perhaps even more encouraging is that the LA Rams - hilariously ranked as the second-best team in the league over at NFL.com this week - are 17th. I’m not sure that the Rams should be that low or as high as number two, but splitting the difference sounds about right and I think their offense still has a ways to go with Jared Goff.
The Cowboys, Vikings, and Saints round out the top-8, giving more context to the Seahawks’ NFC competish. Seattle’s Week 9 opponent, Washington, is ranked 16th but that does not account for all of their current injuries.