The goal is for the NFL’s best four teams to enjoy a bye this weekend. However, an analysis of Jeff Sagarin’s ratings over the 2nd half of the season indicates Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III will have to work his magic against what has been by far the hottest team in the NFL during the second half of the season — the Seattle Seahawks, who are led by rookie standout quarterback Russell Wilson and a stout defense. The worst team in the playoffs – by far – is the Indianapolis Colts who are actually in the bottom half of the league, while the other six teams playing this weekend have all played well in the second half of the season.Below is where each team this weekend would rank based only on the second half of the season.
|Green Bay||Packers (2ndH)||27.59|
Cincinnati is the second-hottest team playing this weekend, followed closely in order by Green Bay, Minnesota, Houston, Baltimore and then Washington.These second half totals are derived through a game-by-game equation of taking the rating of the opponent (e.g. Seattle played San Francisco, which had a 30 rating rounded), adding the margin of victory (Seattle won 42-13 for a 29 point win, so 30 + 29 = 59) and finally adjusting by three points for home advantage (Seattle was at home so they get three points less credit (30+29-3=56) for the game).
Seattle actually had three of the best four performances in the second half with a 71 score against Arizona, and a 51 score against Seattle, with only Green Bay’s 57 against Tennessee keeping Seattle from a clean sweep. For the final 8 games combined, Seattle’s average score was 39.22, almost 9 points better than New England’s No. 1 rating for the season.At the other extreme, Indianapolis ranked 23rd for the season at 17.32, and were just slightly better during the 2nd half at 18.10, which would have made them the 20th best team in the NFL.