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no, I'm not suggesting anything about who was better - I'm saying that you need to look past the final score of one game if you want to get an idea of who the better team is.
on one hand who the "best team" is doesn't matter, b/c fans care about getting the trophy.
on the other hand, if you want to try to predict what's going to happen over the next 16-19 games, then you're making a huge mistake to look at the "undisciplined Chargers who were lost to the Patriots" and ignore the Chargers that destroyed their opponents last year, were the best team in football over 16 games, leading the league in point differential.
you raise an important point in this and your other posts in this thread. a couple of comments.
one, IMO there's a difference between the team with the best real, measured talent and the best team. the san diego game is a good example. the chargers had the better overall talent by most metrics, but i would argue strongly that the better team won that day. and, i think the patriots won because they were better as a team and not because of luck (tho luck did play a role, especially, as i said in another post, on one Brady fumble when the ball rolled right to the feet of his own guy). (Note that when i refer to real, measured talent i'm not referring to the biggest names or the biggest salaries)
two, i agree that analytics around teams or players' respective strengths and weaknesses (a la Bob Carroll or K.C. Joyner or Footballoutsiders.com) play a more reliable role the more games you're trying to predict. but that's true of most analysis and why we run a million monte carlo's rather than fall victim to the flaw of averages when we're trying to predict the future. so, you're right, looking out over 16 games, good analysis can tell us who is most likely to come out on top. but it will never tell us who will win that one game when everything is on the line. and, not just because of luck, but because of things that can't be measured, such as situational coaching and desire and instinct (think Troy Brown stripping the ball; think BB's SB XXXVI gameplan, probably the greatest in the modern era). at some point, the collective will and strength of a very good team, IMO, is likely to become the deciding factor against a collection of statistically better talent on the other team.
It is what it is. It wasn't what it wasn't.
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The Broncos have a big question mark at QB. They look really good and they can win it all but I cannot put them ahead of NE, Indy, or even SD with a questionable QB situation.
Baltimore has a geriatric quarterback in charge of an awful offense. Their defense is good but not enough to carry that offense. They'll beat bad teams do well against good teams, but can't match up with teams that have both good offenses and defenses. And when you get to the playoffs those are the teams you play.
Denver still has no pass rush while Baltimore has a very good pass rush. Their defense is more than good, it's still dominant even without AT. I still think everyone on here seems to overrate the Broncos which leads to underrating every other team.
#1 Pats - Probably the most complete team in the league right now. Elite QB and defensive line, emerging running game, good line, deep WRs, decent pass rush, a couple playmakers at DB, above average special teams. We are above average to great in every aspect of the game, and that is what makes a winner.
#2 Denver - Pass rush is underrated and will improve with Bly covering deep. The running game will be mor econsistent with Henry carrying the ball and Graham blocking, and Cutler should be coming into his own. I expect Denver to be a 12 win team.
#3 San Diego - Despite coaching losses, they bring the games best offensive line and running game, perhaps the best pass rusher, an elite run defense and a serious mispach at TE. This team could win it any year.
#4 Indy - Despite some big depth losses, this team will once again win the South and they will once again be a threat as long as Manning is QB. I think they will take a step back, but as the playoffs have shown they cannot be underestimated.
#5 Cincy - There's alot of young defensive talent solidifying here to go with a offense that ranks among the leagues 5 best.
#6 Jets - The AFC's jack of all trades, master of none. They bring an accurate QB, 2 solid WRs, a decent run game, a emerging young line and a handful of defensive playmakers. If they could establish an identiy as a 3-4 defense, they would be higher up this list.
#7 Jacksonville - A better team than they played in 2006, not as good as in 2005. This young offense is slowly improving. They will likely never be an elite unit, but they are dangerous and the defense remains a top 10 group.
#8 Baltimore - Last year's luckiest team, theuy alsways caought a break when they needed it. Their offensive line is taking a huge hit as McNair gets one year older. McGahee sucked it up against a below average line last year, why will he be better in 2007. as for the D, they are getting older and thinner, and this wil hurt them.
#9 Pittsburgh - Plenty of talent, but a shift of system will produce an inconsistent product.
#10 Kansas City - Defense should be pretty decent and the run game will continue to rank among the league's better units, but the pass game continues to regress and holes in the offensive line will hurt the team.
exactly!! who "the best" team is is not an easy question to answer. once you come to grips with the fact that the best team is not always the one holding the trophy at the end (b/c of various things like referees calls, bounces of the ball, etc), you'll be able to analyze sports in a much more interesting intelligent way.
I'll stick with my less interesting cloddish assessment that the winner of the game is better than the loser.