The NSS Rankings And Who May Need Regime Changes

Here are this week’s Not So Scientific Rankings. You might have expected the Broncos to drop out of the top five, but they didn’t. They did, however, see their average score decline and they remain the borderline among the top-five teams.

As always, the rankings are an average of the following.

Pro Football Focus Power Rankings

Pro Football Reference Simple Rankings System

Five Thirty Eight ELO Playoff Probability Rankings

Football Outsiders DVOA Rankings

Andrew Mason’s Power Rankings

Great teams
1. New England 2 1 1 1 1 – 1.2
2. Arizona 4 2 3 2 4 – 2.5
3. Carolina 1 4 2 4 2 – 2.6
4. Cincinnati 3 3 4 3 3 – 3.2
5. Denver 7 9 5 11 6 – 7.6

Good teams
6. Pittsburgh 10 5 10 6 10 – 8.2
7. Green Bay 8 12 6 8 8 – 8.4
8. Seattle 17 11 7 5 7 – 9.4
9. Kansas City 19 6 8 9 9 – 10.2
10. Minnesota 5 13 9 19 5 – 10.2
11. Buffalo 12 8 12 10 11 – 10.6
12. New York Jets 13 7 18 7 14 – 11.8

Average teams
13. Philadelphia 11 10 11 12 16 – 12
14. Atlanta 6 15 15 18 12 – 13.2
15. New York Giants 22 14 13 13 13 – 15
16. Oakland 9 17 24 14 17 – 16.2
17. Baltimore 14 21 17 16 22 – 18
18. Indianapolis 18 20 14 21 19 – 18.4
19. St. Louis 20 19 23 17 15 – 18.8

Below average teams
20. Houston 15 23 16 27 20 – 20.2
21. Washington 25 16 28 15 18 – 20.4
22. Miami 23 18 20 20 21 – 20.4
23. Chicago 16 22 22 25 23 – 21.6
24. Dallas 24 24 19 22 25 – 22.8
25. New Orleans 21 26 25 29 27 – 25.6

The bad teams
26. Tampa Bay 27 29 29 24 24 – 26.6
27. Jacksonville 26 27 31 23 28 – 27
28. San Diego 32 25 27 26 30 – 28
29. Tennessee 29 28 32 28 26 – 28.6
30. San Francisco 30 32 21 32 29 – 28.8
31. Cleveland 28 30 30 30 31 – 29.8
32. Detroit 31 31 26 31 32 – 30.2

This week, I want to address the teams that have been talked about as candidates for coaching and/or front office changes, and how likely those are to happen.

* Indianapolis: Were it up to me, Ryan Grigson would be gone and Chuck Pagano would get another chance, but that might cause problems if Grigson’s replacement views things differently from Pagano. It’s not my preferred move, but if the Colts make the playoffs, and particularly if they manage to win a playoff game, Grigson and Pagano should stay, but their futures should be linked together in 2016 and the message sent that, if they don’t work together, they are both gone after 2016 regardless of what happens. Obviously, if the Colts let the division slip away, both need to go, but even though Houston is still in the NFC South hunt, I don’t see anyone but the Colts winning it.

* St. Louis: Let me ask you something. You are down 17-10 against a team in the second quarter with 6:56 left with two time outs left. Your top running back hasn’t dominated, but he’s been effective, and you have a receiver who has made some good plays running around the end. Why would you attempt two throws to start your series? That’s what Jeff Fisher did against the Bears this past week. Sure, teams will play defense to account for your strengths on offense, but I’m not sure why you wouldn’t at least try to run the ball against a team that has been weak against the run overall. It’s such decisions that make me wonder if Jeff Fisher’s leash is getting shorter. My gut tells me he gets another season, but it will come with the ultimatum that if the Rams don’t make the playoffs in 2016, he’s gone. #

* Houston: If the Texans continue trending upward, I think Bill O’Brien keeps his job for another season. Rick Smith is an interesting case — his recent moves have been hit or miss, but I don’t think it makes sense to fire a general manager while keeping the head coach. If O’Brien did take a college job, as has been rumored, then Smith could be let go and the Texans start anew. If O’Brien stays, though, then Smith should stay with him. Next season, though, could be make or break.

* Washington: The franchise is showing enough steps in the right direction that it makes sense for Jay Gruden to stay for another season. I don’t have much else to add.

* Miami: I honestly think the Dolphins need to just hit the reset button at season’s end, but who knows what they’ll really do. I’m waiting for Stephen Ross to be foolish enough to insist the Dolphins trade draft picks for another head coach (which I will get to).

* New Orleans: First we have the Rob Ryan “he’s fired… no, he’s not fired… no, wait, he really is fired” debacle. Then there’s the salary cap mismanagement we’ve discussed several times. And then there were the rumors that teams might want to offer draft picks for head coach Sean Payton, with the Dolphins at the top of the list. The rumors died down when the Saints won several games, but now I’m waiting for them to heat up, particularly if the Dolphins keep stumbling. I will say this, though: General manager Mickey Loomis has to go before his mismanagement keeps doing more damage. As for Payton, if somebody wants to offer draft picks for Payton, I have two words: DO IT. Then you might want to seriously consider trading Drew Brees and start anew, rather than pretend you are just a few players from playoff contention, when in reality, you need to rebuild.

* Tampa Bay: I doubt Lovie Smith loses his job because the Buccaneers are starting to trend in the right direction. Again, not much else to add here.

*Jacksonville: An interesting case. I’m not certain if Gus Bradley is the right man for the job but the franchise has been patient with him. It’s likely that the Jaguars want Bradley to have all the time he needs to get Blake Bortles developed. But they’ll need to weigh a decision regarding Bradley carefully. If they think there’s a better coaching candidate available to help Bortles develop into a better passer, they should pull the trigger, let Bradley go after the season and get a head start on interviewing candidates. If they are convinced Bradley should return, then they need to do a careful job with the team building process and not make rash moves, so if Bradley doesn’t work out in 2016, the Jaguars at least haven’t dug themselves into a hole with roster management.

* San Diego: The struggles this season can be chalked up largely to injuries, but it does appear the Chargers made a mistake in trading up for Melvin Gordon. That move by itself is not enough to warrant firing general manager Tom Telesco, but he and Mike McCoy need to be linked together in 2016. If improvement isn’t shown next season, it’s time to go another direction.

* Tennessee: All I can say is whoever they hire next, they better let him have a chance to develop Marcus Mariota. Ken Whisenhunt may not be that good of a coach, but I think the Titans didn’t show enough patience with allowing Whisenhunt to develop the rookie QB.

* San Francisco: The Niners weren’t helped with several players who retired, but there’s been enough bad moves to indicate that it’s time for general manager Trent Baalke to hit the road. And, yes, the new GM should get to choose his own coach, so farewell, Jim Tomsula.

* Cleveland: What a trainwreck the Browns are. If only we could just take the team away from Jimmy Haslam… well, a man can dream. Anyway, Ray Farmer needs to go and that means taking Mike Pettine with him.

* Detroit: Martin Mayhew was already shown the door and a win over the Packers isn’t enough to keep Jim Caldwell around. New GM Sheldon White needs to be allowed to select his own head coach so everyone is on the same page.

# I brought up that Rams-Bears note to get it out of the way before the Midweek Musings later this week, which will address, among other things, what the Bears defense is really like this season.

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Bob Morris

I'm a sports writer in real life, though I've always focused on smaller communities, but that hasn't stopped me from learning more about some of the ins and outs of the NFL. You can follow me on Twitter @BobMorrisSports if you can put up with updates on the high school sports teams I cover.