Below are the ESPN Football Power Index rankings for Nov. 24, after Week 11 of the 2015 NFL season. For a full explanation of how the FPI is put together, please read this explainer. For more background, you also can read this Q&A.
A few notes heading into Week 12:
The rest of the league is gaining ground on the top two teams in ESPN’s NFL Football Power Index rankings.
The New England Patriots and the Arizona Cardinals remained first and second in the rankings, respectively, after Week 11. The Carolina Panthers moved up one spot to third in the rankings, and the Kansas City Chiefs rose five spots to fourth.
Last week, the separation between the second-ranked Cardinals and the third-ranked team (the Bengals) was 3.7 points. The week before, the difference between second and third was 2.7 points. On Tuesday, the difference was 1.7 points.
The Patriots and Cardinals declined in their FPI ratings after Week 11, by 0.4 and 0.3 points, respectively.
A 44-16 win against Washington contributed to the Panthers’ improving by 2.0 in their FPI rating. The Chiefs, 33-3 winners against the Chargers, gained 1.7 in FPI.
FPI is a forward-looking projection of a team’s strength, compared to a backward-looking accounting of what a team has accomplished. That helps explain why the Broncos (8-2) are 13th in the FPI rankings, nine spots below the Chiefs, even though they lead their AFC West rivals by three games.
The Chiefs are projected to have at least a 57 percent chance of winning each of their remaining six games. The Broncos are FPI “favorites” in four of their six remaining games; in two of those four games, however, the Broncos’ FPI chances are less than 55 percent.
Week 12’s best game, based on the FPI Matchup Quality, has the Broncos playing host to the Patriots. FPI gives the Patriots a 67 percent chance to win.