Below are the ESPN Football Power Index rankings for Dec. 1, after Week 12 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 13:
Someone has to win the NFC East this season, and based on ESPN’s FPI, the team that is likely to do so is the one projected to be the division’s weakest team the rest of the season.
The Washington Redskins (5-6) are tied with the New York Giants (5-6) for the NFC East lead. Washington has a 39 percent chance to win the division, according to FPI projections, even though it is last among the NFC East teams in FPI. The Giants have a 32 percent chance to take the division title, and the Philadelphia Eagles (4-7) have a 25 percent likelihood.
Washington ranks 26th in FPI with a minus-4.1 rating (meaning it is projected to be about four points worse than an average team). The Eagles lead NFC East teams in FPI ranking at 15th, and the Giants are second at 20th.
In the Eagles’ five remaining games, they are given a better than 50 percent chance to win in one – their Week 16 game against Washington. They face the FPI’s top two teams – the Patriots and the Cardinals – this week and in Week 15, respectively.
Washington also is favored in one of five remaining games, but the team is projected to finish with 6.9 wins (fractions of wins result from taking the average from the thousands of simulations FPI performs) compared with the Eagles’ projected 6.2 wins.
The Giants are projected to have 7.0 wins, but Washington is 2-1 within the division, whereas the Giants are 2-3.
Looking at Week 13, the most appealing game based on FPI’s Matchup Quality is the Seattle Seahawks at the Minnesota Vikings. The game has a matchup quality of 72 on a 0-to-100 scale. The season’s second game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans ranks as the least appealing of the week, with a matchup quality of 17.