We hope everyone had a safe and Merry Christmas, especially all of you avid NFL prognosticators out there. The weekend was full of shocking finishes and upsets that continued to sculpt the postseason. As for the accuracy of the BES, our Week 15 report went 10-6 (.625) predicting Week 16 winners based strictly on its rankings. Over the last six weeks, the BES has a record of 65-28 (.698), still holding at 70% heading into Week 17.
Most notable in this week’s report is the Packers (9-6) breaching the top-5 after a huge leap from No. 12 last week. They’ve had a remarkable +.71 point surge in their BES Overall score from our Week 14 rankings when they were 18th with a score of 2.34. That is a powerful sign of the momentum they’ve gathered, particularly on offense ( No. 3 in BES Offense), as they travel to face the Lions (9-6) for the NFC North Championship in Week 17.
Meanwhile, the Patriots (13-2) extended their late-season hold on the No. 1 spot in our rankings to three weeks, creating some distance between themselves and the surging Steelers (10-5) who remain at No. 2.
The Patriots are becoming dangerously balanced as the playoffs loom closer. They’ve owned the No. 1 BES Offense for the last six weeks and now boast a defense that has risen to No. 3 in the BES. These numbers are befitting of a team widely considered the favorite to represent the AFC in Super Bowl 51.
The Raiders (12-3) hopes of an eventual postseason clash with the Patriots took a monumental blow when quarterback Derek Carr suffered a broken fibula in a 33-25 win over the Colts (7-8).
Carr’s backup, Matt McGloin is now entrusted with securing the AFC West title on the road against the Broncos (8-7) in Week 17. Fortunately, the Raiders defense continues to rise in our BES Defense rankings, registering a score of 2.80 at No. 7 and leads all teams with a daunting Takeaways score of 3.70. That bodes well against a Broncos offense ranked 29th by the BES.
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