Our Week 8 BES Rankings mark the conclusion of a thrilling first half to the 2017 regular season. It’s been a wild ride with unexpected finishes and some jaw-dropping performances. But will the craziness continue in the season’s second half? Or will things begin to settle down?
The BES, Almost Perfect in Week 8
For a second consecutive week the BES reached double-digit wins, going 12-1 (.923) in Week 8 predicting winners based on our Week 7 data. Here’s an overall glimpse at how the BES has done from week to week:
Week 1 Rankings: 11-5 in Week 2 (.688)
Week 2 Rankings: 8-8 in Week 3 (.500)
Week 3 Rankings: 11-5 in Week 4 (.688)
Week 4 Rankings: 6-8 in Week 5 (.429)
Week 5 Rankings: 5-9 in Week 6 (.357)
Week 6 Rankings: 11-4 in Week 7 (.733)
Week 7 Rankings: 12-1 in Week 8 (.923)
Total record: 64-40 (.615)
So far, the BES owns four out of seven weeks with 11 or more wins and just two below .500. That’s not bad for a purely mathematical system. Nonetheless, it’ll be interesting to see how the BES does as the playoffs draw closer.
Tough Schedule Ahead for Saints
The New Orleans Saints (5-2) top our Week 8 BES Rankings, their second straight week at No. 1. However, despite their mounting momentum (+.12 point gain in BES Overall), they face a rather difficult four-game stretch.
The Saints will host the dangerous Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5) in Week 9 followed by a road clash with the Buffalo Bills (5-2) in Week 10. From there, they return home against the Washington Redskins (3-4) in Week 11 before traveling to confront the Los Angeles Rams (5-2) in Week 12. Overall, the Saints will be tested, particularly on the road against the Bills and Rams, a pair of fellow BES Top-10 teams.
Vikings Defense No. 1 in the BES
The Minnesota Vikings (6-2) replaced the Jacksonville Jaguars (4-3) as the top defense in the BES. Over the last three games, the Vikings have allowed a league-best 3.8 yards per play while holding opponents to 14 points per game. Most notably, only the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2) have managed to score more than 19 points against the Vikings this season.
Furthermore, by ending the season of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (broken collarbone) in Week 6, they’ve single-handedly re-shaped the NFC North division title race. Still, they’ll need help from their No. 17 BES Offense to overcome a brutal five-game stretch that features four road games after their Week 9 bye.