NFL Power Points: Some records deceiving

Updated: November 7, 2003, 2:03 PM ET
By By Ryan Early | NFL Insider
How well a team is playing does not necessarily correspond to the team's win-loss record. The Packers, Bucs, and 49ers are all in the top 6 ranked teams though none of them have winning records. All three have played a strong set of opponents and when they lose it is not by much. That shows that they remain strong teams despite not always getting the win.

The Packers have played against four of the top eight teams, contributing to their fourth- hardest schedule so far. The Bucs lost to the No. 3 ranked Colts and No. 6 ranked 49ers on the road, as have also struggled with divisional rivals Carolina and New Orleans. But they played all of those games close and dominated their other opponents to keep their ratings high. The 49ers are 2-2 against teams ranked in the top eight but have a traveling phobia of some kind. They have a 7.7 point home field advantage after beating good teams like the Rams and Bucs at home, while going winless on the road.

Meanwhile the Cowboys rank 14th, the Panthers 15th, and the Seahawks 16th. All three have 6-2 records and are on top of their divisions thanks to easy schedules and the ability to squeak out division wins. Will all three be able to hold onto their leads? The Panthers have the best shot with a two game lead and an easier second half schedule. The Cowboys could be in trouble with upcoming out of division games with the Dolphins, Panthers, Patriots and Saints. That's a much tougher set of opponents than the Cardinals, Falcons, and Lions that they beat up on through the first two months. But the second place Eagles also have a tougher schedule ahead.


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