Commentary

Bills' bandwagon is too crowded

Power Rankings are giving Bills, Saints too much credit and underrating the Raiders

Originally Published: September 27, 2011
By Chris Sprow | ESPN Insider
Ryan FitzpatrickKirby Lee/Image of Sport/US PresswireAre the Buffalo Bills really deserving of the No. 6 spot in the Power Rankings?

Each week this season, Chris Sprow will consult with Vegas experts such as Jay Kornegay of the Vegas Hilton, use projection systems such as AccuScore and dive into the numbers to point out which teams the human voters are overselling or underselling.

Last week in this column, we called the Texans, Falcons and Jags overrated based on the work of the committee. Those teams, clearly demoralized by the assessment, went out and lost. The three we called underrated -- the Lions, Chargers and Browns -- were obviously motivated by the way they'd been slighted and won. We'd like to say we take the responsibility of holding the league by a pendulum seriously, but perhaps the schedule played a part, too. See -- all three of the teams we called overrated were actually underdogs in Week 3, and all three of our underrated teams were favorites.

But that's precisely the point. The oddsmakers aren't relying on mere wins and losses to tell them which teams are better, and we can't, either.

We owe them too much money.

Overrated

New Orleans Saints

Power Rankings slot: 2
Win projection average: 10.9
Super Bowl odds: 10-1

The Saints might appear like a rightful No. 2, given that their only loss was a winnable trip to Green Bay, the No. 1 team. But the numbers suggest some underlying issues. Namely, they've allowed a combined 872 yards in the two games when they faced teams with functional offensive lines (sorry, Chicago), and the goal of improving the running game has been set aside some as the team climbs back into games (the Saints have been outscored 54-43 in the first half). Small gripes aside, mostly they're a bit overrated because they are still behind three other teams in overall win projection, and the sharps don't think they could top New England.