FPI makes its predictions for the 2017 NFL season



FPI makes its predictions for the 2017 NFL season

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Jun 2 2017 at 02:20
There was a legitimate reason Men's Nike Los Angeles Chargers #28 Melvin Gordon Elite Black Pro Line Gold Collection NFL Jersey why the Seattle Seahawks felt good about themselves at this time last offseason. They were coming off a divisional-round loss to the Carolina Panthers, but quarterback Russell Wilson had reached a level the team hadn't previously seen. During an eight-game stretch from Week 10 to Week 17, Wilson completed 67.5 percent of his passes, averaged 8.62 yards per attempt and www.officialnikechargershop.com/melvin-gordon-jersey-for-sale-c-10.html threw for 25 touchdowns with just two interceptions. The coaching staff felt like he'd made a significant leap in his fourth season. And the Seahawks were counting on Wilson to carry that performance over into 2016. But three separate injuries -- a high ankle sprain, a sprained MCL and a strained pectoral -- never allowed him to even get started. Wilson's numbers were fine -- 64.7 completion percentage, 7.7 YPA, 21 TDs, 11 INTs -- but the Seahawks had to pare down their playbook because of his limited mobility. The run game never got going, and the offensive line struggled throughout. With OTAs finally underway, the focus for Wilson will be on regaining that 2015 form. Coach Pete Carroll said as much when asked about expectations for Wilson during a 710 ESPN Seattle interview on the "Brock and Salk" show a few weeks ago. "I think what you saw the second half of the year before, I think he has the ability to be the best quarterback out there, doing his thing," Carroll said. "And he showed it. Unfortunately, in Game 1 [of 2016], he gets knocked. He has put together an extraordinary offseason. He took the physical challenge that we throw out there to have the best offseason of your life. He Paul Perkins Womens Jersey is having that. He is working in all areas of his game. It’s really important to him. He’s maxed that out. He’s right on it." Wilson has a lot going for him entering the 2017 season. He's only 28, and his array of weapons might be the best he's had in his career, led by Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham, Tyler Lockett and C.J. Prosise. Of course, if the Seahawks can't protect him, that won't matter. But at the very least, just having the quarterback healthy should help a Seattle offense that ranked 17th in efficiency last season. "He looks great throwing the football," Carroll said. "He looks great moving around. It just feels so much different than it did for so long of that season. Never during that season last year did we see him in practice where www.authenticnikegiantshop.com/Paul-Perkins-Jersey he could move. Never. So he mustered it up for game time. The last five or six games, [he] could move. But it isn’t like it is now. So we’ve got to take care of him, look after him, and have tremendous expectations for Russell’s performance next year." As we edge closer to the start of the NFL season, ESPN's Sports Analytics team has calculated our initial Football Power Index rankings for 2017. In short, a team's FPI rating combines its efficiency ratings on offense, defense and special teams -- based on each unit's expected points added per play -- with the sum of all three squad ratings yielding the overall FPI rating. (For more on how FPI is calculated, click here and here.) We then use these ratings to simulate the NFL season 10,000 times in order to derive a team's chances to win its division, make the playoffs, win the Super Bowl, etc. Without further delay, here's how FPI sees all 32 teams heading into the 2017 season. If you'd like to skip forward to a more specific breakdown, click the links below: The gap between the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots at No. 1 (9.2 FPI) and the Packers at No. 2 (4.8) is about as large as the gap between the Packers and the Bengals (0.3), who are ranked 14th. The Pats are one of two teams to rank in the top 10 in projected offense (No. 1), defense (No. 3) and special teams (No. 4). The only other team with top-third units across the board is the Seahawks, who rank No. 8 in offense, No. 6 in defense and No. 5 in special teams. The AFC North is once again set to be a tough division, with only the Browns not projected to finish .500 or better. The Steelers are the preseason favorite to take the division for a second straight year, with Rey Maualuga Authentic Jersey the Ravens and Bengals fighting for second place. If the division title race comes down to the final week of the season, take note that Pittsburgh faces Cleveland for the third consecutive season, while the Ravens will host the Bengals in what our projections suggest could determine a wild-card berth. The AFC South might end up being the NFL's most competitive division in 2017. All four teams have at least a 10 percent chance of winning the title, and none of FPI's predicted division winners has a worse chance to win than the Colts at 36 percent. Part www.bengalsshopfootball.com/bengals+rey+maualuga+jersey of the reason each team has a chance to compete is the relatively easy schedule each team faces (at least based on what we know about these teams three months before the start of the season). FPI has four of the nine easiest schedules in the league belonging to the members of the AFC South. The AFC West is the home of the closest projected division-winner race. The Raiders are a slim favorite over the Chiefs by just more than 1 percent. The Broncos and Chargers also are seen as credible threats at just more than 15 and 11 percent, respectively. While the AFC South houses the teams projected to have the easiest schedules, the AFC West is the home of four of the 14 most difficult schedules, as projected by FPI