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NFL power rankings, Week 6: PFF’s grades-based rankings seem off

The 49ers are not good, but I’m a little confused by these numbers.

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The San Francisco 49ers are off to a 1-4 start, and are playing poor football. I don’t think anybody would disagree with that. However, in putting together their Week 6 NFL power rankings, PFF has thrown me off a bit.

PFF ranked the 49ers No. 32. While I think there are some teams that are worse, power rankings are generally viewed as a subjective discussion of the state of the league. The problem with PFF’s rankings though is that they are using their grading system to assess the state of the league. The article says the rankings are, “based on PFF’s grading of every player on every play of every game, and factoring in some big-picture numbers to account for some of the external factors we aren’t grading.”

The 49ers rank No. 30 on offense and No. 18 on defense. Whether you agree with those rankings or not, that’s where the 49ers are ranked. The New York Jets are ranked No. 28 on offense and No. 29 on defense, but are ranked one spot ahead of the 49ers. The Cleveland Browns are ranked No. 30 in the power rankings, with an offensive ranking of 27, and a defensive ranking of 28.

When we are talking about the bottom five or six teams in the rankings, I suppose in the end it doesn’t really matter all that much. The 49ers are a bad team right now. It is interesting to see the higher ranking for the defense. Football Outsiders has their own efficiency rankings. They are not power rankings, but we can look at them sort of like that. Overall, they have the 49ers at No. 26. FO has them at No. 22 on offense, and No. 17 on defense.