Patriots, Eagles and Steelers Lead 2018 NFL Team Projections
ESPN's Football Power Index names New England, Philly and Pittsburgh as top Super Bowl favorites.
Tom Brady is in Monaco, Rob Gronkowski is in parts unknown and Malcolm Butler is in Tennessee—but the New England Patriots are still projected to be the best team by the end of the 2018 NFL season.
At least that’s according to ESPN’s Football Power Index, a ranking system that examines how teams performed on offense, defense and special teams last season, how many starters are returning, and who the starting and backup quarterbacks project to be. The Index also considers each team’s anticipated win total at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.
In fact, that projected win total (10.5) for the Patriots is what put them over the top for ESPN’s No. 1 spot, as the No. 2 team on the FPI list, the Eagles, actually came in higher than the Pats in total efficiency across offense, defense and special teams last season.
Tied with the Eagles for second are the Pittsburgh Steelers, followed by the Los Angeles Rams and Minnesota Vikings. Rounding out ESPN’s top 10 are the New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers.
Interestingly enough, despite only having one team in the top three, the NFC boasts eight of the top 10 teams and nine of the top 12 in the initial FPI ranks. Even so, it projects that the Patriots still have the best chance of winning the Super Bowl (18 percent), followed by Pittsburgh (14 percent). The Eagles (11 percent), Vikings (six percent) and Packers (six percent) round out the top five.
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