Chiefs Predictions 2023: Team tops ESPN’s FPI rankings, but not favored to win Super Bowl LVIII

Monday, ESPN Seth Walden presented the site’s “Football Power Index” for 2023.

FPI is our scoring and projection model for NFL teams. During the pre-season, the model’s predictive ratings are based largely on Caesars Sportsbook total win count and schedule strength, as well as factors such as past team performance and starters. feedback. We use team ratings to simulate the season thousands of times, creating our projections, which are updated every day during the season. Game predictions are also informed by factors such as movement, rest differential and changes to the starting quarterback.

With a rating of 6.4, a familiar team now tops the FPI rankings.

1. Kansas City Chiefs

Who else, really, could be No. 1? The offense is more stable year over year than the defense, and the Chiefs led the league in expected points added per game last season by a wide margin. They also flip their two most important ingredients in Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid. Offensively, they’re just too good, and that’s enough to put the Super Bowl champions back on top of the league to start the upcoming season.

The Chiefs are followed by the Buffalo Bills at +5.6, the Philadelphia Eagles at +5.0, the Cincinnati Bengals at +4.6 and the San Francisco 49ers at +3.6. So far, so good.

But then Walden seems to slip a bit.

The median AFC playoff team in our simulations is about 2.4 points per game higher than the median NFC playoff team. That’s a big reason why Philadelphia leads Kansas City in Super Bowl odds, 14% to 13%. The Chiefs also face the challenge of a regular-season schedule — the second-toughest in the league, according to FPI — that is holding back their projections despite being the best team in football by nearly a full point.

Wait… What ? Walden seems to argue that because the REIT calculates Kansas City has a tough regular season schedule, the Eagles are doing better (albeit slightly best) chance of winning the Super Bowl.

For what? Because the Chiefs will be more fatigue in the championship game?

To take with

If the argument is that Kansas City will face more Super Bowl contenders in the AFC, that seems fair; the AFC seems busier. But if that’s the case, won’t that translate to more AFC teams having a good chance of winning the Super Bowl? Among AFC teams, the Chiefs have a 13% chance of winning, followed by the Bills (9%) and Bengals (9%). In the NFC, the Eagles are at 14%, followed by the 49ers (11%) and Dallas Cowboys (7%).

So each team’s two biggest conference rivals have an 18% chance of winning the championship — but third-ranked Philadelphia has a better chance of winning than first-ranked Kansas City? For me, it is not calculated.

In all fairness, it’s possible that simulating the season “thousands of times” will produce results that are hard to see. And naturally, any pre-season projection of the end result of the season should be taken with a grain of salt – especially when right now ESPN says FPI is mostly based on sports betting odds, which are nothing. more than the public’s perception of each team’s strength.

Still, we’d be inclined to think the Chiefs should have a slightly better chance of winning Super Bowl LVIII than the Eagles.

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