2022 FPI ratings say Broncos are a field goal better than average opponent
One of the more in depth football analytics models has released its 2022 rankings.
The Football Power Index, developed by ESPN, is a predictive rating system that measures team strength and uses it to forecast game and season results.
So where do the Denver Broncos check in? Glad you asked.
2022 Football Power Index ratings and rankings!
The rating itself indicates approximately how much better or worse — in points — that team is predicted to be, relative to an average NFL team on a neutral field.
It is a predictive rating. pic.twitter.com/9oDRKm8nKR
— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) May 17, 2022
By this metric, the Broncos are predicted to beat an average NFL opponent by 3.3 points per game on a neutral field. Of course, Denver will only play one neutral site game this year vs. the Jaguars in London in Week 8, and hopefully a second if they reach the Super Bowl in February.
But there’s a lot to digest here and sort out. This metric figures to be more accurate than any NFL Power Rankings, so it should be taken seriously. However, the Bengals ranked 16th at just +1.1 points per game is surprising given they won the AFC a year ago. And the 49ers checking in at No. 24 at -6.1 points per game is downright shocking, considering they nearly played in the Super Bowl last season.
Clearly there’s some uncertainty Cincinnati can repeat its magical season from 2021 and San Francisco’s QB situation is murky at best. The Niners also lost two key defenders to Denver in D.J. Jones and K’Waun Williams.
The Broncos will undoubtedly be better this season thanks to the major addition of Russell Wilson and a head coaching upgrade in Nathaniel Hackett. They also have a very easy schedule at the start of the season based on the new FPI rankings, but a brutal finish down the stretch.
Denver's schedule, by opponent FPI rankings:
Broncos are 12th in ESPN's FPI. https://t.co/0WksQTXSzw
— Aric DiLalla (@AricDiLalla) May 17, 2022
Wow. That highlights the necessity for the Broncos to get off to a fast start, because closing with the Chiefs twice, Ravens, Cardinals, Rams and Chargers is a gauntlet of a finish.
Does FPI determine who wins on a weekly basis? No, but it’s another indicator the Broncos have high expectations in 2022 and the computers agree. The roster has been assembled brilliantly by GM George Paton and even his predecessor John Elway — now it’s time for Denver to go prove it on the field.