What the numbers mean: Ranking all 32 teams
The Seattle Seahawks are the best team in football heading into the playoffs -- at least according to the Cold, Hard Football Facts Quality Stats Power Rankings.
We do our rankings a little bit differently than most. It's not based upon the untrustworthy old eye test or our opinions of how teams measure up to each other. It's based only upon empirical evidence: we rank every NFL team across the board in each our Quality Stats, those stats that have a direct correlation to winning football games.
The team with the highest average is No. 1; the team with the lowest average is No. 32.
The top teams have a habit of going to and winning Super Bowls, including the 2009 Saints and 2010 Packers. The 2011 Texans, No. 1 in our Quality Stats Power Rankings, appeared statistically destined to win the Super Bowl before Matt Schaub was lost for the season, handicapping the team heading into the postseason.
Top-ranked Seattle looks deadly on both sides of the ball, but is not without its weakness: the Seahawks went 8-0 at home but just 3-5 on the road. They'll have to negotiate at least two road games, and probably three, to make an appearance in New Orleans.