NFL: What Net Points Tell Us About the Best, Worst Teams in the NFL

Eli NachmanyCorrespondent IIIOctober 27, 2011

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints hands the ball off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game at Raymond James Stadium on October 16, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

The NFL is a league in which teams can win and lose on a predictable basis.

Finding the perfect stat of prognostication is just about impossible, but a commonly cited yet commonly overlooked statistic is net points.

The best and worst teams in the NFL are a decided group based on record and media attention, but looking at net points paints an even easier-to-look-at picture.

Net points are the difference between a team's points scored and points allowed.

The 7-0 Green Bay Packers, the undisputed best team in the league, lead the charge with a whopping 89 net points.

However, who the second, third and fourth best teams are is a topic of hot dispute.

According to net points, the New Orleans Saints are the second-best NFL team with a remarkable 81 net points.

Sitting at a solid 5-2, the Saints would look like, maybe, the fourth or fifth best team in the NFL.

Coming off of the "Bourbon Street Blowout," though, these Saints just may be the second-strongest team in football.

Quarterback Drew Brees is leading the way with a solid 18 touchdowns to 8 interceptions, and he also leads the NFL with 2,477 passing yards.

To put this in perspective, he is on pace to throw 41 touchdowns to just 18 interceptions and shatter the all-time single-season passing yards record with 5,661 yards.

While there are no "net points" stats for quarterbacks, it is certain that Brees' prodigious performance thus far has helped his team be the statistically second-best NFL team.

Back to the net points, the third-best NFL team just may be the Baltimore Ravens, who have a still-impressive 72 net points following their ugly loss to Jacksonville.

This 72-point total encourages me to believe that the Ravens have a late-season surge left in them, and they will be able to push past the division-leading Pittsburgh Steelers, who are the third-weakest division leader with just 29 net points.

Continuing with the proceedings, the fourth-strongest NFL team right now plays in San Francisco, where the 49ers lay claim to 70 net points.

The 5-1 49ers are by far the best team in the NFC West with all of the other teams in their division having negative net points.

On the flip side, if you've been wondering who the worst team in the NFL is, you may be surprised.

Despite the Dolphins and Colts being winless and being poster children for bad football, the Rams are the worst team in the NFL, narrowly edging the Colts in negative net points, -115 to -114.

About the Dolphins, they aren't as weak as you may believe.

With -56 net points, Miami won't win the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.

Rather, the Colts, with their -114 net points, are strong favorites in the Stanford quarterback contest.

Net points act as a solid prognosticating tool, showing which teams are strong and weak in the NFL when arbitrary win-loss records don't tell the whole story.