What Is ESPN's NFL Power Rankings All About?

The NFL power rankings compiled by ESPN attempt to rank each team's overall performance in a particular season. The rankings are determined by a panel of more than 80 writers, editors and television personalities that work for ESPN.

Some notable voters include ESPN writers John Clayton, Ashley Fox, Dan Graziano, Jamison Hensley and Mike Sando. The teams are not ranked solely by record, but also by recent performance. For example, in week 15 of the 2015 season, the 6-7 Atlanta Falcons were ranked below the 4-9 Dallas Cowboys, in part because of a six-game losing streak. Another example of this subjective system occurred in week 17 of the 2012 season, when the Denver Broncos were ranked seven spots ahead of the Houston Texans, despite having the same record; the Broncos were in the middle of a 10-game winning streak while the Texans appeared vulnerable in their previous three games.

In addition to showing the team's current rank and record, the page also shows the team's previous rank and whether the team improved or worsened. Each team's page also has a comment about the team's recent performance. In the past, the voters tended to express opinions about whether a team is peaking or if it appears out of gas. In 2015, the comments tend to be statistics, such as a quarterback's recent performance or noting a team's current streak.