Throughout the season, I have been trying to figure out who the most fraudulent team of the 2023 NFL season was going to be. As a result, my fraud rankings have switched up frequently throughout the year.
Here we are in Week 12 and it's finally become clear who is the biggest fraud of the 2023 NFL season. It brings me no joy to do this. I like the Eagles and I respect their fan base. I even went to their NFC Championship Game last year and bought a Devonta Smith jersey.
With that being said, I have a job to do and it's pointing out which teams the numbers say are the biggest frauds in the NFL. Don't hate the player, hate the game.
This is the most definitive fraud rankings of the season so far.
Before I break it down, let me recommend signing up for a betting account over at Caesars Sportsbook. If you want to fade these five teams in the coming weeks (as you should), be sure to do so at Caesars. If you click the link below to sign up for an account you'll get your first bet covered by Caesars, up to $1,000!
Most Overrated Teams in the NFL
5) Los Angeles Chargers (Last Week: Not Ranked)
It's tough for me to put the Chargers on this list because the fraud list is generally for teams who have great records but who aren't playing as well as that record may indicate. At 4-6, not many people are making the case that they're a Super Bowl contender and they likely won't be in the playoffs.
Still, I think people think they're better than they are and they're certainly overvalued in the betting market, set as just 3.5-point underdogs to the Ravens on Sunday night.
The Chargers are 21st in the NFL in Net Yards per Play and their defense is one of the worst in the NFL, ranking 28th in opponent EPA per play and opponent success rate.
Even their offense isn't as good as people think, ranking seventh in EPA/Play and 15th in success rate. This team isn't a good team that's suffering from bad luck, they're just straight-up a bad football team.
4) Cleveland Browns (Last Week: 3)
The Cleveland Browns have a very real chance to be the worst team in the AFC Playoffs because they have a relatively weak schedule down the stretch and their defense may be good enough to carry them to enough wins to get in the postseason. But, we all need to realize how horrific this offense is.
Their offense is so bad that they're just 14th in the NFL in Net Yards per Plat at 0.0 which means as good as their defense is, their lack of production on offense cancels them out. Their offense is 26th in EPA/Play and 29th in success rate and now Dorian Thompson-Robinson is their quarterback.
Things may come crashing down for them in a hurry.
3) Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week: 5)
I've gone back and forth on the Jaguars this season but I think I'm settling on the idea they're not as good as people think or that their record indicates. They keep finding ways to win games that they get outgained in. Even in last week's 34-14 win against the Titans, they were outgained 6.2 yards per play to 5.6 yards per play.
They lead the NFL in takeaways per game at 2.0 which is the most in the NFL and 0.2 more than the best team from last season. Once those takeaways regress to the mean, this Jaguars team may start to lose games that people are expecting them to win.
The Jaguars are just 23rd in the NFL in Net Yards per Play at -0.4 heading into Week 12. This is not a team I'm going to be betting on down the stretch or in the playoffs.
2) Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week: 1)
The Steelers continue to be the Steelers, winning games they don't deserve to win. With that being said, they lost the fraud bowl to the Cleveland Browns so they drop to No. 2 on this list.
Still, they more than deserve a spot on this list considering they're 6-4 on the season despite ranking 27th in the NFL in Net Yards per Play at -0.7. To drive that point home, they rank worse in Net Yards per Play than teams like the Cardinals, Raiders, Patriots, Titans, and Commanders.
The Mike Tomlin voodoo is real. That's all there is to it.
1) Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week: 2)
As I wrote above, I take no joy in writing this and I wouldn't say I like that I've become the enemy of Eagles fans. But, numbers don't lie and the numbers say this team isn't nearly as good as their record indicates.
Let's take a look at where they rank in a few key metrics:
- Net Yards per Play: 11th
- EPA per Play: 5th
- Offensive success rate: 6th
- Opponent EPA per Play: 18th
- Opponent success rate: 13th
- Opponent third down conversion rate: 27th
- Opponent red zone touchdown conversion rate: 25th
- Points per Play: 6th
- Opponent Points per Play: 18th
- Average scoring margin: T6
- QB Sacked percentage: 21st
- Sack percentage: 17th
I could go on and on and on, but I think you get the point. If I showed you the above statistical rankings and asked you to guess what record that team has, there is no world in which you would guess they're 9-1 with the best record in the NFL.
So, why are they 9-1? No, it's not because they're just "winners". It's largely due to variance. If you flip a coin 10 times and it lands on heads nine of those 10 times, is it because heads just "knows how to land facing up?" No, that's ridiculous.
According to Tom Bliss (@DataWithBliss), The Eagles rank third in the NFL in Net Win Probability Added by Luck, leading the NFL by a mile in opponent dropped passes.
If you look back at their wins, their victories against the Patriots, Commanders (first time), Vikings, Cowboys, and Chiefs all easily could have gone against them.
Let's imagine they lost just two of those five games. They'd be sitting at 7-3 instead of 9-1, a record that much better reflects how truly good this team is, and even then I'd make the argument they were lucky to be sitting at 7-3.
The only argument you can make, which is a bad one, is "They're 9-1 bro, that's the only thing that matters", and if you don't care about betting and you're just an Eagles fan hoping they win the Super Bow, then you'd be right!
But, I'm in the betting world and my job is to evaluate teams in order to better help figure out what side I should be betting on in every NFL game this season, and by virtually every metric you can look at, the Eagles are a good, but not great, football team that is nowhere near as good as their 9-1 record indicates.
As I said on my podcast this week, I'm going to put my money where my mouth is and bet against them to lose all three games in the next three weeks when they play the Bills, 49ers, and Cowboys. I truly believe all three of those teams are better than the Eagles at this moment in time.