2016 - Team Ratings After Round 21

MARS, like Goldilocks, reckons its team rankings are "just right" and has, on the strength of that assessment, changed none of them.

Its Top 3 then remain, in order, Sydney, Adelaide, and Hawthorn.

ChiPS, not for the first time, has a different view, and has tinkered with the ordering of 10 teams, seven of them teams ranked in its Top 10 as at the end of Round 20, and four from its Top 5.

No team climbed by more than a single ladder spot, however, and only two fell by more than a spot, Geelong slipping two places into 6th and St Kilda two places into 13th.

That left MARS and ChiPS still differing by more than two places about the ordering of only GWS, which MARS has 6th and ChiPS 3rd. Both Systems now have Sydney as the number 1 ranked team and Adelaide as number 2.

The correlation between the raw MARS and ChiPS Ratings remains at a very high +0.988.


MoSSBODS re-ranked 11 teams this week, including six from within its previous Top 10 though, as for ChiPS, none were moved by more than two spots and only three were moved even that far. Melbourne climbed two spots into 10th, and the Gold Coast two spots into 15th, while Port Adelaide slipped two places into 12th.

Only three teams' Offensive Rankings changed over the course of the weekend, Port Adelaide dropping two places into 7th after recording just 14 Scoring Shots against Melbourne. That allowed Geelong to rise one spot into 5th on the back of a 32 Scoring Shot haul - albeit an inaccurate one - against Richmond, and the Kangaroos to rise one spot also into 6th.

Not much more movement was witnessed in Defensive Rankings as just six teams moved at all, and only one by more than a single spot. That lone multi-spot mover was Melbourne who climbed three spots on the basis of allowing Port Adelaide those measly 14 Scoring Shots.

As we can see from the chart below, which plots the 2016 teams' Offensive and Defensive Ratings in the context of the those of every team from history that played a Round 21 in its respective home-and-away season, Adelaide continues to rate amongst the top 10% of all ultimate Grand Finalists in terms of Combined Rating. It's the Crows' Offensive Rating that is very much driving their lofty Combined Rating, however, their Defensive Rating still below that of the Swans, Dogs and Cats of 2016.

Of the remaining teams, Sydney alone rates in the top 50% of all previous Grand Finalists on Combined Rating. Geelong, GWS, Hawthorn and the Western Bulldogs lie in the bottom 50%, but above the lowest 10%, while West Coast, the Kangaroos, Collingwood, Melbourne, Port Adelaide and St Kilda all lie somewhere in that lowest decile.

The six other teams all have Combined Ratings below that of the lowest-Rated team after Round 21 that went on to to play in a Grand Final (the Melbourne 1988 team who were 12 and 9 at the end of Round 21, with a 100.6 percentage).

The Brisbane Lions are now rated defensively, about equal to the GWS 2012 team at the end of their Round 21.

For a little added historical context, this week I've also created a plot of the season-high Combined Ratings of every team from every season.

Adelaide, we can see, still has some distance to travel to challenge the all-Time greatest teams.


Adelaide's ascendancy (and the Lions' descent) is chronicled round-by-round in the animation below.

We noted earlier how few teams were re-ranked on Offence or Defence by MoSSBODS this week. The chart below reveals why that was the case: in general, the changes in the underlying Ratings themselves were very small. 

Nonetheless, five teams managed to lift their Offensive and Defensive Ratings:

  • Adelaide
  • Hawthorn
  • West Coast
  • Melbourne
  • Gold Coast

Their five opponents all saw their Offensive and Defensive Ratings fall:

  • Fremantle
  • Kangaroos
  • GWS
  • Port Adelaide
  • Essendon

It's interesting to note that Essendon's Ratings both fell despite their victory and despite the fact that they were considered underdogs in the betting markets. This is because MoSSBODS, unlike the betting markets, Rated the Dons higher than the Suns before Sunday's game.