Week 6 NFL Power Rankings
by Robert Ferringo - 10/12/2006
We have six teams on a bye this week. And those drunken freeloaders have considerably pared down the number of betting options that we have. But don't get flustered, and don't get desperate. If needs be, cut back your plays this week to account for the fact that with fewer games to handicap the lines may be a little stronger heading into week six.
Besides that, I think that this weekend is foreboding. Four of the 13 games have double-digit spreads, there are a few trap and sandwich games, teams we haven't seen for two weeks, teams that haven't won a game yet, odd totals, and Art Shell. All in all, this has the makings of a harrowing - yet thoroughly enjoyable - two days of football.
So without further ado, here are my Week 6 NFL Power Rankings:
1. Chicago (5-0) - The starters were still on the field at the end of a 40-7 blowout to try to preserve a shutout. That's the type of cold-blooded, icy-veined will that Super Bowl champions must have. They're outscoring opponents 31-7.
2. Indianapolis (5-0) - The Colts have rushed for more than 150 yards twice in a row. They only reached that mark three times in their past 279 games. However, they only won these last two games by four total points.
3. Philadelphia (4-1) - Against Dallas, Philly scoring drives lasted about as long as a box of Krispy Kremes in front of Andy Reid. The Eagles averaged three plays and one minute.
4. Denver (3-1) - ESPN ran a stat on Rod Smith that said that he had a better winning percentage than Jerry Rice. Smith's teams are 98-48 (.669) and Rice's teams went 181-102-1 (.639). Found that interesting.
5. Baltimore (4-1) - They'll be in another dogfight this weekend. Brian Billick has been a strong bounce back coach, posting a 12-2 ATS mark off a game in which he lost both straight up and against the spread.
5. Seattle (3-1) - Now that they've had three full weeks to get used to the idea of not having Shaun Alexander, I expect the Seahawks offense to put some points on the board against a banged up St. Louis defense.
6. Atlanta (3-1) - Atlanta is 1-3 vs. the total because they've converted just 18 percent of their red zone opportunities into touchdowns. In 17 trips to the red zone, they've lost yardage on 27 percent of their plays (13 of 49). They're 4-1 ATS against the Giants.
7. San Diego (3-1) - I think this could be a trap game for San Diego. They're young and a little too full of themselves, and they're facing a team that's scrappy at home.
8. New England (4-1) - Pats have a week to get healthy before going to Buffalo. The best thing that could happen is that the Bills beat Detroit, because that may get this line under a touchdown.
10. Cincinnati (3-1) - There's no truth to the rumor that the Bengals singed Lawrence Philips during the bye week. There is truth that they will have a new starting center this week, as injured/ineffective Rich Braham will be out.
11. Carolina (3-2) - Last year the Panthers were sixth in third-down efficiency (42.2 percent). This year they're 32nd (18.6 percent). Steve Smith had six drops and 103 catches last season, but already has four drops with 23 receptions this year.
12. New Orleans (4-1) - The Saints gave up 16 plays of more than 10 yards to Tampa Bay, and now they face an Eagles team averaging about 15-yards per completion. Oh, and they'll be doing it without their starting safety.
13. Jacksonville (3-2) - The Jags are now without their top sack man (Reggie Hayward) and top tackler (Mike Peterson) from last year. The good news is that they play just one team with a winning record in the next five weeks.
14. Dallas (2-3) - Look for the Cowboys to go back to Keith Davis at free safety. Rookie Pat Watkins got roasted for two long TD passes last week, and Houston likes to stretch the field with their passing attack.
15. New York Giants (2-2) - The Giants defense has stopped adjusting schemes at the line of scrimmage based on offensive formations. The simplified approach resulted in a more confident and active unit against Washington.
16. St. Louis (4-1) - Tye Hill struggled in his first start on Sunday, and the Rams other three corners (Fakhir Brown, Travis Fisher and Ron Bertell) are all nicked up. But the Rams have a severe revenge factor going this weekend.
17. Pittsburgh (1-3) - No Bill Cowher team has ever started 1-4. This team isn't this bad, but they also haven't shown me much.
18. Minnesota (3-2) - Of their 30 red zone plays this year the Vikings have thrown only ten passes. Just three of those passes have gone into the end zone.
19. Washington (2-3) - In two horrendous road division losses the Redskins have been outscored 46-13 and outgained 778-409.
20. Kansas City (2-2) - This team could get exposed - big time - against Pittsburgh. Even getting a touchdown you have to ask yourself: can they go into Heinz Field and win? The Chiefs are 2-8-1 ATS versus the Steelers recently.
21. New York Jets (2-3) - For whatever reason (mostly because the teams behind them are awful) I'm not penalizing the Jets for their 41-0 bludgeoning last week.
22. Buffalo (2-3) - FYI, London Fletcher-Baker didn't hyphenate his name because he recently was married and is pussy whipped. Baker is a family name and he wanted to honor his grandfather.
23. San Francisco (2-3) - Frank Gore didn't fumble in a game for the first time this season. He credited Omar Epps in "The Program" for inspiring him.
24. Miami (1-4) - Stop me if you've heard this one before: Joey Harrington is our savior.
25. Houston (1-3) - The Texans have the third-fewest rushing attempts in the league and are averaging just 3.2 yards per carry. Just like Mike Shanahan is strong after a bye, I believe the Gary Kubiak will have his charges ready to rumble with in-state rival Dallas.
26. Tampa Bay (0-4) - The Tampa Bay defense has gotten really old, really fast. They're 28th in sacks, 30th in turnovers forced and 30th in rush defense. Coach John Gruden called out the defensive line - by name - this week so look for a chip on the shoulder.
27. Cleveland (1-4) - Maurice Carthon better start carrying a .22. The much-maligned coordinator called for rookie fullback Larry Vickers to throw an option pass on third-and-inches in Carolina. That's straight out of the Mularkey Playbook.
28. Arizona (1-4) - I fear for Leinart's life. At least he'll have that one magical night with Paris to hold onto in the hospital bed. Oh, and not only is Fitzgerald out, but starting right guard Milford Brown and starting nose tackle Kendrick Clancy are as well.
29. Green Bay (1-4) - The Packers are running the risk of wrath from the Football Gods by keeping a dope-smoking, drunk-driving, Korey Stringer Good Guy Recipient on their roster. I mean, Koren The Drunk is just a No. 3.
30. Detroit (0-5) - For the fifth time in six games the Lions will have a different starting offensive line. This week's version will be without three of their projected opening game starters.
31. Tennessee (0-5) - For you fantasy folk out there, Travis Henry is the clear No. 1 back in Tennessee, with LenDale White backing him up. The Titans should be looking to deal Chris Brown before the trading deadline.
32. Oakland (0-4) - Didn't Randy Moss ever see "Firestorm"? Howie Long is a badass!
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