Week 10 NFL Power Rankings
by Robert Ferringo - 11/06/2008
Here is a look at Doc's Sports Week 10 NFL Power Rankings:
1. Tennessee Titans (8-0) -Kerry Collins has been living very dangerously over the last two weeks. Against the Packers he had three balls that should have been intercepted. He can't do that against the Chicago defense because they will take it to the house. As we near kickoff, keep an eye on the Tennessee injury report. They could be without their three best defenders - Al Haynesworth, Keith Bullock, and Kyle Vanden Bosch. I believe two of the three won't play.
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2. New York Giants (7-1) -This rivalry has been incredibly one-sided over the last three years with the Giants winning five of seven from the Eagles. The Giants are 8-0 ATS against teams with a winning record, 20-6 ATS overall, and 19-7-1 ATS on the road.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2) -An MRI on Big Ben's shoulder showed no structural damage. But he is still 50-50 for this weekend's game with the Colts. I believe he will play, even though I think that the Steelers can afford to rest him for a couple weeks. The problem is that it isn't just Big Ben. This is a team of mummies, with eight starters not even practicing on Wednesday. This is a banged up club. The Steelers are 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS against the Colts since 1991.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3) -Jeff Garcia led the Bucs on a potentially season-saving second half comeback last week in Arrowhead. That win also completely changes the tone of the Bucs' off week this weekend compared to what it would have been like to try to digest a loss to pathetic K.C.
5. Carolina Panthers (6-2) -Not counting any 'pushes', the Panthers are 95-10 ATS when they win a game outright. That number includes a 43-2 ATS mark when they win on the road. As good as the Panthers are, I am wary of them going on the road, across the country, to play an unfamiliar opponent as a large favorite. They have been outgained in five of seven games overall and that's a sign that they are about to hit a downswing.
6. Chicago Bears (5-3) -You gotta be kidding me. You have to be KIDDING ME that I'm back to watching Rex Grossman every Sunday. This is exactly why I said the Bears needed to cut him once he wasn't the starter. Just unreal. With a healthy Kyle Orton, the Bears would have beaten Tennessee and it would have been my Game of the Month. With Rex Grossman? Yikes.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (5-3) -Philadelphia is a team that is very similar to Chicago in that their record doesn't tell the full story of how good they have played. Their losses - at Dallas, at Chicago, vs. Washington - were all by less than six points and in two of the three (Chicago and Dallas) the Eagles probably should have won. Philly was stuffed at the one-yard line four times against the Bears and they had those two terrible late fumbles against Dallas. The favorite is 0-6 ATS in the last six meetings and the home team is 1-4 ATS.
8. Arizona Cardinals (5-3) -Clearly Ken Whisenhunt reads my Power Rankings! The Cardinals benched The Edge in favor of the younger, faster, more explosive Tim Hightower and it was absolutely the right move. He didn't disappoint with 109 yards and a touchdown against St. Louis. The Cards have now covered four straight. But I wouldn't read too much into their cover against the 49ers earlier in the year. They really should not have covered that game and it was the result of some fluky turnovers and a 10-minute drive in the fourth quarter.
9. Washington Redskins (6-3) -This team is still a staple in the Top 10 of Power Rankings across the land. But if there is a team that I think can play its way out of the NFC East race over the next four weeks it's Washington. They have not played well in over a month, with losses at home to St. Louis and Pittsburgh sandwiching uninspiring wins against Cleveland and Detroit. Quite frankly, I have them this high but I know Washington isn't this good.
10. Atlanta Falcons (5-3) -If you watched any of Atlanta's game against Oakland last week you wouldn't be surprised by this ranking. Yeah, it was just Oakland. But the Falcons outgained the Raiders by 350 yards. That is more than San Diego, Baltimore, New Orleans or the Jets managed against Oakland. The Falcons have three home games in November and if they are going to make a statement in the crowded NFC South, now is the time.
11. New England Patriots (5-3) -Fantastic line from John Madden last week about the difference between the Pats with Brady and with Cassel: "Matt Cassel takes what the defense gives him. Tom Brady takes whatever he wants." It was stunning to see Bill Belichick completely choke that game away in Indianapolis last week - but don't expect to see that again this week. The Patriots are 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings with Buffalo, but they are just 1-8 ATS in their last nine home games. The Patriots' average margin of victory over Buffalo in their last five wins over them is 25.8 points. However, we all know these are much different teams.
12. Dallas Cowboys (5-4) - A lot of people are piling on this team right now. But the bottom line is that a lot of folks - maybe even myself - simply overrated this team heading into the year. But what I like is that I feel like we're going to get some value on a Dallas team that I still think has what it takes to make the playoffs. Their defensive and offensive lines need to toughen up.
13. Green Bay Packers (4-4) -I thought that the Packers had no business beating the Vikings when they played on Monday Night Football to open the season. However, after watching them go toe-to-toe with Tennessee I'm sure they can play with anyone. That said, physical defensive teams that pound the rock (Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Tennessee) are 3-0 against Green Bay. They are 30th in the league in yards per carry against, as my predictions at the start of the year that they would be soft in the front seven are coming to fruition. The Packers are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 road games.
14. Buffalo Bills (5-3) -Trent Edwards is a machine - a turnover machine! He has five turnovers in his last eight quarters. The Bills are just 2-4 ATS since getting off to their fast start, but the more troubling stat is that they have been outgained in four of their last five games. That's a real red flag. And when you consider that the combined record of the five teams they've beaten is just 12-28 while the teams they've lost to are 14-10.
15. Indianapolis Colts (4-4) -The Colts are the worst rushing team in the league at 70.1 yards per game. According to the Indy Star's Mike Chappell, if that holds through the second half that would be the worst mark in franchise history and the fourth-worst mark in the NFL since 1970. Bob Sanders clearly had an impact on the defense against the Patriots, as he made at least a half-dozen key plays by himself.
16. Baltimore Ravens (5-3) -Despite their traditionally strong defense, the Ravens are starting to fall into that Jacksonville-Pittsburgh category of teams that are outstanding to play on the 'over'. The Ravens are 6-2 against the total on the road, 11-4 against the total overall, 11-2 against the total on grass, and 11-3 against the total against the AFC.
17. New York Jets (5-3) -Brett Favre just couldn't help himself. And if the Jets are hoping he can "manage the game" they are going to be in for a long winter. Up 23-10 in the fourth quarter, right after the Bills missed a field goal after a long drive, the Jets were in the driver's seat. What does Favre do? He throws off his back foot and his pass gets intercepted and run back for a touchdown. Such is life with Brett. And that is why I hesitate to put more faith in this team.
18. New Orleans Saints (4-4) -The Saints will have to be patient against a Falcons defense that is gearing up to stop the big play this week. The Saints lead the league with 34 plays of 20 or more yards and 11 plays of 40 or more yards. The Saints will be without Reggie Bush this weekend, but they have owned Atlanta lately. They have won four straight against the Falcons and are 6-2 ATS.
19. San Diego Chargers (3-5) - The Chargers made a fantastic move over the bye week by dumping Ted Cottrell as DC and promoting Ron Rivera. Rivera was one of the architects of the dominating Chicago defenses of recent memory. Great move. The only problem is that Rivera prefers the 4-3 defense to San Diego's 3-4 alignment and won't change that in the middle of the year. I was stunned to see the Chargers posted as the largest favorite in any game yet this year. San Diego is 4-1 ATS in its last five at home against the Chiefs and the host in this series is 5-2 ATS. San Diego is still 12-4-1 ATS in its last 17 games overall and 9-1 ATS in its last 10 home games.
20. Minnesota Vikings (4-4) -Don't expect to see Jared Allen this weekend. His shoulder sprain normally takes 2-4 weeks to recover from. And after its best performance of the season last week, the loss of Allen is a significant blow to the Vikings defensive line. The Vikings have lost five straight to Green Bay and this is nearly a "must win" game for the Vikings if they have any hope of managing a division title.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-5) -Sorry Jack Del Rio, but you can't go hard-line now and you can't try to regain a focus that your team obviously didn't have this year now that we're in Week 10. The feud with Mike Patterson, a captain and defensive leader, does not bode well for a locker room that has been shaky since the preseason. However, the Jags are still laying nearly a touchdown on the road and I think that anyone laying points with this team - no matter who they are playing - needs to have their head examined.
22. Miami Dolphins (4-4) -Tony Sparano deserves all of the praise that's been heaped on him this week. He completely outcoached Mike Shanahan last week. However, he's got to act like he's been there a bit. And now the problem is can he keep his team focused as they try to deal with "success"? The Fins are just 12-29-1 ATS in their last 42 home games. This is how good the Dolphins (5-2 ATS run) have been: every team that Miami has played this year is .500 or better, with the exception of a talented San Diego squad.
23. Denver Broncos (4-4) -Denver has simply been burning money. We had been banking against them over the last month, but I got burned trying to get ahead of their turnaround last week. They are now on an 0-6 ATS slide, but this has been going on for years now. Denver is 7-24-1 ATS in their last 32 overall. The Broncos ran for just 14 yards last week against Miami. I'm guessing the answer lies there. If Denver has its corners play that soft against Cleveland tonight they are going to get lit up. Again.
24. Cleveland Browns (3-5) -Let me say that I'm very skeptical that Brady Quinn is going to do anything in this offense that Derek Anderson was not. And the biggest personnel situation in Cleveland this week is the status of Shaun Rogers, who is listed as questionable with sore ribs. Without him the house of cards that is the Cleveland defense falls apart.
25. Houston Texans (3-5) -Houston's biggest injury this week may not have been Matt Schaub. The team's leading tackler - Zac Diles - has been lost for the year with a broken leg. Schaub's rocky relationship with Houston continues. Had this game been played in Week 2 as it was scheduled to I would have been going big on the Texans. Houston is 5-11 ATS against the AFC and 2-6 ATS against a team with a winning record.
26. St. Louis Rams (2-6) -Dating back to 1986, the Rams have won and covered the spread in seven straight games against the Jets. The Rams backfield is absolutely decimated right now, with each of their top four rushing options nursing tough injuries ranging from quad issues to concussions to shoulder injuries.
27. Seattle Seahawks (2-6) -Here we have another West Coast team traveling to the East Coast for a 1 p.m. start. Seattle is just 7-11 ATS on grass and is 6-15 ATS in the Eastern Time Zone, and no team from the Left Coast has won on the East Coast at 1 p.m. yet this year. Matt Hasselbeck will be back next week, but the Seahawks will still be without Pat Kerney and may again be without Lofa Tatupu. Check Tatupu's status for Sunday, because the Hawks can't win without him.
28. San Francisco 49ers (2-6) -Seven of nine games in this Arizona series have been decided by a touchdown or less and the underdog is 5-3 ATS. I also really wouldn't read too much into San Fran having an extra week to prepare. Around the league it is widely known that Mike Singletary is not a big "Xs and Os" guy so I wouldn't expect any unique game plan out of him.
29. Oakland Raiders (2-6) -The Raiders have been outgained in six of their eight games, and outgained by at least 120 yards in five of their eight games. Further, five of six losses have come by 10 points or more and four of six by 19 or more. They are simply not competitive in this league. And what is hilarious about dumping DeAngelo Hall is that all last week I had read nothing but stories about how much he was improving in Oakland's defensive schemes.
30. Kansas City Chiefs (1-7) -The Chiefs are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 road games but just 13-28 ATS in November. I really don't know how they will bounce back, mentally, from that tough loss to Tampa Bay in a game that they absolutely gave away. But I do know that the Chiefs have covered their last two games while only losing by a combined seven points. After their first five Ls came by an average of 20 points you can't say they aren't making progress.
32. Cincinnati Bengals (1-8) -Nice win for the Bengals last week to give them momentum going into the bye week. HAHAHAHAHA! Sorry, I tried to say that while keeping a straight face. This team and this roster are still pathetic.
31. Detroit Lions (0-8) -Dante Culpepper was taking first-team snaps this week with the Lions offense. Every time I think that this team can't go any lower they manage to find a new bottom.