Week 11 NFL Power Rankings
by Robert Ferringo - 11/13/2008
Here is a look at Doc's Sports Week 11 NFL Power Rankings:
1. New York Giants (8-1) -After watching every snap of the Giants and Titans over the last two weeks there is no doubt that New York is the better team. They have better wideouts and their running game has yet to be stopped. The Titans are teetering. The Giants are playing with confidence and have been devastating on the road. The Giants are also 10-1 ATS against a team with a winning record. However, they've won against the Raven by just one point in each of the last two years.
2. Tennessee Titans (9-0) -Sunday's game was the perfect example of how special teams can win you a game. Tennessee dominated the field position battle and dropped five punts inside the 12-yard line. That was the true difference right there. An issue with the Titans, however, is that their wideouts are not getting separation and they still drop too many balls. That will come back to haunt them.
3. Carolina Panthers (7-2) -I don't recall any prognosticator that had the Panthers pegged as the No. 3 team in the league back in August. Four interceptions by Jake Delhomme last week is still troubling though. I just don't trust him against an active secondary. Carolina's offensive line has been exceptional this year, and they've allowed just four sacks in their last seven games. The Panthers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a favorite of 9.5 or more.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3) -I really would like to see some sharpness out of the Bucs offense after the two-week break. For the first time all year they are pretty healthy throughout their attack. And we have to see more Joey Galloway. Antonio Bryant is having a nice year, so Tampa's passing game should be the best it's been in years. But over the last month something just hasn't clicked.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) -Big Ben is practicing this week, bum shoulder and all. He didn't practice last week and looked like hell on Sunday. More bad news for that shoulder: Marvel Smith, the Pittsburgh left tackle, is likely done for the year. Willie Parker should be back this week.
6. Arizona Cardinals (6-3) -I will be the first to admit that the Cardinals are not the sixth-best team in the NFL. However, you have to give them there due. They have beaten some decent teams and their three losses have all come on the road, in the Eastern Time Zone, against teams with a winning record.
7. New England Patriots (6-3) -In their first meeting with the Jets - Matt Cassel's first start - the Patriots threw 19 of 23 pass attempts less than 10 yards. Their short passing attack helped them control the ball and win that game on the road. It will be interesting to see if the Pats continue with that scheme or if they simply use a couple early short passes to set up some deep shots down the field. Cassel is still a very average quarterback, but he clearly has more of a grasp of the offense now than he did back in September.
8. Washington Redskins (6-3) - Clinton Portis likely will not play this weekend against the Cowboys. However, Ladell Betts has proven to be more than a capable backup. The Skins are home dogs this week against their hated rivals. But the underdog is an amazing 20-6 ATS in the last 26 meetings and Washington is 6-1 ATS in the last seven.
9. Atlanta Falcons (6-3) -That's now seven covers in their last 10 games for the Dirty Birds, who are taking 71 percent of the betting action this week against Denver as well. The Falcons have turned into a near automatic 'over' team, sailing the total in 11 of their past 16 games and sporting a 7-1 'over' mark at home.
10. Chicago Bears (5-4) -It's just amazing to watch history repeat itself. The Bears in now way tried to minimize the damage that Rex Grossman could do last week by running the ball - even though they dominated the line of scrimmage and had gained over four yards per carry in the first half. There is a problem when Grossman is throwing the ball (37 times) nearly twice as much as Matt Forte is running it (20 times). A big problem. The combined record of the four teams Chicago has lost to: 28-8. This will be the best team not to make the playoffs.
11. Philadelphia Eagles (5-4) -Anyone watching that game with New York should have seen that both of these clubs were playing at a very high level. There was not shaky defense or fluky offense going on there; both clubs are starting to hit their stride and I don't expect to see Philly fool around with Cincinnati this weekend. The Eagles are 9-1 ATS on the road.
12. Dallas Cowboys (5-4) - Dallas has fared well in Washington over the past several years, going 7-3 ATS in their last 10 trips there. This is the proverbial "must-win" game for the Cowboys, and it's always better to fade those teams than to play on them. Dallas is 0-7 ATS in divisional games and 2-10 ATS against the NFC.
13. Baltimore Ravens (6-3) -Chris McAlister and Dawan Landry, which constitutes half of Baltimore's starting defensive backfield, have been put on injured reserve. Cam Cameron - who was a pathetic head man in Miami - has done a masterful job with this offense. Baltimore is just 26th in yards per play, but are 12th in overall scoring.
14. New York Jets (6-3) -Signing Ty Law may have seemed like a personal move against the Patriots, but it actually has value. Wes Welker dominated Jets shaky nickel corner Drew Coleman in the first meeting, and Coleman has been suspect ever since.
15. Minnesota Vikings (5-4) -The Vikings are just 6-13 ATS playing on grass since midway through the 2004 season. Thus far this season they are 0-3 ATS on grass, losing by an average of eight points per game. The road team in the Tampa series is just 1-8-1 ATS.
16. Green Bay Packers (4-5) -The Packers secondary leads the league in interceptions with 16, and they have taken six INT's back for a touchdown. And this week they get a crack at Rex Grossman (I don't think Orton will play). It's almost unfair. The home team is just 3-7 SU in the last 10 meetings with Chicago and Green Bay is just 2-5-1 ATS in this series since 2004.
17. Indianapolis Colts (5-4) -I'm a bit nervous about laying the big number this week with the Colts against the Texans. Indy is 3-10 ATS in its last 13 divisional games and their win in Houston was a complete and total fluke. On the other hand, Indy is 3-1 ATS at home against the Texans with an average line of -11. The last seven meetings with Houston have gone 'over'.
18. Miami Dolphins (5-4) -Let me get this straight: a team that was one overtime period away from being 0-16 last year is suddenly a double-digit home favorite? I don't care if it is the Raiders and if it is the West Coast-to-East Coast travel, something just isn't right about that.
19. Buffalo Bills (5-4) -From first to worst: these are the Bills we know. Buffalo is definitely in the midst of a strong slide, but they haven't been getting beaten by bad teams. Their last three losses were at Arizona, at New England and at home against the Jets. Those teams are 18-9 combined and represent two division leaders. Buffalo has some revenge on its side this week against Cleveland. Remember last year's Snow Bowl game played in the Dawg Pound? That was essentially a playoff game and the Browns managed an 8-0 win.
20. San Diego Chargers (4-5) - San Diego's No. 6 passing attack should be able to move the ball at will against the Steelers. Pittsburgh just signed Fernando Bryant this week and intend to start him after just three practices. That said, the Steelers are 5-0 SU against teams completing 65 percent or more of its passes. The Chargers are at least fortunate that this start time has been backed to 4 p.m.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-5) -The Jags have played Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Detroit in their last three games. They are 1-2. What does that tell you about their long-term prospects? This week is their Waterloo. If they lose this game I can see this team mailing it in the rest of the year.
22. Denver Broncos (5-4) -The Broncos are just 3-12 ATS against a team with a winning record and just 8-24-1 ATS in their last 33 overall. The Broncos have been outrushed in six straight games and are now matched up against one of the best rushing attacks in the league. Not good.
23. New Orleans Saints (4-5) -Reggie Bush and Marques Colston are both still banged up for the Saints this week. Yet even without their top two offensive options at 100 percent (or at all) this total is still at 49.5. New Orleans is 11-2-1 against the total in its last 14 games - even if they managed a fluke 'over' last week with a Hail Mary pass on the last play.
24. Cleveland Browns (3-6) -Brady Quinn looked sharp last week. But that was against a Denver secondary that allows 70 percent completions against - and the Browns still lost. At home no less. This locker room is on the verge, and if things start to go poorly in Buffalo you have to wonder if things are going to explode.
25. Houston Texans (3-6) -There is rumbling about Gary Kubiak's job security but I think it would be a big mistake for Houston to cut him lose. The bottom line is that this team needs to invest money into VETERAN defensive players. Arizona is the perfect model of how to rebuild a defense with journeymen and proven, steady pros.
26. Seattle Seahawks (2-7) -This has trap game written all over it. Seattle is getting back Matt Hasselbeck this week and the Cardinals are taking over 90 percent of the betting action. However, the line on this game hasn't budged an inch. Arizona is coming off a MNF win in which they really did not play well, and the Cards have the meat of their schedule on the horizon. Don't be stunned if Seattle wins outright. The home team is 8-1 SU and Seattle is 7-1 ATS in divisional games.
27. San Francisco 49ers (2-7) -Penalty yards are crippling the San Francisco offense. They are No. 2 in the league - 100 yards behind Green Bay - with 560 penalty yards lost on offense. Mike Singletary just slides right in with some other coaches that are notably pathetic at clock management: Lovie Smith, Herm Edwards, Romeo Crennel, Marvin Lewis and Wade Philips.
28. St. Louis Rams (2-7) -Someone tell Josh Cribbs: if you want to see a team that quit last week take a hard look at the Rams. This team is terrible. They are 3-9 ATS overall and 1-6 ATS against the Niners.
29. Oakland Raiders (2-7) -I don't even know where to begin with this team. They are 1-5 ATS in their last six, but you know they have their one monthly cover coming up. They'll manage to sneak inside a number and that will be enough to keep everyone from betting heavy against them every single week. However, until Al Davis croaks or gives up control of this team I think you have to bet against them every week.
30. Kansas City Chiefs (1-8) -Kansas City's secondary is allowing 65 percent of opponents' passes to be completed. That's sixth-worst in the league. They are also allowing 7.8 yards per attempt, which is fifth-worst. Not good numbers with Drew Brees and Co. coming to town.
31. Cincinnati Bengals (1-8) -I nearly choked on my Cheerios when someone suggested that the momentum of Cincinnati's win over Jacksonville carried over through the bye week. Carson Palmer will again be on the sideline this week for the Bungles.
32. Detroit Lions (0-9) -Yes, we get more Dante Culpepper this week. I love the Lions.