Week 12 NFL Power Rankings
by Robert Ferringo - 11/20/2008
Here is a look at Doc's Sports Week 12 NFL Power Rankings:
1. New York Giants (9-1) -Jesus, I guess we have to just start betting this team blind until they stop covering. The fact that they are the Super Bowl champs and that they are from New York, but that they are still an ATS machine (22-6 over the last two years) is just amazing. I think that they are going to lose in Arizona this week - but I also think I'm an idiot if I don't just start playing them blind.
2. Tennessee Titans (10-0) -What is left to say? This team fears no one and has beaten quality competition on its way to 10-0. If you are still waiting - like I was - for that four-turnover debacle out of Kerry Collins you are probably a little lighter in the wallet this week. The Jets' makeup is very similar to Green Bay's in the way they attack in the passing game. And the Pack did give Tennessee some trouble.
3. Carolina Panthers (8-2) -Carolina is 5-2-1 ATS in its last eight against the Falcons and the road team is 5-1 ATS in this series. However, as good as the Panthers have been on the road under John Fox they are just 3-7-2 ATS in Atlanta. This is really a key game for Jake Delhomme as well. He doesn't want people starting to question him going down the stretch.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3) -Losing Earnest Graham is really a tremendous blow to this team because they define themselves with a power running game and outstanding defense. Also, Joey Galloway was one of the league's premier deep threats over the past two years (17.3 yards per catch, 2017 yards, 13 touchdowns) and now is an afterthought in the Bucs attack. The Bucs have to be careful this week: they are 0-6 ATS against the Lions, 1-5 ATS in Detroit, and the favorite is 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings. Detroit seems to have their number.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3) -Considering the schedule that the Steelers have played - and even though Jacksonville and San Diego aren't as good as they were expected to be, that doesn't make those wins any less impressive - and the injuries they've faced, I think the fact that the Steelers are 7-3 is a testament to Mike Tomlin. The Steelers thrive on national TV and will also be thrilled to play in the elements - temps in the 20s, high winds, possible snow flurries - tonight at Heinz.
6. Arizona Cardinals (7-3) -Just another scumbag move from a prime pair of them - Drew Rosenhaus and Edge James - as The Edge apparently asked for his release. James is washed up and hasn't been good for three years, so he wouldn't be a loss. But the timing of this is ridiculous and I hope the vets on this club let him hear about it. The timing of this really couldn't be worse.
7. Dallas Cowboys (6-4) - Guess who is back? Now, I don't know if this team can overcome the Phillips Factor (the fact that Wade is a complete moron), but they certainly aren't the team that people were leaving dead at the side of the road. The schedule will make them earn it, however.
8. New York Jets (7-3) -I will be the first to admit that I was off on this team from the start. The Jets, right now, were one of the three or four best teams I saw play last week. Their offensive execution is scary good and as long as Kris Jenkins is playing at the level he presently is, that defense is nice. The underdog is 4-0 ATS in this series - and that's been the Jets four straight times.
9. New England Patriots (6-4) -Bill Belichick is 16-1 straight up in his last 17 games following a straight-up loss. The Jets certainly earned that win in Foxboro, but with a few extra days to prepare and a team ready to play desperately I think we're going to see one of New England's best efforts this weekend.
10. Washington Redskins (6-4) - Washington has lost consecutive games at home, scoring just 16 combined points. But there has been a common thread that has contributed to their poor offensive output and it's something I've picked up on and been talking about for two years now: Jason Campbell just can't figure out the 3-4 defense. Now they have to head out to Seattle as a shaky road favorite after losing a tough rivalry game. Anyone smell let down?
11. Atlanta Falcons (6-4) -That loss to Denver has really taken the wind out of Atlanta's sail. They had been playing a bit above themselves over the last six weeks. Atlanta couldn't stop Carolina's passing attack in the first game, much like what happened against New Orleans, and I think they are going to be exposed in the back line again this week.
12. Chicago Bears (5-5) -That was simply a terrible situation for Chicago last week: playing on the road, against a rival off two tough losses, against a team that was playing with its season on the line. That said, I would have liked to see some more fight out of this team. Chicago doesn't play a team with an above .500 mark the rest of the way, but still has tricky games against Jacksonville, New Orleans, Minnesota and Green Bay.
13. Philadelphia Eagles (5-4-1) -It's really a shame that the Donovan McNabb Era in Philly may be remembered for all of the wrong reasons and that this guy is going to be viewed as anything but a hero in that town. Baltimore is Philly's Waterloo right now as well. Not just for this season, but for the direction of the franchise. Philadelphia is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 road games.
14. Green Bay Packers (5-5) -This team has the best offense in the division, and one of the best attacks in the league. But I'm wondering how this team is going to hold up in the cold weather in December. Last year the Pack was 13-3 because their defense could dominate the line of scrimmage. Couldn't be further from the case this year. Fortunately they won't be pushed around by New Orleans and it will be all about if their secondary can hold on.
15. Indianapolis Colts (6-4) -The Colts are another team back from the dead, but they could once again be without Bob Sanders this week when they head to San Diego. Sanders is questionable. And as we saw last week when the Colts gave up a stunning 7.9 yards per play, this defense is a wreck without him.
16. Miami Dolphins (6-4) -Even with a four-game winning streak, I don't think the Dolphins are ready to be home favorites against a division heavyweight. They have failed to cover each of their last two games as convincing favorites, beating lowly Seattle and lower Oakland by a combined four points. The Dolphins are 6-20-3 ATS in their last 29 divisional games and 12-31-1 ATS at home.
17. Minnesota Vikings (5-5) -Entering last week the Vikings had seen an average of 57.2 points per game scored in their road affairs. Now, even if you add last week's 19-13 score and don't count the 48-41 shootout in Chicago, the Vikings have still witnessed an average of 44.8 points per game outside of the Metrodome. They simply aren't the dominating defense they were expected to be.
18. Baltimore Ravens (6-4) -The Ravens have had a very nice season, but if you look at their schedule they have really benefited from playing against weak competition. Half of their wins have come against the Browns and Bengals and two more are at the expense of Houston and Oakland. Baltimore has covered seven of 10 games this year, but this is just the third time that they have been favored this season (2-0 ATS).
19. San Diego Chargers (4-6) - The Chargers have already announced that Norv Turner is coming back for yet another go-round in 2009. Great call. He's done a stellar job up to this point with as talented of a roster as you will find. The Chargers have covered four straight in this series and are 9-2 ATS at home.
20. Denver Broncos (6-4) -I have no idea how this team managed to win last Sunday, but I give them credit for not folding under the pressure of Atlanta's rushing attack. They are now dealing with a revenge-minded Oakland team, but the same mismatches that Denver exploited in Week 1 should still be able to be exploited here in Week 12. Denver is 3-11-1 ATS in divisional games and the road team is 7-3 ATS in this series.
21. New Orleans Saints (5-5) -I give the Saints credit for hanging on as long as they have, but the bottom is about to fall out. They just placed their 13th player on IR (Aaron Stecker) and may soon be without Deuce McAllister and Will Smith because of doping-related suspensions. The Saints are just 2-6 ATS as home favorites on Monday Night Football.
22. Cleveland Browns (4-6) -Before we go ga-ga over Brady Quinn, I think it's fair to note that if Buffalo had just two turnovers instead of four last Monday then the Browns would have lost that game and lost it by about two touchdowns.
23. Buffalo Bills (5-5) -I don't know when Trent Edwards lost his balls, but right now he is one of the two or three worst starters in the league. He had endless chances to make plays on Monday night and he either held onto the ball too long or checked down with a safe pass. The bottom line is that this is a loser's franchise.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6) -I think Jacksonville thought the game was over at halftime last week in Tennessee. Just like Donovan McNabb didn't know games could end in a tie, maybe the Jags didn't know they had to play a second half.
25. Houston Texans (3-7) -Yeah, this team sucks. And next year when people are trying to pimp them as a trendy sleeper team go ahead and slap them in the face and remind them of what a terrible personnel department this club has. They are simply not competitive in any way on the defensive side of the ball - after doing nothing but try to fix the defense for five years.
26. San Francisco 49ers (3-7) -The Niners are double-digit dogs this week in Dallas and I know this: I wouldn't want to play this team as a huge favorite right now. They are playing loose, they are playing hard (unlike most of the teams below them here) and they are looking to be a spoiler. The fact that they throw the ball around so much makes them dangerous, even if they are just 3-8 ATS
27. Seattle Seahawks (2-8) -And with that, the Mike Holmgren Era is over. The Seahawks' chances of salvaging their season is over. And you have to wonder when the Jim Mora Jr. transition will start to take root. This has to be a bitter pill for an accomplished man like Holmgren to take. And I'm sure that is not a cheerful locker room right now.
28. Oakland Raiders (2-8) -As reported in the Contra Costa Times this week, Oakland has scored just 10 more points this year than they did in 2006, when they managed just 168 points for the season (138 on offense). JaMarcus Russell will never be a productive NFL quarterback. Mark my words on that one.
29. Kansas City Chiefs (1-9) -Much like Denver, this is one of the youngest rosters in the NFL this season. But the difference: Denver has a quarterback and Kansas City does not. Put Jay Cutler on this team and I'm not saying they are 6-4, but I am saying that in this division they are still in the race.
30. Cincinnati Bengals (1-8-1) -Chad Johnson has been deactivated for tonight's game in Pittsburgh, and the Bengals will also be without guard Andrew Whitworth (ankle) from an already shaky offensive line.
31. St. Louis Rams (2-8) -This team has completely given up. And I'd like to point out who said that the Jim Haslett promotion was a terrible move for this organization - it was me. Everyone was praising it, but as you can clearly see Haslett has even less control over this team than Scott Linehan did. And maybe Linehan was onto something when he wanted to bench Bulger.
32. Detroit Lions (0-10) -All week I was planning on putting the Rams beneath the Lions this week because at least the Lions are competitive. But even a whole team giving up on the season in November isn't bad enough to replace the Kittens as the league's worst. Ah, I'll miss the Millen Era.