NFL Power Rankings Week 9
by Robert Ferringo - 11/6/2009
Here is a look at my Doc's Sports NFL Power Rankings:
1. New Orleans Saints (7-0) - Kendrick Clancy's absence was pretty obvious on Monday night. The Saints got pushed around up front for the first time this season. But things continue to click for this group and they are clearly the top team in the NFL. Despite averaging 40 points per game this week they have just their third total of the season of 50.0 or more. They are 1-1 in the first two, but they are 16-5-1 against the total in their last 22 home games.
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2. Minnesota Vikings (7-1) - Be physical. I always say that I want my money on the more violent, physical team. And there will be few Sundays this season where the Vikings won't be that team. Brett Favre gets the glory. And he has been amazing. But McKinnie, Hutchinson, and Pat and Kevin Williams are the most important pieces on this team.
3. Indianapolis Colts (7-0) - Indianapolis is now just 4-9 ATS in its last 13 home games, including 1-2 in their new digs this season. The Colts are 9-1 straight up against the Texans recently but they are just 2-3 ATS in the last five meetings and only one of those five games was decided by double digits. Peyton Manning should have an absolute field day against that pathetic Houston secondary. But Indy still has a little to prove to me. Only one of their wins - at sagging Arizona - has come against a team with a winning record.
4. Denver Broncos (6-1) - You can't just dismiss the Broncos because they lost big on the road against a desperate Baltimore team. Not at all. In fact, it was just a 6-0 game before a kickoff return for a touchdown to start the second half broke it open. Their defense is absolutely no joke and should be able to handle Pittsburgh. The one thing to consider though is that the 'over' is 8-1 this year on MNF.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) - Pittsburgh is 0-5 ATS in its last five road games. However, in their series with Denver the underdog is 4-0 ATS and the road team is 4-1 ATS. Steelers are 1-4 ATS as a Monday Night Football favorite. So if you think I'm seeing both sides of this game, you are correct!
6. New England Patriots (5-2) - I think I have sworn off betting on or against the Patriots. It just never seems to work out for me. I have no idea why. Pats have the seventh-worst rushing defense in the league in terms of yards per carry. But they have had two weeks to work on snuffing the Wildcat and they get a rookie quarterback in Foxboro.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (6-2) - Eagles secondary coach Brian Stewart was canned by the Cowboys after last year and will be facing his old team. You think he'll have some tips for slowing down Miles Austin or attacking Tony Romo? I do. This is Philadelphia's third straight divisional opponent. They are 2-0 SU and ATS in the first two. Philly and Dallas have three common opponents (Tampa, K.C. and the Giants). The Eagles have outscored those three by an average of 20 points per game, compared to just six points per game for the Cowboys.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) - Here is a theme for this week: I don't think that an extra week of prep time is worth anything to Marvin Lewis. Same goes for Jim Zorn or Raheem Morris. When you're a bad coach having extra time to prep just gives you extra time to screw up. I don't think that he's a good coach so I don't expect Cincy to come out anything but flat. Case in point: they are 2-8 ATS after a bye week. The Bengals are 6-0 ATS as an underdog and they are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings against the Ravens.
9. Baltimore Ravens (4-3) - Big revenge game for the Ravens this week. And if they can continue to play defense the way that they did last week against Denver they should be in good shape. Baltimore is 10-2 ATS as a favorite, 20-7 ATS overall, and 7-3 ATS in divisional games. However, they are just 2-8 ATS as a road chalk.
10. New York Giants (5-3) - If you ignore the pathetic Tampa Bay-Kansas City-Oakland sweep that the G-Men managed this year they are just 3-7 SU and ATS without Plaxico Burress. That said, they are still 33-16-2 ATS in their last 52 games.
11. Green Bay Packers (4-3) - Fantastic news this week for the Packers. It looks like they will finally have their varsity tackles suiting up as Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher both practiced with the first team all week. The Pack has given up 31 sacks this year, most in the league, with jayvee play out of their starting tackles.
12. Dallas Cowboys (5-2) - Lets everyone slow their role over the Cowboys. Everyone is back on the bandwagon after what? An overtime win over hapless Kansas City and home blowouts of Atlanta (in an obvious Letdown/Look Ahead Situation) and pathetic Seattle? Granted, their two losses this year are both "quality" losses. But I have a rule: never trust a Wade Philips team when expectations are high. Apparently Roy Williams reads my writing. I have been saying for weeks that everything Romo-to-Roy just looks awkward. Oh, and Roy, great timing (Philly week) to drag your dirty laundry out into the light. I'm sure the media won't pay any attention. Romo has completed just 36 percent of passes intended for Williams this year.
13. Arizona Cardinals (4-3) - Chicago's secondary against Arizona's passing game? Advantage Cards. Chicago's offensive line against Arizona's front seven? Advantage Cards. If they can't hang 24-35 points on this Bears defense there is something wrong.
14. Atlanta Falcons (4-3) - It seems like the wheels are coming off here, but this team is still 5-2 ATS this year and their losses were all on the road to quality opponents. I still have a lot of faith in this group.
15. Houston Texans (5-3) - The Texans have double-revenge this Sunday. They really had Indy on the ropes in both meetings last year. But it does still seem a bit too easy to just take the points with this group this week, doesn't it? Four of the last five meetings have been determined by six points or less.
16. New York Jets (4-4) - Think Rex Ryan and his mouthy Jets will shut up now? Rookie quarterbacks, man. They just don't get it done. Last year with Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco was an anomaly. This year the numbers don't lie: Jets have the No. 27 passing attack in the league. So much for The Sanchize.
17. San Diego Chargers (4-3) - If you feel like you know what to expect from the Chargers this week, please let me know. They have been an exceptional underdog over the last several years (18-6-3 ATS and 14-6-3 ATS as a road dog) but, as I have been saying all year, this is a different Chargers team. Their "run" is over. And this is the week that the loss of Jamal Williams is really going to crush them.
18. Miami Dolphins (3-4) - This group has been a thorn in New England's side for years, going 4-2 ATS in their last six meetings. The road team is 4-0 ATS in this series and the Dolphins are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games as a double-digit underdog.
19. Chicago Bears (3-4) - Make no mistake about it: this Bears-Cards spread (Bears -3) was the single strangest spread released this week. There is no reason why Chicago should be favored in this game. But perhaps the books are anticipating a backs-against-the-wall, season-saving effort out of Chicago this week. The Bears beat Philadelphia last year and Pittsburgh this year, at home, in similar desperation setups.
20. San Francisco 49ers (3-4) - A big part of the reason that the line on the Niners game has dropped from -6.0 to -4.0 is the loss of Nate Clements and Joe Staley. Those are probably two of San Fran's five or six best individual players.
21. Buffalo Bills (3-5) - Just when you think that the Bills might be making a push - they had scored back-to-back wins - they fall flat on their face exactly the way in which they did on Sunday. It was just classic. Oh, and I definitely think I can throw the ball harder than Ryan Fitzpatrick. Can't wait to see him trying to throw through Orchard Park wind in December.
22. Carolina Panthers (3-4) - This team isn't very good, but it sure is fighting hard. They also have some strong indicators that suggest they could put up a big fight this week. They are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings and they are 8-0 ATS in the last eight trips to New Orleans. Also, the road team is an amazing 15-2 ATS in the last 17 meetings. If the Panthers can run the ball, control the clock, and if Jake Delhomme can avoid doing anything stupid (I know, I just chuckled to myself when I typed it) then an upset isn't beyond the realm of possibility.
23. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4) - You think the Jags worked on tackling this week? Good grief. That was embarrassing last week against the Titans. Oh, and before you think that it's easy money taking the Jags over K.C. this week remember this: the Jags are 2-9 ATS at home, 1-10 ATS as a favorite and 0-7 ATS as a home favorite. Those numbers get coaches fired.
24. Seattle Seahawks (2-5) - These are the games in which Seattle makes its money. They are 11-5 ATS as a favorite and they feast on nondivisional teams that have never played in Qwest. They are 9-3 ATS as a home favorite and there should be a load of points in this one, as the Hawks should be able to tear Detroit's weak secondary to shreds.
25. Tennessee Titans (1-6) - I have to say that I wasn't impressed with Vince Young last week. He nearly missed throwing two interceptions, including one in the end zone on the only deep ball I recall him throwing. He was Checkdown Charlie. All he did was check down to backs and tight ends, or scramble for some first downs. This isn't going to end well. Good news is that their secondary appears to be back at full strength.
26. Washington Redskins (2-5) - I remember the Redskins going into New Orleans a few years ago as a 10-point underdog late in the season and pulling out a straight-up win. They are catching Atlanta in a very fragile state this week and this could be a spot to manufacture an upset. However, the Skins are just 3-12-3 ATS in their last 18 overall.
27. Oakland Raiders (2-6) - Is it any surprise that the Raiders didn't fully vet Tom Cable before they hired him as the head coach? If they did, they could have come out and gotten ahead of the wife-beating allegations. But they didn't. Because they are idiots. Oh, and several Raiders complained that after their game against San Diego last Sunday the team had no clue what their bye week schedule was going to be. No one had given it to them. Just clueless.
28. Cleveland Browns (1-7) - Cleveland should have lost 50-6 last week. That was as thorough of an ass kicking as I've seen all year.
29. Detroit Lions (1-6) - How big of a dumbass do you think the guy who had his top play as Detroit felt last week? If they can't get a pass rush against the Seahawks this week their lights will get turned out early.
30. Kansas City Chiefs (1-6) - Word is that Chris Chambers is going to get some time this week. So now Matt Cassel has another wideout to not get the ball to because his line can't protect him. Also, don't worry about L.J. being out. You see this all the time: the absence of a key player simply makes everyone else step up their game.
31. St. Louis Rams (1-6) - Steven Jackson better go to the Pro Bowl. That guy is a horse, and if he were running behind Minnesota's offensive line people would be talking about him as the best back in football.
32. Tampa Bay Bucs (0-7) - What do you think that Raheem Morris did with this group over the bye week? Answer yourself that question and you will be able to decide if you should play on or against this group against the Packers this week. Oh, and let me go firmly on the record right now: Josh Freeman is going to be a terrible NFL quarterback.
Robert Ferringo is a professional handicapper and you can purchase a full season's package of his football selections for just $25 per week! Click here for details.