NFL Power Rankings Week 11
We have a new No. 1 team in our NFL Power Rankings.
The Saints are pretty clearly the best team in football. I still think that there is a razor thin margin between the top five teams. There is, however, a massive gap between the top eight or nine teams, which are legitimate title contenders, and the second tier in the league. Those teams in the middle of the pack are the ones that are causing bettors the most anxiety each week. And the most difficult
Two things to consider when handicapping teams down the stretch. The first is momentum. This is the time of the year when things start to click for certain teams and positive and negative momentum can compensate for some shortcomings on either side of the ball. The second thing is schedule strength. Everything in the NFL is relative. And now that we have a pretty clear picture of the league hierarchy, we can start making some value judgments on teams not just based on how they have played but also who (and when and where) they have played.
With that in mind, here is Doc's Sports NFL Power Rankings:
1. New Orleans Saints (8-1) - That Week 1 loss to Tampa Bay and the Week 2 near-loss against Cleveland sure seems like a long time ago for the Saints. They have won eight straight games and have covered the spread in seven in a row. And look at what they have done the last four weeks: won at Baltimore, won at Minnesota, dominated the Rams at home, and then thunder-punched the Bengals on the road. No team in football has had as impressive of a stretch.
2. Los Angeles Rams (9-1) - Cooper Kupp is out for the year, and that is a tremendous blow to this offense. Also, you can't underestimate how big the impact of the California fires are having on this team. This is an actual tragedy that these players are trying to deal with, evacuating their families from their homes, and it has to be awfully tough to focus on football in a week like this.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) - I'm not trying to take anything away from how well this team has played. However, here are the Kansas City's last four wins since their loss to the Patriots: vs. Bengals, vs. Broncos, at Browns and vs. Arizona. Over their last eight games the only win over a team with a winning record was over the awful Bengals.
4. New England Patriots (7-3) - Tom Brady has just five touchdown passes in his last five games.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2-1) - Who is hotter than the Steelers right now? That's now five straight wins, and they have a major revenge game this week against a Jaguars team that is in a tailspin.
6. Los Angeles Chargers (7-2) - Joey Bosa still isn't ready to return. He will be a major jolt to this defense when he does come back, and I think the Chargers have been really smart not to rush him. The home team has won five straight and has covered four straight in the Denver series, but the favorite is just 1-4 ATS.
7. Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1) - The Vikings are 6-1 straight up in their last seven games against the Bears, but they are just 3-12 ATS in their last 15 games at Soldier Field. The Vikings have had two weeks to prepare for this game, though, and they have covered the spread in three straight road games.
8. Chicago Bears (6-3) - I know I rag on Mitch Trubisky a lot. He is a questionable decision-maker and I still think he ceiling is somewhere in that Joe Flacco range. However, he was absolutely dealing last week. And if he plays like that the rest of the season, the Bears are definitely a factor in the NFC.
9. Carolina Panthers (6-3) - If a Cover-2 defense runs up against a hot quarterback that is capable of making accurate throws down the field, then it can get lit up. And that's exactly what happened last week to the Panthers. But I'm not going to overreact to one bad loss, on the road, on a short week, to a quality opponent. The Panthers are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games after a loss.
10. Green Bay Packers (4-4-1) - I've never been an NFL offensive coordinator before, but I do know this: if you have a guy that is averaging more than 10 yards per rush, you might want to give him the ball more than 14 times in a game. Especially when the Packers were trying to salt that game away late in the fourth quarter. That was gross mismanagement by Mike McCarthy late in the fourth quarter.
11. Baltimore Ravens (4-5) - Is Robert Griffin not even an option this week? If Joe Flacco is injured, then they should go to Griffin. He looked really good this preseason, he has experience, and this is a must-win game for the Ravens. That is 100 percent who they should be starting.
12. Houston Texans (6-3) - Coming off a bye week, it will be interesting to see if Demaryius Thomas is more of a factor for the Texans after catching just three balls in his first game with the team. Houston has gone 4-0 ATS after its last four bye weeks.
13. Washington Redskins (6-3) - I have no idea how the Redskins won that game last week. They were completely outplayed and gave up 500 yards defensively! Tampa Bay put up an astronomical 167 yards per point last week! I know "luck" is a dirty word in gambling. But the Redskins were beyond lucky. Washington is 6-2 ATS in its last eight home games.
14. Atlanta Falcons (4-5) - It feels like the Falcons are playing for their season this week. The good news is that they get their best linebacker, Deion Jones, back from injury, and I think he will make an instant impact. The Falcons are 0-4 ATS against teams below .500, and they are just 2-5 ATS in their last seven games overall.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) - One day we are going to look back and laugh at the fact that Doug Pederson and Nick Foles won a Super Bowl. Pederson burned a challenge last week on a play that made one yard of difference, changing second-and-goal from the 6 to second-and-goal from the 7. Unreal. I think that this team misses Frank Reich a lot more than people realize.
16. Tennessee Titans (5-4) - I may have to admit that I was wrong in brushing aside Mike Vrabel. This guy has been outstanding in his rookie coaching campaign. The thing I like most about this Titans team is the level of physicality that they play with. They will have to avoid a major letdown this week after a peak performance last Sunday and will try to beat the Colts for just the third time in the last 10 meetings.
17. Seattle Seahawks (4-5) - Pete Carroll won't win the coach of the year award - but he probably should. When you look at what this team has lost the past two years, it is amazing that this team is as competitive as it is right now. Seattle is also 7-0 ATS in its last Thursday night games and they are 35-17 ATS after a loss.
18. Indianapolis Colts (4-5) - Here come the Colts. Andrew Luck is absolutely dealing right now, and the Colts have won three in a row. The Colts are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games against the Titans, and they are 6-1 ATS at home in this series. The favorite is 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
19. Dallas Cowboys (4-5) - I am not buying into this team even a little bit, despite their upset win in Philadelphia. Dak Prescott stinks. He misses too many easy reads and too many throws. The Cowboys are 1-4 ATS in their last five games after a win, and they are just 2-5 ATS in their last seven games against the Falcons, including a 27-7 loss in Atlanta last November.
20. Denver Broncos (3-6) - I have no faith that Vance Joseph will have done anything substantial with this team during the bye week. I do expect the Broncos to come to play this week against the Chargers, though. If you throw out the dud against the Jets on Oct. 7, Denver's last four losses have come against the Chiefs (twice), the Rams and the Texans by an average of just four points per game.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6) - Early in the season all of the negativity was aimed at the offense. But the Jaguars defense has allowed 143 points in their last five games, an average of 28 points per game. They only allowed 60 yards in the second half last week. And the Jaguars dominated Big Ben in both meetings last season. But the state of this locker room is a lot different now than when they took on the Steelers last year.
22. Cleveland Browns (3-6-1) - Maybe the Browns did make the right decision in taking Baker Mayfield No. 1 overall. All three of their top rookies - Mayfield, Denzel Ward, and Nick Chubb -- have been outstanding this season. So maybe I will have to eat some crow for trashing them after April's draft.
23. Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) - It is a sad state of affairs when the big move this team made this week was to bring in Hue "3-36" Jackson. They also fired their defensive coordinator and they are likely sitting on a lame duck coach. This team has completely unraveled.
24. Detroit Lions (3-6) - Marvin Jones has a bone bruise in his knee and may miss this week's game against Carolina. Chicago physically abused Detroit and they will have to play two games in four days this week, taking on Carolina and then a rematch with the Bears on Thanksgiving. The Lions are just 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games against a team with a winning record.
25. Miami Dolphins (5-5) - Head coach Adam Gase admitted this week that he is not sure how the Dolphins are going to field a competitive team. Injuries have absolutely decimated this team on both sides of the ball. Ja'Wuan James, Ted Larsen, Daniel Kilgore, Josh Sitton, Laremy Tunsil, MarQuies Gray, Ryan Tannehill, Albert Wilson, DeVante Parker, and Jakeem Grant are all hurt on offense alone.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) - Sorry Dirk, but it's over. Ryan Fitzpatrick plays as hard as anyone in the NFL. And this is an absolutely loaded offense. But you can't win when you are minus-19 in turnover differential and you have a defense that is incapable of stopping anyone. The Bucs have forced exactly zero turnovers in their last four games while coughing it up 13 times themselves.
27. San Francisco 49ers (2-8) - Kyle Shanahan's clock management issues came back to haunt the 49ers again on Monday, as Shanahan wasted and misused his timeouts at the end of both halves. Also, after watching Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard move the ball and put up points, am I the only one wondering if the 49ers are starting to second-guess their decision to break the bank for Jim Garoppolo?
28. New York Giants (2-7) - Eli Manning managed one final Big Moment for his career, leading a brilliant game-winning drive on Monday Night Football. But I still think the Giants would be better served playing their young quarterbacks. At some point they have to see what they have with these guys.
29. Arizona Cardinals (2-7) - The only other time that the Cardinals have been favored this season was when they got trucked by the Redskins in Week 1. Arizona is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games and they are 5-2 ATS at home. But they are making quite a shift from being a 17-point road underdog to a four-point home favorite.
30. New York Jets (3-6) - The Jets are actually smart not to fire their coach midseason. No, they aren't going to compete for the playoffs this season. But who really thought that they would? New York has $100 million in cap space next year, and they think they found their franchise quarterback (though I am still skeptical). This team is in a decent position moving forward.
31. Buffalo Bills (3-7) - I still can't believe that it took the Bills this long to cut Nathan Peterman.
32. Oakland Raiders (1-8) - Mark Davis is a loser. Jon Gruden is a clown. And I am not going to defend either. But people are acting like Gruden took a Super Bowl contender and flushed them down the toilet. The Raiders won six games last year and have had one winning season - ONE - since the start of 2003. This was always going to be a long-term rebuild.
Throughout the season I will have my NFL Power Rankings every Tuesday. My next ones will be released on Tuesday, Nov. 20.
Robert Ferringo has been the top football handicapper in the country the past seven years, earning nearly $28,000 in total football profit. He has also posted seven of nine winning seasons (including back-to-back winning years), produced 26 of 41 winning football months, and an amazing 45 of 71 winning football months over the past decade. Robert has is at nearly 60 percent winners over his last 900 totals picks. Also, Robert's proprietary KING College Football Betting System has posted three of five winning seasons. Robert is looking for a third straight winning football year and wants more profit this fall. SIGN UP HERE TODAY AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR 3-FOR-1 FOOTBALL SPECIALS!
We are offering new clients $60 in free NFL football picks for Robert's picks or any Advisory Board handicapper of your choosing. Get your free NFL football picks now!
Read more articles by Robert Ferringo