NFL Power Rankings Week 10
“That’s why they play with a funny-shaped ball.”
That adage is an inside joke that I used to have with a now-deceased client whom I would trade emails with. And it pretty much sums up the general absurdity and unpredictability of anything related to the game of football.
We’ve passed the halfway point of the regular season, and things look murkier than ever. But it’s actually not. There is a very clear theme and throughline that has run through this NFL season. The seeming randomness of it all is a weakness on the part of us, the general betting public, and the bobblehead media to accept The Truth.
And the truth is that a lot of people were wrong about a lot of things heading into this season. Not only that, but in my opinion the No. 1 overarching theme of this 2022 NFL season is the rejection of over a decade’s worth of pass-wacky schemes and the return of big boy, badass, run-the-ball-down-your-throat offense.
(Brief aside: I give basketball maybe two more years before this trend starts to filter back into that game. Right now, the focus is getting smaller, faster players intent on shooting 100 3-pointers every game. At some point some coaches are going to realize that if they just load up on old school big men and larger, more physically imposing big men, they are going to be able to bully these trigger-happy opponents into submission. But I digress.)
The teams that have had the hardest time adjusting to the new reality are the teams that have struggled. Teams like the Bucs, Rams, Raiders, and Packers, all playoff teams from a year ago, have been exposed and routinely beaten by teams that are simply playing a stronger, more physical brand of football.
There is nothing tricky about what Philadelphia has done to remain undefeated at this point. Same goes for the biggest surprise teams. The Giants, Seahawks, and Falcons are all in the top seven in rushing this season. The Ravens, Eagles and Titans, all likely playoff teams, are right there with them in the Top 10.
What’s old is new again. And as the weather starts to turn – six of this week’s 14 games are projected to have kickoff temperatures in the 30’s – the focus on the running game will be exacerbated.
Adapt or die.
Doc’s Sports offers NFL picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
Here is Doc’s Sports NFL Power Rankings:
1. Philadelphia Eagles (8-0) – Be wary of that extra half of a point that Philadelphia is laying out to the Commanders this weekend. Four of the last 10 meetings between these two teams have been decided by exactly 10 points, and the underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings in this series. Undefeated teams in the NFL after Week 9 are notoriously bad bets. And as the Eagles saw last Thursday night against Houston, Philly is going to be taking everyone’s best shot from here on out.
2. Buffalo Bills (6-2) – Some sportsbooks are still not posting a line in the Minnesota-Buffalo game this week until they have clarification on Josh Allen’s status. The Sunday line was 7.5. The books that do have a number out on Tuesday had the game around 5.5. We might not have anything solid on this one until Saturday night or Sunday morning. The Bills are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games after a loss.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (6-2) – The word is out: don’t blitz Mahomes. Teams that commit seven (or more) defenders to stopping the Chiefs passing game have had a lot of success against this Kansas City offense this year. The Chiefs must find a running game. I worry that Kansas City, like Buffalo, is in danger of getting passed by teams with lesser talent because of their inability to run the ball, control the line of scrimmage, and eat the clock. We will see if it impacts them again this week in what looks to be a cold weather game at Arrowhead.
4. Baltimore Ravens (6-3) – Roquan Smith paid instant dividends for the Ravens on Monday night, singlehandedly snuffing out a Saints drive with back-to-back, man-on-man stops of Alvin Kamara short of the first down. The Ravens have only allowed opponents to convert 25 percent of their third downs over the last three weeks.
5. Dallas Cowboys (6-2) – Mike McCarthy is the No. 1 ATS coach in the NFL. This pud has beat the number in an amazing 63.2% of his games over his career, going 167-90 ATS (with seven pushes). That includes a ridiculous 20-7 ATS mark over the last two seasons with Dallas, made more impressive by the fact that the Cowboys face inflated lines as one of the league’s must public teams.
6. Minnesota Vikings (7-1) – The Vikings haven’t just been winning an absurd amount of close games, but they have been doing it against some weak competition. Minnesota’s only win this year against a team that is currently above .500 came at Miami in a game where the Vikes were outgained by 224 yards. The Vikings are 1-4 ATS on the road, and they will have to deal with freezing temperatures and a home crowd this week when they travel to Orchard Park.
7. Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) – Over the last three weeks, the Bengals have converted 54.9 percent of their third downs and 90 percent of their red zone opportunities. And they’ve done that without Ja’Marr Chase the past two weeks. This team is starting to find that same gear that they hit last year during the stretch run and postseason.
8. San Francisco 49ers (4-4) – Here we go again with all the, “San Francisco could win the Super Bowl!” talk. Yet this team has done absolutely nothing to make me think that they can get hot, go on a run, and start steamrolling opponents. The numbers look great. On paper, the talent looks great. Yet the “No. 1” defense in the league got torched for 44 points by the Chiefs and 28 points by Atlanta in two of its last three games. You cannot trust this team.
9. Miami Dolphins (6-3) – Bradley Chubb is one of the most overrated players in the NFL. He has averaged five sacks per season for his five-year career and his 17-game sack average is just 8.5 per season. It is asinine that people are talking about the Miami Dolphins as a Super Bowl contender with that defense, which has not recovered from losing Brian Flores.
10. Tennessee Titans (5-3) – Tennessee’s last three meetings with Denver, all since 2016, have resulted in a combined 30, 16 and 23 points scored. The Titans have gone ‘under’ in five straight games and the ‘under’ is 7-1 in Denver’s last eight games. I still think that 38.5 is too high for this total.
11. New York Giants (6-2) – Teams coming off a bye week are 5-4-1 against the spread this season (with the Chargers taking the ‘push’ last week). The Giants are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games against a team with a losing record, but I still have a hard time trusting this group in the role of favorite.
12. Seattle Seahawks (6-3) – Through the first five games of the season, the Seahawks defense allowed 430 yards and 30.8 points per game. Over the last four weeks, they have allowed an average of 283 yards per game and 16.5 points per game. They have covered the spread in four straight games and are one Taysom Hill 60-yard rumble away from six straight ATS winners.
13. Los Angeles Chargers (5-3) – Austin Ekeler was involved in two of the most bizarre plays of the week. The first was the run in which he flipped over the defender’s body and ran for a 60-yard touchdown that was called back because his elbow scraped the ground. The second was the double-fumble. Those two plays kind of sum up the Chargers, a team that still commits way too many stupid mistakes to be considered any kind of consistent threat. Los Angeles is 4-0 ATS in its last four road games.
14. New England Patriots (5-4) – I don’t know if I’ve ever been less impressed by a 23-point win. Mac Jones’ confidence is completely shot, and he looks lost on the field. I will be stunned if the Patriots don’t go back to Bailey Zappe at some point this season. Zappe may not have the size and pedigree of Jones, but the assurance he brings into the huddle is palpable.
15. New York Jets (6-3) – This is a team that I think is going to come out of the bye next week flat as hell. This young squad is going to spend the next two weeks hearing how great they are and getting fawned over by local media. Then they are going to get hit with a two-by-four to the face next week in Foxboro.
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) – I think that the last thing that this emotionally worn-out team needs is a trip to Germany and all the poking, prodding and spotlight that entails. The Bucs are still just 1-6 ATS in their last seven games, and they are facing a younger, hungrier, more confident Seattle team this week.
17. Los Angeles Rams (3-5) – Allen Robinson had the catch of the weekend. In terms of degree of difficulty, his 15-yard snag in the middle of two defenders was as good as it gets. That’s what the guy can do. The Rams have to start finding him nine or 10 targets a game. Throw him the damn ball! The Rams are 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games against Arizona and 5-1 ATS in their last six home games against the Cardinals.
18. Atlanta Falcons (4-5) – There is rain in the forecast this Thursday for Atlanta’s trip to Carolina. That should benefit Atlanta, which owns the league’s No. 4 rushing attack. However, Carolina is playing with revenge, and the Falcons are just 1-4 ATS in their last five Thursday games. The Falcons have dominated this series with Carolina, though, going 10-4 ATS in the last 14 meetings and 4-0 ATS in their last four games in Charlotte.
19. Cleveland Browns (3-5) – It is pretty simple for the Browns: either they fixed their communications issues in the secondary, or they haven’t. If Cleveland has tightened things up in the back, then they have a great chance to go to Miami and get a win. If not, it is going to be a long day going against Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The Browns are 11-23 ATS in their last 34 divisional games and 17-35 ATS against teams that are above .500.
20. Chicago Bears (3-6) – I always say that one of the keys to evaluating someone’s worth is to look at what happens to the place they leave behind. Well, Matt Eberflus (Indy) and Luke Getsy (Green Bay) have not only convincingly turned around this Chicago squad but also proven how vital they were in their former jobs. It is going to be cold and windy in Chicago on Sunday (what’s new), and the Bears are 5-1 ATS at home against the Lions.
21. Green Bay Packers (3-6) – Oh boy. Green Bay is going to be facing a very revenge-minded Dallas squad on Sunday. Not only does Mike McCarthy want to stick it to his former team, but the Packers have beaten the Cowboys three straight times and won eight of the last nine meetings (7-2 ATS) dating back to 2009. The temperatures should be around freezing in this one, with the forecast calling for 33 degrees and overcast skies.
22. Arizona Cardinals (3-6) – How does Kliff Kingsbury still have a job? Arizona had 11 more penalties and three more turnovers and were outplayed and outcoached by an inferior team at home. Kyler Murray is seventh in the league in quarterback rushing attempts, behind Marcus Mariota and Dan Jones (among others). He needs to be more of a rushing threat in that offense. Arizona is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 road games.
23. Washington Commanders (4-5) – The public is siding with Washington early in the week. Given the overall success of underdogs this season – they have cooled off but are still hitting at over 58 percent for the season – and the fact that double-digit dogs went 3-0 ATS last week, I won’t be surprised if most of the action this week stays on the Commanders.
24. New Orleans Saints (3-6) – Andy Dalton is giving Kirk Cousins a run for his money as to which is the worst primetime quarterback of this generation. Dalton has now lost eight straight primetime games. Throw in Dalton’s career playoff woes, and you have a real argument about who is the worse big game quarterback between the two. The Saints are 38-17 ATS on the road.
25. Las Vegas Raiders (2-6) – How the hell is this team nearly a touchdown favorite this week against the Colts? Is anyone going to be surprised if the Raiders lose this game outright? The Raiders have become an accidental defense, meaning that any time they get a stop it is almost purely by accident. They have allowed 11 straight opponents to score 20 or more points. If Josh McDaniels cannot beat a coach that was literally pulled off the street, then he should be fired by Monday.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-6) – As putrid as Pittsburgh has been, they do have several situational advantages this week. They are a home underdog off a week of rest. And they are catching a Saints team that just played on Monday night. Finally, temperatures are projected to be below freezing, which should hurt the dome-adjusted Saints. The Steelers are 5-1 ATS in their last six home games but are just 1-8 ATS in their last nine games against teams that are below .500.
27. Denver Broncos (3-5) – This is one of those situations where you have to ask yourself, “With everything I’ve seen from Nathaniel Hackett this year, do I think that Denver did anything productive with its bye week?” Me neither. The Broncos are 4-12 ATS in their last 16 conference games and 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6) – Jacksonville snapped a five-game SU and ATS losing streak, but they needed a 17-point comeback to do it. The Jaguars front seven is No. 3 in the league in yards per rush allowed (4.0) and its maturation (along with Trev Lawrence’s continued red zone miscues) is a big reason why Jacksonville has gone ‘under’ in three straight and four of five.
29. Detroit Lions (2-6) – Three red zone interceptions and a 43.2 defensive yards per point do not bode well for the Detroit defense moving forward. Also, the Lions have been held to just seven second half points over their last four games. I don’t see that trend continuing this week against a feeble Bears defense. Detroit has now covered the spread in six straight divisional games, and the underdog in the Bears series is 7-3 ATS.
30. Indianapolis Colts (3-5-1) – We have seen playoff teams fall apart from one season to the next. It happens every year. Yet in the last decade, I’d be hard-pressed to find an organization that has so thoroughly and completely imploded the way that the Colts have from August to November. Indianapolis is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 games and 1-5 ATS on the road.
31. Carolina Panthers (2-7) – The Panthers defense had been the lone bright spot for this team throughout the first seven weeks of the season. However, since holding Tampa Bay to just three points in Week 7, they have been torched for 870 yards and 79 points in back-to-back games. Carolina has allowed 37 or more points in three of five games. So, when the dam breaks with this group, it really, really breaks.
32. Houston Texans (1-6-1) – Why would Houston take C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young in the draft next April? Given the track record of Ohio State and Alabama quarterbacks in the NFL, I wouldn’t touch either. Beyond that, why would Houston set itself back three more years by drafting and then starting a rookie quarterback? If they want to draft someone, that’s fine. But that quarterback should plan on sitting the bench behind Davis Mills for 2-3 years before being thrown to the fire.
Robert Ferringo has been one of the best football handicappers in the country and for a full decade from 2010-2019 he banked over +$40,000 in football profit. Robert has produced five of six winning seasons (including last year) and 9 of 12 profitable years. Robert expects a MONSTER football season. Robert is looking for another winning football year and wants more profit this fall. SIGN UP HERE TODAY AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR 3-FOR-1 FOOTBALL SPECIALS!