Week 11 NFL Power Rankings
by Robert Ferringo - 11/15/2007
Here's Doc's Sports Week 11 NFL Power Rankings:
1) New England Patriots (9-0) - I have a ton of friends who are die-hard Buffalo Bills fans (there are no other kind). And while they are all preparing for an insane upset akin to what they almost managed against Dallas, a game in which they covered a 13-point spread, I like to remind them that New England is an amazing 17-3 ATS in their second game against Buffalo. And then I tell them that the Bills won't cover a 27-point spread (which they won't).
2) Indianapolis Colts (7-2) - No, I'm not going to dock the Colts for that fluky loss to San Diego last week. Although, it was so bizarre to see Adam Vinatieri miss those chippie field goals that you have to wonder if it will have a lingering effect on his psyche. Remember, Mike Vanderjagt used to be a Pro Bowler too...
3) Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2) - There is a strong system in place that actually says that Pittsburgh won't cover this week and it's based on fading teams that are double-digit road favorites the week after being double-digit home favorites. Also, this could be a trap for a team that could be coming off an emotional win over a suddenly spry Cleveland team.
4) Green Bay Packers (8-1) - It isn't just Favre. It really isn't. No one can guard their three wideouts, and when you throw in an emerging Donald Lee making all of those plays in the red zone that Bubba Franks used to make and this offense is out of control. Also, sign me up on the Ryan Grant fan club. He's another young guy who runs like every carry is his last.
5) Dallas Cowboys (8-1) - Now THAT was a statement win. The Cowboys are really turning into a dynamite road play because you can actually secure value with them. After they were ambushed in Florida to start last year the Cowboys are a solid 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games away from Texas Stadium.
6) Jacksonville Jaguars (6-3) - Great revenge win by the Jaguars and with Indianapolis now a wounded warrior my prediction of the Jags claiming the AFC South title is looking up! Three of Jacksonville's next four games are at home with one road game at Indy mixed in. Word is that David Garrard will be healthy and back under center this week for the Jags.
7) Tennessee Titans (6-3) - The loss of Albert Haynesworth is a huge blow. The tone for the Titans is set by that defensive line - much like Green Bay - and that is a significant hit. Tennessee is getting points this week and Vince Young is still 13-2 ATS as a dog over the past two years.
8) New York Giants (6-3) - Here's a hint: you might want to cover Terrell Owens; I think he just scored another touchdown. I do like the mojo that the G-Men have going on right now but you have to admit that beating Washington, Philadelphia, the Jets, the Falcons, San Fran and Miami really isn't that impressive. But hey, you play the schedule you're given.
9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4) - The bye week came at a great time for the Bucs, who I still think are the classy of the worst division in football. They are 0-3 ATS in their last three trips to the Georgia Dome. Tampa is just 7-12 ATS after a bye week.
10) San Diego Chargers (5-4) - So Peyton Manning throws three interceptions, the Chargers return two kicks for touchdowns, the Colts were pulling guys out of the crowd to play offensive line - and the mighty Chargers won because Adam Vinatieri inexplicably shanked a chippie? That does not bode well for a Chargers team that is just 2-4 ATS in its last six trips to the Eastern Time Zone.
11) Seattle Seahawks (5-4) - I know it's always dicey to lay big points the following Sunday on a team that just won big on Monday Night. But two things: No. 1, this is a HUGE revenge game for the Seahawks against the team that ended their season and humiliated them on national TV in two games last year. And 2) this is back-to-back home games for the Seahawks so they are set.
12) Washington Redskins (5-4) - For all intents and purposes, the Redskins should be at least 7-2 this year. At least. Not could be: should be. They absolutely gave away games to the Giants and Packers, and now that collapse against Philadelphia. They really need to man up this week in Big D. I do think that 10 points is a lot to be getting in one of the NFL's most heated rivalries.
13) Detroit Lions (6-3) - Looking at Detroit's schedule I think it's getting harder and harder to find four more wins. Also, where is Roy Williams? I know he's a second-half guy, and he did have two touchdowns last week, but I think Mike Martz needs to do a little more max protect start throwing it Roy's way 15 times a game.
14) Cleveland Browns (5-4) - I have gained more respect for this team in two of their losses - a tight one last week against Pittsburgh and a near-cover at New England - than I have in any of their wins. This is a really dangerous spot for them though: road favorites against a division rival when the Browns are in a perfect Letdown Spot. Proceed with caution.
15) Kansas City Chiefs (4-5) - Uh-oh. The Brodie Croyle Experiment can only end one way: badly. It's not that I don't think he has potential. But putting an inexperienced quarterback behind that offensive line right now - in the RCA Dome, no less - is bad news. The Chiefs are 1-8 ATS in their last nine against the Colts. But even so, I think 14 points is too good to pass up given all of the injury concerns that Indy is facing right now.
16) Chicago Bears (4-5) - I just cannot, in good conscience, believe the Rex Grossman will not produce some pathetic, ill-timed, amazingly sophomoric turnover this weekend in Seattle to lose the Bears a game. I mean, Rex on the road - especially in one of the four hardest road venues to win at in the entire NFL - does not look good.
17) Buffalo Bills (5-4) - Buffalo is the largest NFL home underdog in 16 years. Ironically, the last home underdog this big was Indianapolis, as 16.5-point puppies, at home against: Buffalo. Oh, the Colts won that game outright back in '92 by the score of 16-13.
18) Arizona Cardinals (4-5) - The reemergence of Karlos Dansby has been nice to see for a defense that is starting to establish an identity. I really would like to see them open up the offense this week against a horrendous Bengals defense. Arizona needs to keep Kurt Warner clean against a team that has mustered just 14 sacks all season. Also, the Cards could be without safety Adrian Wilson this week. That would be a tremendous loss.
19) Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) - Since no one in the media knows jack about Andy Reid or his family situation is it too much to ask for people to keep their mouths shut about it and mind their own business? Also, a warning to Eagles fans: my father-in-law will be in the house this weekend. Last year he went to Philly's game against Tennessee and the Eagles were embarrassed while losing D-Nabb for the year. I'm just warning you!
20) New Orleans Saints (4-5) - I think last week's loss really burst the Saints bubble. The bottom line is that aside from their front four, which is just pretty good, there is nothing this defense can hang its hat on. They have given up more pass plays of over 40 yards (7) than any other team in the league.
21) Baltimore Ravens (4-5) - Back-to-back double-digit losses to division rivals is no way to get the heat off this team, Brian Billick. We are also right back at Square 1 with Kyle Boller: he may be a decent quarterback but the Ravens have absolutely nothing on offense to work with. Baltimore is 3-1 ATS in its last four home games against the Browns. However, they are just 4-6 ATS as a home dog since 2002.
22) Carolina Panthers (4-5) - All you have to do to beat this team is triple-team Steve Smith and make Vinny Testaverde beat you. Yes, I typed that sentence. And somehow this horror of a team is still in the thick of the AFC South race. Julius Peppers has 1.5 sacks on the season.
23) Denver Broncos (4-5) - Despite a nice win against the Chiefs, one that may have gotten then back in the AFC hunt, the Broncos are still headed in the wrong direction. Once one of the most reliable wagers in the NFL, the Broncos are a pathetic 7-19 ATS in their last 26 games overall. That includes 1-10 ATS in their last 11 home game, 3-14 ATS as favorite, and 2-10 ATS against the AFC. Ouch.
24) Houston Texans (4-5) - This club has 2008 Sleeper written all over it. I really would have liked to have seen what they could put together if Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson hadn't gotten hurt this year. I'm looking for a big-time performance out of both this week against a pathetic Saints secondary.
25) Minnesota Vikings (3-6) - OK, who didn't see an Adrian Peterson injury coming? I mean, how could that possibly shock you? People were really quick to forget that Chester Taylor had a pretty good year for the Vikings last season. Also, I think I could run for 1,000 yards behind that offensive line, and they are lining up against the league's 29th ranked rush defense. The Vikings are just 1-4 ATS against the Raiders.
26) Atlanta Falcons (3-6) - For as much grumbling as there is going on in this locker room the Falcons are still playing hard (as evidenced by yet another ATS win). However, without a clear-cut No. 1 quarterback I feel like this bubble is going to burst soon and then it will be time to mail it in for veterans that already don't like the new regime. Very delicate situation going on here in ATL.
27) Cincinnati Bengals (3-6) - How are you going to lay any points with this team this week? Cincinnati cannot stop anyone - ANYONE - and as conservative as the Cardinals have been this year you know they still have a host of playmakers just waiting to finally reward their patient fantasy owners. Also, Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm have no love lost for these Bengals.
28) New York Jets (1-8) - This team is soft, from head to toe. They really need to man up against a physical Steelers team this week or they may get bashed back to the 1980's. The Jets are 2-11 ATS against the Steelers and just 1-7 ATS against them at home.
29) San Francisco 49ers (2-7) - Did anyone ever really think that Alex Smith should have been the No. 1 overall pick? He can't really be considered a big-time bust because anyone who knows football knows this kid had a very limited ceiling. The trouble is that he actually showed signs of coming into his own last year.
30) Oakland Raiders (2-7) - Just bet against them every week. Trust me.
31) St. Louis Rams (1-8) - This is the NFL as we know it: a 1-8 team that just scored its first win of the season is now a road favorite in a stadium where they are 1-6 ATS in their last seven trips to. Wow, is all I can say.
32) Miami Dolphins (0-9) - Not only would New England going undefeated be the perfect kick to the groin for that group of smug '72 Dolphins, having Miami go 0-16 in the same season would be the perfect cherry on top. John Beck, you're up. And when he fails, given the Alex Smith debacle, do you think that will finally end the run on WAC and MWC quarterbacks drafted in the first two rounds? I say no.
For more info on Robert's members picks, check out his Insider Page here.