Week 13 NFL Power Rankings
by Robert Ferringo - 11/29/2007
Here's Doc's Sports Week 13 NFL Power Rankings:
1) New England Patriots (11-0) - Good teams find ways to win games that they maybe shouldn't. I do think that their languid performance against Philadelphia has given this team just the type of boost that it needs for a big finish to the regular season. The Patriots are 43-19 ATS against the AFC and 25-8 ATS against a team with a losing record.
2) Indianapolis Colts (9-2) - The Colts are 26-7 straight up in division play over the last seven years and they have owned or shared the division lead in 90 of the 97 weeks it has existed. Also, the Colts are 28-3 SU when Peyton Manning has a passer rating over 100 at home - but he's had only one such game without Marvin Harrison.
3) Green Bay Packers (10-1) - I Know that when I heard on Thanksgiving that Charles Woodson was hurt my first thought was: Green Bay is screwed. I think if he does not play in Dallas that the Pack will not be in a position to win that game. The only good news for Green Bay is that their strength - throwing the ball downfield - plays right into the Cowboys' biggest weakness. The Pack is 10-3 SU under Mike McCarthy.
4) Dallas Cowboys (10-1) - The home team is 6-0 ATS in the last six games in this series and the favorite is 5-1 ATS. Also, Dallas is a perfect 4-0 ATS in Brett Favre's last four trips to Big D. The Cowboys offense needs to run effectively to help keep the pressure off their defense.
5) Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) - I know that weather was a factor and that Pittsburgh actually dominated Miami on Monday night. But I don't find it very heartening that the Steelers have lost to the Jets in overtime and barely beaten the Dolphins - teams that are a combined 2-20 - in the last two weeks.
6) Jacksonville Jaguars (8-3) - The defense played inspired without Mike Peterson in the lineup on Sunday. But then again, it was against J.P. Losman. Oh, and the collective sports media has put a huge jinx on David Garrard. Look for him to throw at least two INT's this weekend in Indianapolis. The Jags are 13-5-1 ATS as an underdog, including 9-4 ATS as a road puppy.
7) New York Giants (7-4) - If Brandon Jacobs can play I think there is no way that the Giants lose to Chicago. The banged up Bears defense won't be able to stop him. Problem is that I don't think Jacobs is going to play. The G-Men are 5-2 ATS against losing teams and 9-3 ATS as a small road favorite. But they are also 3-14 ATS after a double-digit loss at home.
8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-4) - I know everyone is feeling warm and fuzzy about the Bucs right now - and hey, they are one of the better teams in the NFC - but it's kind of a red flag when they just barely won a home game despite a +6 turnover differential. Now Jeff Garcia's back is acting up and he is questionable this week against the Saints.
9) Seattle Seahawks (7-4) - Seattle + Road Game On Grass + Eastern Time Zone = Play Against. The Seahawks are just 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games on grass and just 4-12 ATS in games starting in the Eastern or Central Time Zone. Philadelphia is putting new sod on its field this week also, so expect a slower Seahawks offense. And that wasn't even a dig at Shaun Alexander coming back. (OK, so it was.)
10) Cleveland Browns (7-4) - Their defense may not be able to stop people but, as we've seen over the last two weeks, they sure do hit people. After notching just seven sacks in the first eight games the Browns have tallied 12 in the last three. Also, they are going after an Arizona secondary that just lost its one indispensable player - Adrian Wilson - this week.
11) San Diego Chargers (6-5) - I'm really not sure if I want any part of the Chargers as a road favorite in a divisional game. They are just 1-5 ATS as a road chalk and just 1-6 ATS away from home. Further, San Diego is just 2-7-1 ATS in Arrowhead, the underdog is 9-3-1 ATS in the last 13 meetings, and the home team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. I smell a Kansas City money line…
12) Tennessee Titans (6-5) - Last weekend we saw firsthand how vitriol and finger pointing can turn a team inside-out. Vince Young's frustration about not having any offensive playmakers is 100 percent warranted, and was the reason I had the Titans on my list of teams to fade this season. However, if he's going to be a leader in this league he has to hold himself together much better than he has over the past two weeks.
13) Detroit Lions (6-5) - Allen Eastman, our friend here at Doc's Sports, is holding a ticket worth a few dimes on Detroit's season wins over/under at 6.5. I hate to be the one to tell him - but I don't think this is the weekend it cashes! The Lions are 4-10-1 ATS in divisional games and 0-4-1 ATS against the Vikings. Oh, and screw Roy Williams! That guy is killing two of my fantasy teams.
14) Washington Redskins (5-6) - My thoughts and prayers go out to Sean Taylor and his family. In football news, I am still stunned by Joe Gibbs' horrendous decision to go for it on fourth-and-1 inside Tampa's 10-yard line in the third quarter. Gibbs has consistently mismanaged games and is the steward to the most underachieving team in the league. However, I, like so many others, will be pulling hard for them this week.
15) Denver Broncos (5-6) - Even though it is a bitter rivalry game, it's got to be really hard for Denver not to have a hangover from that brutal loss to the Bears last week. Denver has played a very challenging schedule and is showing signs. But they are still just 1-8 ATS in their last nine divisional games.
16) Houston Texans (5-6) - I'm interested to see how the Texans hold up this week against a very physical Tennessee club that has beaten them five straight times. The Texans and Browns were trading blows last week and one of Houston's weaknesses is a lack of depth. The underdog is 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings between Houston and Tennessee.
17) Chicago Bears (5-6) - Do not - I repeat - DO NOT get suckered in by this team. They've had two other allegedly "season saving" wins this year at Green Bay and at Philadelphia only to come back and lose to two inferior teams as a home favorite the next week. The Bears are 2-5 ATS as a favorite this year. Oh, and I am thrilled that Cedric Benson-Enis is out of there; Adrian Peterson is a much tougher runner.
18) Arizona Cardinals (5-6) - One week after a brutal defeat at the hands of the limp-wristed 49ers, and with a must-win game against division leader Seattle on top next Sunday, I think we have found a perfect Letdown-Look Ahead spot to fade the Cardinals. Arizona and Cleveland have combined to go 16-5-1 against the total this year - so look for this one to stay 'under'. Why not? It's the NFL.
20) Buffalo Bills (5-6) - The Bills defense is playing the bend-but-don't break method of defense like a pretzel. They are allowing opponents to convert an absurd 49 percent on third down this year. It is definitely the right call to go with Trent Edwards, as J.P. Losman will never win in this league. Buffalo is 21-8-1 ATS against a team that is under .500.
21) Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) - Two throws - an under-thrown bomb to Hank Baskett early in the fourth quarter and that amazingly bad interception in the corner of the end zone on the blown fade - are all that stood between Philadelphia and the immortality that would have come from beating the Patriots. I think the confidence carries over rather than Philly undergoing a letdown.
22) New Orleans Saints (5-6) - If history is any indicator, this week is a bad spot to play on the Saints. New Orleans is 0-4 ATS at home against Tampa, the road team is 7-2 ATS in this series, and the favorite is 3-8 ATS in the last 11 meetings. On top of that, New Orleans is a putrid 7-20 ATS as a home favorite. That being said, this is a desperation game for the Saints and they know their slim playoff hopes are on the line.
17) Kansas City Chiefs (4-7) - I've read all of the jokes about what an atrocious game manager Herm Edwards is but it's still hilarious and shocking when you see him single-handedly rip the heart out of his own team. That guy is an absolute joke. Nearly 80 percent of the public action is on San Diego this week. Can't decide if that makes the Chiefs a good play or not.
23) Baltimore Ravens (4-7) - Perhaps the stat the illuminates the fact that the days of the dominating Ravens defense are over is that Baltimore is last in the league in turnover differential at -11.
24) Carolina Panthers (4-7) - This is an ominous stat concerning John Fox's future: Carolina is the most penalized team in the NFL. That shows poor coaching and a lack of discipline. That, on top of the fact that the Panthers may never win another home game, spells doom for a guy who was being hailed as an up-and-coming star just three years ago.
25) Minnesota Vikings (5-6) - On the heels of that stunning blowout of the Giants last week, the Vikings have the look of a team with new life. Adrian Peterson will be back this week and Minnesota is facing a team that they should shred offensively. It took overtime in the last meeting for Detroit to snap Minnesota's 10-game winning streak in the series. Look for the Vikings to get another streak going this weekend.
26) Atlanta Falcons (3-8) - Right now Randy Moss has more touchdowns (16) than the Atlanta offense (13). So much for Bobby Petrino, Offensive Genius. Needless to say, the 'under' is 15-5 in the Falcons' last 20 games. Atlanta is 5-1 ATS against a team with a losing record and 4-0 ATS in their last four road games.
27) Cincinnati Bengals (4-7) - The Bengals are 17-7-1 ATS in their last 25 road games and the visitor in the Pittsburgh series is an absolutely astounding 10-1-1 ATS. Cincinnati is finally starting to get healthy but I still don't think that their defense is physically strong enough to handle.
28) New York Jets (2-9) - The "Gate D" debacle in Dallas last week would have to be the high watermark at this point of the season. The Jets are 8-0 ATS against the Dolphins recently and 8-1 ATS in their last nine trips to South Beach. But I don't know if they have ever faced a Dolphins squad more desperate for a win.
29) St. Louis Rams (2-9) - The Rams are 20-7 ATS at home after a game against a divisional opponent. However, I'm not really sure how St. Louis can pick itself up off the mat after blowing that game to Seattle. The Rams are 4-1 ATS at home against the Falcons.
30) San Francisco 49ers (3-8) - Before the NFL starts thinking about putting pro football in Los Angeles, maybe they should work on putting pro football in Oakland and San Francisco. Although they haven't met since 2004, the 49ers are 1-9 ATS against the Panthers. And as we've pointed out many times in this space, San Fran is an automatic "play against" in the first half of any game in the Eastern Time Zone. They are 0-3 ATS in those spots this year, having been outscored 47-20.
31) Oakland Raiders (3-8) - Look for Jamarcus Russell to see his first live action of the year next week against Green Bay. The Raiders wouldn't trot the kid out this week in a rivalry game that they desperately want to win. I think he'll get a series against Green Bay next week and then see a bit more time at home against Indy in Week 15.
32) Miami Dolphins (0-11) - Since I don't have anything nice to say about the Dolphins I will mention that the Fathead commercial that starts with the Brian Urlacher fathead is the funniest 60 seconds on TV right now. Just fantastic. And I'm not being sarcastic. I'm starting to rhyme - and I like it.
For more info on Robert's members picks, check out his Insider Page here.