Week 14 NFL Power Rankings
by Robert Ferringo - 12/06/2007
Here's Doc's Sports Week 14 NFL Power Rankings:
1) New England Patriots (12-0) - I don't think that the Gravy Train is over when it comes to the Patriots but it sure is delayed. New England is just 1-3 ATS in its last four games and they have shown signs that they can be pushed around at the line of scrimmage. The favorite in the Pats-Steelers series is just 1-7 ATS and the home team is just 2-6 ATS.
2) Indianapolis Colts (10-2) - The Colts are just 1-4 ATS in their last five games after playing the Jaguars but I think they are catching Baltimore at the perfect time. We saw what happened to Philadelphia last week - a letdown after their near miss against New England - and the Ravens' loss was twice as gut wrenching.
3) Dallas Cowboys (11-1) - Last year the Lions stunned the Cowboys in Week 17 because Detroit can exploit Dallas' main weakness: a below-average secondary. Regardless, Dallas is still 7-1-1 ATS on the road, 8-1 ATS in conference games and 4-1 ATS against Detroit.
4) Green Bay Packers (10-2) - If the Packers were hosting anyone other than the Raiders this week I'd be playing against them. Brett Favre is iffy, and you have to expect some hangover from their loss in Dallas last week. Green Bay is also just 3-14-2 ATS as a double-digit favorite and 0-4 ATS as a huge home favorite.
5) Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3) - Why, Anthony Smith? Why? Why would anyone on Pittsburgh run their mouth heading into Foxboro to play a team they are 2-7 ATS against? Pittsburgh has been terrible on the road this year, losing to the Jets, Cardinals and Broncos. But they also fit the mold of teams that have pressed the Pats lately: a physical team that is blitz-happy on defense.
6) Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4) - Marcus Stroud has served his four-game suspension and will be back this Sunday. That will bolster the run defense, but the real problem has been a pass defense that's allowing 345.8 yards per game. The Jags should dominate both lines of scrimmage this week and could hang a huge number on the Panthers this week. But beware: Jacksonville is just 2-6 ATS as a double-digit favorite.
7) New York Giants (8-4) - This week the Giants are on the wrong end of a five-point line movement. They opened as a two-point favorite and are now a field goal dog. That should be a huge red flag to anyone lining up to throw a few grand at the G-Men. Tom Coughlin's crew is now 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 conference games.
8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-4) - That was a serious win by the Bucs last week in New Orleans. Without Jeff Garcia, in a hostile venue, against at team whose playoff life was on the line, the Bucs engineered an exceptional come-from-behind win. Garcia will be back this week but Tampa is just 4-16 ATS on the road off a win against a team off back-to-back losses.
9) Seattle Seahawks (8-4) - A win clinches Seattle's fourth consecutive NFC West title. They are 3-1 ATS in their last four home games against the Cardinals and have a solid revenge factor for a horrid Week 2 loss in the desert. Seattle hasn't let an opposing runner top 100 yards since Oct. 7 but over the past three weeks they have allowed a TD run of 30 or more yards.
10) San Diego Chargers (7-5) - Can we trust Norv Turner and Philip Rivers on the road? That's the question. San Diego is 2-6 ATS in their last eight road games and with two straight wins may have bilked bettors back into hopping on the bandwagon. San Diego hasn't won on the road in two months and hasn't beaten a team with a winning record on the road since a win at Denver last November.
11) Cleveland Browns (7-5) - If there are any Cleveland fans complaining about the no-call on Kellen Winslow being forced out against Arizona last week on a potential game-winning touchdown I say that it was just the Gambling Gods balancing things out. Last year the Browns were the beneficiaries of a much worse, much more blatant no-call in their win over the Jets at home.
12) Tennessee Titans (7-5) - Albert Haynesworth should be back in the fold this week for the Titans, giving a big boost to a sagging defense. Jeff Fisher is 11-1 ATS at home off a divisional win against a team coming off a win. The line movement on this game is likely an indicator, as the Titans opened as three-point dogs but are now instilled as a 'pick' at several books.
13) Arizona Cardinals (6-6) - Right now it looks like the Cardinals could be without Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald this weekend and I'm not sure who that is more devastating to: the Arizona offense or millions of fantasy teams starting the playoffs this week?
14) Buffalo Bills (6-6) - Skeletor, a.k.a. Dick Jauron, definitely should get some votes for NFL Coach of the Year. The Bills will be playing a game at home that has playoff ramifications - for Buffalo - for the first time since Week 17 of 2005. The place should be bumping. Also, Marshawn Lynch should be back in action this week to give the offense a lift.
15) Minnesota Vikings (6-6) - Look who is making a move. A huge boost to this offense has come in the form of Sidney Rice. Finally the Vikings have a receiver that they can target in the passing game and it's opening up the whole offense. AP and Chet Taylor should carve up the league's No. 26 rush defense.
16) Houston Texans (5-7) - It's going to be the Sage Rosenfels Show again this weekend in Houston. The Texans are 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games and 10-3 ATS at home against teams with a winning road record. The Texans need to take better care of the ball. They are second in the NFL in fumbles lost with 15.
17) Chicago Bears (5-7) - The Bears are just 2-6 ATS against the Redskins and the home team is 0-4 ATS in the series. The Bears are delusional if they think they still have a shot at the postseason, as the fourth quarter of that Giants game sunk any realistic shot they had. The truth is that this team has a ton of holes and I think they really, really miss Ron Rivera. Just a horrible administrative move by Lovie Smith to let him go.
18) Washington Redskins (5-7) - That's now two consecutive weeks that Joe Gibbs has blatantly cost his team a chance at victory. Gibbs has no business coaching in the NFL these days - this sport has completely passed him by and it's embarrassing to see a once-great coach fall so far. Clinton Portis averages 152 yards and 6.4 yard per carry against Chicago in his three career games against them.
19) Denver Broncos (5-7) - Over the last three years the Broncos scoring defense has dropped from third overall (16.1), to eighth overall (19.1), to now a ridiculous 31st overall (27.4). I think they are clearly missing Al Wilson's leadership as well. The home team is 10-3-1 ATS in their series with K.C. and the Broncos are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings in Mile High.
20) Philadelphia Eagles (5-7) - The underdog is 5-0 ATS in the Eagles-Giants series lately. Former Philadelphia linebackers coach Steve Spagnuolo baffled the Eagles in their last meeting. We'll see if Andy Reid actually adjusts to the constant blitzing this time or leaves his offensive tackles out to dry again.
21) New Orleans Saints (5-7) - You can't overstate the residual mental hangover that the Saints are going through after coughing up a game last week that could have gotten them back in the playoff hunt and in the middle of the AFC South race. However, a MNF game may be enough to get their spirits back up. The Saints are 4-1 ATS as a road favorite recently, but in the long-term they are 8-24 ATS as a favorite of 3.5-to-10.0.
22) Detroit Lions (6-6) - This team is a dead stick. They cannot stop anyone on defense and they lost their best offensive weapon just one week after realizing that he even existed. The Lions are 2-10 ATS the week after their D allows 350+ yards of offense. Look for them to get hit for 30 points for the sixth time this year. Oh, and I think the Dallas defense is going to be waiting for Mr. Kitna.
23) Kansas City Chiefs (4-8) - The Chiefs are suffering severe attrition at key positions this week. The main area of concern is the offensive line. They yielded eight sacks last week and now all three quarterbacks are battered coming into the weekend. Brodie Croyle will start the game, but will he finish? K.C. is 5-2 ATS as a dog and 4-0 ATS on the road, but they are just 6-13 ATS away against teams with a losing home record.
24) Baltimore Ravens (4-8) - Rex Ryan's timeout on fourth-and-one was not his mistake. People gotta get over that. The defense actually would have stopped New England's next play out of the TO if not for a false start. No, Ryan's mistake was not blitzing Tom Brady more in the fourth quarter when the Ravens were getting enormous pressure.
25) Carolina Panthers (5-7) - Do the Panthers have any momentum after finally winning a home game last week? Not sure. Carolina is 10-1 ATS after scoring 30 or more points and is 20-6-2 ATS as a road underdog. Also, road teams that have lost four of their last five games are 41-15 ATS over the last five seasons.
26) Cincinnati Bengals (4-8) - The Bengals have been a solid bounce back team recently, posting a 6-2 ATS mark following an ATS loss. However, they are 1-5 ATS against a team with a losing record while the Rams are 5-0 ATS against sub-.500 clubs.
27) New York Jets (3-9) - New York is just 4-9 ATS against teams with a winning record, 0-6 ATS after scoring 30 or more points, and 0-4 ATS after a win. Thomas Jones has looked strong over the last two weeks and seems like he's finally 100 percent healthy. Cleveland's defense is ranked just 28th in the league and TJ could post a big day on Sunday.
28) St. Louis Rams (3-9) - Steven Jackson has had 21 carries for two yards or less over the past two games and his pathetic offensive line may have to play without Alex Barron (hand) this week. The loss of Tye Hill also hurts a secondary that had been showing signs of improvement over the past month. Look for Carson Palmer to have a field day.
29) Oakland Raiders (4-8) - Is there value on the Raiders this week? I doubt it. As bad as Green Bay has been as a monster favorite the Raiders have been equally bad as a huge dog, going just 2-5 ATS as a double-digit road puppy. Also, Lane Kiffin has been solid and steady as a first-year coach. And the fact that he's outperformed some of his more venerable rookie counterparts tells me the Raiders made a decent hire.
30) Atlanta Falcons (3-9) - Both sides of the line are just completely decimated for the Falcons. They are starting multiple third-stringers on the offensive line so I guess it makes sense that they would hand over the job to No. 3 QB Chris Redman this week. Redman is going to start on Monday Night Football against New Orleans.
31) San Francisco 49ers (3-9) - The 49ers are 5-0 SU against the Vikings at home since 1986, including a 9-3 win there last year. And just in case you missed it the other 45 times I've said it: Patrick Willis is going to be a stud in this league for the next 10-plus years. That guy is an animal.
32) Miami Dolphins (0-12) - The Fins are 0-7 ATS in their last seven against the Bills and 0-4 ATS in Orchard Park. Sorry, I don't even have any jokes for this team any more. They are just awful. But they are also 3-1-2 ATS in their last six games.
For more info on Robert's members picks, check out his Insider Page here.