Week 15 NFL Power Rankings
by Robert Ferringo - 12/13/2007
Here's Doc's Sports Week 15 NFL Power Rankings:
1) New England Patriots (13-0) - You are high if you ever bet against Bill Belichick. Sorry, there is nothing I have left to say that everyone else isn't already gushing about in regards to this team.
2) Indianapolis Colts (11-2) - A win this week locks up the No. 2 seed for the Colts. And considering that they've been banged up on both sides of the ball I think they desperately need to clinch now so they can rest up for the postseason. Indy is 16-8 SU in December but just 2-7 ATS in their last nine games in the 12th month. Indy is outscoring teams by 13.4 points on the road while Oakland is getting outscored by three points at home.
3) Dallas Cowboys (12-1) - Dallas hasn't swept the season series with Philadelphia since 1998. The Boys are 8-2 ATS against the NFC and 9-2 ATS following a game in which they didn't cover. I'm not sure how much I like T.O. getting into a verbal spar with Keyshawn Johnson this week. I think it shows a lack of focus.
4) Green Bay Packers (11-2) - Right now this team's weakness can be limited to one area: the secondary. Green Bay's pass defense is just 23rd in the league and Charles Woodson is still banged up. Brett Favre has had notorious struggles in domes, but he has been fine in games at Detroit and at Minnesota this year. Green Bay is on a 13-3-1 ATS run and is 11-3-2 ATS against the NFC.
5) Pittsburgh Steelers (9-4) - Losing defensive end Aaron Smith is a big loss for their defensive front. This game definitely has some revenge overtones, as Jacksonville really embarrassed the Steelers worse than the 9-0 score indicated last year. The home team is 5-1 ATS in this series and Pittsburgh is 21-6 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 10.
6) Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4) - The Jags are going to be playing without half of their starting defensive line, as Reggie Hayward is out and Marcus Stroud is on injured reserve. If Rashean Mathis doesn't play that will mean big-time trouble. Jacksonville is a sensational 14-5-1 ATS as an underdog and 4-0 ATS against the Steelers.
7) New York Giants (9-4) - The Giants are a spectacular 6-1 straight up (5-2 ATS) on the road this year but just 3-3 SU and ATS at home this season. Brandon Jacobs' fumbling problems returned last week. He's got to get that under control. New York is 7-3 ATS against Washington and 8-3-1 ATS against NFC East foes.
8) Seattle Seahawks (9-4) - This could be a perfect letdown spot for the Seahawks after they clinched their division last week with a home blowout. Also, their struggles in the Eastern Time Zone have been well chronicled by… well, me. Seattle is a putrid 3-13-2 ATS after a win by 14 or more but are 6-0 ATS in their last six interconference games.
9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5) - Last week's letdown in Houston was forgivable. I'm just pissed I didn't play on my own intuition there. But the Bucs welcome back Jeff Garcia this week against a fragile Atlanta club with no true leadership. Tampa Bay is 22-7-3 ATS at home against a team with a losing road record and the favorite is 10-4 ATS in this series over the past seven years.
10) San Diego Chargers (8-5) - The Chargers are in a great spot and have some momentum, but they are also battered coming out of their win against Tennessee. They will be without Pro Bowlers Jamal Williams and Shawne Merriman on defense, as well as Lorenzo Neal on offense. San Diego is 14-3 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 10.
11) Cleveland Browns (8-5) - Cleveland's receivers are listed as 6-foot-3, 6-5, and 6-4 while three of Buffalo's four defensive backs are listed at 5-10 or below. If Buffalo brings a safety up to try to stop Jamal Lewis that should open up one-on-one coverage on the outside. Cleveland is 5-0 ATS at home and is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 against teams with a winning record.
12) Buffalo Bills (7-6) - Against backups and bottom-feeders like Kyle Boller, Cleo Lemon, John Beck and Chad Pennington the Bills defense has thrived. But against top-tier quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo and Carson Palmer they have been shredded. Buffalo is 1-6 SU against teams in the top 10 in total offense. They are also 7-2-1 ATS overall and 7-3 ATS after a win by two TDs or more.
13) Minnesota Vikings (7-6) - No one is hotter than the Minnesota Vikings right now. They are 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 divisional games and 11-4 ATS as a home favorite. Now they get to feast on Kyle Orton. They have been overwhelming teams with their offensive line and they should manhandle Chicago's small front.
14) Tennessee Titans (7-6) - The Titans are sinking right now but they still are in a decent position if they can win on Sunday. Yet, bouncing back from a collapse like they endured on Sunday will be difficult. Tennessee is 1-5 straight up in games where they have given up 21 or more points and 6-1 in games where they didn't. Tennessee is 5-12 ATS as a favorite but is 9-4 ATS on the road.
15) Houston Texans (6-7) - Gary Kubiak will be matching wits with his mentor this week against a Texans team that is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 December games and 5-0 ATS as a home underdog. Also, Houston has been terrible in the third quarters of games. They managed their first TD in the third quarter since Week 2 last week.
16) Washington Redskins (6-7) - The Redskins have dropped three straight against the Giants but the road team is 5-2 ATS in the series. However, the underdog is 1-5 ATS in the series and the Skins are just 3-7-2 ATS on the road. And no, I don't think that Todd Collins is going to have back-to-back strong games.
17) Denver Broncos (6-7) - Because Denver has had such a solid defense for the past five years it's hard to think of their D as a sieve. But they are 25th overall and 29th in scoring defense. As further evidence of their defensive demise, the 'over' is 19-7 in their last 26 games and a spectacular 14-3 in interconference games.
18) New Orleans Saints (6-7) - Let's not get too excited about the Saints because they beat up on the hapless Falcons. New Orleans has one of the worst secondaries in the league and is facing the No. 10 pass offense in the NFL. The Saints are 16-35-2 ATS in their last 53 home games.
19) Arizona Cardinals (6-7) - The NFL's most-penalized team has not been able to keep its emotion in check this year. Also, two defensive players got into a fight in the locker room after last week's blowout in Seattle. Larry Fitzgerald will likely play, but he won't be 100 percent, and I don't think Anquan Boldin will be able to go. Also, Arizona is 0-6 with a negative turnover ratio and 4-0 when they win the turnover battle. They are also 8-2 ATS as a road dog and 13-6 ATS off a loss by 14 or more points.
20) Chicago Bears (5-8) - Kyle Orton. Wow. The problem with the Bears has not been quarterback play. It's their defense. One year after teams struggled to string together consecutive first downs against Chicago they have the No. 29 defense in the league.
21) Philadelphia Eagles (5-8) - How much, emotionally, does this team have left? Philly once dominated the NFC East but is now just 1-5 ATS in its lat six divisional games. They are 8-3 ATS in Big D and the underdog is 5-1 ATS in this series recently. Andy Reid is 6-0 ATS as a road underdog.
22) Detroit Lions (6-7) - It's really tough to see how this team can bounce back from a home upset that they had in their grasp until the ball bounced between Paris Lennon's hands. Detroit has lost four of its six road games by 10 or more points this season and three of those defeats were by 30 points or more.
23) Kansas City Chiefs (4-9) - Remember when the Chiefs were in first place in the division? What a mess. This week's game marks the home finale for Kansas City and they have won nine of their last 10 final home games, including seven straight. The Chiefs are 7-3-1 ATS as a home dog, but are 0-4 ATS at home over the past two months.
24) Baltimore Ravens (4-9) - That's now seven straight losses for the Ravens and now they head to Miami without either of their first-string cornerbacks. The Ravens are 2-12 ATS overall, 1-10 ATS against the AFC, and 7-19 ATS on the road. I think Brian Billick will - and should - be back next year.
25) Cincinnati Bengals (5-8) - The Bengals have been officially eliminated from the playoffs so it will be interesting to see if they mail it in or keep playing. Chuck Bresnahan has done wonders with that defense. Over the past five games Cincy has allowed an average of just 270 yards and held opponents to 18-for-58 on third down. Cincy is also 17-8-1 ATS on the road.
26) Carolina Panthers (5-8) - Here's all you need to know about Carolina's season: even though he only played three games this year, and hasn't played in 11 weeks, Jake Delhomme still leads the Panthers in touchdown passes. Carolina is 1-7 ATS at home and 2-12 ATS on grass.
27) New York Jets (3-10) - Dead. Man. Walking. Actually, and I know this sounds crazy, but I'm one of the few that don't think that this game will be a 30-point blowout. I just don't. Yes, the Jets are 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 against the Patriots but they are 7-3-1 ATS in New England. This is a rivalry game and there is a lot of pride involved. But no, I'm not betting against Belichick.
28) St. Louis Rams (3-10) - There are 11 Rams on injured reserve, including seven starters, and now Marc Bulger is on the shelf for the rest of the season. The rush defense has been a source of pride all year but is falling apart now. St. Louis is 0-6 ATS against a team with a winning record and the dog in this series is 0-4 ATS.
29) Oakland Raiders (4-9) - Opposing rushers average an amazing 4.8 yards per carry and 150.4 yards per game against the Oakland defense. They have also given up 16 rushes of 20 or more yards, which is a team-high since the NFL started tracking the stat in 1991. Oakland is 18-38-1 ATS in interconference games.
30) Atlanta Falcons (3-10) - At this point it's just piling on, but Bobby Petrino is a huge scumbag. I think the whole situation should be humiliating for him. Apparently not. I wonder if the anger will fuel the Falcons this week. But my guess is that since the coach quit they may follow suit.
31) San Francisco 49ers (3-10) - Patrick Willis - the clear-cut defensive rookie of the year - was nicknamed "Bam-Bam" by Bengals wideout Chad Johnson. San Francisco is 3-11-1 ATS following a double-digit loss. I think that the Nolan-Smith feud will carry over into next year, but I do think that Alex can be an effective QB in this league.
32) Miami Dolphins (0-13) - It looks like this is it. This game may not be Miami's Super Bowl - that could come in Week 17 against the Bengals if they are 0-16 - but we'll call this one the Dolphins' AFC Championship Game. They are 9-26-1 ATS at home and 1-15 ATS at home against a team with a losing road record.
For more info on Robert's members picks, check out his Insider Page here.