Week 16 NFL Power Rankings
by Robert Ferringo - 12/20/2007
Merry Christmas from myself and everyone else at Doc's Sports! With college hoops, NFL stretch run, and bowl research going on right now - on top of the usual holiday madness and travel - the ol' Power Rankings may be a little scattered this week!
Here's Doc's Sports Week 16 NFL Power Rankings:
1) New England Patriots (13-0) - The winning percentage of the teams that the Pats have played to this point in the season: .438. The winning percentage of the regular season opponents of the 1972 Dolphins: .372. Found that interesting. However, I will still say that this Pats team is not the best I've ever seen. Just my opinion.
2) Indianapolis Colts (12-2) - Peyton and the rest of the regulars look like they will be playing out the string over the next two weeks and I like the move by Tony Dungy. The home team is 6-2 ATS in this series.
3) Dallas Cowboys (12-2) - No Roy Williams, no Andre Gurode, and a banged up Tony Romo. I'm not saying the Cowboys are going to come out flat but let's just say that the Wade Philips Factor doesn't exactly instill confidence. That's back-to-back lackluster performances, and given Romo's collapse last year it makes you wonder if a pattern is emerging.
4) Green Bay Packers (12-2) - The Pack is 7-1 ATS in its last eight trips to Chicago, 9-4-1 ATS in its last 14 against the Bears overall, and the road team is 5-1-1 ATS in this series. Green Bay is also 14-3-1 ATS in its last 18 overall and 12-3-2 ATS in its last 17 conference games.
5) Jacksonville Jaguars (10-4) - I know I wouldn't want to be playing the Jaguars this week. After exactly zero Jags were named to the Pro Bowl I think they will be out for blood. The Jags have covered five straight as a favorite.
6) Seattle Seahawks (9-5) - I think that the best matchup for the Seahawks would be the Vikings, so I think it behooves them to lock up that No. 3 seed. Seattle has covered four straight home games and is 5-1 ATS against teams with a losing record.
7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-5) - Be careful about this team this week. Last Sunday they put up what I call a "Peak Performance". That is, I don't think they could have played any better than they did and I don't think the team they faced could have been any worse. There's only one direction to go: down. Tampa is 2-10 ATS after allowing nine points or less.
8) Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5) - A short week might be the best thing for the Steelers coming off that physical home loss to the Jaguars. But that was four poor performances in its last five games, with losses against the Jets and a near-loss to Miami still lingering. Pittsburgh is 5-2 ATS on turf and 8-3 ATS in December.
9) New York Giants (9-5) - I know that this is passé to complain about, but I was baffled by the play calling by the Giants last week. In driving winds - 23 miles per hour, easily - the Giants threw 52 times. Huh? They were averaging over five yards per carry, yet any time they got near scoring range they were throwing lobs in the end zone. Huh? If the Giants try that again this week they will lose again. The Giants are 14-6-1 ATS following a loss.
10) San Diego Chargers (9-5) - Honestly, I'm just hoping that their game with Denver stays close long enough for LT to put up 180 yards and three touchdowns. Those are valuable fantasy points. The Chargers are 15-3 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 10 and 16-5-3 ATS in divisional games.
11) Cleveland Browns (9-5) - Romeo Crennel has to earn his money this week. The Browns are ripe for an upset after that emotional win last week against Buffalo. The favorite in this series is 10-4 ATS but I'd be very, very wary of the Browns as a road chalk.
12) Minnesota Vikings (7-6) - Tarvaris Jackson is tied with Vince Young for the most quarterback runs that result in a first down. The Vikes were sloppy against the Bears but they are still 13-6 ATS as a favorite and 11-5 ATS as a home chalk.
13) Tennessee Titans (8-6) - Roydell Williams' emergence has really been a boost to this offense. He and VY are developing a nice rapport. The Titans are just 6-13 ATS as a home favorite and 7-16 ATS at home against a team with a losing road record.
15) Washington Redskins (7-7) - Just like we saw with Damon Huard last year, Todd Collins throws a beautiful ball and knows the offense well enough to be a threat. The Redskins won't be able to run on Minnesota the same way they ran on the Giants, but they are 6-2-1 ATS against teams with a winning record.
14) Houston Texans (7-7) - The Texans have covered four of their last six games, but they are still a pathetic road team. They are just 1-5 ATS in their last six.
16) Buffalo Bills (7-7) - Even though they just took a giant kick in the groin last week in Cleveland, watching their modest playoff hopes get snuffed out in the blizzard, I think that the energy of the home crowd will give them a boost this week. Buffalo is 7-1 ATS as a home underdog.
17) New Orleans Saints (7-7) - I told you that I liked this team more without Reggie Bush and now you've seen why. Aaron Stecker runs hard and straight, and is willing to take four yards on first down. That being said, be wary of this team. They've beaten two terrible defenses over the past two weeks.
18) Denver Broncos (6-8) - Speaking of terrible defenses, the Broncos are a mess. They're also 2-9 ATS in their last 11 divisional games and 4-12 ATS in their last 16 conference games. Any chance they don't get rocked on MNF? I say no.
19) Philadelphia Eagles (6-8) - This is yet another team that could be primed for a letdown after a huge upset win over Dallas last week. Oh, and the fantasy league I run is one of the ones that saw a team lose because of Brian Westbrook's shenanigans! The Eagles are 7-0 ATS as road dogs.
20) Arizona Cardinals (6-8) - Do you really feel comfortable laying double digits with the Cardinals? Me neither. Especially with a secondary that's being held together by dental floss.
21) Detroit Lions (6-8) - The Lions are 5-13 ATS in their last 18 games as a favorite of more than 3.5 points.
22) Chicago Bears (5-9) - With the exception of two fluky losses to Detroit, Chicago has not lost to a team that is currently below .500. They are 6-14 ATS overall and it took five turnovers and a sick comeback to beat Green Bay the first time. I think they are primed to get routed.
23) Carolina Panthers (6-8) - The whole key with this team is the health of Steve Smith. He hasn't been practicing but I'll be surprised if he doesn't play this Saturday.
24) Kansas City Chiefs (4-10) - Herm is a mess. An absolute mess. Brodie Croyle has shown a strong arm and some flashes, but I still don't back off my assessment that he is no the answer for this team. Kolby Smith is a gem, though. The Chiefs are 4-1 ATS as a road dog.
25) Baltimore Ravens (4-10) - Just play Troy Smith and lets see if the kid deserves to be in the NFL or not. The Ravens are now 3-13 ATS in their last 16 games and 6-20 ATS in road games.
26) Cincinnati Bengals (5-9) - I actually think the Bengals are a very live dog this weekend. They have won five of six against the Browns and are 4-2 ATS in that series. They have enough offense to keep up with Cleveland and if they can force a turnover or two you know it would make their season to spring an upset here.
27) New York Jets (3-11) - Time for a let down. The last five teams that played the Patriots did not cover their next game.
28) Oakland Raiders (4-10) - I'm looking for a big letdown out of Oakland this week after a near miss against the Colts at home. The Raiders' offensive line was able to push around the smaller Colts front but I don't think they'll be able to do that in Jacksonville. Oakland is 6-13 ATS in its last 19 games and 18-38-1 ATS following a loss.
29) St. Louis Rams (3-11) - The Rams are 8-1 in their last home game of the season and, despite their defensive shortcomings, have been a solid home dog. This will also be the fourth game that is blacked out locally and I would expect a much stronger Steelers presence on Thursday night than there will be a Rams contingent in the dome.
30) San Francisco 49ers (4-10) - Isn't it amazing what some decent quarterback play can do for a team? There is a very strong system this week - pertaining to teams that are home underdogs the week after winning as home underdogs - that suggests the 49ers may ambush the Bucs the same way the Panthers ambushed the Seahawks last week.
31) Atlanta Falcons (3-11) - Wow this team is awful.
32) Miami Dolphins (1-13) - The Cleo Lemon Experience! Time to come back down to earth for Miami this week though.
For more info on Robert's members picks, check out his Insider Page here.