Week 12 NFL Power Rankings
NFL Power Rankings Week 121. New Orleans Saints (10-1 SU and 9-2 ATS) There just isn't much to write about when it comes to New Orleans. They are without a doubt the best team in the league because their defense is so damn good. Yes, there are flaws. The Saints allow 285.7 passing yards, the 30th worst mark in the league. People may want to say that their rushing defense is the best in the league, but they've also faced the fewest attempts in the league by far (224 with Philadelphia at 233, Chicago at 248). Of course this is all a byproduct of Drew Brees running the score up. If you split the difference and say they're the 15th best defense overall, you'd be correct as well. Their 23.3 points against per game is ranked 15th in the NFL. Go figure.
Next Game: New Orleans -7.0 at Dallas (Thursday)
2. Los Angeles Rams (10-1 SU and 4-5-2 ATS) It's crazy that the Rams have been this good all year long, and they're still fighting for home field advantage through the playoffs. Luckily, the only challenging game the Rams have left is against Chicago next Sunday night.
Next Game: LAR -9.5 at Detroit
3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-2 SU and 8-2-1 ATS) We feel very bad for whomever has to play Kansas City off of a loss. The last time the Chiefs dropped a game (40-43 against New England in Week 6), they came back and decimated Cincinnati 45-10.
Next Game: Kansas City -14.0 at Oakland
4. Chicago Bears (8-3 SU and ATS) The Bears are so good through the ranks that they lifted Chase Daniel to a win on Thanksgiving. To be very clear - it was not the other way round.
Next Game: Chicago -4.5 at NYG 5. New England Patriots (8-3 SU and 7-4 ATS) Remember how we said that Gronkowski was the real lynchpin of this team's offense? What he does as a receiver goes without saying, and his touchdown in traffic was a nice reminder of his abilities on that front. But what he does as a blocker is why Gronk is the best tight end of all time. He's the best offensive linemen and the best receiver that the Patriots have.
Next Game: Minnesota at New England -6.0 6. Los Angeles Chargers (8-3 SU and 6-5 ATS) This is a very bad time to lose Melvin Gordon to a totally unlucky injury on a trick play that YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO CALL, ANTHONY. You know how fantasy owners get peeved when their superstar gets benched during a blowout because they need the #pointz? Well that's why you bench him.
Next Game: LAC at Pittsburgh -3.5 7. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3-1 SU and 6-4-1 ATS) Why do teams throw the ball from the two-yard line? Why?!
Next Game: LAC at Pittsburgh -3.5
8. Houston Texans (8-3 SU and 5-6 ATS) Well, so much for the "Bill O'Brien should be fired" thing. The Texans have ripped off eight straight wins after a three-game skid to open the season, but are still a very fickle bet. They have a pretty firm grasp on the AFC South and are as fun to watch as any other team, but have also been pushed to the absolute limit by mediocre teams. Narrow wins against the Colts, Cowboys, Bills, Broncos and Redskins shouldn't be forgotten.
Next Game: Cleveland at Houston -6.5 9. Minnesota Vikings (6-4-1 SU and ATS) So we're just not going to talk about Everson Griffen going temporarily insane because he's back and anchored a Vikings defense that sorely missed him?
Next Game: Minnesota at New England -6.0
10. Seattle Seahawks (6-5 SU and 6-3-2 ATS) We said it last week, and we'll say it again - Russell Wilson is a baaaaaaad man. These pesky Seahawks are controlling their outright destiny and survived an onslaught from Christian McAffery in the process. Resilient doesn't even begin to describe this team.
Next Game: San Francisco at Seattle -10.0
11.Indianapolis Colts (6-5 SU and 5-5-1 ATS) Andrew Luck is so definitively the Comeback Player of the Year that we don't even have a market for it. Glad he's back. The league, and the Colts, are better for it. We've seen them coming for a while, and they are on the verge of busting in to the playoffs.
Next Game: Indianapolis -4.0 at Jacksonville 12. Carolina Panthers (6-5 SU and 5-6 ATS) How you let a game where Christian McAffery goes for 125 rushing yards, 112 receiving yards and catches all 11 of his passes (ELEVEN!) is beyond our understanding of football. The Panthers should have a layup this weekend against a Tampa team they've routinely owned, but you just never know what you're going to get with these guys.
Next Game: Carolina -3.5 at Tampa 13. Baltimore Ravens (6-5 SU and 5-6 ATS) Lamar Jackson has done the impossible and made the Baltimore Ravens super fun to watch. Even with stat lines that are hard to stomach, Jackson has created some energy in Baltimore that we haven't seen since their Super Bowl run. The Ravens did it all on Sunday with a return touchdown, field goals galore, a touchdown pass and a rushing score. They're not really a playoff contender, but they're certainly in prime position to spoil someone's season in the homestretch.
Next Game: Baltimore -1.0 at Atlanta 14. Dallas Cowboys (6-5 SU and ATS) Dallas really hit the jackpot by ripping together three wins right in time for their matchup against New Orleans. Nobody's going to fault them for getting owned by the Saints. And nobody should. This is all fine. Dallas is the literal definition of "somebody has to win the division".
Next Game: New Orleans -7.0 at Dallas (Thursday) 15. Green Bay Packers (4-6-1 SU and ATS) At some point, some of the blowback on the Packers has to fall on Rodgers. Yes, he's electric in comebacks, but there's also a reason that the Green Bay Packers are always down on the scoreboard. He threw for a pathetic 198 yards on Sunday night and looked bad doing it. At one point, the announce team talked about how many Super Bowls Aaron should have won, as if it's all Mike McCarthy's fault that he hasn't been to the big game more often. You can be a generational talent and also not have perennial success, guys. Just ask Dan Marino...or Drew Brees.
Next Game: Arizona at Green Bay -14.5 16. Tennessee Titans (5-6 SU and 6-5 ATS) It's often a very intelligent idea to zig when everyone else is zagging, but boy did the Titans miss the mark by becoming a "grit and grind" football team straight out of the 1980's when scoring has literally never been higher across the board. The Titans lived their worst nightmare on Monday Night by going down by four points with everyone knowing that was too big of a chasm for them to cross.
Next Game: NYJ at Tennessee -9.0 17. Washington Redskins (6-5 SU and 7-4 ATS) Man, that is a tragic ending to Alex Smith's career if the reports about him never being able to come back are true. Even worse is that Washington inexplicably has no real plan of action in place. They're heading towards a top-15 pick in a very weak quarterback draft, don't have an heir apparent that's better than Colt McCoy and have a lot of other holes that need plugging up (like receiver, tight end, offensive line). They also gave up a mid-range pick for Ha-Ha Clinton Dix
Next Game: Washington at Philadelphia -6.5 (Monday) 18. Cleveland Browns (4-6-1 SU and 7-4 ATS) We didn't like Hue Jackson. Fans in Cleveland didn't like Hue Jackson. But we never knew that the Browns players didn't like Hue Jackson that much. Wow.
Next Game: Cleveland at Houston -6.5 19. Denver Broncos (5-6 SU and 4-6-1 ATS) That was a revenge game for the ages. It's been five years, Emmanuel Sanders! Let it go!
Next Game: Denver -4.5 at Cincinnati 20. Miami Dolphins (5-6 SU and 6-5 ATS) The good news is that Ryan Tannehill is back. The bad news is that he still sucks.
Next Game: Buffalo at Miami -5.5
21. New York Giants (3-8 SU and 5-5-1 ATS) It's easy for head coach Pat Shurmur to justify the plan of attack in the second half by saying that you can't throw the ball all the time when you have a running back like Saquon Barkley. The problem? Barkley had four touches in the second half. Odell says a lot of silly things, but he's on the right side here...and he probably still should've kept his mouth shut. Does he not remember the McAdoo dark ages?
Next Game: Chicago -4.5 at NYG 22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7 SU and 4-6-1 ATS) It was fun to see Dirk Koetter and Jameis Winston having laughs at the post-game podium after the win over San Francisco, as if that victory secured their jobs for the future. It's like they have no awareness whatsoever. Either of them.
Next Game: Carolina -3.5 at Tampa 23. Atlanta Falcons (4-7 and 3-8 ATS) The quarterback's not the problem. The coach is apparently not the problem either. Doesn't he have something to do with it? He hasn't come close to replicating the Legion of Boom that he's credited for creating in Seattle's prime. Atlanta is 26th in pass defense this season, 12th last year, 28th in 2016 and 18th in 2015. We're not saying he's a bad coach, because he's obviously done a good job in Atlanta. But someone has to take the blame for this squad being a four-win team with one of the greatest wide receiving talents of this generation and a quarterback who is a former MVP.
Next Game: Baltimore -1.0 at Atlanta 24. Philadelphia Eagles (5-6 SU and 3-8 ATS) Things have gotten so bad for the Eagles that they're not even getting credit for beating the Giants since that game is getting the old "New York lost that game, Philadelphia didn't win it" treatment.
Next Game: Washington at Philadelphia -6.5 (Monday) 25. Detroit Lions (4-7 SU and 6-5 ATS) Let's just all agree that none of us are going to fall for this "Detroit's gonna be good" nonsense next preseason.
Next Game: LAR -9.5 at Detroit
26. Buffalo Bills (4-7 SU and 5-6 ATS) Of all the weird things that happened this weekend, the strangest sight was seeing Levi Wallace and Donte Moncrief clinging to each other (and the football) while the rest of their teammates engaged in an all out brawl was one of our favorites. "You hang up!" "No YOU hang up!"
Next Game: Buffalo at Miami -5.5 27. San Francisco 49ers (2-9 SU and 3-8 ATS) At some point, the 49ers were going to remember that they're a bad football team that's bad at football. Mullens was a pedestrian 18-of-32 for 221 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 picks. We still like the 49ers in that spoiler roll, but defensive coordinators have tape on Mullens now so they'll be better prepared. Hard to sell folks on a team that has two wins and is 3-8 ATS so we won't bother.
Next Game: San Francisco at Seattle -10.0 28. Cincinnati Bengals (5-6 SU and ATS) It's Jeff Driskel time! No, we don't know what that means either. He was drafted after Jake Rudock and Brandon Allen in the 2016 NFL Draft, or as we like to call them, "two guys you have definitely never heard of".
Next Game: Denver -4.5 at Cincinnati
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8 SU and 3-6-2 ATS) Fournette suspended. Blake Bortles benched. Coaches getting fired. Jalen Ramsey is now sort of boring. Worst uniforms in the league. Jacksonville ruins everything.
Next Game: Indianapolis -4.0 at Jacksonville
30. Oakland Raiders (2-9 SU and 3-8 ATS) You know it's getting bad when Raiders fans are annoyed that Derek Carr didn't get injured. Kind of hilarious that the "superstar" that Gruden did keep is well on his way to being a bust...or that was part of the plan.
Next Game: Kansas City -14.0 at Oakland 31. Arizona Cardinals (2-9 SU and 5-5-1 ATS) The Cardinals had more return yards on Sunday than they had offensive yards. Need we say more?
Next Game: Arizona at Green Bay -14.5
32. New York Jets (4-8 SU and 3-8-1 ATS) No wonder Teddy Bridgewater was so happy to leave this team. They're a mess from top to bottom.
Next Game: NYJ at Tennessee -9.0