Culver City Observer -

By Bill Seals - Fred Altieri
Sports Reporters 

2018 NFL Power Rankings - Week 12

Rams Stay at #2 - Chargers Move Up to #4


November 22, 2018

Jevone Moore

Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) expects to see plenty of action at Pittsburgh on Sunday night

2018 NFL Power Rankings - Week 12

1. New Orleans Saints (10-1) - The Saints have won ten in a row, but the schedule will become more challenging in the coming weeks with the Cowboys, Steelers and Panthers (twice). They need to keep winning to stay ahead of the Rams. Next: -7.5 at Dallas Cowboys - Thu, Nov. 29

2. Los Angeles Rams (10-1) - The Rams are coming off their bye week and nobody needed this more than Todd Gurley. He is recovering from an ankle injury suffered in the game with the Chiefs. A healthy Gurley is good news for the Rams and bad news for the rest of the NFL. Next: -10 at Detroit Lions, Sun, Dec. 2

3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) - This looks like a bad matchup this week for the Raiders and a good matchup for the Chiefs. The Raiders have surrendered a league-high 18 plays that have gone for at least 40 yards. The Chiefs have 13 plays of 40-plus yards, tied for second-most in the NFL. Can the Chiefs reach 70 points this week? Next: -15 at Oakland Raiders - Sun, Dec. 2

4. Los Angeles Chargers (8-3) - Joey Bosa is back after getting two sacks and Philip Rivers completed 28 of 29 passes. The Chargers will be successful if they can continue to keep a balanced attack on offense without injured running back Melvin Gordon. Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson will need to step up in his absence. Next: +3.5 at Pittsburgh Steelers - Sun, Dec. 2

5. Chicago Bears (8-3) - Chase Daniels had a good game filling in for Mitch Trubisky. The veteran quarterback completed 27 of 37 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns. He may start again this week against the Giants. Next: -4 at New York Giants – Sun, Dec. 2

6. New England Patriots (7-4) - Rob Gronkowski caught a touchdown pass this week for the first time since week 1. A healthy Gronkowski opens up the offense for Tom Brady, who will also get Rex Burkhead back this week. Next: -5.5 vs Minnesota Vikings - Sun, Dec. 2

7. Houston Texans (7-3) The Texans rushed for 281 yards in beating the Titans for their eighth straight win. A running game will make the Titans much tougher to beat in the playoffs. Next: -6 vs Cleveland Browns - Sun, Dec. 2

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3-1) - JuJu Smith-Schuster leads the Steelers in receptions, yards per reception and totals reception yardage. This on a team with Antonio Brown. Smith-Schuster is also drawing rave reviews for his blocking. Next: -3.5 vs Los Angeles Chargers - Sun, Dec. 2

9. Minnesota Vikings (6-4-1) - The next two weeks will determine if the Vikings are playoff bound or watching the playoffs from the couch. The Vikings visit the Pats this Sunday in Foxborough, Massachusetts and the following week they are in Seattle. The forecast is for cold weather in a hostile environment for both games. Next: +5.5 at New England Patriots - Sun, Dec. 2

10. Dallas Cowboys (6-5) - Amari Cooper had 8 catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns against the Redskins, earning the NFC Offensive Player of the Week. This trade is looking better and better for the Cowboys. Next: +7.5 vs New Orleans Saints - Thu, Nov. 29

11. Indianapolis Colts (6-5) - The Colts won their fifth straight and are in a tie for the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC with the Baltimore Ravens. They look to extend the streak to six against the sinking Jags. Next: -4 at Jacksonville Jaguars - Sun, Dec. 2

12. Seattle Seahawks (6-5) - A very good win for Seattle on the road at Carolina keeps them in the playoff hunt. They have a favorable schedule down the stretch with a pair of games against the 49ers and a game against the Cardinals. Next: -10 vs San Francisco 49ers - Sun, Dec. 2

13. Baltimore Ravens (6-5) - The Ravens have won two straight with Lamar Jackson at quarterback. The running game and time of possession have improved with Jackson at QB. They plan to stick with Jackson for another week. Next: +1.5 at Atlanta Falcons - Sun, Dec. 2

14. Carolina Panthers (6-5) - Christian McCaffrey leads all running backs in receiving yards with 608 yards and also has 757 rushing yards. McCaffrey is 4th in the NFL with 1,365 total yards from scrimmage. He has a good shot at a 1,000-yard rushing season and a possible shot at a 1,000-yard receiving season. Next: -3.5 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Sun, Dec. 2

15. Washington Redskins (6-5) - The Redskins signed troubled linebacker Reuben Foster three hours after he was released by the 49ers. Foster was arrested for a domestic violence charge on Saturday. This was not his first arrest for domestic violence. When playing football, Foster is a tackling machine. Next: +6.5 at Philadelphia Eagles - Mon, Dec. 3

16. Denver Broncos (5-6) - The Broncos are suddenly on a two-game winning streak and the schedule could help them make a late season playoff push. Case Keenum has not had a turnover in the past three weeks, which is giving the Broncos a chance to win these close games. Next: -5 at Cincinnati Bengals - Sun, Dec. 2

17. Cleveland Browns (4-6-1) - Baker Mayfield said he had no regrets criticizing former head coach Hue Jackson after the game. Apparently, the Browns players do not miss Jackson, who was hired as a special assistant in Cincinnati. Next: +6 at Houston Texans - Sun, Dec. 2

18. Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) - The Eagles got a much-needed win against the Giants at home and are one game behind the Cowboys and the Redskins in the NFC East. The remaining teams on their schedule all have winning records and it is hard to imagine the Eagles winning more than eight games this season. Next: -6.5 vs Washington Redskins - Mon, Dec. 3

19. Tennessee Titans (5-5) - The Titans are inconsistent, and it is driving their fans nuts, but there is some hope for the future. The offensive line is good and quarterback Marcus Mariota looks like he just needs a little more talent at wide receiver and running back to make this team consistent offensively. Next: -8 vs New York Jets - Sun, Dec. 2

20. Green Bay Packers (4-6-1) - The Packers need to win, or the season is over. Not just this week, but every week for the rest of the season. It could happen, but they have a challenging matchup with the Bears in two weeks in Chicago. Next: -14 vs Arizona Cardinals - Sun, Dec. 2

21. Miami Dolphins (5-6) - The Dolphins are ranked 28th on offense and 29th on defense. This is a team that should be 2-9, but somehow is 5-6. A bad team that has an outside shot at a playoff spot, but has no business being in the playoffs. Next: -4 vs Buffalo Bills - Sun, Dec. 2

22. Cincinnati Bengals (5-6) - Baker Mayfield of the Browns looked like Drew Brees against the Bengals, who are the worst defensive team in the NFL and did not disappoint on Sunday in another blowout loss at home. Next: +5 vs Denver Broncos- Sun, Dec. 2

23. Buffalo Bills (4-7) - Josh Allen leads the Bills in passing yardage at 992 and LeSean McCoy leads in rushing yardage at 426, which tells you that this team needs a lot of help on the offensive side of the ball. Next: +4 at Miami Dolphins - Sun, Dec. 2

24. Atlanta Falcons (4-7) - Outside of the Jags, the Falcons have to be the biggest disappointment in the NFL. A team with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, and a team coming off two straight playoff appearances, should not be 4-7. Next: -1.5 vs Baltimore Ravens - Sun, Dec. 2

25. Detroit Lions (4-7) - Ndamukong Suh returns to Detroit to a city that he calls "an amazing city," but he did not have the same kind words for the Lions organization. Expect a motivated Suh to help the Rams stuff the Lion offense. Next: +10 vs Los Angeles Rams - Sun, Dec. 2

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7) - The Bucs found a win against the 49ers, with Jameis Winston looking like a good NFL quarterback, completing 29 of 38 passes for 312 yards and two touchdowns. Can he do it again against the Panthers? Next: +3.5 vs Carolina Panthers - Sun, Dec. 2

27. New York Giants (3-8) - Odell Beckham Jr. was very unhappy Sunday in the loss to the Eagles. Beckham felt the Giants did not attack the Eagles secondary enough. The Eagles only had three cornerbacks for the game, none of whom were on the roster a month ago. He may have a point. No Eli, it is not. Next: +4 vs Chicago Bears – Sun, Dec. 2

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8) - The Jags have lost seven straight games. They fired their offensive coordinator after their latest loss and they benched their quarterback as well. Star running back Leonard Fournette has been suspended for the next game for an on-field fight. This team is sinking faster than the Titanic. Next: +4 vs Indianapolis Colts - Sun, Dec. 2

29. Arizona Cardinals (2-9) - As a junior quarterback at nearby St. John Bosco High, Josh Rosen won a State title at the StubHub Center. As an NFL quarterback for the Cardinals, he threw a touchdown pass to give his team an early lead on the same field against the Chargers. That does not happen very often. Next: +14 at Green Bay Packers - Sun, Dec. 2

Jevone Moore

Rams defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (93) faces former team Lions this Sunday in Detroit

30. San Francisco 49ers (2-9) - The 49ers have won two games this season, against the Lions and the Raiders. Since neither of these teams are on the remaining schedule, it is likely that 49ers may not find another win this season. Next: +10 at Seattle Seahawks - Sun, Dec. 2

31. New York Jets (3-8) - The Jets took their usual beating against the Pats at home. Todd Bowles is in his fourth season as a head coach, has never made the playoffs and is 23-36 as head coach. With the Jets roster, there is little he can do to save his job. Next: +8 at Tennessee Titans - Sun, Dec. 2

32. Oakland Raiders (2-9) - Raiders fans are among the best and most loyal fans in the NFL, so we always want to be able to find something positive to say about this team. Unfortunately, we cannot find any area where the Raiders are playing well at this time. We will need to do more research on this subject. Next: +15 vs Kansas City Chiefs - Sun, Dec. 2


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