Culver City Observer -

By Bill Seals - Fred Altieri
Sports Reporters - PFWA Members 

2020 NFL Power Rankings – Week 08

Rams, Chargers Inch Up The Ladder

 

October 29, 2020

LA Chargers

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert - Rookie sensation won his first career game at SoFi Stadium

1.Pittsburgh Steelers (6-0): The Steelers are the only remaining undefeated football team. They have the No. 1 defense in the NFL, a Super Bowl head coach, and a Super Bowl quarterback. They are not a juggernaut, but they are very good. Next: +3.5 at Baltimore Ravens – Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 46.5 (ATS: 5-1 – O/U: 3-2-1)

2. Kansas City Chiefs (6-1): Against the Broncos, the Chiefs failed to convert a third down and quarterback Patrick Mahomes only threw for 200 yards and one touchdown. But the Chiefs crushed the Broncos, 43-16, behind big plays on special teams and defense. The rich just keep getting richer. Next: -19.5 vs New York Jets - Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 49 (ATS: 5-2 – O/U: 3-4)

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-2): The Buccaneers have added wide receiver Antonio Brown to a talented group of receivers and a talented roster. If Brown can stay out of trouble and stay focused on football, this could be the addition that gets the Bucs to the Super Bowl. Next: -10.5 at New York Giants - Mon, Nov. 2 – O/U 46 (ATS: 4-3 – O/U: 4-3)

4. Green Bay Packers (5-1): Packer wide receiver Davante Adams caught 13 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns as the Packers easily defeated the Texans in Houston. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for four touchdowns and for the season has 17 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. Next: -6.5 vs Minnesota Vikings - Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 51.5 (ATS: 5-1 – O/U: 3-3)

5. Tennessee Titans (5-1): The Titans almost fell to the Texans last week and this week they did fall, losing 27-24 to the Steelers. Losing left tackle Taylor Lewan to a season-ending ACL knee injury will not help the Titans in their playoff run. Next: -5.5 at Cincinnati Bengals – Sun, Nov. 1 – 53.5 (ATS: 2-4 – O/U: 4-1-1)

6. Baltimore Ravens (5-1): The Ravens continue to play well despite a passing attack that is ranked 31st in the NFL, averaging just 177 yards per game. The Ravens lead the NFL in scoring defense and with their all-world kicker, Justin Tucker, they have proven to be tough to beat despite their anemic passing attack. Next: -3.5 vs Pittsburgh Steelers – Sun, Nov 1 – O/U 46.5 (ATS: 3-3 – O/U: 2-4)

7. Seattle Seahawks (5-1): For the third time this season, the Seahawks gave up over 500 yards of offense to an opponent, this time in a loss to the Cardinals in overtime. The Seahawks are last in defense yardage per game, allowing 479 yards per game. They do have 12 turnovers on defense in six games. Next: -3 vs San Francisco – Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 54 (ATS: 4-2 – O/U: 3-4)

8. Buffalo Bills (5-2): The Bills knocked off the Jets 18-10 to end their two-game losing streak. The Bills need to take control of the AFC East and with a challenging schedule over the next seven weeks, that needs to start this weekend. Next: -3.5 vs New England Patriots - Sun, Nov. 1 – 42.5 (ATS: 3-4 – O/U: 4-2-1)

9. Los Angeles Rams (5-2): Rams punter Johnny Hekker got a game ball for his punting on Monday Night, putting all five punt attempts inside the ten-yard line. Hekker was also selected as the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Next: -3.5 at Miami Dolphins - Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 46 (ATS: 4-3 – O/U: 2-5)

10. Arizona Cardinals (5-2): The Cardinals are 2-0 within the division and in the tough NFC West, that may end up being very important. The Cardinal have beaten the 49ers in San Francisco and this past week knocked off the Seahawks at home. They play the Rams on December 6th at home and on January 3rd in Los Angeles. That final game could be interesting. Next: Bye – Following week: N/A vs Miami Dolphins - Sun, Nov. 8 – O/U N/A (ATS: 5-2 – O/U: 1-6)

11. Chicago Bears (5-2): As the Rams showed on Monday Night, the Bears are a good defensive team that needs an offensive unit that they can be proud of. The Bears are ranked last in rushing offense in the NFL. Over their last four games, the Bears have amassed 28, 35, 63 and 49 yards rushing. It is amazing that they actually won two of those four games. Next: -4.5 vs New Orleans Saints – Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 43.5 (ATS: 4-3 – O/U: 2-5)

12. Las Vegas Raiders (3-3): The Raiders need to start taking the pandemic seriously. When right tackle Trent Brown tested positive last week, the whole offensive line was quarantined, which forced the offensive line to miss practice for the entire week. Because of previous violations, the Raiders are now looking at a fine and a possible loss of a draft pick. Next: +2.5 at Cleveland Browns - Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 51.5 (ATS: 3-3 – O/U: 5-0-1)

13. Cleveland Browns (5-2): The good news is that the Browns crushed their in-state divisional rival, the Bengals, with Baker Mayfield throwing five touchdown passes. The bad news is that they lost wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for the season with a torn ACL knee injury. Next: -2.5 vs Las Vegas Raiders - Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 51.5 (ATS: 3-4 – O/U: 5-2)

14. San Francisco 49ers (4-3): One week after their dominant win over the Rams at home, the 49ers went on the road to New England and pretty much did whatever they wanted to do. The 49ers gained 467 yards in offense to 241 yards for the Pats, got four turnovers and dominated time of possession, winning the game easily, 33-6. Next: +3 at Seattle Seahawks – Sun, Nov 1 – O/U 54 (ATS: 4-3 – O/U: 3-4)

15. Indianapolis Colts (4-2): Whatever happened to wide receiver T.Y. Hilton? Hilton has yet to find the end-zone and has not topped 70 yards in a game this season. The four-time pro bowl receiver is healthy and is either overdue for a breakout game or headed for the bench. Next: -3 at Detroit Lions at Detroit Lions - Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 50 (ATS: 3-3 – O/U: 3-3)

16. New Orleans Saints (4-2): The Saints were without both starting wide receivers against the Panthers, which turned out to be no problem for quarterback Drew Brees. Rookie wide receiver Marquez Callaway caught 8 passes for 75 yards in the win over the Panthers. Next: -4.5 at Chicago Bears – Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 43.5 (ATS: 2-4 – O/U: 6-0)

17. Carolina Panthers (3-4): The Panthers have activated running back Christian McCaffrey from the injured reserve and he should be available this week. The Panthers went 3-2 without McCaffrey in the lineup and backup running back Mike Davis played well in his absence. Next: -2.5 vs Atlanta Falcons – Thu, Nov. 29 – O/U 51 (ATS: 4-3 – O/U: 3-4)

18. Los Angeles Chargers (2-4): The Chargers won their first game since September 13th when they knocked off the sinking Jaguars behind 413 yards in total offense from Justin Herbert, their rookie quarterback. While Joe Burrow may get more attention, Herbert is the best rookie in the NFL. Next: -3 at Denver Broncos - Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 44.5 (ATS: 5-1 – O/U: 3-3)

19. Miami Dolphins (3-3): The Dolphins are riding a two-game winning streak and will start rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the 5th pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, this Sunday. Tagovailoa will likely be introduced to Mr. Aaron Donald early and often. Next: +3.5 vs Los Angeles Rams - Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 46 (ATS: 4-2 – O/U: 2-4)

20. Detroit Lions (3-3): The Lions have now won two consecutive games, which will give them some false hope that they could make the playoffs, although the wins came against the Jaguars and the Falcons. In pursuit of that dream scenario, the Lions acquired defensive end Everson Griffin from the Cowboys for a conditional 6th round draft pick. Next: +3 vs Indianapolis Colts – Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 50 (ATS: 3-3 – O/U: 3-3)

21. Philadelphia Eagles (2-4-1): Whatever people think of quarterback Carson Wentz, he fights to the very end. Trailing 21-10 against the Giants late in the game, Wentz threw two touchdown passes in the final five minutes, with the last pass a beautiful 18-yard touchdown toss to running back Boston Scott with just forty seconds remaining to win the game. Next: -3.5 vs Dallas Cowboys – Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 43 (ATS: 2-5 – O/U: 4-3)

22. Denver Broncos (2-4): It is hard to win in the NFL when your special teams give up a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and your quarterback has an interception returned for a touchdown. It is especially difficult when you are playing the Kansas City Chiefs, as the Broncos found out Sunday, losing to the Chiefs 43-16 at home. Next: +3 vs Los Angeles Chargers - Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 44.5 (ATS: 4-2 – O/U: 3-3)

23. New England Patriots (2-4): Tom Brady knew that it was time to leave the Pats. The six-time Super Champion quarterback could see that the talent was not there to consistently sustain an offensive attack and the defense could only do so much. Landing in Tampa Bay has turned out well for Brady to this point. Next: +3.5 at Buffalo Bills – Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 42.5 (ATS: 2-4 – O/U: 2-4)

24. Washington Football Team (2-5): Running back Aaron Gibson rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown as the Washington Football Team rolled over the Cowboys at home. The WFT held the Cowboys to 142 yards in total offense. Next: Bye – Following week: N/A vs New York Giants – Sun, Nov. 8 – O/U N/A (ATS: 4-3 – O/U: 3-4)

25. Minnesota Vikings (1-5): The season has fallen apart for the Vikings, but it can be salvaged. There is plenty of talent on offense with running back Dalvin Cook, wide receiver Adam Thielen, rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson and quarterback Kirk Cousins. The issue may end up being the defense. Next: +6.5 at Green Bay Packers – Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 51.5 (ATS: 3-3 – O/U: 4-2)

26. Houston Texans (1-6): The two Texas professional football teams, the Texans, and the Cowboys, are playing some of the worst football in the NFL. The Texans can score points on offense, but the defense is struggling, giving up an average of 31 points per game. The two Texas teams have a combined record of 3-11. Next: Bye – Following week: N/A at Jacksonville Jaguars – Sun, Nov. 8 – O/U N/A (ATS: 1-6 – O/U: 4-3)

27. Cincinnati Bengals (1-5-1): Quarterback Joe Burrow is playing well and is on a pace to throw for over 4,000 yards. Unfortunately, Burrow is tied with Carson Wentz of the Eagles as the most sacked quarterback in the NFL at 28 sacks in seven games. Next: +5.5 vs Tennessee Titans - Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 53.5 (ATS: 5-2 – O/U 4-3)

28. Atlanta Falcons (1-6): The Falcons continue to find amazing new ways to lose football games. Trailing 16-14 with a first-and-goal at the Lions ten-yard line, the Falcons simply needed to run the clock down and kick a chip shot field goal to win the game. Instead, Todd Gurley scored a touchdown, giving the Lions enough time to drive downfield and score the winning touchdown with no time on the clock. Next: +2.5 at Carolina Panthers – Thu, Nov. 29 – O/U 51 (ATS: 2-5 – O/U: 4-3)

29. Dallas Cowboys (2-5): One week after the Cowboys were blown out by the Cardinals at home, they went on the road and got rolled over by the Washington Football Team. The Cowboys are last in turnover ratio, with a -13, last in rushing defense and last in scoring defense. Their offense has scored 13 points in the past two games. Yep, this is a bad football team. Next: +3.5 at Philadelphia Eagles - Sun, Nov. 1 - O/U 43 (ATS: 0-7 – O/U 4-3)

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6): The Jaguars have allowed 30 more points in six consecutive games, becoming the first team since the 1984 Minnesota Vikings to allow 30 or more points in six consecutive games in a single season. They have also lost all six games. Next: Bye – Following week: N/A vs Houston Texans - Sun, Nov. 8 – O/U N/A (ATS: 2-5 – O/U: 4-3)

Jevone Moore

Rams punter Johnny Hekker - NFL's premier kicking weapon also has a knack for throwing the football

31. New York Giants (1-6): Quarterback Daniel Jones passed for 187 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 92 yards in the Giants 22-21 loss to the Eagles. The Giants drafted three offensive linemen in the first five rounds and these players need time to develop, which is not helping Jones. Next: +10.5 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Mon, Nov. 2 – O/U 46 (ATS: 4-3 – O/U: 2-5)

32. New York Jets (0-7): The Jets had a double-digit lead against Buffalo and held the Bills without a touchdown in an 18-10 loss to the Bills. The eight-point loss was the closest loss they have had this season, but the Jets held on for the loss and held on to their No. 1 ranking in the Trevor Lawrence Sweepstakes. Next: +19.5 at Kansas City Chiefs - Sun, Nov. 1 – O/U 49 (ATS: 1-6 – O/U: 3-4)

 

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