By Bill Seals - Fred Altieri
Sports Reporters - PFWA Members 

2020 NFL Power Rankings – Week 13

Rams and Chargers Drop


December 3, 2020

LA Chargers

Chargers rookie wide receiver Tyron Johnson - 55-yard reception in loss to the Bills

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-0): The Steelers have a three-game lead over the Browns and a five-game lead over the Ravens for the AFC North division title. They may not be an impressive 11-0 team, but they just find a way to win each week. Next: -7.5 vs Washington Football Team – Mon, Dec. 7 – O/U: 42.5 (ATS: 8-3 – O/U: 4-5-2)

2. Kansas City Chiefs (10-1): Quarterback Patrick Mahomes is playing so well that an opponent not only has a to devise a defensive scheme that will slow him down, but an offensive game plan that is focused on ball control and keeping the ball out of his hands as much as possible. Next: -14 vs Denver Broncos - Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 51 (ATS: 6-5 – O/U: 5-6)

3. New Orleans Saints (9-2): The Saints magic number for clinching the NFC South is just two. Two wins in the last five games will clinch the division or a win by the Saints and a loss by the Bucs will clinch it. Next: -3 at Atlanta Falcons – Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 45.5 (ATS: 6-5 – O/U: 7-4)

4. Green Bay Packers (8-3): Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has thrown for four touchdowns in 5 of the 11 games he has played in this season. Rodgers has thrown for an NFL leading 33 touchdown passes this season and only has 4 interceptions. This is what an MVP season looks like. Next: -8.5 vs Philadelphia Eagles – Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 46.5 (ATS: 7-4 – O/U: 7-4)

5. Tennessee Titans (8-3): The Titans showed that they are a legitimate playoff team by going into Baltimore and Indianapolis in back-to-back weeks and coming out with wins. With the victories, the Titans took control of the AFC South. Next: -5.5 vs Cleveland Browns – Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 53.5 (ATS: 5-6 – O/U: 8-2-1)

6. Buffalo Bills (8-3): Wide receiver Cole Beasley threw the first touchdown pass of his career in the victory over the Chargers. It was the second touchdown pass of the season for a Bills wide receiver. The Bills love to run trick plays and as they see it, they just want to stay aggressive on offense. Next: -1 at San Francisco 49ers - Mon, Dec. 7 – O/U: 48 (ATS: 6-5 – O/U: 7-3-1)

7. Seattle Seahawks (8-3): Someone needs to explain how wide receiver D.K. Metcalf was available in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, at No. 64 overall. Quarterback Russell Wilson and Metcalf are fast becoming the best quarterback-wide receiver duo in the NFL. On Monday Night against the Eagles, Metcalf had 10 catches for 177 yards in the Seahawks win on the road. Next: -10 vs New York Giants – Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 46.5 (ATS: 6-5 – O/U: 6-5)

8. Los Angeles Rams (7-4): In 2018, quarterback Jared Goff threw for 32 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions. He made the pro bowl, led his team to a 13-3 record and to the Super Bowl. Since then, Goff has thrown 38 touchdown passes and 26 interceptions and has a regular season record of 16-11. Coach Sean McVay knows what he can be and needs to get Goff the offensive support he needs to return to his 2018 form if the Rams want to return to the Super Bowl. Next: -3 at Arizona Cardinals - Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 48.5 (ATS: 6-5 – O/U: 3-8)

9. Indianapolis Colts (7-4): Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton had his best game of the season in the loss to the Titans. Hilton caught four passes for 81 yards and his first touchdown of the season. Hilton is making $14.5 million this season and will be a free agent in 2021. He needs to show significant improvement in the last five games to receive anything close to that dollar figure next season... from any team. Next: -3.5 at Houston Texans - Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 51 (ATS: 6-5 – O/U: 7-4)

10. Cleveland Browns (8-3): Wide receiver Jarvis Landry had his best game of the season in the Browns win over the Jags. Landry caught 8 passes for 143 yards and his first touchdown of the season. Landry has been selected to five consecutive Pro Bowls but is likely to miss out on that honor this season. Next: +5.5 at Tennessee Titans - Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 53.5 (ATS: 4-7 – O/U: 6-5)

11. Miami Dolphins (7-4): The Dolphins selected offensive lineman in the first, second and fourth rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft. All three, left tackle Austin Jackson, right tackle Robert Hunt, and right guard Solomon Kindley have started this season and played well. With four draft picks in the first two rounds of the 2021 NFL draft, the Dolphins could be building a very good team in the future. Next: -11.5 vs Cincinnati Bengals - Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 42.5 (ATS: 8-3 – O/U: 4-7)

12. Arizona Cardinals (6-5): The Cardinals had a season-low 298 yards of offense in their loss to the Patriots. The Cardinals have now lost three of their last four games, with the one victory the result of a Hail Mary pass. It will not get any easier this weekend. Next: +3 vs Los Angeles Rams - Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 48.5 (ATS: 5-6 – O/U: 3-8)

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5): The Bucs get a bye this weekend and need to focus on finishing the season strong. They have lost two in a row and three of their last four games but end the season with home games against the Vikings and Falcons, and road games against the Lions and the Falcons. None of these teams currently have a winning record. Next: Bye – Following week: N/A vs Minnesota Vikings - Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: N/A (ATS: 6-6 – O/U: 7-5)

14. Baltimore Ravens (6-5): Quarterback Lamar Jackson missed the game against the Steelers due to a Covid-19 infection, so Robert Griffin III got the start. RG3 did not play well, got hurt and the Ravens turned to No. 3 quarterback, Trace McSorley, who threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown. The Steelers won 19-14, but McSorley may have a future in Baltimore. Next: -7 vs Dallas Cowboys – Tue, Dec. 8 – O/U: 45 (ATS: 4-6 – O/U: 4-6)

15. Las Vegas Raiders (6-5): The Raiders were an embarrassment in Atlanta. Both Julio Jones and Todd Gurley were out for this game and the Falcons did not need either player in this humiliating rout. The Falcons defense came up with five turnovers and held the inept Raiders to 243 yards in total offense. Next: -8.5 at New York Jets - Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 47 (ATS: 7-4 – O/U: 7-3-1)

16. San Francisco 49ers (5-6): The 49ers may not be a playoff team, but do not tell the Rams that. The Niners won their fourth consecutive game over their archrival, 23-20, along with the honor of being the first team to ever beat the Rams at SoFi Stadium. The Niners were led by quarterback Nick Mullins, who was the No. 3 quarterback just six weeks ago. Next: +1 vs Buffalo Bills – Mon, Dec. 7 – O/U: 48 (ATS: 5-6 – O/U: 5-6)

17. Minnesota Vikings (5-6): Wide receiver Chad Beebe caught a game winning ten-yard touchdown pass in the Vikings win over the Panthers. For Beebe, it was the first touchdown reception of his career. His father, Don Beebe, had 23 touchdown receptions in his NFL career, so he has a lot of work to do to catch Dad's numbers. Next: -10 vs Jacksonville Jaguars – Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 52.5 (ATS: 6-5 – O/U: 8-3)

18. New England Patriots (5-6): Quarterback Cam Newton has four touchdown passes and nine interceptions for the season. Those are not impressive numbers for a player that was the 2015 NFL MVP and will be a free agent at the end of the 2020 season. Next: PK at Los Angeles Chargers, Dec. 6 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 5-6 – O/U: 4-7)

19. Chicago Bears (5-6): 55 years ago on December 12, 1965, Bears running back Gale Sayers had the single greatest game in the history of the NFL, scoring six touchdowns to lead the Bears to a 61-20 win over the 49ers. The 2020 Bears, who have lost five in row, have scored one offensive touchdown in the first three quarters of the past five games. Just a reminder that it does not have to be this way. Next: -3 vs Detroit Lions – Sun, Dec. 8 – O/U: 44.5 (ATS: 5-6 – O/U: 4-7)

20. New York Giants (4-7): Quarterback Daniel Jones suffered a hamstring injury in the victory over the Bengals and may not be able to play this weekend. If he cannot go, the Giants will start backup Colt McCoy. Giants fans will have a newfound appreciation for Jones if McCoy is forced to start. Next: +10 at Seattle Seahawks - Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 46.5 (ATS: 7-4 – O/U: 3-8)

21. Washington Football Team (4-7): Rookie running back Antonio Gibson rushed for 115 yards and three touchdowns in the blowout win over the Cowboys. Gibson has 11 rushing touchdowns in 11 games and 878 total offensive yards. Next: +7.5 at Pittsburgh Steelers – Mon, Dec. 7 – O/U: 42.5 (ATS: 6-5 – O/U: 5-6)

22. Carolina Panthers (4-8): The Panthers have lost six of their last seven games, but they are competitive and just need an infusion of talent on the roster to be a playoff team. Six of their eight losses have been by eight points or less, including Sunday's 28-27 loss to the Vikings. Next: Bye – Following week: N/A vs Denver Broncos – Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U 48.5 (ATS: 7-5 – O/U: 6-6)

23. Atlanta Falcons (4-7): The Falcons crushed the Raiders, 43-6 on Sunday and are 4-2 since Raheem Morris took over as the interim head coach. They may not have to look far for their next head coach. Next: +3 vs New Orleans Saints – Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 45.5 (ATS: 5-6 – O/U: 5-6)

24. Houston Texans (4-7): Quarterback DeShaun Watson was selected the AFC Offensive Player of the Week in Week 11 and he probably should win it in week 12 as well. Watson threw for 318 yards and four touchdowns in the rout of the Lions on Thanksgiving Day in Detroit. Next: +3.5 vs Indianapolis Colts – Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 51 (ATS: 4-7 – O/U: 6-5)

25. Denver Broncos (4-7): The Covid-19 pandemic hit home for the Broncos this past weekend when their four quarterbacks were ruled out for the Saints game. Quarterback Jeff Driskell had caught the virus and Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, and Blake Bortles were sent home due to contact tracing. Wide receiver Kendall Hinton got the start, passing for a paltry 13 yards in the blowout loss to the Saints. Next: +14 at Kansas City Chiefs - Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 51 (ATS: 6-5 – O/U: 5-6)

26. Los Angeles Chargers (3-8): If the season ended today, the Chargers would have the 4th pick in the NFL Draft. While there are several areas of need, an interesting selection could be left tackle Penei Sewell from Oregon. A teammate of quarterback Justin Herbert at Oregon, Sewell is considered the top left tackle in the 2021 NFL draft. Next: PK vs New England Patriots - Sun, Dec, 6 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 5-6 – O/U: 7-4)

27. Detroit Lions (4-7): The Lions get blown out by the Texans on Thanksgiving Day and then the Lions ownership decided to blow out head coach Matt Patricia, who is 13-29-1 as the Lions head coach and General Manager Bob Quinn. Next: +3 at Chicago Bears – Sun, Oct. 6 – O/U 44.5 (ATS: 4-7 – O/U: 7-4)

28. Philadelphia Eagles (3-7-1): In his rookie season in 2016, quarterback Carson Wentz threw for 16 touchdowns and had 14 passes intercepted. From 2017 through 2019, Wentz threw 81 touchdown passes and had 21 passes intercepted. In 2020, Wentz has thrown 16 touchdowns and had 15 passes intercepted. Wentz has either regressed this season or he needs a better team around him. Next: +8.5 at Green Bay Packers – Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 46.5 (ATS: 4-7 – O/U: 4-7)

29. Dallas Cowboys (3-8): After watching the Cowboys get crushed at home by the Washington Football Team on Thanksgiving Day, it is apparent that the Cowboys need a new General Manager. Jerry Jones needs to fire himself. Next: +7 at Baltimore Ravens - Tue, Dec. 8 – O/U 45 (ATS: 2-9 – O/U 6-5)

30. Cincinnati Bengals (2-8-1): The Bengals need to focus in the off-season on acquiring talent along both the offensive line and the defensive line. They need to improve the protection for quarterback Joe Burrow, and they need to improve their run defense, which is ranked 30th in the NFL. Next: +11.5 at Miami Dolphins - Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 42.5 (ATS: 7-4 – O/U 5-5-1)

LA Rams

Rams rookie running back Cam Akers - 61-yard run in loss to the 49ers

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10): Veteran quarterback Mike Glennon started and played well in a one-point loss to the Browns. But the effort could not save General Manager Dave Caldwell's job, who was fired after a third consecutive season of double-digit losses. Next: +10 at Minnesota Vikings - Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 52.5 (ATS: 5-6 – O/U: 6-5)

32. New York Jets (0-11): As usual, the Jets lost again this past weekend. They are a solid favorite to win the Tanking for Trevor Sweepstakes. ESPN NFL Draft analyst, Mel Kiper Jr., believes that Trevor Lawrence is the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck in 2012. Unfortunately, Lawrence is aware that he has leverage and may not want to become a Jet or may not want to play for the current head coach. Next: +8.5 vs Las Vegas Raiders - Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 47 (ATS: 3-8 – O/U: 5-6)


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