Culver City Observer -

By Bill Seals - Fred Altieri
Sports Reporters - PFWA Members 

2020 NFL Power Rankings – Week 14

Rams Move Up to #6, Chargers Plummet to #30

 

December 10, 2020

Jevone Moore

Rams cornerback TroyHill (22) - Celebrates 35-yard pick-six in win over Cardinals

1. Kansas City Chiefs (11-1): The Chiefs are not only blessed with quarterback Patrick Mahomes, but they also have the wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce, who are two of the best at their respective positions, along with a terrific coaching staff led by Andy Reid. Next: -7 at Miami Dolphins - Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 49.5 (ATS: 6-6 – O/U: 5-7)

2. New Orleans Saints (10-2): Quarterback Taysom Hill threw his first two touchdown passes of his career in the win over the Falcons. The versatile quarterback already had eight rushing touchdowns and seven receiving touchdowns in his career. Next: -7 at Philadelphia Eagles – Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 44 (ATS: 7-5 – O/U: 7-5)

3. Green Bay Packers (9-3): Quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw his 400th career touchdown in the Packers victory over the Eagles. The other Aaron, running back Aaron Jones, rushed for 130 yards and one touchdown. Next: -7.5 at Detroit Lions – Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 55 (ATS: 8-4 – O/U: 7-5)

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-1): The Steelers were stunned by the Washington Football Team, 23-17 on Monday evening in Pittsburgh, but they are still the No. 1 seed in the AFC by virtue of a better conference record. Next: +2.5 at Buffalo Bills – Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 46.5 (ATS: 8-4 – O/U: 4-6-2)

5. Buffalo Bills (9-3): Quarterback Josh Allen was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in the win over the 49ers. Allen threw for 375 yards and four touchdowns in the win over the 49ers, as the Bills proved to the Rams that it is possible to beat the 49ers. Next: -2.5 vs Pittsburgh Steelers - Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 48 (ATS: 7-5 – O/U: 8-3-1)

6. Los Angeles Rams (8-4): Fantasy football participants and opposing coaches never know from week-to-week which running back will be featured in the rushing attack of the Rams. Against the Cardinals, Cam Akers rushed for 72 yards and one touchdown and Darrell Henderson Jr. added 49 yards and one touchdown. Malcolm Brown had a -3 yards rushing. Next: -5 vs New England Patriots - Thu, Dec. 10 – O/U: 44.5 (ATS: 7-5 – O/U: 4-8)

7. Cleveland Browns (9-3): The Browns took a stunning 38-7 halftime lead over the Titans on the road and then held on for a 41-35 victory. Quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for 4 first half touchdowns in the impressive victory. Next: +1 vs Baltimore Ravens - Mon, Dec. 14 – O/U: 46.5 (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 7-5)

8. Tennessee Titans (8-4): By falling behind by 31 points at halftime, the Browns were able to take running back Derrick Henry out of the game. Henry had 60 yards rushing on 15 carries and one reception for nine yards in the loss to the Browns. Next: -7.5 at Jacksonville Jaguars – Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 55 (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 9-2-1)

9. Seattle Seahawks (8-4): The Seahawks somehow managed to lose to the New York Giants at home this weekend, 17-12. Quarterback Russell Wilson has never had more than 11 interceptions in a season but has hit that number this season with four games remaining. Next: -13.5 vs New York Jets – Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 47 (ATS: 6-6 – O/U: 6-6)

10. Indianapolis Colts (8-4): Quarterback Philip Rivers has now thrown for at least 3,000 yards in 15 consecutive seasons. Only Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre at 18 has a longer streak. Rivers is on a pace to throw for over 4,000 yards for an eighth consecutive season. Next: -3 at Las Vegas Raiders - Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 51.5 (ATS: 7-5 – O/U: 7-5)

11. Miami Dolphins (8-4): The Dolphins welcomed back running back Myles Gaskin in their win over the Bengals. Gaskin, who missed the previous four games to a knee injury, rushed for 90 yards and had two receptions for 51 yards in his return to action. Next: +7 vs Kansas City Chiefs - Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 49.5 (ATS: 9-3 – O/U: 4-8)

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5): It is winning time for the Bucs, who need to get to at least 10 wins to ensure a playoff slot. For the Bucs, the road to the playoffs will lead through the Falcons, who they play twice in the last three weeks. Next: -6.5 vs Minnesota Vikings - Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 51.5 (ATS: 6-6 – O/U: 7-5)

13. Baltimore Ravens (7-5): Quarterback Lamar Jackson returned and so did the Ravens rushing attack in the victory over the Cowboys. The Ravens rushed for 294 yards in the game and got a 37-yard touchdown run from Jackson. The passing game accounted for only 107 yards, but when you are running for almost 300 yards, who needs a passing attack. Next: -1 at Cleveland Browns – Mon, Dec. 14 – O/U: 46.5 (ATS: 6-6 – O/U: 5-7)

14. Las Vegas Raiders (7-5): The Raiders got a miracle win in New York over the Jets a week after they were spanked by the Falcons, 43-6. The Raiders have wins over the Chiefs (11-1), the Saints (10-2), and the Browns (9-3). Which Raider team will show up this week? Next: +3 vs Indianapolis Colts - Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 51.5 (ATS: 7-5 – O/U: 8-3-1)

15. Minnesota Vikings (6-6): Rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson continues to impress. In the victory over the Jaguars, Jefferson caught nine passes for 121 yards and one touchdown. Jefferson has 61 receptions for 1,039 yards and seven touchdowns through 12 games. Next: +6.5 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 51.5 (ATS: 6-6 – O/U: 8-4)

16. New England Patriots (6-6): Patriots wide receiver Gunner Olszewski has been named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week after a career performance in Week 13 against the Chargers. Olszewski had three punt returns for 145 yards, including one for a 70-yard touchdown return and another 61-yard return setting up a field goal. Olszewski also had a 38-yard touchdown reception. Next: +5 at Los Angeles Rams, Dec. 10 – O/U: 44.5 (ATS: 6-6 – O/U: 4-8)

17. Arizona Cardinals (6-6): The Cardinals have now lost three in a row and four of their last five games and have gone from a solid favorite to make the playoffs to battling with the Vikings for the 7th and final playoff spot. Next: -2 at New York Giants - Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 45 (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 4-8)

18. New York Giants (5-7): The Giants beat Seattle on the road with Colt McCoy at quarterback. McCoy only threw for 105 yards, but were led by the running of Wayne Gallman, who rushed for 135 yards on 16 carries and a defense that had five sacks of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Next: +2 vs Arizona Cardinals - Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 46.5 (ATS: 8-4 – O/U: 3-9)

19. Washington Football Team (5-7): The Washington Football Team lost rookie running back Antonio Gibson early in the game to a toe injury, but quarterback Alex Smith took over and led the Redskins to the upset victory over the previously unbeaten Steelers. Smith threw for 296 yards and one touchdown, in leading a comeback from a 14-0 deficit on the road. Next: +3 at San Francisco 49ers – Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 43.5 (ATS: 7-5 – O/U: 5-7)

20. San Francisco 49ers (5-7): The 49ers welcomed the return of rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk in the loss to the Bills. Aiyuk caught 5 passes for 95 yards and one touchdown. Next season, the combination of tight end George Kittle, and wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Aiyuk gives the 49ers some interesting possibilities on offense. Next: -3 vs Washington Football Team – Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 43.5 (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 6-6)

21. Detroit Lions (5-7): The Lions came from behind to stun the Bears, 34-30 in Chicago. Quarterback Matt Stafford threw for 402 yards and Adrian Peterson rushed for 57 yards and two touchdowns as the Lions celebrated their first game without head coach Matt Patricia. Next: +7.5 vs Green Bay Packers – Sun, Oct. 13 – O/U 55 (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 8-4)

22. Chicago Bears (5-7): The Bears have lost six consecutive games as they are fast circling the drain on the 2020 season. In looking back on the acquisition of Khalil Mack for two 1st round draft picks, the Bears got a great defensive player who has made the defense better, but they do not have enough offensive talent to scare anyone. Next: +1.5 vs Houston Texans – Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 45 (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 5-7)

23. Carolina Panthers (4-8): Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is having a decent season for the Panthers but is he the quarterback of the future for the Panthers? The latest CBS Sports 2021 NFL mock draft has the Panthers picking BYU quarterback Zach Wilson with their first round pick. Next: -3.5 vs Denver Broncos – Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U 47 (ATS: 7-5 – O/U: 6-6)

24. Atlanta Falcons (4-8): With quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones under contract through 2023, the Falcons basically have three seasons with the pair to attempt to get another shot at a Super Bowl ring. Ryan is 35 years old and Jones is 31 years old. Next: -2.5 at Los Angeles Chargers – Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 49 (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 5-7)

25. Houston Texans (4-8): Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney compared quarterback DeShaun Watson to basketball superstar Michael Jordan. Watson has been amazing at times, but the roster is lacking offensive talent and even Jordan had a supporting cast. Next: -1.5 at Chicago Bears – Sun, Dec. 6 – O/U: 45 (ATS: 4-8 - O/U: 6-6)

26. Denver Broncos (4-8): The latest CBS Sports NFL 2021 mock draft has the Broncos selecting Florida quarterback Kyle Trask with their first-round pick. John Elway can see that with Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, and Derek Carr in the AFC West, he needs improvement at the quarterback position. Next: +3.5 at Carolina Panthers - Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 47 (ATS: 7-5 – O/U: 5-7)

27. Philadelphia Eagles (3-8-1): Quarterback Carson Wentz is going to the bench and rookie second round pick Jalen Hurts will get the start. The Eagles problems run deeper than just at quarterback, but at least Wentz will get a rest from the weekly beatings he has been taking at quarterback. Next: +7 vs New Orleans Saints – Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 44 (ATS: 4-8 – O/U: 4-8)

28. Dallas Cowboys (3-9): The Cowboys, along with the Chargers, have one thing going for them in their future. They both have franchise quarterbacks. The Cowboys need defensive help, particularly in the secondary, and need to strengthen their offensive line. Next: -3.5 at Cincinnati Bengals - Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U 42.5 (ATS: 2-10 – O/U 7-5)

29. Cincinnati Bengals (2-9-1): The Bengals led at halftime in Miami against the Dolphins, 7-6, behind a 72-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brandon Allen to wide receiver Tyler Boyd. The Bengals, playing without several offensive starters, at least made the game entertaining for their fans. Next: +3.5 vs Dallas Cowboys - Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 42.5 (ATS: 7-5 – O/U 5-6-1)

30. Los Angeles Chargers (3-9): The latest CBS Sports NFL 2021 mock draft has the Chargers selecting tight end Kyle Pitts of Florida with the first selection, No. 4 overall. It is doubtful that the Chargers grab a tight end that high with other more immediate needs, but it also is a sign that the current Chargers starting tight end, Hunter Henry, may not be back. Henry had one reception for five yards in the loss to the Pats. He is currently making $10.6 million in 2020 and will be a free agent in 2021. Next: +2.5 vs Atlanta Falcons - Sun, Dec, 13 – O/U: 49 (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 7-5)

LA Chargers

Chargers linebacker Kenneth Murray (56) - Celebrates QB sack in loss to Patriots

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-11): In the last five games, the Jaguars have lost four games by four points or less. While this may appear to make them look more like the Chargers, the expectations for the Jags are not very high and the fact that they are competitive says something about the coaches and players. Next: +7.5 vs Tennessee Titans - Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 53 (ATS: 6-6 – O/U: 6-6)

32. New York Jets (0-12): All the focus for the Jets loss to the Raiders is on the decision for an all-out blitz, leaving three defensive backs in man-to-man defense and leading to a game winning touchdown reception by Raiders speedster Henry Ruggs. But before that particular mistake, what was the game plan for covering Darren Waller? The Raiders tight end caught 13 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Next: +13.5 at Seattle Seahawks - Sun, Dec. 13 – O/U: 47 (ATS: 4-8 – O/U: 6-6)

 

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