Culver City Observer -

By Bill Seals - Fred Altieri
Sport Reporters - PFWA Members 

2020 NFL Power Rankings – Week 15

Rams Hold at #6 - Chargers Rebound to #26

 

December 17, 2020

LA Chargers

Chargers kicker Michael Badgley kicks game winning field goal vs. Falcons

1. Kansas City Chiefs (12-1): The Chiefs have won their fifth consecutive AFC West title and appear to be in the driver's seat for a first-round bye in the playoffs, which would mean their only road trip after this weekend's game would be in Tampa Bay in February to play in the Super Bowl. Next: -3 at New Orleans Saints - Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 51.5 (ATS: 6-7 – O/U: 6-7)

2. Green Bay Packers (10-3): If the Packers win their final three games, they have homefield advantage in the playoffs and the first-round bye in the new seven team playoff format. Patrick Mahomes vs. Aaron Rodgers in the Super Bowl would be an interesting matchup. Next: -8.5 vs Carolina Panthers – Sat, Dec. 19 – O/U: 51.5 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 7-6)

3. Buffalo Bills (10-3): In 2014, quarterback Josh Allen was playing football for Reedley College, a community college in Reedley, California, just hoping to get an FBS offer. He did eventually get just one, that being to the University of Wyoming, and the rest is history. Now he has become one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. Next: -6 at Denver Broncos - Sat, Dec. 19 – O/U: 49.5 (ATS: 7-5 – O/U: 8-3-1)

4. New Orleans Saints (10-3): There are worse things than losing to the Eagles, such as losing to the Jets. But the loss to the Eagles this weekend probably cost the Saints the top seed in the NFL, which means they would get an extra playoff game in the first round and could face a tough second round game against a team like the Rams. Next: +3 vs Kansas City Chiefs – Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 51.5 (ATS: 7-6 – O/U: 8-5)

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2): The Steelers are who we thought they were, and it is not scaring anyone in the AFC. After starting 11-0, winning a several close games against a rather weak schedule, the Steelers have run out of luck and need to find a running game to help their quarterback and their defense. Next: -12.5 at Cincinnati Bengals – Mon, Dec. 21 – O/U: 40.5 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 4-7-2)

6. Los Angeles Rams (9-4): After the Rams clobbered the Patriots on Thursday Night football, Patriot head coach Bill Belichick told Rams head coach Sean McVay, "Great job. You killed us. You had a great plan. You've got a good team." We agree that the Rams have a good team, but can they be a great team? Next: -17.5 vs New York Jets - Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 43.5 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 4-9)

7. Tennessee Titans (9-4): The Titans are hanging on to their division lead by a thread, having gone 4-4 since their 5-0 start to the season. They are currently tied with the Colts for the division lead but own the tiebreaker with a better division record. The Titans play at Green Bay on December 27th in a Sunday Night matchup that may decide if they win the division title. Next: -11 vs Detroit Lions – Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 51.5 (ATS: 6-7 – O/U: 9-3-1)

8. Seattle Seahawks (9-4): Unlike the Raiders, the Seahawks did not need all sixty minutes to defeat the Jets, putting the Jets away early in a 40-3 rout. Quarterback Russell Wilson threw four touchdown passes to give him a career-high 36 for the season. He also threw an interception, giving himself a career high of 12 in that category for a season. Next: -5.5 at Washington Football Team – Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 44.5 (ATS: 7-6 – O/U: 6-7)

9. Indianapolis Colts (9-4): Head coach Frank Reich believes that 39-year-old quarterback Philp Rivers has several years left, stating that, "At the way he's playing right now ... if he wants, he has multiple years of good football ahead of him." It is amazing what a good offensive line and a running game can do for a quarterback that was considered done with the Chargers. Next: -7.5 vs Houston Texans - Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 51 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 8-5)

10. Baltimore Ravens (8-5): Quarterback Lamar Jackson has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week after his fantastic performance against the Browns in the Ravens thrilling 45-42 victory. A special assist goes to Justin Tucker, who kicked the game winning 55-yard field goal in windy conditions. Next: -13 vs Jacksonville Jaguars – Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 7-6 – O/U: 6-7)

11. Cleveland Browns (9-4): In the past two weeks, the Browns have shown that they will be a team that no one will look forward to playing in a playoff game. After beating the Titans impressively on the road, the Browns took on the Ravens at home and yes, they lost, but they looked very impressive in a heavyweight fight with the Ravens, before falling 45-42 on Justin Tucker's last second kick. Next: -4.5 at New York Giants - Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 44.5 (ATS: 5-8 – O/U: 8-5)

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5): The Bucs are another team that no one should look forward to playing in the playoffs. The Bucs have the No. 1 rushing defense in the NFL, a super bowl quarterback in Tom Brady, a running game with Ronald Jones averaging 5.0 yards per carry and an array of talented receivers led by Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski. Next: -6 at Atlanta Falcons - Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 49.5 (ATS: 7-6 – O/U: 7-6)

13. Miami Dolphins (8-5): Running back Myles Gaskin was missed in the loss to the Chiefs. Gaskin was placed on the reserve COVID-19 list, forcing him to miss the Chiefs game. He was replaced by DeAndre Washington, who picked up just 35 yards rushing, and you need a running game to have any chance of beating the Chiefs. Next: -1.5 vs New England Patriots - Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 41.5 (ATS: 10-3 – O/U: 5-8)

14. Arizona Cardinals (7-6): The Cardinals got a much-needed victory on the road against the Giants to stay in the playoff race. The Cardinals are currently the No. 7 seed in the playoffs if the season ended today. Next: -6.5 vs Philadelphia Eagles - Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 49.5 (ATS: 6-7 – O/U: 4-9)

15. Las Vegas Raiders (7-6): The Raiders fired defensive coordinator Paul Guenther after another horrendous defensive performance. The defense has allowed at least 30 points in eight of their 12 games and after giving up over 200 yards on the ground for the second consecutive game, something had to change. Next: -3.5 vs Los Angeles Chargers - Thu, Dec. 17 – O/U: 52 (ATS: 7-6 – O/U: 9-3-1)

16. Minnesota Vikings (6-7): Kicker Dan Bailey went 1 for 3 on extra point attempts and 2 for 3 on field goal attempts in a Week 13 overtime win over the Jaguars. In week 14 against the Bucs, Bailey missed all three of his field goal attempts and his lone extra point attempt. As expected, the Vikings are working out kickers this week to in search of a possible replacement. Next: -3 vs Chicago Bears – Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 47 (ATS: 6-7 – O/U: 8-5)

17. New England Patriots (6-7): Quarterback Cam Newton has thrown for 272 yards in his past three starts combined, which does not make him appear to be the quarterback of the future, since he is struggling in the present at age 32. Next: +1.5 at Miami Dolphins, Dec. 20 – O/U: 41.5 (ATS: 6-7 – O/U: 4-9)

18. Washington Football Team (6-7): The Washington Football Team moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC East with their win over the 49ers. This week's matchup may be a preview of their first-round matchup in the playoffs. Next: +5.5 vs Seattle Seahawks – Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 44.5 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 5-8)

19. New York Giants (5-8): Quarterback Daniel Jones has a sprained left ankle to go with his strained right hamstring and is looking doubtful for this week, which means the Giants fans will likely see four quarters of what Colt McCoy can accomplish. Good luck, Giant fans. Next: +4.5 vs Cleveland Browns - Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 44.5 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 3-10)

20. San Francisco 49ers (5-8): For those that are in the fantasy football playoffs this week and looking for a running back, we suggest Jeff Wilson of the 49ers. Wilson is playing about 50% of the offensive snaps for the 49ers, splitting time with Raheem Mostert and is usually the first choice near the goal line. Wilson has six touchdowns this season, five rushing and one receiving. Next: -3 at Dallas Cowboys – Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 45 (ATS: 5-8 – O/U: 6-7)

21. Chicago Bears (6-7): The Bears found a defense they could run the ball against and that helped quarterback Mitch Trubisky to a good day in a blowout of the Texans. Trubisky threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns and David Montgomery ran for 113 yards and one touchdown in the convincing win. Next: +3 at Minnesota Vikings – Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 47 (ATS: 6-7 – O/U: 5-8)

22. Detroit Lions (5-8): The Lions reportedly have interest in both former Texans general manager Rick Smith and former Giants general manager Jerry Reese for their General Manager opening. In addition to those two, the Lions have already conducted interviews with three internal candidates for the job. Next: +11 at Tennessee Titans – Sun, Oct. 20 – O/U 51.5 (ATS: 6-7 – O/U: 8-5)

23. Carolina Panthers (4-9): Wide receiver Robby Anderson is on a pace to have his best season in the NFL. Anderson needs four more receiving yards to hit 1,000 receiving yards for the season and with three games left, needs 17 receptions to reach 100 receptions for the season. Next: +8.5 at Green Bay Packers – Sat, Dec. 19 – O/U 51.5 (ATS: 7-6 – O/U: 7-6)

24. Houston Texans (4-9): Former Cal Bear wide receiver Chad Hansen, who has struggled to find a home in the NFL, has caught 12 passes for 157 yards in the past two games for the Texans. Hansen was elevated from the practice squad to the roster due to injury issues and the suspension of Will Fuller. Next: +7.5 at Indianapolis Colts – Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 51 (ATS: 4-9 - O/U: 6-7)

25. Denver Broncos (5-8): Wide receiver Diontae Spencer returned a punt 83 yards for a touchdown to give the Broncos an early lead in their 32-27 win over the Panthers. Spencer was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance. Next: +6 vs Buffalo Bills - Sat, Dec. 19 – O/U: 49.5 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 6-7)

26. Los Angeles Chargers (4-9): Can you imagine the possibilities for the Chargers if Bill Belichick were the head coach? That is clearly never going to happen, but with the talent the Chargers have on the roster, would Belichick be 4-9? That is the question the Chargers need to answer in the offseason. Can the Chargers find a head coach that can win close games against good teams? Next: +3.5 at Las Vegas Raiders - Thu, Dec, 17 – O/U: 52 (ATS: 6-7 – O/U: 7-6)

27. Philadelphia Eagles (4-8-1): Rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts replaced starter Carson Wentz and led the Eagles to an upset victory over the Saints. If Hurts is the starter next season, what do the Eagles do with Wentz? If the Eagles release Wentz in the offseason, they will take on a $59 million dollar salary cap hit. Next: +6.5 at Arizona Cardinals – Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 49.5 (ATS: 5-8 – O/U: 5-8)

28. Dallas Cowboys (4-9): Quarterback Andy Dalton returned to Cincinnati, his NFL home for his first nine seasons in the NFL, to lead the Cowboys to an easy 30-7 win over the hapless Bengals. Dalton threw for two touchdowns in the victory. Next: +3 vs San Francisco 49ers - Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U 45 (ATS: 3-10 – O/U 7-6)

29. Atlanta Falcons (4-9): Quarterback Matt Ryan threw three second half interceptions in the loss to the Chargers. Two of the interceptions came in the final five minutes of the game, with the ball in Charger territory. The next head coach or offensive coordinator needs to fix the issues that Ryan is having at quarterback or go in another direction. The two fourth quarter interceptions cost the Falcons the game. Next: +6 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 49.5 (ATS: 5-8 – O/U: 5-8)

30. Cincinnati Bengals (2-10-1): Wide receiver A.J. Green had six reception for 62 yards and a touchdown in the loss to the Cowboys. Green has been a disappointment this season and is probably done in Cincinnati. Green made the pro bowl in each of his first seven seasons with the Bengals, but this season has 41 receptions on 88 targets for just 419 yards and two touchdowns. Next: +12.5 vs Pittsburgh Steelers - Mon, Dec. 21 – O/U: 40.5 (ATS: 7-6 – O/U 5-7-1)

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-12): Quarterback Gardner Minshew has been reinserted as the starting quarterback this week for the Jaguars. If the Jaguars select a quarterback with their first pick in 2021, the likely pick will be Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. Next: +13 at Baltimore Ravens - Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 6-7 – O/U: 6-7)

LA Rams

Rams defensive tackle Michael Brockers - Two quarterback sacks vs. Patriots

32. New York Jets (0-13): The Jets laid to rest any thoughts that they were serious about winning a game this season in their 40-3 loss to the Seahawks. Head coach Adam Gase said recently that he has told CEO and President, Christopher Johnson, "multiple times he deserves better." New York Jets fans would agree. Next: +17.5 at Los Angeles Rams - Sun, Dec. 20 – O/U: 43.5 (ATS: 4-9 – O/U: 6-7)

 

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