Culver City Observer -

By Bill Seals - Fred Altieri
Sports Reporters - PFWA Members 

2020 NFL Power Rankings – Week 16

Rams Plunge, Chargers Rise

 

January 7, 2021

LA Chargers

Chargers future is bright with quarterback Justin Herbert

1. Kansas City Chiefs (13-1): Tight end Travis Kelce made the Pro Bowl, as usual, and is in a position to become the first tight end ever to the lead the NFL in receiving yardage. Kelce is currently in second place with 1,318 yards, just six yards behind DeAndre Hopkins of the Cardinals. Next: -10.5 vs Atlanta Falcons - Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 53.5 (ATS: 7-7 – O/U: 7-7)

2. Green Bay Packers (11-3): With a little help, the Packers could clinch homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs this weekend with a win this weekend. The help would come from the Rams, who would need to beat the Seahawks this weekend. They could also earn a first-round bye as well. Next: -3.5 vs Tennessee Titans – Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 56 (ATS: 8-6 – O/U: 7-7)

3. Buffalo Bills (11-3): Bills quarterback Josh Allen has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 15. This is the fourth time this season that Allen has won the award and the sixth time in his career. Allen threw for four touchdown and 359 yards in the Bills victory over the Broncos. Next: -7 at New England Patriots - Mon, Dec. 28 – O/U: 46 (ATS: 9-5 – O/U: 9-4-1)

4. New Orleans Saints (10-4): Quarterback Drew Brees returned from his cracked ribs injury and looked a bit rusty, completing only 44% of his passes in a loss to the Chiefs. He did throw for three touchdowns with one interception. The Saints need to get Brees healthy along with wide receiver Michael Thomas to have any chance in the playoffs. Next: -7 vs Minnesota Vikings – Fri, Dec. 25 – O/U: 51 (ATS: 7-7 – O/U: 9-5)

5. Seattle Seahawks (10-4): The Seahawks tied a franchise-record with seven players selected to the Pro Bowl. The Seahawks are ranked last in pass defense in the NFL at 293 yards per game, so it is interesting that three defensive players, two from the secondary, made the Pro Bowl. Next: -1.5 vs Los Angeles Rams – Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 7-7 – O/U: 6-8)

6. Indianapolis Colts (10-4): Through the first ten games this season, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton caught 21 passes for 327 yards and zero touchdowns. In the last four games, Hilton has caught 27 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns. After a slow start, the Colts are happy to have Hilton back in form. Next: -1.5 at Pittsburgh Steelers - Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 45 (ATS: 8-6 – O/U: 8-6)

7. Cleveland Browns (10-4): The Browns could win their first division title in 31 years if things go right this weekend. If we assume the Brown will beat the Jets this weekend, an assumption the Rams would warn against, and assume the fading Steelers lose to the Colts, Week 17 would pit Pittsburgh at Cleveland for the AFC North division title. Next: -9.5 at New York Jets - Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 47 (ATS: 6-8 – O/U: 8-6)

8. Tennessee Titans (10-4): The Titans play at Green Bay on December 27th in a Sunday Night matchup that may decide if they win the division title and if Green Bay is the No. 1 seed in the NFC. The Titans could also lose their final two games and miss the playoffs. Next: +3.5 at Green Bay Packers – Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 56 (ATS: 7-7 – O/U: 10-3-1)

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-5): The Bucs with a win on Saturday can clinch a playoff berth, their first since the 2007 season. The Bucs have not won a playoff game since their victory over the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII on January 26th, 2003. Next: -9.5 at Detroit Lions - Sat, Dec. 26 – O/U: 54 (ATS: 7-7 – O/U: 8-6)

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3): The Steelers are fading fast after losing their third consecutive game to the Bengals on Monday Night football. Fortunately for the Steelers, they have already clinched a playoff berth, but they also appear to be headed for a quick exit from the playoffs. Next: +1.5 vs Indianapolis Colts – Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 45 (ATS: 8-6 – O/U: 5-7-2)

11. Los Angeles Rams (9-5): We stated last week that the Rams were a good football team, but we also asked if they could be a great football team? The Rams provided a quick answer for us, losing to the previously winless Jets, 23-20. Next: +1.5 at Seattle Seahawks - Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 8-6 – O/U: 4-10)

12. Baltimore Ravens (9-5): Quarterback Lamar Jackson went from NFL MVP in 2019 to not making the Pro Bowl in 2020. The bigger issue for Jackson and the Ravens is just making the playoffs. The Ravens could end up 11-5 and out of the playoffs unless the teams ahead of them lose games. Next: -10 vs New York Giants – Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 45 (ATS: 8-6 – O/U: 7-7)

13. Miami Dolphins (9-5): Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa only threw for 145 yards and an interception against the Patriots, but he did rush for two touchdowns in the Dolphins win over the Pats on Sunday. He gets an easier defensive challenge this week. Next: -3 at Las Vegas Raiders - Sat, Dec. 26 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 11-3 – O/U: 5-9)

14. Arizona Cardinals (8-6): The Cardinals can clinch a playoff berth this weekend with a victory over the 49ers this weekend and either a loss or tie from the Bears against the Jags this weekend. We know that Jets fans will be rooting for a Jags win this weekend. Next: -5 vs San Francisco 49ers - Sat, Dec. 26 – O/U: 49 (ATS: 7-7 – O/U: 4-10)

15. Chicago Bears (7-7): The suddenly resurgent Bear offense needs to continue playing well this weekend if they are to make the playoffs. The Bears need to catch the Cardinals to make the playoffs, having already clinched the tiebreaker over Arizona based on either conference record or record versus common opponents. Next: -7.5 at Jacksonville Jaguars – Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 47 (ATS: 7-7 – O/U: 6-8)

16. Las Vegas Raiders (7-7): The Raiders got a glimpse of what Marcus Mariota could bring at quarterback and must be intrigued by the possibilities. Mariota came in for an injured Derek Carr and threw for 226 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 88 yards and another touchdown. Next: +3 vs Miami Dolphins - Sat, Dec. 26 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 7-7 – O/U: 10-3-1)

17. Minnesota Vikings (6-8): The Vikings have some good offensive talent but will need to look to the NFL draft and free agency to fix some of their defensive issues. The Vikings are currently ranked 23rd in the league in rushing yards allowed and that might be an area to start in, although they need help in the secondary as well. Next: +7 at New Orleans Saints – Fri, Dec. 25 – O/U: 51 (ATS: 6-8 – O/U: 9-5)

18. New England Patriots (6-8): When you look at the Patriots roster, head coach Bill Belichick has done a tremendous job getting six wins out of this team. The Pats are 30th in offensive passing yardage and in today's NFL game, a team must be able to make plays in the passing game to win NFL games. Next: +7 vs Buffalo Bills, Mon, Dec. 28 – O/U: 46 (ATS: 6-8 – O/U: 4-10)

19. Washington Football Team (6-8): The Washington Football Team needs a victory over the Panthers and a loss by the Giants against the Ravens this weekend to clinch the NFC East title and a first-round home playoff game. Next: -2.5 vs Carolina Panthers – Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 44.5 (ATS: 9-5 – O/U: 5-9)

20. New York Giants (5-9): The injury to quarterback Daniel Jones has likely cost the Giants any shot at the playoffs. Jones has a hamstring injury and when you are the quarterback of the Giants, you need a healthy hamstring to play quarterback. Next: +10 at Baltimore Ravens - Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 45 (ATS: 8-6 – O/U: 3-11)

21. San Francisco 49ers (5-9): The 49ers have signed quarterback Josh Rosen off the Buccaneers practice squad. Rosen was originally drafted by the Arizona Cardinals 10th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. Rosen singed a one-year deal for $750,000 with the 49ers. He will back up C.J. Beathard for the final two games. Next: +5 at Arizona Cardinals – Sat, Dec. 26 – O/U: 49 (ATS: 5-9 – O/U: 7-7)

22. Los Angeles Chargers (5-9): The Chargers have a decision to make with defensive end Melvin Ingram in the offseason. Due to injuries, Ingram has only played in seven games and has not recorded a sack this season. He is making $14 million in the last year of his contract and will be 32 years old next season. Next: -3 vs Denver Broncos - Sun, Dec, 27 – O/U: 48.5 (ATS: 7-7 – O/U: 8-6)

23. Houston Texans (4-10): The amazing DeShaun Watson made another Pro Bowl, despite his team's 4-10 record. Through 14 games, Watson has thrown for 4,134 yards, completed 69.9% of his passes, thrown for 27 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He has also rushed for 394 yards and three touchdowns. How good would the Rams be with a quarterback like Watson? Next: -8 vs Cincinnati Bengals – Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 46 (ATS: 5-9 - O/U: 6-8)

24. Dallas Cowboys (5-9): Amazingly, the Cowboys can still win the NFC East division. If the Cowboys can win their final two games, and the Giants and the Washington Football team both lose their final two games, the Cowboys are division champs. Next: +2 vs Philadelphia Eagles - Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U 49.5 (ATS: 4-10 – O/U 8-6)

25. Detroit Lions (5-9): The Lions had three players make the Pro Bowl, which was one more than the Rams, Raiders, and Chargers. Tight end T.J. Hockenson, center Frank Ragnow, and punter Jack Fox all made the Pro Bowl. Along with quarterback Matt Stafford, wide receiver Kenny Golladay and running back DeAndre Swift, there is some talent to work with in Detroit. Next: +9.5 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sat, Oct. 26 – O/U 51.5 (ATS: 6-8 – O/U: 9-5)

26. Carolina Panthers (4-10): The Panthers have fired their General Manager, Marty Hurney, after another losing season. The Panthers are the fifth team this season to fire their general manager, joining the Lions, Jaguars, Texans, and Falcons. Next: +2.5 at Washington Football Team – Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U 44.5 (ATS: 8-6 – O/U: 7-7)

27. Denver Broncos (5-9): The Broncos are last in the NFL in turnover ratio at a -18, with the next closest team at -11 (49ers). The Broncos have been devastated by injuries this year, but the question could be asked, "How good was this team before the injuries?" Next: +3 at Los Angeles Chargers - Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 48.5 (ATS: 8-6 – O/U: 7-7)

28. Philadelphia Eagles (4-9-1): After a sack free game the week before against the Saints, the Eagles went back to the norm, with quarterback Jalen Hurts getting sacked six times in the loss to the Cardinals. The Eagles have allowed an NFL high 59 sacks, with the next closest team being the Bengals with 48 sacks allowed. Next: -2 at Dallas Cowboys – Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 49.5 (ATS: 5-9 – O/U: 6-8)

29. Atlanta Falcons (4-10): Once again, the Falcons took a huge lead in a football game only to give the lead back in their loss to the Bucs. They took an early 24-7 lead, before allowing three third quarter touchdowns to the Bucs. The Falcons have blown four leads in the fourth quarter this season and have seen three double-digit leads disappear in the second half. Next: +10.5 at Kansas City Chiefs – Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 53.5 (ATS: 6-8 – O/U: 6-8)

30. Cincinnati Bengals (3-10-1): The Steelers somehow managed to lose on Monday Night to a quarterback that threw for only 89 yards, completing 7 of 13 passes, with one touchdown pass. Finley did rush for 47 yards and a touchdown as the Bengals stunned the Steelers. Next: +8 at Houston Texans - Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 46 (ATS: 8-6 – O/U 6-7-1)

31. New York Jets (1-13): The Jets finally won, but as some Jet fans are asking, at what cost? Sure, Sam Darnold is not a bad quarterback, but how often does a franchise quarterback like Trevor Lawrence come along? Next: +9.5 vs Cleveland Browns - Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 47 (ATS: 5-9 – O/U: 6-8)

LA Rams

Cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) and defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) - NFL Pro Bowl starters

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-13): The Jags have moved up into first place in the Trevor Lawrence Sweepstakes after the Jets stumbled in Los Angeles and defeated the Rams. Jags fans hope the team will not have Delusions of grandeur and make the same mistake the Jets made against the Rams. Next: +7.5 vs Chicago Bears - Sun, Dec. 27 – O/U: 47 (ATS: 6-8 – O/U: 7-7)

 

Reader Comments(0)

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2021