Culver City Observer -

By Bill Seals - Fred Altieri
Sports Reporters - PFWA Members 

2021 NFL Power Rankings – Week 12

Rams and Chargers Drop

 

December 2, 2021

Ty Nowell - LA Chargers

Chargers punter Ty Long - 47.7 punting average ranks 12th in NFL

1. Arizona Cardinals (9-2): With the Cardinals coming off a bye, head coach Kliff Kingsbury is hopeful quarterback Kyler Murray can play in Week 13. Murray has been out for the past month with an ankle injury. Next: -7.5 at Chicago Bears - Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 45.5 (ATS: 8-3 – O/U: 5-6)

2. Green Bay Packers (9-3): Despite a toe injury, quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and also ran for a score in the Green Bay Packers' 36-28 victory over the Rams. The reigning MVP completed 28 of 45 passes for 307 yards in the home win. Next: Bye – Following week: N/A vs Chicago Bears - Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U N/A (ATS: 10-2 – O/U: 4-8)

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-3): The Buccaneers pulled out a tough win in Indianapolis over the Colts, 38-31, to solidify their playoff credentials. They have a three-game lead over the second place Saints. Next: -11 at Atlanta Falcons - Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 50.5 (ATS: 5-6 – O/U: 6-5)

4. New England Patriots (8-4): The Patriots are in first place in the AFC East because they play smart, disciplined football. The Pats are tied for second with the Bills in takeaways with 25 and lead the NFL in passes intercepted with 19. Next: -2.5 at Buffalo Bills – Mon, Dec. 6 – O/U 44 (ATS: 8-4 – O/U: 6-6)

5. Baltimore Ravens (8-3): Quarterback Lamar Jackson threw four interceptions, and the Ravens were held to 16 points, but were still able to defeat the Browns. It helps when you can run the ball, play defense, and have the best field goal kicker in the game. A lesson the Rams and the Chargers should learn. Next: -4 at Pittsburgh Steelers – Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 44 (ATS: 5-6 – O/U: 5-6)

6. Buffalo Bills (7-4): The Bills needed a win, and the schedule rewarded the Bills with the Saints in Week 12. Quarterback Josh Allen threw four touchdown passes and rushed for 43 yards in the easy 31-6 win over the Saints in New Orleans. Next: +2.5 vs New England Patriots - Mon, Dec. 6 – O/U 44 (ATS: 6-4-1 – O/U: 5-6)

7. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4): The Chiefs are coming off a bye with a full game lead over the Broncos, Raiders, and Chargers, all at 6-5. The Chiefs take on the Broncos in a huge game at home on Sunday Night. Next: -10 vs Denver Broncos - Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 47 (ATS: 4-7 – O/U: 5-6)

8. Cincinnati Bengals (7-4): The Bengals treated the Steelers with little hospitality in their 41-10 blowout win over the Steelers in Cincinnati. The Steelers were never in this game, trailing 41-3 early in the 4th quarter before scoring a meaningless touchdown in garbage time. It was the third consecutive win by the Bengals over the Steelers, after the Steelers had won 11 straight against the Bengals. Next: -3 vs Los Angeles Chargers - Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 50.5 (ATS: 6-5 – O/U: 5-6)

9. Dallas Cowboys (7-4): The Cowboys have lost three of their last four games and suddenly do not look as tough as they did early in the season. The loss in overtime on Thanksgiving to the Raiders was viewed by an estimated average viewership of 38.5 million, the most-watched regular season NFL game since 1990. Next: -4.5 at New Orleans Saints - Thu, Dec. 2 – O/U 47.5 (ATS: 8-3 – O/U: 6-5)

10. Tennessee Titans (8-4): The Titans have lost the turnover battle in the past two weeks and that has resulted in back-to-back losses. After losing the turnover battle to the Texans 5-0 in Week 11, the Titans followed that up by losing the turnover battle to the Patriots, 4-0. That is a recipe for losing in the NFL. Next: Bye – Following week: N/A vs Jacksonville Jaguars - Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U N/A (ATS: 7-5 – O/U: 7-5)

11. Los Angeles Rams (7-4): The Rams have lost three consecutive games and do not look like a playoff team. Quarterback Matthew Stafford has six turnovers in the past three games as the Rams have struggled to run the football and rediscover their offense. And... their special teams are not very special. Corey Bojorquez outkicked Johnny Hekker for the Rams punting job during training camp in August, but the Rams stayed with Hekker. Bojorquez then signed with the Packers and once again outkicked Hekker last Sunday. Next: -12.5 vs Jacksonville Jaguars - Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 48 (ATS: 4-7 – O/U: 6-4-1)

12. San Francisco 49ers (6-5): The 49ers have won three consecutive games to climb back into the playoff race. They are just one game behind the Rams and with games coming up against the Seahawks, Falcons and Texans, they should be able to stay within a game of the Rams, setting up a huge season finale at Sofi Stadium on January 9, 2022. Next: -3 at Seattle Seahawks – Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 45.5 (ATS: 5-6 – O/U: 6-5)

13. Denver Broncos (6-5): The Broncos easily defeated the Chargers in an AFC West division game, 28-13. The Broncos came out with more energy and won the game at the line of scrimmage, shutting down the Chargers running game and rushing for 147 yards in the victory. Next: +10 at Kansas City Chiefs - Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 47 (ATS: 6-5 – O/U: 2-9)

14. Los Angeles Chargers (6-5): The Chargers have a problem on their offensive line, which is being caused by a combination of injuries and lack of depth. In their 28-13 loss at Denver to the Broncos, quarterback Justin Herbert was pressured 19 times, sacked three times, and hit ten times. The Broncos were able to get constant pressure with a four-man rush. Next: +3 at Cincinnati Bengals, Dec. 5 – O/U 50.5 (ATS: 5-6 – O/U: 4-7)

15. Las Vegas Raiders (6-5): The Raiders will go as far as quarterback Derek Carr can take them and that should make Raider fans nervous. Carr has never established the consistency to carry the Raiders on his back. He can be brilliant at times and at other times, he should be benched for backup Marcus Mariota. Next: -2.5 vs Washington Football Team - Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 49.5 (ATS: 5-6 – O/U: 5-5)

16. Indianapolis Colts (6-6): The Colts are playing good football but ran into the defending Super Bowl Champions on Sunday, losing to the Buccaneers, 38-31. Linebacker Darius Leonard had 15 tackles and became the sixth player in Colts history to reach 500 in his career. Leonard is only 26 years of age. Next: -9 at Houston Texans – Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 45.5 (ATS: 7-5 – O/U: 8-4)

17. Cleveland Browns (6-6): Kareem Hunt Sr., the father of Browns running back Kareem Hunt Jr., stated the obvious regarding quarterback Baker Mayfield on Facebook after Sunday's loss to the Ravens. "I'm stating facts on football and what we see [is] he's limping, he's scared to throw the ball and they know he's hurt," said Hunt. It is also obvious to every team that plays the Browns. Next: Bye – Following week: N/A vs Baltimore Ravens – Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U N/A (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 6-6)

18. Minnesota Vikings (5-6): In every game they have played in this season, the Vikings have held at least a seven-point lead. That is in all eleven games this season. Unfortunately for the Vikings, holding on to leads has not been the strength of the team. Against the 49ers, the Vikings led 14-7, but allowed three touchdowns in the span of 4:09 to give the 49ers a 14-point lead, a lead they never relinquished. Next: -7 at Detroit Lions – Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 46.5 (ATS: 6-5 – O/U: 6-5)

19. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5-1): After giving up 41 points to the Chargers in a loss, the Steelers went out to prove that it was no fluke and gave up 41 points to the Bengals in a 41-10 blowout loss. These Steelers are definitely not your Grandfather's Steelers or even your Father's Steelers. Next: +4 vs Baltimore Ravens – Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 44 (ATS: 4-7 – O/U: 4-6-1)

20. Washington Football Team (5-6): The Washington Football Team has a three-game winning streak after knocking off the Seahawks at home, 17-15. Antonio Gibson led the ball control attack against the Seahawks with 111 yards rushing. Next: +2.5 at Las Vegas Raiders – Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 49.5 (ATS: 4-7 – O/U: 5-6)

21. New Orleans Saints (5-6): Running back Alvin Kamara has now missed three straight games and without him in the lineup, the Saints are offensively harmless. They have lost all three games without Kamara. Next: +4.5 vs Dallas Cowboys – Thu, Dec. 2 – O/U 47.5 (ATS: 5-6 – O/U: 6-5)

22. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7): Quarterback Jalen Hurts had a terrible day throwing the ball, completing 14 of 31 pass attempts for just 129 yards and with three interceptions in the 13-7 loss to the Giants. Hurts did rush for 77 yards on eight carries, but the Eagles need a passing quarterback, not a running quarterback. Next: -6.5 at New York Jets – Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 45 (ATS: 6-6 – O/U: 6-6)

23. Miami Dolphins (5-7): The Dolphins have a four-game winning streak, and the cry is now, "Break up the Fish." But seriously, the Dolphins are finally playing the kind of football that was expected from them and the credit must go to head coach Brian Flores and his coaching staff for keeping the team focused. Next: -3 vs New York Giants - Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 41.5 (ATS: 6-5-1 – O/U: 5-7)

24. Carolina Panthers (5-7): Running back Christian McCaffrey is done for the year with an injured ankle. The Panthers are likely done as well. McCaffrey was signed to a four-year, $64 million dollar extension in April of 2020 and since then has had a difficult time staying healthy. The Panthers should have asked the Rams about the wisdom of overpaying your star running back. Next: Bye – Following week: N/A vs Atlanta Falcons - Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U N/A (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 5-7)

25. Atlanta Falcons (5-6): The Falcons needed a victory to keep their faint playoff hopes alive and they were fortunate to have the Jaguars on their schedule for Week 12. Week 13 will not be so easy. Next: -11 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 50.5 (ATS: 5-6 – O/U: 5-6)

26. Seattle Seahawks (3-8): The Seahawks have lost three straight and six of their last seven games. In their latest loss on Monday Night to the Washington Football Team, the Seahawks rushed for 34 yards, which will not get it done in the NFL or at any level of football. Next: +3 vs San Francisco 49ers – Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 45.5 (ATS: 5-6 – O/U: 1-9-1)

27. Chicago Bears (4-7): The Bears ended their five-game losing streak with a win in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day but will get a real test this week when the Cardinals come to town. This is the kind of game head coach Matt Nagy needs to win if he has any hope of holding on to his job. Next: +7.5 vs Arizona Cardinals - Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 45.5 (ATS: 4-7 – O/U: 3-8)

28. New York Giants (4-7): They were dancing in the streets of New York City Sunday evening after both the Jets and the Giants won on the same weekend. The Giants won the turnover battle with the Eagles, 4-0, and that was the difference in the game. Next: +3 at Miami Dolphins – Sun, Dec. 5 - O/U 41.5 (ATS: 6-5 – O/U: 3-7-1)

29. New York Jets (3-8): In a Sunday classic, the Jets found themselves trailing 14-3 to the Texans in the second quarter but rallied and took the lead for good in the third quarter on a four-yard touchdown run by quarterback Zach Wilson. Next: +6.5 vs Philadelphia Eagles - Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 45 (ATS: 3-8 – O/U: 6-5)

30. Houston Texans (2-9): The Texans are last in total yardage per game, last in rushing yardage per game, 31st in passing yardage per game and last in scoring per game. To put it bluntly, they are horrible on offense. In the stretch run for the playoffs, a team fighting for a playoff berth wants the Texans on their schedule. The Chargers play the Texans on December 26th in Houston. Next: +9 vs Indianapolis Colts – Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 45.5 (ATS: 5-6 – O/U: 4-7)

Brevin Townsell - LA Rams

Rams punter Johhny Hekker - 42.8 punting average ranks 33rd in NFL

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9): Urban Meyer has clinched a losing season in his first season as head coach of the Jaguars. In seven seasons at Ohio State, Meyer went 83-9 as head coach. He has managed to match the number of losses he had at Ohio State in just 11 games with the Jags. Next: +12.5 at Los Angeles Rams - Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 48 (ATS: 4-7 – O/U: 2-9)

32. Detroit Lions (0-10-1): The Lions managed to lose another close game on Thanksgiving, falling to the Bears on a last second field goal, 16-14. "First, you have to learn how not to lose," said Detroit quarterback Jared Goff, who knows a bit about losing. Goff was 0-7 as a rookie starter with the Rams in 2016. Next: +7 vs Minnesota Vikings – Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 46.5 (ATS: 7-4 – O/U: 3-8)

 

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