Culver City Observer -

By Bill Seals - Fred Altieri
Sports Reporters - PFWA Members 

2021 NFL Power Rankings – Week 14

Chargers, Rams Inch Back Up

 

December 9, 2021

Brevin Townsell - LA Rams

Rams Defense - Rank 7th in rushing yards allowed, Rank 14th in passing yards allowed

1. Arizona Cardinals (10-2): Quarterback Kyler Murray finally returned and looked as good as ever in the win over the Bears in Chicago. Murray threw for two touchdowns and ran for two touchdowns in his first action since October 28th against the Packers. Next: -3 vs Los Angeles Rams - Mon, Dec. 13 – O/U 52 (ATS: 9-3 – O/U: 6-6)

2. Green Bay Packers (9-3): The Packers have a four-game lead in the NFC North and at this point, they are playing for the No. 1 seed in the NFC. With three home games plus road games at Detroit and against the struggling Baltimore Raven team, they look to be a slight favorite to win top seed in the NFC. Next: -12.5 vs Chicago Bears - Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 43.5 (ATS: 10-2 – O/U: 4-8)

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3): The Buccaneers have a four-game lead in the NFC South and are also playing for a No. 1 seeding in the NFC. They have a desperate Bills team coming to town this week, a team that needs a win to stay in the playoff race. Next: -3 vs Buffalo Bills - Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 52.5 (ATS: 6-6 – O/U: 6-6)

4. New England Patriots (9-4): The Patriots have the best record in the AFC and have won seven consecutive games. In defeating the Bills on Monday Night in the cold and windy environment in Buffalo, the Patriots threw just three passes the entire game. They ran the ball 46 times for 222 yards and a touchdown in the physical beatdown of the Bills front seven. Next: Bye – Following week: N/A at Indianapolis Colts – Sat, Dec. 18 – O/U N/A (ATS: 9-4 – O/U: 6-7)

5. Tennessee Titans (8-4): The Titans have not won a game since November 14th. The injuries to key offensive players, particularly running back Derrick Henry, has affected the Titans passing game and their running game. Next: -9.5 vs Jacksonville Jaguars - Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 43.5 (ATS: 7-5 – O/U: 7-5)

6. Los Angeles Rams (8-4): The Rams had an easy win over the Jags to get back on the winning trail. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp became the first player in NFL history to record 100 catches and 10 receiving touchdowns in the first 12 games of the season. Next: +3 at Arizona Cardinals - Mon, Dec. 13 – O/U 48 (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 6-5-1)

7. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4): The Chiefs continue to win, and they continue to struggle to score points. They are winning with defense, which will work when you are playing the Broncos or a Packers team without Aaron Rodgers. We will see how well that works against the Raiders and the Chargers. Next: -9.5 vs Las Vegas Raiders - Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 48.5 (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 5-7)

8. Dallas Cowboys (8-4): The Cowboys got a wounded Saints team on Thursday Night and that was just what they needed to get a much-needed victory. They have a two-game lead over the streaking Washington Football Team and will play the WFT twice in the next three weeks. Next: -4 at Washington Football Team - Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 48 (ATS: 9-3 – O/U: 6-6)

9. Baltimore Ravens (8-4): The Ravens have struggled to score points in the past four games and if they don't get their offense fixed, they could miss the playoffs. The Ravens have averaged 15 points per game over the past four weeks. The Ravens have the Browns, Bengals, Steelers, Rams, and Packers on their remaining schedule, a very tough schedule for a team that is struggling to score points. Next: +2.5 at Cleveland Browns – Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 42 (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 5-7)

10. Los Angeles Chargers (7-5): Quarterback Justin Herbert was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week in Week 13 for his performance at Cincinnati in a 41-22 win over the Bengals. Herbert threw for 317 yards and three touchdowns, while adding a reception on a two-point conversion to his total. It was the second time this season that Herbert was named AFC Player of the Week. Next: -10.5 vs New York Giants, Dec. 12 – O/U 44.5 (ATS: 6-6 – O/U: 5-7)

11. Buffalo Bills (7-5): The Bills had a Monday Night showdown at home with the Patriots and decided to play it safe in losing to the Pats, 14-10. It was an almost timid performance in a nationally televised game. The Bills are now a full game behind the Pats and just needing to win games to make the playoffs. Next: +3 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 52.5 (ATS: 6-5-1 – O/U: 5-7)

12. Cincinnati Bengals (7-5): The Bengals and quarterback Joe Burrow got beat up in their 41-22 loss to the Chargers. Burrow was sacked six times and the Bengals turned the ball over four times in the loss at home. Next: -1 vs San Francisco 49ers - Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 48.5 (ATS: 6-6 – O/U: 6-6)

13. Indianapolis Colts (7-6): Running back Johnathan Taylor leads the NFL in rushing yardage with 1,348 yards and in touchdowns with 16. Taylor is the only NFL running back with over 1,000 yards rushing this season. Next: Bye – Following week: N/A vs New England Patriots – Sat, Dec. 18 – O/U N/A (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 8-5)

14. Cleveland Browns (6-6): The Browns had a much-needed bye week and hopefully the team is healthier going into the final five games. The Browns play all three division rivals plus the Packers and the Raiders in the final five weeks of the season. Next: -2.5 vs Baltimore Ravens – Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 42 (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 6-6)

15. Washington Football Team (6-6): The Washington Football Team has a four-game winning streak after knocking off the Raiders on the road, 17-15. Their ball-control style of football coupled with a tough defense has proven to be a successful formula for victory the past four games. Next: +4 vs Dallas Cowboys – Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 48 (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 5-7)

16. Las Vegas Raiders (6-6): The Raiders need more from quarterback Derek Carr and that is coming from the Raiders head coach, Rich Bisaccia. "We have to find a way to make a play with people on us and find a way to make a throw even if we are under duress," said Bisaccia. Which is the basic difference between Carr and the other top NFL quarterbacks. Next: +9.5 at Kansas City Chiefs - Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 48.5 (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 6-6)

17. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5-1): The Steelers held on for a 20-19 victory over the Ravens on Sunday, but it will not get any easier from there. The Steelers look like a team that needs a great performance from their defense each week to have a chance to win. Next: +3 at Minnesota Vikings – Thu, Dec. 9 – O/U 43.5 (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 4-7-1)

18. San Francisco 49ers (6-6): The 49ers loss to the Seahawks on Sunday may end up costing them a shot at the playoffs this season. With road games left at Cincinnati, Tennessee, and Los Angeles against the Rams, they made it tougher on themselves with the loss in Seattle. Next: +1 at Cincinnati Bengals – Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 48.5 (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 7-5)

19. Denver Broncos (6-6): The Broncos outgained the Chiefs on Sunday Night, 404 yards to 267 yards, but were held to just nine points in the 22-9 loss to the Chiefs. Three turnovers did not help for a team that needs a true starting quarterback. Next: -7.5 vs Detroit Lions - Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 42 (ATS: 6-6 – O/U: 2-10)

20. Philadelphia Eagles (6-7): Quarterback Jalen Hurts was out due to an injury and was replaced by Gardner Minshew. With Hurts out, the Eagles suddenly had a passing attack again as Minshew threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns in the 33-18 win over the Jets. Next: -6.5 at New York Jets – Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 45 (ATS: 6-6 – O/U: 6-6)

21. Miami Dolphins (6-7): The Dolphins have a five-game winning streak, and with a late season bye week coming up, followed by the Jets and the Saints, may not be out of the playoff race. Next: -3 vs New York Giants - Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 41.5 (ATS: 6-5-1 – O/U: 5-7)

22. Minnesota Vikings (5-7): The Vikings had led in every game this season by at least seven points. That ended on Sunday when the Vikings had a six-point lead before blowing the lead. In the tragic loss to the lowly Lions, the Vikings wasted another great performance by wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who caught 11 passes for 182 yards and one touchdown. Next: -3 vs Pittsburgh Steelers – Thu, Dec. 9 – O/U 43.5 (ATS: 6-6 – O/U: 7-5)

23. New Orleans Saints (5-7): Running back Alvin Kamara has now missed four straight games and without him in the lineup, the Saints are offensively harmless. They have lost all four games without Kamara. He is expected back this week against the Jets and if the Saints have any hope of turning this around, they need him on the field. Next: +5.5 at New York Jets – Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 43.5 (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 6-6)

24. Carolina Panthers (5-7): The Panthers fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady after the 33-10 loss to the Dolphins. Brady was a hot commodity in the coaching market after LSU won the national championship. He should have no problem finding a lucrative college job as an offensive coordinator. 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 (5-7): Running back Cordarrelle Patterson is having the best season of his career at age 30. Patterson has rushed for a career high of 489 yards and has a career high in receiving yardage with 518, a total of 1,007 yards in offense. He also has a career high in touchdowns with nine. Next: -11 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sun, Dec. 5 – O/U 50.5 (ATS: 5-6 – O/U: 5-6)

26. Seattle Seahawks (4-8): The Seahawks showed that they still have heart, rebounding from a nine-point third quarter deficit to defeat the 49ers at home. The victory broke a three-game losing streak for the Seahawks. Next: -7.5 at Houston Texans – Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 41.5 (ATS: 6-6 – O/U: 2-9-1)

27. Chicago Bears (4-8): The Bears have lost six of their last seven games, with the lone victory a 16-14 win over the hapless Lions. The Bears have a Sunday Night matchup at Green Bay coming up and the Packers will likely clinch a losing season for the Bears. Next: +12.5 at Green Bay Packers - Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 43.5 (ATS: 4-8 – O/U: 4-8)

28. New York Giants (4-8): The Giants played without starting quarterback Daniel Jones due to a neck injury and he is expected to miss this week's game. Back-up Mike Glennon is in concussion protocol and may not be available, either. That means Jake Fromm, recently signed from the Bills practice squad could be the starter. Fromm has never thrown a pass in an NFL regular season game. Next: +10.5 at Los Angeles Chargers – Sun, Dec. 12 - O/U 44.5 (ATS: 6-6 – O/U: 3-8-1)

29. New York Jets (3-9): The Jets are last defensively in yards per game at 396.8 and last in scoring defense at 30.6 points per game. We cannot wait until the season ends for the Jets. As former Raider wide receiver Jerry Porter once said after the Jets were eliminated in a playoff loss, "J-E-T-S. Just End The Season." Next: +5.5 vs New Orleans Saints - Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 43.5 (ATS: 3-9 – O/U: 7-5)

Ty Nowell - LA Chargers

Chargers Defense - Rank 6th in passing yards allowed, Rank 31st in rushing yards allowed

30. Detroit Lions (1-10-1): Even a blind squirrel can find a nut once in a while, or in this case, even the Lions can find a victory every once in a while. It was a nice win for quarterback Jared Goff, head coach Dan Campbell and the Lion faithful, or what is left of them. Next: +7.5 at Denver Broncos – Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 42 (ATS: 8-4 – O/U: 4-8)

31. Houston Texans (2-10): The Texans lost 31-0 to the Colts at home this weekend. Yes, if the Texans are on your schedule and you are fighting for a playoff berth, the Texans are like a victory lottery ticket. You just need to show up and cash it. Next: +7.5 vs Seattle Seahawks – Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 41.5 (ATS: 5-7 – O/U: 4-8)

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10): The Rams crushed the Jaguars 37-7 this weekend, and only the brilliant coaching of Urban Meyer kept it that close. We are joking, of course. Meyer has somehow managed to take the golden arm of Trevor Lawrence and turned him into the next Tim Tebow, something he has a little bit of experience with. Next: +9.5 at Tennessee Titans - Sun, Dec. 12 – O/U 43.5 (ATS: 4-8 – O/U: 2-10)

 

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