Culver City Observer -

By Bill Seals - Fred Altieri
Sports Reporters - PFWA Members 

2022 NFL Power Rankings – Week 15

Chargers at #9, Rams at #26

 

December 8, 2022

Brevin Townsell - LA Rams

Quarterback Baker Mayfield - NFC Offensive Player of the Week - Rallied Rams with two late touchdown drives vs Raiders

1. Philadelphia Eagles (12-1): The Eagles clinched a playoff berth with their blowout win over the Giants. The Eagles lead the NFL in sacks at 49 and in turnover ratio with a +14. With a top 5 offense and a top five defense, the Eagles are the early favorite to win it all. They also own a first-round pick from the Saints, currently the No. 4 overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Next: -9 at Chicago Bears – Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 48.5 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 9-4)

2. Buffalo Bills (10-3): The Bills own the current top spot in the AFC and are in control of their own destiny. If the Bills can keep the top spot in the AFC, they are going to be a tough team to beat in Buffalo in the AFC playoffs. Next: -7 vs Miami Dolphins - Sat, Dec. 17 – O/U: 43.5 (ATS: 6-6-1 – O/U: 3-10)

3. Kansas City Chiefs (10-3): Quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the likely NFL MVP this season, although he just threw three interceptions this past Sunday in a victory over the Broncos, the third time in his career that has happened. Chargers' fans might point out that Justin Herbert has never thrown three interceptions in a game. Next: -14 at Houston Texans - Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 49 (ATS: 4-8-1 – O/U: 6-7)

4. Dallas Cowboys (10-3): The Cowboys had to rally to beat the Texans at home, which makes you wonder just how good these guys really are? The Cowboys will get tested this weekend in Jacksonville and then in the following weekend against the Eagles at home. Next: -4 at Jacksonville Jaguars - Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 7-6)

5. San Francisco 49ers (9-4): Just get healthy. That is where the 49ers are at. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel is the latest to hit the injury list. Samuel suffered an MCL sprain and an ankle sprain in the 49ers easy win over the Bucs. He will be back before the end of the regular season, just in time for the playoffs. Next: -3 at Seattle Seahawks – Thu, Dec. 15 – O/U: 43 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 6-7)

6. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4): The Bengals have overcome their slow start and have won five consecutive games to move to 9-4. Quarterback Joe Burrow has the Bengals poised for another playoff run and is proving that last season was no fluke. Cincinnati also leads the league in beating the spread at 10-3. Next: -3.5 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U 44 (ATS: 10-3 – O/U: 4-8-1)

7. Minnesota Vikings (10-3): The Vikings are who we thought they are, and the Lions did not let them off the hook. The Vikings loss to the Lions 34-23 and the Lions looked like the better team, even though they are four games behind the Vikings. Next: -4 vs Indianapolis Colts – Sat, Dec. 17 – O/U: 48.5 (ATS: 6-6-1 – O/U: 8-5)

8. Baltimore Ravens (9-4): The Ravens will never be known for having a high-powered passing attack, but even Sunday's passing attack against the Steelers was unusually underwhelming. The Raven threw for 94 yards and rushed for 215 yards in barely escaping with a victory over the Steelers. Next: +2.5 at Cleveland Browns – Sat, Dec. 17 – O/U 37.5 (ATS: 5-7-1 – O/U: 4-9)

9. Los Angeles Chargers (7-6): Quarterback Justin Herbert is healthy again and for the first time this season he had his starting wide receivers, Mike Williams, and Keenan Allen, for the whole game. The result was an impressive 367 yards passing from Herbert, as he completed 39 of 51 pass attempts with one touchdown pass. The Chargers controlled the football via the air for 39:38 of the 60-minute clock. Next: -3 vs Tennessee Titans, Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 5-7-1)

10. Miami Dolphins (8-5): The west coast tour for the Dolphins did not go well, as the Fins lost to both the 49ers and the Chargers in consecutive road games. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had his second consecutive subpar outing, completing just 10 of 28 passes against the Chargers defense for 145 yards and one touchdown. Tagovailoa's performance should be of concern as the Fins fight to hold on to a playoff berth. Next: +7 at Buffalo Bills - Sat, Dec. 17 – O/U: 43.5 (ATS: 6-7 – O/U: 6-7)

11. Tennessee Titans (7-6): The Titans have lost three straight games and have gone from an easy bet to win the AFC South division to needing to win games the next three weeks to avoid a showdown on the final day of the season with the Jaguars, who just easily defeated the Titans in Nashville. Next: +3 at Los Angeles Chargers - Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 5-8)

12. New York Giants (7-5-1): The Giants have won one game since October 23rd, that being a 24-16 win over the Texans. The Smoke & Mirrors Gang, as we affectionately like to call them, are 1-4-1 since October 23rd. With three of their last four games on the road, the Giants need to get smoking in these final weeks to make the playoffs. Next: +4.5 at Washington Commanders – Sun, Dec. 18 - O/U: 40.5 (ATS: 9-4 – O/U: 5-7-1)

13. Seattle Seahawks (7-6): The Seahawks have lost three of their last four games but can stop the bleeding this weekend when they take on the 49ers in Seattle. A win keeps them in the playoff hunt and a loss drops them to .500, with a game the next week at Kansas City against the Chiefs. Next: +3 vs San Francisco 49ers - Thu, Dec. 15 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 6-7 – O/U: 8-5)

14. New England Patriots (7-6): The Patriots defeated the Cardinals Monday Night and are in the 7th position for the playoffs. But with games at Las Vegas against the Raiders, at home with the Bengals and the Dolphins, and the final game at Buffalo, it is likely that they will lose at least one of their final four games. Next: +1 at Las Vegas Raiders – Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 44.5 (ATS: 7-5-1 – O/U: 4-8)

15. New York Jets (7-6): Jets head coach Robert Saleh said after the Jets loss to the Bills on Sunday that, "We're going to see these guys again." The Bills are 10-3 and are the current No.1 seed in the AFC. The Jets are 7-6 and No. 9 in the playoff seeding. The Bill are where they are because they have Josh Allen, the Jets are where they are because they don't have Josh Allen. Next: -1 vs Detroit Lions - Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 44.5 (ATS: 8-5 – O/U: 5-8)

16. Washington Commanders (7-5-1): The Commanders are 6-1-1 since their 1-4 start. A lot of the credit should go to head coach Ron Rivera for never pushing the panic button despite the poor start. It also helps to have Brian Robinson in the lineup, who despite missing the first four games of the season, leads the Commanders in rushing yardage. Next: -4.5 vs New York Giants – Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 40.5 (ATS: 7-5-1 – O/U: 4-8-1)

17. Detroit Lions (6-7): Rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams, in only his second NFL game, caught a 41-yard touchdown pass in the Lions 34-23 win over the Vikings. It was his first NFL reception as well. Williams is coming off a torn ACL injury suffered in the national championship game against Georgia. Money-line magic: the Lions are tied for the second best league record against the spread at 9-4 and are tied for the best league over/under record at 9-4. Next: +1 at New York Jets – Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 44.5 (ATS: 9-4 – O/U: 9-4)

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7): Quarterback Tom Brady did not enjoy football in the Bay Area this weekend. His high school alma mater, San Mateo Serra high school, got blasted in the finals of the California state open division championship, losing 45-0 to St. John Bosco of Bellflower. Brady's Bucs then got trounced in Santa Clara, losing to the 49ers, 35-7. The Bucs also have the worst league record against the spread at 3-9-1. Next: +3.5 vs Cincinnati Bengals - Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 42.5 (ATS: 3-9-1 – O/U: 3-10)

19. Cleveland Browns (5-8): Since quarterback DeShaun Watson returned from his suspension, the Browns have managed to score one offensive touchdown in eight quarters of football. The Browns gave up three first round picks to the Texans to acquire Watson and are paying him $230 million in guaranteed money. We think the Texans won this trade. Next: -2.5 vs Baltimore Ravens – Sat, Dec 17 – O/U: 37.5 (ATS: 6-7 – O/U: 7-5-1)

20. Green Bay Packers (5-8): The Packers need to win out to have a shot at making the playoffs. Three of the last four games are at home, so that should help. The one lone road game is at Miami against the suddenly reeling Dolphins. Next: -7 vs Los Angeles Rams - Mon, Dec. 19 – O/U: 39.5 (ATS: 5-8– O/U: 7-6)

21. Atlanta Falcons (5-8): Quarterback Marcus Mariota has been benched based on performance, according to head coach Arthur Smith. He will be replaced by rookie quarterback Desmond Ritter, a third round pick out of Cincinnati. Upset with his demotion, Mariota has apparently left the team. Next: +4 at New Orleans Saints – Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 43 (ATS: 7-6 – O/U: 6-7)

22. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-8): In the believe it or not category, the Jaguars are suddenly just two games behind the Titans in the race for the AFC South division title. The Jags, who have beaten the Titans head-to-head, finish the season with the Titans at home in Jacksonville. That game could end up being for the division title. Next: +4 vs Dallas Cowboys - Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 47.5 (ATS: 5-8 – O/U: 7-6)

23. Carolina Panthers (5-8): The Panthers stunned the Seahawks on the road, 30-24. The Panthers are amazingly just one game out of first place in the NFC South and control their own destiny. If they win their final four games, they win the division. Next: -3 vs Pittsburgh Steelers - Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 37.5 (ATS: 7-6 – O/U: 5-8)

24. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-8): Head coach Mike Tomlin has gone 15 seasons without a losing record, but unless the Steelers can sweep their final four games, that streak will end in 2022. The larger concern would be the 2023 season, which does not look very promising at this point. Next: +3 at Carolina Panthers – Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 37.5 (ATS: 6-6-1 – O/U: 5-8)

25. Arizona Cardinals (4-9): The Cardinals lost to the Patriots at home Monday Night, and lost their starting quarterback, Kyler Murray, for the season to an ACL injury. The Cardinals have had a lot of bad luck this season with injuries and the DeAndre Hopkins suspension. Murray could miss the 2023 season. Next: +3 at Denver Broncos - Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 36.5 (ATS: 6-7 – O/U: 6-5-2)

26. Los Angeles Rams (4-9): Quarterback Baker Mayfield was waived by the Panthers on Monday and claimed by the Rams on Tuesday, giving him 48 hours to prepare for the Thursday Night game. He needed just two days to prepare for the Raiders defense. Trailing 16-3 with less than four minutes to go in the game, Mayfield led the Rams on two scoring drives, the last a 98-yard scoring drive to win the game, 17-16. Amazing. Next: +7 at Green Bay Packers – Mon, Dec. 19 – O/U: 39.5 (ATS: 4-7-2 – O/U: 5-8)

27. Las Vegas Raiders (5-8): The Raiders are 0-4 when leading at halftime by double digits. The rest of the NFL is 59-6. This is a team effort. You can blame it on the coaching or the quarterback or mental mistakes or the injuries. But these collapses have been a team failure and ultimately the responsibility is with owner Mark Davis. Next: -1 vs New England Patriots - Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 44.5 (ATS: 6-7 – O/U: 6-6-1)

28. New Orleans Saints (4-9): The week before the Raiders-Rams fiasco, the Saints had also blown a 16-3 lead with less than four minutes remaining in the game, losing to the Bucs. The Saints are a mess and with their first-round draft pick in 2023 headed to the Eagles, will not get the benefit of a top ten pick in the 2023 NFL draft. Next: -4 vs Atlanta Falcons - Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 43 (ATS: 5-8 – O/U: 6-7)

29. Indianapolis Colts (4-8-1): The Colts have been looking for a starting quarterback since Andrew Luck retired. They are currently at No. 7 in the NFL Draft order for 2023. They need to stay in the top ten and find their future franchise quarterback. Next: +4 at Minnesota Vikings – Sat, Dec. 17 – O/U: 48.5 (ATS: 5-8 – O/U: 4-9)

30. Chicago Bears (3-10): The Bears are lined up for the No. 3 pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft, which should get them a very good defensive player in either defensive tackle Jalen Carter of Georgia or edge rusher Will Anderson of Alabama. They have their quarterback. Next: +9 vs Philadelphia Eagles - Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 48.5 (ATS: 4-8-1 – O/U: 9-4)

Travis Ellison - LA Chargers

Quarterback Justin Herbert - Led victory with 39 completions for 367 yards over Dolphins

31. Denver Broncos (3-10): The Broncos are currently 2nd in the NFL draft order for 2023. Unfortunately for the Broncos, that pick belongs to the Seahawks, via the trade for quarterback Russell Wilson. This trade may go down as the worst NFL trade since the infamous Herschel Walker deal in 1989. Place your bet: the Broncos have the worst league over/under record at 2-11. Next: -3 vs Arizona Cardinals - Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U: 36.5 (ATS: 5-8 – O/U: 2-11)

32. Houston Texans (1-11-1): The Texans have the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL draft, unless they decide to win more than one of their final four games. They also have the Browns pick, which is currently the No. 12 pick in the first round. Bryce Young of Alabama and of Santa Ana Mater Dei fame is the likely first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Next: +14 vs Kansas City Chiefs – Sun, Dec. 18 – O/U 49 (ATS: 5-7-1 – O/U: 5-8)

 

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