Culver City Observer -

By Bill Seals - Fred Altieri
Sports Reporters - PFWA Members 

2022 NFL Power Rankings – Week 18

Chargers, Rams - Status Quo Going Into Final Week

 

January 5, 2023

Mackenzie Hudosn - LA Chargers

Chargers rank 9th in NFL total offense with 5,756 yards

1. Buffalo Bills (12-3): The Bills game against the Bengals was canceled after the collapse of safety Damar Hamlin after what appeared to be a routine tackle. Hamlin needed CPR and external defibrillation and was immediately transferred to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. It appears he will survive. The cancellation may end up causing changes in the AFC playoffs. Next: -7 vs New England Patriots - Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 41.5 (ATS: 7-7-1 – O/U: 5-10)

2. Kansas City Chiefs (13-3): The Chiefs are in a position to gain homefield advantage throughout the playoffs with a victory over the Raiders in Las Vegas. It can be assumed that the Raiders will view this game as their Super Bowl. Next: -9.5 at Las Vegas Raiders - Sat, Jan. 7 – O/U: 52.5 (ATS: 5-10-1 – O/U: 8-8)

3. San Francisco 49ers (12-4): The 49ers trailed the Raiders 24-14 in the third quarter, which means they had the Raiders right where they wanted them. The Raiders blew a double-digit lead in the second half for a record fifth time, losing 37-34 in overtime. Next: -14 vs Arizona Cardinals – Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 39.5 (ATS: 10-8 – O/U: 8-8)

4. Philadelphia Eagles (13-3): The Eagles are 0-2 without quarterback Jalen Hurts in the lineup after losing at home to the Saints. The Eagles may have lost to the Saints with Hurts, but we will never know. The Eagles need to win this weekend to clinch the division title, a wild-card round bye and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. Next: -14 vs New York Giants – Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 43 (ATS: 8-8 – O/U: 10-6)

5. Cincinnati Bengals (11-4): The Bengals had their game with the Bills canceled on Monday Night after the near death of safety Damar Hamlin. The Bengals win the AFC North division over the Ravens, but if they lose to the Ravens on Sunday, their homefield playoff berth could be determined by coin flip. That is being done to give the Ravens something for losing the AFC North title due to a cancellation. The Bengals have the best league record against the spread at 12-3. Next: -10 vs Baltimore Ravens – Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U 39.5 (ATS: 12-3 – O/U: 5-9-1)

6. Dallas Cowboys (12-4): The Cowboys still have a shot at winning the NFC East, after a win over the Tians and the Eagles loss to the Saints. If they don't win the division, their road to the Super Bowl would appear to run through Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, and a trip to the west coast to play the 49ers. That would be challenging. Next: -7 at Washington Commanders - Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 41 (ATS: 10-6 – O/U: 9-7)

7. Minnesota Vikings (12-4): The Vikings got exposed and spanked at Green Bay, losing 41-17, in a game that was not that close. The Packers led 41-3 in the middle of the fourth quarter. The Vikings have double digit losses to the Eagles, Cowboys, Lions, and Packers. They trailed the Colts 33-0 at halftime. The Vikings are suspect but still have the best league over/under record at 11-5. Next: -7.5 at Chicago Bears – Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 43 (ATS: 6-9-1 – O/U: 11-5)

8. Los Angeles Chargers (10-6): The Chargers are getting contributions from everyone during their four-game winning streak, especially the free agent acquisitions on defense. It appears that head coach Brandon Staley finally has the players he needs to execute his defensive scheme. Next: +2.5 at Denver Broncos - Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 42.5 (ATS: 10-5-1 – O/U: 5-10-1)

9. New York Giants (9-6-1): The Giants are in the playoffs after easily defeating the hapless Colts, 38-10. Rookie head coach Brian Daboll has the Giants in the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season. Quarterback Daniel Jones has thrown for a career-high 3,205 yards and rushed for a career-high 708 yards this season, the best season of his five-year career. Next: +14 at Philadelphia Eagles – Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 43 (ATS: 12-4 – O/U: 7-8-1)

10. Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Quarterback Lamar Jackson is still out with a sprained knee and may not be available for the playoffs. Backup Tyler Huntley, the former Utah Ute quarterback, has injuries to his right shoulder and wrist. He may miss this Sunday's game. Former Oregon Ducks quarterback Anthony Brown, a rookie with virtually zero experience, could become the starter for Sunday's game. The Ravens also have the league's worst over-under record at 4-12. Next: +10 at Cincinnati Bengals – Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U 39.5 (ATS: 6-9-1 – O/U: 4-12)

11. Detroit Lions (8-8): The Lions are a much-improved team no matter what happens in their final regular season contest. If the Seahawks lose to the Ram on Sunday, the Lions-Packers game on Sunday Night will be for the final playoff berth in the NFC. Go Rams! Next: +4.5 at Green Bay Packers – Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 49 (ATS: 11-5 – O/U: 10-6)

12. Green Bay Packers (8-8): The Packers simply need to beat the Lions on Sunday Night at home to clinch a playoff berth. If the Seahawks beat the Rams, a game that will be played before the Sunday Night game, the Lions will be eliminated. Go Rams for the sake of SNF! Next: -4.5 vs Detroit Lions - Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 49 (ATS: 8-8 – O/U: 8-8)

13. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8): In the AFC, the best quarterbacks are considered to be Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs, Josh Allen of the Bills, Joe Burrow of the Bengals, and Justin Herbert of the Chargers. Trevor Lawrence of the Jaguars will soon be joining this group. Lawrence has thrown for 3,901 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions, while rushing for 294 yards and five rushing touchdowns. Next: -6.5 vs Tennessee Titans - Sat, Jan. 7 – O/U: 40 (ATS: 8-8 – O/U: 8-8)

14. Seattle Seahawks (8-8): The Seahawks need a victory over the Rams and a loss by the Packers to clinch a playoff berth. No matter what happens Sunday, this has been a successful season and the future is bright. The Seahawks currently own the #3, #18, #34 and #50 picks in the 2023 NFL draft, with the #3 and #34 pick courtesy of the Denver Broncos and Russell Wilson. Next: -6 vs Los Angeles Rams - Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 41.5 (ATS: 7-9 – O/U: 8-8)

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8): The Buccaneers clinched the NFC South division with an 8-8 record. It does not matter if the Bucs win this weekend, they have a home game in the first round of the NFL playoffs. They should rest their starters this week. The Bucs have the league's worst record against the spread at 4-11-1 and tied for the second worst over/under record at 5-11. Next: +4 at Atlanta Falcons - Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 40.5 (ATS: 4-11-1 – O/U: 5-11)

16. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): The Steelers came from behind to defeat the Ravens on the road, 16-13, to stay alive in the playoff chase. The Steelers will make the playoffs if they beat the Browns at home and the Pats and the Dolphins lose their games. The Steeler have not had a losing season since 2003 and with a win will maintain that streak. Next: -2.5 vs Cleveland Browns – Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 40 (ATS: 9-6-1 – O/U: 6-10)

17. New England Patriots (8-8): The Patriots don't scare anyone, but they just kind of hang around in games and wait for their opponent to make a mistake. The Pats are second in takeaways at 27 and have a +7-turnover margin. Next: +7 at Buffalo Bills – Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 41.5 (ATS: 7-8-1 – O/U: 7-9)

18. Miami Dolphins (8-8): The Dolphins have now lost five in a row after their latest loss to the Pats, 23-21. The rumors are circulating that if the Dolphins lose their final game, head coach Mike McDaniel could be fired on Monday. And like most NFL rumors, strictly trash. Next: -3 vs New York Jets - Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 37.5 (ATS: 8-8 – O/U: 8-8)

19. Cleveland Browns (7-9): The Browns will not make the playoffs this season. They have one draft pick, #43 in the second round, in the first three rounds of the draft. In the tough AFC North, they need to bring in more talent to stay competitive. Next: +2.5 at Pittsburgh Steelers – Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 40 (ATS: 8-8 – O/U: 7-8-1)

20. New Orleans Saints (7-9): The Saints are playing their best football of the season, after beating the Eagles 20-10 in Philadelphia, to extend their winning streak to three games. Winning in Cleveland and Philadelphia in back-to-back road games in cold weather is impressive for the Saints. Next: -3.5 vs Carolina Panthers - Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 41.5 (ATS: 7-9 – O/U: 6-10)

21. Washington Commanders (7-8-1): The Commanders have been eliminated from the playoffs after a loss at home to the Browns. The Commanders need a quarterback and Derek Carr needs a new home. Washington defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio was Carr's head coach from 2015 through 2017. Del Rio would have a good idea if Carr could take the Commanders to the playoffs. Next: +7 vs Dallas Cowboys – Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 41 (ATS: 7-8-1 – O/U: 5-10-1)

22. Tennessee Titans (7-9): In the believe it or not category, the Titans have now lost six consecutive games after their latest loss to the Cowboys, but just need to beat the Jaguars in Jacksonville on Saturday Night to clinch the AFC South division title and homefield advantage in the wild-card round. Some would call that parity; others would call it mediocrity at best. Next: +6.5 at Jacksonville Jaguars –

Sat, Jan. 7 – O/U: 40 (ATS: 8-7-1 – O/U: 5-11)

23. New York Jets (7-9): The Jets: Just End The Season. The Jets were eliminated from the playoffs by the Seahawks last weekend. The Jets have added talent to their roster, but they need to decide on a quarterback. It might be too soon to throw in the towel on quarterback Zach Wilson, but the kid needs to get his act together. Wilson is the lowest rated quarterback in the NFL. Next: +3 at Miami Dolphins - Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 37.5 (ATS: 8-8 – O/U: 5-11)

24. Carolina Panthers (6-10): The Panthers had the Bucs down 21-10 early in the 4th quarter, and it looked like the Panthers, with a win over the Bucs and a win over the Saints they next weekend, could clinch the NFC South division title. But unfortunately, the Bucs have Tom Brady, and he threw two 4th quarter touchdown passes to lead to the Bucs to a 30-24 come-from-behind victory. Next: +3.5 at New Orleans Saints - Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 41.5 (ATS: 8-8 – O/U: 8-8)

25. Atlanta Falcons (6-10): Thanks to the Cardinals, the Falcons broke a four-game losing streak in a 20-19 victory in Atlanta. Former Charger kicker Younghoe Koo connected on a 21-yard field goal with no time on the clock to give the Falcons the victory. Next: -4 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 40.5 (ATS: 8-8 – O/U: 6-10)

26. Los Angeles Rams (5-11): The Rams got rolled over by the Chargers, 31-10. The Lions would normally be rooting against the Rams, since they own their first-round pick from the Matt Stafford trade. But this weekend, the Lions need the Rams to beat the Seahawks to help the Lions in their late season playoff run. Next: +6 at Seattle Seahawks – Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 41.5 (ATS: 5-9-2 – O/U: 6-10)

27. Las Vegas Raiders (6-10): Do not be surprised to see Tom Brady in a Raiders uniform next season. The Raiders want to win now, and they do have offensive talent with pro bowlers Devante Adams, Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, and Hunter Renfrow. Brady would be re-united with Josh McDaniels. Next: +9.5 vs Kansas City Chiefs - Sat, Jan. 7 – O/U: 52.5 (ATS: 8-8 – O/U: 8-7-1)

28. Arizona Cardinals (4-12): The Cardinals have actually been more entertaining on HBO Hard Knocks this season than they have been on the field. Quarterback Kyler Murray just had successful ACL knee surgery and should be ready at some point in the season. They need to find a stopgap solution at quarterback next season until Murray can get healthy. Next: +14 at San Francisco 49ers - Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 42 (ATS: 7-8 – O/U: 7-7-2)

29. Indianapolis Colts (4-11-1): The Colts should just hire Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh; give him the control he wants and use the #5 pick in the first round to draft a quarterback of the future. In other words, blow it up. Next: -2.5 vs Houston Texans – Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 38 (ATS: 6-10 – O/U: 6-10)

30. Denver Broncos (4-12): The Broncos need to end this miserable season. They need to find a quality head coach that can fix Russell Wilson and try to rebuild the trust with their fanbase. This is the sixth consecutive losing season for the Broncos. Next: -2.5 vs Los Angeles Chargers - Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 39.5 (ATS: 7-9 – O/U: 5-11)

Brevin Townsell - LA Chargers

Rams rank 31st in NFL total offense with 4,500 yards

31. Chicago Bears (3-13): Quarterback Justin Fields will miss the final game of the season due to a hip injury sustained on a quarterback rollout. Running quarterbacks, like running backs, tend to get hit a lot. The Bears need to develop Fields as a passer, so he can stay healthy. Next: +7.5 vs Minnesota Vikings - Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U: 43 (ATS: 5-10-1 – O/U: 10-6)

32. Houston Texans (2-13-1): The Texans just need to lose their final game and they win the Bryce Young sweepstakes. Alabama quarterback Bryce Young has officially declared for the NFL after a five-touchdown performance in the Sugar Bowl blowout win over Kansas State. Young is often compared to Steph Curry due to his size and for the way he "runs and guns" the Alabama offense. The Texans will need to find their Draymond Green at tight end and their Klay Thompson at wide receiver. Next: +2.5 at Indianapolis Colts – Sun, Jan. 8 – O/U 38 (ATS: 7-8-1 – O/U: 6-10)

 

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