Denver maintains its hold on the top spot. They have made us look good here as we’ve had them as the top team in the league for several weeks now. Everyone is starting to catch up to us with that call. Denver may be the most balanced team in the league. They have the 5th defense and the 2nd offense. The Broncos figure to keep a grasp on the top spot as they are a double digit favorite this week in KC.
Seattle gets a week off and creeps into the top 5. The difference between Seattle at 5 and Pittsburgh at 10 is just .57 points. Seattle may be a bit of a surprise but they have been impressive, especially at home. Wins over Dallas, New England and Green Bay are really supporting their ranking. Their troubles have come on the road losing to Arizona, St Louis and Detroit. At 6-4 they are on the road at Miami in a game they really must win. There are too many quality teams in the NFC looking for a wild card birth. A Seattle win would help them inch closer to the playoffs. They currently rank 3rd in defense and 21 in offense. Their strength is rushing the ball where they are 4th. Throwing it they are just 29th.
Some people may be surprised to see Indianapolis as low as they are. They are 6-4 and in the hunt for the playoffs in the AFC. The fact is Indianapolis is one of the worst defenses in the league, something New England took advantage of last week. They currently rank 24th. The offense is not much better ranking 18th. They can throw it for some yards. They average 33 more yards per game in the air then their opponents give up. That is good for 8th in the league. But that is about it right now. They must win a home game this week against Buffalo or else they may be watching the playoffs at home. They still have 2 games left with Houston.
Taking Roethlisberger off Pitt puts them on par with Buffalo
Taking Cutler off the Bears knocks them below Carolina.
Taking Smith off SF still leaves them in 2nd overall.
Game of the Week
Houston @ Detroit +3
Detroit may be a bit of a surprise at 12. They are 4-6 but should probably be 6-4. In this league there is not much difference in 7-9 and 9-7. If you look at the Giants last season they easily could have been 7-9 or worse and they went on to win the Super Bowl. I am not saying 2012 Detroit are the 2011 Giants but I am saying they may be a bit underrated. They get a home game on Thursday, as is tradition, against the Houston Texans. The Texans try and win two road games against the NFC North in 3 weeks. We have the NFC North as the toughest division in football. If Detroit has any chance to get back to the playoffs they must win this week. Houston is 6th in defense and 5th in Offense. A real balanced team. They threw up a bit of a cluncker last week but you have to think that was an anomaly. Detroit is the best passing team in the league and Houston is middle of the pack in stopping the pass. This one could be a very close game with playoff big playoff implications.
Worst Game of the Week
Tennessee @ Jacksonville +3
Jacksonville gave Houston their best effort on Sunday but they fell just short in over time. With Chad Henne now at the helm maybe this Jags team can show some new life. But they currently are ranked dead last in the league overall. Henne can hopefully improve on the 25th ranked passing ranking. Tennessee comes off a bye. Previously they pounded Miami in Miami. Tennessee is ranked 29th overall. This is clearly the battle of the two worst teams matching up this week. Although Tennessee is not totally out of the playoff picture.
Denver @ Kansas City +10
As we spoke about earlier Denver is the tops in the league. They get a Kansas City team that perhaps has given up. They were blow out last week at home by Cincinnati. Kansas City ranks 31st overall, the offense is dead last at 32 and the defense is just 23rd. The one thing KC can do is run the ball. They are 6th in rushing and figure to try and play a ball control game keeping Peyton off the field. Denver is 12th in stopping the run.
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