For the first time since week 8 the Denver Broncos are not in the top spot. New England’s dominating performance over the Houston Texans has vaulted them to number 1. The win hurts Denver in both the rankings and, more importantly, in the AFC standings. Denver has a loss to both New England and Houston. A Pats loss last night would have given the Broncos a 1 game lead over New England for the 2 seed. Now they are in the 3rd spot and will need New England to stumble in one of their last 3. The Pats have another huge game this week with San Francisco at home. After that they have two winnable games with Jacksonville and Miami. The Broncos are at Baltimore this week then home for Cleveland and Kansas City. Houston has a one game lead over the Pats but need to finish ahead of them due to the head to head loss. They have 2 with Indianapolis and one with Minnesota left.
Seattle made a move into the top 5 this week after destroying the Arizona Cardinals 58-0. Seattle is 1.5 games behind San Francisco but they are at Buffalo, then home for San Francisco and St. Louis. San Francisco goes to New England and has Arizona at home in their other two games. If San Francisco loses to the Patriots the matchup in week 16 could be for the NFC West. Who would have seen that coming.
Game of the Week
San Francisco @ New England -3.5
Possibly a preview to the Super Bowl, the top two teams in my rankings will square off in Foxboro for the Sunday night game this week. San Francisco has the number 1 ranked defense, 2nd against the run and 2nd against the pass. They are giving up just under 14 points per game and almost 8 fewer points per game then their opponents average. On offense the Niners rank 10th overall thanks to the 3rd ranked rushing attack. The Patriots are polar opposite. They rank 1 in offense, 7th in rushing, 2nd in passing. Defensively they rank just 22nd, 8th against the run and 31st against the pass. New England will turn you over and they do not give it up. They are a league leading the league at +24 in give/take. This one figures to be a great game of strength against strength.
Worst Game of the Week
Kansas City @ Oakland -3
Kansas City comes in ranked 30 and Oakland ranked 31. It doesn’t get much worse than that. It has been a long disappointing year for both teams. Oakland is the worst defense in the league and the 28th rushing team. Kansas City is the 24th defense in the league and the 30th offense. Neither team can do much of anything right. Oaklands strength is throwing it ranked 7th in passing. Kansas City stops the pass well ranked 5th. Kansas City’s strength is running it, ranked 4th while Oakland is 30th in stopping the rush. That could be the difference.
Indianapolis @ Houston -9.5
A battle of, what looks to be, two playoff teams yet they fall in the biggest mismatch category this week. Houston is coming of a blowout loss but we know how good this team can be. Ranked 5th overall they rank 6th in defense and 7th in offense. Indianapolis ranks 27th in defense and 16th in offense. The Colts throw it well ranked 8th and Houston is just 18th in stopping the pass. Houston is 8th in rushing it while the Colts are just 21st in stopping the rush.
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