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NFL Power Rankings Week 6 – The Upside Down

TAGs: NFL, NFL Power Rankings, Nick Gianatis

I’ve been around the game for long enough to recognize a bizarre season when I see one. And this season might as well be The Upside Down from Stranger Things. Aside from Pittsburgh, Denver and New England being among the best in the AFC, nothing else about the 2016 season makes any goddamn sense and it’s crushing bettors all over the place.

NFL Power Rankings Week 6 – The Upside DownAt some point you just have to take information for granted. Stop trying to figure it out and just say “this team is covering despite having tremendous flaws.” Be brave, my wayward friend. You are not alone.

1. New England Patriots (4-1 SU and ATS)

They’re not close to a perfect team, but in a season like this, they’re more than good enough to be the best team in the league by a country mile. The problem? Tom Brady moves the betting line so much that it’s hard for them to be a pure profit generator against the line. This might be the last time they hold the top spot.

Next Game: Cincinnati at New England -8.5

2. Minnesota Vikings (5-0 SU and ATS)

I don’t know how else to put it. The Vikings are the best betting team in the entire league. They can score in any multitude of ways, their offensive is careful without being conservative and that defence is probably the best in the NFC.

Next Game: BYE WEEK

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1 SU and ATS)

The only knock on Pittsburgh is that they can’t defend the pass. They allow 302.0 yards against per game, good enough for 30th in the NFL. Apparently you can get away with that when Matt Ryan, Sam Bradford and Brian Hoyer are the league leaders in quarterback rating.

Next Game: Pittsburgh -7.5 at Miami

4. Atlanta Falcons (4-1 SU and ATS)

I haven’t turned around on a team this quickly in ages. Atlanta has gone from being a joke to an outright threat in a crumbling NFC. And with the way the rest of their division is performing, they’ll look up a playoff spot sooner than anyone else. Ah, the NFC South – where 9-7 gets you to the dance.

Next Game: Atlanta at Seattle -6.0

5. Denver Broncos (4-1 SU and ATS)

Listen, Trevor Siemian is obviously the solution in Denver and he’s back this week but are you really going to trust a team that has Wade Phillips as their head coach for a game?

Next Game: Denver -3.0 at San Diego (Thursday Night)

6. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1 SU and ATS)

I really don’t think you can credit Doug Pederson with the success Philly has had even though that’s what the talking heads on television are doing. The Eagles statistically have the second best defence in the whole league ranking 2nd in total yards against and points allowed. And you know who their defensive coordinator is? Jim Schwartz! I hate this season.

Next Game: Philadelphia -2.5 at Washington

7. Green Bay Packers (3-1 SU and 2-1-1 ATS)

8. Dallas Cowboys (4-1 SU and ATS)

I’m as excited about Dak Prescott and Ezekiell Eliott as the guy who got them tattooed on his chest last week, but let’s push pause on this team for a minute. They’ve beaten Washington, Chicago, San Francisco and a travelling Cincinnati team while losing to the Giants. In a weird, totally upside down season like this one, that makes them a legitimate top team. But it doesn’t by any other stretch of the imagination. A great game against the Green Bay Packers makes them legit.

Next Game: Dallas at Green Bay -4.0

9. Seattle Seahawks (3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS)

Yeah, if Wilson’s ankle was able to expedite the healing process with a bye week then the NFC is in real trouble. This team is already good without him doing Russell Wilson things.

Next Game: Atlanta at Seattle -6.0

10. Buffalo Bills (3-2 SU and ATS)

The thing that confuses me about Buffalo is that they’re easily the worst passing team in the league. They’re reluctant to let Tyrod Taylor use his arm at all and the only offensive threat on this team is LeSean McCoy. The idea that “Buffalo is good” is false. They’re incredibly one dimensional. They should be able to score maybe 12 points a game playing like this. It doesn’t make any sense. And yup, here they are in the top-10 because it’s 2016 and I know nothing apparently.

Next Game: San Francisco at Buffalo -7.5

11. Cincinnati Bengals (2-3 SU and ATS)

I’m not saying you should be betting on Cincinnati all that much, but you definitely can’t do it on the road. They barely survived the Jets in Week 1 and have been pummeled by Pittsburgh and Dallas. But don’t worry, it’s not like they’re going anywhere hostile this coming weekend.

Next Game: Cincinnati at New England -8.5

12. Houston Texans (3-2 SU and ATS)

Every season there’s a barometer team that acts as the gate keeper to elite status. The Houston Texans are that team so far. They’ve beaten Chicago, Tennessee and Kansas City while getting eviscerated by New England and Minnesota. Their next three opponents are Indianapolis, Denver and Detroit.

Next Game: Indianapolis at Houston -3.0

13. Oakland Raiders (4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS)

Ummmmm, don’t look now but the Raiders are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. They’re not doing it convincingly by any measure with a lousy +1.0 point differential and perhaps the worst defence in the league, but their only loss is to the real-as-they-get-for-now Atlanta Falcons. Three weeks against Kansas, Jacksonville and Tampa to prep for Denver prior to their bye week will define their season.

Next Game: Kansas City at Oakland PK

14. Los Angeles Rams (3-2 SU and ATS)

I love how terrified of the Rams the oddsmakers are. Last weekend they were +2.5 dogs against Buffalo. Now they’re +3.0 against Detroit. I have no idea what they’re scared of outside of this defence being released like a kraken and devouring the spread.

Next Game: Los Angeles at Detroit -3.0

15. Arizona Cardinals (2-3 SU and ATS)

I take it all back, Drew Stanton! You’re brilliant! Amazing, even! I’m ready to jack the Cardinals back up but they’re a big public team already and the oddsmakers are keenly fixated on trapping you with them because there aren’t a lot of teams out there that offer that potential for them. There’s a large contingent of football fans who know what Carson Palmer is and aren’t willing to forget. You should probably lean away for now.

Next Game: New York Jets at Arizona (Monday Night)

16. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS)

Everything about me loves Alex Smith and I think he’s a solid quarterback. But here’s where I’m worried – he’s 32 years old. Arm strength doesn’t miraculously appear as you get older unless you already had it to begin with. One of the reasons that the Chiefs don’t throw downfield a lot is because Smith has never really been that type of guy in his career. He’s still a phenomenal athlete, but “strong arm” has never been listed as part of his credentials. It’s one of the main reasons I can’t fully trust Kansas. You can’t dink and dunk your way to multiple comebacks as your defence gets run over every week.

Next Game: Kansas City at Oakland PK

17. Washington Redskins (3-2 SU and ATS)

Does anyone remember Marion Barber III? Does Matt Jones not remind you of him a ton, but without all those goal line touchdown shenanigans? I love how violently he runs but he also makes his dashes look more impressive than they actually are. Sort of like Washington in a nutshell. You’re all like “I think this team could work” and then you see them play and you’re more, “meeeeeeh never mind.”

Next Game: Philadelphia -2.5 at Washington

18. Baltimore Ravens (3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS)

The Ravens lost on a botched interception that went from being a defensive touchdown to a freaking fumble. And then they lost again Perriman can’t keep his feet in bounds. This is standard Baltimore football if you haven’t been keeping track. They’re like a slightly more fortunate version of the San Diego Chargers. And no, that’s not a good thing going to a game against the Giants who have forced the ugliest games of the season.

Next Game: Baltimore at NYG -3.0

19. Detroit Lions (2-3 SU and ATS)

If you’re a Theo Riddick fantasy owner, do you prefer “Chronicles of Riddick” or “Riddickulous” as his nickname?

Next Game: Los Angeles at Detroit -3.0

20. Indianapolis Colts (2-3 SU and ATS)

Beating the lowly Bears does nothing to really invigorate their stock with me. Especially when Chicago seemed totally fine letting T.Y. Hilton running around uncovered.

Next Game: Indianapolis at Houston -3.0

21. San Diego Chargers (1-4 SU and 3-2 ATS)

This is getting messed up. Now they lose because they fumbled a snap on a field goal attempt. And yet, even with all that, they still have a winning betting record. I hate loving Philip Rivers so much. It’s agonizing.

Next Game: Denver -3.0 at San Diego (Thursday Night)

22. Carolina Panthers (1-4 SU and ATS)

Watching Monday Night Football last weekend was as painful as it gets. But watching Derek Anderson throw a pick to a cornerback that wasn’t covering anyone was awful.

Next Game: Carolina at New Orleans

23. Tennessee Titans (2-3 SU and ATS)

At some point you have to be able to figure out if Marcus Mariota can throw in the NFL. He can’t run in this league. Maybe he gets 60 yards against a team that’s given up like the Dolphins, but he’s only crested that mark once in his career when he rumbled for 127 yards against Jacksonville last year. He’s gone 100-for-165 this year with 1,088 yards passing so far. That compares to Blake Bortles and Alex Smith.

Next Game: Cleveland at Tennessee -7.5

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3 SU and ATS)

Roberto Aguayo is constantly kicking for his life and career, but the twist is that his brother is also a place kicker at FSU. If the eldest of the two can’t get his act together there’s no way anyone drafts his brother. That’s a lot of pressure and we’ve all seen how this guy reacts when his block shaped feet are held to the fire.

Next Game: BYE WEEK

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3 SU and 2-3 ATS)

You tell me what to get excited about with this team because I can’t do it anymore. They’re not even fun to bet on.

Next Game: Jacksonville at Chicago -2.5

26. New Orleans Saints (1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS)

The new drinking game in New Orleans is slamming your entire beer every time they mention that Coby Fleener was Andrew Luck’s roommate in college. Even with that disgusting hair, and his penchant for touchdowns this year, that’s still the most interesting Fleener has done with his life.

Next Game: Carolina at New Orleans

27. New York Jets (1-4 SU and ATS)

This season just got uglier for the Jets literally and figuratively with news that Eric Decker is out for the season. Goddamnit that guy is so handsome.

Next Game: New York Jets at Arizona (Monday Night)

28. New York Giants (2-3 SU and 1-3-1 ATS)

One of my favorite things about the Giants is how they’ve never been willing to address their running-back situation. They either don’t have a nose for the position at all, or Rashad Jennings is like the biggest practice hero of all time. Since leading the league in rushing with a committee of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw in 2008, they’ve averaged 21st in the league in rushing over the last 8 seasons. So even that year, they sort of lucked in to this crazy committee.

Next Game: Baltimore at NYG -3.0

29. Chicago Bears (1-4 SU and ATS)

How are we at the point that a 33-year old Jay Cutler is potentially losing his job to a 30-year-old Brian Hoyer? Listen, if you they weren’t going to do it with Josh McCown three years ago, they’re not going to do it here.

Next Game: Jacksonville at Chicago -2.5

30. Cleveland Browns (0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS)

Yes, even a winless team can qualify as “not the worst.” Welcome to the NFL in 2016!

Next Game: Cleveland at Tennessee -7.5

31. San Francisco 49ers (1-4 SU and ATS)

I’m so ready for Colin Kaepernick to start playing and have his political stances based on how well he plays. Do your worst, social media. You’re a horrible, horrible thing.

Next Game: San Francisco at Buffalo -7.5

32. Miami Dolphins (1-4 SU and ATS)

The Dolphins cleared house on Tuesday of this week with three offensive linemen getting the curb treatment along with a handful of others. That’s because Tannehill has faced pressure on 43.4% of his snaps so far according to Pro Football Focus. And he was just so balls out when he wasn’t getting chased around the backfield, right?

Next Game: Pittsburgh -7.5 at Miami

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