Statsational NFL Week 12 Power Rankings
Each week, Statsational will go over his NFL Power Rankings to bring you up to speed on the numbers. Are your eyes deceiving you, or are the numbers wrong? Let us know in the Discord chat.
The ratings are based on each team vs. the average team in the league. You can use the rating differential of two teams and add the Home Field Advantage to get an idea of where the model likes the spread for that game. I would use this as a guide, not your final say on a game. We have a lot of models and tools for you to help with your handicapping, and this is one of them.
1. Buffalo Bills
The big lead the Bills once had in the power rankings is quickly diminishing. Kansas City has been playing well, while Buffalo has not looked like the same team it had been earlier in the season. Let's not bury the Bills just yet. They are still the top-ranked defense in my rankings, but that lead over the teams behind them is pretty negligible. The offense is still elite, sitting in the second spot behind Kansas City. The Bills get to play in Detroit back-to-back weeks thanks to a major snowstorm in Buffalo last weekend. They are a 9-point favorite as of this writing. They should be able to maintain the top spot in the rankings. The Lions will test this defense as they are ranked 4th overall in offense. The Lions defense has been bad all season. I expect the Bills will be able to put points on the board.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs had a tough divisional matchup with the Chargers on Sunday Night Football. I mentioned last week that those two teams always play tight games. The win further solidified the CHiefs in the number 2 spot in the rankings, but they are breathing down the neck of the Bills. Many are now saying the Chiefs are the favorites in the AFC. They certainly will be tough to beat if they get home-field throughout the playoffs. The offense is 3 points clear of Buffalo, holding on to the top spot overall. The defense needs to get better, as it is currently 22nd. For now, they are relying on Mahomes and company to outscore opponents, which has been working so far. This the Chiefs are a 15-point favorite hosting the Rams. Depending on how Buffalo does in their game, the Chiefs may close the gap on the top spot some more this week.
3. Dallas Cowboys
Dominate the team with the best record in the league, and you are sure to move up the rankings. The Cowboys dominated the Vikings in every phase of the game, giving them a 40-3 victory. It was the largest road margin of victory in team history. Dallas is ranked 3rd in defense, just .14 points behind first-place Buffalo. The offense is starting to put it together. They cracked the top 10 and now sit 9th in offense. If this team continues to improve on offense, they will be a tough out in January. Dallas will host a game on Thanksgiving, as it traditionally does. The Giants come in off a bad loss at home to Detroit. The Cowboys are 9-point favorites over their division rivals. The Giants need this game badly. Their record is better than it should be, according to their 23rd ranking. It will be tough for Dallas to move up after this week, but a bad performance could drop them out of the top 5 as fast as they got in it.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
Some of the luster has come off the Eagles despite an impressive 9-1 record. We expected Philly to rebound off the Monday night loss to Washington and dominate the Colts. They couldn't do that but managed to squeak out a 1 point victory. It remains a difficult task to try and throw on this Eagles defense. They ranked 2nd to Dallas in yards below the average of opponents giving up 35.5 fewer yards than opponent's average. Their 7th-ranked defense complements the defense well. However, they will have to look better than they have the last couple of weeks. 314 total yards against the Colts are not going to cut it. They get the Packers at home for Sunday Night Football this week. The Eagles are 7-point favorites. Green Bay is susceptible to the run, so I expect the Eagles to give them a heavy dose of the ground game. The Eagles will need to look good to stay in the top 5.
5. San Francisco 49ers
The Niners barely stay in the top 5 this week. They handled the Cardinals handily, but the Cowboys were able to leap ahead of them. Baltimore's poor performance dropped them behind San Fran by .01 points. The rankings are taking the entire season into account, but when you look at this 49ers team, they are starting to look like the best team in the NFC. The offense currently ranks 12th. I can see them moving to the top 7 by the time we get to the playoffs. With the 2nd best defense that is just .1 points behind Buffalo, you can see that come January, you are not going to want to face this team. The one thing that may derail them is not playing at home. The 49ers are home for New Orleans this week. They are 9.5-point favorites and should be able to keep themselves in the top 5. Baltimore is poised to leap them should they falter.
After Week 11The current HFA is 1.45 I expect it to be 1.75 by year's end.
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