NFL Picks: Week 5 Power Ratings and Cheat Sheet

Here are the two charts for this week. I made a few aggressive changes to my numbers since it’s the quarter mark of the season. Here are my early handicapping notes from Tuesday.

Note: My numbers and point spread involving the Titans, Raiders and Vikings is based on Mariota, Carr and Bradford starting. Mariota and Bradford are questionable for this week. Carr has been already ruled out for the Raiders but still don’t know how much of a downgrade he is to EJ Manuel.

After Week 3 After Week 4
Patriots 13 11.5
Steelers 11 11.5
Chiefs 11.5 11
Falcons 11.5 10.5
Packers 10.5 10.5
Seahawks 9.5 10
Cowboys 10.5 9.5
Eagles 9 9.5
Redskins 8.5 9
Broncos 8 9
Panthers 7.5 9
Vikings 10 8.5
Titans 9.5 8.5
Raiders 8.5 8
Bengals 7.5 8
Saints 7.5 8
Texans 6.5 8
Lions 7.5 7.5
Giants 7.5 7.5
Buccaneers 7 7
Bills 5.5 7
Ravens 8 6.5
Rams 5 6.5
Chargers 6.5 6
Jaguars 6 5.5
Cardinals 5.5 5
Dolphins 5.5 4.5
Bears 4.5 3.5
49ers 2.5 3
Jets 0 1
Colts 1 0.5
Browns 1 -1
Game Lookahead Line Wednesday Line My Line
Patriots at Buccaneers Patriots -4.5 Patriots -5 Patriots -2.5
Chargers at Giants Giants -3 Giants -3 Giants -4
Bills at Bengals Bengals -3 Bengals -3 Bengals -3.5
Jets at Browns Browns -4 Jets -1 Browns -0.5
Jaguars at Steelers Steelers -7.5 Steelers -8 Steelers -8.5
Titans at Dolphins Titans -2.5 No Line Titans -2.5
49ers at Colts Colts -2.5 Colts -1 Pick ’em
Cardinals at Eagles Eagles -5.5 Eagles -6.5 Eagles -7
Panthers at Lions Lions -3 Lions -2.5 Lions -1
Seahawks at Rams Seahawks -3 Rams -1 Seahawks -2
Ravens at Raiders Raiders -5 Raiders -2.5 Raiders -4
Packers at Cowboys Cowboys -3 Cowboys -2 Cowboys -1
Chiefs at Texans Chiefs -3 Pick ’em Chiefs -0.5
Vikings at Bears No Line No Line Vikings -3

Here are a few more notes about teams I reassessed the most:

Vikings- The mindset nowadays is running backs are easily replaceable and shouldn’t impact the point spreads but I think the Dalvin Cook injury could really hamper the Vikings offense until Sam Bradford is fully healthy. Cook was the type of back that opened up the passing game for Minnesota. For now I’m downgrading the Vikings an extra point with the loss of Cook for the season.

Broncos- In my season win total article, I mentioned that the Broncos defense would miss Wade Phillips. The Denver defense took a step back in 2016 when it came to their run defense. However, the unit appears to be back to their 2015 form:

I had the Broncos too low in my power ratings because I assumed the defense would be just above average and the offense would struggle. I still think there are some questions with the offense but they aren’t worse than the 2015 version of Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler. Another point with the Broncos and Wade Phillips is the Rams defense is really struggling statistically this season so maybe the Broncos players deserve more credit for their success than their former assistant coach.

Texans– I was feeling good about my Texans under 8.5 wins pick after their Week 1 disaster against the Jaguars. I downgraded them after that performance but have to reconsider the team totally with Deshaun Watson under center. His mobility can hide the deficiencies in their offense line and it’s looks bad on the head coach that he wasn’t starting at the beginning of the season. The Patriots and Titans are bad defenses so I’m not going to upgrade Houston too much but I gave them more of a bump than I give most teams after a big win.

Chargers– I’ve slowly downgraded the Chargers after every loss this season. I truly thought they were an above average team that could compete in the AFC West. I trust the talent they have but the conservative coaching decisions and lack of a home field advantage has me totally off the Chargers for their last 12 games of the season.

Rams– I talked about the Rams before the season and to cover in Week 4 but don’t think I had them adjusted high enough in my ratings before last week. I had them just about the same level as the Bears and only slightly higher than the 49ers. I made a more drastic adjustment this week.

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