Throughout the first nine games of the season, I have been conservative with upgrading and downgrading teams in my power ratings. However, after this week’s play I’m ready to be more aggressive with adjusting my numbers. Here are the five results from Week 9 that will cause the biggest changes:
Eagles 51, Broncos 24
The Eagles have the best record in the league and now top my power ratings after being tied with the Patriots and Steelers going into the week. The Broncos were the “sharp” side as more than a touchdown underdog despite naming Brock Osweiler as the starting quarterback. The Eagles throttled the Broncos on the scoreboard and in the box score. Philadelphia had a 419-226 edge in total yards and 25-14 advantage in first downs. There was nothing flukey about this loss for Denver and because of that I’m going to downgrade them two points and on the same level as the Chicago Bears.
Rams 51, Giants 17
I was late to the party of the Rams in my power ratings so I will upgrade them two points even though the Giants are horrible. Because the Giants are horrible and seem uninterested I will move them down three points, which ties them with the Colts and only better than the 49ers and Browns.
Saints 30, Buccaneers 10
Upgrading the Saints a full point after their big win where they outgained the Buccaneers 407-200. This puts New Orleans as tied for the sixth best team in the league and only two points behind the Eagles. The running game, offensive line and improvement on the defense has taken the weight of Drew Brees’ shoulders and I think this is a very dangerous team. I want no part of the Buccaneers who are in a complete tailspin. The Buccaneers get a two-point downgrade but it probably should be more with Jameis Winston out the next several weeks.
Jaguars 23, Bengals 7
Another team I have undervalued is the Jaguars. The concern with Jacksonville has been Blake Bortles but a running game and elite defense allows Bortles to manage the game and not turn the ball over. Jacksonville gets a 2.5-point upgrade in my numbers and their home field advantage deserves to be reconsidered. Having the Bengals and Jaguars rated the same going into last week was a mistake on my part especially since the line of this game got up to 6.5. Things seem to be falling apart for the Bengals so I’m moving them down 1.5 points as well. The Bengals only recorded 148 yard and picked up eight first downs in this game.
Colts 20, Texans 14
The Colts held off the Texans and outgained Houston 371-288. Impressive win for the Colts but the big story here is how far to downgrade the Texans. The drop off in the betting market from Deshaun Watson to Tom Savage was six points when the injury news was announcement. I thought that was a fair assessment because Watson makes the other weapons on Houston’s offense better and his mobility hides the deficiencies in the offensive line. I’m not going to downgrade the Texans more because I currently have them as the fifth worst team in the football. Their defense is injured at several key positions and the 11-point spread against the Rams is telling of how far they have fallen.
Really tough week to find games to pick so hopefully the two charts can help start your handicap:
|Team||After Week 8||After Week 9|
|Game||Look ahead line||Wednesday line||My line|
|Seahawks at Cardinals||Seahawks -7||Seahawks -6||Seahawks -3|
|Vikings at Redskins||Vikings -1.5||Vikings -1||Redskins -0.5|
|Packers at Bears||Bears -2.5||Bears -6||Bears -4|
|Steelers at Colts||Steelers -10.5||Steelers -10||Steelers -8|
|Chargers at Jaguars||Jaguars -3.5||Jaguars -3.5||Jaguars -3.5|
|Jets at Buccaneers||Buccaneers -4.5||Jets -2.5||Buccaneers -2|
|Bengals at Titans||Titans -5||Titans -4||Titans -4|
|Saints at Bills||Saints -2.5||Saints -3||Saints -1|
|Browns at Lions||Lions -9.5||Lions -12.5||Lions -9.5|
|Texans at Rams||Rams -3 (with Watson)||Rams -11||Rams -9.5|
|Cowboys at Falcons||Falcons -3.5||Falcons -3||Falcons -1|
|Giants at 49ers||Pick ’em||Giants -2.5||49ers -1|
|Patriots at Broncos||Patriots -5.5||Patriots -7.5||Patriots -4.5|
|Dolphins at Panthers||Panthers -9||Panthers -9||Panthers -8|