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NFL Power Rankings - Saints pull away from the pack after pummeling Pats

Posted by Stan Simmons on 12/9/2009 1:54:33 PM

NFL linesThe BetOnline NFL power rankings show some interesting changes this week. We have two undefeated teams but, arguably, they aren’t close in the ranks right now. The Saints’ decisive win over New England pushed them way ahead of the field. The biggest question for NFL betting fans this week is: how high should the Titans climb in the ranks if they dethrone the Colts?

1. (2) New Orleans (11-0)
ATS: 8-3; O/U: 6-5

All that hype for the Monday nighter against New England...and it wasn’t even close. The Saints look pretty invincible at the moment. They can pass, run, defend the pass via turnovers and their run defense should return to form with Sedrick Ellis back from injury.

2. (1) Indianapolis (11-0)
ATS: 7-4; O/U: 5-6

They seemingly overcome a bigger deficit every week; after rallying from 17-0 against Houston in Week 12, Indy became the first team to win five straight games after trailing to start the fourth quarter. Peyton Manning can erase any lead. However, if the Colts reached the Super Bowl, the Saints or Vikings would seriously test their wobbly run defense. This week’s matchup against the Titans’ No. 1 rushing offense should tell us a lot about Indy.

3. (3) Minnesota (10-1)
ATS: 7-3-1; O/U: 6-5

Many sports betting sharps believe the Vikings are the Saints’ greatest competition and it’s tough to argue that. Brett Favre’s arm is holding up and the offense around him may be the most versatile he’s ever worked with. Like the Saints, these guys have playmakers at every position.

4. (6) San Diego (8-3)
ATS: 6-5; O/U: 6-4-1

What a strangely normal season for the Chargers. Instead of tanking for half the year before rallying at the last minute, they’ve simply been pretty good for most of the season. Phil Rivers has good command of the offense, LaDainian Tomlinson is at least converting goal-line opportunities and the pass rush is strong.

5. (9) Dallas (8-3)
ATS: 6-5; O/U: 5-6

The Cowboys look good, especially with their pass rush back in a big way. But before we cement their top-five NFL power rankings status, remember that December is easily Tony Romo’s worst statistical month. He has a 71.9 rating and 14 touchdown passes versus 19 interceptions. We can’t trust him until he stops choking down the stretch.

6. (18) Tennessee (5-6)
ATS: 5-5-1; O/U: 6-5

Vince Young is 5-0 after leading the Titans to an Elway-esque, 99-yard, game-winning drive against Arizona last week. The offense is clicking and the “D” is doing just enough. The No. 6 ranking seems high, but would you bet against Tennessee versus any of the teams below right now?

7. (4) Cincinnati (8-3)
ATS: 6-5; O/U: 5-6

They beat down tough divisional rivals Pittsburgh and Baltimore twice each. The playoffs seem a foregone conclusion for the Bengals. The only question is whether their soft recent schedule – Oakland, Cleveland and now Detroit – will mess with their focus come crunch time.

8. (10) Philadelphia (7-4)
ATS: 6-5; O/U: 8-3

The Eagles better get their blitz going, as the concussion bug keeps biting their offensive playmakers. After mishandling Brian Westbrook’s noggin, you can bet the Eagles will treat DeSean Jackson much more cautiously. The Eagles’ offense may take a slight short-term hit without his big-play ability in the lineup.

9. (7) New England (7-4)
ATS: 6-5; O/U: 4-6-1

We all love Tom Brady but it’s officially time to downgrade the Patriots to Tier-2 status at your online sportsbook. Their defense simply can’t stop elite offenses, as Peyton Manning and Drew Brees showed in recent weeks.

10. (15) Green Bay (7-4)
ATS: 6-4-1; O/U: 6-5

The Pack are protecting Aaron Rodgers better and starting to romp as a result. Most of us expected a big season from him but the surprise has been the Pack’s top-ranked defense, which was supposed to be a work in progress as it converted to a 3-4. They’ll miss Al Harris (torn ACL) going forward, though.

11. (5) Pittsburgh (6-5)
ATS: 4-7; O/U: 6-5

12. (8) Arizona (7-4)
ATS: 6-4-1; O/U: 4-7

13. (11) Denver (7-4)
ATS: 7-4; O/U: 2-9

14. (12) Atlanta (6-5)
ATS: 7-4; O/U: 7-4

15. (13) Baltimore (6-5)
ATS: 6-5; O/U: 5-6

16. (16) Jacksonville (6-5)
ATS: 4-7; O/U: 6-5

17. (14) New York Giants (6-5)
ATS: 5-6; O/U: 6-4-1

18. (20) San Francisco (5-6)
ATS: 7-2-2; O/U: 5-6

19. (21) Miami (5-6)
ATS: 5-6: O/U: 7-4

20. (23) New York Jets (5-6)
ATS: 5-6; O/U: 5-6-1

21. (19) Houston (5-6)
ATS: 5-5-1; O/U: 4-7

22. (27) Buffalo (4-7)
ATS: 6-5; O/U: 5-6

23. (17) Carolina (4-7)
ATS: 4-7; O/U: 5-6

24. (24) Seattle (4-7)
ATS: 4-7; O/U: 6-5

25. (22) Chicago (4-7)
ATS: 4-7; O/U: 4-7

26. (26) Kansas City (3-8)
ATS: 5-6; O/U: 6-3-2

27. (25) Washington (3-8)
ATS: 4-7; O/U: 5-6

28. (30) Oakland (3-8)
ATS: 5-6; O/U: 4-7

29. (31) Detroit (2-9)
ATS: 2-8-1; O/U: 5-6

30. (28) Tampa Bay (1-10)
ATS: 4-7; O/U: 6-5

31. (29) St. Louis (1-10)
ATS: 5-6; O/U: 6-5

32. (32) Cleveland (1-10)
ATS: 5-6; O/U: 4-7

Check out our online betting NFL power rankings again next week at BetOnline to see if the Titans make a major climb.



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