Last Sunday was a dog day afternoon and the deck has certainly been shuffled after a series of stunning upsets. Let’s see what the OddsTrader Power Rankings have to say, knowing that one bad loss does not define a playoff contender.
Remember you can go over our nifty tool explanation with our Week 1 post and remember to check back every Tuesday for analysis of the adjustment in the positions.
Now, let’s review our Top 10 teams and see if you agree.
1. Tampa Bay Bucs (6-2 SU, 3-5 ATS) Next: at Washington – You better believe it’s been a long two weeks for the defending Super Bowl champs after entering their bye week off of a loss to their division rivals from New Orleans. Nevertheless, they remain at the top of the heap in our OddsTrader Power Rankings and should stay there after they spank the team with no name.
2. Buffalo Bills (5-3 SU, 5-3 ATS) Next: at NY Jets – It was as bad a loss as anyone could have anticipated. Arguably the best versus the worst and – well – we know what happened. The 9-6 loss to Jacksonville exposed several glaring weaknesses, particularly Buffalo’s inability to run the run rock consistently.
The Bills are teetering on the brink of losing their grip on the AFC East and their No. 2 spot in our rankings.
3. Arizona Cardinals (8-1 SU, 7-2 ATS) Next: vs. Panthers – The Cardinals just keep winning and cashing at the windows, covering in seven of their nine opportunities this season. They are making the fans happy, as well as their backers, but opposing teams – not so much. They should have little trouble with the Panthers this week before they face the Seahawks in Seattle.
4. Tennessee Titans (7-2 SU, 7-2 ATS) Next: vs. Saints – The Titans have now won five straight and four of those victories were over powerhouses. Consider over Tennessee’s last four games they have defeated the likes of the Bills, Chiefs, Colts, and last week the Rams. It’s no wonder we have finally taken them seriously as they vaulted from No. 10 to No. 4 in just one week. They get another contender to deal with this week when the Saints come knocking.
5. New Orleans (5-3 SU, 4-4 ATS) Next: at Titans – In one of many notable upsets last week, the Saints fell at home, 27-25, to the lowly Falcons. It was New Orleans’ first game without Jameis Winston under center after he suffered an ACL tear the week before in a win over the Bucs. But quarterbacking was not the issue as Trevor Siemian did a solid job directing the offense in tossing a pair of touchdowns for 249 yards and no interceptions. However, the defense could not stop Matt Ryan and the Falcons which must give the Saints cause for pause as they travel to the Music City to battle the Titans this week.
It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)
6. Green Bay Packers (7-2 SU, 8-1 ATS) Next: vs. Seahawks – If you ever wondered why people make such a big deal out of the quarterback position, I direct your attention to Exhibit A, the Aaron Rodger-less Green Bay Packers as they managed only seven points last week against a team that is in the bottom third of points allowed, the Kansas City Chiefs. Fortunately for those who backed the Pack with their cold, hard cash saw a Green Bay defense that came to play and kept it close enough in a 14-7 loss at Arrowhead in which the Packers ever so narrowly covered as 7.5 point road dogs.
7. Indianapolis Colts (4-5 SU, 6-3 ATS) Next: vs. Jacksonville – Some may wonder why a 4-5 squad is hanging out in the high rent district of the OddsTrader Power Rankings. Well, the Colts have had some tough losses against some very good teams as they did two weeks ago in a 34-31 overtime loss to the Titans before whipping the Jets by 15 points last week. Their margin for error is closing but they should get past the Jags this week before traveling to Buffalo to meet the Bills.
8. New England Patriots (5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS) Next: vs. Browns – Guess who’s back? Back again. Shady Bill’s back, tell a friend. Really? We thought when the evil witch was defeated, she’d stayed buried and silent for a thousand years. Two years ago, Prince Charming left his ice castle in Foxborough for the sun-splashed beaches of Tampa and the dynasty was officially declared dead.
But alas, the Evil Genius has reared his head and made his Top 10 debut at No. 8 this week after defeating the Chargers in Week 8 before a good old-fashioned whoopin’ was laid on the defenseless Carlina Cats last week. If the Patriots beat the Browns on Sunday, things get mighty interesting in the AFC East.
9. Baltimore Ravens (6-2 SU, 3-5 ATS) Next: at Dolphins – The Ravens mustered a 14-point fourth-quarter which precipitated a 34-31 overtime win against the Vikings last week, after shaking off a big loss to the Bengals the week before. Baltimore now has a tenuous grasp on the top spot in the AFC North but nothing is safe in the most competitive division in all of football.
10. Los Angeles Rams (7-2 SU, 4-5 ATS) Next: at 49ers – After winning seven of their first eight games, the Rams dropped a 28-16 decision to the Titans last week and have fallen to No. 10 on our list. Nevertheless, we should see them climb higher on our board next week after a date with the 49ers, a team that can’t seem to defeat anyone but the dregs of the league.