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With NFL Week 11 officially in the books, we adjust our power ratings and look forward to a new slate of games for NFL Week 12. As with every week, to determine a power-rated line, take the difference between the teams' power rating and factor in home field advantage. Remember, power ratings are the start of the handicap and should be a foundation to build upon. These values represent what a team is on any given week. It will certainly fluctuate as the year progresses.
Biggest Upgrade: Washington Commanders
There are some teams whose preseason and early season numbers have too great of an influence on their power ratings. Some times it is better to take a step back and see what the teams are now and not necessarily where they came from. This is especially true for the Washington Commanders. After a brutal start to the year with Carson Wentz at QB, they have won 4 of 5 with Heinicke at quarterback and find themselves above 500 for the first time since winning their opener. They shook off an early season 4 game losing streak and have seemingly turned the corner with Taylor Heinicke under center. Add in the fact that they get Chase Young back, this defense is good enough to keep them in games and an offense that seems to be getting better by the day. Washington is a team I’ll be looking to back for the forseeable future.
Biggest Downgrade: Los Angeles Rams
Coming off a Super Bowl victory, who would have expected the Rams to have a disappointing year? Every sharp bettor. But I’m not sure anyone predicted this drastic of a decline. Matthew Stafford is in concussion protocol. Perhaps the most impactful receiver, Cooper Kupp, is most likely out for the year. Unfortunately, the Rams problems go further than just these 2 injuries. Their lack of depth has proven to be a problem and an aging team fresh off a Super Bowl win simply don’t seem as hungry after their Super Bowl victory. With a non-existent run game, a well below average back-up quarterback, and replacement level receivers, the Rams are the 2nd worst team this week in my power ratings and I’m not convinced it is enough of a downgrade.
Something of Note:
The Denver Broncos were supposed to make a playoff run if not an outright Super Bowl contender. They added future Hall of Fame quarterback Russell Wilson in the offseason by mortgaging their draft future in what could only be defined as a win now move. They were ready. All they needed was a QB. Now they have one. That was the conversation from all NFL circles. Even I got caught up in the fervor. But as the year as progressed, one thing was glaringly obvious. Russell Wilson was not the answer. He is a shell of himself. He ranks 28th and 31st in QBR and PFF respectively and has led the Broncos offense to Football Outsiders 28th ranked offense. Denver just released Melvin Gordan and put Chase Edmonds on IR. They have no real way to get discernabily better and no motiviation to start taking. This is a team that is rudderless. You have to wonder how much longer their defense will continue to carry their offense before they admit it is a losing endeavor. The Broncos haven’t hit rock bottom, but it is coming.
Week 12 Power Ratings
Week 12 Power Ratings vs. Lines
By Steve Rieder
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