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With NFL Week 12 officially in the books, we adjust our power ratings and look forward to a new slate of games for NFL Week 13. 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: Cleveland Browns
To no one’s surprise, my biggest upgrade is with the Cleveland Browns. It may seem like this is simply a move based upon the upgrade for Jacoby Brissett to Deshaun Watson. However, I do think Watson will be slow out of the gate, after all, he hasn’t played a meaningful game in almost 2 years. Not to mention, Jacoby Brissett has actually been pretty good this year. I do think the team will see an upgrade simply based on his return, even if its not from his play. All of this doesn’t even touch on the fact that the Browns upset the Buccaneers this weekend. I’m not anointing them or anticipating a playoff push, but I think the Browns have to be considered an above average team.
BIGGEST DOWNGRADE: Los Angeles Rams
The Rams nearly covered this weekend in a game against the league’s best, Kansas City Chiefs, but the narrative is way down on the Rams. Coming off a Super Bowl win, with a team laced with aging mercenaries, this top heavy team is starting to wilt from injuries and indifference. With Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, and Aaron Donald all out and with no other difference makers on either side of the ball, the defending Super Bowl Champions have fallen off a cliff. It’ll be a brutal rest of the season for Los Angeles and their 3 fair-weathered fans.
SOMETHING OF NOTE:
Power Ratings are a snapshot in time of what my perceived value of a team is. Most of the time these numbers are reliable and can be used to start a handicap. There are other instances where they can be a bit misleading. Take Chicago and Green Bay for instance. Both teams play each other this week and both have injured quarterbacks. I would certainly power rate both teams differently with their starting quarterbacks at full strength or out entirely. Their Week 13 power rating is a straddle based upon the percentage I think Fields and Rodgers will play and to what level of effectiveness. If Rodgers thumb is healthy and Fields is inactive, I’m all over the Packers laying the 3. If Green Bay suddenly realizes they have nothing to play for and the Bears want to take advantage of Rodgers absence by playing Fields and breaking the curse, then I’d back the Bears. With no insider information, I’m sitting this one out and will react to the news as it happens.
Week 13 Power Ratings
Week 13 Power Ratings vs. Lines
By Steve Rieder
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