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With NFL Week 13 officially in the books, we adjust our power ratings and look forward to a new slate of games for NFL Week 14. 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: Detroit Lions
It is time I put some respect on the Detroit Lions. After losing 5 straight, they have won 4 of 5 and their only loss was to Buffalo by 3 points. They still have an outside chance of getting in the playoffs and their coach has them believing they will. They lack the talent many other teams have, but Dan Campbell has turned things around there. With first round pick Jameson Williams getting back into game shape and joining break-out star Amon-Ra St. Brown, this offense could kick it into another gear. Their defense is certainly suspect, which is why they are still rated a below average team.
BIGGEST DOWNGRADE: San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco stock was at an all-time high. Losing their starting quarterback to a season ending injury is absolutely crushing. I’m not counting them out of making a deep playoff run as they have enough talent all around that team to make up for their quarterback deficiencies. Add in the fact that they have a terrific coach and offensive scheme, this team will very much still be competing come the playoffs. I’ve downgraded them, but not counted them out.
SOMETHING OF NOTE:
The league is suddenly shifting to be very top heavy. I only have 10 teams above average, but there are 6 teams that have a shot at winning it all. The AFC features 4 teams with that potential in KC, BUF, MIA, and CIN. All those anointed Buffalo earlier in the season may want to take a second look. There is stiff competition in the conference. In the NFC, only PHI and DAL are true contenders in my book. The Vikings are 10-2, but their record isn’t truly indicative of their potential. They have a very average team with a superstar receiver. I don’t think they make it past either of the top 2 NFC East teams. Besides the 49ers, who schematically always seem to have an advantage even if they don’t have a quarterback, there isn’t another NFL team worth mentioning.
Week 14 Power Ratings
Week 14 Power Ratings vs. Lines
By Steve Rieder
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