NFL's Top 5 Power Teams - Week 12

Dr.C

The NFL Top 5 Power Teams are not determined by the success of individual players, team records, or network opinions.  The rankings are influenced by the potential of every team each week.  This week’s Top 5 NFL Power Teams were ranked using Mike Florio’s prediction for Super Bowl LIV on NBC Sports’s Pro Football Talk (PFT).  With odds of 6/5 and 7/5 respectively, the Patriots and Saints lead the pack!  

The Top 5 are:

Tom Brady defeats Eagles
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

1.     New England Patriots (9-1)

The New England Patriots are 6/5 favorites to win the AFC Championship (PFT) and predicted to go up against the Saints in the Super Bowl.  New England’s win over the Eagles was not impressive, but the defense showed up in a mighty way to shut the Eagles down in the second half on Sunday.  The offense continued to present problematic signs of weakness,  During  a post-game news conference, Tom Brady expressed his frustration and disappointment with the team’s offensive performance against the Eagles,

“We’re 9-1,” Brady told Jim Gray during an appearance on Westwood One Radio’s “Monday Night Football” pregame show. “Our defense is performing great. Our special teams units are playing great. They’re keeping us in every game.  And offensively, I’ve said we’ve got to take advantage when we get opportunities in short fields. We had a few of those (Sunday) and really didn’t, and those are the ones that probably frustrate me the most. “… I think when you get the ball on the 50-yard line twice and do nothing with it, those are the frustrating ones. It’s one thing when you’re backed up on your own 5-yard line all day - and we haven’t had many of those - but there are sometimes that we’re getting great field position, the defense is putting us in great field position, and we’re not taking advantage of our opportunities.” 

The Patriots are 14/5 favorites to win the Super Bowl (PFT).

USATSI_13680291
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2.     New Orleans Saints (8-2)

The New Orleans Saints are 7/5 favorites to win the NFC title (PFT).  The Saints are viewing the most grueling portion of their regular season in the rear-view mirror.  The Atlanta Falcons will deliver the Saints a Thanksgiving gift of extra time to prepare for a season showdown with the San Francisco 49ers.  This will be one of the most exciting games of the season.  This week, the Saints played the most balanced game this season against the Buccaneers.  The defensive line continued to dominate as the Saints proved to be resilient with a strong convincing win over Tampa Bay.  After suffering an embarrassing loss to the Falcons the week before, the Saints are back on track to the NFC Championship.  Brees told NOLA.com, “Even coming off a game like that where you win convincingly and you do some good things on both sides of the ball,” Brees said, “I think there’s a lot more to be desired.” 

Davenport, an NFL writer, referred to the Saints as the most balanced team in the NFC.  “The Saints don’t have Seattle’s momentum or San Francisco’s record,” Davenport said. “But New Orleans has more balance than any other team in the NFC. Run game, passing game, defense…the Saints don’t really have a weakness.  I also hear that their quarterback is supposed to be good.” What the Saints needs is consistency from Drew Brees and to continue to play a balanced game.  The Saints are a 4/1 favor to win the Super Bowl (PRT).

Lamar Jackson is a MVP Candidate
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

 3.     Baltimore Ravens (8-2) 

Baltimore is favored to win the AFC 7/4 (PFT) with a 3 game lead in the AFC North.  Lamar Jackson started out the gate a little slow, but blew out the Houston Texans 41-17.  The defense continued pressure to the quarterback with six sacks.  Baltimore’s coach told the Washington Post, “We did a great job of having discipline in our rush lanes,” Ravens Coach John Harbaugh said. “We didn’t vacate the inside rush.  When he got outside the pocket, we were chasing him.”  The Ravens cornerback continued the interview with the team’s strategy, “We call it the cage rush,” Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith said. “You rush the edge, and you try to close the pocket on him. He’s a guy who likes to scramble.  He has high energy and high effort. The game is to get him down, and we do whatever we have to do to get it done.”

The Ravens’s defense was not the only factor in their big win, but the offense contributed in a big way.  The quarterback had the choice of 9 receivers and the touchdowns kept coming.  Jackson’s high passing rate will prove to be a valuable asset against the Rams on Monday night.  The Ravens are 9/2 favorites to win the Super Bowl (PRT).

Jimmy G leads the Niners over Cards
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

4.     San Francisco 49ers (9-1)

The 49ers are 7/2 odds of winning the NFC.  Injuries are catching up with San Francisco and are affecting the team’s performance.  The 49ers trailed for the first and most of the second quarters before putting points on the board against the Cardinals.  Jimmy Garoppolo threw an interception that almost caused the team the game.  Coach Kyle Shanahan shared his overall impressions of the game with 49ers.com,

“A lot of ups and downs in that. There were definitely some good things and there were some terrible things. It reminded me a lot of Monday nights. To where there were some things we got very excited about, and then it felt like you blew it a number of times to where you kind of get crushed. The guys were just resilient and just kept coming.  We were able to finish out the right way unlike we did last week. Two similar games like that and by no means was it perfect, but real proud of the guys how they just kept fighting. Found a way to get it done.”

The 49ers are preparing for the superstar showdown with the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.  They are 8/1 favorites to win the Super Bowl (PFT).

Russell Wilson is an MVP Candidate
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

5.     Seattle Seahawks (8-2)

The Seattle Seahawks enter Week 12 with 7/4 odds of clinching the AFC Championship.  Russell Wilson and his team spent Week 11 on a bye.  Week 10 was magical as the Seahawks took down the undefeated 49ers in exhilarating fashion.  Wilson is on pace to set career highs and is constantly discussed as a prospective MVP.  The Seahawks are 16/1 favorites to win the Super Bowl.

Comments (2)
No. 1-1
Bob Rose
Bob Rose

Editor

I for one am not a believer in the 49ers yet, but they'll have plenty of chances down the stretch to prove me wrong


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