And the Chiefs are the new kings! Oh no, wait. Maybe that’s not how it goes. Green Bay is still the best team in the League, but there is movement among the top contenders in both conferences. Frank Doyle ranks ‘em after Week 15.
1 (-). Green Bay Packers (13-1, 9-5-0 ATS). Green Bay is still the team to beat. What happened at Arrowhead doesn’t change that. If anything, Kansas City might have done the Packers a favor by removing pressure and enhancing focus. The Bears are in for a very miserable Christmas at Lambeau Field.
2 (+1). San Francisco 49ers (11-3, 12-2-0 ATS). That was a really great Monday Night performance from the Niners, and the ATS record is staggering. Jim Harbaugh has to be coach of the year.
3 (+3). New Orleans Saints (11-3, 10-4-0 ATS). Next Monday night is a huge game for the Saints when they host the desperate Falcons on Monday Night.
4 (-2). Baltimore Ravens (10-4, 7-6-1 ATS). Baltimore can never quite cross that final yard. Someone is always there with the ankle-tap tackle.
5 (+2). New England Patriots (11-3, 7-6-1 ATS). The defense has been bad all year. The loss of Andre Carter really doesn’t help.
6 (-1). Houston Texans (10-4, 9-4-1 ATS). Houston was cold-cocked by Carolina. It happens.
7 (-3). Pittsburgh Steelers (10-4, 6-8-0 ATS). Ben Roethlisberger proved once again that he is an NFL quarterback. As Big Ben goes, so go the Steelers. You can’t get more important than that.
8 (-). Denver Broncos (8-6, 7-7-0 ATS). Denver still controls its destiny. There’s no shame in losing to New England.
9 (-). Detroit Lions (9-5, 6-8-0 ATS). Detroit had to sweat their win at Oakland, but that’s ok. When you’re coming from a tradition like the Lions’, any way you can find to win is the nuts.
10 (-). Atlanta Falcons (9-5, 7-6-1 ATS). Atlanta has sixty minutes on Monday night to save its season. No biggie.
11 (+2). Cincinnati Bengals (8-6, 7-6-1 ATS). Like the Lions, any way they can find to win is good after some rough days in recent weeks.
12 (+4). Dallas Cowboys (8-6, 5-9-0 ATS). The Cowboys won’t win the Super Bowl, but they’ll stop somebody winning it.
13 (-1). New York Jets (8-6, 6-7-1 ATS). It’s getting harder and harder for the Jets to cash the checks that Rex Ryan’s mouth writes.
14 (-). New York Giants (7-7, 6-7-1 ATS). What an enormous egg the Giants laid against Washington.
15 (+3). Seattle Seahawks (7-7, 10-4-0 ATS). Seattle can still go to the playoffs. And with that 10-4-0 against the spread record, the Seahawks are the best kept sports betting secret of the year.
16 (-1). Oakland Raiders (7-7, 8-6-0 ATS). You have to think the Lions put a fork through the Raiders.
17 (-6). Chicago Bears (7-7, 7-7-0 ATS). The Bears’ season is over. The organisation needs an overhaul.
18 (-1). Tennessee Titans (7-7, 7-6-1 ATS). Further proof that when you’ve got two quarterbacks, you’ve got not quarterback at all.
19 (-). Kansas City Chiefs (6-8, 8-6-0 ATS). It’s amazing to think that the Chiefs are still in the playoff hunt. But they are.
20 (-). San Diego Chargers (7-7, 5-9-0 ATS). As are the Chargers. If ever anyone had a what-might-have-been season, it’s this year’s San Diego Chargers.
21 (-). Arizona Cardinals (7-7, 7-6-1 ATS). The Cardinals are the reverse Giants. 1-6 to start the season, 6-1 now. But the same question applies as applies to the Chargers – have they left it too late?
22 (-). Philadelphia Eagles (6-8, 6-8-0 ATS). Did someone say “too late”?
23 (-). Miami Dolphins (5-9, 8-6-0 ATS). The Dolphins will give the Patriots all they can handle on Saturday.
24 (+1). Carolina Panthers (5-9, 8-5-1 ATS). Carolina can’t wait ‘til next year.
25 (+1). Washington Redskins (5-9, 7-7-0 ATS). The Redskins showed a lot of heart against the Giants. Heart counts.
26 (-2). Buffalo Bills (5-9, 6-7-1 ATS). That’s seven straight the Bills have dropped, and have been mauled in nearly all of them.
27 (-). Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-10, 4-10-0 ATS). From 3-1 to 1-9. Eight straight losses.
28 (-). Cleveland Browns (4-10, 5-9-0 ATS). The Browns have had two winning seasons since they returned to the League in 1999. Makes you wonder why they bothered.
29 (-). Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10, 4-9-1 ATS). Is Maurice Jones-Drew is the loneliest man in America on that Jacksonville offense? Won’t anybody help the man?
30 (-). Minnesota Vikings (2-12, 6-8-0 ATS). Jared Allen wasn’t able to increase his sack total against New Orleans – catching Michael Strahan might be a bridge too far with only two games left now. Although one of them is at home against Chicago so it’s not impossible.
31 (+1). Indianapolis Colts (1-13, 5-9-0 ATS). The Colts set their sights on a two in a row when Houston visits Indy on Tuesday.
32 (-1). St. Louis Rams (2-12, 3-11-0 ATS). Steve Spagnolo is 10-36 as head coach with the Rams. Jack Del Rio, Todd Haley and Tony Sparano all had better career and season records when they got their papers this year. You do the math.