The cream has risen to the top in the NFL as we move into December. Frank Doyle ranks ‘em.
1 (-). Green Bay Packers (12-0, 8-4-0 ATS). The Giants hit Green Bay with their best shot, and still Aaron Rodgers found a way to win.
2 (-). San Francisco 49ers (10-2, 11-1-0 ATS). San Francisco has won the NFC West but losing Patrick Willis to injury is a huge loss. That magnificent ATS record might take a dent at Arizona this weekend.
3 (-). Baltimore Ravens (9-3, 7-4-1 ATS). The Ravens won’t rest until the Steelers are gone. They just can’t.
4 (-). Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3, 6-6-0 ATS). While the Steelers themselves are the guys that nobody wants to host in the playoffs. Cincinnati is a good team this year, and the Steelers just crushed the Bengals on Sunday.
5 (-). Houston Texans (9-3, 8-3-1 ATS). Great win for the Texans with rookie TJ Yates at quarterback but it’s a big ask for him to lead Houston into the playoffs and beyond.
6 (+1). New Orleans Saints (9-3, 8-4-0 ATS). The defense is stepping up in New Orleans. That loss against St Louis remains a worry though.
7 (-1). New England Patriots (9-3, 6-5-1 ATS). The Patriots drop one because any team that gives up 300+ yards to Dan Orlovsky has problems. I don’t care if it was garbage time or cocktail hour. The Patriot defense is an accident waiting to happen.
8 (-). Cincinnati Bengals (7-5, 7-4-1 ATS). All of a sudden, the Bengals are under pressure. They have to win at home against Houston on Sunday to restore momentum and their push for the playoffs.
9 (-). Chicago Bears (7-5, 6-6-0 ATS). Jay Cutler was bad, but losing Matt Forde could spell doom for the Bears.
10 (-). Detroit Lions (7-5, 6-6-0 ATS). Is Jim Schwartz going to waste the talent at his disposal by not telling his players that without discipline they are nothing? Worrying times in Motown.
11 (-). Oakland Raiders (7-5, 7-5-0 ATS). The Raiders found out just how shallow their talent pool is when Miami tore them to shreds on Sunday. Oakland is a two touchdown sports betting underdog at Green Bay this Sunday.
12 (+5). Denver Broncos (7-5, 7-5-0 ATS). Denver leads the AFC West, where nobody has a positive points differential. Everybody’s conceded more points than they’ve scored. That said, Team Tebow looks good for another win against the injury-hit Bears on Sunday.
13 (-1). Dallas Cowboys (7-5, 4-8-0 ATS). Dallas laid an egg in the desert, but the Cowboys remain in command of the very weak NFC East.
14 (-1). Atlanta Falcons (7-5, 5-6-1 ATS). Atlanta just can’t haul itself over the line. The Falcons’ results don’t match their efforts.
15 (-1). New York Giants (6-6, 5-6-1 ATS). It’s genuinely bizarre how the Giants tank so consistently in the second half of the season.
16 (-1). New York Jets (7-5, 5-6-1 ATS). Unlike the Jets, who seem to thrive on having their backs to the wall.
17 (-1). Tennessee Titans (7-5, 7-4-1 ATS). Tennessee hasn’t given up hope of the playoffs, or the AFC South, yet.
18 (+1). Seattle Seahawks (5-7, 8-4-0 ATS). Seattle had a great win against Philadelphia last Thursday. The Seahawks are having a better season that people generally think.
19 (+4). Miami Dolphins (4-8, 7-5-0 ATS). The Dolphins are playing just great. If reports are true and Tony Sparano is for the chop at the end of the season, there’ll be a queue outside his door to give him another job.
20 (+1). Kansas City Chiefs (5-7, 7-5-0 ATS). Streakier than United States breakfast bacon.
21 (-1). Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-8, 4-8-0 ATS). It was nice to see Buccaneer Bruce and those creamsicle unis again.
22 (-4). Buffalo Bills (5-7, 6-5-1 ATS). Same old Bills.
23 (+1). San Diego Chargers (5-7, 3-9-0 ATS). In theory, the Chargers still have a shot at the playoffs. In theory. Will that patchwork offensive line hold up?
24 (+2). Arizona Cardinals (5-7, 6-5-1 ATS). A little like the Dolphins – the Cards aren’t going to the playoffs, but they may stop someone else getting there.
25 (+2). Carolina Panthers (4-8, 7-4-1 ATS). Carolina is having great season, and that’s a pretty good ATS record.
26 (-4). Philadelphia Eagles (4-8, 4-8-0 ATS). Waiter? Fork, please. This one’s done.
27 (-2). Washington Redskins (4-8, 5-7-0 ATS). Having Fred Davis get himself suspended isn’t what the Redskins need right now.
28 (-). Cleveland Browns (4-8, 3-9-0 ATS). Cleveland is 4-21 in the Rust Belt Rivalry since the Browns returned to the NFL in 1999. That is just depressing.
29 (-). Jacksonville Jaguars (3-9, 3-8-1 ATS). All about next year for Jacksonville.
30 (-). Minnesota Vikings (2-10, 5-7-0 ATS). Cause to Ponder at quarterback for the Vikings? Ints kill you, every time.
31 (-). St. Louis Rams (2-10, 2-10-0 ATS). How’d they manage to win two?
32 (-). Indianapolis Colts (0-12, 3-9-0 ATS). Maybe the Colts are good for one more back door cover before the curtain comes down.