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NFL Power Rankings

   by Matt Fargo - 01/01/2011

New England won its seventh straight game by blasting the Bills and clinching home field advantage through the playoffs. Be careful riding them as they will likely rest players against Miami.

Pittsburgh can lock up the number two seed in the AFC with a win over the Browns. The Steelers will be a very public bet and the line has been adjusted for it.

Atlanta will have to wait another week to clinch the top seed in the NFC. The Falcons are two touchdown favorites and have not covered as double-digit chalk since 2005 (0-3 ATS).

Baltimore clinched a playoff berth with a win in Cleveland and the top seed is not out of the question. The Ravens will be looking for revenge this Sunday after losing in Cincinnati Week Two.

Philadelphia locked up the NFC East by virtue of the Giants loss in Green Bay. The Eagles game against the Cowboys will have huge playoff implications for many teams.

The Saints locked up a playoff berth with their win in Atlanta and are still alive for the number one seed. They will be focused against the Buccaneers after losing at home last season.

Green Bay snapped its two-game skid with a romp over the Giants. The Packers are 6-1 at home and the Bears are 6-1 on the road so something will have to give.

Chicago held off the Jets in an unexpected shootout. We will probably see a much lower scoring game this week as the last four games with the Packers have finished at 37 points or fewer.

The Jets lost in Chicago but backed into a playoff spot because of the San Diego loss. Nine of their 15 games have been decided by a possession or less so expect more close ones.

The Giants have dug themselves a deep hole as just four and a half quarters ago, they were looking like a playoff lock. New York has been outscored 73-17 over the last 67:28.

Indianapolis snuck out another win and can take the division with a win over Tennessee, thus the reason the Colts are favored by 9.5 points, which is their biggest line of the season. Overadjustment?

Kansas City notched its 10th win over the Titans and matched its win total from the last three years combined. The Chiefs can go undefeated at home for the first time since 2003.

The Chargers looked unstoppable the last two weeks but parity prevailed once again as the Bengals knocked them out of playoff contention. They are still road favorites at Denver.

Tampa Bay remains in the playoff picture but it must beat the Saints for a second straight season in New Orleans and get other help. The Buccaneers are 6-0-1 ATS on the road this season.

Miami self destructed again, this time against the Lions as the motivation was no where to be found. The Dolphins should be motivated this week against their hated rival Patriots.

Jacksonville had control of its own destiny but back-to-back losses put this fraud team back in its place. It is in a must win game at Houston so they are pegged as road favorites.

Oakland is playing for nothing but pride now but it has been a successful season as the Raiders have their most wins since 2002 when they went to the Super Bowl.

Don’t tell Detroit it is not going to the postseason as the Lions continue to play hard. After not winning on the road for 26 straight games, they have won two straight away from home.

Tennessee has nothing left to do but play spoiler and what better team to do it against. The Titans are 2-7 ATS in the nine meetings in Indianapolis since joining the AFC South.

St. Louis can lock up the NFC West with a win in Seattle and give some credibility to the division with a .500 record. The Rams will likely end up a field goal favorite.

Minnesota got involved in its third straight week of weather issues causing another game movement. The Vikings will be playing on a very short week against the red hot Lions.

Cleveland has another shot at a division rival as it looks to end the season on a high. The Browns were getting 3.5 points last week and are now getting six points this week?

Washington won in overtime last week in Jacksonville, its fourth overtime game this season and third win. Eight of their games have been decided by a field goal or less.

Dallas regained a lot positive momentum prior to last week but laid an egg in Arizona. The Cowboys could use a win in Philadelphia as a springboard into next season.

Houston blew yet another lead, this time in Denver last week. The Texans have turned into one of the bigger disappointments with a 1-8 run over their last nine games.

Cincinnati snapped its 10-game losing streak two weeks ago and it has won two in a row heading into Baltimore. It is unlikely another win will save Marvin Lewis’ job however.

Buffalo has had a very solid second half of the season but its futility against the Patriots continued as it lost for the 15th straight time while getting outscored by a combined 435-163.

Seattle will most likely be without Matt Hasselbeck this week with the division on the line. NBC picked up this game for primetime but may be dreading that decision now.

San Francisco parted ways with Mike Singletary after what turned into a very disappointing season. The 49ers goal now is to avoid last place with a win over Arizona this Sunday.

Denver snapped its five-game losing streak with a two-touchdown come from behind win over Houston. Tim Tebow played well enough to get the start this week against the Chargers.

The Cardinals will be facing a team that just fired their coach for the second time in four weeks. The first time it resulted in a 30-point win over the Broncos.

The Panthers can win this week and still be guaranteed the first overall draft pick as no other team will finish with fewer than four wins. Something says they won’t win in Atlanta though.

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