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NFL Power Rankings Week 15: Updated Records, 2017-18 Super Bowl Odds

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2017

CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 10:  Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers rolls out with the ball in the first quarter against the Washington Redskins on December 10, 2017 at StubHub Center in Carson, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

It isn't hard to unearth the biggest talking points surrounding the NFL as the dust settles on the Week 14 slate. 

Mainly, superstars going down with injuries and heavyweight bouts with interesting outcomes. 

The biggest injury storylines occurred with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, which we'll touch on below. Of the notable results, the Pittsburgh Steelers outlasted the Baltimore Ravens 39-38, the Carolina Panthers knocked off the Minnesota Vikings 31-24 and the Jacksonville Jaguars upended the Seattle Seahawks 30-24. 

So yes, there are some huge changes to the Super Bowl odds and power rankings.

                  

2017 NFL Power Rankings and Super Bowl Odds

RankTeam
1Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2)
2New England Patriots (5-2)
3Philadelphia Eagles (25-4)
4Los Angeles Rams (14-1)
5Jacksonville Jaguars (33-1)
6Carolina Panthers (28-1)
7Minnesota Vikings (17-2)
8Los Angeles Chargers (28-1)
9Seattle Seahawks (16-1)
10Atlanta Falcons (16-1)
11New Orleans Saints (14-1)
12Tennessee Titans (33-1)
13Detroit Lions (100-1)
14Baltimore Ravens (50-1)
15Buffalo Bills (300-1)
16Kansas City Chiefs (33-1)
17Dallas Cowboys (100-1)
18Washington Redskins (300-1)
19Arizona Cardinals (500-1)
20Oakland Raiders (33-1)
21Green Bay Packers (25-1)
22Miami Dolphins (500-1)
23Chicago Bears (1000-1)
24New York Jets (300-1)
25Cincinnati Bengals (200-1)
26Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1000-1)
27San Francisco 49ers (5000-1)
28Houston Texans (1000-1)
29Denver Broncos (1000-1)
30Indianapolis Colts (1000-1)
31New York Giants (1000-1)
32Cleveland Browns (5000-1)
Author's opinion, odds via OddsShark

                

Updated Records

  • Philadelphia Eagles 11-2
  • Pittsburgh Steelers 11-2
  • New England Patriots 10-2
  • Minnesota Vikings 10-3
  • Jacksonville Jaguars 9-4
  • Los Angeles Rams 9-4
  • New Orleans Saints 9-4
  • Carolina Panthers 9-4
  • Tennessee Titans 8-5
  • Atlanta Falcons 8-5
  • Seattle Seahawks 8-5
  • Kansas City Chiefs 7-6
  • Buffalo Bills 7-6
  • Baltimore Ravens 7-6
  • Los Angeles Chargers 7-6
  • Detroit Lions 7-6
  • Green Bay Packers 7-6
  • Dallas Cowboys 7-6
  • Oakland Raiders 6-7
  • Arizona Cardinals 6-7
  • Miami Dolphins 5-7
  • New York Jets 5-8
  • Washington Redskins 5-8
  • Cincinnati Bengals 5-8
  • Houston Texans 4-9
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-9
  • Chicago Bears 4-9
  • Denver Broncos 4-9
  • Indianapolis Colts 3-10
  • San Francisco 49ers 3-10
  • New York Giants 2-11
  • Cleveland Browns 0-13

      

Don't Blink: Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams will be just fine. In fact, the line might remain an attractive option for the foreseeable future after Jared Goff and Co. lost 43-35 to the Eagles on Sunday. 

Naysayers will point out the Rams have now lost two of their last four. Again, call it good cover for those who want a great payout on a contender. Losing to Philadelphia and Minnesota aren't bad things, nor are losing to Washington and Seattle, the four marks in the loss column of a 9-4 record. 

Remember, the Rams still control the NFC West even with the prior loss to Seattle because the Seahawks went down as well. And the Rams were still competitive against Philadelphia with Goff tossing a pair of touchdowns and Todd Gurley rushing for two more. 

Even so, the Rams got just slightly enough away from what works in the loss, as pointed out by Rich Hammond of the Orange County Register

Rich Hammond @Rich_Hammond

The Rams are 7-0 when Todd Gurley gets at least 20 touches, and 2-4 when he doesn't. Gurley had 16 touches today for 135 yards.

Feel free to chalk up this loss as an anomaly. A huge allowance by a defense that hadn't permitted more than 20 points in a game since Week 11 doing so against an MVP candidate isn't a red flag. 

The only way bettors should back off the Rams at this point is if they go to Seattle and lose to the Seahawks again in Week 15. Even then, it's hard to ignore a team that finishes the year against Tennessee and San Francisco and is backed by a strong defense and balanced offense. 

        

Abandon Ship: Philadelphia Eagles

Unfortunately for those seeking a predictable avenue and potential payout, it's time to let the Eagles go. 

That road win against one of the league's best teams while Wentz tossed four touchdowns and Trey Burton officially broke out with two touchdown catches will forever have an asterisk next to it. 

Reason being, per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, Wentz might have a serious knee injury: 

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

The #Eagles believe QB Carson Wentz injured his ACL today vs #Rams, but initial tests don’t definitively show a complete tear, sources say. MRI tomorrow will tell the story. They’re not giving up hope.

There isn't anything the Eagles can do to compensate for such a loss. Nick Foles went and totaled a 6-of-10 mark for 42 yards, though his long-term prospects as a starter aren't great considering he's a 60.5 percent career passer who hasn't attempted more than 55 passes in a season since 2015. 

The ripple effect of losing a player like Wentz is huge. An offensive line has a harder job than usual right away, and the running game has less room to work with. A defense only allowing 19.2 points per game will likely suddenly find itself defending shorter fields and staying on the field longer, not to mention defending without a lead. 

Even if Wentz could return for the playoffs, this is a rhythm-destroying situation for an offense as it shifts to a backup for the better part of a month. This is like Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders a year ago, if not worse, so bettors will have to look elsewhere, barring an unexpected development. 

          

Underdog to Buy: Los Angeles Chargers  

Don't overlook the Los Angeles Chargers and a potentially superb payout. 

These Chargers are 7-6 and winners of four in a row. They've lost two games since Week 5 and both came at the hands of strong playoff contenders like New England and Jacksonville (yes, 2017 has been weird). 

Even more impressive? The Chargers are on this hot streak and looking like an underdog contender after starting the year 0-4. 

"I want them to understand the big picture," Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said, according to the Los Angeles Times' Dan Woike. "I want players to always know what they're playing for. And, right now, we're playing for our division. ... When we were 0-4, we were playing for our division. There's just too much football to count yourself out."

Week 14 was more business as usual as the Chargers blew away the visiting Washington Redskins in 30-13 fashion, getting two touchdowns from Philip Rivers and a defensive performance limiting Kirk Cousins to one passing score and 65 rushing yards. 

The biggest test of the Chargers' season comes in Week 15 on a Saturday night game against the Kansas City Chiefs, an AFC West rival with an identical record already owning a win in the season series. But Week 3 was quite a long time ago and the Chiefs are 2-6 over their last eight, so bettors shouldn't have too much pause. 

The Chargers have many of the ingredients found in an eventual championship winner. Rivers is playing like an MVP, his defense has a strong pass rush, and every cylinder of the team is firing well in December heading into a weak conference's playoffs. Plus, they already played the Patriots close in a 21-13 road loss in Week 8.

When it comes to high-paying risks, it doesn't get much better than this.  

        

Stats courtesy of NFL.com. Odds courtesy of OddsShark.  

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