2015 NFL Power Rankings Week 16

david-johnson-cardinalsWith only two games left, the NFL Playoff picture is starting to become clearer. But one thing that’s still not clear is the league hierarchy, with high-profile matchups between the Patriots vs. Jets, Green Bay vs. Arizona, and Broncos vs. Bengals set to shake things up. See how all 32 teams rank this week, and take a look at our Week 15 power rankings here.

1. Carolina Panthers (14-0); beat NY Giants 38-35, same spot – Tedd Ginn grabbed his 10th touchdown this season, becoming the first Panther receiver since Steve Smith (2005) to reach double-digit TD’s.

2. Arizona Cardinals (12-2); beat Arizona 40-17, same spot – Arizona set their record for most wins in a season. Can they add to it with tough games against Green Bay and Seattle remaining?

3. New England Patriots (12-2); beat Tennessee 33-16, same spot – The Patriots have become the first NFL team to clinch a first-round bye in six straight seasons since the current playoff format began in 1990.

4. Cincinnati Bengals (11-3); beat San Francisco 24-14, same spot – The defense supplied most of the offense here, scoring 14 points and causing a season-high four turnovers.

5. Seattle Seahawks (9-5); beat Cleveland 30-13, up 1 spot – Doug Baldwin is really taking advantage of Russell Wilson’s hot streak, scoring 10 TD’s in the last four games.

eddie-lacy-rookie-of-the-year6. Green Bay Packers (10-4); beat Oakland 30-20, up 1 spot – This is the seventh-straight year that Green Bay has earned a playoff spot, which is a franchise record.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5); beat Denver 34-27, up 1 spot  – Pittsburgh has also set a franchise record this season, scoring 30+ points for the sixth-consecutive game.

8. Denver Broncos (10-4); lost to Pittsburgh 34-27, down 3 spots – The first and second-half scores in Denver’s past thee games: First Half, Denver 56 – Opponents 16; Second Half, Denver 0 – Opponents 36.

9. Kansas City Chiefs (9-5); beat Baltimore 34-14, same spot – Kansas City has had eight different games where they didn’t commit one single turnover – tied for best in the league.

10. New York Jets (9-5); beat Dallas 19-16, same spot – Despite clinching a winning season with two games left, the Jets don’t control their own playoff destiny.

11. Minnesota Vikings (9-5); beat Chicago 38-17, same spot – Teddy Bridgewater really turned around his slump, throwing four TD’s – the same amount he’d thrown in his previous seven games.

12. Houston Texans (7-7); beat Indianapolis 16-10, up 4 spots – Houston will probably start Brandon Weeden, who would be their fourth starting QB of the season.

kirk-cousins-nfl13. Washington Redskins (7-7); beat Buffalo 35-25, up 5 spots – Kirk Cousins is now leading the NFL in completion percentage at a 69.7 clip.

14. Atlanta Falcons (7-7); beat Jacksonville 23-17, up 6 spots – Atlanta finally snaps their six-game losing streak, but it might be too late to make the playoffs.

15. Buffalo Bills (6-8); lost to Washington 35-25, down 3 spots – There are now rumors that Rex Ryan could be fired after just one season in Buffalo.

16. Oakland Raiders (6-8); lost to Green Bay 30-20, down 3 spots – Amari Cooper becomes the first Raider receiver to top 1,000 yards since Randy Moss (2005).

17. New York Giants (6-8); lost to Carolina 38-35, down 3 spots – The Giants have now lost five times within the last minute of regulation or overtime.

18. Philadelphia Eagles (6-8); lost to Arizona 40-17, down 3 spots  – Philadelphia has lost by 21+ points three times this season – tied for second most.

19. Indianapolis Colts (6-8); lost to Houston 16-10, down 2 spots – This is the Colts’ third-straight loss, and they’re only scoring 12.0 PPG during this period.

Rams 49ers Football20. St. Louis Rams (6-8); beat Tampa Bay 31-23, down 3 spots – Tavon Austin has gone under the radar with 10 TD’s and 817 yards from scrimmage this season.

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8); lost to St. Louis 31-23, down 2 spots – While Tampa Bay won’t make the playoffs, their offense has plenty of promise moving forward.

22. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-9); lost to Atlanta 23-17, down 1 spot – Allen Robinson is now leading the league with 13 TD’s, and he could become the first Jaguar receiver to ever finish first in this category.

23. Detroit Lions (5-9); beat New Orleans 35-27, up 3 spots – The Lions have rushed for over 100 yards in five straight games; before this, they’d only done so once in their first nine games.

24. New Orleans Saints (5-9); lost to Detroit 35-27, down 2 spots – Tim Hightower went from not playing a game since 2011 to rushing 28 times in this victory.

25. Chicago Bears (5-9); lost to Minnesota 38-17, down 1 spot – Despite the team record, Jay Cutler had a pretty solid season with 18 TD’s against 8 INT’s.

26. Miami Dolphins (5-9); lost to San Diego 30-14, down 1 spot – The Dolphins are just 2-6 in their last eight games, meaning interim coach Dan Campbell probably won’t become full-time.

danny-woodhead-chargers27. San Diego Chargers (4-10); beat Miami 30-14, up 5 spots – Danny Woodhead exploded for four TD’s, becoming the first Charger to do so since LaDainian Tomlinson (2007).

28. Dallas Cowboys (4-10); lost to NY Jets 19-16, down 2 spots – DeMarco Murray wants off the Eagles badly so he can return to Dallas. Will it happen?.

29. San Francisco 49ers (4-10); lost to Cincinnati 24-14, down 1 spot – This is the first time the Niners have lost 10 games since 2010.

30. Baltimore Ravens (4-10); lost to Kansas City 34-14, down 1 spot – Since Joe Flacco was lost for the season, the Ravens have scored five TD’s in their past four games, while opposing defenses have scored 4 TD’s.

31. Tennessee Titans (3-11); lost to New England 33-16, down 1 spot – Despite winning three games, the Titans already beat their victory total from last season (2).

32. Cleveland Browns (3-11); lost to Seattle 30-13, same spot – The Browns could be looking at their first top overall draft pick since 2000, when they took DE Courtney Brown.

Eddie Lacy well on his way to 2013 NFL Rookie of the Year

eddie-lacy-rookie-of-the-yearWhen the 2013 NFL season began, Montee Ball and Tavon Austin were the favorites in terms of betting odds for the Rookie of the Year award. We at GTBets.eu had both players at 9/2 odds of winning the award. Eddie Lacy, on the other hand, was only in the middle range as far as odds went.

Nevertheless, the bruising running back from the Green Bay Packers is well on his way towards the 2013 Offensive Rookie of the Year. With two games remaining in the season, Lacy has 1,048 rushing yards on 248 carries (4.1 YPC). He’s also reached the end zone 8 times and has added 31 catches for 236 yards. But while Lacy’s stats may be impressive, what really sets him apart from other candidates is his performances in big games.

Last Sunday’s contest against the Dallas Cowboys was a perfect example of this. With the Packers needing a win to stay in the NFC North title race, they got a giant boost from their rookie ball carrier. Lacy racked up 141 rushing yards and a touchdown on just 21 carries. What’s especially noteworthy about this game is that the 230-pounder was playing on a tender ankle.

eddie-lacy-rookie-of-the-year-1Thanks in large part to Lacy’s gritty performance, the Packers are now just a half game behind Chicago for the NFC North title. Seeing as how they get a crack at Chicago on the final week of the season, it’s entirely possible that Green Bay could win the division and go to the playoffs. But even if they don’t, Eddie Lacy is still looking like the favorite to win the 2013 Rookie of the Year.

So who’s his main competition at this point? Well, it appears that San Diego wide receiver Keenan Allen is the only player who can capture the award. Allen has hauled in 63 passes for 923 yards and 7 TD’s, which is no doubt an impressive campaign. Plus his team still has a shot at the postseason since San Diego is sitting at 7-7.

With both players fairly similar in terms of offensive production, what may ultimately set these two apart is how they rank relative to their positions. Lacy easily wins the battle here because he’s ranked 7th among running backs in rushing yards. Meanwhile, Allen’s 923 receiving yards only place him 21st among the league’s wideouts.

It’s also worth mentioning that Lacy has had to shoulder his team’s offensive load in the absence of Aaron Rodgers. Sure Matt Flynn has had his moments, but it’s Lacy creating for his fill-in quarterback, not the other way around. Contrast this to Allen, who’s often overshadowed by the guy throwing him the ball, Philip Rivers.

Of course, the ROY race could easily be determined by which one of these teams makes the playoffs too. But for the moment, it looks like Lacy has the inside track towards being the league’s best offensive rookie.

2013 NFL Prop Bets: Denard Robinson running Wildcat for Jaguars

denard-robinson-wildcatRookie Denard Robinson doesn’t have a set position on the Jacksonville Jaguars roster. In fact, it’s still unclear exactly where he’ll play on the field when the 2013-14 NFL season starts. Despite this consideration, Robinson will no doubt make an impact on offense – especially now that he’s running the Wildcat.

The former University of Michigan quarterback was seen taking snaps in Jacksonville’s Wildcat package earlier this week. Robinson did everything from hand off to RB Maurice Jones-Drew to throwing completions and running himself out of the formation. Given his versatility, it’s no wonder why the speedster is listed under “Offensive Weapon” (OW) on the Jacksonville roster.

If you’re interested in making any 2014 NFL prop bets, Robinson might be a good pick to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. GTBets.eu currently has him listed at 12-to-1 odds of winning, which isn’t tremendously far off leaders Montee Ball (DEN) and Tavon Austin (STL), who are both sitting at 9-to-2 odds of winning.

But even with the hype that he’s being given in the betting world and press, there’s still work to be done before Robinson is a polished Wildcat star. Head coach Gus Bradley alluded to this when he discussed ball security issues in recent organized team activities.

“We did it in OTAs, and a couple of times, he ran the ball and fumbled the ball and he didn’t know how to pitch.” Bradley added, “We’re not going to give up on that. (Offensive coordinator) Jedd’s (Fisch) philosophy is to get it in the playmaker’s hands, and we want to see if he’s a playmaker and the threat he can give us.”

denard-robinson-wildcat-1In addition to doing Wildcat plays, there’s a strong chance that Robinson could be returning kickoffs and/or punts. So the options seem endless with this rookie, especially given how badly Jacksonville needs playmakers.

Despite being just a fifth round pick, the 6-foot, 200-pounder could end up making the biggest impact of any Jacksonville rookie. Robinson runs a 4.35 forty and has shown a nice array of skills, from catching passes to throwing them.

After setting multiple records at Michigan, including 502 total offensive yards against Notre Dame in 2010, Robinson appears ready to impress at the next level. The only question is if he can succeed in a Jacksonville offense that lacks any weapons beyond WR Justin Blackmon and Jones-Drew.

The quarterback situation is ugly, with Blaine Gabbert competing against Chad Henne for the starting job. Depending upon how this situation develops, we might see the Jaguars utilize Robinson in the Wildcat quite often, much like the Miami Dolphins did with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams in 2008.

Once again, if you’re looking to make some prop bets before the NFL season starts, you might give Denard Robinson a look in the Offensive Rookie of the Year category.