It’s no surprise that Kansas City is favored over Oakland tonight. The Raiders are the league’s only winless team while the Chiefs were perhaps surprisingly hanging around the AFC West division lead with the Broncos; after an impressive win over Seattle while Denver lost in equally impressive fashion to the Rams, the two are actually tied based on record. The game is in Oakland though, which limits the damage a little bit. The Chiefs are touchdown favorites according to SBR, but the models have the game a little closer. But in any case, it seems likely that it’s a boring Thursday night game ahead.
After a couple of down weeks for Denver, there’s a new number one at the top of the power rankings.
The Pats have made quite a run, as have the Packers. While Denver has slid to third in ranking, they aren’t that far behind New England and Green Bay, and they’re still a decent amount ahead of Baltimore and Indianapolis at 4 and 5. Ignoring future strength of schedule, they should still stay ahead of the Chiefs. Similarly, Baltimore will presumably start to pull ahead in the AFC North, but that’s about as crazy a division as the NFC South, led by 15th-ranked New Orleans. Meanwhile, my underwhelming Lions can’t even match the Saints. They have wins banked, which is nice, but the offense has been so bad that you have to wonder if they’ll fall apart down the stretch like last year. Luigi has the Lions’ defense right at the top, about as good as the Chiefs’, while their offense is on par with the Panthers, Bucs, or Bills. Not very good.