LAS VEGAS -- A lot of other NFL polls are scrambling to move the New England Patriots into their No. 1 spot to replace the Dallas Cowboys, but the NFL Vegas Rankings here at Chalk have had the Patriots on top since Tom Brady returned from his suspension after Week 4.
The Patriots held onto that spot with a 30-23 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football after closing as 6-point home favorites. In last week's rankings, we had New England rated 5 points better than Baltimore on a neutral field, so we felt the line was correct when it was -7.5 when last week's poll was posted. If we had known the line was going to plummet to -6, we would have made it a value play.
The NFL Vegas Rankings are compiled using the average of the power ratings from Chalk handicappers Erin Rynning and yours truly, Dave Tuley, along with ESPN's Football Power Index. They're intended to compare the relative strength of teams if they were to meet on a neutral field and what the point spread should be for those matchups. We've also added the FPI and Massey-Peabody rankings to our chart for comparative purposes and to show other viewpoints; while there are differences up and down the rankings, we all continue to have the Patriots ranked highest.
Here's a look at the teams making the biggest moves up and down the NFL Vegas Rankings, and then we'll look for some Week 15 value plays using this week's power ratings: