The Cowboys remain at the pointy end of the NFL Power Rankings, but the Seahawks and Broncos plunged several spot, while the Chiefs and Dolphins were the big top-10 movers.
1. Dallas Cowboys (10-1) —
Another week, and the Cowboys are still sitting atop the NFL standings. They got another win over the weekend, and continue to get praise from around the NFL. They deserve it to, despite the shenanigans between Norman and Dez, the Cowboys are the big ticket in the NFL, lighting up primetime this weekend.
2. New England Patriots (9-2) +1
Well, you knew the Patriots weren’t going to stop winning, didn’t you? They looked lax again against the Jets, but there’s nobody else better at producing those game winning drives. The Patriots look like the cream of the AFC, even on autopilot.
3. Oakland Raiders (9-2) +1
The Raiders just keep finding ways to win, even when they almost blow it. The Raiders defense almost gave up a massive lead to Carolina late, but held it together. Derek Carr may be the toughest QB in football after breaking his finger and still leading a game winning drive. Oakland continues to impress.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (8-3) +3
That win was just all kinds of big for Kansas City. The Chiefs knocked the Broncos down a peg, and kept right on the heels of the Raiders. They’ve got a huge game upcoming in a few weeks, but until then, the Chiefs defense and surprisingly explosive offense is creating a surge in the NFL’s toughest division.
5. New York Giants (8-3) +1
Speaking of tough divisions, the Giants have rattled off an increasing number of wins in the last few weeks, and managed to gain zero ground on their division leader. Still, the Giants are pretty solidly cementing a place in the postseason, barring a big collapse. This offense is going to give fits, but I’m not sold on the D.
6. Seattle Seahawks (7-3-1) -4
The Seahawks just played with fire a bit too much, and this time got shocked by Jameis Winston and the Bucs. Long road trips are a pain, and this one looked like it rattled the offense. Russell Wilson just didn’t look in rhythm, and couldn’t overcome that rough first half start.
7. Atlanta Falcons (7-4) +2
I must admit, I keep patiently waiting for that patented Falcons collapse, but I’m just not sure it’s coming. The Falcons thoroughly dominated the Cardinals at home, just like they were supposed to. And the offense just finds new ways to be explosive.
8. Detroit Lions (7-4) —
The Lions have to be in the running for the surprise team in football, and are now inching closer and closer to locking up the NFC North for the first time in a long time. They’ve held off the Vikings, and now work into a more manageable end to the season. A division title looks possible now.
9. Denver Broncos (7-4) -4
That loss for Denver, coupled with the ones it’s already suffered, are really going to start stinging. Especially now: after losing to the Raiders and Chiefs, they sit at third in the division, not owning a tiebreaker over either team, and now would be on the outside looking in for a playoff spot.
10. Miami Dolphins (7-4) +3
Man, if only the Dolphins played in any other division. Things looked promising for the resurgent Dolphins early Sunday, as the Patriots looked likely to drop a stunner to the Jets. But another win for New England means another win squandered. Still, if they stay the course, they could go to the playoffs in a loaded AFC.
11. Baltimore Ravens (6-5) +3
It looks like there’ll be a dead-heat for the AFC North playoff spot, and who better to fight it out than the Ravens and Steelers? They handled their business against the Bengals, and did it pretty impressively. Still, they’ve got work to do going forward, with the red-hot Dolphins coming to town.
12. Washington Redskins (6-4-1) -2
That loss to Dallas was demoralizing, even despite the trash talk from Dez Bryant. Josh Norman and the secondary were ripped for a second straight week, and the solid offensive output from Kirk Cousins got wasted. The Redskins still control their destiny for the playoffs, though.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) +3
It’s the Steelers time to shine, with team brass saying that Big Ben is nearly full health. And he better be: the Steelers offense is regressing harshly without the healthy Ben, and they’ll need to score with New York in town.
14. Houston Texans (6-5) -3
If the Dolphins are unlucky for their division, the Texans are grateful for theirs. They continue to underperform, but somehow manage to lead their division rather comfortably. They don’t look particularly good on offense at all, and the defense is starting to regress as well.
15. Minnesota Vikings (6-5) -3
The Vikings are hanging on for dear life, as the Lions are starting to gain more speed. Sam Bradford said Monday that getting the offense on track is the main priority in practice, as it should be. If not for defensive and ST touchdowns, there would be no scoring for the Vikings.
16. Buffalo Bills (6-5) +4
I’m really not sure what to make of the Bills. On one hand, they win just enough to keep it interesting, but not enough to make you care. The Bills are hovering around playoff consideration, but there isn’t a lot of confidence they are consistent enough to do it. Just average.
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5) —
Don’t look now, but the Bucs have some pretty impressive wins on their resume. They displaced the Seahawks this week, which is impressive no matter where it was located. And in doing so, they remain in striking distance of the Falcons.
18. Green Bay Packers (5-6) +8
I don’t care if the Eagles are struggling. Winning like that against that defense may just be the wake up call the Packers needed. Aaron Rodgers was back to being unfair, and the offense finally came back to life. Just in time too: the Packers face top ten NFL defenses in three of their final five, including this week.
19. Tennessee Titans (6-6) +2
The Titans roll into their BYE pretty satisfied with how things have gone. I’m sure any reasonable fan would have been thrilled if you told them they’d be sitting at .500 at their BYE week. They’ve got a realistic shot of catching the Texans, too.
20. New Orleans Saints (5-6) +3
The Saints defended home turf by smacking around a western team, and racking up 49 points on their defense. It was vintage Brees, who picked apart a really good secondary. They’ll have a better offense in town this week, but who knows what happens with Brees in that building.
21. San Diego Chargers (5-6) +4
The Chargers are such a fun team, and seem content on beating up on better teams when at all possible. They are just playing spoiler at this point, as the AFC playoffs are slightly slipping. Still, this team could ruining some seasons going forward. They’d be a playoff contender healthy.
22. Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) -7
That loss to the Packers was probably the death blow to the Eagles chances for the postseason. Everything that made this team so good a few weeks ago has disappeared, and now they are just struggling to find themselves.
23. Indianapolis Colts (5-6) -5
The Colts are pretty frustrating. That defense just continues to get worse, and the depth of talent is just bad. See my article from earlier this week about just how bad. And spoiler: it’s really bad.
24. Arizona Cardinals (4-6-1) -5
The Cardinals are another team that probably bit the final bullet on Sunday. The loss to the Falcons shouldn’t be held against them too much, but it’s still too much to overcome. That tie to the Seahawks hurts more and more every single week.
25. Carolina Panthers (4-7) -3
The Panthers got dominated for one half, kicked butt in the third, and choked it away down the stretch. That’s just been the season for the defending NFC Champions, who look more and more like they won’t be defending that title.
26. Los Angeles Rams (4-7) -2
Swirling rumors that you’re coach is gone, fighting with a hall of fame alumni, and losing. It’s just become the norm in LA, and now they are probably firmly outside the playoff race. It’s time to play the young guys and move Goff along in the system.
27. Cincinnati Bengals (3-7-1) —
The Bengals continued their slide by getting handled by the Ravens. I don’t think that wake up moment for this team is ever coming. It’s a shame, too, because I think this’ll cost Marvin Lewis his job finally.
28. New York Jets (3-8) —
I really wanted to move the Jets up this week, and they really gave the Patriots a fight. But then they blew it, and there’s no moral victories on this power ranking. I learned my lesson on that after believing in the Jaguars.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9) —
Speaking of the Jags, they took another loss. This time to the Bills in a game they were actually competitive it. That moves Gus Bradley to 14-45 all time, and that just gets worse every single time I see it.
30. Chicago Bears (2-9) —
The Bears are hopeless, especially without Alshon Jeffery. The offense looked really bad Sunday, and had to rely on spurts to keep it close. Jay Cutler is a good quarterback, but no weapons again is going to drag him down.
31. San Francisco 49ers (1-10) —
The 49ers are just bad all the way around. And with rumors of Chip Kelley’s potential return to college coaching, what if they took this 1-10 season for no reason? Man, that would be a big time party foul.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-12) –
The poor Browns. Hue Jackson doesn’t want to lose like this, or to lose his job. And I don’t think he should. The Browns have talent, and they’ll get this thing figured out. That or ill just keep crying at this Hue Jacksons press conference.