NFL power rankings: The Kansas City made a major statement during their Week 12 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So much so that the Chiefs moved ahead of Pittsburgh for the top spot despite the Steelers have yet to play this week. Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles continued to take a step back in the NFC East.
Let’s dive into our latest NFL power rankings entering Week 13.
Related: NFL Week 13 schedule, predictions
NFL power rankings – Best NFL teams entering Week 13
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2)
Coming off a last-minute win over their rival, the Chiefs needed to send a message to the rest of the league and they did just that in Week 12. Patrick Mahomes firmly put himself as the runaway favorite for NFL MVP and this offense proved it can easily beat a top NFC team in Tampa. At this point, it would be an upset if the Chiefs aren’t back at Raymond James Stadium in February.
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2. Pittsburgh Steelers (1)
Their Week 12 game against the Baltimore Ravens has now been postponed three times. It’s slated to take place Wednesday in Pittsburgh. For now, these Steelers remain the only undefeated team in the NFL at 10-0. We only drop them down a notch (for now) due to the Chiefs’ brilliant Week 12 performance against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Updates to come following Wednesday’s game.
3. New Orleans Saints (3)
The Saints were gifted a win on Sunday thanks to Denver’s inability to follow COVID-19 protocols. A 31-3 victory is impressive and there’s no denying both the running game and defense were dominant. But Taysom Hill showed everyone why no one, including Sean Payton, should trust him as a starting quarterback in the NFL. The Saints, along with Alvin Kamara’s fantasy managers, need Drew Brees back.
4. Green Bay Packers (6)
Success doesn’t come easy against the Chicago Bears defense, but Aaron Rodgers looked like he was in a seven-on-seven scrimmage in Week 12. Green Bay blew the doors of Chicago, likely sealing Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky’s fate. On top of that, the Packers likely sealed an NFC North crown. Sitting at 8-3, the Packers can now take advantage of a soft three-game stretch (vs. PHI, @ DET, vs. CAR).
5. Tennessee Titans (7)
The moment DeForest Buckner was ruled out for the Indianapolis Colts, you knew Derrick Henry would have a monster game. Frankly, he only needed two quarters to put this one away. The NFL’s leading rusher erupted for 140 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. It’s pretty much all the Titans needed, running away with a 45-26 victory.
6. Buffalo Bills (8)
Great teams find ways to win sloppy games and that’s exactly what happened to the Bills on Sunday. Despite turning the ball over three times and being outgained by the Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo made enough plays for the 27-17 victory. We’re just counting down the days until the Steelers and Bills collide on Dec. 13.
Related: Top 25 potential NFL free agents of 2021.
7. Los Angeles Rams (5)
Los Angeles boasts a defense more than capable of taking this team on a deep playoff run. On Sunday, we once again witnessed that Jared Goff is this team’s biggest problem. Goff’s turnovers and issues with turnover proved fatal for the team’s hopes at victory against the San Francisco 49ers. This defense will give him another shot in a crucial Week 13 battle against the Arizona Cardinals, but it’s difficult to believe he can get the job done.
8. Indianapolis Colts (5)
The Colts made a statement with their comeback win against the Packers in Week 11. With an opportunity to deliver an even bigger victory against the Titans, Indianapolis fell flat on its face. While it’s easy to point to the absences caused by COVID-19, this was a one-sided affair. We’ll call it a rare dud for now, but the Colts would be wise not to underestimate the Houston Texans next Sunday.
9. Seattle Seahawks (12)
That was a beat down of epic proportions against what has increasingly become a bad Philadelphia Eagles team. At one point late in the second quarter on Monday night, Seattle held a 14-0 lead while outgaining the Eagles, 195-4. That included 14 first downs compared to zero. We already know Russell Wilson is playing at an MVP level. If Seattle’s defense continues what we saw Week 12, this team is a legit Super Bowl contender.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10)
Tampa Bay is still putting out the small fires left in its secondary by Mahomes and Tyreek Hill. While we’ve seen Tom Brady lead some incredible comebacks throughout his career, it felt like a wrap after he trailed 17-0. The comeback effort did fall short, but the second half was entertaining. There are legitimate concerns with this team, but the abundance of talent keeps them at No. 10 in our NFL power rankings.
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11. Miami Dolphins (15)
Miami needed a get-right game and the NFL schedule provided it with a matchup against the New York Jets. The offense wasn’t especially sharp and it’s more evident why this team is still a year away from true contention. This is still a 7-4 team and with the Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders on the schedule, a 10-win campaign is possible.
12. Cleveland Browns (11)
It’s never pretty with the Browns. After sneaking by the Philadelphia Eagles a week ago, Cleveland escaped with a two-point victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 12. The running game (207 yards) is once again carrying this team, even more so with the injuries on defense. Let’s see how the Browns fare against the Titans in Week 13, a good test for a team that has struggled against playoff-caliber opponents.
13. Arizona Cardinals (13)
If not for a miraculous catch by DeAndre Hopkins, everyone might be having a very different conversation about the Cardinals. Over the past month, Arizona lost to the Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots. A big part of the recent skid, Kyler Murray is struggling. Things won’t get any easier for the second-year quarterback with the Rams waiting for him in Week 13.
14. Las Vegas Raiders (9)
The moment the Raiders get recognition, this team collapses the next week. After two of their biggest wins this season (vs. Saints, @ Chiefs), Las Vegas followed it up with double-digit losses (@ Patriots, vs. Buccaneers). Days after taking the Chiefs to the final seconds, Las Vegas was knocked around by the Falcons. The volatility of this club makes it impossible to trust them if they make the playoffs.
15. San Francisco 49ers (17)
The 49ers are a much different team when healthy. Raheem Mostert, Deebo Samuel and Richard Sherman all returned to the field in Week 12. Samuel erupted for 133 receiving yards, Mostert found the end zone and Sherman snagged an interception. At 5-6 and on the rise, there’s a real chance for the 49ers to make the playoffs.
16. Baltimore Ravens (14)
At 6-4 on the season, Baltimore finds itself both mired in on-field struggles and with a shaky situation off the field. That includes seeing their Week 12 game against Pittsburgh postponed multiple times. With Lamar Jackson out (COVID list), it will be interesting to see how this team performs Wednesday. We’ll update the Ravens’ rankings once that game is decided.
17. New England Patriots (24)
After being roasted by Deshaun Watson and Co. in Week 11, the Patriots needed their defense to turn things around. With playoff hopes at stake, New England’s defense came alive against the Arizona Cardinals. Bill Belichick’s scheme limited Kyler Murray to 170 passing yards, 31 rushing yards and zero touchdowns. In a 20-17 victory, that made all the difference. The Patriots aren’t dead yet.
18. Minnesota Vikings (18)
Despite their best efforts at times, Minnesota walked out of Week 12 with a victory. The Vikings coughed up two defensive touchdowns and a muffed punt that nearly sealed the game, but the Carolina Panthers couldn’t put this team away. The Vikings are just one game back of the No. 7 seed in the NFL Playoffs. So, there’s still a chance.
19. Atlanta Falcons (20)
Raheem Morris is earning serious consideration to be Atlanta’s head coach in 2021. The Falcons shocked the world in Week 12, dismantling the Las Vegas Raiders in a 43-6 slashing. The defense is showing signs of life and Matt Ryan is proving he’s got plenty left in the tank. While the NFL Playoffs are a long shot, the Falcons are proving they don’t need a rebuild.
20. Carolina Panthers (16)
The Panthers snagged defeat from the jaws of victory on Sunday. Gifted two defensive touchdowns and a muffed punt, Carolina still found a way to walk off the field with a loss. It is just the latest in a series of heartbreaking losses this season. We’ll give the Panthers a pass, given their youth, but the Los Angeles Chargers show this bad habit doesn’t always fade away.
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21. Chicago Bears (19)
Chicago went back to Mitchell Trubisky in a pivotal moment for the young quarterback and this franchise. With an opportunity to prove himself worthy of a starting job, Trubisky helped sink this team’s playoff hopes. As the Bears slip further down the NFL standings, ownership should start considering sweeping changes to the front office and coaching staff.
22. Houston Texans (23)
Deshaun Watson is playing at an MVP-caliber level right now. Across his last six starts, Watson has 1,750 passing yards, 16 total touchdowns, zero turnovers and a 122.3 quarterback rating. Even if the Texans are about to rebuild their defense, plenty of coaches will be banging at Houston’s door to be paired up with Watson.
23. New York Giants (25)
Even against a team starting backups at quarterback and running back, the Giants had to scrape by for a victory. The blame doesn’t fall on New York’s defense, which is playing very well as of late. It’s all about Daniel Jones, who isn’t showing any signs that he can be a starter for a team with playoff aspirations. Even a slight upgrade under center would have the Giants in a great spot to win the NFC East.
24. Washington Football Team (28)
Technically, Washington is in the playoff hunt. It’s possible this team finds a way to win the NFC East, but no one from this division deserves to play in January. We love what Washington is building on defense and Antonio Gibson looks like a star. But, there are too many holes on offense to ignore.
25. Denver Broncos (21)
The Broncos might have had a shot on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, but their quarterbacks couldn’t follow basic COVID-19 protocols. As a result, Denver was forced to start a wide receiver at quarterback in Week 12. Sitting at 4-7 on the season, with Drew Lock playing like one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL, John Elway might need to spend another offseason finding his QB1. Given his track record, fans should be concerned.
26. Los Angeles Chargers (22)
At some point, injuries are too much to overcome. While Austin Ekeler’s return is huge for this offense, Los Angeles is still hurting on the defensive side. Everyone recognizes Justin Herbert is a special talent and there is plenty of weapons around him to reach his potential. A matchup in Week 13 against the New England Patriots is winnable, but this coaching staff has given us no reason to expect victories in close games.
27. Philadelphia Eagles (26)
Well, at least Doug Pederson finally gave Jalen Hurts a shot. Fans were begging for the rookie to get more snaps, anything to provide a spark to this offense. It wasn’t nearly enough to make a difference against the Seahawks. While the Eagles could still win the NFC East, a higher draft pick should be the priority.
28. Cincinnati Bengals (29)
It’s been a tough few weeks in Cincinnati. Losing star running back Joe Mixon was bad enough, but Joe Burrow’s knee injury was devastating. Without their franchise quarterback, the Bengals are the same team we saw last season. Simply put, a team no one should have to watch.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (31)
We’ve got to tip our hat to the Jaguars, this team shows some fight nearly every week. Jacksonville ultimately lost to the Browns on Sunday, but they kept it a one-score game into the fourth quarter. When we start imagining this offense with Justin Fields at quarterback, it’s impossible not to be excited about the Jaguars’ future.
30. Dallas Cowboys (27)
In the long run, fans are probably happy the Cowboys lost in Week 12. It pushed the Washington Football Team out of range to draft a top quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft and likely ensured Dallas will have a top-five pick. There’s a reason for optimism regarding the future, but every Ezekiel Elliott fumble reminds everyone of his disastrous contract.
31. Detroit Lions (30)
Congrats to the Lions for their biggest victory in two years, firing Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn. The organization desperately needed to clean house and now Detroit can take advantage of a market overflowing with quality coaching candidates. For the rest of the season, let’s just hope D’Andre Swift stays healthy and is unleashed by interim coach Darell Bevell.
32. New York Jets (32)
The Jets have a year-long residency at the bottom of our NFL power rankings. Miami’s offense looked similar to the unit that lost in Week 11 against the Broncos. But, because the Dolphins were facing the Jets on Sunday, even a weak effort resulted in a victory. That captures the essence of Adam Gase’s tenure in New York. It feels like a safe bet to predict an 0-16 season.
NFL Week 12 power rankings
NFL power rankings: NFL Week 12 is upon us with a tripleheader slated for Thanksgiving Day. Can the Pittsburgh Steelers continue to exert their dominance against a struggling Baltimore Ravens squad? After all, they are No. 1 in our most-recent power rankings. Let’s check on the other 31 teams, too.
NFL Power Rankings – Best NFL teams heading into Week 12
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (2)
Perhaps, the most underrated 10-0 team in NFL history, these Steelers are finally getting the respect they deserve heading into Thanksgiving night’s outing against the struggling Baltimore Ravens. Ben Roethlisberger is getting a ton of credit here. However, Pittsburgh’s stingy defense has now recorded a sack in 64 consecutive games. In total, the Steelers are outscoring their opponents by north of 12 points per game.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (1)
There’s something about the Las Vegas Raiders that gives Kansas City fits. Fortunately for Chiefs Kingdom, Patrick Mahomes saved the day with an epic game-winning drive. The victory gives the Chiefs a three-game lead in the AFC West, which should be enough. More importantly, they are just one game back of Pittsburgh for the AFC’s No. 1 seed and a first-round bye. One thing is for certain; the AFC is on a different level than the NFC in 2020.
3. New Orleans Saints (3)
This is no longer Drew Brees’ team. With the future Hall of Famer currently on injured reserve, backup quarterback Taysom Hill put up a brilliant performance in his starting debut against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 11. He tallied nearly 300 total yards and two touchdowns in a 24-9 win. Equally as important for the red-hot Saints, their defense is picking it up. Winners of seven consecutive, these Saints are scary.
4. Indianapolis Colts (6)
Indianapolis followed up a Week 10 win over the Baltimore Ravens by coming back to defeat another Super Bowl contender in that of the Green Bay Packers this past Sunday. While the defense led the team throughout the season, Philip Rivers’ performance against Green Bay was eye-opening. Now at 7-3 on the season, these Colts are among the most well-rounded in the NFL.
5. Los Angeles Rams (9)
What a win for the Rams on Monday night against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Los Angeles’ defense showed up big time, picking off Brady twice. One resulted indirectly in a go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter. The other ended the game in its tracks. This, despite the fact that Jared Goff threw two interceptions. If there’s any issues with these Rams moving forward, it is Goff under center.
6. Green Bay Packers (4)
Four turnovers. When you give the football away four times against a Super Bowl contender, you’re not going to win. Frankly, it’s a little impressive that the Packers took this to overtime after repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot. Aaron Rodgers can take this team to Super Bowl LV, especially with the NFC up for grabs. However, this team is at an unmistakable disadvantage every day Mike Pettine remains the defensive coordinator.
7. Tennessee Titans (13)
Derrick Henry is a bad man. We’re in that time of the NFL season where the weather gets colder, the bone-crunching hits take more of a toll on defenders and the running game thrives. That’s the exact situation the Titans love and they will gladly let Henry put this team on his back and carry it as far as humanly possible. Tennessee’s defense is still a major concern, especially with Jadeveon Clowney on injured reserve
8. Buffalo Bills (11)
The Bills have to feel elated coming out of the bye week. Josh Allen is playing at a Pro Bowl level, eliminating many of the mistakes we saw early in his career. Meanwhile, Stefon Diggs looks like an All-Pro receiver. There’s an even more important point for Buffalo. The defense is starting to turn things around in recent weeks and they can build on that momentum in Week 12 against Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers.
9. Las Vegas Raiders (12)
Credit to the Raiders for taking the reigning Super Bowl champions to the final minute. Derek Carr shined on Sunday Night Football, proving he can compete in shootouts when needed. There’s a lot of talent to like here and Las Vegas is clearly a playoff team. However, this secondary will be the Raiders’ undoing when it counts. Fortunately, the future is bright.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7)
Tom Brady is just not the same quarterback was we saw during his two-decade run with the New England Patriots. Following his two-interception performance in Week 11, Brady has now been picked off nine times in 11 games this season. He’s now on pace for what would be a 12-year high 13 interceptions. Now at 7-4 on the season, these Buccaneers look like a questionable playoff team.
11. Cleveland Browns (14)
Playing without Myles Garrett, Cleveland’s defense delivered a phenomenal performance to take down the Philadelphia Eagles. The Browns are winning entirely thanks to their dominant running game and a defense that is quickly improving. There’s only one thing keeping the Browns from being a legitimate AFC power, Baker Mayfield.
12. Seattle Seahawks (15)
Seattle desperately needed that victory on Thursday Night Football. If the Seahawks lost, they fall to 6-4 and lose critical ground in the NFC West, joining a crowded field of wild card hopefuls. Russell Wilson’s NFL MVP campaign has plummeted. Fortunately, midseason acquisition Carlos Dunlap (3.5 sacks in three games) is doing wonders for this defense.
13. Arizona Cardinals (10)
This is what happens to young teams. Kyler Murray wasn’t at peak form in Week 11, averaging just 6.4 yards per pass attempt and only rushing for 15 yards. With the offense unable to find its rhythm, the Cardinals dropped a close one to Seattle. We’d expect Murray and Co. to turn things around in Week 12 against the New England Patriots.
14. Baltimore Ravens (5)
It’s time for Baltimore to be worried. Lamar Jackson is having issues this season; that’s undeniable. The bigger problem is the Ravens might have the worst receiving corps in the NFL, injuries have decimated their offensive line and Greg Roman can’t make adjustments. Set to face the Steelers on Thanksgiving, the Ravens are in real jeopardy of dropping to a 6-5 record.
15. Miami Dolphins (8)
Just a complete letdown from the Dolphins on Sunday. Great teams beat the Denver Broncos. In fact, they should win relatively easily. On Sunday, we saw why the Dolphins aren’t ready for the big stage. Tua Tagovailoa was awful, leading to Brian Flores benching him. Miami is still ahead of schedule in its long-term plans, but Tagovailoa isn’t ready for the NFL Playoffs. As a result, the Dolphins are a year away from legitimate contention.
16. Carolina Panthers (20)
There’s the version of this team we fell in love with. Carolina’s defense shut out the Detroit Lions on Sunday, allowing 185 total yards on 55 plays. Former XFL standout P.J. Walker, filling in for Teddy Bridgewater, impressed in his first NFL start and Carolina’s running game fared well without Christian McCaffrey. After some close losses to great teams (Saints, Chiefs), the Panthers’ schedule is getting easier.
17. San Francisco 49ers (18)
Coming out of its bye, San Francisco is still in the hunt for a playoff spot. While it’s unlikely the 49ers cover the three-game difference in the NFC West, they are just one game back for the NFC’s No. 7 seed. Better yet, Richard Sherman, Deebo Samuel and Raheem Mostert could return in Week 12. A battle against the Rams next Sunday is pivotal for San Francisco’s season.
18. Minnesota Vikings (16)
After three consecutive victories, the Vikings looked like a playoff-caliber team. Dalvin Cook was doing absurd things on the field and Minnesota’s defense played pretty well. It all came undone against the Dallas Cowboys. Mike Zimmer won’t be pleased with the 15 fourth-quarter points his defense allowed, which cost them in this 31-28 defeat. Things will be even tougher next Sunday against the Panthers; a loss would plummet the Vikings to 4-7.
19. Chicago Bears (21)
Week 12 proved to be one of the best Sundays the Bears have had in over a month. They watched from home as the Packers and Vikings lost, keeping the NFC North within striking distance. With that said, this is still a team on a four-game losing streak and there’s little reason to think they beat Green Bay on Sunday Night Football.
20. Atlanta Falcons (17)
The Falcons had plenty of issues in Week 11. Even if you looked past Taysom Hill destroying Atlanta’s defense (18-of-23 for 233 yards, two rushing touchdowns), the offense was an alarming problem. Matt Ryan took 11 quarterback hits and was sacked eight times, numbers that guarantee defeat. There’s no rest for the Falcons with the Raiders and Saints on the schedule for the next two weeks.
21. Denver Broncos (27)
No one outside of Denver expected the Broncos to win on Sunday. Miami came in scorching hot, while the Broncos were being weighed down by injuries and the anchor that is Drew Lock. Against one of the NFL’s best defenses, the Broncos rode the running game (189 yards, two touchdowns) to a 20-13 victory. Unfortunately for this 4-6 team, the Saints and Chiefs are waiting to clobber them in Weeks 12 and 13.
22. Los Angeles Chargers (24)
Los Angeles finally found its way back to the win column on Sunday, but it really shouldn’t have taken this kind of effort. After leading 24-6 at halftime, the Chargers allowed the New York Jets to make it a one-score game late in the fourth quarter. We don’t know who will be this team’s head coach in 2021, but we can say one thing for certain. Justin Herbert is a superstar, if he makes better decisions about his haircut.
23. Houston Texans (28)
Deshaun Watson is ridiculous. When the offensive line gives him time to throw, he is an MVP-caliber quarterback. He made 344 passing yards and three total touchdowns look easy on Sunday, especially since he doesn’t have a true No. 1 receiver. He is the reason candidates will want to be Houston’s head coach, even knowing the Texans don’t have 2021 first- or second-round picks.
24. New England Patriots (19)
Just when the fans start to feel hopeful, it all comes crashing down. It turns out, beating the Ravens in a monsoon wasn’t that impressive. Back in normal conditions, New England’s defense was diced up by Deshaun Watson. Now the Patriots have to face the Cardinals, who are vastly superior to Houston’s offense in every way.
25. New York Giants (25)
New York will have zero complaints coming out of its Week 11 bye. They are one game back in the division and will face the Joe Burrow-less Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12. Even with Daniel Jones proving to be a long-term liability, this defense can win a few games. The road to an NFC East crown will be difficult, with a tough schedule (@ SEA, vs. ARZ, vs. CLE, @ BAL), but the Giants aren’t dead yet.
26. Philadelphia Eagles (22)
There are no more excuses for Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz. Everyone gave them some leeway at 3-4-1, because of the injuries, but those days are gone. Wentz is playing like one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL, especially with turnovers like this. Unfortunately, as detailed by Benjamin Solak, thing could get a lot worse for Philadelphia this offseason.
27. Dallas Cowboys (31)
If the NFL Draft was held before Week 11, the Cowboys would have had the No. 3 overall pick. After Sunday’s surprising victory, they are within one game of the NFC East. Dallas can sit atop the division if they beat Washington on Thanksgiving. Fittingly, that would drop them from the No. 4 pick to No. 19 overall.
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28. Washington Football Team (29)
We’ve got to tip our cap to Ron Rivera and Alex Smith because this team is showing some fight. After close defeats to the Giants and Detroit Lions, Washington found the win column on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Granted, the victory only happened because of Joe Burrow’s injury. Washington can call itself a playoff team with a win on Thursday. The NFC East is a disgrace.
29. Cincinnati Bengals (26)
The entire NFL world was devastated when Joe Burrow went down. He’s out for the season with a torn ACL and it will be the best-case scenario if that’s the only damage to his knee. Unfortunately, this was easy to see coming. Cincinnati’s offensive line is a sieve and it will be organizational negligence if the front office doesn’t completely overhaul it this offseason.
30. Detroit Lions (23)
It’s a matter of time before Matt Patricia is fired. This team continues to find new lows under his direction and that locker room honestly might despise their head coach. Heck, even Adrian Peterson questioned Patricia. There’s little reason to think the Lions beat the Texans on Thanksgiving. If they lose, dropping to 4-7, Detroit would be wise to fire Patricia the next day.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (30)
No outcome was more predictable than this. James Robinson looked strong against Pittsburgh’s defense, but his teammates didn’t show up for the game. The Jaguars desperately need a franchise quarterback, more weapons and a better offensive line. Unfortunately, those additions won’t be made until the 2021 NFL Draft.
32. New York Jets (32)
There’s nothing else to say about the Jets. The Los Angeles Chargers allowed them to experience false hope in Week 11, sticking around in a close game. It doesn’t change that this team needs an overhaul, tearing everything down and building from the ground up. Unfortunately, that likely means going an entire NFL season without a win.
NFL Week 11 power rankings
NFL power rankings: Four of the top-six teams in our latest NFL power rankings are from the AFC as that conference continues to dominate the landscape heading into Week 11. However, the New Orleans Saints ascended the rankings in a big way after winning their sixth consecutive games.
On the other side of the ledger, the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks continue to struggle. It has some thinking about their relevance in the championship race.
It’s in this that we give you our latest NFL power rankings.
UPDATED: Nov. 19, 3:30 PM EST
NFL Power Rankings – Top NFL teams heading into Week 11
1. Kansas City Chiefs (1)
The Chiefs hit the bye week at the right time, enjoying some time to rest after coasting to an 8-1 record. They find themselves behind the Pittsburgh Steelers for the No. 1 seed in the AFC, which would mean no first-round bye in the NFL Playoffs. However, Kansas City’s offense is vastly superior to anything we’ve seen in the NFL this season.
Even if Las Vegas gets the majority of its defensive players back from the COVID-19 list, missed practices limit their ability to prepare. Mahomes is also phenomenal in rematches against opponents that beat him, especially with time to prepare. Let’s also not forget that Andy Reid is 24-5 when his team comes off a bye. Count on the Chiefs to get revenge against the Raiders in Week 11
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (2)
Sitting at 9-0, everything feels perfect in Pittsburgh. The Steelers have already surpassed preseason expectations and a 10-game winning streak is within reach as the Jacksonville Jaguars await in Week 11. We also saw real signs of life from Ben Roethlisberger and this passing attack on Sunday. It at least eases one area of concern, but Pittsburgh’s secondary can also be exploited. That’s bad news if they face teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers or Seattle Seahawks.
Fortunately, it’s not something Pittsburgh needs to worry about right now. James Robinson will find success against this defense, but Jacksonville also stands no shot at protecting Jake Luton. We’re expecting 28-plus points from the Steelers, which should be more than enough to beat the Jaguars by 10-plus.
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3. New Orleans Saints (5)
After steamrolling the Buccaneers in Week 9, the Saints took advantage of an injury-ravaged San Francisco 49ers squad on Sunday. Following the finish, New Orleans is now riding a six-game winning streak into a cupcake stretch of their schedule (vs. ATL, @ DEN, @ ATL). All the pieces are in place to compete for a Super Bowl, especially with this defense turning things around.
The focus heading into Week 11 will be on Drew Brees’ status, but Jameis Winton might actually make this offense more exciting. There are undeniable risks when he is at quarterback, namely turnovers. However, it also can’t be ignored that he is supremely talented and in the best situation to succeed. Plenty are picking against him in this matchup, we’ll go the opposite way.
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4. Green Bay Packers (4)
Very slowly, the Packers are starting to get healthy. Star running back Aaron Jones returned in Week 9 and All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari returned to play in Week 10. Soon, they could also have receiver Allen Lazard, along with starting cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Kevin King back.
If they deliver the kind of performance we saw against the Jaguars, though, the Indianapolis Colts will destroy them. One thing to monitor, Davante Adams has missed consecutive practices with an ankle injury. If he can’t suit up, the Packers are in trouble.
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5. Baltimore Ravens (3)
Much of the focus for Baltimore’s offensive struggles will center on Lamar Jackson. The real problem? Greg Roman’s offense is stale and predictable. Defenses are calling out plays before the snap and we’re seeing the same regression in Roman’s second season that happened when he was with Colin Kaepernick.
That’s not the only problem. The Ravens don’t have receivers who can get open and that includes Marquise Brown and his record-breaking speed. Pair that with the injuries to the offensive line and it’s clear why things are falling apart. Unfortunately, real change won’t come until the offseason.
6. Indianapolis Colts (10)
Coming off a physical loss to the Baltimore Ravens, we could have excused the Colts if they couldn’t hang around with the Tennessee Titans on a short week. Instead, Indianapolis made an emphatic statement for a national audience. We still have some concerns about Philip Rivers, namely his ability to keep games close when competing against elite quarterbacks.
We’ll even see that put to the test in Week 11 against the Packers. Fortunately, even when Rivers isn’t playing well, the Colts are ridiculous on defense. They will make Rodgers beat them with pinpoint throws, while he is under pressure. If Indianapolis has success running the football, which has been an issue this season, they can win and become a top-five team in our NFL power rankings.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9)
Tampa Bay’s trip to Carolina was a sign of things to come on Sunday. The Buccaneers were stuck on the tarmac for seven hours and didn’t make it to their hotel until midnight. So, it’s no real surprise that this team looked lethargic out of the gate.
Tom Brady bounced back nicely, spreading the football around and having no issue putting up points. The big concern, this once elite defense is collapsing. The timing couldn’t be much worse with Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams awaiting in Week 11, followed by Patrick Mahomes in Week 12.
8. Miami Dolphins (7)
The Dolphins have to slide down our NFL power rankings this week. A five-game winning streak is impressive, especially since two of those came against the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals. Miami’s defense is incredible, which they proved once again this week. Right now, with Tua Tagovailoa still in his first year and the offense lacking high-end weapons, the Dolphins just don’t stack up with the top Super Bowl contenders.
9. Los Angeles Rams (14)
Los Angeles is back to the team we saw a few years ago. The Rams caused all kinds of headaches for Russell Wilson on Sunday. They recorded six sacks, four quarterbacks hits and forced three turnovers against the leading NFL MVP candidate. Meanwhile, the running game (113 yards, 5.1 ypc) was extremely efficient and Jared Goff took advantage of Seattle’s woeful secondary.
A Monday Night Football Week 11 clash between the Rams and Bucs will be great television. We’ve seen what happens to Brady under pressure and Aaron Donald will be bringing it on Monday. Paired with how well this secondary is playing, the Rams match up really well against the Buccaneers. Needless to stay, Los Angeles can deliver another statement win this week.
10. Arizona Cardinals (12)
Even before Sunday’s game, DeAndre Hopkins already exceeded the greatest returns Arizona hoped for. When he made that game-winning catch to stun the Buffalo Bills and send the NFL world into chaos, that was just the cherry on top. Arizona still has issues on defense, it nearly cost them against the Buffalo Bills. As long as Kyler Murray and Nuk are healthy, this team can win any time it takes the field. More fireworks await on Thursday night in Week 11 against the Seahawks.
NFL injury news: Latest updates on Drew Brees, Chris Carson and more for Week 11
11. Buffalo Bills (6)
The Bills felt on top of the world with 11 seconds left in the fourth quarter, leading 30-26 and on the brink of a monumental victory. Then, Nuk went off and left nothing but devastation in Buffalo. The defense played adequately and Allen made some big throws in the clutch, but his two interceptions were costly. Expect the Bills to rebound against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 11.
12. Las Vegas Raiders (13)
Rivalries games aren’t always easy, but the Raiders made it look that way on Sunday afternoon. Las Vegas took the field with a plan of attack, run the Broncos into the ground until the final whistle blew. While it was close at halftime, Denver’s defense was gassed in the final two quarters.
The end result, a 37-17 victory for Las Vegas with 203 rushing yards and four scores. Sitting at 6-3, the Raiders now have a chance to prove their early win against the Chiefs wasn’t a fluke.
13. Tennessee Titans (11)
The Titans head into Week 11 with a chance to reflect on the path that led them to a 6-3 record. They’ve lost three of their past four games, fading from the Super Bowl conversation. However, it’s worth noting that Tennessee was 5-5 at this point in 2019. They went on to win four of their next six, powered by Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill, riding the hot streak to the AFC Championship Game. It’s far too early to write this team off as an AFC threat, but that could change with the Ravens (Week 11) and Colts (Week 12) looming.
14. Cleveland Browns (15)
The Browns had to overcome the elements on Sunday. With winds gusting at 40-plus mph, Cleveland depended on its running attack and defense in Week 10. Fortunately, that’s Kevin Stefanski’s go-to recipe for success. With Nick Chubb back on the field, he and Kareem Hunt combined for 230 rushing yards and Cleveland dominated the time of possession (33 minutes). On top of that, the defense held Deshaun Watson and Co. to 243 total yards. Expect to see this same formula in Week 11, with a chance to dominate the Philadelphia Eagles.
15. Seattle Seahawks (8)
We’ll start with the positive. Jamal Adams (two sacks, two tackles for loss) delivered the kind of performance Seattle paid for when it traded two first-round picks. It still wasn’t enough to fix this defense. We’re not overly concerned about Russell Wilson, who now has consecutive games with three-plus turnovers. That said, Seattle’s Super Bowl hopes and Wilson’s NFL MVP chances are fading rapidly.
16. Minnesota Vikings (20)
It wasn’t always pretty Monday night against the Bears, but Minnesota was able to pull off its third consecutive win to move to 4-5 on the season. This is no small thing with the NFL Playoff field potentially expanding to eight teams in each conference. Dalvin Cook, nearly 600 total yards in the past three games, is the engine that makes this unit click. However, it’s going to be all about Kirk Cousins’ performance moving forward.
17. Atlanta Falcons (21)
Atlanta’s story is similar to many we’ve seen from teams in this range. The Falcons are a few plays away from vastly different circumstances, but fourth-quarter mistakes have led to a 3-6 record. Since firing Dan Quinn, we have seen a spark from this club. Unfortunately, the good vibes probably won’t last long. The Saints are excited for this Week 11 matchup and it shouldn’t be close. The good news for Atlanta, it will then move up in the 2021 NFL Draft order.
18. San Francisco 49ers (18)
The 49ers are doing the best they can under the circumstances. With a second-string quarterback, No. 3 receiver and backup running backs, San Francisco stayed within one score of New Orleans until the fourth quarter. Reinforcements are on the way. Deebo Samuel, Richard Sherman and Raheem Mostert could return after the Week 11 bye. Even if they do, though, the next two games (@ LAR, vs. BUF) are rough.
San Francisco 49ers rumors: Jimmy Garoppolo’s fate for 2021 decided?
19. New England Patriots (25)
Huge win for the New England Patriots Week 10 against a superior Baltimore Ravens team. Cam Newton did what needed to be done on offense. Bill Belichick’s defense stepped up against Lamar Jackson in a big way. After losing four in a row earlier this season, New England finds itself at 4-5 and in the AFC Playoff picture. Imagine that.
20. Carolina Panthers (16)
The Panthers are probably higher on our NFL power rankings than any other list out there. They kept things close against Tampa Bay, until Ronald Jones broke their spirit with his 98-yard touchdown run. It’s a rough loss and the 3-7 record, with five straight losses can’t be ignored, but Christian McCaffrey should return next week and the upcoming slate (vs. DET, @ MIN, vs. DEN) is winnable.
21. Chicago Bears (19)
Yet another ugly performance from Nick Foles and the Bears’ offense Week 10 against Minnesota. They went pretty much the entire second half without a first down, losing by the score of 19-13 in the process. Chicago has now lost four in a row since opening the season 5-1. Yeah, this team is the ultimate pretender.
22. Philadelphia Eagles (17)
The Eagles had an opportunity to put themselves in the driver’s seat. All they needed was to beat the New York Giants. Coming out of the bye with Dallas Goedert and Miles Sanders back, that seemed very likely. Instead, Carson Wentz demonstrated why Philadelphia’s front office should be alarmed about its future at quarterback. The Eagles (3-5-1) sit atop the division for now, but could easily lose their next five games (vs. SEA, @ GB, vs. NO, @ ARZ).
23. Detroit Lions (27)
The Lions finally set D’Andre Swift free. Making his first NFL start, the rookie became a focal point of Detroit’s offense. The Lions put the ball in his hands 21 times and he turned those touches into 149 scrimmage yards and a touchdown. It took Matt Patricia forever to make the change. We can only hope Detroit’s next head coach, likely coming in 2021, will realize the Lions have a special running back.
24. Los Angeles Chargers (23)
The Chargers just don’t have enough talent to compete, especially when facing teams like the Dolphins. Offensively, this offensive line is missing a pillar to help protect Justin Herbert and Austin Ekeler’s absence is felt every week. On the other side of the ball, this defense can’t do much without Joey Bosa, Chris Harris. Jr. and Derwin James. If Los Angeles can knock it out of the park this offseason, they’ll be contenders in 2021. For the time being, this is a competitive team that can’t finish.
Related: Anthony Lynn on the hot seat?
25. New York Giants (28)
It’s time we take notice of what Joe Judge is building. After starting the year 0-5, the Giants have shown tremendous fight in every game. New York is 3-2 in its past two games, with the margin of defeat in those losses just three combined points. Defensively, the Giants haven’t allowed an opponent to score 28-plus points since Week 9. There’s a realistic chance New York could win the NFC East in 2020, which seemed impossible when the year began.
26. Cincinnati Bengals (22)
Joe Burrow learned some valuable lessons on Sunday. We hope Cincinnati’s front office did, too. The Bengals haven’t faced a pass rush like the one they saw in Week 10 and Pittsburgh made life miserable for the rookie quarterback. He made all the mistakes you expect from a player in his first NFL season. There’s a lot of work to be done, including by the front office, but we’re optimistic about the Bengals’ future.
27. Denver Broncos (24)
We’ll give Drew Lock credit for playing through pain against the Raiders; he was in visible discomfort throughout. With that acknowledgment, the four-interception performance marks another multi-turnover game for him. It’s not like he was playing an elite defense, either. Sitting at 3-6, the Broncos have seven games left to decide if Lock is their quarterback of the future. Even knowing John Elway’s terrible track record at drafting quarterbacks, we’d still advise Denver to find a new signal-caller.
NFL Power Rankings: Five worst teams in the NFL
28. Houston Texans (26)
Houston, we have a problem. Cleveland’s weather conditions made it impossible for Deshaun Watson to try and carry this team to victory. Unsurprisingly, with Superman contained, the Texans never stood a chance. The concern here isn’t the loss, Houston’s 2-7 record or even that it doesn’t have a first- or second-round pick this year. Houston is legitimately considering keeping its interim head coach and general manager, which would terrify anyone who likes this team.
Houston Texans news: Romeo Crennel, Jack Easterby to return in 2021?
29. Washington Football Team (29)
Making his first start since suffering that devastating and nearly life-altering leg injury, Smith had the comeback moment everyone dreamed of seeing. While Washington didn’t win, its beloved quarterback racked up 390 passing yards and helped deliver 17 points in the fourth quarter. Washington needs to draft a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft, but we’re confident that young passer can learn a lot from Smith.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (31)
Sunday’s loss to the Packers was the best-case scenario for the Jaguars. Most importantly, they further secured their spot with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Jacksonville’s young players also showed some nice promise, too. James Robinson racked up 109 rushing yards, edge rusher Josh Allen created some pressure and Myles Jack was a stud. All in all, a good day for Duvall.
31. Dallas Cowboys (30)
Well, this certainly isn’t where the Cowboys thought they would be after nine games. Coming out of the bye week, there isn’t any reason to be optimistic about this team. Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t look the same months after his COVID-19 diagnosis. Dallas’ offensive line is in shambles, its defense is a mess and Dak Prescott’s asking price soars with each passing week. Despite all of this, because the NFC East is so bad, the Cowboys are within striking distance of a playoff spot at 2-7.
32. New York Jets (32)
The New York Jets didn’t lose for the first time this season, so that’s a positive. Adam Gase survived the bye week, a sign that we likely won’t see him fired anytime soon. Frankly, while it might seem baffling to keep him, he might be the perfect coach to lead this team to an 0-16 record and the right to draft Trevor Lawrence. The Jets are just seven losses away from being a part of NFL history, at least that is something.
NFL Week 10 power rankings
The AFC remains the NFL’s dominant force. Even on a Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers had to fight for victories, each team proved why it could represent the conference in Super Bowl LV.
As for the NFC, it remains unpredictable. We saw in Week 9 that defense is not this conference’s strength, but the aerial attack is king. While it makes picking a favorite difficult, that also means the NFL Playoffs and the NFC playoff picture will be wildly entertaining.
Let’s dive into our latest NFL power rankings as we head into Week 10.
NFL power rankings – Rest of season rankings entering Week 10
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2)
While some might have expected the Chiefs to blowout the Carolina Panthers, Kansas City knew this would be a battle. Carolina has kept games close all season, putting up a fight against nearly every team they face. In the end, the superior and more experienced team came out on top. The Chiefs can win in so many different ways and with their offensive firepower, they take the No. 1 spot in our NFL power rankings.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (1)
A 15-point favorite coming into the game, Pittsburgh had to sweat out a win on Sunday. Ben Roethlisberger posted strong numbers, all while fighting through a knee injury. When the Steelers needed a big stop, their defense delivered. There’s plenty to like about this team and the 8-0 record is undeniable, but Pittsburgh is also scraping by with five one-score victories. It keeps them below the Chiefs in the power rankings, but the upcoming schedule (vs. CIN, @ JAX) should result in a 10-0 record.
3. Baltimore Ravens (5)
Victory didn’t come easy for the Ravens in Week 9. Coming off a physically-draining loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and after suffering a COVID-19 scare, Baltimore took care of business in Indianapolis on Sunday. Dez Bryant made his debut with the Ravens, but it was uneventful. There is a lot of room for this offense to improve, but the Ravens should cruise in Week 10 vs. the New England Patriots.
4. Green Bay Packers (6)
Green Bay exercised some of its demons against the San Francisco 49ers, but the injuries played a huge part in that. There’s not a lot of great takeaways from that single game, but the return of Aaron Jones is huge. With 10 days of rest, the Packers should have star cornerback Jaire Alexander, No. 2 corner Kevin Kevin and All-Pro tackle David Bakhtiari back in Week 10. The best news of all, they get to walk all over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
5. New Orleans Saints (7)
Talk about a statement win. Few people, if anyone, thought the Saints could realistically beat the Buccaneers. Not only did they grab a road victory in Tampa Bay, they also wiped the floor with Tom Brady. This was a Super Bowl-caliber performance by the defense, which should give the fan base a lot of confidence. Plus, Michael Thomas returned and this offense looked unstoppable against an elite defense. There’s a real chance the Saints don’t lose until Dec. 20, when they face the Kansas City Chiefs.
6. Buffalo Bills (12)
This is what the Bills are capable of when everything is clicking. Josh Allen returned to the MVP-caliber form we saw in the first month of the season, with that connection to Stefon Diggs making music. Even more importantly, Buffalo’s defense sacked Russell Wilson five times and forced four turnovers. We’ll get another great matchup of top-12 teams next week. If the Bills can knock off another great opponent, Super Bowl talk will start in Buffalo.
7. Miami Dolphins (11)
Back-to-back statement wins by the Dolphins. A week after Miami’s defense carried Tua Tagovailoa to victory, the rookie was marvelous in his second start. He completed 20-of-28 attempts, racking up 248 passing yards and two touchdowns with a 122.3 quarterback rating. After a 1-3 start to the year, the Dolphins are riding a four-game winning streak and we expect it to continue next Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers. Miami is way ahead of schedule and its rise up the NFL power rankings may continue.
8. Seattle Seahawks (4)
Seattle’s defense gives Russell Wilson no margin for error. Everyone expected a shootout against the Bills and that’s exactly what happened. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, Wilson picked the wrong time for another multi-turnover game. In Seattle’s six wins, Wilson has a 23/3 TD/INT ratio. Across the two losses, the Seahawks scored 34 in both, Wilson has seven turnovers.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4)
Tampa Bay didn’t have a shortage of offensive weaponry when it signed Antonio Brown, caving to Tom Brady’s wishes. On Sunday, we saw TB12 force the football to Rob Gronkowski, keep giving directions to Brown and he focused on them too heavily. Meanwhile, Todd Bowles’ defense came apart in a humiliating fashion. On paper, the Buccaneers are as talented as anyone. However, inconsistency is a glaring problem and there are holes to attack. Tampa Bay will rebound, but their NFC South hopes are sinking.
10. Indianapolis Colts (9)
The Colts had a great chance to prove themselves as a legitimate AFC contender on Thursday against the Tennessee Titans. After falling down 17-10, they did just that in a resounding way. Indy scored 24 unanswered points to win going away. The team’s excellent defense snuffed out Ryan Tannehill and the Titans’ passing game. Meanwhile, Philip Rivers played flawless football. At 6-3 on the season, this team is absolutely legit.
11. Tennessee Titans (10)
Tennessee has now list three of four since starting the season with a 5-0 record. While Derrick Henry continued to do his thing in Thursday’s loss to the Colts, Ryan Tannehill was, once again, off his game. He threw for just 147 yards while completing barely 50% of his passes. Tennessee as a whole is now averaging just a hair over 21 points during this four-game span. That came after the team averaged north of 32 points in its first five games.
12. Arizona Cardinals (8)
Live by the kicker, lose by the kicker. After drilling the game-winning kick to stun the Seattle Seahawks in Week 7, Zane Gonzalez missed the game-tying attempt against the Miami Dolphins. It was a waste of a phenomenal start by Kyler Murray, who completed 21-of-26 attempts for 283 passing yards with 106 rushing yards and four total touchdowns. There are real issues on Arizona’s defense, which Tagovailoa exposed, but Murray helps make up for them when he gets the ball back. Get excited, the Bills and Cardinals will let it fly in Week 10.
13. Las Vegas Raiders (14)
Divisional games can always be tough, especially when facing one of the hottest rookies we’ve seen in ages. Justin Herbert had no problem carving up the Raiders’ defense, but Derek Carr made the throws when needed. We can’t help but wonder if this 31-26 game would have been different if the Charges had Joey Bosa, Chris Harris Jr. and Austin Ekeler, but these are also games the Raiders would lose in prior years. Standing at 5-3, this definitely looks like a playoff team.
14. Los Angeles Rams (13)
After a rough showing by the offense in Week 8, Sean McVay got some free time to find ways to hide Jared Goff’s limitations. The Rams have a playoff-caliber defense, but it’s the passing game that is dragging this team down. Los Angeles will need a lot more from Goff in Week 10, especially in a potential shootout against Russell Wilson and Co. It could be a rough stretch for the Rams with the Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Week 11) projected losses.
15. Cleveland Browns (16)
The bye week came at the perfect time for Cleveland. Myles Garrett came out of Week 8 with a knee injury, Baker Mayfield just landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and Nick Chubb is in the final stages of recovering from his injury. All three should be cleared to play when the Browns return in Week 10, taking on an uninspiring Houston Texans squad. Moving to 6-3 would be huge for Cleveland, pushing them much closer towards a playoff spot.
16. Carolina Panthers (19)
The Panthers missed Christian McCaffrey. With the All-Pro running back in the lineup, racking up 151 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns, Carolina scored 30-plus points for the first time in over a month. Matt Rhule is building something special here and it’s incredible given this team needs a lot more talent. The Panthers ultimately lost to the Chiefs, marking four consecutive single-digit defeats, but they are on the rise with McCaffrey back.
17. Philadelphia Eagles (18)
Philadelphia comes out of the bye week rested and getting a few playmakers back. When the Eagles take the field in Week 10, running back Miles Sanders and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery are expected to be out there. It will be a huge boost for the offense and should eliminate the excuses made for Carson Wentz. If QB1 can’t deliver a win against the New York Giants, the questions about giving Jalen Hurts more time are warranted.
18. San Francisco 49ers (15)
Even if COVID-19 didn’t hit the 49ers on a short week, injuries wiped out most of their starting lineup. San Francisco can overcome Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury, but George Kittle’s long-term absence is a massive blow. After getting obliterated by the Seahawks and Packers, the 49ers now have to face the Saints. It probably won’t end well. When Raheem Mostert, Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne, we suspect Kyle Shanahan will make things work.
19. Chicago Bears (17)
The story shouldn’t surprise anyone at this point. Chicago’s defense did its job in Week 9, holding Derrick Henry to 68 yards on 21 carries and containing Ryan Tannehill (10-of-21 for 158 passing yards). Unfortunately, when your offense can’t find the end zone until the game is basically over, defensive performances go to waste. After starting the year with a 5-1 record, the Bears are in real jeopardy of falling to 5-5 with a loss to the Vikings on Monday Night Football. If that happens, Chicago’s slide down the NFL power rankings will be ugly.
20. Minnesota Vikings (22)
Dalvin Cook is ridiculous. Expectations were high for this team before the season, largely because Cook can carry the offense. In Minnesota’s past two wins, Cook has racked up 478 scrimmage yards and six total touchdowns. This is a different team when he’s healthy and they might have a shot against the Bears. Although, it is on Monday Night Football, so Cousins will probably blow it.
21. Atlanta Falcons (24)
Maybe Dan Quinn was the problem? The Falcons have now won three of their past four games, with the one defeat happening because of Todd Gurley’s inexcusable blunder. Heck, Atlanta is just three plays away from a 6-3 record. They will head into the bye week at 3-6 and there’s reason for optimism. It won’t be enough for Raheem Morris to keep the gig, but it should mean we don’t see a complete teardown this offseason.
22. Cincinnati Bengals (21)
Cincinnati went into the bye week with an upset victory, the kind of momentum that makes every day of that break feel even better. Better yet, the Bengals could get running back Joe Mixon and left tackle Jonah Williams back for Week 10. They will need both of them against Pittsburgh’s defense, which gets pressure on the quarterback like no other team. A win seems improbable, so keeping Joe Burrow healthy might just be a moral victory.
23. Los Angeles Chargers (23)
At this point, we have to give Los Angeles points for creativity. This team finds a new way to lose in heartbreaking fashion every week, as we saw once again on Sunday. There are so many “what if” scenarios that could flip the narrative for the Chargers, but the bottom line is their 2-6 record. Anthony Lynn is a fine coach, but consecutive years of this will likely get him fired when the season concludes. The good news, Justin Herbert looks like a future All-Pro quarterback.
24. Denver Broncos (20)
Injuries continue to devastate Denver’s defense. Already playing without Von Miller and Jurrell Casey, the Broncos missed cornerbacks A.J. Bouye and Bryce Callahan from their secondary on Sunday. Unsurprisingly, they allowed 34 points and fell short of overcoming a 27-7 deficit in the fourth quarter. Sitting at 3-5 at the halfway point of the NFL season, the final eight games will be pivotal for Drew Lock’s future.
25. New England Patriots (25)
The Patriots aren’t a good football team. Injuries and opt-outs certainly play a role, but it’s time to acknowledge Bill Belichick is whiffing. Recent draft picks (N’Keal Harry, Joejuan Williams, Sony Michel, Duke Dawson) and acquisitions (Mohamed Sanu) haven’t worked out. It’s led to this becoming an unwatchable team. At best, given the upcoming schedule, the Patriots might finish 6-10 and that has to fall on Belichick.
26. Houston Texans (29)
Deshaun Watson is doing everything humanly possible to make this team watchable. Over his last five games, the Pro Bowl quarterback has thrown for 1,584 passing yards with a 13/2 TD/INT ratio. Sitting at 2-6, with two victories against the Jacksonville Jaguars, it’s evident the Texans have a lot of holes on the roster and massive long-term concerns. Houston needs to make the right hire this offseason and there are great coaching candidates available. Once a head coach and general manager are brought in, a fire sale should begin.
27. Detroit Lions (26)
It’s starting to fall apart again for the Lions. After saving Matt Patricia’s jobwith a two-game winning streak, Detroit has collapsed. Consecutive double-digit losses exposed the problems on this defense, highlighting Patricia’s overrated reputation as a defensive mind. It’s a matter of when, not if, the Lions fire their head coach. The bigger question, will general manager Bob Quinn get another year? If he is brought back, ownership should pick the coach.
28. New York Giants (30)
The Giants pulled out the victory on Sunday, which might secure Daniel Jones’ spot as the starting quarterback in 2021. There is nothing enjoyable to watch on New York’s offense and Jones is primarily responsible for that, but at least New York’s defense makes plays. It’s a three-team race for the best draft position in the 2021 NFL Draft and the Giants might lose that, too.
29. Washington Football Team (27)
Kyle Allen is done for the season and Washington is turning to Alex Smith, which seems fitting for 2020. A three-interception performance off the bench wasn’t enough to change Rivera’s mind and given the organization’s ugly relationship with Dwayne Haskins, the QB1 will remain the same. Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin continue to show outstanding promise, but the rest of this offense needs to be thrown out this offseason.
30. Dallas Cowboys (29)
The Cowboys put up a fight against the NFL’s lone undefeated team. It wasn’t enough, largely because Ezekiel Elliott was hurt and Dallas is starting a fourth-string quarterback, but at least the game wasn’t an eyesore. Positioned to have the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, more losses just set the Cowboys up for big moves this offseason.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (31)
Jacksonville’s season-opening victory over the Colts feels like it happened years ago. Much to the Dolphins’ chagrin, the Jaguars have provided the Houston Texans with their only two wins this season. Standing at 1-7 at the halfway point of the NFL season, a 1-15 record feels inevitable. While it might not be enough to get Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields will do just fine.
32. New York Jets (32)
A tradition unlike any other, the Jets at the bottom of our NFL power rankings. It’s difficult to go 0-16 in the NFL, but head coach Adam Gase is a special kind of terrible. He should have been fired a year ago. Frankly, he never should have been hired. Yet, he remains the head coach and the organization seems fine with it.
Week 9 NFL power rankings
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (2)
At some point, you have to put the undefeated team atop the NFL power rankings. The Steelers have been in a lot of close games this year, but they always finish with a victory. It’s a credit to Mike Tomlin and a defense that no one has found a way to score 30 points against this season. Honestly, the Dallas Cowboys should consider forfeiting Week 9. Otherwise, it’s going to be an ugly, one-sided game.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (1)
Kansas City toyed with the New York Jets on Sunday; it was the equivalent of a cat just torturing a mouse for three hours. Patrick Mahomes was incredible (416 passing yards, five touchdowns) and is on pace for 4,630 yards and a 42/2 TD/INT ratio this season. The Chiefs will roll the Carolina Panthers in Week 9, then they can enjoy some time off with an 8-1 record.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4)
It feels like every other NFC team is trying to gift the conference to the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay boasts an elite defense and this offense is firing on all cylinders. This easily the most well-rounded team in the conference and they show it every week. Oh, did we mention Antonio Brown is roommates with Tom Brady and will make his debut in Week 9? Scary, entertaining stuff.
4. Seattle Seahawks (7)
Seattle is loving life with Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. In Week, we also saw why the Seahawks are so fortunate that the San Francisco 49ers are stuck with Jimmy Garoppolo. Good quarterbacks can attack this secondary; Seattle didn’t face that on Sunday. We’re excited for the Week 9 shootout against the Buffalo Bills, but Russell Wilson should win it in the end.
5. Baltimore Ravens (3)
A few turnovers by Lamar Jackson, including a pick-six on the opening drive, made the difference against the Steelers. It was a disappointing loss for Baltimore, especially since it could have significant impact on the AFC playoff picture. Ultimately, this is still a great team and they’ll have a chance to rebound against the Indianapolis Colts.
6. Green Bay Packers (5)
Green Bay ignored the obvious takeaway everyone had from the NFC Championship Game, this defense can’t stop the run, this offseason. Sure enough, that came back to bite them against Dalvin Cook in this stunning loss. So, what keeps the Packers from sliding further down the NFL power rankings? Aaron Jones, David Bakhtiari and Allen Lazard are nearing a return. Plus, it was a rough week for a lot of contenders. The Packers might have a change against the 49ers in Week 9, if only because San Francisco can barely field a team.
7. New Orleans Saints (12)
Everything is starting to come together for the Saints. They survived a tough test on the road against the Chicago Bears and could get reinforcements back on offense for Week 9. Better yet, this defense is doing a better job pressuring the quarterback. The Saints beat the Buccaneers once, but this is a very different team now. As of now, Tampa Bay should be an overwhelming favorite to win.
NFL injury report: Latest news on Aaron Jones, Michael Thomas, fantasy stars for Week 9
8. Arizona Cardinals (10)
Arizona couldn’t be happier during its bye week, living off the excitement from its last-second win against the Seattle Seahawks. There will be no excuses for this team looking unprepared against the Miami Dolphins after two weeks to prepare. One of the greatest chess matches in NFL Week 9 is Kilff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray vs. Brian Flores’ defense.
9. Indianapolis Colts (14)
Give credit to the Colts, outside of Week 1, they know how to beat bad teams. The Detroit Lions were no match for Indianapolis on Sunday and it showed with a 41-21 score. Philip Rivers is looking sharp and this defense is outstanding. There’s not much else you can ask for. We’ve suggester this team’s ceiling is an AFC South champion, but the Colts can prove they are better than that against the Ravens.
10. Tennessee Titans (6)
We were ready to push the Titans even further down our NFL power rankings, but that’s the beauty of the NFL trade deadline. Tennessee is in win-now mode and that means big moves, like trading for an All-Pro cornerback. Adoree Jackson will return soon, giving us enough confidence to think this defense will improve against the pass. If that happens, the Titans will remain in the thick of the AFC.
11. Miami Dolphins (15)
It’s time for everyone to talk about the Dolphins. We haven’t seen Miami this excited about a sports team in ages and the vibes are justified in the city. The Dolphins boast a tremendous defense, one capable of winning even when the offense can’t move the ball. Tua Tagovailoa is still a year away from making this an AFC power, but we could see playoff football in Miami.
12. Buffalo Bills (11)
A win is a win, but it’s hard not to be concerned about the Bills. After an MVP-caliber start in his first four games, Allen has fallen hard in the last four weeks. He is completing 62.8% of his passes, but has a 4/4 TD/INT ratio with 846 passing yards and a 79.2 quarterback rating. Unsurprisingly, with him falling back to earth, the Bills are 2-2 over that stretch. On deck, a matchup against the Seahawks that could get ugly if Allen can’t execute.
13. Los Angeles Rams (9)
Jared Goff is a problem. The fifth-highest paid quarterback in the NFL had four turnovers on Sunday, giving away any hope for the Rams in Week 8. We love this defense and this team still might be good enough for a wild-card spot, but Goff is the cap for this team’s present and future. With a bye in Week 9, at least fans will be spared from seeing Goff on Sunday.
14. Las Vegas Raiders (18)
Good teams find ways to win games in different ways. Las Vegas beat the Chiefs with Derek Carr’s arm, but they didn’t have that luxury with winds gusting in Cleveland. So, the Raiders just ate up clock with one run after another and 208 yards later, they walked away with a 16-6 victory. The Raiders are still a fringe playoff-caliber team, but they are fun to watch and compete like crazy.
15. San Francisco 49ers (8)
It’s tough to recall any team losing as many starters as the 49ers have this season. Jimmy Garoppolo Raheem Mostert, George Kittle, Jordan Reed, Nick Bosa, Dee Ford and Richard Sherman are all on injured reserve. There are more injuries, too. It still wouldn’t be a surprise if Kyle Shanahan found a way to beat the Packers on a short week, since he is an offensive genius, but it’s evident the 49ers won’t be making it back to the Super Bowl.
16. Cleveland Browns (13)
So, Baker Mayfield isn’t back. We’re not going to put this loss squarely on his shoulders, the winds were howling and he isn’t the one who missed a field goal. However, we’ve seen Mayfield’s ceiling and it’s not good enough to carry a team. The Browns will get Nick Chubb back after the bye, turning this back into a run-heavy offense. That is their recipe to be a playoff team in 2020.
17. Chicago Bears (16)
It feels like an identical script every week. Chicago’s defense does everything it can to keep the game close, never allowing more than 30 points. Unsurprisingly, Nick Foles can’t get it done time and time again. Allen Robinson was visibly frustrated on Sunday and everyone gets it. The Bears will put up a great fight against the Titans in Week 9, but the gap in quarterback play should be the difference.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (20)
It feels fairly safe to say the Eagles will win the NFC East, but it won’t be pretty to watch. Philadelphia’s defense did its job on Sunday Night Football. As for Carson Wentz, he kept turning the ball over with baffling decisions. Sitting at 3-4-1, Philadelphia should be able to climb above .500 after Week 9 against the New York Giants. The Eagles schedule is brutal after that (@ CLE, vs. SEA, @ GB, vs. NO, @ ARZ), but closing out the season against Dallas and Washington could secure a six-win season and an NFC East crown.
19. Carolina Panthers (17)
It’s hard not to be impressed by the Panthers, even in losses. Everyone can see that this team doesn’t have enough talent to close games out right now, but they’ve played in six one-score games this year (2-4 record). Christian McCaffrey could return in Week 9, a huge boost for this offense. It won’t make the difference against the Kansas City Chiefs, likely a double-digit loss, but the future is bright.
20. Denver Broncos (23)
Don’t look now, but the Broncos have won three of their last four games. While those victories came against the New York Jets, a depleted New England Patriots squad and the Los Angeles Chargers, a win looks the same in the NFL standings. Behind a solid running game and an improving defense, Denver can climb to a .500 record with a Week 9 victory against the Atlanta Falcons.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (24)
Cincinnati’s victory in Week 8 over the Titans might go down as one of the most surprising results from the NFL season. Playing with a backup offensive line protecting him, Joe Burrow racked up 249 passing yards with two scores and a 106.7 quarterback rating. The most absurd stat, he wasn’t sacked once after suffering a league-high 28 sacks in seven games. On pace to set the NFL’s single-season rookie record for passing yards, Burrow can enjoy some rest during the bye.
22. Minnesota Vikings (26)
Sunday’s win over the Green Bay Packers proved a major point. Even at 2-5 on the season, these Vikings are nowhere near close to quitting. Dalvin Cook was back to his pre-injury self, putting up an absurd 226 total yards. If the NFL expands to eight playoff teams in each conference, there’s a chance this team could slip in. However, Kirk Cousins makes that a near impossibility due to his play this season.
23. Los Angeles Chargers (19)
Brutal. Absolutely brutal. At some point, there needs to be talk about the Chargers firing head coach Anthony Lynn. This team held a 24-10 lead over another mediocre squad in that of the Denver Broncos on Sunday. It ended up losing by the score of 31-30 on a walk-off touchdown pass by Drew Lock. Dating back to the start of last season, these Chargers are 4-13 in one-score games. That’s on Lynn more than anyone else.
24. Atlanta Falcons (25)
Much like the Vikings, these Falcons are not quitting. That came out in droves during a Week 8 “Thursday Night Football” win over the division-rival Carolina Panthers. Now 2-6 on the season, Atlanta has won two of three since firing Dan Quinn. Meanwhile, the Matt Ryan to Julio Jones connection has taken off recently. Jones has caught 23-of-29 targets for 371 yards over the past three games.
25. New England Patriots (21)
Just dreadful. For the first time since all the way back in 2000, the Patriots find themselves at 2-5. Cam Newton has thrown zero touchdowns compared to five interceptions in the three games since returning from COVID-19, all losses. Bill Belichick doesn’t seem to have an answer. And now, the Tom Brady-less Pats are closer to last place than first place. Think about that for a second.
26. Detroit Lions (22)
The good feelings that came with a two-game winning streak were muted big time Sunday during a 41-21 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Matthew Stafford struggled, throwing a horrible pick-six against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Even at 3-4, these Lions are pretenders. We now have to wonder whether head coach Matt Patricia is back on the hot seat.
27. Washington Football Team (27)
Coming off a bye week, Ron Rivera and Co. have a real shot to put pressure on the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles. Washington takes on the New York Giants in Week 9 and is only one game behind Philadelphia in the division. Sure this is not a good team. However, Rivera has Washington playing competitive football in D.C.
28. Houston Texans (29)
At 1-6 on the season, Houston is giving up a whopping 31 points per game. Apparently, firing Bill O’Brien was not the sole answer for this downtrodden organization. The only silver lining is the performance of star quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has put up 16 total touchdowns against five interceptions on the season.
29. Dallas Cowboys (28)
America’s Team? Yeah, okay. Dallas has been the worst team in the NFL over the past three weeks, finding themselves outscored by a combined margin of 86-22. That has come against three teams with a combined record of 10-11-1. The Cowboys are also giving up a whopping 33.3 points per game. Mike McCarthy is in over his head. Injuries are piling up. And it’s just a matter of time before Jerry Jones does something crazy. Fun times in Big D.
Related: President Trump takes on the NFL
30. New York Giants (30)
If it weren’t for two horrible Daniel Jones’ interceptions Monday night against the Buccaneers, these Giants would have ascended the rankings big time. Alas, it was not to be. Jones’ turnover issues cost New York in a 25-23 loss. The team is now 1-7 with far more questions than answers.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (31)
Losers of six consecutive games, the Jaguars have given up 30-plus points in each outing. Gardner Minshew was benched for Week 9, as if he’s the problem in Duval. It’s almost like moving on from a half-dozen Pro Bowl defenders within a calendar year impacted this team. At 1-6, the Jaguars are absolutely terrible.
32. New York Jets (32)
I am convinced that Jets head coach Adam Gase has something he’s holding over the team’s brass as blackmail. How in the world does this dude still have a job? New York sits at 0-8 on the season. It has been outscored by an average of 29.8-11.8 per game. The team is also in full-scale trade mode, pretty much giving up on the campaign in hopes of landing Trevor Lawrence.
Week 8 NFL power rankings
1. Kansas City Chiefs (1)
The franchise topping our Week 8 NFL power rankings will come as no surprise to anyone. It must be so frustrating to face the Chiefs. Even when you contain Patrick Mahomes, compared to his MVP-caliber standards, this defense can step up with big plays. If this offense wasn’t difficult enough to stop, they just added Le’Veon Bell and he looked great on limited touches. If the Chiefs want to in Week 8, which Bell would love, they could beat the New York Jets by 40-plus.
Related: NFL Week 8 schedule, predictions
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (2)
It was a tale of two halves for the Steelers. Leading 24-7 at halftime, Pittsburgh looked like the best team in the NFL. Things unraveled in the second half, with Tennessee responding to a 20-point deficit with 17 unanswered points. Ultimately, the Steelers pulled out the victory. However, Pittsburgh’s secondary and Ben Roethlisberger’s decline are a bit concerning. One thing is for certain, Week 8 battle between the Ravens and Steelers will be epic.
3. Baltimore Ravens (3)
Adding Yannick Ngakoue is a monumental move for Baltimore’s defense. Landing the star edge rusher allows the Ravens to create pressure more effectively, sending the blitz a little less often. With one of the NFL’s best secondaries, this means scoring against this team will be even tougher. The scary part, Lamar Jackson isn’t even playing close to his MVP-caliber level this season. If he starts cooking and this offense becomes more consistent, watch out.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6)
Give Tom Brady time to throw and he’ll look like a three-time NFL MVP and four-time Super Bowl MVP. Brady was phenomenal against the Las Vegas Raiders, completing 73.3% of his attempts with five total touchdowns and a 127.0 quarterback rating in Week 7. On top of that, Tampa Bay’s defense is elite and Todd Bowles is the architect of this masterpiece. The one thing keeping the Buccaneers from being higher, this team is 0-2 with Brady’s worst performances when opponents pressure him on more than 20% of his drop backs.
5. Green Bay Packers (7)
Climbing into the top-5 of our Week 8 NFL Power Rankings are the Packers. They were short-handed on Sunday, playing without star running back Aaron Jones and All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari. It didn’t matter. Even on a day when he missed a few throws, Aaron Rodgers was peppering Davante Adams with targets for big plays. Offensively, Green Bay still boasts one of the NFL’s best units and it can put up 30-plus on any given week. However, this defense remains a significant concern. Expect the Packers to obliterate the Minnesota Vikings in Week 8, much like what we saw in the season opener.
6. Tennessee Titans (5)
The Titans seem to love putting Stephen Gostkowski in make-or-break situations in the final seconds. It didn’t work out in Week 7, but the comeback in this one was impressive. A.J. Brown was sensational and Derrick Henry continues to be a ridiculous force of nature. The Titans should dominate the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8, demonstrating their undeniable status as a top-10 NFL team.
7. Seattle Seahawks (4)
We’ll start with the positive. Russell Wilson is just the fourth player in NFL history with 20-plus touchdown passes in his first six games, per NFL Research. Of those passers, the three others (Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Brett Favre) won NFL MVP and went to the Super Bowl that year. Wilson is running away with the MVP award, but a defense that allows 479.2 yards and 28.7 points per game won’t sniff the Super Bowl.
8. San Francisco 49ers (9)
The 49ers are back in business. It might not always look great with Jimmy Garoppolo, but the results in the past two victories are undeniable. Besides, Kyle Shanahan and San Francisco’s defense is all this team needs. Shanahan keeps plugging in a new running back each week and the results are always outstanding. We can’t wait to see the Week 8 NFC West clash between the 49ers and Seahawks.
Related: 49ers Week 8 injury report
9. Los Angeles Rams (11)
Following their Week 6 loss to the 49ers, these Rams more than made up for it with a blowout win over the Chicago Bears on Monday night. Jared Goff put in another workmanlike performance. However, it was the team’s elite defense that came to play big time. Los Angeles, at 5-2 on the season, boasts the third-best scoring defense in the NFL. Yeah, Aaron Donald is the overwhelming favorite to come away with the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.
10. Arizona Cardinals (13)
The Cardinals are the NFL’s Jekyll and Hyde. At the best moments, with the “Sunday Night Football” victory as the most-recent example, Arizona can compete with anyone. We see moments where Kyler Murray plays like an MVP-caliber quarterback and it is complemented by a defense that can make some plays. However, it’s impossible to ignore the losses to the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers, which showcase the volatility you get from a second-year quarterback who can be erratic. Let’s see which version of the Cardinals we get in Week 8 against the Miami Dolphins after defeating the Seattle Seahawks last week.
11. Buffalo Bills (8)
Falling out of the top-10 in this week’s NFL Power Rankings, are the Buffalo Bills. Coming into the season, quarterback Josh Allen looked like Buffalo’s biggest problem. However, the script flipped early with Allen playing at an MVP-caliber level and the defense becoming the Achilles’ heel. On Sunday, the Bills struggled on both sides of the ball and escaped with a victory because they faced the New York Jets. If this team delivers a similar effort against the New England Patriots, it will be a steep slide down the NFL power rankings.
12. New Orleans Saints (14)
The Saints needed to take care of business on Sunday, with the Buccaneers making this a tight race in the NFC South. While New Orleans is getting used to playing without Michael Thomas, losing No. 2 receiver Emmanuel Sanders was another blow for this offense. Fortunately, Alvin Kamara (148 scrimmage yards) is unstoppable. Thomas might not play in Week 8 due to another injury, but this secondary is a more significant concern.
13. Cleveland Browns (18)
After starting the game 0-for-5, including an interception, many started to wonder about Mayfield’s future. All he did after that was complete 22-of-23 attempts for 297 yards and five touchdowns, including a dagger to win the game in the closing seconds. While it’s evident the Browns can’t hang with elite AFC teams, they will make the playoffs. A 5-2 record heading into Week 8 against the Las Vegas Raiders, let the fun begin.
Browns injury report: Odell Beckham Jr. tears ACL, out for season
14. Indianapolis Colts (17)
The Colts went into the bye week with confidence after a wild comeback victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Some time off should benefit an offense that needs to create more explosive plays and must feature running back Jonathan Taylor. The good news for Indianapolis, its defense is outstanding and that unit alone can help them compete for a playoff spot.
15. Miami Dolphins (15)
It’s time for Tua. While the decision to bench Ryan Fitzpatrick was shocking, head coach Brian Flores actually got the timing of this right. Tagovailoa used the bye week to get more comfortable with the offense and this week of practice will help him settle in. There will be some rough moments, but he had elite talent coming into the 2020 NFL Draft. Pair it with an underrated defense and you’ve got one of the NFL’s most underrated teams.
16. Chicago Bears (12)
What an ugly performance from the Bears on Monday night Week 7. Nick Foles struggled with turnovers. The Bears’ offense could not do anything in losing in blowout fashion to the Los Angeles Rams. Despite a 5-2 record, these bears are pretenders. Monday night’s loss to the Rams proved this to a T.
17. Carolina Panthers (19)
Every team’s bottom line is the NFL standings, but it’s about more than that in Carolina this season. Matt Rhule is rebuilding this program, which takes even more work with Christian McCaffrey sidelined. Carolina lost 27-24 to the Saints, but it was another game that came down to the wire. This is how a young team grows and the Panthers are already moving faster than anticipated with a 3-4 record and a fourth win could come in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons.
18. Las Vegas Raiders (10)
The Raiders aren’t a finished product. We saw what Jon Gruden’s team is capable of when everything clicks against the Kansas City Chiefs, but it fell back to earth against the Buccaneers. Las Vegas could contend for a playoff spot, but the defense and its inability to create pressure are the glaring problems that might prevent it. One thing is for certain, football fans in Las Vegas should be excited about the future.
19. Los Angeles Chargers (21)
Justin Herbert is ridiculous. In the rookie’s first five NFL starts, he has completed 67.4% of his passes with 1,542 passing yards, a 12/3 TD/INT ratio and a 108.1 quarterback rating. Oh, he also just rushed for 66 yards and a score in his first victory. The Chargers have their franchise quarterback and if this team gets some injury luck, they will cause significant problems for opponents in the second half.
Related: Ranking top NFL Rookies
20. Philadelphia Eagles (22)
The Eagles never make it easy. After a miraculous comeback fell short against the Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia needed to save itself once again in Week 7. Against a weaker opponent, the hapless New York Giants, Carson Wentz came through with 12 unanswered points in the final five minutes to win. Unfortunately, the injuries to countless starters will prevent this team from being a serious threat. Fortunately for the Eagles, it might only take six wins to capture the NFC East crown and a home playoff game.
21. New England Patriots (16)
It’s time to sound the alarms. Tom Brady was very right, the Patriots can’t win with the supporting cast they put around their quarterback. Cam Newton was awful in Week 7, but it doesn’t help that no one on this team can get open. A trade for a wide receiver is in consideration, but so is blowing this thing up by trading an All-Pro talent. Things are ugly in New England and they might not improve in Week 8 against the Bills.
22. Detroit Lions (23)
Maybe leaking that your head coach is about to be fired is an effective strategy. Matt Patricia was seemingly in his final days before Week 6 and the Lions have won their two games since. While it required some help from Todd Gurley, this team is improving on both sides of the ball. We still wouldn’t recommend keeping Patricia past this season, but at least the Lions are competitive.
23. Denver Broncos (20)
We can look at the positive for the Broncos, their defense did a respectable job against Patrick Mahomes and Co. The return of cornerback A.J. Bouye helped, as did Bradley Chubb’s ongoing breakout season. However, Drew Lock is bad. He’ll get the full season to prove himself, but we’ve got a feeling John Elway missed on another quarterback prospect. Hey, maybe he’ll get it right in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Related: 2021 NFL Mock Draft
24. Cincinnati Bengals (26)
The good news. Rookie quarterback Joe Burrow leads the NFL in completions and is on pace to break the single-season passing yards mark for a first-year signal caller in league history. The bad news? Burrow also leads the NFL in pass attempts and has been sacked a league-high 28 times. At 1-5-1 on the season, four of the Bengals’ losses have come by one score. At the very least, they seem to be more competitive than last year.
Related: NFL Week 8 odds and point spreads
25. Atlanta Falcons (25)
For the third time this season, Atlanta blew a lead late in the fourth quarter during their Week 7 outing against the Detroit Lions. That included Matthew Stafford with the game-winning score as time expired. The Dan Quinn-less Falcons now head into Thursday night’s game against Carolina at 1-6 on the season and giving up nearly 30 points per game. Yeah, they remain very bad.
26. Minnesota Vikings (27)
Minnesota moved up one spot in our power rankings simply because it was off in Week 7. Expect the team to struggle remaining competitive against a Packers squad that blew it out back in Week 1. Kirk Cousins has thrown 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in six starts. The Vikings just traded away one of their top defenders and have other players on the block. Oh, and they are giving up an average of 32 points per game. Enough said.
27. Washington Football Team (31)
Noticing a theme here? The NFC East is bad. The NFC East is downright terrible. Fortunately for the 2-5 Washington Football Team, it has a chance to win this division. In fact, an argument can be made that Ron Rivera’s squad is the best team in the division. Game coming up against the Giants, Lions, Bengals and Cowboys following their Week 8 by could help Washington remain in contention.
28. Dallas Cowboys (24)
Disastrous. Horrible. Pathetic. Whatever term we want to use to describe the Cowboys under embattled head coach Mike McCarthy, none would be too harsh. Fresh off a 25-3 blowout loss to the Washington Football Team, Dallas is in a downward spiral. It has been outscored 63-13 over the past two games. As crazy it it sounds, these Cowboys are probably the worst team in the NFL’s worst division.
Related: Top 100 NFL players of 2020
29. Houston Texans (28)
Houston had to feel really good about winning its first game following the firing of Bill O’Brien. Unfortunately, that has not translated to the past two weeks. This included a blowout Week 7 loss to the Green Bay Packers. That came after the Texans’ defense gave up north of 600 total yards in a Week 6 loss to the Titans. Yeah, Deshaun Watson really has no help here. At 1-6, these Texans are complete toast.
30. New York Giants (29)
This is funny stuff. The Giants could have found themselves in a first-place tie in the NFC East with a win over the Philadelphia Eagles last Thursday. Alas, that was not to be the case as mistake-prone quarterback Daniel Jones turned the ball over two more times in a narrow 22-21 loss to a pedestrian Eagles team. At 1-6, the question is now whether the Giants will even win another game this season. They have been that bad.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (30)
How bad is it in Duval right now? Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert went for over 400 yards and four total touchdowns in the Jaguars’ 39-29 Week 7 loss to Los Angeles. Jacksonville has now given up 30-plus points in each of the past six weeks, all losses. That span has seen this previously stout defense give up 200 total points. Regardless of how the team’s offense performs, this won’t help Jacksonville remain competitive moving forward.
32. New York Jets (32)
Hitting the bottom of our NFL power rankings for a second consecutive week is the New York Jets. Baby steps? Perhaps. New York entered its Week 7 contest with the first-place Bills as major underdogs. The end result was a narrow 18-10 loss and some how that this team has not given up on embattled head coach Adam Gase. Despite this, the Jets are now 0-7 on the season and averaging less than 13 points per game. That’s impressively bad.
Week 7 NFL power rankings
NFL Week 6 closed up shop Monday night with yet another doubleheader. That included the Kansas City Chiefs taking out the Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys laying a complete egg at home against the Arizona Cardinals.
These are the two teams we’ll focus on heading into Week 7 as we provide you with out latest NFL power rankings. Kansas City regains the top spot in the NFL while the Cowboys now find themselves as a bottom-10 team in the league.
Let’s examine our latest NFL power rankings heading into Week 7 of the 2020 season.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2)
Kansas City got back on track Week 6 against the Buffalo Bills in a matchup of two top-end title contenders. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire put up 161 yards on the ground. Kansas City’s defense limited Josh Allen to 122 passing yards. If these two components continue to step up for Andy Reid’s squad, opposing teams are going to have a hard time defeating Kansas City.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (5)
The Steelers are firing on all cylinders. Pittsburgh’s defense is playing at an absurd level and it made Sunday a living nightmare for the Cleveland Browns. On top of that, the offense is moving the football effectively with rookie Chase Claypool emerging as an NFL star. Losing linebacker Devin Bush hurts, but this defense is still ridiculous. A matchup between two top-five teams is set and we can’t wait to witness it.
3. Baltimore Ravens (3)
Baltimore will be happy with its 5-1 record and it’s undeniable that this is one of the best teams in the league. However, this squad isn’t close to what we saw in 2019. After averaging 206 rushing yards per game last season, this offense is averaging 165.3 yards on the ground per game this season. On top of that, Lamar Jackson’s quarterback rating has fallen from 113.3 to 99.2. All of that is to say, this team will be even scarier if the offense figures things out during the bye week.
4. Seattle Seahawks (4)
Seattle’s bye week came at the perfect time. Heading into Week 5, the Seahawks listed 26 players on the injury report and have six defense players on injured reserve. Jamal Adams should be back in Week 8, which will be a monumental boost for this defense.. As for the offense, Russell Wilson (1,502 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, 129.8 quarterback rating) is running away with the NFL MVP award. Expect big numbers from the Seahawks against the Arizona Cardinals.
5. Tennessee Titans (8)
Ryan Tannehill is no fluke. Since becoming Tennessee’s starting quarterback, the team boasts a 12-3 record and he has 4,110 passing yards with a 35/8 TD/INT ratio and a 116.0 quarterback rating. If Tannehill’s MVP-caliber play isn’t enough, how about Derrick Henry being the first player in NFL history with a 200-yard rushing game in three consecutive years. The lingering question here is the defense and how it performs will be pivotal in Week 7 against the Steelers.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13)
The most impressive win of Week 6 and arguably the best defensive performance in the NFL this season. Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator Todd Bowles showcased why he deserves a second chance to be a head coach next year and proved his defense is great. Oh, we also saw vintage Rob Gronkowski and Ronald Jones likely buried Leonard Fournette’s hopes of starting. If the Buccaneers can keep bringing the pressure defensively, with Tom Brady and Co. clicking on offense, this team can beat anyone.
7. Green Bay Packers (1)
After the first quarter in Tampa Bay, Green Bay looked like an unstoppable force that would ride all the way to the Super Bowl. A pick-six and followed by a deflected interception changed everything. Green Bay’s defense can’t pressure opposing quarterbacks (14.9% pressure rate is third-lowest in NFL) and its offensive line was exposed by the Buccaneers. There are more glaring holes on this team than we realized, but the Packers should rebound in Week 7 against the Houston Texans.
8. Buffalo Bills (6)
Buffalo’s undefeated start to the season and Josh Allen’s MVP campaign were too good to be true. Regression was always coming for the Bills and while it has arrived, this is still a top-10 NFL team. The defense isn’t playing well right now, but we’ve seen elite play from that group before. If the defense steps up and Allen can avoid mistakes, the Bills can easily win the AFC East.
9. San Francisco 49ers (19)
The 49ers needed to make a statement following an embarrassing loss to the Miami Dolphins and that’s precisely what Kyle Shanahan’s team did. Jimmy Garoppoolo (23-of-33, 268 yards and three touchdowns) executed this short, quick attack and San Francisco’s playmakers made things happen in open space. Things will be a lot more difficult against Bill Belichick next Sunday, but this is the kind of clash of brilliant minds we live for.
10. Las Vegas Raiders (11)
Everything is golden in Las Vegas. After stunning the NFL world in Week 5 with an upset over the Kansas City Chiefs, the Raiders enjoyed a bye week to get healthy and make extra preparations for their next game. A primetime battle against the Buccaneers and a defense that just derailed Aaron Rodgers’ MVP hopes is just what the doctor ordered. This will be the best game in Week 7.
11. Los Angeles Rams (7)
It just never came together for the Rams on Sunday Night Football. San Francisco jumped out to an early 21-6 lead and found a way to contain the previously unstoppable Aaron Donald. Los Angeles tried to keep it close, but a few drops by Cooper Kupp and some missed throws from Jared Goff proved costly. This is still a very good team and we’re excited to see how the Rams stack up to the Bears on Monday Night Football in Week 7.
12. Chicago Bears (17)
It’s time to give the Bears their props. While Chicago’s 5-1 record might seem deceiving, it beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and just put away a hot Carolina Panthers squad. Nick Foles still isn’t looking great and he nearly cost the team on Sunday, but this defense is outstanding. Now the fun begins with the Rams, Saints and Titans slated to face Chicago in the next three weeks.
13. Arizona Cardinals (16)
When Kyler Murray is clicking, there are few NFL offenses more exciting to watch. We knew Arizona stole DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans, but the magnitude of the heist becomes even more evident with each passing week. As we look ahead to Week 7, expect a thrilling NFC West shootout against the Seahawks. The Cardinals probably won’t win, but the highlights will be incredible for NFL fans and fantasy owners.
14. New Orleans Saints (12)
The Saints spent their bye week resting and threatening the city to play elsewhere. As of now, expect them to play in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Week 7 and Michael Thomas should be joining them. It’s been a turbulent 2020 season for the Saints, but things could be a lot worse than a 3-2 record. If this offense finds some consistency and the defense eliminates mental errors, New Orleans can return to Super Bowl contention.
15. Miami Dolphins (18)
Maybe it’s too soon to talk about Brian Flores as a Coach of the Year candidate, but he deserves more national recognition. Miami’s rebuild was always going to take time, but it is accelerating rapidly under his direction. The defense is playing inspired and the offense is executing. It wouldn’t be a shock if the Dolphins beat the Rams in Week 7 and after that, playoff talk begins.
16. New England Patriots (10)
New England just didn’t have it on Sunday. Cam Newton and Co. looked flat on offense for three quarters, putting this team in a hole that it couldn’t climb out from. We still love the defense and Newton will rebound from this, but the Patriots must find more weapons at the NFL trade deadline. Otherwise, there won’t be enough firepower to beat the NFL’s best in the playoffs.
17. Indianapolis Colts (15)
If you look at the Colts with the glass-half-full perspective, they rebounded from a 21-point deficit to claim victory. However, it’s impossible to ignore that this came against the Cincinnati Bengals (1-4-1). Indianapolis boasts a great defense and Philip Rivers might not be washed, but there is a ceiling here. The Colts can enjoy their Week 7 bye, but looming matchups against the Baltimore Ravens (Week 9), Tennessee Titans (Week 10 and 12) and Green Bay Packers (Week 11) spell trouble.
18. Cleveland Browns (9)
The Browns have a big problem and his name is Baker Mayfield. When the pocket is clean, he doesn’t have any trouble finding open receivers. As we saw against Pittsburgh’s blitz-happy defense, the third-year quarterback is a wreck when he encounters pressure. At this point, with Mayfield seemingly getting worse with each passing year, it’s fair to wonder if the Browns can trust him as their quarterback of the future.
19. Carolina Panthers (14)
The Panthers came close to winning this game, but Teddy Bridgewater picked the wrong day to have one of the worst performances in his career. It was a difficult loss for Carolina, but the defense is looking good and Christian McCaffrey is nearing a return. The Panthers likely aren’t a playoff team, but they are fun to watch and keep games close. It’s all a credit to head coach Matt Rhule, who is building something special here.
20. Denver Broncos (23)
Denver shocked everyone by pulling off an upset over the New England Patriots, but the win doesn’t feel legitimate. New England had little time to practice in the past two weeks, due to their COVID-19 problems, and came out sluggish. Credit to running back Philip Lindsay and the defense for stepping up. Looking ahead to Week 7, the Chiefs should obliterate Denver.
21. Los Angeles Chargers (22)
While the Chargers might have liked to enjoy a bye week a little later in the season, the NFL schedule adjustment might have helped. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram need time to get healthy, while Justin Herbert certainly benefitted from a week to review his tape and make improvements. While the Chargers are 1-4 entering Week 7, they could rip off a few wins with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos coming up.
22. Philadelphia Eagles (21)
We’ll say this about the Eagles, they don’t quit. Trailing 30-14 late in the fourth quarter, Philadelphia easily could have thrown in the towel. Instead, facing Baltimore’s prevent defense, Carson Wentz nearly led a comeback that fell a two-point conversion shy of a miracle. The defense isn’t bad, but the injuries on offense cap any ceiling for this team. Good news, the NFC East sucks.
23. Detroit Lions (28)
Matt Patricia lives to see another Sunday as an NFL head coach. A loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars would have been costly for Patricia, but the offense saved the day. Detroit’s key to victory in Week 6, finally feeding D’Andre Swift. The rookie exploded for 116 rushing yards and two scores on only 14 carries. If the Lions stick with this recipe on offense, featuring Swift and a vertical passing attack from Matt Stafford, Patricia’s defense is the only thing standing in the way of competing for a wild-card spot.
24. Dallas Cowboys (20)
The Cowboys didn’t have enough defensively to be a playoff threat this year, even with Dak Prescott carrying this team. With him gone for the season, this offense will take a significant step back under Andy Dalton (that’s not going well). The offensive line is in shambles and Dallas might have one of the NFL’s worst defenses, but they could still win the division. Frankly, it would be fitting for 2020. Of course, that’s dependent on Ezekiel Elliott refraining from putting the ball on the ground like we saw Week 6 against the Cardinals.
25. Atlanta Falcons (29)
The Falcons won a football game and they even did it emphatically. After firing Dan Quinn, along with general manager Thomas Dimitroff, Atlanta showed new life in Sunday’s victory. Matt Ryan looked relax and this defense was actually decent. This team is more talented than its 1-5 record shows and it’s possible the upcoming schedule (vs. DET, @ CAR, vs. DEN) could result in more wins.
26. Cincinnati Bengals (25)
Two step forwards. Two steps back. That’s the story of these Cincinnati Bengals thus far during the 2020 season. Cincinnati opened up a 21-0 lead against the Indianapolis Colts back in Week 6, only to lose the game by the score of 31-27. It was an ugly loss for a Bengals squad that heads into Week 7 1-4-1 on the season. It also represented the second consecutive game Joe Burrow was held without a touchdown pass.
27. Minnesota Vikings (24)
Following last week’s three-interception performance struggling Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has tossed a league-high 10 picks in six games. It led to Minnesota allowing the Atlanta Falcons to win their first game of the season. Now at 1-5 on the year and having given up an average of 32 points per game, Mike Zimmer’s squad is absolute toast. How the once mighty have fallen.
28. Houston Texans (26)
Six hundred and one. That’s how many yards Houston gave up to the Tennessee Titans in their 42-36 overtime loss back in Week 6. If it’s not one thing, it’s something else for this team. Obviously, the firing of head coach Bill O’Brien has not changed the dynamic all too much. The one saving grace is the play of the Texans’ offense. They are averaging north of 30 points over the past two games.
29. New York Giants (30)
A win is a win. That’s what first-year head coach Joe Judge is telling himself after the Giants came out victorious for the first time this season back in Week 6. However, it came against a bad Washington squad and included the Giants getting lucky at the end. More troubling than their 1-5 start to the season is the fact that Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is on pace to throw eight touchdowns compared to 16 interceptions on the season. Ouch!
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (27)
Following last week’s 34-16 loss to the hapless Detroit Lions, Jacksonville has now dropped five consecutive games. It has given up 30-plus points in each of those five games. The team lacks any type of real identity under head coach Doug Marrone, and it shows. At this point, things are on the verge of falling off the cliff in Duval.
31. Washington Football Team (31)
We have to give Ron Rivera credit for going for the win Sunday against the New York Giants. Unfortunately, Kyle Allen made a mistake on the failed two-point conversion. It led to Washington losing its fifth consecutive game since a 1-0 start to the season. The question is now as follows. Why is Allen still under center ahead of Alex Smith? That’s something Washington will have to answer heading into a Week 7 game against the Dallas Cowboys.
32. New York Jets (32)
A 24-0 blowout loss at the hands of the Miami Dolphins. An 0-6 record. Losing by an average of 18 points per game. A rift between embattled Jets head coach Adam Gase and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. These Jets are an absolute laughingstock in every way possible. It’s hard to imagine this team even coming remotely close to winning a game.
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Author: Matt Johnson