32. Detroit Lions, 0-8-1 ( - )
Well, it wasn’t a loss, but it was some of the worst football any of us have ever seen. So, you’re not getting out of the cellar for that.
31. Houston Texans, 1-8 ( - )
The Texans didn’t lose either! It’s a November miracle, but dreams are going to die this upcoming week against the Tennessee Titans who might be the exact opposite of the Texans from a team building and balance perspective.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars, 2-7 (-1)
Going toe-to-toe with the Indianapolis Colts is nothing new for the Jaguars who tend to play them close no matter how good each team is.
29. New York Jets, 2-6 (-1)
When you’re an acclaimed defensive mastermind, the defense needs to be...you know, good. It being Year 1 of a rebuild is an excuse in Week 1 but it stops being
28. Miami Dolphins, 3-7 (+2)
I’ve said a lot of snarky things about Tua Tagovailoa in this space, and (at least this week) was proved wrong about them. Still, I’m more impressed with the Dolphins finally showing us the defense we thought we’d be seeing all season long. Now, keep it up.
27. New York Giants, 3-6 (-1)
This week’s matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers suddenly seems...way more important and in play—especially with the Giants coming off of a bye.
26. Atlanta Falcons, 4-5 (-1)
The Falcons were looking good (at least offensively) until they weren’t. The defense has just always looked bad. I’m not sure I could handle the roller coaster of being a Falcons fan. Ya’ll stronger for it, but I’m sure you wish the team would follow suit.
25. Carolina Panthers, 4-5 (+2)
Cam Newton, huh? Neat. I legitimately hope this team wins out and we get to relish in his Superman pose every weekend from now until the end of time while talking heads complain about his shoe choice on gameday.
24. Chicago Bears, 3-6 (-2)
Can the Bears beat the Ravens this weekend? That would’ve seemed out of the question a few weeks ago, but the Ravens are struggling and the Bears had a week off to rest and figure out some offensive wrinkles.
23. Philadelphia Eagles, 4-6 (+1)
Along with the other young Alabama quarterbacks, Jalen Hurts had a fantastic Week 10. The Saints defense is going to present another unique challenge, but at this point we shouldn’t be counting him out.
22. Washington Football Team, 3-6 (+1)
Speaking of not counting teams or quarterbacks out, Football Team has won a game no one thought they had any business being in. Can they slow down Coach Rivera’s old team? Consistency is going to be the name of the game.
21. Minnesota Vikings, 4-5 ( - )
The Vikings had a great matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers and still almost let the game get away from them. I’m less and less impressed with the coaching and attitude of this team which is consistently less than its talent. Still, they’re around .500 and can absolutely win this week’s divisional matchup against the Green Bay Packers.
20. Seattle Seahawks, 3-6 (-2)
The Seahawks should probably fall further after maybe the worst offensive performance I’ve ever witnessed, but there is still (some, little) hope for this team as Russell Wilson gets healthier.
19. Denver Broncos, 5-5 ( - )
Getting whipped by the Eagles one week after beating up on the Cowboys seems…odd. Maybe they were just getting an early start on their week off.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers, 5-3-1 (-2)
If a tie is “like kissing your sister,” as the saying goes, getting a tie against the Lions has got to be a much, much worse comparison.
17. San Francisco 49ers, 4-5 (+3)
I had super high hopes for the 49ers heading into the season and was impressed with their Monday Night Football victory over the Los Angeles Rams, but I’m not going to slide them much higher up the list without proof they’re not going to slide right back down in a week.
16. New Orleans Saints, 5-4 (-1)
This team is going to be measured on how much they can stick to the gameplan and continue to compete even as it becomes clear they are outmatched—especially at the quarterback position.
15. Indianapolis Colts, 5-5 (-1)
Getting the Jets and Jaguars back-to-back was a gift. Now, it’s time to put up or shut-up and prove whether or not this team is actually in contention. The Buffalo Bills and Buccaneers are next.
14. Las Vegas Raiders, 5-4 (-1)
The honeymoon is officially over in the post-Jon Gruden era. This team needs to look to the future in a big way.
13. Cleveland Browns, 5-5 (-2)
Quarterback Baker Mayfield is hurt, and it is not fair to make wide, sweeping proclamations about his future while that is the case. This team should be more than just their QB, though, and if they want to win while he plays through it, they can’t lean on the passing game in any way, shape or form.
12. New England Patriots, 6-4 (+5)
It’s going to be important for the Patriots to not look past the Falcons this week. After Atlanta, it’s Titans, Colts, Bills and then Colts again. 6-4 could turn into 6-9 in a hurry. This is the stretch which is going to define the Patriots season and every win matters.
11. Kansas City Chiefs, 6-4 (+1)
Patrick Mahomes has gotten his groove back, but there are going to be much tougher tests ahead.
10. Los Angeles Chargers, 5-4 ( - )
I view the Chargers’ issues as fixable, but the coaching staff needs to implement some pretty wide, sweeping changes sooner rather than later or they’re going to start tumbling down this list.
9. Cincinnati Bengals, 5-4 ( - )
There was this brief moment in time where we were all sure the Bengals were the best team in the AFC. Now, after losses to the Jets and the Browns, I’m not even entirely comfortable saying they’re Top 10.
8. Baltimore Ravens, 6-3 (-3)
The five-game winning streak now seems so long ago and this week’s game against the Bears seems like it could cause them some trouble.
7. Dallas Cowboys, 7-2 (+1)
It’s premature to start calling these guys the best team in football or even the best team in the NFC. They have one, maybe two, quality wins on the season and just recently lost to the Broncos. The upside? The rest of their schedule isn’t too tough either.
6. Buffalo Bills, 6-3 (+1)
The Bills got things right against the Jets, but this upcoming stretch features some tougher defensive matchups than the Jaguars who gave them fits—Indianapolis, New Orleans and New England.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 6-3 (-1)
What’s the deal Tom? Just stop it.
4. Tennessee Titans, 8-2 (+2)
Are the Titans the best team in the NFL? There are definitely lots of arguments to be made as that loss to the Jets gets smaller in the rear view mirror and Coach Mike Vrabel looks more and more like the best leader in the NFL.
3. Los Angeles Rams, 7-3 (-1)
Matthew Stafford has had some bad habits that he regresses to since *checks scouting notes* his time at Georgia. This is who he is. It doesn’t mean he’s not a fantastic quarterback, it’s just that the dream team label wasn’t ever going to fit quite right if you expect this QB to play perfectly.
2. Green Bay Packers, 8-2 (+1)
If Aaron Rodgers is playing for this team, they’re heavy Super Bowl contenders...and that defense that held them back last year is starting to take shape.
1. Arizona Cardinals, 8-2 ( - )
Every other Power Rankings in the NFL commentariat is dropping the Cardinals while Colt McCoy is playing quarterback. Me... not gonna happen. When Kyler Murray is back, this is still the class of the division, conference and league.