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NFL Power Rankings

We got a NEW NUMBER 1! In a week that had a lot of amazing games, we had a lot of movers and we see the top teams ascend to the top and create a gap from the greats to the not-so-greats. There were also some great games at the top.

Pittsburgh Steelers #1 (+1)

Big Ben tried so hard to keep the Titans in this game after Pittsburgh was up by 20 points and then throwing 3 picks in the 2nd half. Heading into the game the Steelers were 224-0-1 when leading by 20 and almost added a loss to the column, but Gostkowski had them covered. I am surprised that the Steelers threw as much as they did when the running game was working as well as it did (Conner was averaging just around 4 yards per carry) but it didn’t matter because it’s hard to lose when you go 13/18 on 3rd down. Welcome to the top spot to the only remaining undefeated team on the heels of Diontae Johnson’s best game of the year with 9-80- and 2 money TDs early. HUGE game next week to test the legitimacy of this number one spot when the Steelers face their division rival and another top 5 team in the NFL vs the Ravens.

Kansas City Chiefs #2 (+2)

The Chiefs were pretty dominant in this game scoring on special teams, on defense, and offense and embarrassed the Broncos every which way. The offense was solid and didn’t have to be special on a day where the defense forced 4 turnovers and took advantage of a Deernver in headlights team. To add insult to injury (for Denver) Chad Henne got in to the endzone and finished the day with a rushing TD and -2 yards. The Chiefs had their way in Mile High and know that’s one less team they have to take seriously in their division.

Seattle Seahawks #3 (-3)

Russell Wilson was not his flawless self on Sunday night but don’t be fooled, if he doesn’t pass for 388 and rush for 84 the Hawks never have a chance to compete in this game. Tyler Lockett was the best player on the field on Sunday with 15 receptions, 200 yards, and 3 TDs, but losing the turnover battle not only kept the Cardinals in the game, but eventually handed the entire win over. Russ threw 3 INTs including the one that put Zona right into field goal position to seal the deal. The Hawks better be ready for another tough divisional game with the Niners coming up.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers #4 (+2)

On a day where Brady didn’t get sacked once, he threw another 4 TDs and ran for one more in another performance that lets everyone know that the Bucs are legitimate contenders. Chris Godwin caught 9 passes on 9 targets. That efficiency is unheard of and this offense is so much more dynamic with Chris in the lineup (9-88-1TD). Devin White continues to improve, and this game had all 3 of Tampa’s sacks to go with 9 solo tackles (and 2 for loss) and if he keeps this up could be an intriguing DPOY candidate.

Baltimore Ravens #5 (+0)

The bye week came at a great time as they obtained Yannick to learn the defense in time for Steelers week. I’m excited to see this Ravens and Steelers game that could be an AFC Championship preview. Let’s see if the offense comes out strong after an off week to try and recapture the dynamic playmaking it was so handily capable of last year.

Green Bay Packers #6 (+2)

Devante Adams looked to be in full strength today and reminded everyone who Rodgers best target is with a 13 reception, 196-yard performance that came with 2 scores along the way. Williams not only filled in for Aaron Jones but was almost the same with a 19-77 and a TD and made a strong case for the Packers to take a hot hand approach in the backfield. It was a good opportunity to bounce back and put Rodgers back on the MVP path.

Tennessee Titans #7 (-4)

Everyone should have seen it coming that if the Titans were going to lose a game it was going to be from a Gostkowski miss. Not saying they would have won, but they didn’t get their full chance to compete. AJ Brown kept the Titans in this game with his playmaking and steady hands on the Titans final drive and also had the longest play of either team on the day with a 73-yard TD. The Titans waited a really long time to get back in this game and their early offensive ineptitude works against the Texans but not playoff teams.

Arizona Cardinals #8 (+3)

I think Christian Kirk is here to stay with another 2 TD performance but it was Kyler Murray who put on an MVP performance to claw his team back into the game being responsible for 407 offensive yards and 4 TDs including strong, smart completions/runs on the Cardinals’ last few drives to win this football game. Zane Gonzalez wanted to raise the stakes by missing one in OT and then clutching it with his second one. He kept the Cards in this game for most of it though. Wanted to shoutout the first-round linebacker Isaiah Simmons who finally backed up his draft stock with his interception on Russell Wilson to win the game in OT.

Indianapolis Colts #9 (+0)

The Colts are currently seated comfortably in the 7th seed of the AFC playoff picture and depending on their practices, they hope to roll out the offense from right before the bye week where Rivers and his receivers looked to be on the same page for the first time all season. They have an interesting matchup against a gritty Lions team who is trying to wrestle a playoff spot of their own.

New Orleans Saints #10 (+3)

You usually win football games when you don’t punt all game. The Saints did have one turnover but that wasn’t enough to overshadow Brees’ 3 total TDs and the 138 yards the Saints had on the ground. The Saints were murderers on 3rd down going 12-14 on 3rd and even though the Saints had the same number of drives, the Saints had the ball for nearly 10 more minutes than the Panthers. This is a huge divisional win against a solid Panthers team that has the Saints back on a more clear, solid path towards a playoff spot.

Los Angeles Rams #11 (+3)

The Rams defense made plays when they really need to and the INT in the RedZone was both clutch and expected by this defensive secondary when Jalen Ramsey was brought to LA to finish games and even though it didn’t lead to the last possession, it deflated any chance of the Bears scoring 14 in the shortened amount of time they had. I’m really glad that Malcolm Brown got his TD run a play after the entire city of LA was shoving him forward on what should have maybe been a 3-yard gain. This a huge win for the Rams in terms of tiebreakers.

Buffalo Bills #12 (+0)

A win is a win, but this is a really ugly one for a team aspiring to be contenders this year: 0-5 in the RedZone, 3-11 on 3rd, over 400 yards of offense and 2 forced turnovers and what do they have to show for it? 6 field goals on 8 attempts to beat the Jets. They need to up their game and blowout bad teams. 11 penalties for over 100 yards is one way to keep bad teams like the Jets in games and that’s exactly what the Bills did. Hopefully the defense carries this momentum against better teams seeing as how they forced 3 turnovers and had 6 sacks.


San Francisco 49ers #13 (+2)

This offense clicks when the offense averages over 5 yards per carry and boy did it: Wilson Jr. had 17 carries 112 yards and 3 TDs. 4 interceptions made for a great day for this Niners defense as they embarrassed the Pats in front of their home crowd and hope to do the same to their west coast rival this next week.

Chicago Bears #14 (-8)

WHAT DID I SAY?! The offense has not been solved and Foles really was not the answer! Yes, the Rams are a good defense but 2 interceptions and 4 sacks? That’s not how you compete for a Super Bowl berth. There were 3 receiver who did reel in every single target they had which were Robinson, Kmet, and Montgomery which is A single building block to move forward with. Khalil Mack gave the Bears a real chance to score on the defensive side of the ball with a strip sack early in the 3rd but there really just wasn’t anyone there to make the play. Chicago was abysmal going ¼ on 4th down and using Patterson on 4th and short had to contribute to that for sure. This is a team who can still fall out of the playoff picture hard and fast.

Cleveland Browns #15 (+1)

Denzel Ward with the HUGE tip in the RedZone to start the game and lead to the Goodson pic. The worst part of Baker’s INT wasn’t that he lost possession after a great defensive stop from his team but losing Odell Beckham for the season is rough just as he was getting going. Don’t know if you caught this, but Mayfield was brilliant on Sunday after starting 0/5 with an INT, he finished 22/28 for 5 TDs and the one pic to start including the game winning touchdown on a beautiful back shoulder. This Browns defense was dynamic en route to 5 sacks and huge turnovers early while holding the Bengals to 4/7 in the RedZone. This game is another question mark on if the Browns are the worst-best team, or the best of the not good teams.

Oakland Raiders #16 (-6)

The Raiders defense was butter to the Bucs’ hot knife of an offense and the real concern is that the Raiders had 0 sacks, and no turnovers. This Raiders offense needs the run game to do better after Jacobs had one of the worst games of his career with a 1.7 average and the team as a whole only had 3.2 per carry. How about Nelson Agholor having a career renaissance with a 5 catch, 107 yard and one td performance and has helped Carr expand his deep ball this year? They are so much better as a balanced offense but still look lost on D.

Detroit Lions #17 (+2)

Great Matt Stafford game-winning drive that he will be remembered for when he’s no longer playing. He still just has so much velocity on every pass down the field until he stepped up and delivered the nail in the coffin to Hockenson. Matt Patricia put the ball in Peterson’s hands multiple times like it was 2012 only for him to get stuffed. Swift should be taking more carries as the season progresses, and the Lions are in a decent spot but don’t have room for mistakes in a HIGHLY competitive NFC playoff field.

Miami Dolphins #18 (+0)

Flores must like the Dolphins’ odds making the playoffs with Tua otherwise I don’t see a whole lot of reasons to put him in. They also come off the bye against a strong Rams defense with Aaron Donald coming up the middle so we REALLY will see if Tua’s ready or not. I personally would have saved him for a lesser opponent but best of luck Tua!

Philadelphia Eagles #19 (+4)

Bernard Scott showed the ice in his veins with 46 yards on the ground and through the air while catching the game winning TD on a tough catch (that Sanders might have dropped). While the Giants offense is bad and the Eagles are supposed to bully them, seeing 3 forced turnovers is reassuring and good momentum to try and carry into next week. The Eagles outgained the Giants by over 100, won the turnover battle, and ran almost 20 more plays just to win by 1 point… Take from that what you will… #NFCLeast

Carolina Panthers #20 (-3)

Bridgewater continues to impress me and had a strong showing against his former team going 23/28 for 254 yards and 2 TDs including a 74-yard bomb to DJ Moore. The Panthers just didn’t have the ball often and Bridgewater’s sack near the end of the game was just not super smart. If he had gotten sacked even 2 yards closer, Slye ties this game (better luck next week).

Washington Football Team #21 (+9)

Gibson has proven me wrong about Washington needing AP and played huge against this abysmal Cowboys D with 20 carries for 128 yards and a TD en route to a Washington win. Good running game+solid defense= a dub and Washington did just that with 6 sacks (including 2 from Montez Sweat) and forcing a turnover to the house to end it. That was a dirty targeting hit from Bostic and I can see Rivera enforcing some team discipline and take a chance to establish a culture here. Also, they are right in the heat of the race for the NFC East.

Los Angeles Chargers #22 (+3)

Herbert has proven me wrong more often than he’s proven me right with his sneaky athleticism (66 rush yards in 1 game, franchise record for QB) and his 4 total TDs for over 400 yards of total offense. The defense played the way that you’d hope they play against the Jags collecting 5 sacks, but it is Jacksonville. If they clean up their special teams this Chargers team could be dangerous but a missed PAT and a blocked punt return for TD are not plays that happen to playoff teams. Hate to nitpick here but going 2/5 in the RedZone is not going to get the job done against better teams (as we have seen in their 4 losses).

Denver Broncos #23 (-3)

Melvin Gordon had 2 fumbles in the game against the Chiefs and Lindsay has not fumbled ONCE as a Denver Bronco. We know who the answer is in the backfield and just refuse to uphold that in our play calling. The defense performed pretty well holding the Chiefs to 0/8 on 3rd down and only allowed 5.6 yards per play and 286 total yards which is pretty incredible considering we are talking about the Chiefs. This doesn’t even mention holding KC to 3/6 in the RedZone. But the issue is every week the offense is sloppy, and it has been for YEARS. Fangio needs to figure out what it’s going to take to score points and compete in games.

New England Patriots #24 (-3)

Cam Newton is off, and his receivers are not helping. He now has 5 interceptions in 2 weeks and teams and figuring out he can’t throw. Not like anybody else is the answer as Stidham came in and threw a pic of his own and they had a combined QBR of 3.75. The Pats only ran 47 offensive plays…  and the Niners offense averaged 7.4 yards per play which is embarrassing for an otherwise esteemed defense and you can feel the missed presence of Hightower against teams like the Niners.

Houston Texans #25 (-1)

Who else is tired of the Texans speed option under center when it matters most? I am! It is not a good play design with the game on the line on 4th down or in the RedZone. It’s so dumb. The Texans defense just continues to be a liability having no answers for the passing attack of ANY team which is strange considering the talent they have on the defensive side of the ball and it’s going to be a hard reset at the end of the year for this Houston team.

Dallas Cowboys #26 (-4)

This Cowboys team might need to blow up the coaching staff just after rebuilding it. It’s bad when you can’t find a way to compete at all against one of the worst teams in the league. I also think DiNucci is not the answer so I’d expect the Boys to make a move for maybe Bortles but that won’t fix 2.6 yards per play… #DemBoyz

Atlanta Falcons #27 (-1)

The Falcons really did nearly everything correct that you can except for finishing the game and giving Matt Stafford a minute left. Matt Ryan’s fumble looms large in this game as the Falcons did lose the turnover battle 1-0 but they still should have won. Hindsight is 2020 and 8 penalties for 53 yards AND 3 first downs was tough in this game that came down to inches. The conversions were pretty successful today as the Falcons went 50% on 3rd and 4th downs but that contributes 0% to their win record.

Minnesota Vikings #28 (+0)

Not sure what’s next for the Vikings but Cousins’ contract is one they really can’t get out of and I don’t know if the GM or the Coach made that choice but either Kirk has to lead this team to the playoffs or one or BOTH the GM and Zimmer are goners.

Cincinnati Bengals #29 (-2)

Not to be entirely outdone by Mayfield, Burrow threw for a cool 406 yards and 3 TDs while adding on 34 rushing yards and a score on the ground. It’d be unfair to credit Burrow’s performance without mentioning the 3 big-bodied combo of Boyd, Green, and Higgins who accounted for 23 of Burrow’s 35 completions, 254 of his 406 yards, and 2 of his 3 TDs. The story of this game was that the Bengals kicked field goals when the Browns scored TDs #Rookienotes.

New York Giants #30 (-1)

Daniel Jones’ run of 80 yards or so before he just falls and doesn’t finish is a good summary of their performance against the Eagles and the Giants’ season. Evan Engram is such a liability for the Giants offense. One drop led to an interception and another one arguably cost the Giants their chance to seal this game. Daniel Jones fumbles so much, and this is just another Bronx tale ending in flames. Not sure what the answer is here.

Jacksonville Jaguars #31 (+0)

Robinson bounced back hard and strong with 119 yards on 22 carries and 8 points on their first scoring drive and another catching TD to go with it. Conversions was the name of the game for why the Jags lost by not only going 6/15 on 3rd, but also going ¼ on 4th down and I think that’s from a lack of identity or a “go-to” on offense. This offensive line will keep the Jags in mediocrity for as long as they remain with Minshew running for his life week-to-week and the Jags are really one of the more talented teams here at the bottom.

New York Jets #32 (+0)

Who knew that if the Jets wanted to compete in a game that running the ball was the answer? (Me, I Did). They averaged 4.5 yards per carry and that included Gore rushing for 60 on 11 carries. I can’t believe the Jets think they’re good enough to convert a 4th and 1 instead of just taking a field goal (@ AdamGase). Kudos to the Jets RedZone defense for giving them a fighting chance by keeping the Bills out of the endzone all day! Darnold is such a turnover machine and really isn’t going to blossom in New York and this may be another team who doesn’t win a single game all year.

Written by Kodey Stauffer

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