Another week and no movement at the very top or the very bottom but plenty of shuffling in between with more change on the horizon after everyone has officially played half of their games this season.

#1: Pittsburgh Steelers (+0)

I almost thought the Steelers were really going to lose to the Cowboys because they do have a pretty bad habit of playing down to their competition no matter who it is. Thank goodness for the defense to holding the Cowboys to field goals instead of TDs for most of the day. That alone kept the Steelers in this game so the offense could surge in the 4th. Minkah Fitzpatrick just made a huge case for DPOY with 2 turnovers and the game-sealing deflection. But what a lot of people don’t see is the punch by the CB, or the pressure from the front line to force the INT. That interception ended up being the hugest stop of the day, and the Steelers retain their number one spot with their first 8-0 start in franchise history.

#2: Kansas City Chiefs (+0)

The Chiefs just reminded everyone that you can’t stop the offense, you can only slow them down. After only scoring 13 points in the first half, KC exploded for 20 in the 2nd half behind an aggressive defense getting the offense the ball early and often in the 2nd half. Mahomes goes into the bye by becoming the fastest and youngest player to throw 100 TDs with another 4 this weekend carving up the Carolina secondary like Thanksgiving came early.

#3: New Orleans Saints (+3)

If this is the Saints team we are and should be expecting for the rest of the year, this is the championship contender New Orleans was expecting to put forward when the season started and they’re hitting their stride at the right time. This Saints defense looks like it may have finally rounded the corner to where it was just a season ago with Davenport back in the lineup. They forced 3 interceptions, collected 3 sacks, and held this explosive Bucs offense under 200 yards. On a day where the defense was perfect, the offense was as well with almost everything working. Brees completed passes to more different receivers (12) than he had incompletions (6). All they have to do now is not get caught by this trap game versus the Niners and they should be ready to roll.


#4: Baltimore Ravens (+3)

A solid win against another top football team sends the Ravens back up in the rankings after adjustments were made at half and the Ravens picked up more 1st downs on their 2 first drives in the second half than the entire 1st combined. Marcus Peters is the MVP of this game with his GIGANTIC forced fumble that Clark took to the house and then his interception right after Indy stopped the Ravens’ offense in the RedZone. Those were probably the 2 biggest plays of the game and Peters showed up and out for both of them with Marlon Humphrey sidelined this week the Ravens can feel good about their other star corner.

#5: Buffalo Bills (+5)

When the offense actually converts at its potential, I think it opens up the defense. Usually it’s the opposite way around but with how special the O is and how good of a DC McDermont is, this team really is elite when they can put it all together. Josh Allen returned to MVP form with a 415-yard, 3 TD performance while tacking on another on the ground. Playing in Buffalo appears to help out against better teams so eyeing a higher seed is a great motivation for this Buffalo team heading forward who have another tough game against an NFC West opponent this week.

#6: Seattle Seahawks (-3)

Games like this tend to happen when you only rush for 1.8 yards per carry and Wilson has to scramble, dabble, and dazzle for a chance in this game. This was an acceptable loss in terms of the opponent but definitely a surprising one in the way that it happened, and it brings up some serious question marks on how far Seattle can go with this atrocious defense and piss-poor running game. This loss really must fire up Seattle’s next opponent with the division within reach for the Rams this week.

#7: Green Bay Packers (+2)

After getting Dalvined right in the Cook last week, the Packers somewhat avenged last year’s embarrassments to San Fran with a 17-point win themselves. Rodgers was right back on track with a 4 TD performance and got some help through the running game’s relevance returning with Aaron Jones. Davante Adams went off on Thursday with a 10 reception-173 yard- single TD performance that makes him an intriguing prospect for OPOY. Not too much movement for a win that was expected from me.

#8: Tennessee Titans (+3)

What an impressive performance from the Tennessee defense forcing turnovers left and right and constantly harassing Foles in the backfield sacking him 3X on the day and also scoring a TD of their own. Great patience from Vrabel on a day where the offense wasn’t super flashy to continue to grind out tough yards to setup better plays later in the passing game. Tennessee won’t move a whole bunch but really needed that win after falling for last week’s trap game.

#9: Miami Dolphins (+5)

What a game 2 from the Tua era taking down the Cardinals. Can’t say I didn’t see this coming when y’all thought I was crazy putting them at 14 but we saw it again: An offense that didn’t make mistakes, and an opportunistic defense and special teams that made plays when it mattered most. Tua was clutch in every sense of the word on the final 3 drives using his legs to pick up huge first downs and hitting timing routes consistently. That bye week was HUGE for the chemistry and it paid of BIG this week. On the stat sheet Xavien Howard had a rough outing against DeAndre Hopkins but I don’t think he should hang his head too low keeping Nuk out of the endzone and also making big tackles in crunch time. Now its time for the Dolphins to not fall for the freefall Chargers.

#10: Arizona Cardinals (-2)

Murray put together a great game, but the Cardinals specials gave the Dolphins too many chances with missed kicks and fumbles. Kyler definitely gave the Dolphins all the confidence they needed on the first drive with his fumble that was taken back to the house. He cleaned up sharp after that and if Murray continues to score 4 TDs a game this team could cause some real problems come playoff time. The defense was a liability not forcing turnovers and letting a 2nd week QB toss it all over the yard and put up 34 points.

#11: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7)

Anyone else wonder how this game would have gone if JPP gets an INT on the Saints’ opening drive within the 40? He probably wouldn’t have taken it to the house but in a blowout the Bucs could have used any momentum. This huge drop is warranted for a team that got blown out at home to their division rival on primetime and going 1-9 on 3rd, 0/3 on 4th, and not even reaching 200 yards of total offense. The Bucs offense set a record on Sunday night! The record was the least number of rushing attempts in a game with 5 and I’d argue it should be 4 because one was a QB kneel from Gabbert. I know they were down all game, but you can’t become 1-dimensional when you’re QB and receivers are never on the same page for a whole game.

#12: Indianapolis Colts (-7)

This is a tough pill to swallow but even if that isn’t an interception, Rivers was out of his mind to throw that pass and after the Ravens came out ready to go in the 2nd half on O this was a whole new ballgame. The O just couldn’t stay on the field going an abysmal 2/12 on 3rd down conversions (usually because they had so far to go on 3rd). Taylor’s fumble looms large in this game in particular but then when Indy gave more carries to Wilkins he just wasn’t as effective. They need to trust the process and get Taylor used to making plays when called upon to go further. This is a harsh drop, but they have a chance to climb right back up with Tennessee on the horizon. That game could also be a nail in the coffin.

#13: Las Vegas Raiders (-1)

100 of Carr’s 165 yards came on 3 throws and both of his TDs belong in the same group. He stepped up when Vegas needed him most and delivered the Raiders the biggest plays of their day to put them up 2 scores in the 3rd. This was a huge win within the division to put a nail in the Chargers’ coffin this season and put themselves in a reasonable spot at the midway point in the season to make the playoffs for the first time in the Gruden (2) era. The small drop has less to do with the Raiders and more to do with Miami’s surge (also circle week 16 for the Miami vs Vegas matchup that could determine the 7 seed.

#14: Los Angeles Rams (-1)

Small drop for the Rams but really they should be happy that everyone in the NFC West lost during their bye week along with the Bears and the Bucs they have a great chance to capture a high-seed spot with Seattle coming off of their loss to Buffalo and reclaim a place in the top 10 potentially.

#15: Philadelphia Eagles (+0)

Watching Washington lose was good news for Philly during their bye week and they have a chance to essentially clinch the division just past the halfway point with a win against the Giants. Hopefully they welcome back some injured players and they come out the gate a lot stronger.

#16: Cleveland Browns (+0)

Not the best news for Cleveland watching Vegas win this week but it worked out with the Colts losing. The Browns are in charge of their fate facing off against the terrible Texans this upcoming week. Chubb is really close to coming back and his return could really help Cleveland down the stretch but if I were the Browns, I’d make sure Chubb is ready for a real workload and not just throw him in there.

#17: Minnesota Vikings (+11)

Dalvin cook almost averaged 10 yards per carry and tacked on another 46 through the air in a bid to claw the Vikings back to relevancy with their 2nd win in a row and 200 more yards to his name. When Cook is rolling, Cousins can ball out as well and he did with another 3 TD and no INT performance. The glaring weakness of Minnesota on a day where the offense was rolling and the defense was forcing turnovers left and right was the special teams unit who got 2 punts blocked setting up Detroit in the RedZone TWICE and missing a PAT with a bad snap/hold. Gotta clean that up against other teams like Chicago coming up.

#18: Atlanta Falcons (+7)

Atlanta struck early and often against a banged-up Broncos team scoring early and often before coasting. Coach Morris has successfully not blown 3 leads for Atlanta and it has to be hard as an Atlanta fan to wonder if he was calling shots in the beginning how it might have been different. They can dwell on that more after the bye week as they get Calvin Ridley healthy and become even more dangerous again after the break.

#19: Chicago Bears (-2)

The plummet continues for a Bears team who just doesn’t show enough creativity on offense to get going. It’s hard to win football games when you ask Nick Foles to throw the ball 52 times. I had a feeling that Chicago was the imposter this whole time and this ranking doesn’t hide it as they fall more and more into obscurity in a crowded NFC conference. Roquan Smith continues to shine with an 11-tackle performance and a sack on the day with 2 TFL.

#20: San Francisco 49ers (-3)

The poor get poorer in this league and the 49ers beaten, battered and bruised at least tried to put up a fight. Richie James was the lone bright spot trying to make up for Aiyuk and Samuel’s absence. James caught 9 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown and that’s basically the end of the good news for the Niners whose schedule is really tough down the stretch as their opponents have a combined 33-25 record that includes the Saints, Bills, and the rest of their division one time apiece.

#21: Denver Broncos (-2)

Injuries and another slow start were too much for the Broncos this week with both of their starting Corners out and their 2nd string d-line in, Atlanta had a heyday in the 1st half blowing the game wide open and forcing the offense. The run game was struggling and ended you can tell it was a rough day when Lock ended up being the leading rusher in yards with 47 and the only runner to score. In bright news, Lock scored 3 TDs and rookies Hamler and Jeudy combined for 200 yards and a score! Big chance to play spoiler against the Raiders this weekend.

#22: Detroit Lions (-2)

Definitely going to see a Detroit Drop when losing hard and uninspiringly on both sides of the ball not named Special Teams. Stafford threw 2 terrible interceptions when in scoring distance that really changes how this game could have went and the Patricia-defense had no remedies for Dalvin Cook. They at least have a chance to avenge this embarrassing loss against a hapless Washington team.

#23: Cincinnati Bengals (+0)

More throws, more throws, and more throws is the answer to continue the Bengals’ success heading into the break. I don’t mean game plan-wise, but I mean continuing to develop Burrow’s chemistry that finally looked to be clicking on all gears against the Titans. Getting Joe Mixon back will be huge if he can play against Pittsburgh and I know Zac Taylor would love to swipe one from underneath Pittsburg’s feet.

#24: Carolina Panthers (-2)

Crazy how the Panthers go 100% on 4th down conversions when CMC is back in the lineup (it also doesn’t hurt when your punter shows great patience throwing the ball on fakes). Teddy Bridgewater continues to impress me week in and week out playing with more guts than anyone else on the gridiron on any given day. Carolina really likes their kicker and I respect that, but you can’t ask this guy to kick big 60+ yarders every week to win football games. The Panthers already look like their season is over and it definitely will be if they lose to the Bucs on Sunday.

#25: Houston Texans (+1)

If it weren’t for big plays the Texans would be in the deep end but Fuller and Cooks lived up to their (peak) names with both nabbing a 77-yard and 57-yard touchdown (respectively). The defense continued to struggle against a backup Jags quarterback and as each game is played, I’m thinking its time to blow up the whole operation in Houston and start over if they don’t want to lose Deshaun Watson’s prime years.

#26: New England Patriots (+1)

Cam Newton threw for over 200 yards for just the 2nd time this season and started 10/10 on passing attempts while not turning the ball over once for the first-time week 1 and added 1 more 4th Quarter comeback to his resume. This was a must win game for the Pats and was a continuation of the trend where they are undefeated when winning the TO battle and boy did J.C. Jackson force a turnover at the best time. At the same time their marginal gain is due to the fact that they’re supposed to beat the Jets.

#27: New York Giants (+3)

The Giants’ trades and free agency spending balled out today with Jabril Peppers getting an INT and recovering a fumble (trade aspect) while Blake Martinez and Logan Ryan both ended up with a pic apiece. This doesn’t even include the last fumble recovery. The Giants defense surged when they needed to most and the offense found a way to never make plays of their own if the defense didn’t set them up perfectly. Must-win against the Eagles to be taken even moderately seriously.

#28: Washington Football Team (-7)

What a bad game to lose when they really had a chance to compete for the division. Alex Smith showed his physical and mental rust throwing some bad INTs when the pressure was dialed up. It’s terribly hard when you lose the turnover battler 5-0 to even compete in a game (like Washington did) but nearly impossible to win (as they didn’t).

#29: Los Angeles Chargers (-1)

AJ Hill’s muffed punt reflects this LA team’s season. They make a huge stop to give themselves a chance and then hand Vegas 3 free points. I’m not the happiest Denver fan out there but at least I don’t have to put up with the Chargers’ antics week in and week out. I’m very puzzled throwing it to Parham with the game on the line when Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Hunter Henry are all on this football team. The end is near for LA’s coach :/

#30: Dallas Cowboys (-1)

The special teams’ play was huge, and the coordinator might be the best coach on the staff in Dallas after 2 of his plays set up potential scoring drives. The defense stepped up this week but left lots of turnovers on the field with easily 2 dropped pics on the day. The Cowboys NEED to play just like this for the rest of the season for a chance at the playoffs.

#31: Jacksonville Jaguars (+0)

I found it interesting that this Jags team was just as competitive with Luton in at QB as they normally are with Gardner Minshew… Just going to leave that here. Tough day for Henderson who got burnt pretty good by Will Fuller. This is arguably his biggest test to come back from mentally.

#32: New York Jets (+0)

Flacco looked way more comfortable running the Jets offense than Darnold has all year and was dropping some serious dimes. He was way too ambitious pushing it downfield when he got intercepted by J.C. Jackson. Coaching rears its head in the 4th quarter as the Jets descend to 0-9 when they touch the Pats’ WR with 3 seconds left where if they don’t touch the receiver, the game goes to OT and they lose with inferior coaching later.

Written by Rex Hime