There is a new number one team thanks to the Seahawks winning against the Patriots on Sunday. This was probably the most exciting weekend of football all season. Tennessee made the biggest jump in the rankings because of how they dominated the Green Bay Packers. The biggest drop was the Minnesota Vikings after their fourth straight loss. It is about to get a lot more interesting as this season enters the home stretch and there are a lot of teams in the middle of the pack.
1. Dallas Cowboys (8-1; Prev. 2)
Ezekiel Elliott is really good. He was able to torch the Pittsburgh Steelers for a total of 209 yards and three touchdowns combined through the air and the ground. It isn’t even the stats that are the impressive part, it is how he gets them. Against the Steelers, anytime it seemed like the they had him down, he would get an extra three or four yards out of the play. That is the difference between an elite runner and a good one. Dak Prescott had his best performance of the season, as well as Dez Bryant. This offense seems like it still hasn’t hit its potential yet and that should scare the rest of the league. They have a good Baltimore team coming to town this week in what should be one of the better games of the weekend.
2. Oakland Raiders (7-2; Prev. 3)
The Raiders didn’t have the greatest bye week because the Broncos and the Chiefs both won their games, keeping the AFC West battle tight. With New England’s loss though, there is a chance for the Raiders to make their claim at the number one spot in the AFC. This week, they have a big AFC matchup with the Houston Texans in Mexico City.
3. New England Patriots (7-2; Prev. 1)
The New England Patriots lost their second game of the season in one of the best games so far this season. Tom Brady had his worst game of the season, throwing for 316 yards, no touchdowns and his first interception of the season. LeGarrette Blount rushed for 69 yards and three touchdowns against one of the better defenses in the league. Dion Lewis looks like he should be ready to go soon and will give Brady another weapon out of the backfield. The troubling part of this team is the defense. if they don’t figure out their defensive woes, then they will have a lot of problems with good offensive teams like Oakland. They have a good chance to bounce back this week as they visit the 49ers.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (6-2; Prev. 5)
The Kansas City Chiefs won a big game against the Carolina Panthers on a last minute field goal to go up by three points. Their offense wasn’t that good, only getting a combined 256 yards and no touchdowns against the Panthers. Their defense was the reason they won this game, especially Eric Berry with his 42- yard interception that he returned for a touchdown. This win has caused them to take the lead in the AFC West because of Oakland’s bye week. They have a game this week with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a game that could be troubling for the Chiefs if they can’t score on offense.
5. Seattle Seahawks (6-2-1; Prev. 7)
The Seahawks made the playoff picture look a lot more interesting on Sunday when they beat the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Russell Wilson looked better than he had at any other point this season. He was able to throw for 348 yards and three touchdowns, all to Doug Baldwin. CJ Prosise had the best game of his rookie year rushing for 66 yards and making seven catches for 87 yards. The key of this game was the Seattle defense able to slow down Tom Brady, something that seemed impossible to do so far this season. If they keep this up, then the rest of the NFC should be on notice. They have a big NFC defensive battle this week as the Eagles come to Seattle.
6. Denver Broncos (7-3; Prev. 6)
The Denver Broncos were very fortunate on Sunday when they were able to block the extra point from New Orleans and take it back for two points to win the game. The Broncos should be concerned about their offensive unit. They were able to get two offensive touchdowns, but they also turned the ball over twice. Their defense did a good job holding down a good Saints offense. Drew Brees was able to throw three touchdowns against them, but they were able to force four turnovers as well. Their defense needs to keep playing well because it doesn’t look like their offense is going to win a lot of games for this team. The Denver Broncos are on a bye week this week and need some teams to lose so they can try to win their division.
7. Atlanta Falcons (6-4; Prev. 4)
The Atlanta Falcons lost an important game against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Matt Ryan only completed 55 percent of his passes for 267 yards and a touchdown, but also threw an interception. Devonta Freeman only had 49 yards in the game and couldn’t get in the endzone as well. Julio Jones had 135 yards receiving, but he can’t be the only player on the team to do anything. Vic Beasley had a good game on defense, getting two sacks, but the defense as a whole gave up 109 yards and two touchdowns to Ryan Mathews. If they don’t have control of the ball for most of the game, then it is hard for this team to win. The Falcons have a bye week this week and have New Orleans and Tampa Bay right behind them.
8. Houston Texans (6-3; Prev. 9)
The Houston Texans were able to get a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. The Texans were leading for this entire game and they held off the Jaguars from making a comeback at the end. They didn’t have a great game in the air, statistically. Brock Osweiler had two touchdowns and no interceptions, but only threw for 99 yards. On the ground, they combined for 181 yards and weren’t able to score in that way. Their defense was able to force two turnovers to help this team get the win. The Texans are facing the Raiders this week in Mexico City.
9. New York Giants (6-3; Prev. 10)
The New York Giants won a big game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday. Odell Beckham Jr. had a big game catching x passé for 97 yards and a touchdown. Eli Manning threw two interceptions, but also threw three touchdowns to balance that out a bit. The Giants defense was able to force a turnover as well when Landon Collins picked off Andy Dalton in the fourth quarter. The Giants are in good position in the NFC and have a few favorable matchups coming up soon. This week they are welcoming the Chicago Bears to town in a game that the Giants should win.
10. Detroit Lions (5-4; Prev. 11)
The Lions had the best bye week that they could have had. All three other teams in their division lost and the Lions are now the division leaders with their tiebreaker over the Vikings. Going into the second half of their schedule, they are going to face only three teams that have a winning record at the moment. They have a favorable matchup this week as the Jaguars come to Detroit.
11. Philadelphia Eagles (5-4; Prev. 13)
The Eagles got a big NFC win on Sunday when they beat the Atlanta Falcons. Their defense did an incredible job holding down one of the better offenses in the NFL. Matt Ryan was only able to complete 54.5 percent of his passes, the lowest he has had all season by nearly 10 percent. They also held Devonta Freeman to 49 yards and didn’t let him score any touchdowns. Meanwhile, Ryan Mathews had his biggest game as an Eagle, running for 109 yards and two touchdowns, taking some of the pressure off of Carson Wentz. They need to keep playing at this level because the rest of their division won as well and they are still in last place in that division. The Eagles have another tough NFC game this week as they travel to Seattle team that has been really good lately.
12. Washington Redskins (5-3-1; Prev. 15)
The Washington Redskins were able to get a big win against the Vikings on Sunday to stay in their wildcard slot. Kirk Cousins had a good game, completing two thirds of his passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns. Chris Thompson had a fumble, but they were still able to combine for 128 rushing yards against a good defense. The Redskins defense allowed Sam Bradford to have a good game, but they were able to hold on for the win. The Redskins are facing off with the Packers this week in another big game for the NFC.
13. Baltimore Ravens (5-4; Prev. 17)
The Baltimore Ravens were able to win big against the Browns on Thursday. They were able to score three touchdowns on offense, but gave up two interceptions to a poor Browns defense. Joe Flacco can’t do that when he is facing a team that can make the Ravens pay for his mistakes. Fortunately, their defense was able to get two interceptions of their own and hold the Browns to seven points. The Ravens have a tough game this week as they are visiting the Dallas Cowboys.
14. Minnesota Vikings (5-4; Prev. 8)
The Vikings have lost their fourth straight game and it is hard to imagine them bouncing back with how they have played offensively. They have averaged fourteen points per game since their bye and they only faced one good defense in that time. Sam Bradford had his best statistical game of the season throwing for 307 yards and two touchdowns, but they couldn’t run the football. They had a combined 47 yards on the ground between five players and could only average 2.2 yards per carry. They are now in second place in their division thanks to their loss to the Lions. They have the Cardinals coming to town for a must win game for both teams.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-5; Prev. 14)
The Pittsburgh Steelers played really well in their loss on Sunday to the Dallas Cowboys. Ben Roethlisberger looked much better than he did last week. Le’Veon Bell was running the ball really well, but they didn’t give him the ball as much as they should have. Antonio Brown did things that only he could do, but the rest of the receivers were unable to make plays. The problem was their inability to stop Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas running attack. They have a more favorable matchup this week when they travel to Cleveland to take on the winless Browns.
16. Green Bay Packers (4-5; Prev. 12)
Green Bay looked really bad on Sunday. They were given great field position at the beginning of the game when the Titans failed to convert an onside kick on the opening kickoff, but the Packers couldn’t score. They were then beat up by DeMarco Murray and Delanie Walker for the first half of the game. By halftime, the Packers had given up 35 points by the half and the game was pretty much over at that point. Aaron Rodgers looked good at times, but missed a lot and should be concerning to Packers fans. Their inability to run the ball is really troubling and is something they need to address in the offseason. Luckily for the Packers, the Vikings lost as well so they are only a game behind the division lead. The Packers are going to Washington this week in what should be another high scoring game.
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5; Prev. 19)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took advantage of a Chicago team that isn’t very good. Jameis Winston had a really good game, completing almost 70 percent of his passes for 312 yards and two touchdowns, but had one interception. They rushed for a combined 80 yards and Doug Martin had a touchdown to completely shut down the game in the fourth quarter. Their defense had a good game returning an interception for a touchdown and getting a safety at the end of the third quarter. They have a tough game this week as they travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs.
18. Arizona Cardinals (4-4-1; Prev. 20)
The Arizona Cardinals were able to win a close game against the San Francisco 49ers. Carson Palmer threw for 376 yards and a touchdown, but also had two interceptions and a fumble. David Johnson had a combined 101 yards and two combined touchdowns. If they want to make the playoffs, then they need to keep giving the ball to Johnson and take the pressure off of Palmer. Their defense could only force one turnover and need to do a better job of that if Palmer keeps giving the ball to the other team. They have an important NFC game this week when the visit the Vikings.
19. Miami Dolphins (5-4; Prev. 23)
The Dolphins just keep winning and seem like a team that might be hard to stop down the stretch. Ryan Tannehill didn’t have a huge game, throwing for 240 yards and two touchdowns, but he didn’t have any turnovers. It looks like he is getting more comfortable in Adam Gase’s system and is playing better than he has since he has been in the league. Jay Ajayi only had 79 yards, but the Dolphins were playing from behind for most of the game. the biggest part of this game for the Dolphins was the four turnovers that were caused in the game. The Dolphins look like they are going to push for the playoffs and need to keep winning to contend with the AFC West teams. The Dolphins are travelling to Los Angeles this week to face off with the Rams.
20. Tennessee Titans (5-5; Prev. 25)
The Tennessee Titans made a statement on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. DeMarco Murray looks like a better running back than he was even in Dallas. He was able to do whatever he wanted to do against the Packers including a pass from him to Delanie Walker for a ten-yard touchdown. Walker had a huge game too, finishing with nine catches for 124 yards and a touchdown. If he can become a more consistent weapon for Marcus Mariota, then this team could make a run for the playoffs. The only concerning thing for the Titans is that the Texans won again so the Titans are now a game and a half out of first place. The Titans are going to Indianapolis this Sunday in a game that they need to win to keep up with Houston.
21. San Diego Chargers (4-6; Prev. 16)
The San Diego Chargers lost a close game on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. Philip Rivers threw for 326 yards and three touchdowns, but he also threw four interceptions. Melvin Gordon only had 70 yards and averaged 2.9 yards per carry. They need to play better on offense to contend in their tough division. Their defense played decently, forcing a turnover and held Jay Ajayi to his lowest total yards in the last few weeks. They have a bye week this week and need some things to happen so they can stay hopeful for the season.
22. Buffalo Bills (4-5; Prev. 18)
The Bills had a much needed bye week this week and had the misfortune of the Dolphins winning last week. They are now trailing Miami and New England in the standings and the Bills need to come out on fire if they want to save their season. They start this week in Cincinnati when they take on the Bengals.
23. New Orleans Saints (4-5; Prev. 21)
The New Orleans Saints played a good game against a really good defense and ended up losing the game thanks to a block extra point taken back. Drew Brees had a decent game, completing 73 percent of his passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns, but also had three interceptions in the game. They only rushed for 80 yards throughout the game, they need to do better than that to win. Michael Thomas fumbled the ball twice, this team can’t give the ball over four times. Their defense was able to force two turnovers themselves, but gave up two touchdowns to Trevor Siemian. Luckily for them, the Panthers and Falcons both lost so the Saints are still in the mix for the playoffs. They are travelling to Carolina this week in a must win game for both teams.
24. Indianapolis Colts (4-5; Prev. 22)
The Colts had a bye week last week and fell further behind the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans. They need to have a good second stretch of the season as they are only two games behind the Texans and half of a game behind the Titans. That half game can go the other way this week as they are welcoming the Titans to town after Tennessee’s big win against the Packers.
25. Cincinnati Bengals (3-5-1; Prev. 24)
The Cincinnati Bengals lost a close game on Sunday against the New York Giants. AJ Green and Tyler Eifert both looked really good, but that wasn’t enough. Their defense had a hard time containing Odell Beckham Jr. and let him get 97 yards and a touchdown. They were able to force two turnovers, but also gave up three touchdowns throughout the game. The Bengals are facing the Bills this week in a game between two teams that are on the brink of being out of the playoff picture.
26. Carolina Panthers (3-6; Prev. 26)
The Carolina Panthers should have won on Sunday, but they gifted the game to Kansas City instead. Cam Newton had 261 yards and a touchdown through the air and also had 54 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The rest of the running backs only rushed for a combined 45 yards, that is troubling for a team that led for almost the entire game. They need to be able to run out the clock to not let other teams get back into the game. At this point, it seems like the Panthers can’t afford another loss for the rest of the season, or they will be out of the playoffs this season.
27. Los Angeles Rams (4-5; Prev. 27)
The Rams were able to beat a bad Jets team with only nine points. Case Keenum only threw for 165 yards and no touchdowns, but did not throw any interceptions. Todd Gurley only rushed for 64 yards and couldn’t score a touchdown either. At this point, it doesn’t look like Gurley will come close his yard or touchdown total that he had last season. Their defense though, is really good. They gave up a touchdown to Bryce Petty, but that was about it for the day. They forced an interception and only gave up 296 for the entire game. This week, the Rams are facing off against the Dolphins in Los Angeles in what looks like Jared Goff’s first start of his career.
28. New York Jets (3-7; Prev. 28)
The Jets lost their seventh game of the season on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. Neither team could produce ten points and both defenses looked really good because of how bad each team was on offense. Bryce Petty made his first start of his career, completing 59 percent of his passes for 163 yards and a touchdown with an interception. Matt Forte was able to get 98 yards on the ground, but was unable to score any touchdowns. Their defense held the Rams to 280 yards total, but they need to figure out how to play offense soon. They have a bye week this week to hopefully figure out how to win a few more games before the end of the season.
29. Chicago Bears (2-7; Prev. 29)
The Bears got destroyed against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Jay Cutler looked horrible, throwing for 182 yards and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Jordan Howard had 100 yards on the ground and should give Bears fans hope going forward, but they couldn’t stop the Tampa Bay offense. They let Jameis Winston throw for 312 yards and two touchdowns and with those scores, there was no way that the Bears could win. Chicago should be looking towards the future now that the season seems to be over. They are facing off with the Giants at MetLife Stadium.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-7; Prev. 30)
The Jaguars had another bad game on Sunday against the Texans. Blake Bortles had a rough game on Sunday. He had a fumble and an interception to help the Texans win. They were only able to rush for 80 yards as a team. Allen Robinson had one of his biggest games of the season in the loss. He had nine catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, they held Houston to 24 points, but couldn’t cause any turnovers or make any stops when they really needed it. They are travelling to Detroit to face a rested Lions team.
31. San Francisco 49ers (1-8; Prev. 31)
The 49ers came within three points of getting their second win of the season, but they couldn’t complete the comeback at the end. Colin Kaepernick didn’t have a terrible game, throwing for 210 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. He was also able to rush for 55 yards and another touchdown.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-10; Prev. 32)
The Cleveland Browns have six games to not become the second team in history to lose sixteen games in a season. They did not look good at all against the Ravens last Thursday and it is hard to imagine them winning a game this season. They replaced Cody Kessler in the middle of the game with Josh McCown and McCown then threw two interceptions. They had a total of 144 combined yards in the entire game. their defense was able to get two interceptions, but they also gave up three touchdowns to Joe Flacco and the Baltimore offense. They have the Steelers coming to Cleveland this week and it shouldn’t be close.
My name is Sean, I have been a fan of the NFL for at least 25 years and want to get my thoughts out to the public. Please visit the main site for more posts