This was another interesting weekend of football as the playoff picture is starting to shape up and there are going to be some really good races down the stretch of this season. The Cowboys looked really good again for the longest winning streak in the history of that historic franchise. The Packers looked really bad again and dropped seven spots as they have gotten blown out two weeks in a row and need to find something to turn their fortunes very soon. The biggest jump of the week went to the Colts with their big win against the Titans, but with a short week and a potential loss of Andrew Luck, can they keep the momentum up. There is another good slate of games this week, especially on Thanksgiving when all six teams have a decent chance at making the playoffs.
1. Dallas Cowboys (9-1; Prev. 1)
The Dallas Cowboys had a rough time in the first half, but they were able to grind it out and get a big win. The most impressive thing in this game against the Ravens was Dez Bryant. He had his biggest game of the season and really looked like he did two years ago. He only had 80 yards, but there were some very difficult catches and his ability to make a play after was very impressive. Ezekiel Elliott had to fight for most of the game, but was still able to get 97 yards on the ground against the best run defense in the NFL. They have a tough game this week as they take on the Redskins in a Thanksgiving matchup.
2. Oakland Raiders (8-2; Prev. 2)
The Oakland Raiders won a big game against the Houston Texans in Mexico City with a big fourth quarter comeback. Derek Carr looked really good, throwing 295 yards, three touchdowns and only one interception. The Raiders only had a total of 30 yards rushing, but they didn’t need any more against the Texans. Their defense gave up 124 yards on the ground and let Brock Osweiler have probably his best game of the season, but they were able to hold on for the victory. This week the Raiders are taking on the Carolina Panthers in Oakland.
3. New England Patriots (8-2; Prev. 3)
The Patriots were able to bounce back and get a big win against a bad 49ers team. Tom Brady completed 60 percent of his passes for 280 yards and four touchdowns to four different receivers. The fact that Rob Gronkowski did not play didn’t hinder the Patriots offense at all. LeGarrette Blount was able to rush for 124 yards on nineteen carries. He didn’t get any touchdowns, but he really didn’t need to. Their defense played better as well, holding Carlos Hyde to 86 yards on 19 carries and only gave up two touchdowns throughout the game. They have a big divisional game this week when they visit the New York Jets.
4. Seattle Seahawks (7-2-1; Prev. 5)
The Seattle Seahawks won another big game, this time against the Philadelphia Eagles. Russell Wilson looks better and better each week and they were able to beat one of the best defenses in the NFL. He was able to throw for 272 yards and a touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham and a touchdown reception from Doug Baldwin. CJ Prosise had 76 yards on the ground with a touchdown before he went down with an injury. Thomas Rawls looked good, but he got banged up as well. That should be the one concern for the Seahawks because their running game is very valuable to them. This week they are going to Tampa Bay for another big NFC game.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (7-3; Prev. 4)
The Kansas City Chiefs lost a close game on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Alex Smith didn’t have a great game, throwing for 261 yards and a touchdown, but also threw an interception. They were only able to run the ball for 82 yards and a touchdown and should have run the ball a little bit more. They were averaging 3.9 yards per carry, but only ran it 21 times. Their defense had a tough time containing Jameis Winston and were only able to force one turnover. This week, they are going to Denver to face the Broncos in a battle for second place in the AFC West.
6. Denver Broncos (7-3; Prev. 6)
The Broncos had a good bye in the sense of Kansas City losing, but had a bad one in the sense of the Raiders winning. They are a game behind the lead and they need to play better on offense in these last six games if they want to win their division and get a first round bye. They have a tough schedule remaining though, four of the games are against a team with at least seven wins so far this season, including a game against the Chiefs this week.
7. New York Giants (7-3; Prev. 9)
The Giants had a tough time with the Bears on Sunday. They gave up sixteen points in the first half, but shut them out in the second half. The impressive thing that the Giants did was rush for a combined 102 yards and a touchdown. They have had troubles running the football and if they can do that consistently, then the Giants could be even harder to beat. Eli Manning threw for 227 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. They need to keep rolling on offense to try and catch up to the Dallas Cowboys. They are visiting Cleveland this week in a game that they should win.
8. Detroit Lions (6-4; Prev. 10)
The Detroit Lions were able to win a good game against the Jaguars, thanks to their defense and special teams. It was good to see given the fact that most of their wins are because of their offense. Matthew Stafford threw for 278 yards, no touchdowns, but had no interceptions. Their running backs combined for fourteen yards and Eric Ebron had a one-yard touchdown rush. The Lions are still in first place, but they need to win this week against the Vikings in a Thanksgiving matchup for first place.
9. Atlanta Falcons (6-4; Prev. 7)
The Falcons had a rough bye week this week because the Buccaneers were able to beat the Chiefs and come within a game of the Falcons. The Falcons needed the bye though because they had lost three of their last five games and needed to refocus. They have the Cardinals coming to town this week in a game that the Falcons should win.
10. Houston Texans (6-4; Prev. 8)
The Houston Texans had a tough game against the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City. Brock Osweiler didn’t have a terrible game, he threw for 243 yards, a touchdown and only one interception. Lamar Miller was able to rush for 104 yards and a touchdown, but the Texans couldn’t keep it up for all four quarters. Their defense looked good in the first three quarters of this game, but gave up two big touchdowns at the end game to lose the game. Houston is now just a game above the Colts and this week they are taking on the Chargers in Houston in a must win game for the Texans.
11. Washington Redskins (6-3-1; Prev. 12)
The Washington Redskins got their biggest win of the season against the Green Bay Packers. Kirk Cousins had a huge game, throwing for 375 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Rob Kelley was able to rush for 137 yards and three touchdowns of his own. Their defense did a good enough job because of their offense, but if they play that way consistently, then they might have some trouble. They have a tough game this week as they travel to Dallas for a big NFC East Thanksgiving game.
12. Minnesota Vikings (6-4; Prev. 14)
The Vikings finally won a game after losing four straight. Their defense showed the dominance that they had earlier this season that had them on top of their division for so long. Xavier Rhodes had a 100-yard interception for a touchdown and Cordarrelle Patterson had a 104-yard kick return for a touchdown. Sam Bradford completed for 71 percent of his passes for 169 yards, a touchdown and didn’t throw an interception. They had a combined 72 rushing yards and a touchdown. They are travelling to Detroit for a big NFC North game on Thanksgiving.
13. Baltimore Ravens (5-5; Prev. 13)
The Ravens played a tough game on Sunday against one of the best teams in the league. In the first half, the Ravens looked like they could win the game, but the second half killed them. They were able to restrict Ezekiel Elliott in a way that no one else has been able to do since week one. Steve Smith played really well and was fighting the entire game. Joe Flacco didn’t have a bad game, throwing for 269 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions, but it wasn’t enough to win the game. This week the Ravens are welcoming the Bengals to town this week and they need the win as they are now tied with the Steelers for first place in the division.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5; Prev. 17)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played a pretty good game against the Kansas City Chiefs and are now only a game behind the Atlanta Falcons. Jameis Winston was able to throw for 331 yards and a touchdown. Doug Martin looked good for his first game as the main running back since week two. He only rushed for 63 yards, but he also caught three passes for 42 yards. Their defense was able to force two turnovers and lead this team to a big win. They have a tough game this week as the Seahawks are coming to Tampa Bay.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (5-5; Prev. 11)
The Philadelphia Eagles lost a big game against the Seattle Seahawks and are now four games behind the Dallas Cowboys for the division lead and are a game and a half behind the Washington Redskins for the second wildcard spot. Carson Wentz didn’t have a good game against the Seahawks. He threw for two touchdowns, but only 218 yards and two interceptions. Their rushing attack was able to get 113 combined yards, but that was thanks to Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews going down with injuries. They had a hard time containing Russell Wilson and Jimmy Graham and need to turn things around to get back into playoff contention. They should be able to do that this week as the Green Bay Packers are coming to town for a Monday night matchup.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5; Prev. 15)
The Pittsburgh Steelers won against the Browns in a game that wasn’t really close. Their defense only gave up nine points and held the Browns out of Pittsburgh territory for the entire first half of the game. Le’Veon Bell rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown and could have had an even bigger game if they really wanted to. Ben Roethlisberger only threw for 167 yards and no touchdowns, but he didn’t need to have a big game. This week, they are travelling to Indianapolis for a big Thanksgiving game between two AFC contenders.
17. Miami Dolphins (6-4; Prev. 19)
The Dolphins have won their fifth straight game and are now one game behind both wildcard spots. Their defense held the Rams to ten points and didn’t let Jared Goff have a very good first game. Ryan Tannehill only threw for 172 yards, two touchdowns, but had an interception as well. Jay Ajayi had a bit of a down day, running for 77 yards and no touchdowns, but given the fact that the Rams defensive line is really good, it is understandable. They have the 49ers coming to town this week and they should be able to pull out the victory to continue their win streak.
18. San Diego Chargers (4-6; Prev. 21)
The San Diego Chargers had a bye this week and two of the three teams ahead of them won. They are now four games back from the leading Oakland Raiders and three games behind the Broncos and Chiefs. It is going to be hard for them to make the playoffs and probably need to win all six of their remaining games starting this week against the Texans in Houston.
19. Buffalo Bills (5-5; Prev. 22)
The Buffalo Bills won a close game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Tyrod Taylor threw for only 166 yards and an interception, but given their offensive weapons, that isn’t too surprising. They were able to rush for a combined 183 yards and a touchdown, so they really didn’t need to throw the football, given how good they were running it. Their defense was also able to force two interceptions and need to keep playing well if they want to pull an upset and sneak into the playoffs. They should be able to get another win this week as the Jaguars are coming to Buffalo.
20. Indianapolis Colts (5-5; Prev. 24)
The Indianapolis Colts were able to get a much needed win against their division rivals, the Tennessee Titans, but at a cost. Andrew Luck was placed under concussion protocol and if he misses any time, that could be devastating for a team that is only a game out of first place in the AFC South. He had a decent game on Sunday against the Titans, completing 54 percent of his passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns. Their defense did a good job containing the Tennessee run game in check, only allowing 70 yards to DeMarco Murray and if they had played like that all season, they might be in a better position. They have a tough game this week as the Steelers are coming to town for Thanksgiving, but if Scott Tolzien is starting, it might not be a good game for the Colts.
21. Arizona Cardinals (4-5-1; Prev. 18)
The Cardinals lost another game and are now three games behind the Seahawks and two games behind the Redskins for a wildcard spot. They are not playing good on either side of the ball, with the exception of David Johnson. Johnson was able to rush for 103 yards and a touchdown and was the only bright spot of their offense. Carson Palmer was able to throw for 198 yards and had two touchdowns, but also had two interceptions, one was returned for a touchdown. Their defense did a pretty good job against the Vikings, but it wasn’t enough, thanks to their offense. They have a tough game this week as they go to Atlanta for a game with the Falcons.
22. Tennessee Titans (5-6; Prev. 20)
The Titans lost a must win game against the Colts and have to do a lot in order to make the playoffs now. This game looked really ugly early as the Colts scored 21 points in the first 21 minutes of the game and the Titans couldn’t score at all in that period. They were able to get two touchdowns in the game, both passes from Marcus Mariota, but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback. DeMarco Murray had a bad game by his standards, only rushing for 70 yards, but he was able to catch three passes for nine yards and a touchdown as well. Their defense was able to force an interception and sack Andrew Luck twice, but that was about it. Next up, they are travelling to Chicago for a game that they need to win and should win.
23. Green Bay Packers (4-6; Prev. 16)
The Green Bay Packers lost another game on Sunday and it wasn’t even close. They have now lost five of their last six games and it doesn’t look like this team will be able to turn their season around. Aaron Rodgers was able to throw for 351 yards and three touchdowns and was the leading rusher for this team with 33 yards. Their defense couldn’t do anything, giving up three passing touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns. They still have a chance for the playoffs, but with how they are playing, it is hard to imagine them making it. This week they have another tough game as they go to Philadelphia for a big NFC game.
24. Carolina Panthers (4-6; Prev. 26)
The Carolina Panthers won a must win game last Thursday against the New Orleans Saints. They didn’t have a big game offensively, but were still able to get the win. Cam Newton only threw for 192 yards and a touchdown and they only had 50 rushing yards and another touchdown. Their defense let the Saints almost comeback and win, but held on and were able to close the game out. The loss of all-pro linebacker Luke Kuechly might be hard for this team to overcome, especially if he is out more than a game. They have a tough game this week when they go to Oakland to face a team that has only lost two games so far this season.
25. New Orleans Saints (4-6; Prev. 23)
The New Orleans Saints lost a close game against the Carolina Panther in a game that they needed to win, especially with the Falcons on a bye. Drew Brees didn’t have a bad game, throwing for 285 yards, two touchdowns and only one interception, but also had a fumble. Their running game combined for 107 yards, but didn’t have any touchdowns. Most of their offensive production came in a failed fourth quarter comeback. Defensively, they held the Panthers offense in check, giving up only 192 passing yards and fifty rushing yards, but gave up two touchdowns. They have the Rams coming to town this week in a game that they must win or their playoff hopes will pretty much be gone.
26. Cincinnati Bengals (3-6-1; Prev. 25)
The Cincinnati Bengals have lost another game, this time against the Buffalo Bills and haven’t won a game since October 23rd against the Browns. They only have one game left against a team with a losing record and it looks like they lost their best player, AJ Green, potentially for the season. Andy Dalton was able to throw for 207 yards and a touchdown, but also had two interceptions. They did have 93 yards on the ground, but they also lost Giovani Bernard for the season with a torn ACL. The Bengals are visiting the Bengals this week in a tough game, given the injuries that the Bengals have had this week.
27. Los Angeles Rams (4-6; Prev. 27)
The debut for Jared Goff wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t as wonderful as Dak Prescott or Carson Wentz. He completed 55 percent of his passes for 134 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Todd Gurley had one of his better games in the season, rushing 20 times for 76 yards and a touchdown. They need to get him going more, but it might be too late at this point. Their defense did a decent job, holding Jay Ajayi to 77 yards, but they need to play better with their offense. The Rams are going to New Orleans this week to face the Saints.
28. New York Jets (3-7; Prev. 28)
The Jets were on a bye this week and with the Patriots and Dolphins winning, it is nearly impossible for the Jets to make a comeback. There are still some things for this team to show, especially on offense. They have a tough game this week as they take on the New England Patriots.
29. Chicago Bears (2-8; Prev. 29)
The Chicago Bears had a good first half on Sunday against the Giants, but they ultimately allowed the Giants to make a comeback. Jay Cutler completed 57 percent of his passes for 252 yards, a touchdown, but had an interception as well. Jordan Howard was able to rush for 77 yards on 17 carries and should give some Bears fans hope. Their defense held the Giants to nine points in the first half, but gave up two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. This team has had a lot of bad luck this season and will have a lot to do in the offseason if they want to be relevant anytime soon.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8; Prev. 30)
The Jacksonville Jaguars lost another game this week, this time against the Detroit Lions. Blake Bortles is in the midst of his worst season as a pro and this past week wasn’t that much different. Bortles threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns, but had two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. TJ Yeldon injured his ankle and has had a bad season to this point either way. Their defense actually did a pretty good job because half of the Lions points came off of an interception return and a punt return, both for touchdowns. They are visiting the Buffalo Bills this week.
31. San Francisco 49ers (1-9; Prev. 31)
The 49ers played a tough game against one of the best teams in the NFL and lost. They didn’t have enough on defense to stop Tom Brady and their offensive attack. Their running game did an ok job, combined for 122 yards on 27 carries throughout the game and Colin Kaepernick was able to throw for 206 yards and two touchdowns. They didn’t have any turnovers on either side of the ball which is good for their offense, but bad for their defense. Although their offense was able to score two touchdowns, they would have really benefited from having a shorter field once or twice throughout the game. The 49ers are going to Miami next week for a game with another good AFC East team.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-11; Prev. 32)
The Browns are now winless through eleven weeks of the season and it doesn’t look like they will get a win anytime soon. They were unable to get into Pittsburgh territory until three minutes into the third quarter. Cody Kessler got knocked out with another concussion and the team as a whole looks really bad. They should have two top 20 picks in this upcoming draft and they need to do a good job at rebuilding unless they want this to happen again next season. This week, they are welcoming the Giants to town and it is unlikely that the Browns will get their first win in that game.
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