For the fourth straight week, there’s a new number one team in the NFL. The New England Patriots have held the title for two of those four weeks, and for most of the season overall. The New Orleans Saints held the crown for a week at 7-1, but then had a head-scratching loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
This week I have a new team atop the rankings. They don’t have the least losses in the league: that’s the one-loss Patriots and 49ers. But behind those two teams are four 8-2 teams just as worthy of consideration.
The new number one team has beaten some of the league’s toughest opponents. And when the competition isn’t so great, they often blow them out. This team isn’t perfect, but as we’ve seen, no team is this season. They all have flaws, but at the end of the day if I need a game won in the NFL today, I’m going with this team and this quarterback.
Power Rankings After Week 11
- Baltimore Ravens (8-2) [Last Week: 3]
- While it didn’t come immediately after beating the New England Patriots, the Ravens have slowly ascended to the top spot on the heels of six straight wins. The Texans shouldn’t have been a pushover, but Lamar Jackson and Baltimore’s defense did just that: push Houston over, 41-7. Jackson is the clear front-runner for NFL MVP, and the Ravens are emerging with a real shot to win the Super Bowl.
- New England Patriots (9-1) [Last Week: 1]
- When the Eagles had a 10-0 lead on the Patriots, I saw people crying New England was officially done for. Of course, a 10-point hole is hardly insurmountable for Brady and Belichick. The defense was instrumental in grinding out a 17-10 victory.
- Seattle Seahawks (8-2) [Last Week: 4]
- The Seahawks enjoyed their bye week in a prime 8-2 position. The playoffs shouldn’t be the question for Seattle, just whether they go in as a wildcard or the NFC West winner.
- San Francisco 49ers (9-1) [Last Week: 2]
- A win is a win in the NFL, and the 49ers win their games 90% of the time. But it isn’t always pretty, as for the second time in three weeks the Cardinals were able to give the Niners a bit of a scare. Next up is the toughest three-game stretch this late in a season in NFL history: the Ravens, Saints, and Packers are all on the docket with 8-2 records.
- New Orleans Saints (8-2) [Last Week: 5]
- Drew Brees and the Saints bounced back from an ugly loss to the Falcons to win 34-17 against the Buccaneers. New Orleans is an elite opponent and one of the best teams in the NFL.
- Green Bay Packers (8-2) [Last Week: 6]
- On their bye last week, the Packers stay put at number six. As of right now, I think the Saints are the better of the two NFC powerhouses, but it’s close.
- Minnesota Vikings (8-3) [Last Week: 7]
- I feel like the Vikings haven’t been talked about seriously enough. After a sluggish 2-2 start to the season, Minnesota has went a scorching hot 6-1 since then, with a lone loss to the Chiefs. They haven’t had the stiffest competition, but wins over Dallas, Philadelphia, and Detroit were solid.
- Kansas City Chiefs (7-4) [Last Week: 9]
- The middle of the season was a little messy for Kansas City, but they’re getting back on track. Holding on for a win over the Chargers was huge for not opening up the AFC West race.
- Dallas Cowboys (6-4) [Last Week: 10]
- The Top Six teams on this list are elite, numbers Seven and Eight are just a step behind them. Then, there’s a big drop-off. I wasn’t sure who to put next: the Cowboys, Texans, Colts, or Bills. I went with Dallas, who could realistically beat any team lower than them on this list. But I think they would struggle against every one of the eight teams ahead of them.
- Indianapolis Colts (6-4) [Last Week: 16]
- After playing their first nine games by the outcome of a single score or less, the Colts finally put away an opponent, beating the Jaguars 33-13. For now, it’s enough to excuse back-to-back losses to the Steelers and Dolphins.
- Houston Texans (6-4) [Last Week: 8]
- Knocked out of the top ten this week, the Texans are looking for answers. It’s not just that they lost to the Ravens, they were blown out of the water. Things only get tougher from here, and each remaining AFC South matchup is far from a guarantee.
- Buffalo Bills (7-3) [Last Week: 21]
- Last week, I put the Bills a disrespectfully low #21 in my rankings. A 37-20 win over the Dolphins put them back on track in my eyes, even though it was only the Dolphins. It proved Buffalo can score when given the opportunity, and that’s all I needed to see for now.
- Oakland Raiders (6-4) [Last Week: 13]
- The Raiders had to grind out a 17-10 win over the Bengals, but now, their record is surprisingly decent. They’re currently tied with the Texans for the AFC’s final wildcard spot.
- Los Angeles Rams (6-4) [Last Week: 15]
- The Rams absolutely needed to defeat the Bears on Sunday Night Football, and got the win 17-7. It was far from an awe-inspiring performance, but it was enough to keep the Rams alive for the season’s final stretch. They’ll have to battle with the (49ers or Seahawks,) Vikings, and Panthers for a wildcard spot in a loaded NFC race.
- Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) [Last Week: 14]
- Philadelphia went up 10-0 early on the Patriots, but failed to score again, losing 17-10. It was a tough loss to a good team, but Philadelphia’s tendency to disappear on offense can’t be overlooked.
- Los Angeles Chargers (4-7) [Last Week: 20]
- The Chargers had every chance to flip their season’s script, but blew it in the final seconds of Monday Night Football. They’re not as bad as their record currently suggests, but it looks like the season could be lost.
- Carolina Panthers (5-5) [Last Week: 12]
- The Panthers blowout loss to the 49ers was a reality check. Their tight loss to the Packers felt justified. But now after falling to the Falcons, the Panthers are finding themselves stuck in mediocrity.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5) [Last Week: 11]
- The Steelers were peaking at #11 last week, but got a reality check with a 21-7 loss to the Browns. Pittsburgh did have a few impressive victories, but their five-game win streak came mostly against bottom-feeders, and may have been fool’s gold.
- Tennessee Titans (5-5) [Last Week: 17]
- Don’t count out Ryan Tannehill and the Titans against anyone this season. I can’t believe that’s an actual true sentence. But Tennessee still has a ways to go to make the playoffs this season.
- Cleveland Browns (4-6) [Last Week: 24]
- The Browns beat the Steelers on Thursday night for their second straight win, but it will be interesting to see how the Myles Garrett-Mason Rudolph altercation impacts the team moving forward.
- Chicago Bears (4-6) [Last Week: 18]
- Sunday Night Football may have been Chicago’s last chance to reclaim their season. They likely can’t finish better than 3rd in the NFC North, and my preseason prediction of the Bears representing the NFC in the Super Bowl couldn’t have been more off.
- Atlanta Falcons (3-7) [Last Week: 28]
- The Falcons shoot up the Power Rankings after a pair of impressive wins over the Saints and Panthers. It won’t matter as they’ve already dug themselves in too deep a hole, but I wouldn’t want to have to face them right now.
- Detroit Lions (3-6-1) [Last Week: 19]
- Time and time again, the Lions have fallen short, now going 1-6 in their last seven games. This week was another close loss: 35-27 to the Cowboys, as Detroit’s defense couldn’t contain Dallas’s offensive attack.
- Denver Broncos (3-7) [Last Week: 25]
- The Broncos were up 20-0 on the Vikings, but couldn’t hold on, losing 27-23. Denver isn’t the same pushover of a team it was earlier in the season though.
- Arizona Cardinals (3-6-1) [Last Week: 27]
- The Cardinals fell to the 49ers for the second time in three weeks, but gave them a tough fight both times.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (4-6) [Last Week: 22]
- The streaky Jaguars just suffered their third two-game losing streak of the season. What’s worse is that the losses came to the Texans and Colts, as Jacksonville squandered both chances to join the divisional race.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7) [Last Week: 23]
- Tampa Bay couldn’t put together a decent game against Drew Brees and the Saints, losing 34-17.
- New York Jets (3-7) [Last Week: 29]
- If you take away the games Sam Darnold missed, the Jets season hasn’t been absolutely horrible. But then again, their recent back-to-back wins only came over the Giants and Redskins, so maybe they should be taken with a grain of salt.
- Miami Dolphins (2-8) [Last Week: 26]
- After back-to-back wins over the Jets and Colts, the Dolphins were grounded back to reality with a 37-20 loss to the Bills.
- New York Giants (2-8) [Last Week: 30]
- Losing to the Jets the last time they took the field was like, the fourth or fifth nail in the coffin this season. Next week, New York tries to end it’s six-game losing streak with a possibly winnable game in Chicago.
- Washington Redskins (1-9) [Last Week: 31]
- The Redskins made Sam Darnold look like Joe Namath in a 34-17 home loss to the Jets.
- Cincinnati Bengals (0-10) [Last Week: 32]
- The Bengals fell again this week, but only by 7 points to the Raiders. Will they get a win over their final six games?
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Header Photo Credit: Via New York Post