With another week finished in the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles remained in the top spot of our rankings. But after their blow-out performance in Denver, the New England Patriots are hot on their tails. In addition to the Patriots’ rise, the Saints, Rams, and Seahawks are all vying to be the most dominant team in the league and round out the Top 5.
The biggest surprise of the week is that the San Francisco 49ers finally won a game while the Cleveland Browns remain winless (not so much a surprise there).
The teams in the middle of the rankings continue to shake up weekly with the Denver Broncos falling into 24th on our list. The Los Angeles Chargers had their chance to move up but got beat by their ex-kicker.
The Colts, Jets, 49ers, and Panthers will all get some rest this week as the playoff hunt continues to heat up.
- Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) – The Eagles had a Week 10 Bye, but they are rested and ready for this week’s showdown against the Zeke-less Cowboys. From here on out, Philadelphia has a relatively easy schedule and could lock down the top NFC seed if they can keep playing this way. It will be tough for them as the Vikings, Saints, Rams, Seahawks, and Panthers are within striking distance to overtake the top seed.
- New England Patriots (7-2) – Tom Brady didn’t have to do much against a struggling Denver team, but he did it anyway. In combination with the Broncos many mistakes on defense and special teams, Brady continued to show why he is the G.O.A.T. But something to watch for is how well the Pats’ defense has been of late, as they have allowed 17 points or less in their five-game winning streak.
- New Orleans Saints (7-2) – It’s hard to imagine the Saints winning a game when Drew Brees doesn’t throw a single touchdown pass. But New Orleans won big against the Bills behind a dominant defense and run game. Yes, you read that correctly. The defense held Buffalo to 198 yards on offense and their run game was ridiculous, accounting for 298 yards and 6 TDs.
- Los Angeles Rams (7-2) – Nobody could have predicted that Jared Goff and the Rams would be the highest scoring team in the NFL and have a 7-2 record. Goff went off again Sunday for 355 yards and 3 TDs. He consistently found Robert Woods who caught 8 passes for 171 yards and 2 TDs.
- Seattle Seahawks (6-3) – Once Seattle got the lead last Thursday against the Cardinals, they never looked back. Russell Wilson is starting to play more consistently, but there are some question marks on defense with the season-ending injury to CB Richard Sherman. They are sure to get a test this week with the Falcons coming to town for Monday Night Football.
- Minnesota Vikings (7-2) – The return of Teddy Bridgewater was emotional, but he didn’t see any action against Washington. Instead, he got to watch Case Keenum shred the Redskins. Keenum was 21 for 29 with 304 yards and had a perfect passer rating until he threw 2 INTs in the 2nd half.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2) – The Steelers looked like they were going to blow the game against the Colts on Sunday. But they were able to pull it together in the second half and shatter Indy’s hope of winning. Behind Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh was able to get done field and win on a game-winning FG from Chris Boswell as time expired.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (6-3) – Talk about the ultimate burn. Josh Lambo, who was recently with the Chargers, turned out to be the hero for the Jags Sunday. He didn’t get much play for most of the game, but would finally get his chance late. Lambo kicked the game-tying and the game-winning FG to add to Jacksonville’s already surprising season.
- Carolina Panthers (7-3) – The Panthers are on fire. Cam Newton and company got their seventh win on Monday night behind a potent offensive performance. After missing the playoffs last season, Newton is playing hungry and seeking to return to the Super Bowl.
- Tennessee Titans (6-3) – Marcus Mariota had a great game. He showed leadership and his athletic ability against the Bengals on Sunday. But the Titans must keep winning because the Jaguars are tied with them for the AFC South top spot. It could come down to the season finally when Tennessee host Jacksonville December 31st.
- Kansas City Chiefs (6-3) – Kansas City got some much-needed rest with a Week 10 Bye and now they need to come back focused on locking up the AFC West. The Chiefs have lost 3 of their last 4 games. The good news for them is that they face only one team with a record above .500 for the rest of the season.
- Atlanta Falcons (5-4) – The Falcons started out flat against the Cowboys and surrendered a TD, but from there on they found their game. Matt Ryan had an early slip-up when he threw an INT on their first drive but was on for the rest of the game. Ryan and the Falcons will look to take advantage of the Seahawks Monday night with the absence of Sherman and possible Earl Thomas.
- Detroit Lions (5-4) – The Lions were in panic mode on Sunday when the Cleveland Browns were able to jump out into an early lead in the 1st quarter and 3rd quarter. But behind Matt Stafford, Detroit was able to persevere and close the game out in the 4th quarter. But they’ll need to play hard the next few games as they face the Bears Sunday, and follow that up with a Thursday night showdown against the NFC North-leading Vikings.
- Washington Redskins (4-5) – Washington had their chance to gain some traction in the NFC East but fell short against the Vikings. Kirk Cousins continues to play some good football, but Minnesota was just too much for the Redskins. If Washington wants to make the playoffs, they can start by knocking off the freakishly talented Saints this week.
- Oakland Raiders (4-5) – Oakland got to take a break this week but head into Week 11 action against the red-hot Patriots. It’s not going to be easy as they face a team that has had a defense that has only allowed 17 or less points during their five-game win streak. But if they can somehow pull off the upset, the Raiders could threaten to overtake the AFC West from the Chiefs.
- Buffalo Bills (5-4) – The Bills have been lackluster on offense the past two weeks and are letting the Patriots gain ground on them. Tyrod Taylor was 9 of 18 for 56 yards and an INT before he was replaced. But it doesn’t help when you can’t establish a run game with LeSean McCoy, who only carried the ball 8 times for 49 yards and the team only had 69 yards total. Buffalo’s playoff hopes are slowly slipping away.
- Dallas Cowboys (5-4) – Without Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys may miss the postseason.But Dallas could make a statement if they are able to get it together and shock the Eagles at home this week. If they can win this game and somehow win most of their games after that, they could slide in the playoff with a wildcard. That is if the Eagles don’t have a complete meltdown following their Bye Week.
- Baltimore Ravens (4-5) – Joe Flacco and the Ravens were off for the week and head up to Green Bay on Sunday. Surprisingly, they still have a shot at a playoff spot if they can pull it together going forward. Their toughest battle may be against the Steelers December 10th.
- Los Angeles Chargers (3-6) – Los Angeles was able to go round-for-round with the Jags, but it would be key mistakes that would derail them. They also had plenty of chances to pull away late when Bortles threw 2 late INTs. After Jacksonville tied up the game, Philip Rivers made the biggest mistake he’s made this season, throwing an INT in OT that would all but seal the game for the Jags.
- New York Jets (4-6) – Talk about an ugly game for the Jets. Well, it was just an ugly game all around for them and the Bucs. The Jets were able to only able to score on a FG throughout most of the game. They did finally score a TD with 0:28 left in regulation, but it would be too late to mount a comeback.
- Green Bay Packers (5-4) – The Packers finally won their first game without Aaron Rodgers. It still seems that Coach McCarthy is playing Brent Hundley cautiously, but he was able to show some of his stuff against the Bears. But the Packers odds of making the playoffs are slim, even if Rodgers miraculously comes back before the end of the season.
- Cincinnati Bengals (3-6) – Cincinnati was able to take the lead with about five minutes left in the game on a 70-yard TD pass to A.J. Green. But they blew it as the Titans ate up 4:27 on the clock as they drove down the field and scored to go ahead for good. The Bengals had a pretty good game, but Andy Dalton fumbled twice and Vontaze Burfict was tossed from the game.
- Arizona Cardinals (4-5) – With the exception of the still dominant Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals just didn’t show up in time to get the win against the Seahawks. Running back David Johnson had his cast removed so he will return soon. However, the rest of their schedule isn’t in their favor.
- Denver Broncos (3-6) – To say that the Broncos’ season is disappointing is an understatement. For the first half of the season, it was offensive woes that became apparent. Against the Eagles, it was a poor defensive outing by the former top-ranked defense. Against the Patriots, the Broncos special teams made too many mistakes and New England made them pay. At this point, they would have to win out to make the playoffs.
- Miami Dolphins (4-5) – Miami was thoroughly manhandled by the Panthers on Monday night. The Dolphins have allowed 112 points during their three-game losing streak. Their offense hasn’t been much better and has only scored 38 points during that stretch.
- Indianapolis Colts (3-7) – The Colts were on fire to start the game and maintained a lead all the way until the 4th quarter. But that’s when thing got sour for the team, and they just couldn’t close out the Steelers by finding the endzone late. It makes you wonder how good this team would be if Andrew Luck was healthy.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) – With Jameis Winston out, Ryan Fitzpatrick got a chance to face his old team. It wasn’t a pretty game for him, but he still managed to do enough to get a win. They will face the Dolphins this week after their Week 1 game was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma.
- Houston Texans (3-6) – When they lost Deshaun Watson, the Texans knew the rest of the season would be tough. The Rams made sure of that when they scorched Houston, 33-7. But look at the bright side Texans’ fans, at least DeAndre Hopkins is healthy and the prospect of him and Watson next season is a reason for hope in 2018.
- Chicago Bears (3-6) – Mitchell Trubisky is starting to come along pretty well, but the Bears didn’t rely on their star in Jordan Howard. He was virtually nonexistent in the game against the Packers, only rushing for 54 yards off of 15 carries. The rest of the season is looking bleak for Chicago.
- San Francisco 49ers (1-9) – The 49ers finally got their first win of the season thanks to a strong performance from C.J. Beathard and Carlos Hyde. But it was Marquise Goodwin that headlined Sunday. He caught one pass for an 83-yard TD. Goodwin’s son played in Sunday’s game after his son was delivered a stillborn earlier in the morning. You can not script this stuff and our hearts go out to Goodwin. Great to see him in the endzone Sunday and come away with a win.
- New York Giants (1-8) – New York has had such a terrible season after being considered a playoff team from the very start. The team seems in disarray and some players have lost faith in the coaching staff. This could very well be the end of Eli Manning’s tenure with the Giants and Coach McAdoo could be looking for another job next season, despite the reports.
- Cleveland Browns (0-9) – Cleveland had their chance to win their first game of the season, but just couldn’t keep it together. After jumping out to early leads in each half, they just couldn’t put points on the board or stop the Lions in the 2nd and 4th quarters. There was some positive play from DeShone Kizer in this game as he made some great throws and ran the ball effectively.