Biggest Jump: Detroit Lions rise 10 spots after beating the Eagles.
Biggest Fall: Carolina Panthers fall 7 spots after losing to Tampa Bay.
1. Minnesota Vikings 5-0
Last Week: 2
Minnesota is the last undefeated team left and despite injuries they have really separated themselves as the top team. Bradford is playing above expectation and that defense is stout. Minnesota has a bye this week.
2. New England Patriots 4-1
Last Week: 3
Tom is back and boy did he look good. Yes, I am aware it was against the Browns, but 406 yards and 3 touchdowns is impressive no matter who you play in this league. The offense looks to be clicking and the defense is slowly picking up their play. Patriots host the floundering Bengals this week.
3. Green Bay Packers 3-1
Last Week: 6
Rodgers keeps winning…that’s really all there is to say about Green Bay. The defense has a bend don’t break mentality and the offense continues to get just enough done to win games. Packers host the Cowboys mid-day Sunday.
4. Denver Broncos 4-1
Last Week: 1
Paxton Lynch did not look great in his first career start, but to be fair, the whole team did not play well and ran into an absolute buzz-saw in Atlanta. Short week this week as the Broncos head to San Diego to play on Thursday Night.
5. Seattle Seahawks 3-1
Last Week: 5
Seattle had a bye last week, giving them some time to rest up some injured contributors like Wilson and Baldwin. Seattle with a huge home test this week against the aforementioned Falcons at home mid-day Sunday.
6. Atlanta Falcons 4-1
Last Week: 11
Boy has Matt Ryan been good this year. He’s thrown for over 1,200 yards and has 12 TDs against 2 INTs. Is this year the Ryan and the Falcons finally put it together? Time will tell. And by the looks of it time wants to do so quickly as they head to Seattle for a big game.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers 4-1
Last Week: 7
Pittsburgh is coming off a blow-out win over the putrid Jets. Big Ben has the offense clicking and the defense, per usual, has been great (Philly game aside). Pittsburgh travels to Miami in a very winnable road game.
8. Dallas Cowboys 4-1
Last Week: 10
Wow, wow, wow. I have been incredibly impressed by the Cowboys this year, especially Prescott and Elliott’s play. I still think there is no question you play Romo if/when he returns but Dak is proving that he can be the future for Jerry. Dallas heads up to Lambeau to play the Pack mid-day Sunday. **MY GAME OF THE WEEK**
9. Oakland Raiders 4-1
Last Week: 8
It wasn’t pretty (and screwed me from going 5-0 this week in my NFL picks) but Derek Carr and the Raiders got it done last week. Carr has been outstanding this season and his WR corp has been great. I’ve alluded to it before, but the defense is this team’s biggest problem. Raiders are home against Kansas City this week.
10. Philadelphia Eagles 3-1
Last Week: 4
Right after I praise the Eagles and give them the 4th(!!!) spot in my power rankings, they go out and lay an egg against Detroit. Wentz has finally turned the ball over, but is still having a great year. Minor falter for an otherwise good team. Eagles head to Maryland to take on the upstart Redskins.
11. Buffalo Bills 3-2
Last Week: 15
The Bills are back! Bills mafia is alive and well after rattling off 3 straight wins, including road wins over New England and Los Angeles. The passing offense and defense has really struggled this year (threw for 124 yards and allowed 271 yards), but Shady McCoy is getting it done in the run game. Bills are back in Orchard Park to play the 49ers.
12. Houston Texans 3-2
Last Week: 9
Either JJ Watt was a way bigger piece to this team than I thought or they really are not good. Osweiler completed just 45% of his passes last week (yikes!) and thrown more interceptions, 7, than he has touchdowns, 6. Great return for your $72 million investment. Do or die this week as they host the Colts on Sunday Night Football.
13. Washington Redskins 3-2
Last Week: 19
You like that?! Kirk and company sure as hell do, 3 straight wins for the Skins and they’re rolling right now. The defense has been great these last few weeks and they will have a big divisional test as they host Philadelphia.
14. Los Angeles Rams 3-2
Last Week: 12
Jeff “.500” Fisher living up to his nickname as the Rams inch one game closer to his favorite mark of even on the year. Turnovers and poor play calling doomed the Rams against Buffalo last week, that fake punt was baaaaad. Rams head to Detroit for a Sunday matinee.
15. Arizona Cardinals 2-3
Last Week: 18
Arizona got a much needed win last Thursday against a bad San Francisco team, but hey, a win is a win and divisional wins matter. Hopefully Carson Palmer will be back because David Johnson cannot keep doing all the work on his own. Cardinals host the Jets on Monday Night.
16. Kansas City Chiefs 2-2
Last Week: 16
KC is fresh off a bye week and look to forget their last game, a blowout loss to Pittsburgh where they failed to do anything correctly. Kansas City has a tall task on the road at Oakland.
17. Baltimore Ravens 3-2
Last Week: 14
I want to give a special thank you to the Ravens for proving me right two weeks in a row. They just aren’t a great football team and definitely not a playoff team. However, they do play in the turbulent AFC North where any team but Cleveland has a chance. Ravens with a must-win on the road this week at the New York Football Giants.
18. Cincinnati Bengals 2-3
Last Week: 13
I might be in the minority, but I do not think the Bengals are a good team (sorry Matt). Andy Dalton is not a leader, their running backs are banged up and the defense has been really disappointing. Bengals with another tough test at New England this week.
19. Detroit Lions 2-3
Last Week: 29
What a bounce-back for Detroit after a bad, bad loss to the Bears. Stafford, the ole gunslinger, looked sharp completing 76% of his passes for 3 scores. That is the guy the Lions envisioned when they took him #1, not the guy who fails to score against Chicago. They stay home to host the Rams on Sunday.
20. Indianapolis Colts 2-3
Last Week: 25
In one of the best bad games of the year, the Colts and Luck out-duel Hoyer and the Bears at home. Luck and the offense looked really good, specifically TY Hilton and that offensive line. The defense leaves a lot to be desired, but they’re back in the AFC South race (worst division in football). Colts head to NRG Stadium to play the Texans on Sunday Night.
21. New Orleans Saints 1-3
Last Week: 21
Saints are coming off of a bye week, they really need to do something to stop the bleeding on defense because they are baaaad. There’s only so much the Brees and the offense can do. Saints host a struggling Carolina team this Sunday.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-3
Last Week: 22
Jaguars used up their bye week after their yearly trip to London. Bortles and company will have a real chance to build some momentum moving forward as they play the Bears in Chicago on Sunday.
23. New York Giants 2-3
Last Week: 20
Eli is not the quarterback he used to be and it has been ever apparent this season (1,385 yards 5 TDs 4 INTs). The Giants are reeling after losing 3 straight including 2 divisional games. They have to stop the bleeding now or Ben McAdoo might not get another win this year. Oh and they have the biggest cry-baby in the league with OBJ. Giants host the Ravens in New Jersey.
24. Carolina Panthers 1-4
Last Week: 17
I understand the Panthers didn’t have Cam, but even when they have they aren’t winning. This team is not very good and very weak mentally. Any deficit is magnified because of their lack of composure. Ron Rivera needs to turn it around fast. Panthers in a must-win against divisional foe New Orleans.
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-3
Last Week: 26
Tampa Bay tried everything they could to lose on Monday Night, including a bevy of turnovers and a pair of missed field goals, but they squeaked one out against Carolina. The Bucs still have a lot of glaring issues specifically their defense and Jameis’s decision making. Bucs have a bye week.
26. Tennessee Titans 2-3
Last Week: 31
Ask and you shall receive! My birthday twin Marcus Mariota turns in a great performance (20-29 163 yards 3TDs) and DeMarco Murray continues to tear it up posting another 100+ yard performance in a road win. As I’ve said previously, as Mariota goes, this team goes. The Titans have a real chance to move up the standings, they play Cleveland at home.
27. Chicago Bears 1-4
Last Week: 23
Brian Hoyer did everything short of win the game Sunday, his final drive failed in Colts’ territory. Hoyer did however throw for 397 yards and become the first Bears’ quarterback EVER to throw for 300+ yards in 3 straight games. *Sigh* Bears host the Jaguars in a battle of awful teams.
28. New York Jets 1-4
Last Week: 27
For as bad as the Bears are, at least they aren’t the Jets. New York has been a massive disappointment already this season and they don’t look like they can bounce back from this bad start. The silver lining: Fitz didn’t throw an interception last week. Tough schedule for them as they head to Arizona on Monday Night.
29. Miami Dolphins 1-4
Last Week: 24
I contemplated putting Miami lower seeing as their only win was against the Browns, but the two teams below them are far worse in my opinion. Rumor is the Dolphins are in talks to reunite Adam Gase and Jay Cutler. Tannehill is bad. They need some spark to save their season. Phins host the Steelers.
30. San Diego Chargers 1-4
Last Week: 28
San Diego might never win another game. This team melts in the 4th quarter and this week’s meltdown was an all-time bad one. Poor Philip Rivers, he has been so good for so long and his team just sucks. Chargers are home against Denver on Thursday Night.
31. San Francisco 49ers 1-4
Last Week: 30
The Niners are another bad football team. No defense, no cohesive offense, bad special teams and disarray among fans. Sounds like a classic Chip Kelly scenario. It’s only a matter of time before Kaepernick gets off the bench and in the game, will he be able to make a difference? Chip Kelly needs him to because this offense is anemic. San Fran heads to Buffalo.
32. Cleveland Browns 0-5
Last Week: 32
Cleveland blown out by the Patriots in Brady’s return. Had to see that coming. Nothing the Browns could do about that one. They have had chances to win games and this week might be their best one against Tennessee if they can bottle up Marcus Mariota.