Del Pilar’s Diatribe: NFL Power Rankings 11 Eleven Broken Down!

NFL Power Rankings

Our NFL Power Rankings enter Week 11 and are getting exciting as we have some great finishes this week. Yes, the Houston Texans are for real, but the Minnesota Vikings are not, despite luck from the football Gods and the Baltimore Ravens learned what happens if you “f***” around by letting an opponent hang around. 

Fantasy football owners hope for another week of big games before playoffs begin in some leagues. This week started ugly and ended beautifully with enough excitement to exemplify why the NFL is now “America’s Game.”

Our weekly reminder: we are still in the Bye Weeks (weeks 5-14) season, with the following teams resting and licking their wounds:

  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Miami Dolphins
  • Los Angeles Rams

Note: Numbers in parentheses by team name; note their ranking last week.

The Elites

1. Philadelphia Eagles (1) Record: 8-1 (Bye Week)

2. Kansas City Chiefs (2) Record: 7-2 (Bye Week)

3. San Francisco 49ers (4) Record: 6-3 (win vs. Jacksonville Jaguars 34-3) – This team had their backs against the wall, specifically QB Brock Purdy. His critics and those still bitter and refusing to leave the teat of fallen would-be savior Trey Lance screaming at capacity that Purdy’s exposed! He’s average at best! Trey Lance is God! You know fanboys on their couches, 200 pounds overweight, believing they know best and yet can’t tell you the difference between an X or Y receiver, much less the nuances of the offense in how it’s run. Those”experts”

The Niners came out swinging and knocked out the Jaguars harder than 42:1 underdog Buster Douglas, taking on world champion Mike Tyson and knocking him the f*** out! Okay, a crude way to state it, but it was a brutal, vicious knockout that stunned the world! As was this beatdown. Purdy went 19-of-26 for 296 passing yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. The rushing attack had Christian McCaffrey leading the way (16-95-0) while also playing the part of a true West Coast runner, chipping in 6-47-0-10 receiving. Overall, the team went 30-144-1 rushing for 4.8 yards per carry.

The defense got to the Jaguars’ QB Trevor Lawrence for five sacks, two turnovers, and two fumbles while holding them to three points. They also dominated the clock from 33:11 to 26:49 for the Jaguars. Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks is on the hot seat and must make sure this defense returns to elite status.

After three sorry weeks, the defense played as they did under DeMeco Ryans the last few years. The offense came alive once again, encompassing a complete victory to get their heads back on straight after losing three straight, and even then, they should’ve won two of those games.

That said, they must figure out how to address their lack of depth at running back and wide receiver because these losses coincided with McCaffrey and Deebo being out or not at 100 percent. Please, don’t think teams don’t see this, and the hits come harder in-game for these two players. They still have to face the Seahawks (twice), Eagles, and Ravens. Those four matchups are not a given, but they remain elite in our NFL Power Rankings.

4. Baltimore Ravens (3) Record: 7-3 (loss vs. Cleveland Browns 33-31) – First of all, the unsuspecting fan may not realize the Ravens lost three players on the offensive line toward the end of the game, and when facing an elite defense, it was brutal. It helped with the loss. This game is a growth for Lamar Jackson in becoming a true quarterback who can buy time with his legs and make the big play.

Jackson went 13-of-23 for 223 yards, with one touchdown and two crucial interceptions. He did chip in 8-41-0 rushing. Jackson’s a complete player at the position but is still learning the new offense, timing, and, more precisely, rushing and throwing. It’s not an acceptable loss, but he can still grow from it.

The much-vaunted Ravens defense, ranked No. 3 overall, with a rush defense ranked No. 3, allowed the Browns to gash them for 24-178-2 rushing yards. Incredible, but the Browns have relied on a solid rushing attack, with poor quarterback play. How this defense could play poorly against a division rival falls on the coaching staff and veterans. Not only that, instead of wearing the offensive line and pressure to the quarterback, they wilted in the second half. DeShaun Watson slowly improved as the Ravens’ secondary wore down. Overall, this game became a high-scoring affair, and no matter how elite a defense is, they can succumb to it against better offenses. TheRavens’ defense, outside of injuries, will bounce back.

Were the Ravens looking past this game? It’s almost impossible to believe, as this is a division rivalry. The Browns’ defense is elite, and DE Myles Garrett is a game-changer. The Browns are vulnerable when turning the ball over, and while learning a new offense, this will become an issue. This season is a learning curve, and some of us believe the Ravens are one year away from completely dominating the league. For a short while, we thought they’d keep moving up the NFL Power Rankings.

Elitism is on their Radar!

5. Detroit Lions (5) Record 7-2 (win vs. San Diego Chargers 41-38) – It was another great game. While the Lions’ defense is becoming elite this week, they faced a high-powered offense in the Chargers that finally hit on all cylinders. Yet, the Lions persevered and won. The key here became the Lions rushing attack. QB Jared Goff played well, going 23-of-33 for 333 passing yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. That’s against the No. 7 ranked pass defense in the league. Goff rarely gets his due, but he’s turning into a prolific passer, finally showcasing the talent that made him the 2016 overall first-round pick.

The key to this game was theLions’ top two backs, David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. Montgomery went 12-116-1 rushing to lead the way with an impressive 9.8 yards per rush. Gibbs went 14-77-2, adding 3-35-0-5 receiving. This duo was vital because the Chargers’ rush defense is a pathetic No. 28th overall. The Lions had to exploit this, unlike the Jets’ last week, which directly cost them the game (along with QB Zach Wilson), if they wanted to win this matchup.

The downside is the defense in allowing the Chargers 421 offensive yards. Then again, this is the quarterback everyone that we would see weekly in Justin Herbert. He finally came to play after a few dismal weeks. Once an elite quarterback gets hot, you want to contain him, as stopping him is impossible once they get on a run. They also failed to sack Herbert and forced no turnovers.

The culmination of this victory and what bodes well for the Lions, including their standings in our NFL Power rankings, is that head coach Dan Campbell went for it on a fourth and two with less than two minutes in the game. That call is where the coaching staff’s growth, maturity, and trust came into play. They put the ball in Goff’s hands, and he converted, leading to the eventual winning game.

No team ahead of the Lions can claim not to feel embarrassed in a loss this season as the Lions were by the Ravens. That said, this win should give the team the mindset it can compete against any offense. That’s key to learning how to win. That’s what they did here through perseverance and confidence. They remain in this tier in our NFL Power rankings because the Ravens beat them up, and the Chargers took them to task.

6. Dallas Cowboys (7) Record: 6-3 (win vs. New York Giants 49-17) – What a game! QB Dak Prescott went 26-of-35 for 404 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception while chipping in 2-17-1 rushing, making fantasy football owners orgasm before the morning games were complete. The rushing attack was outstanding as a team, 33-168-3, with a yards per carry 5.09. We also saw WR Brandin Cooks finally showcase himself, 9-173-1-10, and if they can integrate him more into the offense, that becomes deadly. Cooks and their No. 1 WR, CeeDee Lamb (11-151-1-14), will give defenses nightmares if the offensive line can allow Prescott to throw.

However, the fact that the rushing attack is more of a committee approach bears warning. You need a back you can count on versus hoping the lead back, Tony Pollard, shows up. If not, you have to go by a committee.

The point is they don’t have a go-to-back at the position. The team thought Tony Pollard would be the guy, and while he ranks in the top 10 statistically, his yards per carry are all over the map on a per-game basis, from 2.0 to 5.3. They need a back they can count on in between the tackles, and I’m not sure he’s the man, as solid defenses can shut him down. That’s been the case more than once this season.

This team was dominant in all phases, and it’s a win at home they can savor and know they can take care of business against inferior teams. Let’s be honest: the Cowboys came in and took care of business. However, if you’re elite, these games are expected – granted, the Giants are a division rival, they’ve fallen on hard times. The real test awaits with the Seahawks, Eagles, Bills, Dolphins, and Lions. They’ve got a tough road to hoe.

Better than Average but Still has Kinks to Work Out.

7. Cleveland Browns (10) Record: 6-3 (win vs. Baltimore Ravens 33-31) – What a game and a win for the Browns, who are showing they can play with anyone. However, unlike elite teams, they make mistakes that can cause them a loss against subpar teams. This week, they flipped that and became a team that proves it can come back and beat some of the league’s best. QB Deshaun Watson went 20-of-34 for 213 yards with one touchdown and one interception and improved as the game went on.

Impressive is the second-half stat where he went 14-of-14 for 134 passing yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions – hat tip to Joshua Reed from SB Nation for that tidbit. The rushing attack led by Jerome Ford, who went 17-107-0, is impressive. However, they went 36-178-1 as a team, which breaks down to 4.94 yards per carry. That’s against the No. 3 ranked rush defense in the league!

They are a complete team but also prone to too many mistakes. One day, you look at the Browns as an inept team, making horrific front-office decisions and wasting an elite defense with nothing to show. Then you see them reeling off wins like this against the Ravens and others earlier in the season, and you wonder about destiny.

It is clear that the Browns are playing with heart and perseverance and finding ways to win despite a $230 million black hole at the quarterback position, regardless of who they put in there. Sure, it’s not horrific, but it’s not what will win you a playoff game. Nevertheless, this game could be a turning point for Watson, which means great things for the Browns this season. Maybe not the Super Bowl or a deep playoff run, but a competitive team every week and making the playoffs this season sets the momentum for 2024.

8. Miami Dolphins (9) Record: 6-3 (Bye Week)

NFL Power Rankings: Pretenders or Contenders?

9. Houston Texans (15) Record: 5-4 (win vs. Cincinnati Bengals 30-27) – Okay, this team is for real. The Texans are only one game behind the division-leading Jaguars but have the head-to-head matchup against them and still get to play them again. The AFC South has traditionally been a weak division, and it’s the same this year. Thus, this team can make history. We’re not sure about history, but it sounds fantastic and fits because no one envisioned the Texans winning many games this season.

They’re ranked No. 12 on offense but No. 27 on defense, so they have plenty of holes to fill, but the rookie is making everyone forget about that. Stroud’s ranked No. 1 in passing, and while a topic for another day, the names listed are a new generation in Sam Howell, Tua Tagovailoa, and Jared Goff (not so new), but you’re seeing creative offenses doing incredible things. However, as Howell will tell you, it doesn’t always lead to wins.

While Stroud is not a rushing quarterback, he’s incredibly mobile and buys time to find the open receiver. Thisteam’s five victories are clearly because of him. This week, he went 23-of-39 for 356 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception. However, the rushing attack must improve, but they were on fire this week – rushing 34-188-2 for an incredible 5.53 yards per carry. The bulk of the load went to RB Devin Singletary, who went 30-150-1 rushing and 1-11-0-2 receiving. They must use this game to build on and continue the momentum against a usually solid Bengals defense.

No one wants to play this team. The Texans are beatable but will give you fits because they have a rookie quarterback who plays like a college senior vying for the Heisman. They still have to face the Jaguars and Browns, but with eight games left, six are legitimately winnable. That puts them in the driver’s seat to win the AFC South. They finally enter our top 10 in this week’s NFL Power rankings.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (6) Record: 5-4 (loss vs. Houston Texans 30-27) – What an embarrassment this team became against the Houston Texans. Sure, the Texans are becoming America’s darlings with upsets, but when you think you’re a legit Super Bowl contender and all the analysts agree with that, you must put teams like the Texans down, and they couldn’t. QB Joe Burrow had a day fantasy football owners love but a day that could drop them back out of the top 10 NFL Power rankings. He went 27-of-40 for 347 passing yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. However, this team is counting on him to do everything, and he can’t.

Where is the pass rush? That was supposedly a strength entering the season, yet they’re ranked No. 29 with only 30 sacks. However, their rush defense is their pride and joy, ranked No. 5 overall, but they got crushed by a Texans rushing attack that amassed 34-188-2 for an incredible 5.53 yards per carry. That eventually proved their downfall because the passing attack, led by rookie sensation and a given for rookie of the year honors but also MVP, had another outstanding day, C.J. Stroud.

A rushing attack would help Burrows, but where’s the rushing attack? We’ve not seen it consistently since their Super Bowl loss two years ago. They’re ranked dead last in rushing offense. This team went 16-66-1, and that won’t cut it. Once they get into the playoffs, if they make it, that will likely come back to haunt them. That and the lack of an offensive line cost them the Super Bowl; they’ve yet to learn from it.

You can say what you want, but this team will not go far until this team gets a rushing attack on both sides of the ball: against the quarterbacks and run defenses. The Cincinnati Burrows need the Bengals to step up and provide help. Burrows can’t do it all, and that’s why they’re 5-4. While only one game behind the Baltimore Ravens, it’s a log jam with all four teams ahead of them with three losses to their four. Don’t forget, the Ravens, Steelers, and Browns are in their division, and all only have three losses. Their schedule the rest of the way has them facing the Ravens, Steelers (twice), Jaguars, Chiefs, and Browns.

11. Jacksonville Jaguars (8) Record: 6-3 (loss vs. 49ers 34-3) – Some have criticized my ranking of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the top 10 but not much higher than No. 8 with criticism. They win, but they win ugly, and we’re not seeing the overall 2021 No. 1 pick, Trevor Lawrence taking the next step. Thus, I believe they’re not as good as some prognosticators believe but are on their way.

Lawrence went 17-of-29 for 185 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. The rushing attack only went 17-59-0 for a meager 3.47 yards per carry. The offensive line allowed five sacks, and the team lost two fumbles, including one by Lawrence. Four turnovers against an elite team like the 49ers, and you’re bound to fail. This one became a blowout.

This defense struggled with no offense and a 49ers team with their back against the wall after three straight losses. Overall, they’re ranked No. 12 and 28th against the pass and 8th against the rush. This week is a growing lesson for the defense. They must learn to look in the mirror when it’s time to carry the offense. This week showed them how much they still must do. As stated, a young team is learning to persevere and win against their bettors. This week, their bettors showed them why they’re the better franchise.

The loss is a loss to grow from. Find the mistakes, and more importantly, the mistakes you can correct and learn and move on. This young team has a veteran coaching staff to show them the way, and they’ll bounce back. However, they’re not playing like an elite team when winning; something is missing. Someone on staff or a veteran leader may emerge, but as they’re young, they may be able to grow into that leadership via maturity.

The Jaguars are on track, but 2023 is not their year. They may not even win their division, as the Texans are already building all the momentum in the AFC South with one win against the Jags. To top it off, this team still has yet to face the Texans, Bengals, Browns, and Ravens. They can shut everyone up with solid games and victories, but they must be competitive. They’re lucky they didn’t drop further in our NFL Power rankings.

12. Seattle Seahawks (12) Record: 6-3 (win vs. Washington Commanders 29-26) – QB Geno Smith is proving to be the team’s Achilles heel. This week was good as he went 31-of-47 for 369 passing yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. You add the rushing attack as a team producing 26-120-0 for an outstanding 4.6 yards per carry, and you can see why the Seahawks came out on top.

The real question is what team we would see after a thrashing of 37-3 at the hands of the Ravens. While some will believe the Commanders played against them better than they should have, that’s not true. The Commanders have a solid defense with an erratic offense. This game brought a stoutCommanders’ performance out of the quarterback position, making it a game that went down to the wire.

What you can say about the Seahawks is their resiliency and veteran leadership that allowed them to right the ship and eke out a win. The Seahawks are tied with the Niners for first in the NFC West. Their schedule still has them facing the Niners twice to determine the division champs if all plays out as they want. However, they also face the Cowboys, Eagles, and Steelers, making it challenging down the stretch.

13. Pittsburgh Steelers (14) Record: 6-3 (win vs. Green Bay Packers 23-19) – Pickett went 14-of-23 for 126 passing yards and no touchdowns or interceptions for another paltry outing. However, the rush attack as a team amassed 36-205-2 rushing yards led by Jaylen Warren (15-101-1), but Najee Harris also came through (16-82-1). The defense must improve also as they allowed a subpar quarterback in Jordan Love to throw for nearly 300 yards and two touchdowns, well above his typical output. While the defense has an overall ranking of No. 9, they’re ranked No. 22 against the pass and No. 23 against the run. There are massive questions on both sides of the ball.

Look, offensive coordinator Matt Canada has a weekly game plan to guide the team offensively. However, Pickett is an issue, ranking No. 25 in passing yards (1,616) and 29th in touchdowns (6). We’re not sure he’s the future. Some believe it’s Canada’s scheme and difficulty in making it unnecessarily more complex than necessary for Pickett to function. Right now, it’s a wait-and-see game with him. Can he improve, or will they have to make a decision? Someone on the offensive side of the ball is likely to be ousted after this season if the team doesn’t improve statistically. That’s likely Canada. If Tomlin has a weakness, it’s a history of going with questionable play-callers at the offensive coordinator position.

I did not see the Steelers at 6-3, but the truth is, we know their head coach, Mike Tomlin, has a record of his teams improving as the season wears on. We’re seeing that. I’ve said they need a more potent rushing attack to take pressure off QB Kenny Pickett, and for this week, that happened. In a league driven by high-powered offenses, this defense will also struggle, and that’ll come back to hurt them as they still have to face the Browns, Bengals (twice), Seahawks, and Ravens. The Colts are on the schedule, too, and a win there isn’t a given. These six games can go either way, but I wonder if they deserve their current NFL Power rankings.

The Rest of the Best or Pretenders

14. Buffalo Bills (11) Record: 5-5 (loss vs. Denver Broncos 24-22) – In the Points on the Board podcast last week, I stated the Bills are kaput, done, finished! This loss to the Broncos puts them two games back from the division-leading Dolphins. They’re on the outside looking in right now, and if the playoffs began today, they’d be out. Statistically, the Bills rank No. 4 on offense and No. 3 in passing.

Translation: QB Josh Allen’s the offense as they rank No. 11 in rushing, but Allen is their No. 2 rusher, and that’s one reason they’re 5-5 because they’re one-dimensional. Stop or slow Allen down, and your chance to win rises exponentially. Allen went 15-of-26 for 177 passing yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. His elite trait of rushing didn’t show up as he went 4-13-1. This game was a terrible performance; you can blame the play-calling all day.

Yet it’s not the offensive coordinator throwing those picks, not reading the field correctly, and not using his “X” factor (legs) to extend plays positively. Allen failed in all respects; anyone can beat them when he struggles. However, I blame the coordinator for a lack of a rushing attack. What about the defense? Defensively, they look solid with a No. 11 overall ranking, but they’re No. 18 versus the pass and No. 21 against the run, so they have issues, and playing against high-powered offenses, they always struggle. Again, a big reason they’re 5-5.

Look, the team can fire whoever they want, and in this case, the scapegoat is offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, but the truth is, QB Josh Allen is regressing, as his league-leading 14 interceptions prove! Worse, the quarterback position is one of leadership. That position must rise to the top during times like this, but Allen’s not a leader. He’s just one of the guys. There’s a void missing with this team, especially when you see a coaching staff squandering too many opportunities over the years and not showing leadership from their staff (see the 13-second debacle) during dark times. They’re in dark times, consequently, the firing of Dorsey.

Their Super Bowl window is likely over, and while they don’t need a rebuild but a re-tweak, this team needs to look in the mirror before it’s too late. Remember, Allen is only 27, so they can re-tweak or even do a mini-rebuild with him as their franchise. However, as he ages, they must find a rushing attack to help keep him healthy and defenses on their toes.

The only way this team can move forward offensively is if an offensive coordinator with a reputation with some rings to show can temper Allen and show him how to be a gunslinger that minimizes turnovers and creates better situations to use his legs. That would put too much fear into head coach Sean McDermott despite Allen’s playing like he did in his rookie season.

If they can’t get that type of coordinator, then fire this regime and bring in someone who can take them to the next level and that understands the next step for this team to get over the hump is to look in the mirror and know what they are as men. Then, go from there. A BillParcell’s style coach as this team needs to stop thinking they’re all that because they’re not.

15. Los Angeles Chargers (13) Record: 4-5 (loss vs. Lions 41-38) – What can you say? Typical Chargers play. Stay tight or lose the lead and the game in the final minutes. San Diegans have known this for the Chargers’ entire NFL span. Los Angelenos are now learning the same. We view the Chargers as an elite powerhouse offense with a defense that can be stout but also a sieve at times. This week, a growing offensive juggernaut came into town in the Lions. The Lions offense shelled this team, who thought they were turning the corner after two great defensive performances against the Chicago Bears (ranked 16th) and New York Jets (ranked 30th), not known for their offensive prowess.

The massive negative came with the 28th-ranked rush defense not being able to stop, much less slow down, theLions’ rushing attack that yielded 200 rushing yards rushing. That was the key to victory and the Lions keeping pace with the Chargers. It was a barn-burner and the type of game you expect from offensive juggernauts, regardless of how good the defense is. Remember, the rules in this league favor offenses and hold back defenses. These scoring affairs can happen when offensive giants meet. The truth is, as much as this analyst hammers the Chargers, despite the loss, it was an epic game with both teams deserving to win.

However, the loss was brutal for a team that believes it’s a Super Bowl contender but now sits at 4-5 and three games back of the division-leading Chiefs. With the Ravens, Bills, and Chiefs left to play, one must think they’re on the outside looking in. Not only is the head coach on the hot seat, but so are veteran players such as RB Austin Ekeler and DE Khalil Mack.

If they don’t make the playoffs and get into the second round, this team could be looking at a dismantle and rebuild predicated on age and salary cap. We could see them with a 9-8 or 8-9, but not much better. Is that good enough to stay in the upper half of our NFL Power rankings?

NFL Power Rankings: Get it Together and Overachievers

16. Denver Broncos (22) Record: 4-5 (win vs. Buffalo Bills 24-22) – What an incredible win for the Broncos as they beat a legitimately high-powered offense and continue to seek respect after allowing 70 points to the Dolphins earlier this year. QB Russell Wilson went 24-of-29 for 193 passing yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. We’re starting to see some semblance of the elite quarterback he was in Seattle. However, he has a ways to go, as the passing offense is ranked No. 29 for the season. However, the rushing attack is better, with a No. 14 ranking.

While the defense is far from becoming elite, as their No. 27 overall rankings prove, they’re 19th in passing but dead last (32) in rushing defense. However, the Bills don’t run very well; thus, stopping Allen and forcing the team to beat them elsewhere was an intelligent strategy that paid off. We saw some ugly football on Monday night, but a win is a win, and the Broncos will take it.

They have a three-game win streak, and two of the wins are against the Chiefs and Bills. Theoretically, they’re not out of the playoff run, but the Chiefs are three games ahead of everyone. Do we see the Chiefs losing three more games? The only team coming out of this division will be the division winner. No, the Broncos don’t have a shot.

Denver is going back to basics, and it’s showing under head coach Sean Payton, who has the team at 4-5 and is using this season to build a culture of winning, get rid of baggage (see Randy Gregory), see what he has in younger players and most importantly, get Wilson back to a top-tier level of play if not elite.

17. Washington Commanders (19) Record: 4-6 (loss vs. Seahawks 29-26) – The Commanders are competitive and are playing hard. The trade deadline proved they’re not playing for this year. However, they are playing for their jobs as head coach Ron Rivera is on the hot seat. Ironically, he’s likely looking over his shoulder at Eric Bieniemy, the current offensive coordinator.

QB Sam Howell is improving weekly and showing enough to believe Howell can be an elite or high-end quarterback in this league. He’s the league leader in passing yards but also tied for second with nine interceptions. His passing percentage is more than a respectable 66.5 percent. Their future’s set there; this week, he went 29-of-44 for 312 passing yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions – an elite performance! He put his team in a position to win, which isn’t always the case with him this year.

However, they must improve their rushing attack. As a team, they went 14-68-0, and that’s not acceptable. They need better balance, which will likely be an off-season need for this team, as their No. 27 ranking proves. Their defense is a top-end defense. Ranking No. 7 overall, they’re No. 4 against the pass and No. 11 against the rush, thus showing they can be competitive against any team.

This team is truly a gem in the rough, and the experience they gain this year will help them make the jump next year. However, will it be with Ron Rivera as the head coach? If not, you want Bieniemy because that keeps the offense intact, and he could then choose to keep Jack Del Rio around as defensive coordinator. The truth is, he’s an elite coordinator. The future is bright for the Commanders despite the fact it’s likely a lost season this year. That’s one reason, despite the losses, they’ve stayed relatively the same in our NFL Power rankings – I see weekly growth.

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (22) Record: 4-5 (win vs. Tennessee Titans 20-6) – Give the Bucs credit. Shown to be a mediocre NFL team after a solid start and then four straight losses, QB Baker Mayfield and the Bucs are a resilient, if not inconsistent, team. They can’t beat the better teams in the league but always offer competitive play to everyone else. However, this week, they took it to a mediocre team. They posted 340 total offensive yards, led by Mayfield going 18-of-29 for 278 passing yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.

What’s unsurprising is another paltry output in their rushing attack led by Rachaad White, 20-51-0. As a team, rushing for 77 yards is uninspiring and one reason for their mediocrity this year. A solid rushing attack takes the pressure off a new quarterback learning a new offense. The lack of a running game is why the offense is ranked No. 24 overall and No. 31 in rushing. Also, don’t even think the defense is back –it’s not. This defense may have a No. 7 ranking overall but is No. 29 versus the pass, and in this pass-happy, high-powered offensive NFL, that won’t cut it.

Despite these terrible statistics, the Bucs have one of the softest schedules going into the second half of the season. Outside of the Jaguars, 49ers, and even the Colts and Saints – games they can easily lose – they get to play the Panthers (twice), Falcons, and Packers. At this moment, those three teams are a combined 8-20. Those games are winnable, and the fact they’re in the division hunt in the NFC South bears well for head coach Todd Bowles. While Bowles is an elite defensive coordinator, he’s horrific a head coach. However, he’ll keep his job if he can take a mediocre team and win the NFC South. Right now, they’re only a game back from the Saints.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (24) Record: 5-5 (win vs. New York Jets 16-12) – The Raiders were 3-5 under Josh McDaniels, and it turns out McDaniels is a bully who doesn’t understand how to build a mentally tough, prideful, yet respectful culture. In contrast, new head coach Antonio Pierce understands a player’s psyche because he was outstanding. McDaniels lost the locker room, and the players quit on him. Pierce is changing that and playing for the head coaching gig. However, he has a lot of work to do. Offensively, they rank No. 26 overall, 22 passing, and 29th rushing, while defensively, the Silver and Black are No. 20 overall and No. 10 against the pass but 31 in stopping the run.

They must tweak the playbook, and we already know they want to see what they have in rookie QB Aidan O’Connell, and to be honest, he’s not impressive right now. He’s struggled in every game he’s played. This week, he went 16-of-27 for 153 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception. This play is typical of him, but worse is the rushing attack, as Grumblings Media called it a down year for RB Josh Jacobs. However, it’s improving, and this week wasn’t a down game as Jacobs rushed 27-116-0 while chipping in 2-11-0-2 receiving. It was his best game of the season, following a solid performance last week (26-98-2).

Defensively, this unit got to Jets QB Zach Wilson twice and forced an interception. With Wilson’s continual struggles, it was good enough to help secure a win and even kept the Jets from hitting their paltry average of 16 points per game down to 12. It is a solid performance and one to build on. However, if you’re a Jets fan, the head-scratcher is how could the No. 31 ranked rush defense keep running backs Breece Hall (13-28-0) and Dalvin Cook (4-26-0) in check. That’s easy. The Jets offensive coordinator has a history of not using the rushing attack effectively.

This analyst noted Jacobs would take about four weeks to get into football shape after holding out in training camp. I was wrong; it took him about seven weeks to get into game shape. However, he will now pay dividends down the stretch despite being three games back from the Chiefs.

They likely must win out, but technically, they have a better shot than the other teams in the division because they get to face the Chiefs twice. However, they also face the Dolphins, Chargers, Colts, and a surging Broncos. The odds make it almost a certainty they have no shot. Pierce is playing for a job but must win out, so we’ll see how good this team is after the Josh McDaniels coaching debacle.

Nonetheless, I don’t put a lot of stock into Pierce’s first two wins, and it’s nothing toward Pierce. However, they won two straight but against two opponents with a combined 6-13 record, so what he’s doing is impressive. Regardless, they’re moving up in our NFL Power rankings.

20. Indianapolis Colts (18) Record: 5-5 (win vs. New England Patriots 10-6) – How the Colts stay competitive and keep winning is beyond us, but they are. They have a backup quarterback who reminds us of a 1970s porn star and a rushing attack that is not living up to its billing. That said, we knew the rushing attack would struggle this season.

Minshew’s getting the job done, despite giving us a highlight reel play, then two we’d love to forget. In a low-scoring affair, he went 18-of-28 for 194 passing yards, no touchdowns but one interception. RB Jonathan Taylor led the ground game 23-69-1, which ran for 70 yards overall. It’s not exactly a winning combo this week with these two.

Offensively, this team ranks No. 13 overall and in passing, so it’s not as bad as it sounds and answers why the team is competitive and can compete against most high-powered offenses. However, Minshew ranks No. 25 in passing yards but lacks protection too much and gets sacked a couple of times a game. Hence, it’s not always on him.

Luckily, they faced the Patriots, and the Colts’ No. 28-ranked defense held the No. 31-ranked offense to six points. This game was a must-win for the Colts, who still have playoff aspirations in a weak AFC South that has the upstart Texans, led by a rookie quarterback, as one of the stronger teams. What is it with the South divisions in both conferences? They’ve been weak for years!

As stated last week, this team should be 6-4, but again, referees helped determine who they wanted to win, which has them on the outside looking in. Regardless, this defense makes almost every game a potential high-scoring affair. However, maybe this win and how it came about – defense – can help spur the players to lift their game. Nevertheless, this is a mediocre team still in the playoff hunt. However, they’re 2-2 in division play and face the Titans and Texans, which could determine the winner if the Jaguars falter. However, that’s unlikely as they also must face the Bengals, Steelers, and a new-look Raiders team winning under new head coach Antonio Pierce.

21. Minnesota Vikings (26) Record: 6-4 (win vs. Saints 27-19) – WOW – what can I say? The Vikings are proving me wrong. However, QB Joshua Dobbs is becoming my favorite player. No, he is my favorite player. In his first start, second outing as the team’s quarterback, Dobbs went 23-of-34 for 268 passing yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. He also went 8-44-1 rushing and, essentially, doing it all, at least for fantasy football owners. Then again, should we be surprised? It turns out that Dobbs is an aerospace engineer; thus, his NFL journey (eight teams) is a testament to his ability to grasp with minimal training high-level concepts, such as an NFL offensive playbook.

However, his success is based on his legs, giving him more time to make his reads, extending the play with a pass, or taking off. Also, having a great tight end is a must for success for a young quarterback or quarterback in a new system. He has TE T.J. Hockenson, who went 11-134-1-15 – numbers out of this world for a wideout, much less tight end.

However, the key to any potential playoff run isn’t just a tight end helping Dobbs but a solid rushing attack. That’s been MIA for the Vikings. They rank 28th, and that bodes poorly for a playoff run. However, this week, it came through. As a team, they went 33-125-2, which breaks down to 3.8 yards per carry. Very respectable. However, that was against a Saints rush defense ranked No. 24, so it’s not like they were facing an elite rush defense.

I’m usually the first to admit I’m wrong, and the Vikings are for real after being dealt a potentially fatal blow by the Pigskin Gods! QB Kirk Cousins (Achilles) lost for the season; WR Justin Jefferson (hamstring) still not back; their backup quarterback, rookie Jaren Hall (concussion), going down; now being forced to start newly signed journeyman QB Joshua Dobbs doesn’t even know the playbook. Yet, they’ve reeled off two wins.

No, I don’t admit the Vikings can and will compete for the NFC North. They have two great wins, but the reality is Dobbs can’t take them to the promised land, and the rushing attack is abysmal, and eventually, sooner than later, he’ll come crashing back to Earth.

Don’t forget, they’re two games behind the Lions and still have to face the Bengals and Lions (twice), not to mention they’re not a given win against any opponent, so every week is a battle. The experience the coaching staff and players gain is equivalent to a better future for this regime. Maybe I had them too low last week, but this week, this is about where they belong in the NFL Power rankings.

22. New Orleans Saints (17) Record: 5-5 (loss vs. Minnesota Vikings 27-19) – The Saints are turning out to be a better team on paper than on the field. While their defense is No. 9 this season, they give up too many big plays at the worst moments. Also, the Bucs, Jaguars, Colts, and now Vikings show how to exploit them. Their quarterback play is one where you say the player is still learning the playbook and developing chemistry with his receivers. While partly true, they must be better at this point in the season.

QB Derek Carr (shoulder, concussion) went down to injury, and former overall No. 1 pick Jameis Winston stepped in. Still, the truth is, Carr’s a middling quarterback with a per-game statistical ranking of No. 20. Based on expectations, that’s not good enough. While Winston can hit the home run, for everyone he hits, he’ll give you exponentially more bad plays, specifically interceptions. He’s a gunslinger who will likely hurt the team when it counts rather than help.

The rushing attack that’s supposed to be driven by RB Alvin Kamara (9-42-0) was ineffective after the team went down by three touchdowns. Kamara did add 7-33-0-7 receiving. On paper, this team should be competing against the top 10 teams and beating up on lesser teams, but they don’t. They should be farther ahead in play-calling success, big plays, and chemistry, but they aren’t.

Until they figure that out, they’re a mediocre team but are lucky they’re in the NFC South. They’re still on top, leading the Bucs by half a game. The Saints still have much to play for, so don’t look for this team to quit. They have a soft schedule the rest of the way, with the only one opponent inside our NFL Power rankings top 10 – the Lions.

23. New York Jets (16) Record: 4-5 (loss vs. Raiders 16-12) – QB Zach Wilson didn’t have a terrible game, going 23-of-39 for 263 passing yards, no touchdowns, and one critical interception. I take that back; he was brutal when the team needed him. He’s playing like a rookie but is a third-year player. He’s had some horrific mentors and teachers in those three years, and it shows it’s eaten at his psyche.

Let me shock you and tell you that it’s continuing this year through offensive disaster; oops, coordinator Nathaniel Hackett! When facing an offensive coordinator like Nathanial Hackett, who doesn’t have a history of wanting to use the rushing attack despite using a quasi-West Coast offense, it’s not as difficult to understand why the Jets are a mess offensively.

They rank No. 20 in rushing despite having two backs in Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook that could quickly propel that team into the top 10. In other words, theJets’ pathetic, inept play-calling also helped them lose the game. Don’t believe me? Ask any Packers fan, and they’ll tell and show you dozens of articles about it. Yet, the mainstream doesn’t see this? Well, now you do. Overall, their offense is ranked No. 30, No. 31 passing, and No. 20 rushing. I’ve noted the disgrace of the playcalling, which all falls on him.

Another point: when Aaron Rodgers (Achilles) went down in Week 1, Hackett made minimal, if any, adjustments to Wilson. Even now, he’s not adapting as well as he should to the strengths of Wilson and the offenses (see rushing). Remember, the Jets hired Hackett because Rodgers pushed for him. They chose to give in to a veteran quarterback (old) familiar with that offense and not force him to learn another one. While there’s precedent for this, how’s that working for head coach Robert Saleh?

Defense is supposed to be Thisteam’s strength, and overall, they can be elite with a No. 6 overall rank, No. 3 in pass defense, but a horrific No. 27 against the rush! Raiders RB Josh Jacobs (27-116-0) made them pay. This defense isn’t elite in every phase and needs more out of the offense. In their defense, the defense can’t carry this team, and their 4-5 record and loss to the Raiders is a testament to that.

The Jets also had too many penalties – eight for 83 yards, including at critical times, so they have to work on discipline (penalties), shore up their rush defense, and ultimately fix the offense. They’re only two games back from the Dolphins and get to play them twice. Still, that’s not a given win, but likely a loss. Then there are the Bills, Texans, Commanders, and Browns. They’re not out of it technically, but if this is the best the offense can do, they’re out of it realistically. This rank is likely the lowest I’ve had the Jets in the NFL Power rankings.

NFL Power Rankings: Rebuild and Retool Teams

24. Atlanta Falcons (21) Record: 4-6 (loss vs. Arizona Cardinals 25-23) – Life is funny, and decisions made by a seasoned staff that understands player development seem to be getting a push from fans, especially with the power of social media. QB Desmond Ridder is on the bench, supposedly because of poor play.

However, he’s only in his first year of starting and has a 65.4 completion percentage. He has six interceptions, which puts him at No. 16 in that category. On a per-game basis, it’s 0.67, good enough for No. 23, and the point is that you must let a player grow. However, the Falcons are in the hunt legitimately for the NFC South. That’s why you saw his benching. Head coach Arthur Smith is on the hot seat, too, with an 18-26 record. This team may stunt their long-term development to win now at the most critical position.

A supposed strength is their rushing attack, ranked at No. 3 overall, but the question is on the usage of rookie RB Bijan Robinson, who averages only 12.5 attempts per game. Those numbers must improve with your best rusher to protect any young quarterback. That’s on play calling. Despite the loss, we saw the Falcons go to the young man 22-95-1 rushing and chipping in 1-11-0-2 receiving. They need more game planning like this.

Now you have two quarterbacks, Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke, who are up-and-down players. The coaching staff should go with Heinicke if they want to win a couple more games now because they are not a very good team but are in a weak division. If they want to grow and prepare for the future, Ridder is the player they must turn to.

I’m thinking long-term. The team is thinking short. Thus, it would be no shocker if they went with Heinicke. However, Heinicke, while proven, hasn’t looked well with the Falcons. Is the offense and play calling as bad as the quarterback play? They have to figure it out, as they’re only one game back from the Saints, who also lost this week.

25. Los Angeles Rams (27) Record: 3-6 (Bye Week)

26. Arizona Cardinals (32) Record: 2-8 (win vs. Falcons 25-23) – The return of the Munchkins! QB Kyler Murray, a man-child, finally saw the field after tearing his ACL last season. He went 19-of-32 for 249 yards and one interception while chipping in 6-33-1 rushing. While it wasn’t the triumphant return many hoped for, Murray led the team to the game-winning field goal. Murray’s fresh, so his agility and ability to effectively avoid defenders are at their peak right now. The problem is that he’s 5-10 and 207 pounds.

The hits will mount, and his positive play will lessen. I don’t think he’s the long-term answer the Cardinals need, but through their ineptitude, he’s all they have. To prove everyone wrong, he must maintain a high level of consistent play as the season progresses. We also saw the return of RB James Connor, who went 16-73-0, a 4.56 per carry average. That’s a big lift and great potential for the future. Then there was TE Tyler McBride, who went 8-131-0-9. Is this a potential future duo or a young quarterback using his tight end as a safety valve as he gets the rust off him? Fantasy football owners have him on their radar.

The defense has been playing hard for their new coach, former defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, despite being ranked No. 30 for the season. They rose to the occasion, stopping an inept quarterback in Desmond Ridder on a fourth and one. They also got to the quarterback thrice, giving them 28 for the season and a No. 10 ranking in sacks. There are positives here.

Overall, this team has too many penalties, with 11 for 112 yards, which is horrific! The offense is ranked No. 24, and Murray and Connor will have eight games to prove they can get this team on the right path offensively. If you add WR Marquise Brown, they have a nucleus, indeed. We have to wait to see if the offense can begin their growth toward respectability, but that’ll only happen if Murray’s the real deal. This analyst believes he’ll have his highlights, but his overall record will not be what they need to contend. Regardless, he gave them a boost in this week’s NFL Power rankings.

27. Green Bay Packers (25) Record: 3-6 (loss vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 23-19) – The Packers are in a rebuild, and it’s now apparent. Ranked No. 21 in offense and 23rd in passing and rushing, this isn’t what the fans expected. Expectations from QB Jordan Love are high, as in elite-quarterback high. They know he must build chemistry and learn the offense between the fields and the classroom.

They’re not giving up, but they know it’s a mini-rebuild. However, this week, they played a strong team in the Steelers and almost won it. However, while QB Jordan Love went 21-of-40 for 289 passing yards with two touchdowns, the two interceptions in the red zone in the fourth quarter doomed this team. We call this growing pains. Look, this team revolves around Love. It’s a quasi-West Coast offense, and he’s the key to everything.

The big negative is a rush defense that allowed the Steelers to rush for 205 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. The Steelers have a weakness in the passing game, so this many yards, well, the Packers should’ve seen it coming. They did but couldn’t stop it, and it’s one reason it’s a mini-rebuild.

It’s not just the growth of Love, but they have holes to fill on defense, and their rushing attack must become more consistent. That’s been a dilemma for years, back to former head coach Mike McCarthy. The year they won the Super Bowl, they had RB James Starks having a stellar season. Why these West Coast-style teams don’t understand that is beyond me. See the Bengals, too, and there are others.

The Packers’ schedule has them facing the Chargers, Lions, and Chiefs with three division games left (counting the Lions). The Pack are four games back, so it’s likely an impossible dream for them to make the playoffs this year. It will be an exciting offseason with this team and which direction they go. There’s also the possibility they may decide that Love isn’t the answer. Unlikely, but we’ll see.

28. Chicago Bears (28) Record: 3-7 (win vs. Carolina Panthers 16-13) – As QB Justin Fields (thumb) heals, we see Division II Shepherd Rams product Tyson Bagent, an undrafted rookie free agent signing, performing with mixed results. He’s now 2-2 as the Bears starter. Overall, his play is dismal to mixed with few highlights, but this week, despite going 20-of-33 for 162 yards, no touchdowns, and more importantly, no interceptions. Turnovers are usually the difference between a win and a loss in ugly, close-scoring games. As with his first win, the team went hard with the rushing attack, 37-133-0, and controlling the clock brought them the victory.

However, despite the win, as stated, it was ugly, and the Bears allowed a punt return for a touchdown because of poor fundamentals. This time, the special teams missed tackles. That’s fundamental football. It took the defense to checkmate a rookie quarterback in Bryce Young, with much of his 185 yards passing coming in two final drives. Newly added DE Montez Sweat had eight pressures that helped create the three sacks. He’s doing what they brought him in to do, and it’s clear he’s a phenomenal addition.

The Bears are showing improvement, and once Fields returns to play, this team could reel off a few more wins and improve with hope as they look toward 2024.

Playing for Draft Positions – the Worst of the Worst

29. Tennessee Titans (20) Record: 3-6 (loss vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-6) – Talk about crashing back to Earth! QB Will Levis has been short of horrific the past two weeks. This week, he went 19-of-39 for 199 passing yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. You can’t put all the blame on him as King Henry went 11-24-0 rushes. Last week, Henry only saw 17 touches, which makes you question the play-calling. The Bucs threw the kitchen house sink at Levis, which paid off. That’s the game plan against rookies, and if effective, it’s usually a bad day for the quarterback and the team if the rushing attack can’t offset the quarterback’s play.

However, the offensive line knew what the defense would do and couldn’t stop it. Defensively, the Titans are ranked No. 9 overall and are a middling No. 16 against the pass and No. 14 against the rush. There’s room for improvement, but the Titans have a future decision to make – the schemes they use. Right now, they say they’re transitioning to a more pass-happy offense, and looking at Henry’s stats over the past two weeks, I believe it. For the year, he’s averaging 16.4 rush attempts per game. That’s not what you think a cowbell back would see. Consequently, this proves the team may be in a transition.

This team has quit, and you can see it with the lack of fundamentals and penalties. That’s not what head coach Mike Vrabel preaches, nor what this team is about. They’re also mediocre right now, and with the Jaguars (twice), Colts, Dolphins, Texans (twice), and Seahawks on the docket, they could be looking at a top-10 draft pick this offseason with a potential 5-12 record. They have a lot of holes to fill, but is it possible if they have a pick that high, they will consider going quarterback for the third straight season? Never say never.

Regardless, the rest of the season is about WillLevis’s development, but the coaching staff should get fired if they can’t get the offensive line to protect him. To see if a kid can play, he must have time in the pocket because if not, they risk destroying his psyche, and he’ll be another wasted pick. This team is likely to drop even further in the NFL Power rankings.

30. New England Patriots (29) Record: 2-8 (loss vs. Commanders 10-6) – Did anyone think the Patriots would be this bad? I felt that new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien would right the offense, but the offense is simply horrendous.

It also appears as if QB Mac Jones isn’t the answer. He went 15-of-20 for 170 passing yards and a brutal red zone interception that cost them dearly. Methinks, the speed of the game is too much for Jones. The players are faster, and he doesn’t have the strongest arm to compensate. Thus, his release and reads must be spot on to compensate, and he can’t do that now. He may not be an NFL-caliber starter but merely backup material.

In his defense, the offensive line also struggled with him, allowing five sacks and hurrying him for too many plays to count. In Jones’ defense, the stupidity of the coaching staff to replace him with backup Bailey Zappe, when the team is on record with cutting him and whispers that he’s not that good, emerged earlier this year. They did it anyway. They were hoping for a”Zappesqu” miracle. The defense did all it could, holding the Colts to 264 total yards, including subpar performances by the Colts’ passing and rushing attack and limiting them to 10 points. You can’t lose games like this if you want to compete, but the 2-8 Patriots are that bad.

We did see a rushing attack, but it was against the Colts, the league’s 21st-ranked rush defense. It’s not exactly an opponent sporting an elite front. They did perform well, going 36-167-0 rushing for an impressive 4.6 yards per carry. How many fantasy football owners benched Ezekial Elliott? Smart move, as it was Rhamondre Stevenson dominating with 20-88-0 rushing and 3-14-0-5 receiving. However, this loss is so bad for morale; where the team stands, it’s not a building moment. It should be as O’Brien should emphasize the run until he can get Jones back on track.

However, as I keep saying, it’s a new offense for this team to learn after a disastrous 2022. Sure, this season looks worse, but management must look in the mirror as much as we look at the talent on the field. Thanks to the team’s years of inept drafting, they don’t have the talent to compete. When they were winning and free agents lined up for them, they could hide the lack of developing their talent – no more.

Right now, they’re in the sweepstakes for a franchise quarterback in the next draft, but if truth be told. They don’t want anything to do with Caleb Williams. Talk about an overrated, immature, petulant child, and that’s Williams. He reminds me a bit of the petulant munchkin we call Kyler Murray! Regardless, the Patriots are a mess and will not win many more games.

31. Carolina Panthers (30) Record: 1-8 (loss vs. Bears 16-13) – Is the offense worsening? Isn’t head coach Frank Reich supposed to be the quarterback guru? He started hot as the Colts head coach but faded and made excuses in his final three seasons, where he went 13-21, thus his firing. We seem to see that Reich as opposed to the one that went 28-20 in his first three seasons.

Offensively, they didn’t turn the ball over, but the overall No. 1 pick, rookie QB Bryce Young, went 21-of-38 for 185 with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He’s fourth in the league with seven interceptions (11 quarterbacks total with four at seven), so this game is an improvement, as is the fact he looked poised at times with fourth down success. I’d be remiss in mentioning potential interceptions dropped, but that’s part of the game.

This team is in a complete rebuild because it’s not only a significant upgrade to the receiving corps they need, but all three phases are performing poorly. For the record, the offense didn’t score a touchdown this week, either. Adding to the team’s overall woes to work out. The defense played well enough to win tonight, but they faced a Division II non-drafted free-agent quarterback filling in for their starter. It’s not like this team was facing Patrick Mahomes or Joe Burrows. Even facing QB Tyson Bagent, they couldn’t register a sack.

Sure, Young’s part of the problem, but the passing offense, ranked at No. 28, needs help, along with a rushing attack ranked at No. 30 and a defense ranked No. 27. It’s clear they need help in every facet of the game. Hindsight is 20/20, and it’s too early to determine ifYoung’s out of his league in the NFL, but the fact they don’t have a No. 1 first-round draft pick hurts this team rebuild as they didn’t expect to win a lot this year, they never saw a 1-8 record at this point. Thisteam’s rebuild may take longer than anyone thought. Look at that: multiple weeks out of the bottom slot in our NFL Power rankings.

32. New York Giants (31) Record: 2-8 (loss vs. Cowboys 49-17) – We know the Giants rank horrifically in many categories, with their one bright spot, as dismal as it is, being the defense keeping it close early before being worn down and opposing offenses taking control. Even that has been sporadic, as their No. 18 league ranking attests.

Their Achilles heel defensively is not the secondary, as they’re ranked No. 15 in pass defense, but their ability to stop runners is. They’re ranked No. 27 against the rush. The actual disaster is on offense and special teams, with a dead last No. 32 ranking on offense overall, including passing, and surprisingly a high No. 11 against the rush. However, that high ranking directly results from teams going pass-happy against them. That’s for a good reason – their secondary is like a sieve.

The real story is what I’ve hinted at for weeks. In today’s generation, being the focus of a head coach belittling you with snide remarks in front of cameras as you come off the playing field isn’t a good look. More importantly, it destroys morale. The only coaches that overcome this are those with Super Bowl rings. I said plural. Bill Belichick (Patriots), Bill Parcels (Giants), and going back to the legend himself, Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers.

Andy Reid isn’t a Parcells-like authoritarian, but as he’s aged, he garners that type of respect because of two Super Bowl Rings and an incredible winning percentage before the rings. However, Bruce Arians (Bucs), John Harbaugh, Tom Coughlin, and others come to mind.

However, disciplinarians with no winning record, especially those who belittle their players, come and go. Looking afar, we see the following: A head coach who will belittle and bully his players on the sidelines in Brian Daboll. Then, as the season progresses, you see the players jaw at each other. The final step is when they begin to jaw at other coaches. That’s the recipe for a lost locker room that results in firings.

Right now, that’s the potential future of Daboll. Can he recover? We’re unsure, but we know this season falls squarely on his shoulders. There are too many problems on this team to go; it’s the quarterback, it’s the play calling, it’s special teams, it’s defense. When it’s everything, you must look at the coaching staff and only the coaching staff. The talk is finally beginning, but this analyst saw it start weeks ago.

If the Giants continue to lose, that won’t get Daboll fired, but if they fail in embarrassing fashion and sideline outbursts continue, then yes, he’s likely gone. He has some rope left, but he’s making that leash shorter weekly. This team will not rebound and could struggle to win another game this season – thus making them potentially the worst team in the league for the rest of the season and in the NFL Power rankings!

There you have it. – Week 11 NFL Power Rankings. We’re seeing many tweaks on this board but also some definite changes, such as with the Bills and Browns and surprises like the Texans and Vikings. What will change next week? Tune in, my friends, tune in.

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