Our NFL Power Rankings are back for another week, and what can we say? The Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens are soaring right now, while the Cincinnati Bengals are roaring! Achilles tears continue to wreak havoc in the league, and the old standard is never far behind as ACL injuries tear their way through, too.
Injuries, Injuries, and Bye Week Status!
This week, the Minnesota Vikings lost RB Cam Akers (Achilles), and the New York Giants lost QB Daniel Jones (ACL). Are the Buffalo Bills done? Can the Miami Dolphins beat anyone above .500? Can the Indianapolis Colts actually compete for a division crown? Why are the Houston Texans dominating? As we enter the second half of the season, there are so many questions. Let’s get to this week’s power rankings and break it down!
As a reminder, we are in the middle of theBye Weeks (weeks 5-14) season with the following teams resting and licking their wounds:
San Francisco 49ers
Note: Numbers in parentheses by team name note their ranking last week.
NFL Power Rankings: The Elites
Philadelphia Eagles (1) Record: 8-1 (win vs. Dallas Cowboys 28-23) – the Eagles are the best team in the league. When they don’t dominate, they do enough as a team to come out with the win. QB Jalen Hurts has become the perfect hybrid of a passer who will stay in the pocket and make a deep, accurate throw. He can buy time to find the open receiver or take off. He’s the ultimate predator at the position right now. They’re the No. 2 offense in the league right now, and they’re rolling. If they have an Achilles heel, it’s their defense, ranked No. 22 right now, but they have a new defensive coordinator and are improving. You add that they have a two-game lead in the NFC East, and this division and home field playoff advantage is theirs to lose. The final fact is that their red zone scoring (touchdowns) is 71.43 percent over the past three weeks. That’s up from their 55.56-season success. This team maintains its hold at No. 1 in our NFL Power Rankings!
Kansas City Chiefs (2) Record: 7-2 (win vs. Miami Dolphins 21-14) – it’s nearly impossible to stay undefeated in the NFL, and the Chiefs’ critics point to their two losses at times as if it’s the end of the world. Their 7-2 record is as good as anyone else’s in the AFC Conference. Put the kibosh on that. This week’s big story is that the Dolphins shut down TE Travis Kelce, 3-14-0-4, but QB Patrick Mahomes is now a veteran and one of the best at reading the field. He distributed the ball to nine other players, not called Kelce! While he didn’t post big numbers, he was efficient and accurate, going 20-of-30 for 185 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also chipped in, 6-24-0 rushing. While offense always dominates, the Chiefs and their 5th-ranked defense held the league’s No. 1 offense to 14 points. The Dolphins average 31.7 points per game. This game is a big win for the Chiefs!
Baltimore Ravens (3) Record: 7-2 (win vs. Seattle Seahawks 37-3) – the Seahawks are one of the most physical teams in the league, but the Ravens turned the tables on them this week as their defense and offense sent a message to the league. They’ve sent a message by easily beating the Detroit Lions (38-6), a team with Super Bowl aspirations, and now the Seahawks, who believe they can contend too! They have been the No. 3 ranked offense for the past three weeks and are still improving! They’re physical, and while they have the No. 15 ranked passing offense this season, that’s not their ceiling. You add improvement to the passing attack, and with QB Lamar Jackson’s legs, this team can beat anyone. A side note: they lost RB J.K. Dobbins (Achilles) but still are the No. 1 ranked rushing offense in the league! Defensively, we’re seeing a return to the days of LB Ray Lewis, when the Ravens’ defense reigned supreme. They’re currently the league’s No. 1 ranked team defensively. They’re scary people!
NFL Power Rankings: Elitism is on their Radar!
San Francisco 49ers (5) Record: 5-3 (Bye Week)
Detroit Lions (7) Record 6-2 (Bye Week)
Cincinnati Bengals (9) Record: 5-3 (win vs. Bills 24-18) – this team is back, but is it? No, it’s not. We should call them the Cincinnati Burrows because he’s carrying them. When healthy, the “Burrows” can beat anyone; when not, they struggle against everyone, and no game is a guaranteed win! That lends credence to the fact that head coach Zac Taylor isn’t great. Instead, as the New England Patriots faithful are seeing, a great quarterback can make an average head coach look hall of fame! Burrows is rolling and is 3-0 against teams in our top 11 NFL Power Rankings the past three weeks. In that span, he’s 88-of-113 for 785 yards, eight touchdowns, and two interceptions. That breaks down to 261.7 yards, 2.7 touchdowns, and 0.67 interceptions per game. However, their season is likely doomed because they’re a one-trick pony! Over the past three weeks, they’re averaging 21.3 rush attempts per game, tied for 26th worst in the league, and dead last for the season! Until this team learns to have a balanced attack, what is happening with the Bills will catch up to the Bengals. This year may not be, but they are vulnerable without a rushing attack!
Dallas Cowboys (6) Record: 5-3 (loss vs. Eagles 28-23) – the Cowboys can beat up on bad teams, and then the talk of being “elite” comes into play. However, they’ve only beaten one team above .500 this season. That’s the New York Jets (4-3), and they played them in Week Two against QB Zach Wilson, who had minimal time entering this season with a new offense after starting QB Aaron Rodgers (Achilles) went down. Great teams make great plays when the game is on the line. The Cowboys don’t. The box score alone shows this. The Cowboys had 406 total yards to the Eagles’ 292. However, the Eagles were more efficient and did get to the quarterback (5 vs. 3 sacks) and create turnovers (one) when needed. More importantly, they came through when it counted, whereas the Cowboys settled for field goals and did not convert a critical fourth down. In their defense, the ball didn’t bounce their way. However, they can learn from this as they show they can compete until the end with the league’s best team. That said, they must best better teams to maintain their NFL Power Rankings!
Jacksonville Jaguars (8) Record: 6-2 (Bye Week)
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NFL Power Rankings: Better than Average but Still has Kinks to Work Out
Miami Dolphins (4) Record: 6-3 (los vs. Chiefs 21-14) – the growing knock on the Dolphins is that they haven’t beaten a team above .500 yet this year. That’s a fair assessment, considering the Buffalo Bills blew them out 48-20 while the Eagles had help from the referees; they were still the dominant team in their 31-17 beat down. The Chiefs had the Dolphins in hand, taking a 21-0 lead and holding them off in the second half. The takeaway is that the Bills are a rival division team, so sometimes records don’t matter. No one disputes the Eagles had help from the referees that changed the game’s tide. However, this game showed the Dolphins falling short but battling back as they held the Chiefs in check the second half as they scored two touchdowns. In his second year, head coach Mike McDaniels must now teach this team how to win against the better teams. That includes improving his playcalling at crunch time. One positive is the rushing attack cracked 117 yards, as it has been MIA recently. Eventually, this lack of wins against superior teams will affect their NFL Power Rankings.
Cleveland Browns (13) Record: 5-3 (win vs. Arizona Cardinals 27-0) – what did anyone expect this week? The Cardinals traded their starting quarterback, Joshua Dobbs, to the Minnesota Vikings and started rookie Clayton Tune because the midget, Kyler Murray, isn’t ready. This result is predictable if you mix in an inconsistent yet elite defense. The actual storyline is QB Deshaun Watson finally showing a slight improvement, but again, it’s the Cardinals we’re talking about. Watson went 19-of-30 for 219 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions while chipping in 3-22-0 rushing. Even a little “positive” is good news for Watson and the Browns as they’re one and a half seasons in with the Watson reign and finally seeing some signs of the quarterback they gave $230 million guaranteed. What’s pitiful? He hasn’t earned one dime of that money yet, and he’s already nearly two seasons in! His test is upcoming with the Ravens, Steelers, Jaguars, Jets, and Bengals down the stretch. Right now, it’s a wait-and-see with Watson’s health, and hopes they suffer no injuries defensively. They’re likely to move up and down our NFL Power Rankings and realize this season is likely a make-or-break one for head coach Kevin Stefanski, even though no one’s talking about it.
NFL Power Rankings: Pretenders or Contenders?
Buffalo Bills (10) Record: 5-4 (loss vs. Cincinnati Bengals 24-18) – this team is in a funk, and we’re not sure if it’s the fact their window is closed and we’re seeing the Bills for what they are or if they can get out of here and compete and beat elite teams. Watching this team play, it’s obvious they lack consistency. That, in turn, is seen also as a lack of discipline – in this case, referring to a lack of focus. They can keep up with anyone, especially in crunch time, but then they lose focus, and teams take advantage, thus the 5-4 record. However, once a stalwart in the league, their defense may be ranked No. 10 overall, but in the past three games, they’re 19th in yards per game and No. 22 in scoring allowed (not good). Not only is their offense inconsistent, but so is their defense. No one seems to be stepping up with veteran or coaching leadership. All eyes point to QB Josh Allen, but from the public standpoint, press conferences, and interviews, he doesn’t strike anyone as a leader in the mold needed to overcome adversity. Instead, he comes across as “one of the guys.” When losing, you need leadership. The Bills are on the outside looking in. Their schedule: the New York Jets, who already beat them once and are a better team since, along with the Eagles, Chiefs, Cowboys, and Dolphins, show a schedule they may not survive. This team bears watching because their window to the Super Bowl may legitimately be over. This drop may not be their lowest in our NFL Power Rankings!
Seattle Seahawks (11) Record: 5-3 (loss vs. Ravens 37-3) – this team is one of the most physical in the NFL, and since Pete Carroll became head coach has always had that reputation. When you play this team, you will feel it the following week. This week, the Seahawks were licking their wounds as the Ravens beat them down so badly they made Chet from “Weird Science” look like a Saint! Seattle’s game plan is always to establish a savage rushing attack that instills pain and wears down defenses and to use its passing attack when needed, yet having the ability to spread the ball and go deep when needed. That all disappeared because the Ravens shut down the rushing attack (28 yards) and put the onus on QB Geno Smith to beat them. Smith failed, getting sacked four times and going 13-of-28 for 157 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. The Achilles heel right now for this offense is an inconsistent Smith. He’s the No. 19th-ranked quarterback in the league in passing and must improve if the Seahawks have any hopes this season.
Los Angeles Chargers (13) Record: 4-4 (win vs. New York Jets 27-6) – the Chargers are always a Super Bowl-ready team on paper, but this so-called high-powered offense struggled. Remember, the Jets are the No. 6 ranked defense. That said, this week, they were lucky they faced a team in the Jets struggling at the quarterback position. The third facet of the game, special teams, came through for them, but the defense played very well, with eight sacks and three recovered fumbles. Yet, special teams scored with a punt return and two field goals. However, this team had to punt the ball seven times. If they believe they’re the real deal in the Super Bowl hunt (they’re not), you can’t punt seven times in a game like this when you’re the superior team that night. There was never any doubt the Jets were playing catch-up all night and trying not to lose the game outright. You must know how to put a team away, and while they eventually did, it took to the end to do it after the Jets took risks with, again, a quarterback who has been struggling all season. If they make it to the postseason, this team will face defenses as good but with better offenses. They must improve because that’s a significant concern (see the Cowboys game). With the Lions, Ravens, Bills, and Chiefs on the docket, they could quickly end the season 9-8 and even worse as they have four division games, and sometimes, many times, you can toss the records out as they know one another well enough to create problems. This team is interesting because they have talent but can’t get it going consistently and don’t know how to win, but it will make most games exciting to watch.
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NFL Power Rankings: The Rest of the Best or Pretenders
Pittsburgh Steelers (15) Record: 5-3 (win vs. Titans 20-16) – whether anyone wants to admit it or not, the Steelers are in a bit of a rebuild with their offense. That or offensive coordinator Matt Canada is that bad. QB Kenny Pickett (ribs) went 19-of-30 for 160 yards, one touchdown, but, most importantly, zero interceptions. That’s key because they used their rushing attack to amass 160 yards. This team is still searching for an offensive identity with the 25th-ranked passing and 28th-ranked rushing offense. Until they figure it out, and it’s likely to take all season, the defense has to carry this team. They were lucky to face rookie QB Will Levis, despite his four-touchdown outing last week – he’s still a rookie! They’re a mediocre 19th-ranked pass defense but a bottom-of-the-barrell 26th-ranked rush defense. This team isn’t very good, yet they’re 5-3 and only one game back from the Ravens. A reality check is likely in store for them, with the Browns, Bengals (twice ), Seahawks, and Ravens still left to play.
Houston Texans (24) Record: 4-4 (win vs. Buccaneers 39-37) – some prognosticators believe the Texans are turning the corner and will compete for the AFC South. We’ll find out with the Bengals, Jaguars, Jets, and Browns coming into town. It’s not a horrific schedule, but one that will test them. For a rebuilding team with a rookie quarterback, a high-pressure game with big plays, high scores, and lead changes is what you want to put your quarterback in. That’s the only way they’ll grow. We already suspect and now know rookie QB C.J. Stroud is the real deal. He went 30-of-42 for 470 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions. Granted, they were playing the 29th-ranked pass defense in the league, but for a rookie to do this? Well, that’s the type of play you can’t teach; the player has to experience it. Stroud passed with flying colors! They’re still two games behind the Jaguars, but face them again. Can this team also move up our NFL Power Rankings? We’ll learn soon enough if this team is “real” enough to compete for the AFC South with the Bengals, Jaguars, Jets, and Browns still left to play. With the second-overall pick, there’s no doubt the Texans may have a franchise superstar for years in Stroud.
New York Jets (12) Record: 4-3 (MNF) – we saw Zach Wilson from the early season this week. What’s hilarious, no, what angers this analyst is that the media is stating QB Zach Wilson’s play as if this is who he is. He’s had some solid games and has improved every week. However, you will have setbacks, but in complete honesty, no one knows where he’ll go from here. The point is to be careful, as the media constantly shows its bias and writes it up that way. I have 35 years of experience seeing this firsthand. That said, Wilson wasn’t statistically horrific, going 33-of-49 for 263 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions. However, he was dreadful with some of his play calling and decisions that cost the team some drives. That’s where the Jets lost this game. The Chargers have a mediocre defense, ranked No. 17 overall, No. 30 versus the pass, and No. 27 versus the run. There’s no reason the Jets offense should’ve performed as they did. The rushing attack was non-existent with 84 yards, and only Breece Hall went 16-50-0 (3.13 average). WR Garrett Wilson did go 7-80-0-13, and the question is 13 targets and only seven actual catches. This offense, with struggles at quarterback, should’ve been able to light it up against this team. This team has a Super Bowl defense but a subpar offense with Wilson at quarterback. They have a few weeks to figure it out, or their season is lost.
New Orleans Saints (16) Record: 5-4 (win vs. Chicago Bears 24-17) – what an ugly game for the Saints. The Bears gave up the football five times, allowed two sacks, had eight penalties, and started an undrafted rookie quarterback in Tyson Bagent. Yet, the Saints couldn’t put them away. Sure, they won, but it was against the No. 32 ranked team in our NFL Power Rankings! The one positive is that this team finds ways to lose but overcame that this week. Maybe I’m just being kind. They ranked No. 11 offensively and are still learning to play together, so there is hope. And their defense this week tightened up in the second half to shut an offense that began to roll in the first half. However, there is room for improvement as they rank No. 17 overall. The Saints are – like many other teams – a wait-and-see team. They have half a season to get their chemistry and timing down on both sides of the ball. They could be a tough team to play if they can do that. That said, it’s likely not to happen as it takes about a season to learn to run a new offense, and when you’re not an elite quarterback with elite players alongside, it’ll likely take the whole year just to come together. They remain a mediocre team in our NFL Power Rankings.
NFL Power Rankings: The Get it Together or Else and Overachievers
Indianapolis Colts (21) Record: 4-5 (win vs. Panthers 27-13) – first of all, congrats to the Colts CB Kenny Moore II, as he’s the only player with two pick-sixes in one game! This team should be 5-4 and two games back from the 6-2 Jaguars if not for referees giving the game to the Browns a few weeks ago. This team can compete, but they’ll lose more than win. Why? Well, backup QB Gardner Minshew is too inconsistent to count on this week, going 17-of-26 for 127 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions against the 27th-ranked defense in the league. In his defense, the Panthers have the No. 3 passing defense in the league, but the 25th-ranked rush defense offsets that. That begs the question – what happened to RB Jonathan Taylor? He was 18-47-0 rushing and 5-22-1-5 receiving – a complete dud of a day and yet, per Grumblings Media analysts, a continuation of our expectations for a down year from him. That said, this is the 25th-ranked rush defense! You can damn well bet there are some angry fantasy football owners! The Colts aren’t gelling, and while that allows for some exciting games, they’ll be on the losing end more often than not. When you add the loss of QB Anthony Richardson (shoulder), the team’s growth is limited on offense this season. This team is too inconsistent to seriously compete for a division title, barring the Jaguars’ complete collapse, but they will be competitive and fun to watch.
Washington Commanders (20) Record: 4-5 (win vs. New England Patriots 20-17) – this team was selling its players off last week before the trade deadline. One could expect the team to be down with veterans and youth now realizing the front office and ownership have given up on this season. If we see a trait with the Commanders, it’s inconsistency, which happened again on offense and defense. Yet, they played hard enough with perseverance to prevail. A testament to the players and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy more so than head coach Ron Rivera. Defensively, they played with defensive ends Chase Young and Montez Sweat traded away. This game should’ve had the player’s morale low and given the Patriots the opening they needed to win. Yet, the Commanders prevailed. QB Sam Howell went 29-of-45 for 325 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. This team played hard this week, but with the Seahawks, Cowboys (twice), Dolphins, Jets, and 49ers, this team will be a top-10 pick in the NFL draft. They don’t have the guns, consistency, or experience to win out against their upcoming schedule. If everything holds, don’t look for them to rise much higher with that schedule in our NFL Power Rankings.
Tennessee Titans (17) Record: 3-5 (loss vs. Steelers 20-16) – this loss could have the Titans realizing they can’t compete and begin playing for the future and seeing what they have in Will Levis at quarterback. He had a monstrous rookie start and went 22-of-39 for 262 yards, no touchdowns, and one critical interception. However, the fact he only had one is fortunate. His arm strength is without question, and he did a solid job reading the field (mostly) and not panicking going through his reads. The play-calling kept Levis off his back, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Steelers. Maybe if they had pushed more touches to RB Derrick Henry, 17-75-1 rushing and 3-27-0-4 receiving; after all, they played the 26th-ranked rush defense in the league. The Titans don’t have the guns to make a postseason run; thus, they need to look toward the future, play younger players, and figure out where they stand with King Henry.
Atlanta Falcons (18) Record: 4-5 (loss vs. Minnesota Vikings 31-28) – you can’t lose these games. The Falcons were playing against a Vikings squad that lost its rookie QB, Jaren Hall (concussion), and then faced QB Joshua Dobbs, who didn’t even know the playbook. Morons will blame QB Taylor Heinicke, who went 21-of-38 for 268 yards with one touchdown and one interception for the loss as the team settled for four field goals. Understand chemistry and red zone offense chemistry takes months to develop. We see it right now with the Ravens, Saints, 49ers, and other teams. You still don’t lose to a team with a journeyman quarterback who’s only been with the team for five games. The real issue is RB Bijan Robinson, 11-51-0 rushing and 2-8-0-4 receiving. Backup Tyler Allgeier had more rushing attempts, 12-39-1. There’s something amiss here with the playcalling and culture amongst this team. It lacks leadership from veterans and the coaching staff, and is showing on the field. That’s the offense, but what about the defense? Well, they’re ranked 20th and played without discipline with eight penalties for 62 yards. However, they got to Vikings quarterbacks four times, got two fumbles, and still lost. Worse? They fell back one game as the Saints took over the NFC South for now. I said last week that head coach Arthur Smith could be on the hot seat, and with an 18-25 record and losses like this, he better figure it out, or he’s gone come the end of the season. His only saving grace is that he’s never had a quality quarterback.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19) Record: 3-5 (loss vs. Texans 39-27) – Like the Falcons this week against the Vikings, the Bucs did the same. They lose to a team they should’ve beaten. This game is on the shoulders of head coach Todd Bowles, a great defensive coordinator and horrific head coach. After a terrible stint with the Jets, his career record is now 37-55 and 11-14 as the Bucs leader. In Bowles’s defense, he’s taking flak for calling a time-out instead of a 10-second run-off at the end of the game with 46 seconds left. Every coach would’ve done the same, and the Bucs’ defense should’ve never allowed a rookie to drive down and beat them. That’s the actual debacle, not Bowles time out. Their defensive coordinator duo of Larry Foote and Kacy Rodgers are terrible, and they should fire Foote (passing coordinator). Regardless, fanboys will blame this loss on QB Baker Mayfield, who went 21-of-30 for 265 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. The team finally found a rushing attack, if only for a paltry 81 yards, but RB Rachaad White, 20-73-2 rushing, was a highlight for the team moving forward. White also pitched in 4-46-0-4 receiving. The loss also drops the Bucs one game behind the Saints in the NFC South. They have a winnable schedule, with only the 49ers and Jaguars looking too tough to beat, but nothing is a given for a team as inconsistent and poorly coached as this one. This team is Helter-Skelter in our NFL Power Rankings.
Denver Broncos (22) Record: 3-5 (Bye Week)
Las Vegas Raiders (28) Record: 4-5 (win vs. New York Giants 30-6) – all I’m hearing is blah, blah, blah or yadda, yadda, yadda this week after the Raiders beat down the New York Giants. This fanboy talk happens a lot. A team goes through a head coaching change, and the first game back is a decisive win, upset, or even a valiant loss. This game means nothing except that the players weren’t giving their all to former head coach Josh McDaniels. However, McDaniels brought it upon himself and became the first head coaching casualty of the season. The interim head coach, Antonio Pierce, has a half-season to convince ownership he’s the best man for the job. Remember, the Giants lost QB Daniel Jones (ACL) and were down to their No. 3 quarterback in rookie Tommy DeVito. You’ll also hear from the bandwagoners that RB Josh Jacobs, 26-98-2 rushing, is back. He’s not where he should be, but he didn’t need to be against the 29th-ranked rushing defense in the league. Yes, people, that’s sarcasm! While rookie QB Aidan O’Connell only went 16-of-25 for 209 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions, the fact he protected the ball is the story. Let’s give the Raiders their due. They played hard against an inferior opponent and have something to build on. On the schedule, we’ll see where they stand with the Jets, Dolphins, and Chiefs (twice). Where they’re heading in our NFL Power Rankings remains to be seen for now.
Green Bay Packers (29) Record: 3-5 (win vs. Rams 20-3) – what a game for the Packers to give them a morale boost after losing four straight! QB Jordan Love wasn’t the storyline here as much as the Packers rushing attack with 184 yards, including RB Aaron Jones going 20-73-1 rushing while chipping in 4-26-0-6. It was a solid day running the ball and using the backs in a true West Coast fashion. Despite being down four starters on defense, they only gave up three points, generated two turnovers, and held backup Rams QB Brett Rypien in check all game. On the other side, Jordan Love was 20-of-26 for 228 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. While not a stalwart day, he was efficient and didn’t lose them the game. This game is one to build around, and the team may realize the best way to get Love moving forward is to have a more balanced rushing attack. However, they must improve their penalties, with seven for 47 yards. That said, it is a game that helps build morale and confidence.
Minnesota Vikings (25) Record: 5-4 (win vs. Falcons 31-28) – the pigskin gods are sending a message to the Vikings. You’re not going anywhere this season, losing rookie QB Jaren Hall (concussion). That left them with QB Joshua Dobbs, who the team traded for last week. He went 20-of-30 for 158 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also was phenomenal on the ground, rushing 7-66-1. What more could you ask from a player asking about the plays while in the huddle? This game is a magical moment because it’s the epitome of what every child dreams up to do. Sure, it’s not the Super Bowl, but to win a game as Dobbs did is what every child dreams about. Remember, the team doesn’t have WR Justin Jefferson (hamstring). Dobbs is who I would want my kid to aspire to be when it comes to never giving up. He’s living the dream, first with the Titans last year in critical games because they couldn’t trust rookie QB Malik Willis, then with the Arizona Cardinals because the midget QB Kyler Murray (ACL) wasn’t ready, and now with the Vikings. You see, Dobbs isn’t elite and struggles to stay on a roster, but heart? His is one of the biggest in the game in never giving up. It is a testament to the human spirit and what America can do for anyone willing to work hard. The rest of the team? They have a shot, but with Dobbs at QB (he’s no Kirk Cousins (Achilles)) and the Lions two games ahead with a schedule consisting of the Bengals and Lions (twice), it may be too much for them to overcome. Even if they miraculously come back to win the division, this team isn’t good enough to compete and go anywhere in the playoffs. Their defense is ranked 19th, and their offense is falling off the charts after being the No. 2 ranked offense under Cousins. They’re No. 9 in passing offense at the moment.
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NFL Power Rankings: What the Hell, We Have No Clue or Playing for Draft Position
Los Angeles Rams (23) Record: 3-6 (loss vs. Packers 20-3) – this analyst believes Rams head coach Sean McVay is one of the most overrated coaches in the game. Sure, he has two Super Bowl appearances. One with a young team that lost, and the second a win, purely through mercenary players but creating future chaos with their salary cap. Between inept coaching, bad front office salary cap management, and players too old and injury-prone, this team is going nowhere and falling hard! Without their old man, QB Matthew Stafford (thumb), the team could only muster 187 total yards, had two turnovers, and gave up a sack to a Packers team that is below .500 and struggling. Rypien went 13-of-28 for 130 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception, with the rushing attack garnering 68 yards on the ground. This team will likely begin playing younger players and seeing what they have. The veterans are already checking out, and using the cliché, we can put a fork in them. The final caveat for fantasy football owners is the wide receiver performances: Cooper Kupp, 2-48-07, and Puka Nacua, 3-32-0-7. We tried to warn you before the season began to stay away from Kupp.
Chicago Bears (32) Record: 2-7 (loss vs. Saints 24-27) – in watching this game, at times, QB Tyson Bagent looked solid, but it was a mirage. Under pressure, he collapsed, going 18-of-30 for 220 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions. Two of them were crucial in the fourth quarter. Yet, they hung tough, and you’re seeing a maturation overall with this Bears team. Sure, they’re still terrible, but they’re playing much better football. A big reason for this loss is turnovers and penalties. You can’t have five turnovers with two at critical points in the fourth quarter and eight penalties for 71 yards. That’s on the coaching staff and veteran leaders, but this is also a team in a rebuild, so we expect some penalties. Despite this, the Bears still had a chance to win it. There may be hope for this team if the growth continues. Next week, they likely get QB Justin Fields back, and the team’s goal is to determine if he’s their franchise quarterback.
New England Patriots (26) Record: 2-7 (loss vs. Commanders 20-17) – this loss epitomizes how bad the Patriots are. This record is the worst since head coach Bill Belichick’s first season in New England. The fact they lost to the Commanders, who were giving away starters before the trade deadline, should be stunning, but it’s not. There’s something not right with the Patriots culture right now. We don’t know what that is, but a history of bad drafting and stinginess on the free agency front may be the answer. For the game, QB Mac Jones went 24-of-44 for 220 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Overall, he’s improving, but as a whole, the team is not. That’s the issue. Coaches are solid, and the players are good enough to compete, yet they can’t win. What’s the issue? Despite a solid game against the Commanders with three sacks, two turnovers, and holding the Commanders to 20 points, they are the 28th-ranked defense. Offensively, it’s not much better with the 29th-ranked offense. Talent seems to be the prevailing factor, and it’s not just one position but the team as a whole that needs a complete rebuild. With their record, they may be looking at a top pick, and one wonders if this team trades down for more picks or decides to dump Jones and look toward a franchise quarterback. Again, lousy drafting is one reason the Patriots are a mess today. They seem doomed to go lower in our NFL Power Rankings.
Carolina Panthers (30) Record: 1-7 (loss vs. Colts 27-13) – this loss falls entirely on the rookie QB Bryce Young. He went 24-of-39 for 173 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. Those were killer because the Colts were able to pick-six two of them. Like any quarterback, when Young has time, he shows he can sling the rock, but outside of that, he looks worse than a rookie at times. He isn’t going through his reads, isn’t accurate, and makes poor decisions. He’s living the rookie formula – misery in year one! The one big positive is that the Panthers’ defense held the Colts to 198 total yards (120 passing, 78 rushing), only allowed 13 points, recovered a fumble, and even got a sack. That’s great for building on, but we still need to see more significant growth from Young, and we’re not sure we’re seeing it. We see glimpses, but he’s still the same quarterback from the start of the season. This second half will tell us a lot. That said, the Panthers have escaped the bottom slot in our NFL Power Rankings.
New York Giants (27) Record: 2-7 (loss vs. Raiders 30-6) – what an ugly game, and where do you start with the team halfway through the season? Their quarterback play is horrible, ranked No. 31 in passing; their rushing attack is inconsistent despite being ranked No. 11 in rushing, and their defense is nowhere to be found with a league ranking of 24. The truth is, it’s about to get worse. QB Daniel Jones (ACL) is having a miserable season, and the butt of every joke you can think of is out for the year with a torn ACL. You add backup Tyrod Taylor (neck) on injured reserve, and you only have undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito to turn to. Well, not exactly as I expect Matt Barkley to be brought up from the practice squad to start. The only gem in all this is RB Saquon Barkley, 16-90-0 rushing and 3-23-0-4 receiving. He’s playing for a contract and likely will want out of New York next year, especially if they draft a rookie quarterback. Look for this team to keep dropping in our NFL Power Rankings, and at what point do we begin to question head coach Brian Dayboll, who’s being given a pass for now?
Arizona Cardinals (31) Record: 1-8 (loss vs. Browns 27-0) –nothing you can say about this Cardinals beat down except we expected it. You don’t trade your starting quarterback, Joshu Dobbs, from an offense already struggling for an untested rookie in Clayton Tune. Tune went 11-of-20 for 58 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. He did better rushing, 5-28-0, and, sadly, led the team in that category. That says it all. Management screwed the players over this week, but they have hope as the return of the midget in QB Kyler Murray could be sooner than later. Until then, this is the worst team in the NFL, and they’ll likely settle in at No. 32 for many weeks in our NFL Power Rankings. Oh, and the final nail in the coffin? They had a total of 58 offensive yards! Yes, Tune saw seven sacks for 41 yards, which means he had a net 17 yards of passing!
We conclude another week of our NFL Power Rankings. Let us know, if you agree or disagree. If you enjoy podcasts, check out this episode of Points on the Board where we discuss these rankings and much more!