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NFL Power Rankings (11/27/18)
1) New Orleans Saints (10-1)
Last Week Ranking: 1
Last Game: beat Atlanta 31-17
Next Game: at Dallas (TNF)
With Dallas on the horizon, it’s interesting to note that the Saints have only allowed two teams to rush for 100 or more yards this season.
2) Los Angeles Rams (10-1)
Last Week Ranking: 2
Last Game: Bye Week
Next Game: at Detroit
Bye week tidbit: USC AD Lynn Swann will retain Clay Helton as the head coach and no one seems to know why either of them are still around.
3) Kansas City Chiefs (9-2)
Last Week Ranking: 3
Last Game: Bye Week
Next Game: at Oakland
Bye week tidbit: Former Chief tight end Tony Gonzalez is among the finalists for the Hall of Fame. I’d be shocked if he’s not in as a first ballot candidate.
4) Los Angeles Chargers (8-3)
Last Week Ranking: 8
Last Game: beat Arizona 45-10
Next Game: at Pittsburgh
Philip Rivers had one of the greatest single game performances ever, but what should worry opposing teams is how different the Bolts defense is with Joey Bosa back healthy.
5) Chicago Bears (8-3)
Last Week Ranking: 6
Last Game: beat Detroit 23-16
Next Game: at N.Y. Giants
With offensive juggernauts getting all the headlines, it could be an old school defense like the Bears that neutralizes that trend.
6) New England Patriots (8-3)
Last Week Ranking: 4
Last Game: beat N.Y. Jets 27-13
Next Game: vs. Minnesota
Clearly, these aren’t the same Patriots that we’ve seen in past seasons, but they still find a way to win with or without their stars.
7) Houston Texans (8-3)
Last Week Ranking: 7
Last Game: beat Tennessee 34-17
Next Game: vs. Cleveland
That’s eight straight wins for the Texans. A healthy Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus makes Houston a dangerous dark horse pick.
8) Minnesota Vikings (6-4-1)
Last Week Ranking: 9
Last Game: beat Green Bay 24-17
Next Game: at New England
Kirk Cousins completed 29 of his 38 passes for 342 yards to put the Vikings right in front of the crowded NFC wild card chase.
9) Seattle Seahawks (6-5)
Last Week Ranking: 10
Last Game: beat Carolina 30-27
Next Game: vs. San Francisco
If the Seahawks want to earn their seventh playoff berth in nine years, they couldn’t have asked for an easier path. Four of their last five are at home and they have three games against the 49ers and Cardinals.
10) Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3-1)
Last Week Ranking: 5
Last Game: lost to Denver 24-17
Next Game: vs. L.A. Chargers
Pittsburgh didn’t play Steeler football at the end of their game against Denver and it cost them.
11) Dallas Cowboys (6-5)
Last Week Ranking: 13
Last Game: beat Washington 31-23
Next Game: vs. New Orleans (TNF)
After wallowing in mediocrity most of the season, the Cowboys now have the best chance to win the NFC East.
12) Indianapolis Colts (6-5)
Last Week Ranking: 15
Last Game: beat Miami 27-24
Next Game: at Jacksonville
What is the world has gotten into Eric Ebron? He has 44 receptions this season. A staggering eleven of them are for touchdowns.
13) Baltimore Ravens (6-5)
Last Week Ranking: 14
Last Game: beat Oakland 34-17
Next Game: at Atlanta
Who gives the Ravens the best chance to win, Joe Flacco or Lamar Jackson? According to the Baltimore Sun, the choice is obvious.
14) Philadelphia Eagles (5-6)
Last Week Ranking: 17
Last Game: beat N.Y. Giants 25-22
Next Game: vs. Washington (MNF)
The Eagles overcame a 16 point deficit to stay in the playoff hunt. They may have found a running game with Josh Adams but their receiving corps are still a question.
15) Carolina Panthers (6-5)
Last Week Ranking: 12
Last Game: lost to Seattle 30-27
Next Game: at Tampa Bay
Even Christian McCaffrey’s big day (125 rushing yards, 112 receiving, two touchdowns) wasn’t enough to overcome poor play in the secondary and on special teams.
16) Denver Broncos (5-6)
Last Week Ranking: 19
Last Game: beat Pittsburgh 24-17
Next Game: at Cincinnati
As excited as Denver is, in the two wins against the Chargers and Steelers, the Broncos have given up 1,006 total yards of offense.
17) Cleveland Browns (4-6-1)
Last Week Ranking: 24
Last Game: beat Cincinnati 35-20
Next Game: at Houston
The Browns end a 24 game road losing streak against the Bengals. The last time they won on the road was November 6, 2014...also in Cincinnati.
18) Green Bay Packers (4-6-1)
Last Week Ranking: 16
Last Game: lost to Minnesota 24-17
Next Game: vs. Arizona
The Packers have looked listless and unimaginative on offense all season. After scoring on their first two possessions, Green Bay gained only 135 yards the rest of the game. To me, that shows opponents are making in-game adjustments on defense that Mike McCarthy isn’t countering on offense.
19) Washington Redskins (6-5)
Last Week Ranking: 11
Last Game: lost to Dallas 31-23
Next Game: at Philadelphia (MNF)
Washington has now lost four in a row and their already unspectacular offense is even less so with Colt McCoy at the helm.
20) Tennessee Titans (5-6)
Last Week Ranking: 18
Last Game: lost to Houston 34-17
Next Game: vs. N.Y. Jets
Whatever magic Mike Vrabel used to beat the Patriots has backfired since. They’ve given up 72 points in the two games afterwards.
21) Atlanta Falcons (4-7)
Last Week Ranking: 20
Last Game: lost to New Orleans 31-17
Next Game: vs. Baltimore
The Falcons are out of the NFC South division race after rushing for only 26 yards against the Saints. Another loss probably eliminates them from playoff contention.
22) Buffalo Bills (4-7)
Last Week Ranking: 25
Last Game: beat Jacksonville 24-21
Next Game: at Miami
Josh Allen’s four rushing touchdowns leads the Bills.
23) Cincinnati Bengals (5-6)
Last Week Ranking: 21
Last Game: lost to Cleveland 35-20
Next Game: vs. Denver
Hue Jackson was hired as a special defensive assistant to Marvin Lewis. So why couldn’t the former Cleveland coach figure out how to defend his old offense? The Bengals should clean house and start over, but they won’t. It’s too expensive for the notoriously frugal Brown family.
24) Detroit Lions (4-7)
Last Week Ranking: 22
Last Game: lost to Chicago 23-17
Next Game: vs. L.A. Rams
Matthew Stafford might just be one of those good to okay QB’s that will never make a real impact.
25) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7)
Last Week Ranking: 28
Last Game: beat San Francisco 27-9
Next Game: vs. Carolina
Too bad Jameis Winston can’t face the Niners every week. He went 29 of 38 passing for 312 yards with two touchdowns and no turnovers.
26) Miami Dolphins (5-6)
Last Week Ranking: 23
Last Game: lost to Indianapolis 27-24
Next Game: vs. Buffalo
The Dolphins were the last NFL team to score on their first drive this season.
27) New York Giants (3-8)
Last Week Ranking: 26
Last Game: lost to Philadelphia 25-22
Next Game: vs. Chicago
Saquon Barkley had 94 rushing yards and 37 receiving yards in the first half. He only carried the ball four times in the second. Why?
28) Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8)
Last Week Ranking: 27
Last Game: lost to Buffalo 24-21
Next Game: vs. Indianapolis
Seven straight losses lead to the Jags firing OC Nathaniel Hackett and replacing Blake Bortles with Cody Kessler. At this point, it’s rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
29) Oakland Raiders (2-9)
Last Week Ranking: 29
Last Game: lost to Baltimore 34-17
Next Game: vs. Kansas City
The Raiders rank 29th in points per game, 24th in total yards, 26th in third down success rate, and 21st in turnover differential.
30) San Francisco 49ers (2-9)
Last Week Ranking: 30
Last Game: lost to Tampa Bay 27-9
Next Game: at Seattle
A good article by Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle regarding Reuben Foster and how the 49ers handled his release.
31) New York Jets (3-8)
Last Week Ranking: 31
Last Game: lost to New England 27-13
Next Game: at Tennessee
The Jets gave up 498 yards to the Patriots on Sunday. That’s the fifth time this season that they’ve allowed 400 yards or more this season.
32) Arizona Cardinals (2-9)
Last Week Ranking: 32
Last Game: lost to L.A. Chargers 45-10
Next Game: at Green Bay
The Cards need to work on their halftime speeches. They’ve have been outscored 76-14 in the third quarter and average just 36.8 yards on offense.