What a Sunday we had in the NFL, and what a trade deadline we had as well. The Seahawks and Texans have an argument for game of the year with a wild duel between Russell Wilson and DeShaun Watson. The Eagles and Bills got stronger at the deadline. The Patriots finally unloaded Jimmy Garoppolo. The Cowboys continued to get back on track, and now they have lost Ezekiel Elliott for six games. The Steelers and Chiefs both edged out their opponents this past week.
In all of this craziness, here are the latest NFL power rankings.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (No Change)
The Eagles are still the most complete team in the league. They have the offense and weapons to put points on the board. Adding Jay Ajayi only makes them stronger, especially because they won’t wear down any single back come playoff time. The defense is playing fantastic up front and the secondary still holds their own.
2. New England Patriots (No Change)
An ugly win on Sunday against the Chargers, but the defense did their job. That unit is finally coming together, which many figured would happen at some point. They get the bye week to get healthier for the stretch run.
3. Seattle Seahawks (+2)
The defense couldn’t stop DeShaun Watson on Sunday. The offensive line couldn’t hold up against Jadeveon Clowney. Russell Wilson and the offense would still not be denied. He ran and threw all over the Texans. Now, enter Duane Brown from Houston who will certainly help keep Wilson upright. Seattle is getting scarier by the week.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (-1)
The offense was a bit lethargic on Sunday night. Le’Veon Bell didn’t find many holes and the passing game looked off minus the 97 yard touchdown to Juju Smith-Schuster. However, the defense stood tall, especially in the red zone. Stopping the Lions on multiple fourth down plays in the red zone is a big deal. That defense continues to get better.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (-1)
Not the greatest win on Monday night, but it will do. Kareem Hunt was stifled most of the night, but Alex Smith and Travis Kelce keyed the offense when they needed it. The defense is still very good, no matter how bad Trevor Siemian is. They will be just fine going forward, as they get Tamba Hali back this week.
6. Los Angeles Rams (No Change)
Not too mention for this club coming off the bye week. They are playing very well on both sides of the ball. They are clearly still a threat in the NFC West and certainly look like a playoff team.
7. Buffalo Bills (+2)
It would have been easy for the Bills to tank this season and focus on the future. Yet, here they are, fresh off a domination of the Oakland Raiders. LeSean McCoy had a big day on the ground, and the defense forced big time turnovers. That is a recipe for a playoff team. They get the Jets next, and a win there keeps the wagon moving.
8. Minnesota Vikings (-1)
The Vikings have a grip on the NFC North and may get Teddy Bridgewater back sooner rather than later. If the defense continues to play well and they can get the ground game rolling, they should cruise to a division title.
9. New Orleans Saints (-1)
A win is a win. The Saints relied on the defense to escape with a win Sunday against the Bears. Drew Brees and the offense played well, but two Mark Ingram fumbles kept the Bears in it. As long as the defense can keep up the pace they are on, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be the favorites to win the NFC South.
10. Dallas Cowboys (No Change)
Big division win for the Cowboys Sunday. They didn’t realize how much they needed it until they realized Ezekiel Elliott would in fact be suspended for six games. It isn’t an easy stretch by any means. We will certainly find a lot out about this Cowboys team without Elliott.
11. Jacksonville Jaguars (+1)
Defense, defense, defense. They should look good coming off the bye week with their new addition Marcell Dareus. That front is extremely dangerous and can wreck a game at any time. Leonard Fournette will also be back this week. With the Watson injury, they are the favorites right now.
12. Houston Texans (+2)
An excellent performance Sunday by DeShaun Watson only proves that he is the future for the Texans and for the NFL. It was unfortunate to hear about his ACL tear today, and I wish him the best on the road to recovery. It’s hard to imagine the Texans will be able to weather that storm.
13. Los Angeles Chargers (No Change)
The Chargers held their own against the Patriots Sunday. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram continue to dominate, and the secondary is slowly getting better. It’s up to the offense to be better moving forward. They are still in the playoff hunt with the talent they have.
14. Atlanta Falcons (+3)
The Falcons picked up a key win against the Jets Sunday. The unlikely heroes, Tevin Coleman and Mohamed Sanu, need to keep it up if the offense has a shot to return to what it was. The defense still plays fast and will be the key for them going forward.
15. Washington Redskins (-4)
An unfortunate tumble for the Redskins on Sunday. They are loaded with injuries and a bye week would do them good. Unfortunately, they are headed to Seattle this week. The offense needs to pick it up down the stretch if a playoff berth is desired.
16. Carolina Panthers (No Change)
Super ugly win for the Panthers on Sunday. A win over the Bucs isn’t much to brag about these days. Their offense is still lethargic, and better teams won’t hand them opportunities. The loss of Kelvin Benjamin hurts their offense, and a big matchup looms with the Falcons.
17. Detroit Lions (-2)
The defense did a great job containing Le’Veon Bell, but the offense has to find a way to get in the end zone. Matt Stafford has the weapons back, so they need to forget that loss and regroup. They have a great opportunity to move forward with the Packers coming up next.
18. Chicago Bears (+2)
The defense played well against the Saints in the Superdome, but they eventually need to give Mitchell Trubisky more in order to win games. They need to continue to be creative with their two headed monster at running back. Also, on a more important note, wishing the best to Zach Miller on his recovery.
19. Tennessee Titans (-1)
The good news for Tennessee is that the division is opening up. The bad news is that they don’t look like a playoff team. The Jags are dominant on the defensive side of the ball, while the Titans sit at mediocre on both sides. Marcus Mariota isn’t having his best year, and the defense lacks playmakers.
20. Baltimore Ravens (+8)
The defense played well and the offense found life against the Dolphins. That was certainly the performance they needed to climb their way back into relevance. The key now is repeating those performances in a crowded AFC.
21. Denver Broncos (No Change)
The change to bench Trevor Siemian is understood. While he started out hot, he has become inaccurate and even a turnover machine. Many believed a better run game would help, but it hasn’t. With Paxton Lynch hurt, Brock Osweiler will get the start. In better news, the defense is still good and played a heck of a game containing Kareem Hunt.
22. Cincinnati Bengals (+2)
They did just enough to beat the Colts Sunday. The outlook is good for the Bengals due to the performance of the young guns. Joe Mixon is getting more carries and is improving. Carl Lawson has been excellent in the first half of the season. Even Jordan Willis is getting good playing time. It’s just about putting a game together for this team.
23. Green Bay Packers (No Change)
Nothing doing over the bye week. It will be interesting to see what the Packers have in store for Monday night. Will they lean on Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones, or will they air it out more. If they want to be in position for a run if Aaron Rodgers can return, this is a big one against Detroit.
24. Oakland Raiders (-2)
I think it’s about time to stick a fork in the Raiders. The offense didn’t have the rhythm against Buffalo and the defense couldn’t get the stops they needed. The defense clearly needs more help, and the Derek Carr hype took off too soon. The Raiders certainly didn’t envision this in 2017.
25. New York Jets (+1)
The Jets are way better than people believed they would be. The defense doesn’t get enough credit. Leonard Williams is a force. Jordan Jenkins is improving on the edge. Jamal Adams is a superstar in the making, and Marcus Maye looks good as well. The offense just needs a makeover in the coming draft and free agency.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1)
Stick a fork in the Bucs as well. They had an abysmal performance on offense against Carolina. Jameis Winston still hasn’t been able to outgrow turnovers. The defense still struggles to get pressure. To top it off, they don’t get a bye to help stop the bleeding.
27. Miami Dolphins (-8)
The Dolphins had an even worse week than the Bucs did. They laid an egg at Baltimore. They aren’t dynamic enough offensively with Matt Moore at the helm. The defense is still trying to gel as a unit. Plus, they just traded away Jay Ajayi. There isn’t much else to say.
28. Arizona Cardinals (-1)
The Cardinals are dealing with injuries all over the place, injuries that really derailed their season. They have big decisions coming this offseason at a multitude of positions.
29. Indianapolis Colts (No Change)
The Colts just couldn’t finish on Sunday against Cincinnati. With the bad news that Andrew Luck will not play at all this season, Chris Ballard will have decisions to make regarding the coaching staff and Andrew Luck himself.
30. New York Giants (No Change)
They really don’t have a shot at the playoffs, but we will see what pride they have to go out and try to play hard the rest of the year. The defense isn’t as good as last season, but they will give some teams headaches down the stretch. Now is a good time to see what they have on offense and prepare for offseason additions.
31. San Francisco (No Change)
The Niners didn’t even wait until the offseason to make decisions. They went out and traded for Jimmy Garoppolo and shook up the quarterback carousel for 2018. He may not get much time this season, but Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have a plan for this team, and they will contend in the near future.
32. Cleveland Browns (No Change)
The botched trade for AJ McCarron (with details that are still a bit uncertain) puts the front office and decision makers in a bad light. It’s clear they don’t believe in the quarterback room they have. In a time where many believed they could turn this around, changes are certainly coming for this team.
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