Week 11 Power Rankings: NFC Is Getting Deeper, AFC Thinning

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We have reached mid-November, which can only mean one thing. The stretch run to the playoffs is beginning. Many teams are still in the hunt for a playoff spot, while others are focusing on the ultimate goal. The next seven weeks will surely be full of meaningful and exciting football. Let’s get to the rankings.

1. Philadelphia Eagles (No Change)

2. New England Patriots (No Change)

3. New Orleans Saints (+6)

4. Kansas City Chiefs (+1)

5. Minnesota Vikings (+3)

6. Los Angeles Rams (No Change)

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (-3)

8. Seattle Seahawks (-5)

Thoughts: The Eagles and Patriots currently are atop their respective conferences, and it’s easy to see why. Both teams are outplaying everyone on both sides of the ball. The Patriots also dominated on special teams against the Broncos and look back to form in a top heavy AFC. The New Orleans Saints are streaking after winning seven straight thanks to an accompanying defense and running game for Drew Brees. Kansas City remains the second best team in the AFC and will likely grab the division with a weak second half schedule. The Vikings and Rams are surprising everyone offensively so far, and they meet for what should be an excellent and important game on Sunday. Pittsburgh drops due to their constant pattern of playing down to their competition. They are still playing solid defense, but the offense is struggling and needs to find it down the stretch. Despite continued injuries and shuffling at running back, the Seahawks are still alive. Russell Wilson is the under the radar MVP right now keeping this team afloat. It will be interesting to see them without Richard Sherman down the stretch.

9. Carolina Panthers (+7)

10. Jacksonville Jaguars (+1)

11. Dallas Cowboys (-1)

12. Atlanta Falcons (+2)

13. Washington Redskins (+2)

14. Tennessee Titans (+5)

15. Detroit Lions (+2)

16. Buffalo Bills (-9)

Thoughts: The Panthers are surging once again thanks to Cam Newton and a defense that is tightening its grip. They have plenty of division games left to see what they are made of. Jacksonville’s defense continues to dominate, and they pulled off an unlikely win at home against the Chargers. They need to clean things up a bit offensively, but they are very much in playoff contention. Dallas could certainly fall more without Ezekiel Elliott for five more games, and their playoff hopes are diminishing as the weeks go by. The Falcons got a much needed win over those Cowboys, and the defense is still loaded. Adrian Clayborn benefitted from a nice situation, but those six sacks gave the defense that extra boost. They have tough games down the stretch. The Redskins and Titans are two of the more intriguing teams here. The Titans are winning close games against less than average competition, and the Redskins have played a brutal schedule and are still afloat. They both will benefit down the stretch in different ways – the Redskins from the sputtering Cowboys and the Titans from the lack of depth in the AFC. The Lions barely escaped at home against Cleveland, and they need to step it up earlier in games if they want to stay in playoff contention. Buffalo is confusing right now. They are in the thick of the playoff race, and yet they decided to bench Tyrod Taylor for Nathan Peterman this week.

17. Oakland Raiders (+7)

18. Green Bay Packers (+5)

19. Los Angeles Chargers (-6)

20. Baltimore Ravens (No Change)

21. Arizona Cardinals (+7)

22. Chicago Bears (-4)

23. Denver Broncos (-2)

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2)

Thoughts: The Raiders take a jump with their righting of the ship against the Dolphins. Thanks to the struggling Chargers and Broncos plus a weak AFC, they are still alive. They need to find consistency on both sides of the ball though. Green Bay finally got a win without Rodgers against the Bears, and a weak schedule down the stretch gives them a chance. The Chargers lost in the most Chargers way to the Jags on Sunday. They are the best 3-6 team by far, but they just can’t seem to put a game together. The Ravens are still alive, but they are so inconsistent on offense. They may have to string some together to make a run. The Cardinals aren’t a playoff team, but they have played well recently. They gave Seattle fits last Thursday and the defense looks good for the future. The Bears need some work, especially when it comes to playmakers. Teams are focusing on the running game, and Mitch Trubisky doesn’t have enough to work with. What is there to say about Denver other than they are falling apart. Both sides of the ball are subpar at the moment, and they may clean up contracts and reload in the draft. The Bucs are struggling in two of the most important areas of the game: the offensive and defensive line. Both spots need an influx of young talent. With no extra week to rest, this team will be gassed by the end.

25. New York Jets (No Change)

26. Cincinnati Bengals (-4)

27. Miami Dolphins (No Change)

28. Houston Texans (-16)

29. Indianapolis Colts (No Change)

30. San Francisco 49ers (+1)

31. New York Giants (-1)

32. Cleveland Browns (No Change)

Thoughts: The Jets are playing much better than advertised, but they still need help on offense. They are getting older at running back, and they have to find the quarterback of the future. The Bengals aren’t playing well, and Marvin Lewis is fueling the fire with his comments about rookie John Ross. Since you’re out of the playoff race, play your rookies!! The Dolphins got smoked on Monday night with no relief in sight. They have the Pats twice down the road and major decisions coming in the offseason. The Texans have taken an unfortunate tumble due to injuries. I’m not sure any team could survive what they’ve lost this season. The good news is that next year, the hype surrounding the Texans will be real. The Colts nearly pulled off a great upset on Sunday, but they couldn’t finish. A 3-7 record puts them in a position for serious transition. The Niners finally got a win under Kyle Shanahan over the Giants, and the players rewarded him with a properly sized Gatorade bath (if you didn’t see it, look it up). The roster is looking good, and an overhaul on offense with Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm means a turnaround is coming soon. The Giants continue to be abysmal this season, and they can’t buy a win. It might be time to see what you have in Davis Webb. One bright spot for them is that Evan Engram is a nightmare for defenses. The Browns had a chance on Sunday against Detroit, and the nightmarish play with the lead has many wondering if they will win a game this year. Change is coming.

Disagree with the rankings??? Follow Jake on Twitter @JSchyvinck13 and tell him why he’s wrong. 

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