- New England Patriots (7-1; Last Ranking: 1)
The Patriots, again, are the best team in football and it really isn’t close. Based on the health of some of the teams closest to competing with New England (Seattle, Pittsburgh, Green Bay), they are far too injured at the moment to challenge the Pats.
2. Dallas Cowboys (6-1; Last Ranking: 4)
HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS?! Look at this team, sitting as the only 1-loss team in the NFC, with the NFL’s leading rusher, and a rookie quarterback at the helm. Everything is going right for Dallas right now.
3. Denver Broncos (6-2; Last Ranking: 6)
The defending Super Bowl Champions will attempt to employ the same strategy for the second year in a row. So far, the strategy looks like it could work out pretty well. That being said, who knows if Tom Brady is stoppable right now.
4. Oakland Raiders (6-2; Last Ranking: 8)
Putting the Raiders at four almost feels like a typo, but they keep winning football games so here they are. Their two losses have both come at home (5-0 on the road) and it doesn’t get any easier with Denver coming to town next week. Side note: their next road game is December 8th.
5. Seattle Seahawks (4-2-1; Last Ranking: 2)
The Seahawks don’t look right, and most people think it is due to injury. The combination of injuries for Russell Wilson is clearly showing as he has less than 50 yards rushing for the season. The defense still looks pretty great, though.
6. Minnesota Vikings (5-2; Last Ranking: 3)
The once-red-hot Vikings seemed to have cooled down along with the weather. Over the last two weeks, the defense has looked increasingly human, Bradford looks uncomfortable, and they just aren’t playing with the same energy.
7. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2; Last Ranking: 10)
A lot of people write the Chiefs off every year because Alex Smith is their quarterback. That’s fine, but as they’ve shown yet again this year, they’re not going to go down without a fight. The Chiefs are 12th in offensive efficiency, 6th on defense, and 8th on special teams.
8. Atlanta Falcons (5-3; Last Ranking: 12)
Atlanta got a huge victory over a depleted Green Bay Packers team this past Sunday. While many are ready to proclaim that the Falcons won’t collapse in the second half, there are a lot of reasons to believe otherwise, which is why they are ranked at eight and not higher.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3; Last Ranking: 9)
The Steelers cashed in a much needed bye week and will now face the Ravens in week nine.
10. Green Bay Packers (4-3; Last Ranking: 5)
The Packers’ three losses are to the Vikings, the Falcons, and the Cowboys, all teams that sit in the top 8 of the power rankings. On one hand, it’s great that their only losses have been to good teams. On the other hand, can the Packers beat the NFC elite?
11. Philadelphia Eagles (4-3; Last Ranking: 7)
While the honeymoon phase of the Carson Wentz show is over, the team is still very competitive with him at the helm. He clearly knows how to manage the game and make solid throws, but does he have enough weapons around him to compete with top-notch defenses?
12. Houston Texans (5-3; Last Ranking: 15)
No one in the world could confidently predict what the Houston Texans will do week to week. At times, this defense looks as good as any and the offense has great balance. When they aren’t clicking, their offense looks like it could be contained by the Alabama Crimson Tide.
13. Washington Redskins (4-3-1; Last Ranking: 13)
The Redskins have a lot of solid pieces, and sometimes they look like a really good football team. They did a quality job of taking Cincy to overtime, but they needed that win. Their next five games: MIN at home, GB at home, @DAL, @AZ, and @PHI.
14. Buffalo Bills (4-4; Last Ranking: 11)
It has been a strange season for the Buffalo Bills. Many believe them to be a wild card worth team in the AFC; however, their only win against a .500 team was against the Brady-less Patriots. He played on Sunday, and the Pats won by two touchdowns.
15. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1; Last Ranking: 16)
The Bengals are 3-4-1 and will be until they play again in week ten. For Cincinnati, a tie in London will really end up hurting this team in the long run. With such a tough schedule early in the season, the Bengals need to make up as much ground as possible.
16. New York Giants (4-3; Last Ranking: 17)
New York rested up this week, preparing for a big divisional showdown with the Eagles.
17. Baltimore Ravens (3-4; Lat Ranking: 18)
The Ravens had a bye before hosting the rival Steelers at home on Sunday.
18. Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1; Last Ranking: 14)
Just when you thought the Cardinals were turning a corner, postseason-Carson Palmer came out to play on Sunday. You can’t put all the blame on him; he was running for his life for most of the day.
19. Detroit Lions (4-4; Last Ranking: 19)
As people try to push Matthew Stafford into the MVP discussion, let’s think about the NFC North race. With two games again Minnesota and another against Green Bay, this Lions team could find themselves in the thick of the divisional race.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4; Last Ranking: 20)
Tampa Bay isn’t going anywhere this year, but that doesn’t mean their fan base shouldn’t be excited. The Combo of Winston and Evans is clearly one of the best in football already, and they have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball.
21. San Diego Chargers (3-5; Last Ranking: 21)
Only three teams in the NFL have more losses than the Chargers. This team is one of the 10-12 best teams in football for the first three quarters. For some strange reason, they just collapse late in games.
22. Miami Dolphins (3-4; Last Ranking: 22)
Jay Ajayi and the ‘Phins got a week off. They host the Jets next weekend.
23. New York Jets (3-5; Last Ranking: 25)
The Jets almost became the first team this season to lose to the Browns, but luckily Cleveland regained their form by the start of the 4th quarter. Contrary to popular belief, the Jets are still playoff contenders.
24. Los Angeles Rams (3-4; Last Ranking: 24)
The Rams spent the week on a bye before taking on the Panthers at home next week.
25. Carolina Panthers (2-5; Last Ranking: 26)
The Panthers won, but they certainly tried to give it away at the end of the game. Up 30-7 at one point, Carolina was reeling at 30-20 late in the game. If it weren’t for some miscues by Arizona, the Panthers could have been looking at 1-6.
26. Tennessee Titans (4-4; Last Ranking: 27)
The Titans sit at .500 but they are still pretty far down on the power rankings. Their four wins are over the Dolphins, Lions, Browns, and Jaguars. They need to beat a team better than that to move up.
27. Indianapolis Colts (3-5; Last Ranking: 23)
The Colts are 3-5 and now sit in 3rd place in the AFC South. Even though they have only mustered up three wins so far, they sit just two games out of the playoffs. They will need to start running the ball more consistently if they are going to do make the playoffs.
28. New Orleans Saints (3-4; Last Ranking: 29)
The Saints pulled off one of the most surprising upsets of the season, but it feels like a fluke. Obviously, the Seahawks are better than the way they played, but the Saints really over-performed. Having home field advantage was a key for them.
29. Chicago Bears (2-6; Last Ranking: 30)
In one of the most surprising victories of 2016, the Bears took down the Vikings on Monday Night Football. While it is certainly not a bad thing to win the game, the Bears aren’t going anywhere this season and a loss might have helped them more.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5; Last Ranking: 28)
This season could not have gone much worse for the Jaguars. Not only has their defense failed to make concrete improvements from the year before, but Blake Bortles and the offense took a big step backwards.
31. San Francisco 49ers (1-6; Last Ranking: 31)
The 49ers spent the week on a bye. They host the Saints next Sunday
32. Cleveland Browns (0-8; Last Ranking: 32)
The Cleveland Browns have now gone halfway through the season without winning a game. While no one is particularly surprised to see this result so far, it would be nice for Browns fans to see their team win.