1. Dallas Cowboys (10-1; Last Ranking: 1)
Another week, and another solid performance from the Cowboys. This offensive line deserves to be voted NFL MVP. There, it has been said. Obviously either Dak or Zeke will win ROY, but the real questions is how high they are in the MVP race.
2. New England Patriots (9-2; Last Ranking: 3)
The Patriots should be the favorites to win the Super Bowl unless Tom Brady gets injured. This team has a proven track record, the best quarterback in NFL history, and arguably the best coach in NFL history.
3. Oakland Raiders (9-2; Last Ranking: 4)
Some teams have Oakland ahead of the Patriots, but it is just too tough to place them ahead of Tom Brady. They are a solid team, but they are not the kings of the AFC. Congrats to Raiders fans on your first winning season since 2002.
4. Seattle Seahawks (7-3-1; Last Ranking: 2)
The Seahawks had a massive slip up against Tampa Bay and now must play solid football down the stretch in order to get a bye. Luckily for Seattle, they have a pretty easy schedule remaining, and they could still get the #1 seed if the Cowboys really falter down the stretch.
5. New York Giants (8-3; Last Ranking: 6)
The Giants have won eight games so far, but other than the Cowboys in week one, the Ravnes are the only team they have beaten with a record over .500. Six wins in a row is great, but let’s check in on this team in three weeks after they play Pittsburgh, Dallas, and Detroit.
6. Kansas City Chiefs (8-3; Last Ranking: 8)
The Kansas City Chiefs needed a little bit of luck to escape out of Denver with a win on Sunday, but they sit at 8-3 in prime position to compete for the wild card and the division. Their only remaining game against a team under .500 is against the 5-6 Chargers in week 17.
7. Denver Broncos (7-4; Last Ranking: 5)
Denver lost a heartbreaker on Sunday Night and a lot of people will blame Gary Kubiak for the loss. While the secondary for Denver is still the best in the NFL according to the statistics, the rushing defense ranks 27th in the NFL. Losing Malik Jackson hurt more than they thought it would.
8. Detroit Lions (7-4; Last Ranking: 10)
The Detroit Lions have earned their 7-4 record, but let’s dive deeper. They have won their seven games by a total of 27 points, which is less than four points per game. The combined record of the teams they beat: 34-42-1. We need to see them do more before they are labeled “contenders.”
9. Washington Redskins (6-4-1; Last Ranking: 7)
Kirk Cousins is going to get PAID this offseason and he deserves it. He has clearly proven that he was the best quarterback they drafted in 2012 (sorry RG3). They played a good game against the Cowboys and almost made a crazy comeback at the end.
10. Atlanta Falcons (7-4; Last Ranking: 12)
Atlanta is a team that clearly has found a nice offensive balance this season, as they are the #1 scoring offense in the NFL. However, the only game where they have given up less than 20 points before this week was to the Paxton Lynch-led Broncos.
11. Minnesota Vikings (6-5; Last Ranking: 9)
The Vikings have now gone 1-5 over their last six games, and over that stretch their offense hasn’t even scored 17 points per game. At a certain point, we all thought the injuries would catch up with Minnesota. Most of us expected it to be week one.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5; Last Ranking: 14)
Now on a two game win streak, some think the Steelers have turned things around. However, their wins over Cleveland and the Luck-less Colts are hardly anything to write home about. Their toughest remaining game is this weekend when they host the Giants in a battle of two QBs from the 2004 draft class.
13. Baltimore Ravens (6-5; Last Ranking: 15)
The Ravens sit at 13, one spot ahead of their opponent next week, the Miami Dolphins. The Ravens played the Bengals in a close game on Sunday, in which everyone is talking about how the game ended. The schedule gets tough for the Ravens from here on out.
14. Miami Dolphins (7-4; Last Ranking: 17)
The Dolphins now sit at 7-4 after winning their sixth straight game on Sunday. Dig deeper into their win streak (NYJ, LA, SF, and beating Big Ben on a torn meniscus) and you might questions just how good they are. This weekend against the Ravens will show how far this offense has come. A win next week will bump them up pretty high.
15. Buffalo Bills (6-5; Last Ranking: 16)
The Buffalo Bills have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the NFL this season, but when they have played well they have looked like a playoff team. They are gonna need to play good football, as three of their next four are against Oakland, Pittsburgh, and Miami.
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5; Last Ranking: 19)
Don’t look now, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might be turning a corner! They sit one game back of the Falcons, and half a game behind the Redskins for the final Wild Card spot. They have back to back wins against the Chiefs and Seahawks and will head to San Diego next week.
17. Houston Texans (6-5; Last Ranking: 11)
The Texans are simply not that good and their record is a product of the division that they play in. Without JJ Watt, this defense is no longer an elite unit, and they don’t have enough firepower on offense to make up for it.
18. Green Bay Packers (5-6; Last Ranking: 21)
The Packers saved their season with a win on MNF. While they may not machete playoffs, there is certainly a chance. If the Lions falter down the stretch (which could happen with their schedule) then the Packers will be right in the thick of things.
19. San Diego Chargers (5-6; Last Ranking: 22)
The Chargers are a solid team that has had a tough time closing out games. On Sunday, they almost blew it again if it weren’t for Brock Osweiler throwing an interception on a hail mary. The Chargers have an intriguing matchup with the Buccaneers coming up this week.
20. Philadelphia Eagles (5-6; Last Ranking: 13)
The Eagles had a great chance to beat the Packers at home in front of the entire country and move to within half a game of the playoffs. Well, so much for that idea. After starting the season 3-0, it is clear the Eagles have hit a lull.
21. Indianapolis Colts (5-6; Last Ranking: 18)
Indianapolis was facing a tough task on Thanksgiving night and it shouldn’t really be counted against them. Playing Pittsburgh without Andrew Luck is a tough pill to swallow. Luckily for them, the Texans lost too!
22. Tennessee Titans (6-6; Last Ranking: 23)
After 12 straight weeks of football, the Titans will finally get their bye next week. This season could not be going much better than it is for Tennessee who is seeing defensive improvements, an established running game, and a QB starting to look like a franchise cornerstone.
23. New Orleans Saints (5-6; Last Ranking: 25)
The Saints offense might be the best in the NFL and the defense has played better than the last few seasons (not saying very much). If this team gets hot, they can certainly knock off some of the better teams in football. Their three losses to Denver, KC, and Oakland are by a combined nine points.
24. Arizona Cardinals (4-6-1; Last Ranking: 20)
The last two teams standing in the NFC from 2015 now sit at 24 and 25 in the Power Rankings. Needless to say, the playoffs will look a little different this year than we are used to in the NFC. That being said, the Cardinals have struggled on defense. In four of their six losses, they have given up over 30 points.
25. Carolina Panthers (4-7; Last Ranking: 24)
The Panthers competed against the Raiders and made them fight until the end. However, it ended with another close loss after a season of pulling off close victories. In 10games he has played in this season, Cam Newton has only 13 touchdown passes.
26. Cincinnati Bengals (3-7-1; Last Ranking: 26)
No one would have anticipated to see the Bengals this far down the list when this season began, but here we are. The loss of Hue Jackson was supposed to hurt this offense, but they are now scoring 19 points per game, good for 27th in the NFL.
27. Los Angeles Rams (4-7; Last Ranking: 27)
The Rams are simply not very good. Yes they have talent and their defense is really solid. However, it is clear that Jared Goff is not ready to be an NFL QB yet, and their offensive line is not great. Outside of Gurley, this offense is weak.
28. New York Jets (3-8; Last Ranking: 28)
The Jets put up a tough test agains the Patriots, but they just didn’t have enough to pull out the win over their bitter rivals. It will be interesting to see how they play out the rest of this season: Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg time?!
29. Chicago Bears (2-9; Last Ranking: 29)
If you really think about it, the guy who dropped the touchdown for the Bears probably did a good thing for the long term. Yes, he should have caught it and won the game, but now their draft pick might just be that much better.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9; Last Ranking: 30)
The Jaguars just can’t get a break. It is clear that this team is not very well coached, because they would not be 2-9 if they were. Blake Bortles has clearly shown a regression from last year, and the defense hasn’t improved much at all.
31. San Francisco 49ers (1-10; Last Ranking: 31)
The 49ers traveled across the country and put up a really strong showing against the red-hot Miami Dolphins. Colin Kaepernick stirred up controversy with comments he made during the week, but backed it up with a really solid game on Sunday.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-12; Last Ranking: 32)
Another week in the NFL, but the Browns haven’t moved very far this season. The Quarterback carousel was in full swing against the Giants and it was tough to watch. Started from the bottom, and still on the bottom.