Oh god, where do I even start this week? So many “good teams” lost, or at least looked bad, and so many “bad teams” won, or at least looked decent. The top two teams are clear, and the bottom three teams are clear. After that, it is a crapshoot. There are so many middle of the road teams and only a couple good teams. There are teams that are merely okay in the top 10 this week, just because there are not enough good teams this year. There are now no undefeated teams and only 2 winless teams. The 49ers will not go winless on the season, the Browns might.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-6)- Last Week- 32
The Browns are an embarrassment. They continue to search for a QB, but every QB that comes through town turns into hot garbage. The latest is Kevin Hogan, who looked like a high school player among pros against the Texans. Remember, they have had chances to draft Carson Wentz and DeShaun Watson and traded out of drafting both. Because the Browns “Chief Strategy Officer”, Paul DePodesta, who in case you were not aware, was Billy Beane’s assistant GM in Moneyball, the guy Jonah Hill played in the movie, didn’t think Wentz was very good. He was so sure of this, he fired many of the Browns scouts, who liked Wentz more than Goff. Maybe Paul should go back to baseball.
31. San Fransisco 49er’s (0-6)- Last Week- 31
Poor 49ers. They have lost their last five games, by a combined 13 points. Five straight games, lost by three points or less.
Yet the 49ers have still lost all six games, and against some teams that are not very good. The Colts and the Cardinals both beat them in overtime. So while one could say they have been close, they are still 0-6 and are still easily the second worst team in Football. Maybe CJ Beathard can jump-start them.
30. Indianapolis Colts (2-4)- Last Week- 29(-1)
There isn’t much else to say about the Colts. They are a mediocre team. With Andrew Luck at QB, maybe they are competitive. Without him, they are not. Jacoby Brissett has potential, but he has struggled to pick up the Colts offensive gameplan. Their defense is subpar, and their offense is okay. The organization has been miserable at drafting players to put around Andrew Luck.
29. New York Giants (1-5)- Last Week- 30(+1)
They played well against the Broncos. But the team is still a mess. This win was by sheer willpower. Their defense is solid and capable of being great. But they have no real threats at WR with all the injuries, no reliable running game. One week is not a trend, it is an aberration. I trust the five games they played before this week way more than the one game they played this week.
28. Oakland Raiders (2-4)- Last Week- 18(-10)
No team has fallen as far as the Raiders have this year. They were as high as 3rd in the rankings at one point and after four straight losses, they find themselves down at 28. The defense is leaky, and the offense unreliable. I still like Derek Carr at QB, but things just don’t seem to be working out this year for Oakland.
27. Chicago Bears (3-3)- Last Week- 28(+1)
I am not sure what to think of Mitchell Trubisky. He can make plays at times, but overall, he does not seem to have the arm to consistently make NFL throws. To be fair, he does not have much to work with. We will have to wait until the Bears get him some weapons to truly test him. I was impressed by that last throw he made though to get them into field goal range in overtime, but that doesn’t wipe away the mistakes he made.
26. Cincinnati Bengals (2-3)- Last Week- 23(-3)
The Bengals didn’t play this week. I do not trust them at all though. They are a mediocre team, with a below average QB, and a head coach who should have been fired a while ago. Yet somehow, I have a feeling Marvin Lewis and Andy Dalton will still have a job with the Bengals after this season.
25. Tennesee Titans (3-3)- Last Week- 25
This defense has awful awareness. They seem constantly out of place. They have talent, they could be good. And when the talent is there, but the execution isn’t, the head coach is usually to blame. Mike Mularkey is not a good head coach. The Titans seem routinely unprepared. This is a team, that could be like the Rams, and completely turn it around if a quality head coach came into town.
24. New York Jets (3-3)- Last Week- 26(+2)
The Jets are not a bad team. They actually do some things very well. they outplayed the Patriots for large portions of this game. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins is a legit threat at TE, Jeremy Kerley has had the best season of his career, Jermain Kearse has been solid. They can play. Are they contenders? No, but get a real QB in there, they could be a real team.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3)- Last Week- 14(-9)
The Tampa defense is bad, and the offense is not consistent enough to make up for it. If you are going to win games with a bad defense, you need an offense like the Saints or Patriots have, which you can rely on to go down the field. You do not know what you will get from the Bucs on offense. Even with Winston healthy.
22. Arizona Cardinals (3-3)- Last Week- 27(+5)
Adrian Peterson had a hell of a debut with Arizona. They managed to beat the Bucs, and the offense looked good. A couple of problems though. One, that offensive line is still good. They got away with it here, because Tampa has no pass rush to speak of, but going forward, it will continue to plague them. Also, that defense imploded, almost blowing the lead to Ryan Fitzpatrick. They are better with AP, but still in the league of “not good enough.”
21. Los Angeles Chargers (2-4)- Last Week- 22(+1)
Melvin Gordon is starting to play well. If Gordon is running like this, they can be a decent team. Problem is, they have already dug themselves into a hole that may be too deep to crawl out of. Their defense is ok, but they struggle against the run. Also, kicking is still a problem.
20. Baltimore Ravens (3-3)- Last Week- 13(-7)
Joe Flacco is bad this year, very bad. He has been bad since he signed that big contract, but this year, he is even worse. Just watch this play, of him walking well across the line of scrimmage, yet still deciding to throw the ball.
I don’t think he cares at this point. He is currently one of the worst Qbs in the league. He is a very expensive anchor, tied to what should be a decent boat, but because of the anchor, the boat is quickly taking on water and is in danger of sinking. The only solution, cut the anchor. But since the anchor is so expensive, they can’t really do that, and that is where my boat analogy kind of falls apart.
19. Miami Dolphins (3-2)- Last Week- 23(+4)
Look at that, Jay Ajayi woke up, and the Dolphins managed to win because of it. The Dolphins were down 17-0 in Atlanta and then came back to win the game. I think this game says more about the Falcons than it does the Dolphins. Jay Cutler still looked bad, but Ajayi was playing like he did last year. In the end, they are not real contenders. Maybe if they bench Cutler, and bring in a better option, they can turn it around.
18. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3)- Last Week- 16(-2)
Well, it was an even week, so they lost. They did a fantastic job shutting down the Rams passing game, holding Jared Goff to only 124 yards through the air. But once again, they failed to stop the run, and Todd Gurley ran for 116 yards. On offense, they are the opposite. They can run, but they cannot pass the ball because Blake Bortles is not good. They get The Colts next week and should keep up their win on odd weeks, lose on even weeks, streak.
17. Buffalo Bills (3-2)- Last Week- 20(+3)
The Bills did not play, but they still rose because of the teams around them failing. Jaguars lost and fell. Raiders lost and fell. Ravens lost and fell. Bills have a shot at a wildcard spot, and hell, at the division if they can beat the Patriots. But I am not convinced by their offense.
16. Green Bay Packers (4-2)- Last Week- 5(-11)
The loss doesn’t matter. Aaron Rodgers was injured and may miss the rest of the season. If he does come back, it will be for the playoffs. But can they make the playoffs with Brett Hundley at QB? I seriously doubt it. The offense did not look good with him under center. Without Rodgers, this team is middle of the road, mediocre.
15. Dallas Cowboys (2-3)- Last Week- 15
So, is Zeke suspended now? There seems to be some confusion. The suspension was upheld, for now, but it may still be appealed. Regardless of if Zeke is out, the Cowboys have other problems. Their defense has struggled to get stops when needed, and have lost two straight games by giving up late scoring drives. A defense does not need to be as good as the Seattle Seahawks was in the Superbowl ton win it all. But it does need to be capable of stepping up and getting a stop when it needs to. So far, the Cowboys have failed to do that.
14. Houston Texans (3-3)- Last Week- 17(+3)
I like DeShone Watson, but I am not as high on him as other people. Watching him play, his accuracy is not very good. He throws a lot of bad balls. Right now, he can get away with that. He can make plays with his legs, and make the occasional big throw. But as coaches start to get tape on him, and learn how to contain him, will he still be so dynamic when he has to beat teams with his arm, and only his arm? I don’t know. Certainly, there is time for him to grow, and he is smart and capable enough to improve. He understands the game, so if he can get some consistent accuracy, he could be great.
13. Detroit Lions (3-3)- Last Week- 7(-6)
The Lions are crumbling. Seems like it is par for the course for them. I feel stupid for buying into this team. They couldn;t stop Mark Ingram, couldn’t stop Brees. On offense, it was mistake after mistake. I do not have faith they can get the job done in a playoff game if they make it that far. I think it is a culture problem, and not a talent problem. Jim Caldwell deserves the blame because this same stuff happened when he was coaching the Colts.
12. Carolina Panthers (4-2)- Last Week- 11(-1)
The Panthers rise and fall with Cam Newton. This week, Cam could not handle the Eagles pass rush. By the end of the game, his accuracy was all over the place, and he threw some balls that looked like they were intended for the Eagles DBs. When Cam is on, they can beat anyone. But get in his face, give him trouble, and he flounders. Cam is too inconsistent this year to project them to go very far.
11. New Orleans Saints (3-2)- Last Week- 21(+10)
The Saints have really turned themselves around. Three straight wins, toppling the Panthers, the Dolphins, and now the Dolphins. The defense still has some leaks, but it is far from the worst in the league like it has been in recent years. Drew Brees is playing as good as ever. Are they serious contenders? Probably not. But in a year with so many mediocre teams, they have a chance to sneak into playoffs.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)- Last Week- 12(+2)
Big Ben is finished. Yes, the Chiefs won, but that is because the defense played amazing. Big Ben’s accuracy is inconsistent, and his decision making is at times baffling. With Bell and Brown in this offense, they can play well enough to make the playoffs. But a Super Bowl is not in their immediate future. A lot of people will jump back on the Steelers bandwagon after this upset win, I am not buying it.
9. Minnesota Vikings (4-2)- Last Week- 19(+10)
If Rodgers doesn’t get injured, do they win this game? Probably not. But Rodgers was injured, and the Vikings took care of business. They are not a great team, but they have talent almost everywhere, except for QB. They are a poor man’s Broncos. Case Keenum is not a good QB. They can hide him because of the rest of the roster is talented, but long term, they need a new QB. Keenum is not that answer, Bradford is not that answer.
8. Washington Football Team (3-2)- Last Week- 8
Washington played ok against San Francisco. They did not play very good, but they had enough moments to get over the top. Kirk played very well, and they have a couple RBs that are dynamic in the passing game, though they could be better actually running the ball. But something just seemed off. Washington seems to have the talent, but they never can put it all together and have a good game.
7. Denver Broncos (3-2)- Last Week- 2
The Broncos have the defense, the RB, the O-Line, the coach, the WRs, they have pretty much everything to be a Superbowl team. Except for one thing, a QB. Siemian has had some good games, but he is not the QB who is going to take over a game. He is not the QB to get his team over the hump. Winning with Peyton Manning and the noodle arm he had in that final year, was a fluke. You are not going to win a Superbowl in the modern era, if you don’t have the QB, capable of putting the team on his back, and winning a game. The offense as it is is not very good.
6. Atlanta Falcons (3-2)- Last Week- 3(-3)
The Falcons are not a very good team this year. They have played five games, and have looked bad in four of them. Their defense is alright. It is capable of making big plays, but also capable of imploding at bad times. But their inconsistency on offense is more surprising. They blew a lead, at home, to the Dolphins. I would like to rank them lower, but can’t yet. However with a tough stretch of games, starting with the Patriots next week, they could find themselves falling.
5. Seattle Seahawks (4-2)- Last Week- 10(+5)
Seattle has a good defense and an offense that can only go as far as Russel Wilson can escape the pass rush. Wilson seems to be almost constantly under pressure. Their offense has played well at times, but when the defense is really getting through the line, there is nothing Wilson can do. They really need to secure home field if they want to make a long run.
4. New England Patriots (4-2)- Last Week- 6
I do not like this year’s Patriots. The offensive line isn’t good, the defense isn’t good, and they are going to struggle week to week. Yet, they have Tom Brady, and some good weapons for Brady to throw to. That alone is enough for them to have a chance to win any game they play. They have been a massive disappointment, but are still among the best teams.
3. St Louis Rams (4-2)- Last Week- 9(+6)
The Rams are by no means perfect. Their rush defense leaves a lot to be desired, and their offense lacks experience. While there is a lot to like, there is also a lot to question. Yet, I feel confident saying they are a top 5 team. There are so many mediocre teams, that being merely good, is enough to get you into top 5. Their defense is far superior to the Patriots. They are more consistent than the Seahawks and Falcons. Have a better QB than the Broncos. They are a team that can score, and get defensive stops when needed.
2. Philadelphia Eagles (5-1)- Last Week- 3(+1)
I am stunned by how quickly this Eagles team has found success. I knew, with Carson Wentz behind center, they would eventually be among the best teams, but I didn’t think it would be in year two. But this team, is good, from top to bottom. The QB is great, the O-line and D-Line are elite, the WRs are solid, the RBs are solid, the linebackers have played fantastic, the DBs have held it together, they have an elite TE. Everything is working right now. There is no argument here. Until they prove otherwise, they are the best team in the NFC. The Chiefs and Eagles are currently on a different level.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (5-1)- Last Week- 1
The Chiefs stumbled in week 6, there is no question about that. But they beat the only team I could justify ranking over them, so they get to stay at 1. I have given many teams a second chance after a tough loss so I will give the Chiefs a second chance. But now the veil has been pulled back. Was Alex Smith exposed, or was this just an off week? The Chiefs have started hot, only to cool off down the stretch in the past. Now they have to go out and prove the first five weeks were not a fluke.