Another week, another bevy of great games, though there were admittedly a few too many blowouts for my liking. Regardless, the season in well underway now with a healthy slate of un-missable or unwatchable matches. Let’s take a look, in our latest NFL Power Rankings.
(1) Buffalo Bills
A tough loss in Tennessee for a Bills team with title aspirations, but even though the game was lost on a failed fourth-down conversion, this defeat lies with the defense. Buffalo’s offense was excellent but their defense consistently left receivers open in the middle of the field on short yardage, which was ultimately their downfall. The run defense is still a problem in western New York.
(2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers were exactly as good as you thought they would be on Thursday Night Football in Philadelphia. The front-seven did enough to prevent their decimated secondary from getting dominated, but that won’t last forever. They may end up facing similar problems to the Chiefs if they can’t patch things up after the loss of Richard Sherman.
(3) Los Angeles Rams
The Rams offense continues to be exactly as advertised, scoring at will against a bewildered Giants defense. Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are one of the best 1-2 combinations in the NFL at WR. The Giants’ backups were never going to be enough to pose a threat to L.A. but the scale of this dominant win is impressive nonetheless. Also, it was Scorigami.
(4) Green Bay Packers
One of the best teams in the league did what was expected of them against a division rival, taking down the Bears somewhat comfortably, even if they put the burners on far too late.
(5) Dallas Cowboys 1
Trevon Diggs interception streak continues, and Dallas walks it off in incredible fashion, but this game wasn’t supposed to come down to overtime. Dak Prescott deserves a lot of credit from his performance on Sunday, and for the rest of the season. The seemingly-destined future winner of the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award was electric, throwing for 445 yards on 36/51.
(6) Baltimore Ravens 1
What can really be said about this? Baltimore dominated the Chargers, who many believed to be their superiors, and they didn’t keep it close. The Ravens secondary played good coverage and the entire passing game is on point. This offensive line might be the best-schemed unit in the NFL.
(7) Los Angeles Chargers 2
After an unbelievable shootout win last week, the Chargers were humbled by the Ravens in what was supposed to be one of the best games of the week. This eventual blowout was compounded by poor play-calling from a team we all expected better from.
(8) Arizona Cardinals 1
We could credit the Cardinals with a near-flawless game against the Browns, but a vast majority of what they did on Sunday was about taking care of the ball and letting Cleveland fall to pieces in front of them. Power to them, for doing the right thing nine times out of ten, but this game taught us nothing we didn’t already know.
(9) Kansas City Chiefs 1
Well, it’s official; The Chiefs look downright good. That’s not a compliment. In the past four weeks, they’ve consistently failed to wow us, and though they’re still perfectly capable of greatness, with terrifying regularity, they’re no longer the indomitable giants they had been feared to be.
(10) Tennessee Titans 2
This was a big week for the Titans in a Monday Night Football shootout, and their offense came to play. Derrick Henry’s 76-yard touchdown will be the play of the game for them, but A.J. Brown’s second-half explosion was the reason they won. They need to work heavily on their pass defense if they plan to contend in the playoffs, and the losses they suffered this weekend cannot be understated, but Titans fans should be happy about the result.
(11) Cleveland Browns 3
In a cavalcade of errors, Cleveland rolled over belly-up against the Arizona Cardinals. Given any opportunity to make a mistake, they would do it; Be it a Baker Mayfield overthrow or a fumble at the least opportune time. The Browns looked like the teams of the past 20 years, with no running game whatsoever after the injury to Chubb and ineffective quarterback play on the day, the defense was on the field far too often. They were eaten alive.
(12) New Orleans Saints 1
Coming off their bye week, expect New Orleans to get better as they get healthier.
(13) Indianapolis Colts 1
Wentzylvania may be over, but Wentzyl-mania might just be coming in Indianapolis, as he rode his best game of the season to a dominant win over the division-rival Texans. The return of T.Y. Hilton may have helped, but a combination of great defense and balanced offense reminds us of what we had hoped was happening for this team before the surprise Luck retirement. Good things seem to be brewing, and credit to Darius Leonard and Jonathan Taylor.
(14) Las Vegas Raiders 2
No Gruden, No problem. The Raiders excelled despite the loss of their expected long-term head coach. For almost the entire game, this offense connected in every way, on every part of the field, against a defense that has confounded QBs all season so far. Big plays were the name of the game, and credit goes to interim-HC Rich Bisaccia.
(15) San Francisco 49ers 2
San Francisco were in their bye week, we’ll see how their rested roster fares against Indianapolis on Sunday.
(16) Pittsburgh Steelers 2
The Steelers won this one, but just by the skin of their teeth. If nothing else can be gleamed from this Sunday Night Football showdown, understand that T.J. Watt looks like he’s going to have the best career out of all the Watt brothers. His play in overtime, a massive third-down sack and then the eventual game-winning forced fumble, was something to behold. This defense is one of the best in the league when they have Watt on the line.
(17) Cincinnati Bengals 2
The Bengals are starting to look like a real contender, though not a particularly consistent one. Ja’Marr Chase, however, you can count on, as he took the Lions’ secondary apart with ease. The roster seems to be gelling at all positions as the year progresses, and Cincy trends upwards.
(18) Seattle Seahawks 3
Seattle are undoubtedly the better team between the two, but Pittsburgh’s defensive line came to play against Geno Smith’s offense, and with no Russell Wilson, it made for tough sledding. Smith was decent, but the shoes he’s set to be filling are just too big for him, and for most other NFL quarterbacks. If you didn’t know how important Russ was to this offense like Cris Collinsworth, now you know.
(19) Minnesota Vikings 2
They were the better team all day against the Panthers, though not by much. On their final drive to start overtime, the Vikings reminded us that when Kirk Cousins is hot, this passing game is downright cruel. Barely escaping with the win again, Minnesota’s fans should really see a cardiologist. All that stress is bad for the heart.
(20) New England Patriots 3
New England was impressive in defeat, but still far too sloppy for a team run by Bill Belichick. Mac Jones played well, and his playbook is starting to expand to give him more responsibility. As he grows into a starter, the Patriots are doing everything they can to develop their prospect well. They have too many issues across the roster to compete this year, though.
(21) Carolina Panthers 1
This was one to forget for Carolina, as Sam Darnold was eaten alive early. Their team fell to pieces in all aspects after a third-quarter punt return touchdown gave them the lead. When Darnold could get free and put the ball on target, it was dropped as often as possible. In his incredible game-tying drive in the two minute drill, they couldn’t catch a cold, as Darnold put the ball where in needed to be time and time again. A tough loss as their heavily-injured secondary was dissected by Kirk Cousins late.
(22) Washington Football Team
Their defense may have finally looked to get back on track, but they were still playing the Chiefs, and Patrick Mahomes doesn’t stay down for long. Making him look mediocre is still an achievement, but the offensive failure to capitalize on the many turnovers their defense forced opened the door for K.C.
(23) Miami Dolphins
Tua’s return to the lineup was supposed to spell the Dolphin’s re-emergence in the AFC playoffs race; Instead, they opened the door for the Jacksonville Jaguars to get their first win in 20 games. An embarrassing display from a still-injured Miami unit.
(24) Philadelphia Eagles 1
If Philadelphia’s offense could stay on the field, they might even be competitive. The defense spent 40 minutes out there on Thursday, against a veteran Tampa offense full of star-power, getting ripped to shreds.
(25) Chicago Bears 1
Not the best day from the Bears, but there are signs to be hopeful about Justin Fields. Overall they played almost exactly as well as the Packers did, in just about every area, but the difficulty they had with maintaining long drives proved to be their undoing.
(26) Denver Broncos 2
Vic Fangio doesn’t know what a red flag is supposed to do, as his poor choice of challenges cost his team crucial timeouts. The defense was overwhelmed and the offense was haphazard at best. Teddy Bridgewater couldn’t stay upright, and gave the ball away with impunity.
(27) Atlanta Falcons
A quiet week in Atlanta, how will they fare against the Fins?
(28) New York Jets 2
On their bye week, the Jets saw a jump because the teams below them are just so incredibly incompetent.
(29) New York Giants 1
Have some sympathy for the Giants, as they entered a matchup against one of the best teams in the NFL with just about half of a roster able to play. That being said, they didn’t do much with the limited hand they were dealt. Give your condolences to the next Giants fan you see, they may need them.
(30) Houston Texans 1
The Texans may be about to take a small jump up this list when Tyrod Taylor returns from their injured reserve, but Davis Mills has flashed despite disappointing results. Could they have a potential long-term solution at QB, under the assumption that they might not get their franchise guy back any time soon?
(31) Jacksonville Jaguars 1
Well, well, well. Jacksonville finally got a win, even if it was largely due to the ineffectiveness of the Dolphins’ secondary as they missed their top-two cornerbacks. One of the strangest made field goals we’ve ever seen was the highlight of this game, but congratulations to Jacksonville, but don’t win too much. That #1 overall pick is still very much within their grasp for the second-straight season, but it’s not theirs yet.
(32) Detroit Lions 1
They were shredded by the Bengals. Not just the offense, but the defense too, and this Lions passing game is about as miserable as you could imagine. Dan Campbell cast doubt on Jared Goff in his postgame interview and if that doesn’t summarize the current state of the Lions, I don’t know what does.