1. Los Angeles Rams (No Movement):
No doubt that LA deserves to say on top of the power rankings, but you have to be at least a little concerned about the defense. With Aqib Talib on IR and Marcus Peters clearly playing hurt, the secondary has been picked on the past two weeks. However, it’s still a great sign when the Rams can pull out a ugly game on the road against a division rival.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (No Movement):
I’ve been down on the Chiefs defense all season, but last Sunday was encouraging. Blake Bortles isn’t the best measuring stick, but it’s nice to see them make a real impact.
3. New Orleans Saints (No Movement):
What’s not to love right now? The Saints have improved defensively the last two weeks and the offense should continue to score at will.
4. New England Patriots (No Movement):
The Pats are back and appear ready to reclaim the AFC.
5. Minnesota Vikings (Up 1 Spot):
This is why you go out and overpay for a QB. The defense and offensive line have really struggled, but Kirk Cousins has been able to pick up the slack.
6. Carolina Panthers (Up 2 Spots):
I just want to give a shout out to Graham Gano. Kicking across the league has been horrific, and his 63-yard game winner reminded us all that GM’s do have a reason for paying these guys.
7. Cincinnati Bengals (Up 5 Spots):
I was badly burnt by saying the Titans and Ravens were good teams last week, but at least Andy Dalton had my back. Through five weeks, the Bengals are the only team in the AFC North I can have any faith in.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (Down 3 Spots):
This is what worries me come postseason. As good as this defense is, teams like Kansas City will still be able to put up points, and I have no faith this QB can score to keep pace.
9. Philadelphia Eagles (Down 2 Spots):
Jay Ajayi’s torn ACL is a big blow for a team that’s struggling out the gate. Luckily for the defending champs, no one in the NFC East is going to run away with the division, so their slow start shouldn’t kill them in the long run.
10. Chicago Bears (No Movement): Bye Week
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (Up 2 Spots):
I don’t know if everything is back on track for Pittsburgh, but Sunday’s win was a big step in the right direction. Hopefully they can stay hot for this week’s game against the Bengals that will have huge playoff implications going forward.
12. Los Angeles Chargers (Up 3 Spots):
Besides Patrick Mahomes, Philip Rivers may be playing better than any other QB in the AFC.
13. Baltimore Ravens (Down 2 Spots):
Lost for words. I have no idea what to make of the Ravens at this point. One week they look playoff bound, the next they hardly resemble a professional offense. Baltimore fans have every right to be frustrated.
14. Tennessee Titans (No Movement):
Remember last week when I said I was buying stock? Well… I’m not selling it yet. I still like this defense a lot and I’m willing to bet the offense won’t be as brutal going forward. The AFC is weak enough for Tennessee to afford a couple of stinkers.
15. Green Bay Packers (Down 6 Spots):
Green Bay simply doesn’t look good right now. Slow starts aren’t unusual for the Packers over the past four years, but I’m struggling to see what the winning formula is going to be besides praying that Aaron Rodgers turns on God mode by November. Establishing some kind of running game would be a way to start turning things around.
16. Detroit Lions (Up 5 Spots):
It took the offense a few weeks to finally explode and now after a rough start, the defense appears to have found their footing a bit. It’s still far from perfect, especially with Ziggy Ansah still sidelined, but Aaron Rodgers looked extremely frustrated in Detroit’s win. After their bye, the Lions have two favorable games against Miami and Seattle, so they should be able to stay in the NFC mix.
17. Atlanta Falcons (Down 1 Spot):
Here’s some good news about Atlanta. Their next five games are against Tampa, the Giants, Washington, Cleveland, and Dallas. Those are all winnable games regardless of how poor their defense is.
18. Denver Broncos (Down 1 Spot):
Bradley Roby was the headline for what was a pitiful performance from Denver’s defense. The Case Keenum led offense wasn’t much better. Denver has now dropped three straight after starting 2-0. This is the same story for the third year in a row and it’s embarrassing that they haven’t been able to take advantage of a weak conference in that span. It really might be time to completely blow it up and start over.
19. Houston Texans (Up 7 Spots):
It hasn’t been pretty. Both wins have come from opposing coaches making questionable overtime decisions, but Houston is alive and back in the AFC mix.
20. Cleveland Browns (Up 7 Spots):
Baker Mayfield’s first home start was certainty mixed, but it’s clear he has star potential. The entire vibe of this franchise has shifted with him under center and it’s truly a joy to watch him develop.
21. Washington Redskins (Down 2 Spots):
Both sides of the ball struggled significantly against the Saints and yet, they might be the favorite to win the NFC East.
22. Seattle Seahawks (Up 1 Spot):
Got to love what you saw from the offense against the Rams. We keep wanting to declare the Seahawks dead, but they’ve been in every game they’ve played this year.
23. Miami Dolphins (Down 5 Spots):
I’m officially rescinding my apology I sent the Dolphins after their 3-0 start. They’ve been a tough watch the last two weeks and the upcoming schedule doesn’t give me much hope that it’s going to drastically improve.
24. Dallas Cowboys (Down 4 Spots):
You have two of the highest paid offensive linemen in the league and the NFL’s leading rusher. How do you not keep them on the field on 4th and short from midfield?
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No Movement): Bye week
26. New York Giants (Down 4 Spots):
Even though Odell Beckham’s comments on Eli Manning are true, the last thing this team needed is more controversy.
27. Indianapolis Colts (Up 1 Spot):
The Colts are as beat up as anybody but still continue to fight. I’m still don’t think there’s enough here to make the postseason, but their next three games are against the Jets, Bills, and Raiders, so they should be able to stay competitive.
28. New York Jets (Up 2 Spots):
Much needed win for the Gang Green. Sam Darnold really flashed, and we were reminded how good Robby Anderson can be. I also really hope you started Isaiah Crowell in fantasy this week.
29. Oakland Raiders (Down 5 Spots):
It’s been three years since Super Bowl XLIX and Marshawn Lynch still can’t get the ball at the 1 yard-line.
30. Buffalo Bills (Up 2 Spots):
I won’t take anything away from them. They needed the Titans to turn the ball over three times to even have a chance, but having two wins at this point in the season is impressive given the lack of talent.
31. Arizona Cardinals (No Movement):
If only there was a world where Arizona could play against C.J. Beathard every week.
32. San Francisco 49ers (Down 3 Spots):
If you like watching a fullback be prominently used in an offense, I can’t recommend watching the 49ers enough.