2020 NFL Mock Draft: WRs dominate first three rounds

The NFL regular season is officially in the books. That means the offseason starts now for 20 NFL clubs with four more set to join them by this time next week. If you have been paying attention to draft buzz throughout the season, you will know there are a few slam dunk quarterbacks, an incredible class of skill position players and one franchise-altering edge rusher. I have been following the draft closely for the better part of five years now and this feels like one of the deepest draft classes we have had in a while. In honor of that, this is my first three-round mock of the year.

For this mock draft, there were no trades allowed and the order is based upon the current NFL standings and playoff seeding, according to Tankathon. When picking for each team, I tried to take into account overall talent, team need, positional value and scheme fit, roughly in that order. As the draft gets closer and I get a chance to watch more prospects, I will be able to mock players better for scheme fits. On top of that, teams will begin to address needs in free agency and schemes will change as coaching regimes change. I expect this to look nothing like how the actual draft will unfold, but for now, this is how I see it. Let’s get going.

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1. Cincinnati Bengals (2-14) – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Did you watch LSU play Oklahoma? Then you know why Joe Burrow is the top pick in the draft. The Heisman winner accounted for eight touchdowns and punched the Tigers’ ticket to the national championship game. He projects to be Cincinnati’s future franchise quarterback.

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2. Washington (3-13) – Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Washington fans have to be ecstatic to earn the second spot because it means their team can select Chase Young. He had a dominant junior season, leading the nation with 16.5 sacks, despite missing a game for a questionable NCAA suspension. Expect him to be an elite pass rusher right away.

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3. Detroit Lions (3-12-1) – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
While the Lions miss out on Chase Young, they get a really good consolation prize in his teammate Jeff Okudah. Okudah has the making of a lockdown corner with his size, athleticism and incredible hand usage. Detroit gave up the most passing yards per game this season. Adding the top defensive back seems like a good place to start.

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4. New York Giants (4-12) – A.J. Epenesa, Edge, Iowa
New York finally started to show some signs of life offensive and while the offensive line still needs some work, edge rusher is a huge need. No one has had a better second half of the year than A.J. Epenesa. He has the size and skills to terrorize an opposing quarterback. Considering the Giants face Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott four times a year, an elite pass rusher is a must-have.

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5. Miami Dolphins (5-11) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama
All of this will depend on Tua Tagovailoa’s medical, but assuming he is cleared to play within the next calendar year, I expect the Dolphins will have no problem selecting him here. They have tons of draft capital to build around him and a veteran quarterback to help him transition. This feels like the perfect fit.

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6. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11) – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Los Angeles could try to leapfrog the Dolphins in order to grab Tua Tagovailoa, but Justin Herbert has the physical tools to develop into a great quarterback in his own right. He has to work on his downfield accuracy, but with no succession plan to Philip Rivers, Herbert would be a logical choice.

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7. Carolina Panthers (5-11) – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Two teams in the NFL gave up 58 sacks this season. Carolina was one of them. With Andrew Thomas still on the board, this seems like a good way to get the Panthers offense back on track, regardless of who is playing quarterback. Thomas is pro ready and should hold down the left side of Carolina’s line for the next decade.

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8. Arizona Cardinals (5-10-1) – Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
No one is quite sure how to explain what Isaiah Simmons does. In simplest terms, he is special defensive playmaker. He can line up at safety, slot corner or linebacker and play at a high level in all three spots. With a ton of holes to fill on defense, picking up a do-it-all talent like Simmons is a great move.

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9. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10) – Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
Guess who had the fifth worst run defense in the NFL this season? While fans might be hoping for a receiver or a corner to replace Jalen Ramsey, Derrick Brown has the potential to be an immediate difference maker. He is the best run stuff in this class and can cause problems as a pass rusher as well. Regardless of what scheme the Jaguars run next year, Brown will improve this pathetic run defense.

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10. Cleveland Browns (6-10) – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
With Freddie Kitchens gone and a mess of offensive talent, the Browns need to rebuild their offensive line. Jedrick Wills has the highest ceiling of any lineman in this draft. He is battle tested coming from Alabama and should immediately improve the protection of Baker Mayfield’s blindside. Maybe then the former Oklahoma quarterback can starting hitting his Pro Bowl receivers.

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11. New York Jets (7-9) – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
It was a strange season for the Jets and while the defense was a pleasant surprise, the offense was a disaster. New York finished dead last in yards per game and second to last in points per game. While pretty much outside of quarterback and running should be on the table here, fixing the offensive line has to be the priority. Tristan Wrifs can be a day one starter at either tackle or guard spot. He should help keep Sam Darnold cleaner and open more holes for Le’Veon Bell.

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12. Las Vegas Raiders (7-9) – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Mike Mayock might actually sprint to the podium if this happens. Oakland is in desperate need of a receiver and while a good one is bound to be there at 12, Jerry Jeudy falling here is the best-case scenario. After a less-impressive junior year, Jeudy should still be the first wideout off the board and immediately become Derek Carr’s favorite target.

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13. Indianapolis Colts (7-9) – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
With no quarterbacks worth taking here, Indy gets some help for whoever may be under center next season. CeeDee Lamb is explosive and can often times make a huge play out of very little. He would be a great complement to T.Y. Hilton and boost the Colts’ offensive potential exponentially.

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14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9) – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Tampa Bay could be shopping for a quarterback as well, but I am not buying the hype on Jordan Love or Jacob Eason. Instead, the Buccaneers continue to add difference makers to Todd Bowles’ defense. Grant Delpit should immediately improve the backend for Tampa and give Bowles another player he can blitz.

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15. Denver Broncos (7-9) – Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
Denver seems to have its number one receiver in Courtland Sutton, but after that has a bit of a void for explosive playmakers. I write this in every mock draft, but Henry Ruggs is the fastest player in college football. He would give the Broncos their equivalent of Tyreek Hill and make life a lot easier for Drew Lock.

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16. Atlanta Falcons (7-9) – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Atlanta’s second-half resurgence knocks them out of range for the top edge rushers, but corner is still a major need. Kristian Fulton has the field sense and speed to play across from Desmond Trufant right away. He would continue the Falcons transformation on defense.

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17. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) – Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
After missing out on the playoffs, Dallas is likely to move on from Jason Garrett. Without a ton of disruptive plays this year defensively, the Cowboys would be wise to add the best interior pass rusher in this class in Javon Kinlaw. He is adept at working through double teams, regularly drawing them at South Carolina. He would make a fun pairing with DeMarcus Lawrence along that defensive line.

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18. Miami Dolphins via Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) – Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
With the franchise quarterback already on board, Miami needs to ensure he will stay upright. Alex Leatherwood is no stranger to playing alongside Tua Tagovailoa. He started the previous two seasons at right guard and left tackle respectively. Leatherwood figures to be someone who can grow into a role along the line.

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19. Las Vegas Raiders via Chicago Bears (8-8) – CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
Even with the emergence of Trayvon Mullens down the stretch, Las Vegas (that’s weird to type) could still use some help in the secondary. The Raiders did jettison Gareon Conley midseason after all. Henderson has the physical tools to become a starting corner at the next level. He might take a year to truly reach that threshold, but he offers the team a projectable starter.

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20. Jacksonville Jaguars via Los Angeles Rams (9-7) – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Gardner Minshew worked his magic often this year to power the Jaguars offense. With a couple of playmakers already in place, Jacksonville needs a downfield threat. Tee Higgins brings incredible size, body control and focus to the table, consistently winning jump balls in traffic. He would provide Minshew with a great red zone option as well.

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21. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) – Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
I know Eagles fans want a receiver here, but there are a lot on the board and have you watched your secondary play? Paulson Adebo is a ballhawking corner with eight career interceptions to his name. He has great size and is not afraid to get physical. Philadelphia could use a bit of his fire on defense.

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22. Tennessee Titans (9-7) – Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin
Lost in the miraculous Ryan Tannehill comeback is the issues plaguing the Titans offensive line. Tennessee has been better at protecting Tannehill of late, but needs to address the interior of the line. Tyler Biadasz is the best offensive line prospect still on the board and would be a day one starter. He is no stranger to power run either coming from Wisconsin.

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23. Buffalo Bills (10-6) – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Happen to watch Joe Burrow torching Oklahoma’s defense? Then you definitely heard this guy’s name a lot. Justin Jefferson has been one of the top receivers in college football this year and took that too a new level with four touchdowns in the semifinal. He would step in as the Bills top receiver and form a solid trio with John Brown and Cole Beasley.

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24. Minnesota Vikings (10-6) – A.J. Terrill, CB, Clemson
I expect the hype around A.J. Terrill to grow following a stellar performance facing Ohio State. He held up well in coverage and showed a good ability to break on the ball. At 6’1″, he would be a great addition to a Minnesota secondary desperately needing another outside corner.

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25. Miami Dolphins via Houston Texans (11-5) – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
After spending two picks on offense, the Dolphins find someone to play opposite Xavien Howard. Trevon Diggs has shown flashes of lockdown corner potential. His size and athleticism alone will entice a team to spend a first round selection on him.

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26. Seattle Seahawks (11-5) – Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
Seattle needs a pass rusher in the worst way. Enter Curtis Weaver. He had at least 9.5 sacks in each of his three season at Boise State. At 6’3″, 265 pounds, he would project well as an end in Seattle’s 4-3 system. He should have an immediate impact for a team that needs help right away.

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27. New England Patriots (12-4) – Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
After missing the entire season with a torn ACL, Dylan Moses’ draft buzz has quieted significantly. It is easy to forget he was one of the best linebackers in the country in 2018. With Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins set to hit free agency and Dont’a Hightower approaching 30, Moses would help fill the void and become a leader in the future.

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28. New Orleans Saints (13-3) – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
This is one of my favorite pairings of prospect and team. New Orleans desperately needs receiver help. Michael Thomas is a beast, but there is a significant drop off after that. Surrounding Drew Brees with as much talent as possible in his final years seems to be the priority, so adding Jalen Reagor fits the bill. He has great top-end speed, but also attacks the ball well and plays with a chip on his shoulder. He would be fun to watch in Sean Payton’s offense.

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29. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) – Creed Humphrey, G, Oklahoma
Kansas City has one mission: protect Patrick Mahomes so he can lead them to a Super Bowl. Beefing up the interior of the offensive line is a good way to do just that. Creed Humphrey is just a redshirt sophomore, but he is also a two-year starter on one of the most prolific offenses in the country. He moves well and can step into the starting lineup right away.

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30. Green Bay Packers (13-3) – Laviska Shenault Jr., WR Colorado
Give Aaron Rodgers more weapons! Davante Adams is great, but Green Bay needs some other reliable contributors. Laviska Shenault has the versatility to take this offense to the next level. Colorado used him as a wildcat quarterback just to get the ball in his hands more. He is the type of player who Rodgers can trust to make a play when he needs him to the most.

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31. San Francisco 49ers (13-3) – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Deebo Samuel has come along well, but Emmanuel Sanders is a free agent at the end of the year. San Francisco needs some more options for Jimmy Garoppolo to throw to. DeVonta Smith has had a great year at Alabama and consistently blows past opposing defensive backs. I am a little concerned about his durability at the next level, as he only ways 175 pounds. If he can bulk up a little without compromising his speed, he could be a difference maker.

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32. Baltimore Ravens (14-2) – Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State
Baltimore rounds out round one by continuing to build depth along the defense. Yetur Gross-Matos is a high-motor, high-character player with solid production coming out of Penn State. He should be a situational rusher right away with the potential to earn more snaps as he develops his coverage skills and technique.

33. Cincinnati Bengals (2-14) – Kenneth Murray, LB
Cincinnati needs more speed on defense after giving up the most rushing yards per game. Kenneth Murray has plenty of speed to go with good instincts and good production at Oklahoma.

34. Indianapolis Colts via Washington (3-13) – Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
Quarterback number four falls to the second round. I don’t think the Colts’ front office is sold on Jacoby Brissett after the season. Jacob Eason has a ways to go, but certainly has the arm talent to eventually start in the NFL.

35. Detroit Lions (3-12-1) – Terrell Lewis, Edge, Alabama
The Lions continue to rebuild their defense, this time adding a pass rusher. Terrell Lewis registered 11.5 sacks returning from an injury that cost him all of 2018. If he can improve his functional strength, he could be a steal here.

36. New York Giants (4-12) – Austin Jackson, OT, USC
Austin Jackson is definitely a bit raw. We saw that when A.J. Epenesa schooled him in the Holiday Bowl. Still, his massive frame makes him good left tackle prospect. He could grow into being Daniel Jones’ blindside protector.

37. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11) – J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
Los Angeles grabs the first running back of the draft. J.K. Dobbins showed against Clemson why he is a special runner. With Melvin Gordon’s future unknown, Dobbins teams up with Austin Ekeler.

38. Carolina Panthers (5-11) – Marvin Wilson, DL, Florida State
NFL games are won in the trenches, so after bolstering the offensive line, Carolina can turn to the other side of the ball. The Panthers were awful against the run this year. Marvin Wilson needs a bit of technical refining, but can be disruptive force in the middle of any defense.

39. Miami Dolphins (5-11) – K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU
Miami continues to address needs and find high ceiling players. K’Lavon Chaisson flies around the field. The athleticism jumps off the page and if he can add to his 6’4″ frame, he could be an elite NFL pass rusher.

40. Arizona Cardinals (5-10-1) – Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
Arizona needs to keep Kyler Murray healthy. Prince Tega Wanogho has the size of a prototypical tackle who is comfortable moving and blocking in space. He fits well with a mobile quarterback like Murray.

41. Cleveland Browns (6-10) – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
Cleveland add another Alabama prospect, this time to bolster the secondary. Xavier McKinney has huge playmaking ability with some versatility. He should step in as a starter right away.

42. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10) – Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
Primarily a nickel corner in college, Shaun Wade has picked up a lot of momentum in recent weeks. He is physical and comfortable playing press coverage. I would love to have seen him play outside more, but he can learn at the next level.

43. Chicago Bears via Oakland Raiders (7-9) – Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
While everyone seems ready to move on from Mitchell Trubisky, it is important to note his supporting cast isn’t very good. Chicago should retool the offense around him first before giving up. Michael Pittman has big play ability and the size to translate to the NFL.

44. Indianapolis Colts (7-9) – Julian Okwara, Edge, Notre Dame
With some pending free agents, Indy can restock its defense by adding a proven pass rusher. Julian Okwara is still developing his pass rush moves and needs to improve his strength, but he could develop into a starter.

45. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9) – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Tampa Bay needs to replace the right side of its line after a rough season. Mekhi Becton is a bit of a project, but possesses incredible size. Tampa can let him learn on the right or even start him at guard.

46. Denver Broncos (7-9) – Josh Jones, OT, Houston
Josh Jones bring a lot of raw skill as a prospect. He definitely needs some refining, but at 6’7″, Denver can take him knowing that size won’t be an issue. He could replace Garrett Bolles in 2021.

47. Atlanta Falcons (7-9) – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
With Devonta Freeman coming off an injury-plagued season and looking like a cap casualty, Atlanta will need another option in the backfield. D’Andre Swift put together another impressive season. He could take over as the lead back right away.

48. New York Jets (7-9) – Ben Bredeson, G, Michigan
New York desperately needs to continue rebuilding its offensive line. If Sam Darnold is going to be the future at quarterback, he needs time to throw. Ben Bredeson is a big body with improving technique. He looks good at the point of attack, but needs work at the next level.

49. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) – Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
After letting Jesse James walk, Pittsburgh was hurting for options over the middle. Brycen Hopkins is a great route runner who needs some fine-tuning elsewhere in his game. He would offer the Steelers a matchup advantage in the passing game.

50. Chicago Bears (8-8) – Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington
Chicago has had basically zero production from the tight end position all year. Hunter Bryant is typical move tight end with good open-field ability. He would be another weapon for Mitchell Trubisky to grow with.

51. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
One of the best corners in the country before he got hurt, Bryce Hall could be a future number one corner. He has good size for the position and fills a clear need for Dallas. Would be a great pairing with Byron Jones.

52. Los Angeles Rams (9-7) – Walker Little, OT, Stanford
Missed the whole season after tearing his ACL in the season-opener, but Walker Little looks the part of an NFL left tackle. He needs to work on his hand placement and film study to improve his anticipation. Little could take over if Andrew Whitworth ever decides to retire.

53. Tennessee Titans (9-7) – Zack Baun, Edge, Wisconsin
Despite being a redshirt senior, Zack Baun would probably need a bit of time to acclimate to the NFL. He has tremendous burst, giving him the potential of being an every down pass rusher. He will need to add to his frame and tighten up his technique to be consistently effective.

54. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) – Brandon Ayiuk, WR, Arizona State
Now Philly add its wide receiver. Brandon Ayiuk is a deep ball threat who excels at creating separation downfield. He needs to work on beating the press, but looks like an immediate impact player.

55. Minnesota Vikings (10-6) – Neville Gallimore, DL, Oklahoma
Neville Gallimore likes to play downhill and cause havoc. He has great strength to force his way into opposing backfields. Minnesota should get some value out of him as a rotational right away who can work his way into an every down player.

56. Buffalo Bills (10-6) – Jabari Zuniga, Edge, Florida
Despite a great season from Buffalo’s defense, it still needs more pass rushers. Jabari Zuniga has the size and speed to fit as a 4-3 end for the Bills. Expect him to be a situational player as he adds to his long frame.

57. Houston Texans (11-5) – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
Even after trading for Gareon Conley midseason, Houston needs help in the secondary. Jaylon Johnson is an aggressive corner who plays with a lot of intensity. If he can clean up his hand usage, he could be an impact starter.

58. Seattle Seahawks (11-5) – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
Jeff Gladney shows up on film as a solid tackler and does a nice job sticking with receivers in bump and run coverage. He could be a riser during the predraft process. Seattle would be happy to add him to a secondary that needs a boost.

59. Atlanta Falcons via New England Patriots (12-4) – Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
With Grady Jarrett under contract for the foreseeable future, the Falcons need someone to play alongside him on the interior. Raekwon Davis has not been as disruptive this season, but looks the part of an NFL interior lineman with good power.

60. Kansas City Chiefs via San Francisco 49ers (13-3) – Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State
Malik Harrison has been flying all over the field this year for Ohio State. He plays downhill and has a nose for the football. He is not forced to make a ton of reads, often times just attacking the offense. Harrison would help that Chiefs defense get faster.

61. Seattle Seahawks via Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
While Seattle has run out of running backs this year due to injury, it is at its best as a power run team. Lucas Niang has all the size and power needed to fit that scheme. He is bulldozing run blocker who can survive as a pass blocker on the right side.

62. Green Bay Packers (13-3) – Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
Troy Dye is a gritty playmaker with solid coverage skills and athleticism. He is definitely undersized for the position, but he should be able to add the weight necessary to be a middle linebacker. He would fill a huge need for the Packers.

63. Miami Dolphins via New Orleans Saints (13-3) – Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Miami’s backfield has been a revolving door this year, resulting in Ryan Fitzpatrick being the team’s leading rusher. Travis Etienne is a home run hitter with lot of elusiveness. He needs to improve his ability to find the hole, but when he does, he is extremely dangerous.

64. Baltimore Ravens (14-2) – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Nobody ran the ball more than the Ravens in 2019. With Mark Ingram set to turn 30 and Gus Edwards headed for free agency, adding Jonathan Taylor sets up Baltimore well for the future. Taylor is one of the most accomplished backs in college football history. His hard-nosed running style fits exactly what this team is looking for.

65. Cincinnati Bengals (2-14) – Nick Harris, C, Washington
The Bengals have holes everywhere, but their offensive line was particularly bad this year. Nick Harris filling the middle plus the return of 2018 first round pick Jonah Williams should help a lot.

66. Washington (3-13) – Trey Adams, OT, Washington
If Dwayne Haskins is going to be the franchise quarterback, Washington needs to protect him. Trey Adams is massive and could eventually take over at left tackle.

67. Detroit Lions (3-12-1) – Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan
Matt Stafford had a great season, but finding him more weapons is never a bad idea. With Danny Amendola set for free agency, Donovan Peoples-Jones can step in as the new number three receiver.

68. New York Jets via New York Giants (4-12) – Darrell Taylor, Edge, Tennessee
New York has needed an elite pass rusher for over a decade. Darrell Taylor likely isn’t the answer to the Jets’ prayers, but he should be a solid contributor early on.

69. Carolina Panthers (5-11) – Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
Carolina has all kinds of question marks at corner. With great size, Cameron Dantzler could develop into a starting option.

70. Miami Dolphins (5-11) – Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State
After trading away Minkah Fitzpatrick, Miami has a void at safety. Hamsah Nasirildeen is unlikely to be as impactful in the short term, but projects as a long-term solution.

71. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11) – Darryl Williams, G, Mississippi State
It was a rough season for the Chargers offensive line. Darryl Williams should raise the level of play after a solid career in the SEC.

72. Arizona Cardinals (5-10-1) – K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State
Larry Fitzgerald is going to retire eventually. K.J. Hamler likely won’t have the same kind of success, but he can help Arizona stretch the field right away.

73. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10) – Ashtyn Davis, S, Cal
Jacksonville is getting by with Ronnie Harrison and Jarrod Wilson, but Ashtyn Davis offers more potential long term.

74. Cleveland Browns (6-10) – Netane Futi, G, Fresno State
Cleveland continues to rebuild its offensive line with a pro ready option in Netane Futi. He will just need to get acclimated to the NFL speed after playing in the Mountain West.

75. Indianapolis Colts (7-9) – Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
Damon Arnette has put together some very good film, but gets overshadowed by his teammates. If he stands out at the Senior Bowl, he could rise well out of the Colts range.

76. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9) – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
The quarterback drought ends as Tampa Bay takes on a project in Jordan Love. It is unclear what the Buccaneers will do at the position next year, but Love could be a future starter.

77. Denver Broncos (7-9) – Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
Denver will likely be actively looking for cornerback help in free agency, but it can double down in the draft as well. Eric Stokes has blazing speed, but needs some refining in coverage.

78. Atlanta Falcons (7-9) – Alton Robinson, Edge, Syracuse
Alton Robinson took an interesting path to the NFL and has some boom/bust potential. Desperate for pass rush help, Atlanta is willing to take a flier on him.

79. New York Jets (7-9) – Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest
Sage Surratt made a name for himself by torching defensive backs this season. If he can stay healthy, he should be a solid contributor for the Jets.

80. Las Vegas Raiders (7-9) – Monty Rice, LB, Georgia
I really thought Jon Gruden would have drafted Roquan Smith if he had been on the board in 2018. The Raiders still need linebacker help and tab a different Georgia player this time in Monty Rice.

81. Las Vegas Raiders via Chicago Bears (8-8) – Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
Back-to-back picks for Vegas sees them double up on receivers. Tylan Wallace is an excellent jump ball option who needs to improve his route tree.

82. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) – K’Von Wallace, S, Clemson
Dallas adds another young player to its secondary. K’Von Wallace shows good recognition skills and works well as a blitzer from the second level.

83. Denver Broncos via Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) – Trey Smith, G, Tennessee
Denver has two solid running backs, but needs to improve the offensive line to maximize the value. The best friend of any young quarterback is a ground game and Trey Smith should help establish that.

84. Los Angeles Rams (9-7) – Kenny Willekes, Edge, Michigan State
Los Angeles is constantly looking to add edge rushers. Willekes should be able to contribute from day one, but seems like a finished product.

85. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) – Brandon Jones, S, Texas
Brandon Jones is coming out of the wide open Big 12, but brings a hard-hitting presence to the defense. There are some concerns about his ability to hold up in coverage.

86. Tennessee Titans (9-7) – Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
Even with Ryan Tannehill in town, the Titans need a long-term plan. If Tannehill can sustain this, Fromm could be trade bait down the line, but he could also be a future starter if surrounded with the right talent.

87. Buffalo Bills (10-6) – Alaric Jackson, OT, Iowa
The offensive line play in Buffalo improved dramatically this season, but the Bills can still solidify to make it a strength. Alaric Jackson has a lot of experience at left tackle playing in the Big Ten.

88. Minnesota Vikings (10-6) – Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota
Tyler Johnson had a breakout year as Minnesota put together an impressive season. The Vikings can keep him close to home and build some much-needed receiver depth.

89. Cleveland Browns via Houston Texans (10-6) – Rashad Lawrence, DL, LSU
LSU’s offense is getting all the plaudits this year, but its defense is doing its part as well. With NFL size, Rashad Lawrence should add some toughness to the Browns defensive line.

90. Las Vegas Raiders via Seattle Seahawks (11-5) – Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
I can’t imagine that Jon Gruden walks away from this draft without a developmental quarterback. Derek Carr has been great at times, but I still don’t think the Raiders are sold on him. Jalen Hurts had a great college career and needs a lot of technical work, but his physical skill set makes him an intriguing prospect. He could always have a Taysom-Hill-like role.

91. New England Patriots (12-4) – Jared Pinkney, TE, Vanderbilt
Maybe Rob Gronkowski comes back and this pick is irrelevant, but until that happens, the Patriots desperately need tight end help. Jared Pickney is a chain mover with some blocking potential.

92. Green Bay Packers (13-3) – Matthew Peart, OT, UConn
Green Bay nabs a developmental tackle to stash behind Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari. Matthew Peart is raw and untested, but has a lot of intangibles to work with.

93. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) – Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
Damien Williams had an uneven year and LeSean McCoy is not a long-term answer. Chuba Hubbard has been outstanding and could be a dynamic player for Andy Reid to lean on.

94. New Orleans Saints (13-3) – Lloyd Cushenberry III, G, LSU
New Orleans addresses the interior of its offensive line. With Andrus Peat headed for free agency, Lloyd Cushenberry could be his successor.

95. Denver Broncos via San Francisco 49ers (13-3) – Leki Fotu, DL, Utah
Denver uses this pick from the Emmanuel Sanders trade to build some defensive line depth. Leki Fotu was a mainstay on an underrated Utah defense.

96. Baltimore Ravens (14-2) – Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF
While much of Baltimore’s game is predicated in running the ball, Lamar Jackson could use some more receiving options to throw to. Gabriel Davis is a crafty route-runner who should complement Marquise Brown nicely.

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7 prospects who can boost their stock during bowl season

Bowl season is officially upon us. It kicked off on Friday with a pair of games featuring a number of intriguing draft prospects. While a good chunk of draft prospects will sit out of these games to prepare for the NFL draft, there is still a lot of work to be done for prospects looking to make an impact on a more national stage. Utah State quarterback Jordan Love definitely looked sharp in his eventual loss to Kent State. The result doesn’t matter. He took care of the ball, with lone interception coming off a tipped pass that should have been caught. His draft stock received a small boost in the process, as it was a positive note to leave with evaluators heading into the pre-draft process.

There are quite a few other prospects who could do a lot to benefit their draft stock in their upcoming bowl games. Here are some of the biggest ones to keep an eye on.

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Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
You have no doubt heard about Jeff Okudah by now. He is the consensus top corner in the class and expected to be a top-10 pick. Playing alongside him is Shaun Wade, a redshirt sophomore who commands the nickel. It is not a guarantee Wade will declare, but his play during the College Football Playoff could go a long way in making that decision for him. He will get a chance to go up against a loaded receiving core at Clemson. Tee Higgins, Amari Rodgers, Justyn Ross and Joseph Ngata are likely the second-best group in the country, behind Alabama. If Wade can have a good day against that group and even potentially facing LSU’s high-powered offense, he should lock himself in as a late first round pick.

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Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake Forest
Basham’s name is becoming more common in draft circles after a strong redshirt junior season. He has 10 sacks and 17 tackles for loss this year. In a class that lacks a ton of depth behind Chase Young, there is an opportunity to separate from a lot of the other mid-tier prospects facing Michigan State in the Pinstripe Bowl. He has the size to be an edge rusher at the next level, either as an end in a 4-3 scheme or standing up in a 3-4 set up. A solid outing against a Big Ten team could help propel him into the conversation to go early on Day 2 of the draft.

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Austin Jackson, OT, USC
It’s hard to imagine a USC player possibly being under the radar given the history the school has in college football. Not to mention, the Trojans are ranked again entering bowl season. However, Austin Jackson is not a household name yet. He has not gotten the same press as Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs or Alabama’s Jedrick Wills. Jackson could find himself right in the mix to be drafted alongside these players in the first round with a good showing against Iowa in the Holiday Bowl. He will get a chance to face a talented Hawkeye’s defensive line, lead by projected first round pick A.J. Epenesa. With so many NFL teams needed improvement at left tackle, a good game from Jackson could make his size and footwork impossible to pass up come draft day.

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Collin Johnson, WR, Texas
Texas has not had the type of season fans were expected after ranking in the preseason top 10. It has been a tough year for Collin Johnson as well. After entering the year looking like he would be one of the first 10 receivers off the board, he has slipped due to a number of injuries and a lack of game-breaking speed. He still has plenty of athletic ability and has put up good numbers since returning in mid-October. Putting together some good game tape against a suffocating Utah secondary in the Alamo Bowl would go a long way to putting him back on the right track. If Johnson performs against the likes of Jaylon Johnson, Julian Blackmon and Terrell Burgess, who all figure to be drafted this year, it would give the Texas senior a much-needed boost ahead of the Senior Bowl and combine.

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Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan
Really any of the trio of Michigan’s top receivers could be here. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tarik Black and Nico Collins have all garnered varying amounts of draft buzz, but Peoples-Jones seems to be leading the pack. He will get an incredible opportunity to prove himself going up against the Alabama defense in the Citrus Bowl. With a secondary that boasts Day 1 hopeful in Xavier McKinney (Trevon Diggs is sitting out), Peoples-Jones will have his work cut out for him. If he shows he can generate separation from Patrick Surtain, that will be a good sign for his ability to translate to the pros. As a junior, he won’t be in the Senior Bowl, so this is his last real chance to showcase on-field traits before the combine.

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Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
When you think of toughness and grit in college football, one of the first teams that comes to mind has to be Wisconsin. Troy Dye will get a chance to face that stout offense in the Rose Bowl this year. He is a tackling machine with good speed. Dye has even played through injury this season with a broken thumb. That screams toughness to me, but the biggest knock on Dye is his lack of strength. After all, he only weighs 225 pounds, very light for an NFL linebacker. If he can put together some good tape and make some disruptive plays against a Badgers front that features the best center in college football in Tyler Biadasz and a legendary running back in Jonathan Taylor, he could push himself firmly into the round one conversation heading into the Senior Bowl.

Georgia LogoSolomon Kindley, G, Georgia
While Georgia’s offense has struggled in the second half of the season, this offensive line has still been one of the best in the nation, featuring a pair of draft prospects. Not quite as well known as the guy he plays next to in Andrew Thomas, Solomon Kindley has been showing up in the middle rounds of a lot of mock drafts. He will matchup with Baylor in the Sugar Bowl, which brings with it the challenge of facing the disruptive James Lynch. With Thomas set to sit out the game, this is a big opportunity for Kindley to show how good he can be in a vacuum. If he can hold up in protection and keep Lynch from wrecking the running game, that could go a long way in helping solidify his draft stock in a year without a ton of elite interior offensive prospects.

Top 5 2019 Pro Bowl snubs

88 players were named to the NFL’s Pro Bowl roster on Tuesday night. The majority of the selections are well-deserved after a long season. However, that doesn’t mean there weren’t some very notable snubs. Every year there are a couple of players who should’ve made the cut that get left out in the cold. I am going to break down who should be heading to Orlando in January and who they should replace on the current roster.

Prescott has thrown for nearly 1,200 more yards than Rodgers this season. (Wikimedia Commons)

Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys
This might be the worst snub of them all. Prescott is in the midst of his best NFL season yet. He is second to only Jamies Winston in yards per game and fifth in yards per attempt. He has 26 touchdown passes to 11 interceptions and a solid 65.5 completion percentage. Yet somehow Prescott was over looked in favor of Aaron Rodgers. In most years, this would be totally acceptable. However, Rodgers is having one of his worst seasons in recent memory. He ranks 15th in yards per game and yards per attempt as well as 18th in completion percentage. The biggest thing he has going in his favor is his 12-1 touchdown to interception ratio. However, outside of smoking the Raiders, the Packers quarterback has had a fairly pedestrian year. Prescott was far more deserving of the spot than Rodgers.

Marcus Williams, SS, Saints
While most will probably remember Marcus Williams for missing that tackle during the Minneapolis Miracle (sorry Saints fans), he is actually one of the best young safeties in the league. This season he is tied for fifth in the NFC in pass breakups and tied for second in interceptions. He is first among safeties in both those categories. Williams also owns an incredible grade of 90.1 from PFF in 2019. He certainly should have beaten out Budda Baker and Eddie Jackson to make the Pro Bowl roster. Both have had good seasons, but Williams is an elite playmaker.

No Patriots offensive players made the initial Pro Bowl roster. (Wikimedia Commons)

Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots
It has not been the same kind of success we are used to seeing for the Patriots offense, but Edelman should still be on the Pro Bowl roster. He is third among receivers in the conference in yards and second in receptions. With no one else to really draw attention this season on New England, it makes Edelman’s performance even more impressive. He should have beaten out Jarvis Landry for that final receiver spot. Edelman has close to identical yards and touchdowns, but slightly edges Landry in both categories.

Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Jaguars
You could certainly argue for Justin Houston to be here as well, but he hasn’t made as many impact plays as Yannick Ngakoue. The Jags defensive end has eight sacks and 15 tackles for loss. He also has five pass deflections, three forced fumbles and an interception for a touchdown. He has been a rock for Jacksonville even if the rest of his unit has struggled this season. He beats out Frank Clark in just about every meaningful category and has graded out higher on Pro Football Focus. Seems like a no-brainer to make it over Clark.

Schobert made the Pro Bowl in 2017. (Wikimedia Commons)

Joe Schobert, LB, Browns
While Cleveland has had a disappointing season this year, Joe Schobert has been a constant bright spot. He is second in the conference in total and solo tackles. He also has nine pass deflections, four interceptions and two forced fumbles. Schobert is one of the reliable middle linebackers in the league, especially in pass coverage. He has definitely outperformed Dont’a Hightower, who does not rank in the top 50 in the conference in tackles. Hightower is having an impressive year, but not quite Pro Bowl level and definitely robbed Schobert of a spot.

2019 NFL Power Rankings: Week 16

The playoff picture is coming into full view now. Well at least the teams that will be in the postseason. The only spot that feels truly undecided is the sixth seed in the AFC. The order is still very much up in the air. There was a lot of movement in the projected seedings with San Francisco losing a stunner at home. We will see a pretty good slate of meaningful games in the final two weeks given that so many teams still have something to play for.

On the flip side, the draft order is going to be very interesting. With the Giants topping the Dolphins, there is now a huge collection of teams with three wins and five wins. The Bengals sit two games clear of everyone else in the running for the top pick. As teams wrap up their years, there is still a lot of potential movement that could occur here. For those not in the postseason, these final two weeks will be just as important with so much still left up in the air.

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1. Baltimore Ravens: 12-2 (Last Week: 1)
Won 42-21 vs. New York
The Ravens continue to roll, this time taking care of an injury-riddled Jets team with ease. Lamar Jackson all but solidified his MVP campaign with five passing touchdowns. He also broke Michael Vick’s record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a season. This team looks almost unstoppable. The AFC is going to run through Baltimore and that is a scary thing for the rest of the league.

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2. New Orleans Saints: 11-3 (Last Week: 3)
Won 34-7 vs. Indianapolis
How do you follow up losing a heartbreaker? Dominating what comes at you next works well. Drew Brees rewrote a good chunk of the record book on Monday Night Football. He is now the NFL’s all-time leader in passing touchdowns. He also posted the best completion percentage in a single game in league history. The defense pitched a shutout for much of the night. This version of the Saints could absolutely win a Super Bowl.

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3. Seattle Seahawks: 11-3 (Last Week: 4)
Won 30-24 at Carolina
It was another less-than-convincing performance from the Seahawks, but they still got the win. Now with the news that Josh Gordon is suspended indefinitely as well, the outlook in Seattle is not as positive as it was maybe two weeks ago. Still, with the San Francisco loss, Seattle now holds the top spot in the NFC. The Seahawks just need that defense to step it up a bit down the stretch. Anything could happen here, but Seattle controls its fate.

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4. Kansas City Chiefs: 10-4 (Last Week: 5)
Won 23-3 vs. Denver
Kansas City is humming along right now. The Chiefs have won four straight and remain hot on the Patriots’ heels for a first-round bye in the playoffs. It was far from your typical offensive showing from Patrick Mahomes and company, but the weather was not very cooperative so it feels justified. Travis Kelce played like a beast though and the defense took advantage of an overmatched rookie quarterback. The defense should get a boost too with the addition of veteran pass rusher Terrell Suggs.

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5. San Francisco 49ers: 11-3 (Last Week: 2)
Lost 29-22 vs. Atlanta
Last week, San Francisco outlasted a true NFC contender and took over the top spot in the conference. This week, Kyle Shanahan lost to his former club and the 49ers are back down in fifth. San Francisco still controls its own destiny, but this was the type of game that has me worried about this team’s ability to make Super Bowl run. The pass rush couldn’t get home and Jimmy Garoppolo did not play well enough to make up for it. It was just one game, but this was a major let down.

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6. New England Patriots: 11-3 (Last Week: 6)
Won 34-13 at Cincinnati
The Patriots got back on track, but had a very rocky start in doing so. New England trailed at the end of the first quarter in Cincy and led just 13-10 at halftime. The defense bailed out another pedestrian effort from Tom Brady (128 passing yards) and the offense. New England’s run game got rolling in the second half, but it was really the defense’s five takeaways that made the difference. While the Pats have a tendency for pulling it together and playing their best ball in the postseason, the offensive concerns just grow by the week.

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7. Green Bay Packers: 11-3 (Last Week: 7)
Won 21-13 vs. Chicago
Green Bay is winning ugly and doesn’t seem to care. The Packers had a bit of a scare late in the game from the Bears, but pulled out a third straight victory. This has been a very uncharacteristic season from Aaron Rodgers, who ranks 11th in passing yards and 15th in yards per attempt. He completed fewer than 50 percent of his throws on Sunday as well. Green Bay’s offense is going to need to break out of its funk soon. Week 16 will decide the NFC North as the Packers visit the Vikings on Monday Night Football.

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8. Minnesota Vikings: 10-4 (Last Week: 8)
Won 39-10 at Los Angeles
It looked like Minnesota had brought back the Purple People Eaters in Los Angeles. The Vikings forced seven (!!!) turnovers on Sunday. Now the Chargers might not be world class competition, but it is still a huge confidence booster for the defense. The concern offensively will be regarding the health of Dalvin Cook, who left the game with a shoulder injury. Even before he got hurt though, Cook had started to lose steam. He failed to crack 30 yards rushing in three of his four contests, averaging 3.1 yards per carry in the process. Cook needs to get back on track fast with the Packers coming to town this week.

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9. Houston Texans: 9-5 (Last Week: 11)
Won 24-21 at Tennessee
Houston wiped away a lot of the damage it sustained in Week 14’s loss to Denver. Edging the Titans means the Texans are in sole possession of first place in the AFC South. The division is far from locked up though with a rematch with Tennessee slated for Week 17. It was another uneven outing from Deshaun Watson, but this time the defense and ground game stepped up. Consistency is the next step for this team as it looks to lock up a playoff spot.

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10. Buffalo Bills: 10-4 (Last Week: 12)
Won 17-10 at Pittsburgh
Sean McDermott has the Bills playing some old school football and it travels well. This game was unlikely to produce fireworks, but Buffalo’s offense ended up being just a little less ugly than Pittsburgh’s. In truth, the Bills defense deserves credit for that, picking off Delvin Hodges four times. Holding the Steelers to 51 yards rushing and recording four sacks didn’t hurt either. If Josh Allen can find a way to play just a little bit more efficiently, this team could make a run at a division title.

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11. Tennessee Titans: 8-6 (Last Week: 10)
Lost 24-21 vs. Houston
The second half resurgence hit a bump in the road with the loss to Houston, but Tennessee’s playoff hopes are very much still alive. What is likely more significant is the overall improved play of the offensive line in recent weeks. The Titans are beginning to look like a complete football team, even in the loss. A.J. Brown is starting to look like a steal of a draft pick as well. As long as Tennessee wins Week 17 and Pittsburgh loses in Baltimore, the Titans should reach the postseason regardless of what happens in Week 16.

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12. Pittsburgh Steelers: 8-6 (Last Week: 13)
Lost 17-10 vs. Buffalo
The wheels fell off this make-shift Pittsburgh offense. I really don’t feel good about putting anyone in this 12 spot. Dallas picked up a big win, but that doesn’t wipe out the past five weeks. Tampa Bay is feeding on cupcakes and Jameis Winston won’t stop throwing interceptions. Los Angeles just got steamrolled by Dallas. Pittsburgh’s defense is the only thing that is keeping them alive right now, but as the offense gets a bit healthier, there is a chance this team could find a bit more balance.

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13. Dallas Cowboys: 7-7 (Last Week: 18)
Won 44-21 vs. Los Angeles
Talk about getting back on track. The Cowboys blew out the Rams in spectacular fashion. I have been trying to figure out for weeks what is going on in Dallas. The team is mostly healthy with a good young quarterback, a talented offensive line and some great skill position players in Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott. This team leads the league in total offense and ranks top five in points. Defensively, the Cowboys are top 10 in yards allowed and 13th in points allowed. They are sixth in point differential. That should be a recipe for winning more than half your games, but somehow Dallas just can’t seem to get it done in close contests.

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14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 7-7 (Last Week: 15)
Won 38-17 at Detroit
Jameis Winston strikes again. Against a dreadful Lions secondary, the Bucs quarterback threw for 458 yards and four touchdowns. Of course he also tossed an interception, but Tampa Bay is playing a fun brand of football right now, and it’s working. The Buccaneers are winners of four straight, tied for the second longest active streak in the league. This run is a credit to what Bruce Arians is building. No one should want to face Tampa right now.

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15. Los Angeles Rams: 8-6 (Last Week: 9)
Lost 44-21 at Dallas
After back-to-back wins, the Rams were firmly in the playoff chase. With the whole team forgetting to show up on Sunday, Los Angeles is now the longest of longshots to reach the postseason. The defense was horrible. It allowed 256 rushing yards and never managed to get after Dak Prescott. The lopsided scoreline lead to Jared Goff throwing the ball 51 times while Todd Gurley got only 14 touches. Sean McVay ran the ball 14 times, three of them with Goff. That formula has been killing the Rams all year long. This team has a lot of soul searching to do in the offseason because LA is built like a contender, but it isn’t playing like one.

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16. Chicago Bears: 7-7 (Last Week 14)
Lost 21-13 at Green Bay
Futility set in once again in Chicago as it missed a chance to grab a massive win. Three straight wins had given the Bears hope, but an ineffective offense cost them a fourth. Mitch Trubisky threw the ball 53 times, which is highly questionable. However, Chicago ran the ball 27 times, so it wasn’t like it completely abandoned the run game. This offense needs an infusion of talent along the offense line and some more reliable contributors at the skill positions. Trubisky has certainly struggled this season, but his supporting cast has also been subpar.

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17. Philadelphia Eagles: 7-7 (Last Week: 16)
Won 37-27 at Washington
Philly keeps finding new ways to win and somehow make me feel worse about its long-term success. Against a paltry Washington side, the defense made Dwayne Haskins look like a Pro Bowler. Offensively, the Eagles played pretty well. Carson Wentz had a really good game despite having no receivers to speak of. Winning with Greg Ward and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is impressive. Wentz does need to solve this fumbling issue that has cropped up in recent weeks. As more starters return, the offense should improve. There might be no hope for this defense though. The showdown to decide the NFC East looms for Philadelphia.

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18. Atlanta Falcons: 5-9 (Last Week: 22)
Won 29-22 at San Francisco
After a dismal first half of the season, Atlanta has really turned things around. It threw the mother of all wrenches into the NFC playoff picture after shocking San Francisco. There have still been some hiccups along the way with lopsided losses to Tampa Bay and New Orleans. However, the Falcons have wins over the Saints, Panthers and 49ers. They are 4-2 in their last six games. Finishing the season with two more wins could save Dan Quinn’s job. With Jacksonville and Tampa Bay on the slate, it is certainly possible.

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19. Cleveland Browns: 6-8 (Last Week: 17)
Lost 38-24 at Arizona
This was likely the dagger in the Browns playoff hopes. It was another unpleasant result for Freddie Kitchens and company. Measuring the Browns based on their expectations entering the year will lead anyone to conclude this has been a shockingly disappointing year. If you look at Cleveland’s past though, not regressing is a big step in the right direction. A better offensive line is crucial for this team to finally reach those highs next year. With $51 million in projected cap space and not a ton of free agents, this team is still in position to make the jump.

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20. Indianapolis Colts: 6-8 (Last Week: 19)
Lost 34-7 at New Orleans
That was an absolute drubbing. It has become abundantly clear that this Colts offense is nowhere near ready to compete with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. He is not Andrew Luck and he has a much worse supporting cast than Luck likely ever did. T.Y. Hilton has been banged up all year. Marlon Mack has dealt with his own injuries. Eric Ebron, Chester Rogers, Paris Campbell and more are on injured reserve. It is hard to win games when no one is available to play. That being said, this was a blow to morale. The defense looked powerless and the offense had nowhere to turn. Indy is heading into the offseason with a ton of question marks.

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21. Denver Broncos: 5-9 (Last Week: 20)
Lost 23-3 at Kansas City
If this was a test, Drew Lock failed miserably. It was a rough outing for the rookie making just his third start, this one in the snow back in the same state he played college football in. He should never have been asked to throw the ball 40 times in this game, but he also looked horrible in the process. He threw one interception, and was lucky that it was only one. This serves as a tough reminder there are going to be growing pains with a young quarterback and that Denver is still a ways from competing in the AFC West.

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22. Los Angeles Chargers: 5-9 (Last Week: 21)
Lost 39-10 vs. Minnesota
For the second week in a row, the Chargers were involved in a blow out. This one didn’t happen to go their way though. The Vikings defense tormented Philip Rivers and company. Rivers threw three interceptions and Los Angeles lost four fumbles. That is a recipe for disaster. The Chargers defense didn’t have its best game either, but it was far from being the problem in this one. Expect a major shakeup to that offense during the offseason.

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23. Arizona Cardinals: 4-9-1 (Last Week: 25)
Won 38-24 vs. Cleveland
Snap. That is the sound of Arizona finally snapping its losing streak. After six in a row, the Cardinals got back in the win column, mostly thanks to Kenyan Drake. He ran all over the Browns to the tune of 137 yards and four touchdowns. It was an important win for the overall rebuilding process of this team. It was a good reminder that Arizona is headed in the right direction. There is still a lot of room for improvement, but this felt good for Kliff Kingsbury.

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24. Carolina Panthers: 5-9 (Last Week: 24)
Lost 30-24 vs. Seattle
Christian McCaffrey is a one-man wrecking crew. Kyle Allen spoiled another incredible effort from Run CMC with three interceptions, but the Panthers only lost by one possession. Allen’s constant inability to take care of the ball along with a struggling run defense are major concerns, but their are some bright spots. DJ Moore had another great game and the defense hit Russell Wilson seven times. This team is already in flux with Ron Rivera’s firing so expectations should be kept fairly low for these final two games. We might even get a chance to see rookie quarterback Will Grier.

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25. Jacksonville Jaguars: 5-9 (Last Week: 28)
Won 20-16 at Oakland
Gardner Minshew worked his magic and engineered a comeback for the Jags. He almost waited too long, as Jacksonville’s offense essentially did nothing for the first three quarters. Lucky for them, Oakland’s offense went into hibernation after halftime and the defense could not hold up. The win really does not mean a whole lot, but it does point towards Minshew being the starter to open the 2020 season.

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26. Oakland Raiders: 6-8 (Last Week: 23)
Lost 20-16 vs. Jacksonville
I hate to say this was a fitting end to the Raiders time at the Coliseum, but that was about as textbook a choke job as you could get. Oakland held a 13-point halftime lead and posted two zeros on the scoreboard in the second half. As this team prepares to move to Las Vegas, it must hope it can unearth a new defense and some wide receivers in the process. Jon Gruden is not happy and Mike Mayock can’t be either.

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27. New York Jets: 5-9 (Last Week: 27)
Lost 42-21 at Baltimore
That was about how you would have expected this game to go for the banged up Jets. The Ravens dominated the first three quarters and once they called off the dogs, Sam Darnold led a pair of scoring drives to provide some false hope to a beaten down team. New York had no answer for Lamar Jackson and continues to add to the list of needs it will have to address in the offseason. Just remember, there were 28 players selected after Darnold and before Jackson.

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28. Washington: 3-11 (Last Week: 26)
Lost 37-27 vs. Philadelphia
For a while there, it looked like Washington was about to deal a critical blow to Philadelphia’s playoff chances. Even though the defense couldn’t see the game through, the front office has to feel good about the level at which Dwayne Haskins played. He threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns while also showing some running ability. It is hard to peg where this team will go next with an interim head coach and a general manager on the hot seat. However, those issues would seem less significant if Washington knew it was set at quarterback.

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29. New York Giants: 3-11 (Last Week: 31)
Won 36-20 vs. Miami
For the first time in months, Saquon Barkley looked like an All-Pro running back. He finally broke out of his sophomore slump with 112 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns. It was actually a very productive day for Giants skill position players that figure to feature heavily in the future. Sterling Shepard caught nine balls for 111 yards and Darius Slayton hauled in his eighth touchdown of the year. New York might have hurt its draft stock, but snapping a long losing streak has to feel good.

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30. Miami Dolphins: 3-11 (Last Week: 29)
Lost 36-20 at New York
DeVante Parker made the Dolphins front office look very good on Sunday. Just a few days after signing a big extension, Parker scored two touchdowns. Unfortunately, they were Miami’s only two touchdowns of the game. The ‘Fins have a long way to go, but this team is also identifying pieces it can build around in the future. Given how talent-deprived this roster is, that fact that Miami is even competitive speaks volumes about the job Brian Flores has done this season.

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31. Detroit Lions: 3-10-1 (Last Week: 30)
Lost 38-17 vs. Tampa Bay
Detroit lost its sixth straight game and continue to show how valuable Matthew Stafford is to this club. This team is just crawling towards the finish line at this point. Wes Hill led the team in rushing with 21 yards and David Blough threw two interceptions, including a pick-six. I can’t imagine the Lions expected either of those players to see the field this year, much less be the offensive leaders in a given week. Matt Patricia’s seat has to be feeling awfully warm right about now.

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32. Cincinnati Bengals: 1-13 (Last Week: 32)
Lost 34-13 vs. New England
For one half, the Bengals looked like they were really going to press the Patriots. Then the second half came and Cincinnati imploded. Andy Dalton threw four interceptions, coach Zac Taylor criticized his receivers and then wide receiver Tyler Boyd questioned the playcalling. Altogether, not a good look. Cincy pretty much has a vice grip on the first pick with New York winning on Sunday. Bengals fans are already dreaming of Heisman winner Joe Burrow.

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2019 NFL Power Rankings: Week 15

Just when we started to feel like we knew what was going on in the NFL, the league threw us a massive curveball in Week 14. We thought the Texans had joined the contenders list in the AFC after beating the Patriots, only to turn up lifeless at home against the Broncos. The Chargers had played close games all year, so naturally they blew out the Jaguars by 35. With the 49ers beating the Saints, the door was open for the Seahawks to seize control of the NFC playoff picture. Seattle ended up being soundly beaten by the rival Rams.

Even Eli Manning added to the fun with a return as the starting quarterback for the Giants. We are also seeing trends we are not used to seeing in the NFL. The Patriots have lost back to back games. Aaron Rodgers had another off week as Green Bay narrowly escaped a scrappy Washington team. The Steelers continue to win despite missing just about every meaningful skill position player. Football is an unpredictable sport, and there are sure to be a few more wrinkles before the playoffs get underway.

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1. Baltimore Ravens: 11-2 (Last Week: 1)
Won 24-17 at Buffalo
Baltimore is now going toe-to-toe with the best the NFL has to offer. During this nine-game win streak, the Ravens have beaten the Steelers, Seahawks, Patriots, Texans, Rams, 49ers and now Bills. Lamar Jackson did not have his best game, but still threw three touchdown passes. Baltimore’s defense is playing at an elite level, holding Josh Allen to 3.7 yards per attempt. That was in addition to racking up six sacks. Until someone can stop these runaway Ravens, they will be glued to the top spot of these rankings.

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2. San Francisco 49ers: 11-2 (Last Week: 4)
Won 48-46 at New Orleans
I will admit that I was skeptical of this 49ers team despite all the wins. I knew the defense was really good, but could they find a way to win if they had to rely on the offense? Clearly, the answer is yes. This was a respectable Saints defense that Jimmy Garoppolo had a lot of success against. He spread the ball around and showed he has developed a connection with Emmanuel Sanders. San Francisco is going to be tough to stop given their ability to adjust from week to week. However, the defense mysteriously disappeared. Drew Brees had five touchdown passes and the 49ers had no sacks in the contest.

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3. New Orleans Saints: 10-3 (Last Week: 3)
Lost 48-46 vs. San Francisco
This a bitter pill to swallow for the Saints. Heading into the game, the focus was on how well New Orleans’ offense would fare against a dominant San Francisco defense. Clearly, the Saints forget to prep their own defense for the challenge. Any time you give up 48 points, a lot of things went wrong. New Orleans gave up huge chunk plays and had no way to slow down the running game, as the 49ers gained 6.8 yards per carry. All of this boils down to the Saints giving up the top seed in the NFC.

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4. Seattle Seahawks: 10-3 (Last Week: 2)
Lost 28-12 at Los Angeles
Maybe I am making too much out of one game, but this was a troubling loss for the Seahawks. The Rams have their number. Los Angeles was just a missed field goal away from knocking off Seattle earlier this year. This time around, the Rams rolled to a convincing win. The Seahawks could not get into the end zone on offense, with their lone trip coming on a pick-six. Again, it was just one game, but this is a bad sign for Seattle come the postseason, where one bad game will end your year.

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5. Kansas City Chiefs: 9-4 (Last Week: 6)
Won 23-16 at New England
Kansas City finally won in Foxborough. It wasn’t always pretty, but there is a lot to like about this performance. Patrick Mahomes did not play his best. However, he made enough plays in the first half for the defense to close things out. It was a rough night running the ball as well, making this defensive showing even more impressive. The Chiefs appear to be back on track after some midseason struggles. Assuming Mahomes can get back to full strength, this team will be poised for a deep playoff run.

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6. New England Patriots: 10-3 (Last Week: 5)
Lost 23-16 vs. Kansas City
Simply stated, New England was outplayed. There is no question the Patriots ended up on the wrong side of a couple of bad calls on Sunday. However, that does make up for what was another poor outing for the offense. Jakobi Meyers dropped passes, Tom Brady missed throws and Sony Michel managed eight yards on five carries. New England has now lost against the other three teams currently leading their divisions in the AFC. Between injuries and declining play, this team is at risk of missing out on a first-round bye in the playoffs.

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7. Green Bay Packers: 10-3 (Last Week: 7)
Won 20-15 vs. Washington
It was another questionable outing by the Packers, failing to put away a team it should have battered. Green Bay got off to a hot start, but that quickly fizzled into a slugfest. The passing game continues to underwhelm, as Aaron Rodgers finished under 200 yards passing again. Aaron Jones made up for a lot of that with 134 yards and a touchdown. At some point though, it would be good to see the Packers get back to beating up on teams lower down in the standings, especially starting rookie quarterbacks. Green Bay finishes with three straight divisional games, so the margin for error is going to disappear quickly.

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8. Minnesota Vikings: 9-4 (Last Week: 9)
Won 20-7 vs. Detroit
Minnesota rode its defense to a comfortable victory over Detroit. It wasn’t flashy, but there was never a point where this game felt in doubt. Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook did enough to lead the offense, but it would be good to see them pick up the pace a bit. This Lions defense had been one of the worst in the league entering the weekend, so 20 points is far from impressive. With the Vikings still trailing the Packers by a game in the NFC, Mike Zimmer needs to get this group to click in the final few weeks of the season.

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9. Los Angeles Rams: 8-5 (Last Week: 12)
Won 28-12 vs. Seattle
For the first time since the Super Bowl, the Rams looked a lot like the team who won the NFC last year. Los Angeles ran the ball 35 times and set up Jared Goff to be comfortable. The heavy run focus allowed Goff to utilize play action against a Seahawks defense that already struggles to rush the passer. Give the defense a lot of credit as well for shutting down Russell Wilson. Seattle failed to reach the end zone on offense, which is a testament to how well Los Angeles played on Sunday night. Suddenly, the Rams are back in playoff contention.

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10. Tennessee Titans: 8-5 (Last Week: 11)
Won 42-21 at Oakland
Ryan Tannehill has to win some kind of award for his performance this season. He has led an explosive offense in the second half of the year, highlighted by throwing for 391 yards and three touchdowns against the Raiders. With the Texans losing to the Broncos, the possibility for a division title is more real than ever. However, the Titans will get tested in these final three games. Two games with Houston sandwich a visit from New Orleans. Time to see if Tannehill can continue to shine with the pressure on.

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11. Houston Texans: 8-5 (Last Week: 8)
Lost 38-24 vs. Denver
In terms of shocking results, this one takes the cake for Week 14. Hosting a Broncos team that has struggled all year featuring a rookie quarterback making his second career start, this should have been a comfortable victory. The Texans beat the Patriots a week ago after all. Instead, the defense made Drew Lock look like a Hall of Famer. Deshaun Watson accounted for three total scores, but he also threw a pair of interceptions. This game was 38-3 before Denver just hit cruise control the rest of the way. This was a colossal failure by Houston, as it lost ground in the AFC and the division.

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12. Buffalo Bills: 9-4 (Last Week: 10)
Lost 24-17 vs. Baltimore
A rough day from the Buffalo offense cost it a chance to knock off the kings of the NFL. Josh Allen was ineffective against a talented Ravens defense. On the flip side, the Bills actually did a pretty good job of containing Lamar Jackson. With three games left, Buffalo only trails New England by one game in the division and heads to Foxborough in Week 16 for an AFC East showdown.

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13. Pittsburgh Steelers: 8-5 (Last Week: 13)
Won 23-17 at Arizona
Pittsburgh held on for another road win with a limited offensive lineup. That is most because defensively the Steelers are playing about as well as anyone else in the league. With five sacks, three interceptions and a punt return touchdown, Pittsburgh made up for a banged up offense. Joe Haden came up with a game-sealing interception for the second week in a row. The race for the final playoff spot is going to be tight between the Steelers and Titans.

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14. Chicago Bears: 7-6 (Last Week 15)
Won 31-24 vs. Dallas
Has Mitchel Trubisky finally broken out of his funk? I think its too early to tell, but his play of late has kept the Bears’ playoff hopes alive. He tore apart a woeful Dallas defense. Chicago’s run defense did just enough to limit Ezekiel Elliott, despite giving up two touchdowns on the ground. There is still a long way to go if the Bears are truly going to reach the postseason, but they are not mathematically eliminated yet.

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15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 6-7 (Last Week: 18)
Won 38-35 vs. Indianapolis
Jameis Winston has become the league’s ultimate gunslinger. He racked up 456 yards passing and four touchdowns against the Colts. Winston also tossed three interceptions, including a pick-six. Still, he lead Tampa Bay to 17 unanswered points to close the game. One of the most interesting questions to be answered this offseason will be what the Buccaneers decide to at quarterback, because the former Florida State star is quite the conundrum.

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16. Philadelphia Eagles: 6-7 (Last Week: 16)
Won 23-17 (OT) vs. New York
That was ugly in every sense of the word. The Eagles slept walked through the first three quarters of this game. Philly is about as banged up as any team in football. Greg Ward was the team’s most productive wideout. If it wasn’t for Zach Ertz and Boston Scott, the Eagles would never have been able to make this comeback. This concerning win brings Philadelphia level with Dallas in the division though, meaning the season is far from over. While the Eagles have looked really rough this year, if they can get healthy in time, they might just surprise some people.

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17. Cleveland Browns: 6-7 (Last Week: 19)
Won 27-19 vs. Cincinnati
Cleveland avoided the embarrassment of losing to Cincinnati and kept its slim playoff chances afloat. Baker Mayfield had a terrible outing, completing under 50 percent of his passes. He added two interceptions to the mix as well. Thankfully the running game and defense bailed him out. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt both punched in a score, while Denzel Ward took one of Andy Dalton’s passes to the house. The Browns are not playing great football, but this was a solid win.

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18. Dallas Cowboys: 6-7 (Last Week: 14)
Lost 31-24 at Chicago
The sky is falling in Dallas as the Cowboys fall below .500. America’s team has been a mess in recent weeks, especially defensively. Mitchell Trubisky looked like one of the league’s best passers facing that Dallas secondary. On the flip side, Dak Prescott is moving the ball down the field, but too many drives have come up empty. A late surge made the scoreline look respectable, but this was another beatdown for a team lacking an identity. Despite all the well-documented problems, the Cowboys are still in control of the NFC East.

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19. Indianapolis Colts: 6-7 (Last Week: 17)
Lost 38-35 at Tampa Bay
I still don’t know the Colts lost this game. Jameis Winston threw three interceptions, including one that was returned by Darius Leonard for a touchdown. Tampa Bay had no real success running the ball either, yet Indianapolis continued to get burned by Winston through the air, squandering a 14-point second half lead. The path to the playoffs is a lot tougher now as Indy trails Houston and Tennessee by two games. This defense needs to step it up down the stretch if the Colts are going to catch either of them.

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20. Denver Broncos: 5-8 (Last Week: 21)
Won 38-24 at Houston
The Drew Lock era picked up a monumental win over the Texans. The Broncos had easily their best offensive game of the year in a thrashing. Lock looked great, as did fellow rookie Noah Fant. Defensively, Denver took its foot off the gas after building a 35-point lead, but this was a real showcase of how good the unit can be. This final stretch could go a long way in building a bright future for the Broncos.

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21. Los Angeles Chargers: 5-8 (Last Week: 23)
Won 45-10 at Jacksonville
Finally, the Chargers featured in a lopsided game. Los Angeles blew the doors off an overmatched Jacksonville squad. Austin Ekeler accounted for over 100 yards rushing and over 100 yards receiving. The contest got so out of hand that Tyrod Taylor made an appearance and threw a touchdown pass. This is the type of showing the Chargers have been waiting for all year long. It is likely too little too late, but it certainly gives them something to build on.

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22. Atlanta Falcons: 4-9 (Last Week: 24)
Won 40-20 vs. Carolina
Once again, Atlanta dominated Carolina. Matt Ryan carved up the Panthers secondary, while Devonta Freeman and Brian Hill turned in solid performances on the ground. With four forced turnovers, this was a complete showing. The struggles for the Falcons this year have been around keeping everyone healthy, evidenced by the latest news that Calvin Ridley is done for the rest of the season. There is talent on this roster, Atlanta just can’t seem to get everyone on the field together.

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23. Oakland Raiders: 6-7 (Last Week: 20)
Lost 42-21 vs. Tennessee
Things have gone sideways in Oakland. After a 6-4 start, the Raiders have lost three straight in incredible fashion. The latest one secured the AFC West for Kansas City. The offense played reasonably well in Josh Jacob’s absence, but the defense has fallen off a cliff. Ryan Tannehill shredded the secondary and Derrick Henry ran all over the front seven. Tennessee is certainly headed in the right direction, but Oakland offered little resistance.

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24. Carolina Panthers: 5-8 (Last Week: 22)
Lost 40-20 at Atlanta
It was another uninspiring day for the Panthers defense. Turns out that firing Ron Rivera did nothing to solve the problems currently facing this team. It is clear Carolina needs Cam Newton back and desperately needs to find some more talent to add to the secondary. Getting blown out by a combined total of 46 points by Atlanta is just a sign of how far this team needs to go in order to get back on track.

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25. Arizona Cardinals: 3-9-1 (Last Week: 26)
Lost 23-17 vs. Pittsburgh
It was a bit of a bounce back for the Cardinals despite the final result. However, the same issues cropped up once again. Kyler Murray took five sacks and tossed three interceptions. Defensively, Arizona played one of its better games of the year, but it was against a decimated Pittsburgh offense. In the end, the errors and inexperience proved to be too much as the Cardinals dropped their sixth straight contest.

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26. Washington: 3-10 (Last Week: 27)
Lost 20-15 at Green Bay
It was ultimately a loss, but honestly this was closer than Washington ever should have been with Green Bay. There are some brutal stats in this game for Dwayne Haskins and company. Aaron Jones outrushed the entire Washington team and the offense as a whole barely managed over 250 yards. Defensively, Bill Callahan has this team playing the best it has all season. Four sacks coupled with holding Aaron Rodgers under 200 yards passing, Washington has plenty to hang its hat on. Now if only Haskins would start to show signs that he is taking the next step.

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27. New York Jets: 5-8 (Last Week: 30)
Won 22-21 vs. Miami
This team is unbelievably banged up. With Le’Veon Bell, Jamal Adams, most of the offensive line and a good chunk of the defense unavailable, this was a gutty performance. On one hand, New York held Miami out of the end zone, giving up seven field goals. On the other, Sam Darnold had an uneven performance, but it ultimately ended in a win. The Jets still have plenty of holes on the roster, but they are starting to identify a decent base to rely on going forward.

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28. Jacksonville Jaguars: 4-9 (Last Week: 25)
Lost 45-10 vs. Los Angeles
Turning the offense back over to Gardner Minshew did not provide much of a spark. The Jaguars got steamrolled at home in an embarrassing meeting with the Chargers. Jacksonville has to do a better job establishing the run and figure out what happened to its once-dominant defense. With five straight losses and a mess of problems, it would not be a surprise to see the team move on from coach Doug Marrone at the end of the year.

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29. Miami Dolphins: 3-10 (Last Week: 28)
Lost 22-21 at New York
At least Miami knows it has a good kicker. Otherwise, this was a disappointing follow up to knocking off the Eagles the week prior. Ryan Fitzpatrick did his best to power a lackluster offense, leading the team in rushing. It was also a bit ridiculous to not see more of DeVante Parker against a banged up Jets secondary. No one expected the Dolphins to be competitive this season, but now that they have shown the capability, it is tough to stay positive when they drop games like this.

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30. Detroit Lions: 3-9-1 (Last Week: 29)
Lost 20-7 at Minnesota
If there is any team wishing for the season to end right now, it is the Lions. With Matt Stafford and Jeff Driskel hurt, David Blough has been thrust into action. He proved to be outmatched by a good Vikings front seven on Sunday, taking five sacks, including three at the hands of Danielle Hunter. It is hard to judge this team right now given the lack of talent it has to work with, but that doesn’t make the slow crawl to the end of the year any less painful.

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31. New York Giants: 2-11 (Last Week: 31)
Lost 23-17 (OT) at Philadelphia
For one half, it looked like Eli Manning was going to channel some of that mind-boggling magic as he has done so often throughout his career. Instead, the offense flopped in the second half and the defense could not hold on to see the game out. There were some positive signs as Darius Slayton continues to look like a diamond in the rough, but the secondary is still a joke and Saquon Barkley still has not been able to get back into the same groove he was in a year ago. Given how far this young team feels from competing right now, the result is probably a good thing. Chase Young is well within reach.

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32. Cincinnati Bengals: 1-12 (Last Week: 32)
Lost 27-19 at Cleveland
Cincinnati could not find a way to string together wins, but played tough in the loss. Andy Dalton is clearly not the future at quarterback, but his play relative to Ryan Finley indicates Finley isn’t the future either. This team seems like a lock for a top-two pick, meaning they should have their preference of the current college quarterbacks. There is a very good chance we will see Joe Burrow suiting up for the Bengals in the not-too-distant future.

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