NFL Power Rankings 2018: Week 9

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1. New England Patriots: 7-2 (Last Week: 2)
Welcome back to the top of the power rankings New England. For the first time since week 1, there is a team other the Rams on top. After the convincing win over the Packers, it is well deserved. Holding an Aaron Rodgers-led offense to just 17 points is a big deal. Without Gronk, without Sony Michel, the Patriots continue to find more offensive playmakers, as they always do.

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2. New Orleans Saints: 7-1 (Last Week: 4)
Down go the Rams! Sean Payton and Drew Brees shredded the Los Angeles defense to the tune of 45 points. The Saints offense looked nothing short of unstoppable in the first half of this game. Giving up 35 points wasn’t great, but New Orleans did a good job containing Todd Gurley. The Saints head to Cincinnati looking to continue its run as the hottest team in the league.

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3. Kansas City Chiefs: 8-1 (Last Week: 3)
Maybe this win was not as convincing as many expected. After all, the Browns were down by just six in the third quarter. The Chiefs still look explosive on offense and the defense is looking marginally better than it did when it opened the season. Patrick Mahomes is a beast. This team has more elite weapons than any other offense in the NFL between Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt and Travis Kelce. Throw in Sammy Watkins and this offense is truly scary.

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4. Los Angeles Rams: 8-1 (Last Week: 1)
The Rams spent the offseason loading up on defensive weapons. It fell apart in New Orleans. Marcus Peters looked terrible trying to contain Michael Thomas. No sacks recorded and a whopping 45 points allowed is a tough thing to justify for a team with so much talent on the defensive side of the ball. Even with a prolific offense, Los Angeles will need to improve its play on the back end to win a Super Bowl.

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5. Carolina Panthers: 6-2 (Last Week: 5)
The Panthers are coming to primetime! Following a shootout win over the Buccaneers, courtesy of a 35-point first half, Carolina now hosts Pittsburgh on Thursday night in a cross-conference showdown. Norv Turner continues to find new ways to utilize this unconventional group of playmakers. If the defense can find a way to slow down James Conner, Carolina will emerge with another important victory as it tries to keep pace with New Orleans.

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6. Los Angeles Chargers: 6-2 (Last Week: 6)
Can someone find the Chargers a quality kicker? Caleb Sturgis struggled again, missing an extra point and a field goal, but Los Angeles held on for a tight win in Seattle. But I’ve buried the lede here, the Chargers join a pretty exclusive list of teams to go to CenturyLink and emerge with a victory. Los Angeles faces two struggling divisional opponents next in Oakland and Denver with an eye on the division crown.

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7. Pittsburgh Steelers: 5-2-1 (Last Week: 7)
This team is starting to resemble the 2006 Steelers, on offense at least. They have a pair of dynamic receivers and an explosive running game to lean on. Ben Roethlisberger was on that team too. Pittsburgh is hitting on all cylinders now and earned another hard-fought win over the Ravens. A short week looms though with Big Ben nursing some injuries. It will be a tough test in Charlotte for Mike Tomlin and company.

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8. Minnesota Vikings: 5-3-1 (Last Week 8)
As you are reading this, Matt Stafford was just sacked again by the Vikings defense. Minnesota racked up a franchise record 10 sacks against Detroit on Sunday. Danielle Hunter returned a fumble for a touchdown as well. For the first time all season, Adam Thielen failed to pick up 100 yards receiving, which isn’t really a big deal when your team wins 24-9. He still scored a touchdown.

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9. Philadelphia Eagles: 4-4 (Last Week: 9)
The Eagles have to be feeling pretty good about themselves right about now. Washington is dealing with a ton of injuries and coming off a loss. The Cowboys dropped a key game at home after picking up Amari Cooper. Philly also added Golden Tate at the deadline to make this offense even more lethal. The Eagles are going to be a team no one wants to face in the postseason.

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10. Chicago Bears: 5-3 (Last Week: 11)
Chicago battered possibly the worst quarterback in NFL history once again. Nathan Peterman now has more touchdown passes to opposing teams than to his own. Looking at this game from a statistical standpoint, it seems impossible the Bears put up 41 points.  The offense produced just 190 yards of total offense. Goes to show how bad the Bills offense was and how good the Bears defense can be. Chicago will get a tougher test as the Lions come to town.

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11. Houston Texans: 6-3 (Last Week: 12)
Ugly as it might have been, the Texans emerged from Denver with another win. Houston is riding a six-game winning streak and it is games like this that set apart contenders from pretenders. Beating the 3-6 Broncos is not particularly impressive, but gutting out a tough game when you aren’t playing your best is important. Houston has a week off now to further integrate Demaryius Thomas into the passing game.

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12. Cincinnati Bengals: 5-3 (Last Week: 14)
The news regarding A.J. Green is not sounding too good as he is headed for a specialist this week to examine his foot. With their top playmaker on the shelf, Andy Dalton is going to need to rely on his ground game. The Bengals are still right in the mix for a playoff spot, but the work becomes harder with all the injuries that are piling up. Good luck keeping up with the Saints offense.

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13. Atlanta Falcons: 4-4 (Last Week: 16)
Matt Ryan is putting up MVP-caliber numbers and the Falcons are benefiting from it. Atlanta blew out Washington on the road. Perhaps the most impressive thing was holding Adrian Peterson, fresh off his best game of the season, to just 1.9 yard per carry. If the defense can play at this level on a consistent basis, expect the Falcons to be legitimate contenders for a wildcard spot.

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14. Washington: 5-3 (Last Week: 10)
It was an ugly loss at home to the Falcons. Washington is extremely banged up along the offensive line and at receiver. When the ground game completely disappears on top of that, it is a recipe for disaster. Adding Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at the deadline was supposed to sure up the defense as well. Initial returns don’t look great as Matt Ryan torched the secondary for 350 yards and four touchdowns. Washington still leads the NFC East, but this does not feel like a playoff team.

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15. Baltimore Ravens: 4-5 (Last Week: 13)
Baltimore’s schedule has been brutal the last few weeks, facing the Saints, Panthers and Steelers. While that may be true, that stretch also taught us a lot about this team. The Ravens clearly are not on the same level as those top teams. The offense does not have enough firepower to compete with the top clubs in the league. Joe Flacco is not getting it done and Alex Collins is not good enough to compensate for it. The middling group of receivers does not help either. A much-needed bye week should give Baltimore time to regroup and reformulate the offense.

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16. Seattle Seahawks: 4-4 (Last Week: 15)
That was a disappointing showing from the Seahawks. If not for a couple of missed kicks by Caleb Sturgis, Seattle would never have been in a position to win at the end against Los Angeles. On top of that, David Moore dropped the ball on the final play of the game. It would have been a huge week to win in order to close the gap on the Rams following LA’s first loss of the year. Instead, Seattle will continue to hunt a wildcard spot.

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17. Tennessee Titans: 4-4 (Last Week: 23)
The Titans pulled off a solid win over the Cowboys in a tough environment on Monday night. It keeps Tennessee in the thick of the playoff chase. The Titans are second in the division trailing only the Texans. While it is easy to doubt Tennessee’s credentials as a playoff threat, this team won a game in the postseason last year and has some young pieces that are clearly improving. If the offense can play turnover free, we’ve seen the defense win games for them already this season.

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18. Green Bay Packers: 3-4-1 (Last Week: 17)
Another tough loss for the Packers raises questions over how good this team really is in 2018. The defense was gashed early and often by the combination of James White and Cordarrelle Patterson. Josh Gordon took the top off the defense after that. It is clear that while this defense has made strides, it still has a long way to go before Green Bay is back to contender level. If the Packers lose to Miami, put this team in full on panic mode.

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19. Miami Dolphins: 5-4 (Last Week: 21)
In the midst of some exciting result across the league, I feel bad for anyone else who had the misfortune of watching the Dolphins and Jets. Miami managed to outlast New York on a rain-soaked field in a game where no offensive touchdowns were scored. The defense picked off Sam Darnold four times, but the Dolphins offense was terrible. Brock Osweiler threw for 139 yards and the ground game averaged 2.4 yards per attempt. Ryan Tannehill could be back this week, but that is far from a guarantee things will improve.

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20. Denver Broncos: 3-6 (Last Week: 19)
Denver had a chance to pull off a meaningful win and draw closer to .500. Brandon McManus missed the game-winning field goal and the Broncos fall deeper into the hole it dug themselves. Denver has lost six of seven, with the lone win coming against the hapless Cardinals. The pressure has to be on inside that locker room to show signs of improvement. However, considering Demaryius Thomas was just shipped out, it is not surprising to see this team struggle to score points.

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21. Detroit Lions: 3-5 (Last Week: 18)
Despite the ridiculous amount of money Matthew Stafford makes, Monday morning was a good day to not be him. He was hit 17 times in Minnesota. Detroit is looking less like a wildcard team and more like a team destined to draft in the top 10. If the offense cannot find a way to get into the end zone, it is going to be hard to win games down the stretch.

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22. Dallas Cowboys: 3-5 (Last Week: 20)
No one is going to admit to it yet, but this week might just be the beginning of the end for Jason Garrett and Dak Prescott in Dallas. The Cowboys failed to show up coming off a bye for a major home game against a beatable Titans team. Amari Cooper seems like a worthwhile addition, but given that Dallas will be picking in the top 12 most likely, it seems like a high price to pay for a team still desperately needing to fill holes across the roster. Dallas is 0-4 on the road so far, which doesn’t bode well for a playoff push.

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23. Jacksonville Jaguars: 3-5 (Last Week: 22)
What if I told you that through nine weeks of the NFL season, the Jacksonville Jaguars would be in last place in the AFC South? Hard to believe, but based on division record, the Colts own the tiebreaker over the Jags. That could all change this week when Jacksonville takes on Indy, especially with the rumors Leonard Fournette could be back on the field.

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24. Indianapolis Colts: 3-5 (Last Week: 24)
Indianapolis is entering a vital stretch where it will face either divisional foes or fellow wildcard bubble teams in the AFC over the next six weeks. In a lot of ways, the Colts control their destiny more than several other playoff hopefuls. It starts with a crucial matchup against Jacksonville. A win there and the Colts are in business. A loss would make hopes of a playoff berth fairly bleak.

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25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 3-5 (Last Week: 25)
The problem with the Buccaneers is not the offense. Tampa put up 28 points against a good Panthers defense. It also allowed 42 though, including 35 in the first half. No matter how much of a gunslinger Ryan Fitzpatrick may be, it is hard to overcome a 35-14 halftime deficit. There is no question that Tampa is in preparation mode for next season and based on how many key positions it needs to figure out, it might be a while before the Bucs turn it around.

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26. Cleveland Browns: 2-6-1 (Last Week: 26)
Considering how poorly the Bengals fared against the Chiefs just a few short weeks ago, this could’ve been much worse. A 16-point loss is nothing to be proud of if you are Cleveland, but there were signs of potential on offense with Duke Johnson finally showing up. The defense was pretty poor and the offensive line made some notable mistakes. Let’s keep in mind this team won one game over the previous two years. It is going to take a bit of time to get back on track.

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27. New York Jets: 3-6 (Last Week: 27)
It is just his rookie season, but there have to be some red flags rising in regard to Sam Darnold. He leads the NFL in interceptions with 14. That is four more than both Case Keenum and Jameis Winston, who are the next highest on the list. His completion percentage of 55 is also troubling. While all the rookies have struggled to complete passes, Darnold seemed to stare down coverages in Miami and launch passes into windows that did not exist. It was a week to forget, but if the Jets lose to the Bills at home this week, it could spell some major changes for this franchise.

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28. New York Giants: 1-7 (Last Week: 28)
For just the second time this season, the Giants did not lose. New York also didn’t play, but let’s not get too technical here. This front office is in the process of cleaning house. It seems like Eli Manning will be gone at the end of the season. Unfortunately, the Giants don’t appear to have too many building blocks currently in house.

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29. Arizona Cardinals: 2-6 (Last Week: 30)
A week off for the Cardinals gives a nice breather to their rookie quarterback. Josh Rosen has been a lot of what was advertised so far. Clearly this team is a few years away from competing for anything, especially with Seattle and Los Angeles in their division. This week isn’t going to be too pretty though with a trip to Arrowhead on the docket to face the Chiefs. Maybe Rosen can learn something from watching Patrick Mahomes and the blistering Kansas City offense.

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30. San Francisco 49ers: 2-7 (Last Week: 32)
It was a lot of fun to watch Nick Mullins tear apart Oakland on Thursday night, but the 49ers won a game against another basement dweller and potentially cost themselves an opportunity to draft Nick Bosa. This team has some talented pieces, most of which are hurt. A chance to add a talent like Bosa along the defensive line is rare, especially for a team that seems set at quarterback. There is always a chance Bosa could slide after not playing for most of the college season, but he seems to be a lock as a top three pick.

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31. Buffalo Bills: 2-7 (Last Week: 29)
Nathan Peterman is pretty much solidified himself as the worst quarterback I have ever seen play a game of football in my life. He has 12 interceptions to just three touchdowns in his career and a completion percentage south of 50. Sure, he has a rough supporting cast, but this is just awful quarterback play. The Bills really can’t wait for Josh Allen to get back under center.

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32. Oakland Raiders: 1-7 (Last Week: 31)
This week on “Are the Raiders Trying to Lose?” the answer seemed to be pretty clearly yes. A quarterback most of the country had never heard of torched the Oakland defense and the offense failed to generate much of a spark against a pedestrian 49ers defense. Jon Gruden is doing a great job of tearing the team down. Time to see if he can rebuild it.

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NFL Power Rankings 2018: Week 8

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1. Los Angeles Rams: 8-0 (Last Week: 1)
It wasn’t always pretty, but the Rams earned another win. Still the league’s only undefeated team, Los Angeles faced some adversity early on in its contest with Green Bay. Jared Goff looked a bit off in the first half and the ground game was bottled up. The second half fared a lot better for the offense. If not for an untimely fumble by Ty Montgomery, this could be a very different story. LA will need to play better against the Saints.

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2. New England Patriots: 6-2 (Last Week: 2)
The Patriots offense managed just one touchdown up in Buffalo. New England still managed an impressive victory with a bunch of field goals and a pick-six. The Bills have done this a few times this season, so credit to the Pats for escaping with a comfortable win. This team will likely look better once it gets Sony Michel back from injury.

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3. Kansas City Chiefs: 7-1 (Last Week: 3)
The Chiefs were tested again against the Broncos, but the final score is all that matters. Kansas City failed to score in the fourth quarter, which allowed Denver to close the gap slightly. Overall, it was a solid win. The defense came up with five sacks. Biggest issue has to be the lack of a running game, accounting for just 49 yards in the contest. No one has come close to stopping the aerial attack in KC, but the lack of a running game is a rising concern.

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4. New Orleans Saints: 6-1 (Last Week: 4)
Revenge achieved in Minneapolis. That loss to the Buccaneers feels like a decade ago as the Saints cruised to its sixth straight win. It was not the typical game from New Orleans. Drew Brees only threw for 120 yards. In fact, the offense only picked up 260 yards of offense. The defense stepped up with two crucial turnovers, one interception for a touchdown and one fumble recovery to set up a short-field score. This sets up a showdown with the Rams next week in which defense might be at a premium.

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5. Carolina Panthers: 5-2 (Last Week: 9)
In a lot of ways, the Panthers have flown under the radar. None of their games have been in primetime yet, but Carolina is looking good. This team has some great wins over the Bengals, Eagles and now Ravens, but also it lost to the Atlanta and Washington. The offense is weird but the defense is good. Watch out for Carolina in the second half.

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6. Los Angeles Chargers: 5-2 (Last Week: 6)
A week off for the Chargers lets Melvin Gordon get healthy and the offense reset after some rough outings. Los Angeles seems well positioned to take a wild card spot in the AFC and still have a shot at the Chiefs, just one game behind Kansas City. A trip to Seattle awaits, where we will see what the Chargers are made of.

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7. Pittsburgh Steelers: 4-2-1 (Last Week: 8)
It might be the Browns, but given how the last matchup with them went, this was a massive positive for the Steelers. James Connor had another incredible showing with 146 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Pittsburgh’s defense looked solid. Don’t look now, but the Steelers are leading the AFC North and picking up some steam. The Ravens are next on the schedule, so get ready for another edition of the best rivalry this league has to offer.

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8. Minnesota Vikings: 4-3-1 (Last Week 5)
On paper, it seemed like the Vikings should have won this game. Minnesota outgained New Orleans by almost 200 yards and intercepted Drew Brees for the first time all season. Two turnovers cost the Vikings the game. Tough pill to swallow for the Vikings, especially as the Bears win to take control of the NFC North.

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9. Philadelphia Eagles: 4-4 (Last Week: 10)
For most teams, playing in London means a neutral site game, but when playing the Jaguars that is undoubtedly a road game. It didn’t seem to matter as the Eagles handled the crowd, the trip and a resurgent Blake Bortles. The running defense was phenomenal and the passing offense continues to click, which is important considering the number of running back injuries Philly has suffered. The champs are .500 at the halfway mark, but it would be foolish to rule them out quite yet.

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10. Washington: 5-2 (Last Week: 11)
Adrian Peterson turned back the clocks and dominated the Giants defense. The defense held the relatively anemic New York offense in check no problem. However, there is a lot to be desired as Washington only mustered 20 points. The record looks great, but Alex Smith and the passing offense still leaves a lot to be desired.

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11. Chicago Bears: 4-3 (Last Week: 12)
No problems handling the Jets and with losses by the Vikings and Packers, the Bears currently top the NFC North. Matt Nagy is utilizing Tarik Cohen well and the offense will get better when Allen Robinson is back on the field. Turns out the defense is still pretty solid even without Khalil Mack. The tour of the AFC East continues as Chicago travels to Buffalo next.

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12. Houston Texans: 5-3 (Last Week: 18)
Remember when the Texans were 0-3. The New York Giants do, as it was the only win Big Blue picked up this season. Since then, Houston has locked in offensively and found a way to utilize some dynamic offensive targets. Lamar Miller continues to impress after disappearing for a few weeks. Oh and Deshaun Watson seems to be all the way back with five touchdown passes on just 20 attempts. With the rest of the AFC South floundering, Houston looks to be in really good shape.

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13. Baltimore Ravens: 4-4 (Last Week: 7)
This is a bad look for the Ravens. After a hot 3-1 start, Baltimore has dropped three of four to fall to .500. The Steelers are getting back on track and the Bengals continue to win tough games. The season is far from over, but a two-touchdown loss against Carolina raises a lot of doubts about Baltimore’s ability to make the playoffs.

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14. Cincinnati Bengals: 5-3 (Last Week: 15)
Maybe a little closer than Marvin Lewis would have liked, but it was a much-needed win. It is great the Bengals intercepted Jameis Winston four times. It is troubling that ended in just a three-point victory on a game-winning field goal. This defense is a mess across the board right now. It could not get off the field on third down. That is going to be crucial for Cincinnati to solve on its bye week.

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15. Seattle Seahawks: 4-3 (Last Week: 17)
This was a quality win for Seattle. Going on the road against a fellow wild card contender and winning is big. Russell Wilson posted a perfect passer rating and the ground game produced 176 yards on a whopping 42 carries. The Seahawks already have three road wins this season. With a home-loaded back half, Russell Wilson and company seem poised to make a legitimate run at the playoffs.

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16. Atlanta Falcons: 3-4 (Last Week: 16)
There is no one in the NFL who needed a week off more than the Falcons. Atlanta has been ravaged by injuries on both sides of the ball. Considering that, 3-4 is not terrible for Dan Quinn’s crew. The offense is heating up and if the defense can get some key contributors back on the field, Atlanta could definitely run the table.

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17. Green Bay Packers: 3-3-1 (Last Week: 14)
It is totally fair to be bitter after watching the Packers spoil a perfect start in LA. It was very reminiscent of Green Bay’s collapse against the Seahawks in the 2015 NFC Championship game. The defense made all the right plays and the offense just couldn’t get into a rhythm and capitalize. A two-point loss to the best team in football is nothing to be ashamed of, but it the Packers still seem a step behind the truly elite teams this season. Next test, a trip to Foxborough.

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18. Detroit Lions: 3-4 (Last Week: 13)
Maybe I was a little premature on the coronation of Kerryon Johnson as the running back of the future for Detroit. The Lions ran the ball for just 34 yards with a 2.6 yards per carry rate. It only took 17 throws from Russell Wilson to put up 28 points on the defense. Three turnovers against the Seahawks is never going to be a recipe for success. Matt Stafford continues to struggle in big games.

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19. Denver Broncos: 3-5 (Last Week: 20)
This is a young Broncos team continuing to grow. The rookie running backs are looking good as a pair. The passing offense is pedestrian though and the defense that crushed the Cardinals found out the Chiefs are just a bit better offensively. Patience is required, and this was a positive showing, but Denver is just not good enough this season to compete against Kansas City and Los Angeles.

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20. Dallas Cowboys: 3-4 (Last Week: 22)
This was the right time for a week off in Dallas. The Cowboys had a chance to integrate Amari Cooper into the offense. It should lead to better results from everyone else on the offense just by virtue of his presence. It is an uphill battle after Washington picked up its fifth win of the season, but the Cowboys feel a lot more prepared for the challenge after the bye.

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21. Miami Dolphins: 4-4 (Last Week: 21)
The cupcake schedule is over for the Dolphins, and it is proving to be a bit too tough so far. Miami’s secondary had some legendary blown coverages lead to touchdowns in Houston. On the bright side, DeVante Parker showed up with a massive six-catch 134-yard performance. A rematch with the Jets offers a chance to get back on track, but the ‘Fins will need a much better showing back home to stay in the postseason hunt.

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22. Jacksonville Jaguars: 3-5 (Last Week: 19)
How is this the same team that beat the Patriots? Jacksonville continues to struggle offensively, putting up just 18 points in London. Perhaps having four players detained in a nightclub incident was a distraction, but the Jaguars look bad. They now sit in the AFC South cellar with a fifth loss in six games. Leonard Fournette cannot return soon enough.

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23. Tennessee Titans: 3-4 (Last Week: 23)
Tennessee was on a bye this week, which hopefully gave the coaching staff time to figure out how to jump start the offense. Marcus Mariota has been mediocre at quarterback. The running game hasn’t been good enough. Ranking 30th in yards and points per game is not going to be good enough to reach the playoffs.

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24. Indianapolis Colts: 3-5 (Last Week: 27)
The Colts head into the bye week with back-to-back wins. While it might have been against two tanking teams, winning those games is still important. Indianapolis is out of the basement in the division and now in the mix. The offense is rolling and Andrew Luck looks in sync. The Colts might have something Marlon Mack as well.

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25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 3-4 (Last Week: 24)
FitzMagic is back! Well maybe. Kinda. Jameis Winston imploded to the tune of four interceptions. Ryan Fitzpatrick took his place and tied the game up in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, the Buccaneers still have the worst defense in the NFL. Quarterback drama and a terrible defense usually leads to a coaching change.

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26. Cleveland Browns: 2-5-1 (Last Week: 25)
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: the Browns have fired their head coach midway through the season. Hue Jackson failed consistently in Cleveland and after a promising start, this team has fallen off completely in recent weeks. Baker Mayfield seems to be regressing and the run game is disappearing. This was always going to be a long project, but this signals the end of the Browns 2018 campaign.

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27. New York Jets: 3-5 (Last Week: 26)
It was a sloppy loss for the Jets. Tons of penalties and absolutely no running game to speak of. New York averaged 2.4 yards per rush. Sam Darnold had another rough outing, completing fewer than 50 percent of his passes in the process. Todd Bowles is running out of time to fix these underlying mistakes continuing to plague the Jets. Before too long, he could be following suit of Hue Jackson unless the team’s play improves.

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28. New York Giants: 1-7 (Last Week: 28)
I have to think any outside general manager would clean house in New York. Coach, offensive line, quarterback, skill players. The only three offensive players likely to make the cut are Odell Beckham Jr., Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley. The Giants are well on their way to a top-five draft pick. The trade deadline is very soon and there could be a few more players out the door.

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29. Buffalo Bills: 2-6 (Last Week: 29)
The Bills played a great first half on defense and honestly a good second half as well. Turns out that bringing Derek Anderson out of retirement is not the best strategy to win football games, especially against the Patriots. It appears Buffalo is back to being a basement team in the AFC, at least for the near future.

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30. Arizona Cardinals: 2-6 (Last Week: 31)
The Cardinals are capable of grinding out games against other bottom teams. If only Arizona could play San Francisco every week. The Cards are 2-0 against the 49ers and 0-6 against anyone else. It is hard to evaluate this performance, but the offense looked a bit more balanced. The defense harassed C.J. Beathard. There are some good pieces in place, but Arizona needs a lot more to build a team on.

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31. Oakland Raiders: 1-6 (Last Week: 30)
Even without Amari Cooper the Raiders offense had no problem scoring points. The defense was totally MIA though, allowing 200 yards rushing, three passing touchdowns and failing to register a sack. Oakland is certainly rebuilding and has the draft capital to do so, but it is going to take patience that fans may not have.

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32. San Francisco 49ers: 1-7 (Last Week: 32)
Losing Jimmy Garoppolo and Jerrick McKinnon to season-ending injuries might just be a blessing in disguise for the 49ers long term. San Francisco seems destined for a top pick and will be able to add some quality players to a solid returning core. If the 2018 season has shown anything, there a lot of holes left to fill on this team.

NFL Power Rankings 2018: Week 7

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1. Los Angeles Rams: 7-0 (Last Week: 1)
It seems like the Rams are just picking up steam. Los Angeles blew out the 49ers on the road to make the division essentially out of reach. Sean McVay’s team faces a much tougher test with Green Bay paying a visit coming off a bye before LA heads to New Orleans. If the Rams survive that, we can start talking about a perfect season.

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2. New England Patriots: 5-2 (Last Week: 2)
This game almost went to overtime, but New England’s defense did just enough to prevent Kevin White from tying the game up on a Hail Mary. The good news: the Patriots are well in control of the AFC East now after Miami lost to Detroit. The bad news: Sony Michel is likely going to miss some time with an injury he suffered on Sunday. He was really starting to emerge as an every down back for New England.

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3. Kansas City Chiefs: 6-1 (Last Week: 3)
Kansas City remains the king of the AFC, at least in the standings, after demolishing Cincinnati on Sunday night. Patrick Mahomes tossed for 358 yards and four touchdowns. The defense also showed up for the first time all season, holding the Bengals to just 252 yards of total offense. If the Chiefs’ defense can come anywhere close to the level it played this weekend, this team is going to make a deep playoff run.

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4. New Orleans Saints: 5-1 (Last Week: 4)
Was it a little lucky to avoid overtime? Probably, but New Orleans managed 17 fourth quarter points against the best scoring defense in the league. Drew Brees and this offense is still humming along. The addition of Eli Apple from the Giants should also help this secondary down the stretch. New Orleans is in a tough division, but clearly looks the best of the bunch.

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5. Minnesota Vikings: 4-2-1 (Last Week 5)
Another week and another stellar performance from Adam Thielen. Kirk Cousins and company rolled over the team he spurned in free agency. Beating the Jets does not mark a marquee win for the Vikings, but a solid one on the road. Minnesota now gets a visit from New Orleans in a rematch of the Minneapolis Miracle. The Vikings should also get a boost in the form of Everson Griffin returning this week.

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6. Los Angeles Chargers: 5-2 (Last Week: 9)
It wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was rather ugly, but it was a win nonetheless. The Chargers managed just enough offense without Mevlin Gordon. The trip to London is tough for a West Coast team. Los Angeles now gets a week off and has to feel good being just one game back of the Chiefs.

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7. Baltimore Ravens: 4-3 (Last Week: 6)
It was a really poor time for Justin Tucker to miss his first ever extra point attempt as it cost Baltimore the game. However, more of the blame has to sit with the defense that blew a 10-point fourth quarter lead. The Saints have a great offense, but that kind of collapse is unacceptable for the Ravens. Lucky for them, the Bengals looked awful against the Chiefs.

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8. Pittsburgh Steelers: 3-2-1 (Last Week: 8)
So Le’Veon Bell still isn’t back, but the Steelers will be happy that every other team in their division lost during their bye week. With Cleveland set to visit this week, Pittsburgh has a big opportunity to pick up a division win and assert itself in the AFC playoff race. Leaning on James Connor seems like the way to go.

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9. Carolina Panthers: 4-2 (Last Week: 11)
Don’t call it a comeback! Well, that’s actually exactly what it was. Carolina looked sluggish to start, but turned it around with 21 points in the fourth quarter to pull off a massive victory. The win keeps the Panthers just a game behind the Saints in the NFC South. If Carolina can beat Baltimore when it comes to town this week, it will inspire a lot of confidence in this Panthers team.

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10. Philadelphia Eagles: 3-4 (Last Week: 7)
It is time to start worrying about the Eagles. The reigning champs find themselves below .500 with a flailing offense. Philly allowed 21 unanswered points to end the game after starting up 17-0. The lack of a running game is a big issue as the Eagles mustered just 58 yards on the ground at 2.4 yards per carry average. With the trade deadline coming up, maybe it is time for Philadelphia to think about adding a running back.

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11. Washington: 4-2 (Last Week: 15)
Washington bottled up Ezekiel Elliott and contained Dak Prescott just enough to earn a win. Alex Smith is still struggling a bit in the passing game with just 178 yards through the air. He played turnover free though and the defense came up with two fumble recoveries. That is a recipe for success, but it would nice to see the offense produce a bit more.

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12. Chicago Bears: 3-3 (Last Week: 10)
An easy start to the season gave false hope to many of the Bears’ potential for this year. Back-to-back losses where the defense allowed a ton of points brought Chicago back down to Earth. Had Kevin White made it into the end zone, we might not be talking about a loss. Don’t be fooled by the rushing numbers either. Tarik Cohen and Jordan combined for a woeful 53 yards on 18 carries. Matt Nagy has to find a way to jump start the ground attack. Also, that defense needs to get back to its early season form.

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13. Detroit Lions: 3-3 (Last Week: 18)
Finally! The Lions have found their running back of the future, or so it seems with the continued emergence of Kerryon Johnson. The rookie from Auburn picked up 158 yards rushing on just 19 carries against the Dolphins. Matt Stafford completed 82 percent of his passes as well. Detroit is right in the mix for a wild card spot heading into the second half of the season. Newly added Damon Harrison will help the cause as well.

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14. Green Bay Packers: 3-2-1 (Last Week: 14)
The Packers got a much-needed week off and the assumption has to be that Aaron Rodgers is much closer to be healthy now. That is a scary thing for the rest of the league. Green Bay is going to need him to be with a trip to Los Angeles coming up.

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15. Cincinnati Bengals: 4-3 (Last Week: 12)
They are who we thought they were! No seriously, after starting the season 4-1, the Bengals have dropped two straight in disappointing fashion. This defense has a long way to go still and Andy Dalton is still too inconsistent to consider this team a real contender. Cincy has a visit from the high-flying Buccaneers offense coming up as well and desperately needs to play better.

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16. Atlanta Falcons: 3-4 (Last Week: 16)
The Falcons are a bit lucky it was the Giants they played on Monday night after struggling to get the ball into the end zone for much of the game. Matt Ryan is putting up MVP-like number though, which is good enough to win games for this team. With rumors that Patrick Peterson wants out in Arizona, it might be time for Atlanta to fill a hole in its defense and set itself up for a playoff run.

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17. Seattle Seahawks: 3-3 (Last Week: 17)
The Seahawks enjoyed a bye week, but several other wild card contenders picked up wins. It is not going to be an easy road for Seattle to make the playoffs with Los Angeles already at 7-0. A trip to Detroit is going to be vital in deciding the NFC wild card picture.

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18. Houston Texans: 4-3 (Last Week: 22)
Make it four straight! The Texans are on fire after picking up another divisional win and now control the AFC South. Houston’s defense came up with big turnovers and chased Blake Bortles from the game. Lamar Miller came up with 100 yards on the ground as well. Deshaun Watson had a forgettable performance though, completing just 50 percent of his passes for 139 yards and one touchdown. The Jaguars defense is good, but Cody Kessler threw for more yards in the second half alone than Watson did the whole game.

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19. Jacksonville Jaguars: 3-4 (Last Week: 13)
The Jaguars are officially spiraling. I hate to blame everything on Blake Bortles, because the running game hasn’t been good either, but after fumbling twice and being replaced by Cody Kessler, it’s not a good look. The Jaguars offense managed fewer than 10 points for the third time this season. It is clear what the issue is for this team. The addition of Carlos Hyde should help some, but Jacksonville needs to find a passing game.

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20. Denver Broncos: 3-4 (Last Week: 23)
Denver flat out demolished Arizona and took advantage of a rookie quarterback with two pick-sixes. In total, the defense came up with five turnovers and six sacks. The offense cashed in on short field opportunities. Case Keenum was efficient and the running game was effective. This is a formula the Broncos can rely on to win games, just maybe not in quite as devastating fashion every week. We’ve seen what this team can do with an average quarterback and elite defense before.

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21. Miami Dolphins: 4-3 (Last Week: 19)
Miami managed to avoid blowing a fourth quarter lead this week, mostly because it never had one. Brock Osweiler played fairly well though. The run game was solid. The offense was not really the issue. Sure 21 points is not usually enough to win, but allowing 32 points and 450 yards of offense is almost always going to result in a loss. It will need to move on quickly playing Thursday against Houston.

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22. Dallas Cowboys: 3-4 (Last Week: 20)
The high the Cowboys were feeling following a massive win over the Jaguars faded quickly. Dallas looked hopeless offensively once again against Washington. However, the big news is Jerry Jones landed his new number one receiver. The Cowboys sent a first round pick to Oakland in exchange for Amari Cooper. His presence should open up more running lanes for Ezekiel Elliott and take some pressure off Dak Prescott. It is an uphill climb, but Dallas seems better prepared for it now.

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23. Tennessee Titans: 3-4 (Last Week: 21)
The Titans defense turned in another stellar performance, this time over in England. It wasn’t quite enough to produce a win. Tennessee has a championship caliber defense. The offense is nowhere close to good enough right now. Marcus Mariota and the offense have scored more than 20 points just once this season. The fact Tennessee is 3-4 and not 1-6 is a testament to how good the defense is.

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24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 3-3 (Last Week: 26)
Tampa almost blew it against the Browns, but held on for the win in overtime. This offense can pick up tons of yards, but turnovers are killing the Buccaneers. With 15 already this season, the Bucs need to do whatever they can to hide the weaknesses on defense. Giving the other team extra possessions is not the way to do it.

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25. Cleveland Browns: 2-4-1 (Last Week: 24)
Oh Cleveland. The Browns have now gone to overtime in four of their seven games. If nothing else, Baker Mayfield and friends are making it entertaining to watch the Browns lose this year. This team is still clearly a few years away, but the experience it is getting in these tight games is invaluable. Cleveland scored 14 fourth quarter points to tie the game and force overtime in the first place. Hue Jackson has this team on the brink of truly breaking through.

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26. New York Jets: 3-4 (Last Week: 25)
These are the lumps you take when you have a rookie quarterback. Sam Darnold competed just 17 of his 42 throws and tossed three interceptions. He isn’t the only one to blame though. The running game disappeared. Bilal Powell hits IR with a neck injury. Isaiah Crowell has struggled to be a consistent threat. It is best the Jets just move on after a truly ugly performance.

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27. Indianapolis Colts: 2-5 (Last Week: 28)
Marlon Mack went off and the Colts crushed the Bills. For most 2-5 teams, winning against other bottom feeders just hurts draft position. For Indy, this division is not totally out of reach with the Texans only at 4-3. I don’t expect the Colts to really close that gap, but this was a dominant performance against a Bills team that was shutting down opposing offenses. It could be the spark Indianapolis needs to get back in the divisional race.

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28. New York Giants: 1-6 (Last Week: 27)
The fire sale is officially on in New York. Eli Apple and Damon Harrison have already been shipped out. At 1-6, the Giants are certainly thinking about next season. Stockpiling draft picks is great, but the concern seems to be that this year’s draft class is fairly week past the top 15. Every class produces a few diamonds in the rough, but it might be a tough climb back for the Giants.

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29. Buffalo Bills: 2-5 (Last Week: 29)
The Bills might genuinely need to think about holding an open tryout for fans to play quarterback, Invincible style. Buffalo is last in passing yards, passing touchdowns and completion percentage, each by a pretty sizable margin. Bills quarterbacks have combined to throw three touchdowns and 12 interceptions in seven games. As much as they hated him, Bills fans desperately miss Tyrod Taylor right now.

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30. Oakland Raiders: 1-5 (Last Week: 30)
The Raiders didn’t lose this week! Well they were on bye, but you can count front office moves as a win. Oakland shipped Amari Cooper to Dallas in return for a first round pick. That kind of return for a player who has struggled with drops in his career is fairly impressive. Suddenly, the Raiders may find themselves with three picks in the top 20 selections come the 2019 draft.

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31. Arizona Cardinals: 1-6 (Last Week: 31)
Well that was awful. Josh Rosen had a game he would like to forget and the Cardinals found themselves down 35-3 at halftime. It is no secret this is not a team destined for the playoffs, but that was pathetic. Patrick Peterson has demanded a trade and it seems like Steve Wilks has no clue what he is doing as the head coach of the team.

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32. San Francisco 49ers: 1-6 (Last Week: 32)
San Francisco went from almost competitive to almost unwatchable in just one week. Sure it was against the best team in the league, but the 49ers are far and away the worst team in the NFL. Kyle Shanahan’s team has a turnover ratio of -18, which is bottom of the pile. This team has struggled with injuries, but even without them, it looks like San Francisco is a while away from truly competing.

NFL Power Rankings 2018: Week 6

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1. Los Angeles Rams: 6-0 (Last Week: 1)
And then there was one. Just the Rams remain in the undefeated circle after the Chiefs fell on Sunday night. Los Angeles escaped Denver with a win, thanks in large part to MVP-candidate Todd Gurley. Los Angeles’ offense is explosive across the board, but the former Georgia running back leads the league in yards from scrimmage and touchdowns. Even with Jared Goff struggling, Sean McVay knows he can rely on Gurley.

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2. New England Patriots: 4-2 (Last Week: 3)
It was a sight all opposing coaches hate to see. Tom Brady got the ball back with three minutes remaining in a tie ball game. Brady naturally torched the Chiefs defense to set up a chip shot for Stephen Gostkowski. Turns out Sony Michel is no joke as well. The defense failed to slow down Kansas City in the second half, but held Patrick Mahomes and company to just nine first half points. Not to mention, the Patriots came up with two interceptions. This team is well-solidified among the league’s elites once again with this victory.

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3. Kansas City Chiefs: 5-1 (Last Week: 2)
The Chiefs came so close to over coming a slow start and pulling off a stunning comeback. Tyreek Hill is still out running Patriot defenders. The issue continues to be the defense, which struggled all night long to deal with New England’s balanced attack. Kansas City still leads the AFC, but faces another tough test as the Bengals come to town.

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4. New Orleans Saints: 4-1 (Last Week: 4)
Odd stat of the day: the Saints lead the league in fewest rushing yards allowed per game. That is offset by allowing the third most passing yards per game and potentially a product of the offense’s ability to score. Still New Orleans has shown flashes of defensive talent. If it can find that consistently, this team will be extremely scary.

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5. Minnesota Vikings: 3-2-1 (Last Week 6)
It is time to start recognizing Adam Theilen as a great receiver. The Vikings wideout hauled in 11 balls for 123 yards and a touchdown. He and Stefon Diggs create one of the best receiving duos in the league. Minnesota finally got its pedestrian ground game going as well, which is more impressive because Dalvin Cook is still out with an injury. Mike Zimmer is finding ways to win despite missing both a starting safety, defensive end, left tackle and running back. Unfortunately, rookie stand out Mike Hughes is also done for the year with a torn ACL.

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6. Baltimore Ravens: 4-2 (Last Week: 10)
Talk about dominant defensive play. Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and whoever else you want to throw in from the legendary Ravens’ defenses of the early 2000s would be proud of the effort Baltimore displayed in Tennessee. The defense allowed just 106 yards of offense and shutout the Titans. The offense was solid, if unspectacular. That is all it will need to be with the league’s top scoring defense running the show.

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7. Philadelphia Eagles: 3-3 (Last Week: 11)
Turns out the cure for a Super Bowl hangover is the play the Giants. Philadelphia demolished its long time rival to pick up the road win. It doesn’t completely alleviate the concerns surrounding the team, but Carson Wentz looked phenomenal in the victory. The Eagles had no answer for Saquon Barkley though. Not many teams have to this point, but he accounted for 229 yards of offense, which is never a good thing for the opposing team.

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8. Pittsburgh Steelers: 3-2-1 (Last Week: 12)
It proved to be a rather dramatic finish in Cincinnati, but the Steelers picked up a divisional road win. James Connor starred again and Ben Roethlisberger continues to have a career year. The unfortunate news is Le’Veon Bell seems to be continuing his hold out, despite previous reports he would return the team’s upcoming bye.

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9. Los Angeles Chargers: 4-2 (Last Week: 13)
While many thought the Chargers would struggle heading east for a matchup with the Browns, Los Angeles took care of business. The defense battered Baker Mayfield to the tune of five sacks. Melvin Gordon and Tyrell Williams had a field day against the Browns defense. Don’t look now, but the Chargers are just a game back of the Chiefs.

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10. Chicago Bears: 3-2 (Last Week: 5)
What happened to the Bears defense that dominated the rest of the NFL for the first four weeks of the season? Granted the game went into overtime, but Chicago surrendered 541 yards of offense and did not sack Brock Osweiler once. Mitch Trubisky threw a costly interception in the end zone to deprive the Bears of points. This is still a young team with a lot to prove.

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11. Carolina Panthers: 3-2 (Last Week: 8)
One of the easiest signs of the Panthers struggling is when Christian McCaffrey picks up only 20 yards on 8 attempts. Carolina’s lack of a run game hurt them in D.C. Cam Newton used his legs well, but this team works best when it is picking up tons of yards on the ground. The defense only allowed two touchdowns in the game. The Panthers offense has to do more to get the win.

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12. Cincinnati Bengals: 4-2 (Last Week: 9)
The team that seemed to always find a way to win in the fourth quarter suffered its first late-game let down of the season. Cincy out played Pittsburgh for much of the contest, but the Steelers high-powered offense proved to be too much. The fact is, the Bengals failed to lean on the running game when it should have, as Joe Mixon only had 11 carries. That number needs to be higher going forward.

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13. Jacksonville Jaguars: 3-3 (Last Week: 7)
When you get blown out 40-7 against a team who had previously been averaging under 17 points per game on offense, you drop six spots in the rankings. Jacksonville looked outmatched in every aspect of the game. Blake Bortles is looking more and more like the quarterback all his critics made him out to be. Luckily for the Jaguars, they still hold a share of the division lead. This upcoming matchup with the Texans is crucial.

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14. Green Bay Packers: 3-2-1 (Last Week: 14)
Well that was exciting. Aaron Rodgers went into All-Madden mode in the fourth quarter to lead a furious comeback against San Francisco. Green Bay should never have been in that spot in the first place. The defense has a ton to work on after allowing C.J. Beathard to torch them. The Packers have a sorely needed bye to get healthy before facing a gauntlet. The Rams and the Patriots await following the week off.

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15. Washington: 3-2 (Last Week: 16)
Washington bounced back well after a lackluster performance in New Orleans. Returning home helped. So did actually playing defense. Jay Gruden’s team still leads the NFC East, but with both the Cowboys and Eagles picking up big wins in week 6, Washington still has a lot of work to do. The division is wide open and stifling run defense like we saw this weekend could be key to winning it.

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16. Atlanta Falcons: 2-4 (Last Week: 15)
It was almost a catastrophic collapse, but Atlanta hung on for the win. The offense looks prolific. The defense looks prolifically bad. The Falcons rank 30th and 31st in total defense and scoring defense respectively. Luckily for them, the only team worse in both those categories is Tampa.

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17. Seattle Seahawks: 3-3 (Last Week: 21)
Oakland might be terrible, but Seattle did exactly what you are supposed to do to terrible teams. Russell Wilson was efficient. The defense played at an extremely high level. Knocking Amari Cooper out of the game certainly made stopping the Raiders offense easier, but Derek Carr had one of the worst games of his career. The Seahawks need to win these kind of games to have a shot at the wild card.

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18. Detroit Lions: 2-3 (Last Week: 18)
A week off for Detroit came at the right time. The Lions have played a number of close games in recent weeks, but have no consistently shown up on offense. This also gives Golden Tate a chance to get healthy. With the Bears losing, the Lions are now only one win behind everyone in the NFC North. Detroit has a date with Miami, who just knocked off Chicago.
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19. Miami Dolphins: 4-2 (Last Week: 24)
Turns out the solution to the Miami Dolphins late-game issues was Brock Osweiler. That was never a sentence I thought I would type. The former Broncos quarterback played well for his old offensive coordinator, tossing three touchdowns and 380 yards. The Dolphins are right back in the wild card hunt with a solid win over a great Bears defense.

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20. Dallas Cowboys: 3-3 (Last Week: 25)
Bring Connor McGregor to every Cowboys game going forward. Dallas found its swagger and blasted the Jaguars at home. Cole Beasley finally showed up. Dak Prescott looked comfortable shredding what was supposed to be one of the league’s top defenses. If the Cowboys can play anywhere close to this well on offense the rest of the year, Dallas has a real chance at winning the division.

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21. Tennessee Titans: 3-3 (Last Week: 17)
While defense can win championships, offense is a nice thing to have too. The Titans were embarrassed all over the field. For what is usually one of the better offensive lines in the league, Tennessee surrendered 11, the second most allowed in league history. Marcus Mariota is probably still in the ice bath.

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22. Houston Texans: 3-3 (Last Week: 23)
Remember when everyone was wondering where the supposedly vaunted Texans defense had disappeared to? Houston is looking like it has an elite defense once again. While Buffalo has a great defense of its own, Deshaun Watson has been way too turnover prone in recent weeks for the Texans to keep overcoming his errors. Watson needs to take care of the football and take the pressure off this defense.

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23. Denver Broncos: 2-4 (Last Week: 20)
This is the NFL. Moral victories don’t exist, but Vance Joseph has to feel a lot better about his team’s defense effort this week. Yes, the Broncos still allowed Todd Gurley to rumble for over 200 yards and two scores, but it also stifled the best passing offense in the league. Denver also mounted a fourth quarter comeback attempt. Joseph has his work cut out for him, but his team was much improved this week.

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24. Cleveland Browns: 2-3-1 (Last Week: 19)
Just when it seemed like it was finally time for the Browns to turn it around, Cleveland laid an egg against Los Angeles. For the first time this season, it is probably important to remember this is the youngest roster in the NFL. The Browns are in the middle of a massive rebuild, well another one at least. The result isn’t good, but when you have a rookie quarterback playing through a knee injury against a red hot team, sometimes this happens.

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25. New York Jets: 3-3 (Last Week: 26)
Turned out to be a great week to have Jason Myers as your fantasy kicker. He set a franchise record with seven made field goals. New York has a lot to be happy with as Sam Darnold played his best game so far in his rookie season. It will face a much stiffer challenge as Minnesota comes to town. How the Jets fare against the Vikings will let us know how close this team is to breaking into legitimate playoff contention.

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26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2-3 (Last Week: 22)
Another week, another brutal loss for Tampa, and it cost defensive coordinator Mike Smith his job. This one was brutal in a different sense then the previous blowout to Chicago. The Buccaneers had a legitimate chance to win the game and came up about seven yards short of a winning touchdown as time expired. Jameis Winston played a lot like Ryan Fitzpatrick actually. He threw for 395 yards and four touchdowns, but tossed two early interceptions and fumbled twice. For the first time all season, Tampa showed signs of a running game, averaging 6.2 yards per carry.

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27. New York Giants: 1-5 (Last Week: 27)
Don’t look now, but the Giants are turning themselves into one of the worst run franchises in football. This is a team dominating the back pages with all of the drama unfolding. Pat Schumur has no idea what to do. Eli Manning is being put in an impossible situation as an aging quarterback with an awful line. On the bright side, Saquon Barkley is running away with the rookie of the year award.

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28. Indianapolis Colts: 1-5 (Last Week: 28)
It was a wild game in New York, but the Colts made way to many mistakes to win. Andrew Luck toss three picks, although the first one was not his fault. Robert Turbin also lost a fumble. Indianapolis’ defense gave up a ton of points to a rookie quarterback as well. The positive spin is despite consistently having good starting field position, Indy forced the Jets to attempt seven field goals in the game.

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29. Buffalo Bills: 2-4 (Last Week: 29)
For the second straight week, the defense almost found a way to win it for Buffalo. Unfortunately, who else but Nathan Peterman got in the way, throwing two back-breaking interceptions in the final two minutes. Allen left with an injury midway through the game. Peterman is making a case to be one of the worst quarterbacks in NFL history. He has thrown an interception on 11.4 percent of his passes in his career and a completion percentage of 44.3. For reference, JaMarcus Russell completed 52.1 percent of his passes and only threw an interception on 3.4 percent of his passes. The Bills need a new backup quarterback.

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30. Oakland Raiders: 1-5 (Last Week: 30)
The Raiders are officially in free fall. Oakland got rocked across the pond by Seattle in a 27-3 drubbing. Reportedly, the Raiders are also shopping their top wide receiver Amari Cooper and 2016 first round pick Karl Joseph. The fire sale is on in Oakland. Apparently Jon Gruden does not want any good players on the roster by the time the team moves to Las Vegas.

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31. Arizona Cardinals: 1-5 (Last Week: 31)
Unfortunately for Arizona, the rebuild is going to take some time. There were some positives from this game, like producing two turnovers, including a fumble returned for a touchdown. The downside is the Cardinals allowed one of the worst running teams in the league to pick up 195 yards on the ground. Josh Rosen looked rather average, but not outmatched against a good Vikings defense. Steve Wilks needs to find a way to get David Johnson going.

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32. San Francisco 49ers: 1-5 (Last Week: 32)
Few expected it, but San Francisco put on an offensive show in Green Bay on Monday Night Football. C.J. Beathard was nothing short of masterful and the running game accounted for 174 yards. However, the 49ers still came up short as Beathard threw a late-game interception to set up the Packers’ winning drive. Kyle Shannahan is clearly not interested in tanking the rest of the way.

NFL Power Rankings 2018: Week 5

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1. Los Angeles Rams: 5-0 (Last Week: 1)
It was the closest game Los Angeles has played all season, but going into Seattle is always tough. The Rams defense showed some major signs of weakness allowing 190 yards on the ground. The injuries to Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp could cause some issues. The road trip continues as Los Angeles heads to Denver.

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2. Kansas City Chiefs: 5-0 (Last Week: 2)
Offense trumped defense in Kansas City on Sunday. It was an ugly game for Patrick Mahomes, but the defense created turnovers to keep it a comfortable win. Don’t be mistaken, the defense is still a major problem, but if the Chiefs can continue that bend don’t break approach successfully, this offense will outscore pretty much anyone.

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3. New England Patriots: 3-2 (Last Week: 4)
This feels awfully familiar. New England got off to a slightly rocky start only to right the ship and reassert its dominance in the division. Sony Michel is emerging as a real threat in the ground game. The Patriots probably would’ve beaten the Colts by a bigger margin if it wasn’t for two interceptions that went right through the hands of the intended receiver. The defense will need to stiffen with Kansas City headed to town.

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4. New Orleans Saints: 4-1 (Last Week: 9)
Drew Brees is now the passer in NFL history. New Orleans also looks like a playoff team. The week 1 loss to the Buccaneers is a distant memory after four straight wins. The defense is improving, especially with the defensive line. The Saints held Washington under 50 yards rushing and sacked Alex Smith three times. This team is looking scary and now Sean Payton will have a week off to study the rest of the league.

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5. Chicago Bears: 3-1 (Last Week: 5)
Chicago has allowed the third fewest yards and points per game. They also had a cupcake schedule to open the season with wins over the Seahawks, Buccaneers and Cardinals. That easy trend continues with the struggling Dolphins in week 6. The back half is not as easy, but the Bears certainly have a legitimate chance to make the playoffs.

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6. Minnesota Vikings: 2-2-1 (Last Week 7)
Ignoring an absolute collapse against Buffalo, this has been a solid Minnesota team. Beating the Eagles in Philly is a big accomplishment. The biggest issue is still running the ball for the Vikings. As long as Dalvin Cook is out, Kirk Cousins will be asked to do a lot. There are few pass-catching duos better than Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Thielen just became the first receiver in NFL history to pick up 100 receiving yards in each of the first five games of the season. This team has a lot to work on, but finds itself in a good place.

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7. Jacksonville Jaguars: 3-2 (Last Week: 3)
There were some signs of concern for Jacksonville against New York last week and it all unraveled for the offense in Kansas City. Blake Bortles threw four interceptions and lost a fumble. With Leonard Fournette out, the Jaguars need Bortles to do more, but it is crucial for him to take care of the football. Even the Jags defense needs some offensive support. Once again the South seems a bit weak.

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8. Carolina Panthers: 3-1 (Last Week: 10)
This could have very easily been a crushing loss if Graham Gano hadn’t hit a 63-yard field goal with seconds remaining. The Carolina defense folded in the fourth quarter against the Giants. It looks like it might be difficult to keep pace with the Saints, but with Atlanta and Tampa Bay floundering, the Panthers seem remain the only threat in the division.

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9. Cincinnati Bengals: 4-1 (Last Week: 11)
If you watched only the first half, or even the first three quarters of Cincinnati’s game, you would have a tough time seeing them as a top-10 NFL team, But after scoring 27 unanswered points to win, the Bengals look the real deal. The offense had some issues getting going, but the defense came up with two touchdowns. Marvin Lewis and company continue to find ways to win, even if it isn’t always pretty. Suddenly, the Bengals are all alone atop a tough-looking AFC North.

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10. Baltimore Ravens: 3-2 (Last Week: 6)
Baltimore took care of business against Pittsburgh, but then completely slumped offensively in Cleveland. The Ravens are struggling to find any sort of consistency on a week-to-week basis. Baltimore is 1-2 against the division now, which could come back to haunt them at season’s end with how the North is shaping up.

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11. Philadelphia Eagles: 2-3 (Last Week: 8)
The Super Bowl hangover continues for the Eagles with a home loss to the Vikings. The bad news continues for Philly as Jay Ajayi is out for the season with a torn ACL. Kirk Cousins had a field day against the defense, which is a major concern considering Minnesota cannot run the football. With a short week going to New York to face a team that would love to add to the misery and desperately needs a win, Doug Pederson has a lot of work to do.

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12. Pittsburgh Steelers: 2-2-1 (Last Week: 16)
Admittedly, I questioned just how good this team was this season last week after a loss to Baltimore. Then Pittsburgh steamrolled Atlanta at home. The Steelers took advantage of a bad team, but that is a credit to the coaching staff coming in with a good game plan. What was most impressive was the defense holding what is usually a potent Falcons offense to just 17 points. Pittsburgh has a road trip to Cincy now with a lot on the line for the fate of the division.

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13. Los Angeles Chargers: 3-2 (Last Week: 19)
Beating the Raiders doesn’t usually lead to a massive jump in the power rankings, but the Chargers dominated their division rival. Philip Rivers had a prolific day passing. The defense held Oakland to just 41 yards running. The only real concern is the ground game for Los Angeles that produced just 2.5 yards per carry. The Chargers now head to Cleveland, which is going to be a tough matchup with a stingy defense. It is the type of game Los Angeles needs to win to validate talk of a playoff run.

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14. Green Bay Packers: 2-2-1 (Last Week: 12)
Detroit shutout the Packers in the first half of this game. That should be a much bigger storyline than the historically bad day from Mason Crosby. Unbelievably poor performance from Green Bay in a divisional game it really needed to win. The Packers head home for what should be a fairly easy matchup with San Francisco. Knowing Aaron Rodgers, this team will bounce back in a big way. This team does not over look opponents.

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15. Atlanta Falcons: 1-4 (Last Week: 13)
This was an awful showing from Atlanta. Dan Quinn has a lot of questions to answer after that performance. Even with all the injuries, the Falcons completely rolled over in Pittsburgh. Chances of a playoff appearance are shrinking quickly. Matt Ryan and company need a win over Tampa Bay to have any shot at staying in the hunt.

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16. Washington: 2-2 (Last Week: 14)
Coming off a bye week, Jay Gruden should have had his team ready for the New Orleans Saints. Yes, it was an emotional game for Drew Brees as he broke league records, but Washington made it pretty easy for him. Brees finished 26 of 29 for 363 yards and three touchdowns. Losing would have been understandable. Getting completely outmatched coming off a bye week is unacceptable.

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17. Tennessee Titans: 3-2 (Last Week: 15)
Will the real Tennessee Titans please stand up? A week after beating the Eagles in a thrilling overtime game, the Titans fall flat against the Bills. It was a defensive slugfest, which is usually a benefit for Tennessee. The fact that Buffalo won only passing for 82 yards is a disappointing reflection on how much this Titans offense is struggling. Even without a ton of weapons, there needs to be done more done offensively.Lions Logo

18. Detroit Lions: 2-3 (Last Week: 25)
The Lions now own victories over Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. They also have losses to the Cowboys, Jets and 49ers. Now that loss to San Francisco was with Jimmy Garoppolo. Detroit gets a week off for Matt Patricia to figure out how to build on the positives and learn from the negatives. Continuing to put the ball in the hands of rookie running back Kerryon Johnson seems like a good place to start.

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19. Cleveland Browns: 2-2-1 (Last Week: 26)
Believe it or not, the Browns are undefeated at home. Wins over the Jets and Ravens along with a tie with the Steelers has Cleveland right in the mix for the AFC North. The AFC North is the only division in the entire league with every team at .500 or better. This defense is tough to score on, except for the Raiders apparently. The NFL is weird sometimes and the Browns tend to be right at the middle of all the weirdness. They are currently the best team to watch in the NFL.

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20. Denver Broncos: 2-3 (Last Week: 18)
This was a bit of a head-scratcher. Denver flopped in New York and allowed several huge plays to what has been anemic offense this season. Now, Case Keenum did tear apart the secondary, but the Broncos did not finish drives. Colby Wadman punted eight times, Keenum threw a pick and Denver turned it over on downs. When you have 13 total drives and 10 end without points, that is a major issue. Couple that with allowing 323 yards rushing and this three-game losing streak is suddenly feeling pretty brutal.

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21. Seattle Seahawks: 2-3 (Last Week: 20)
Seattle came agonizingly close to knocking off the top team in the league. A stellar ground game proved to the be the recipe to taking the pressure off Russell Wilson. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to halt the high-flying pass attack from Los Angeles. The Seahawks are still a really hard team to beat at home, picking up some road wins will be the difference for Pete Carroll this year.Buccaneers logo

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2-2 (Last Week: 22)
How is it that the number two offense in the league is 2-2 with a major question at quarterback? Well for one, it’s Tampa. Two, Ryan Fitzpatrick is involved. The Buccaneers have no running game to speak of and the league’s worst defense. Dirk Koetter should be focused on finding who will be part of this team next season rather than trying to come up with short-term fixes.

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23. Houston Texans: 2-3 (Last Week: 27)
Houston suddenly sits just one game out of first place in the AFC South after consecutive overtime victories. It was a solid win as the defense showed up and Deshaun Watson balled out. Watson did get fairly battered, but still got the win. With a stingy Bills defense coming to town, the offensive line will need to do a better job keeping the franchise quarterback clean.

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24. Miami Dolphins: 3-2 (Last Week: 17)
This seems a bit harsh considering Miami has a winning record. However, the Dolphins have lost two straight and don’t have great quality wins. Miami also blew a 14-point fourth quarter league. Ryan Tannehill has looked like one of the worst five starting quarterbacks in the league over the past two weeks. He has completed 56 percent of his passes for 285 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.

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25. Dallas Cowboys: 2-3 (Last Week: 21)
The formula for beating the Cowboys is containing Ezekiel Elliott. Easier said than done, but the Texans got it done on Sunday night. Dak Prescott does not have too many weapons around him other than Elliott, but he needs to play better. Dallas did enough defensively to win the game. If Prescott is going to stick around, he needs to win these kinds of games.

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26. New York Jets: 2-3 (Last Week: 28)
This is a raw and young Jets team. This is the type of win shows a lot of the promise this team has to offer. Still warning signs as Sam Darnold only completed 10 passes on the afternoon. New York is not going to run for 323 yards every week, but this style of play is exactly what the Jets need to be successful now.

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27. New York Giants: 1-4 (Last Week: 24)
The offense finally showed up for the Giants. It seems to be how New York’s season is going as it loses on a 63-yard field goal. Pat Schumer is finding creative ways to hide the offensive weakness, but the Giants still haven’t played a complete game this season. Until they do, they will find themselves on the wrong side of the scoreline.

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28. Indianapolis Colts: 1-4 (Last Week: 23)
It seems like there a ton of running backs on the Colts and no one knows how to use them. Indy has no running game and with T.Y. Hilton out, Eric Ebron is truly the only consistent threat the Colts have in the passing game. The defense was opportunistic, but far from good enough to beat the Patriots. Andrew Luck faces a tough Jets defense this week and will need more help from his supporting cast to get a win.

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29. Buffalo Bills: 2-3 (Last Week: 31)
It is amazing how bad Josh Allen can play and Buffalo still finds a way to win. This defense is among the best in the league. The Titans offense is nothing to write home about, but the Bills have had a way of frustrating some of the top offenses in the league. Buffalo has a shot to reach .500 with a win over Houston this week, something that seemed pretty much impossible after the 47-3 drubbing the Bills took week one.

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30. Oakland Raiders: 1-4 (Last Week: 29)
Sunday was just a friendly reminder that this is one of the worst teams in the league. Oakland had no offense to speak of, and did little to stop Philip Rivers throwing the ball. The Raiders have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Jon Gruden is going to need to retool most of it during the offseason to turn things around next year. That has to be where Oakland is looking is to the future.Arizona_Cardnals_logo_(1994-2004)

31. Arizona Cardinals: 1-4 (Last Week: 32)
Three straight weeks of improved play from Arizona finally nets the team its first win of the season. Granted, it was against the hapless 49ers. If the Cardinals can ever find a way to get the ground attack on track, they could start surprising a few teams. Until then, Josh Rosen is not polished enough to win games for this team.

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32. San Francisco 49ers: 1-4 (Last Week: 30)
It’s time to tank for San Francisco. After catching lightning in a bottle to end last season, the 49ers are missing their franchise quarterback and still a few pieces away from truly competing with the best of the league. Landing a top pick with a quarterback already in place could lead to trading back for a huge return.