NFL Power Rankings 2018: Week 2

Rams logo

1. Los Angeles Rams: 2-0 (Last Week: 4)
The Cardinals are terrible. They have the fewest points scored through the first two weeks. However, the Rams look like the best team in football right now. The offense is deep and loaded. The same can be said for the defense. Los Angeles is taking this Super Bowl or bust mentality seriously.

Jaguars logo

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: 2-0 (Last Week: 5)
Revenge achieved. Well kind of. It doesn’t mean quite as much as a trip to the Super Bowl, but Doug Marrone and his staff put together the perfect game plan to beat New England. Jacksonville looks like it is better on offense this season, and that was without Leonard Fournette. If Blake Bortles can come even remotely close to playing at that same level, the Jaguars could win a lot of game this season and make a deep postseason run once again.

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3. Minnesota Vikings: 1-0-1 (Last Week 3)
On one hand, the fact that Minnesota managed a tie is spectacular. On the other, the fact that Daniel Carlson missed three field goals, including the potential game-winner in overtime is infuriating. The Vikings are still settling in after making some major offseason moves. They will have a bye week… I mean play the Bills next week at home.

Chiefs Logo

4. Kansas City Chiefs: 2-0 (Last Week: 6)
Patrick Mahomes just broke a record previously shared by Drew Brees and Peyton Manning, but I don’t know if this team is Super Bowl bound quite yet. There is a lot of season left and the Chiefs have the worst pass defense in the NFL. Kansas City might have the best offense in the league with so much speed all over the field. The return of Eric Berry from injury will likely sure up the secondary.

Patriots Logo

5. New England Patriots: 1-1 (Last Week: 2)
That was rough. Blake Bortles made the Patriots defense look like Swiss cheese. The Patriots trailed 24-3 in the third quarter and while they made it close in the fourth, it was not enough to alleviate some doubts about the level of play. The addition of Josh Gordon has the potential to jump start this offense as it waits for Julian Edelman to return.

Eagles Logo

6. Philadelphia Eagles: 1-1 (Last Week: 1)
Umm…what? Ryan Fitzpatrick torched the vaunted Eagles defense. Philly was susceptible to the big play as it gave up a pair of 75-yard passing scores. The good news though? Carson Wentz will start against the Colts next week. Philadelphia is still missing Alshon Jeffrey and might have lost Mike Wallace for the season. Wentz’s return couldn’t come at a better time.

Packers logo

7. Green Bay Packers: 1-0-1 (Last Week: 7)
It wouldn’t shock me if the average blood pressure of Wisconsin is unnaturally high following the first two weeks of the NFL season. Between Aaron Rodgers’ injury, a furious second half comeback against Chicago and a nail-biting tie with Minnesota, Green Bay has had an eventful start to the year. The Packers probably would have won this game if not for a questionable penalty on Clay Matthews took away a game-clinching interception. The focus now shifts to earning a road win against Washington.

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8. Atlanta Falcons: 1-1 (Last Week: 8)
Atlanta showed flashes of the offense of old in a 31-24 victory over Carolina. Matt Ryan played arguably his best game with Steve Sarkisian as the offensive coordinator to date, registering a 95.6 Total QBR. Tevin Coleman made his case to be the bellcow back as well, something the Falcons should legitimately consider even when Devonta Freeman returns.

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9. Chicago Bears: 1-1 (Last Week: 12)
Let’s call it the Khalil Mack effect. Chicago leads the league through two weeks with 10 (!!!) sacks. Mitch Tribusky showed against Seattle he still has a long way to go, but the Bears defense is good enough to win games. Between two forced fumbles and a pick-six, Chicago’s defense has fans thinking back to the last time the Bears were in a Super Bowl. It still has a bit of ways to go in order to reach that level, but it might not be long before the Monsters of the Midway are truly back to contender status.

Bengals Logo

10. Cincinnati Bengals: 2-0 (Last Week: 15)
The Bengals seemed like they were going to run away with the game on Thursday night after A.J. Green scored a hat trick in the first half. Baltimore made it competitive, but Cincinnati was the better team. Joe Flacco threw for 376 yards, but he attempted 55 passes and the Bengals picked him twice. With Pittsburgh struggling and Cleveland looking as it usually does, Cincy is in a good spot right now.

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11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2-0 (Last Week: 18)
Defeating the defending champions is one way to announce to the rest of the league you mean business. FitzMagic struck once again as the veteran quarterback shredded the Eagles secondary en route to a win. There are still some red flags. Tampa has the worst yards per carry in the whole league and the secondary has allowed the second most passing yards through the first two weeks. A matchup with the Steelers, who can’t stop anyone from going deep on them, on Monday night could turn into a shootout. So far, that has worked well for the Buccaneers.

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12. Pittsburgh Steelers: 0-1-1 (Last Week: 10)
Pittsburgh is not in free fall, but it is getting somewhat close. The Steelers gave up six touchdowns to Patrick Mahomes and still almost won the game. Ben Roethlisberger played one of the best games of his career. Falling behind early never allowed the Steelers to get the ground game on track. Pittsburgh visits the top passing game in the league next as it travels to Tampa. Mike Tomlin needs to find a solution in the secondary.

49ers Logo

13. San Francisco 49ers: 1-1 (Last Week: 14)
It wasn’t perfect, but it was the first win of the 2018 campaign for San Francisco. Jimmy Garoppolo was asked to do a lot less this week and his level of play reflected that. If the pass protection can pick up, the 49ers allowed six sacks this week, expect San Francisco to look a bit more like the team that closed last season on a five-game winning streak.

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14. Baltimore Ravens: 1-1 (Last Week: 9)
The Ravens were lucky not to be blown out by the Bengals after falling behind 21-0 early in the second quarter. After dominating Buffalo to open the season, Baltimore came back down to Earth. This Ravens team just barely missed the playoffs last season and could be in danger of that again if it continues to struggle in the secondary. Some run support wouldn’t hurt either.

Denver_Broncos

15. Denver Broncos: 2-0 (Last Week: 13)
Denver barely survives to make it to 2-0. Brandon McManus knocked through a 39-yarder at to earn a 19-17 win. This rushing attack continues to flash promise as the Broncos ran for 168 yards at 6 yards per carry. Case Keenum still doesn’t look like the player he was a year ago though and the defense allowed Derek Carr to complete 29 of 32 passes, so there is still plenty to work on for this young team.

Chargers logo

16. San Diego Chargers: 1-1 (Last Week: 19)
Flying cross-country is tough for every team and the Chargers handled it well. There are certainly concerns though. After leading 28-6 at halftime, Buffalo outscored Los Angeles 14-3 in the second half. The Chargers hit the road again, this time to face the Rams. It will need to play a much more complete game to pull off the upset.

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17. Miami Dolphins: 2-0 (Last Week: 22)
Through two weeks of the NFL season, the Miami Dolphins are the kings of the AFC East. Now, that may not last long, but the Dolphins defense was opportunistic and rattled the Jets’ rookie quarterback to the tune of three sacks and two interceptions. The defense also bottled up the New York ground game. If Miami can continue to pace its offense running the ball with Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore, it could find itself picking up enough wins to sneak into the playoffs.

Panthers logo

18. Carolina Panthers: 1-1 (Last Week: 17)
It was a loss, but Carolina showed signs of improvement after an underwhelming first game against Dallas. The Falcons tore apart the Panther defense, but Carolina’s passing game looked strong. The run game was effective. The Panthers have played great defensively and struggled offensively in one game and flipped the script in the other. The next step is putting it together to win crucial games down the stretch.

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19. Washington: 1-1 (Last Week: 11)
Well that was a total dud. After blowing out the Cardinals to open the season, Washington failed to score a touchdown at home. Indy stymied the ground game that carried Alex Smith and company through Phoenix the week before. It is back to the drawing board for Jay Gruden as he needs to find a solution to the poor offense play with the Packers coming to town.

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20. Dallas Cowboys: 1-1 (Last Week: 23)
Don’t let the scoreline fool you, Dallas dominated on Sunday night. The Giants scored 10 points in the final minute and 27 seconds. While it wasn’t great to give up those points, the Cowboys defense sacked Eli Manning six times and held Saquon Barkley to just 28 yards rushing. The team is still looking for a solution at wide receiver (none of them had more than four catches), but this was a big win for Big D over a division rival.

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21. Indianapolis Colts: 1-1 (Last Week: 24)
The Indianapolis defense showed up in week two. Washington running backs combined for 301 yards against Arizona. The Colts only allowed 144 to Washington backs this weeks. Adrian Peterson, Chris Thompson and Rob Kelly totaled 22 yards on 16 carries. Indy never surrendered a touchdown either, the first time the defense held an opponent without a touchdown since December 18, 2016. This doesn’t feel like the Colts of old, and that is probably a good thing.

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22. New Orleans Saints: 1-1 (Last Week: 21)
Yeah, the Saints won, but does anyone else feel like they deserved to? Didn’t think so. New Orleans looked awful for the second straight week, benefiting from an inept kicker in Cleveland. The Saints trailed 12-3 midway through the third quarter before scoring 18 in the fourth quarter to steal a win. Michael Thomas continues to look like a stud and Alvin Kamara has avoided a sophomore slump, but turnovers and a struggling secondary make this a hard team to believe in.

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23. Tennessee Titans: 1-1 (Last Week: 27)
Tennessee is forging the identity of a hard-nosed football team. They averaged only 2.9 yards per carry and generated 283 yards of total offense. However, the defense got after Deshaun Watson, sacking him four times and intercepting him once. It was certainly ugly, but it seems like a recipe the Titans can rely on to be competitive, especially once Marcus Mariota gets back.

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24. New York Jets: 1-1 (Last Week: 20)
Well that was over fast. After dominating Detroit, the Jets hosted Miami and laid an egg. Dropped passes, tons of fumbles and two costly interceptions from a young quarterback cost New York a chance to open 2-0 for the first time since 2015. The Jets have a short week as they travel to Cleveland. This will be the third game for New York in 10 days, so don’t be surprised if it struggles again.

Giants Logo

25. New York Giants: 0-2 (Last Week: 16)
I was optimistic after watching the Giants come close against the Jaguars. After watching the offense look lifeless for a second straight week and seeing the offensive line struggle even worse than it had the week before, that optimism is gone. The offensive line needs a full rebuild. Until New York does that, it will continue to pick in the top 10.

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26. Houston Texans: 0-2 (Last Week: 25)
Another week, another bitter taste for the Texans. Houston outgained Tennessee 437 to 283 but lost by a field goal. Deshaun Watson looked a bit more like the player we saw last season and Will Fuller exploded for an eight-catch 113-yard performance capped off with a touchdown. The biggest thing missing from this team is a pass rush. Houston has just three sacks in two games, tied for 23rd in the league. That’s where the Texans finished last season without J.J. Watt. Time for the big names to step up.

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27. Seattle Seahawks: 0-2 (Last Week: 26)
The defense was better than advertised, especially without both Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. The offense struggled, a lot. There was very little run game to speak of. Russell Wilson was sacked six times, fumbled twice and threw a pick-six. Seattle faces a mediocre Dallas team for its home opener. It desperately needs a win to fend off what would be calls for a new coaching staff and possibly a new front office.

Lions Logo

28. Detroit Lions: 0-2 (Last Week: 30)
This is definitely not where the Lions wanted to be through the first two weeks of the season. However, Detroit still has time to get things on track. The truth is, this team is probably better than its ranking spot. It also plays in the best division in the NFC this year, making the playoffs look close to impossible to reach.

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29. Cleveland Browns: 0-1-1 (Last Week: 28)
Only the Browns could lose the way they did. Zane Gonzalez missed two field goals and two extra points in the contest to cost Cleveland the game. However, the Browns defense is the real deal. Myles Garrett and company are making life difficult for opposing offenses. In back-to-back weeks, they’ve held Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees under 22 points.

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30. Oakland Raiders: 0-2 (Last Week: 29)
That one stings. Oakland seemed poised to win its first game of the new John Gruden era only to lose on a buzzer-beater field goal to Denver. The Raiders looked better than they had a week ago, but that defense is sorely missing its top player, who is now acting as a wrecking ball in Chicago.

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31. Buffalo Bills: 0-2 (Last Week: 32)
It was another loss for Buffalo, but there were bright spots. Josh Allen looked a lot better than Nathan Peterman, but that’s not too hard. The Bills scored a touchdown, actually two. The defense played a bit better against a talented Chargers squad. That kind of performance moves them out of the basement.

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32. Arizona Cardinals: 0-2 (Last Week: 31)
Now the Rams are really good, but when you get shutout and your team has managed six points in two weeks, you deserve to be at the bottom. Sam Bradford looks lost. There is no respect for the pass so teams can crowd the line against Arizona. It’s looking like a lost season, meaning it’s only a matter of time before Rosen takes the field.

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NFL Power Rankings 2018: Week 1

Eagles Logo

1. Philadelphia Eagles: 1-0
It wasn’t always pretty, but the reigning champs remain on top with a win over Atlanta. Philly benefits from an extra few days rest ahead of a matchup with the upstart Bucs. Alshon Jeffery could be back. This is an Eagles team that is going to get better as the year rolls on.

Patriots Logo

2. New England Patriots: 1-0
No sign whatsoever that Tom Brady is feeling the effects of time in the win over the Texans. He connected on three touchdown passes to lead New England past Houston. Rob Gronkowski looks like he is ready to carry the load as well. The much-anticipated rematch from last year’s AFC Championship game awaits as the Patriots head to Jacksonville.

Vikings logo

3. Minnesota Vikings: 1-0
The Vikings toughed out a win over the 49ers to deliver on much of the offseason hype surrounding the team. Kirk Cousins was sharp in his debut. Dalvin Cook looked strong in his return from injury. The defense delivered in big moments. Minnesota is still settling in, but already looks good.

Rams logo

4. Los Angeles Rams: 1-0
The kings of the offseason took care of business in the season opener in Oakland. It wasn’t a dominating performance, but players like Marcus Peters are already starting to pay dividends. Todd Gurley also seems set to defend his OPOY award. This team could be the best in the NFL by season’s end.

Jaguars logo

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: 1-0
That was ugly. The Jaguars did not quite seem like the polished machine that reached the AFC title game a year ago. Instead, Blake Bortles missed some open receivers, Leonard Fournette left with a hamstring issue and the defense got burned by Saquon Barkley for a massive touchdown run. That defense is still one of the best in the league, but Jacksonville showed some weaknesses in the first game of the new campaign.

Chiefs Logo

6. Kansas City Chiefs: 1-0
Patrick Mahomes punctuated his arrival to the NFL with a stellar performance. Tyreek Hill is still running away from Charger defenders. Kansas City looks like it will certainly be back in the playoff hunt in 2018 and made an early statement against its division rival.

Packers logo

7. Green Bay Packers: 1-0
For Packers fans, that was both terrifying and amazing. Aaron Rodgers returned to lead one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history against the Bears. The win was great. The fact Green Bay ever found itself in that position in the first place is concerning. With Rodgers a bit banged up and the Vikings coming to town this week, Mike McCarthy has a lot to figure out.

Falcons logo

8. Atlanta Falcons: 1-0
It was eerily familiar to the playoff loss that ended the previous season for Atlanta. Steve Sarkisian showed once again that he is the worst offensive coordinator in the NFL inside the 10-yard line. The Falcons defense showed up, as did Julio Jones, but the performance left a lot to be desired.

Ravens logo

9. Baltimore Ravens: 1-0
Through one week of NFL action, the Baltimore Ravens boast the best scoring margin in the league. Jim Harbaugh’s crew demolished the Bills 47-3. It honestly could have been more. The only critique was a paltry ground attack, but it gives the Ravens something to work on going forward.

Pittsburgh_Steelers logo

10. Pittsburgh Steelers: 0-0-1
It wasn’t a loss, but it sure felt like one for the Steelers after blowing a 14-point second half lead and giving the Browns multiple chances to win. Pittsburgh was downright sloppy, committing five turnovers in the tie. The bright side: James Conner made it easy to forget that Bell guy is holding out.

Washington made up logo

11. Washington: 1-0
Effective and efficient. Those two words describe this new-look Washington team well. Alex Smith looked comfortable. Adrian Peterson showed he’s still got what it takes. The defense gave very little for the Cardinals to build on. All around a good win to open the season.

Bears logo

12. Chicago Bears: 0-1
The loss was agonizing, no question. However, there are a lot of positives from the game. Kahlil Mack came exactly as advertised. Mitchell Trubisky showed signs of improvement from last year. The running game was solid. Chicago just needs to play two halves of football now, instead of one.

Denver_Broncos

13. Denver Broncos: 1-0
A massive overhaul for Denver saw them cut ties with former first round pick Paxton Lynch, sign Case Keenum and revamp the running back position. The first impression of the new team is a good one. It wasn’t a convincing win, but it did enough to show the Broncos made some solid signings in the offseason.

49ers Logo

14. San Francisco 49ers: 0-1
Jimmy Garappolo finally lost a game he started as San Francisco fell to Minnesota. The franchise quarterback tossed three interceptions, including the game-clinching one in the final two minutes. The truth is, the 49ers are still building. Patience is going to be required.

Bengals Logo

15. Cincinnati Bengals: 1-0
Cincinnati’s victory over Indianapolis was a bit closer than the scoreline indicated. The Colts were driving late before a fumble recovery brought back for a touchdown sealed the deal. The Bengals showed flashes of greatness on offense. If the defense can pick it up, this team could challenge for a return to the postseason.

Giants Logo

16. New York Giants: 0-1
It was not the start to Pat Shumer’s career Giants’ fans wanted, but there were certainly positives. Odell Beckham Jr. is back and balled out against a talented Jaguars secondary. First round pick Saquon Barkley showed his explosiveness to mask what was an otherwise disappointing debut. The defense frustrated Blake Bortles. The offense on the whole was simply not good enough.

Panthers logo

17. Carolina Panthers: 1-0
Carolina starts off the season with a win, but it did not do much to indicate if this team has any sort of identity. The offense managed to do just enough to get the win. The defense got after Dak Prescott. There is plenty to build on, but the Panthers did not inspire confidence.

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18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 1-0
I don’t know if anyone predicted Ryan Fitzpatrick to light up the NFL with the Buccaneers, but he did exactly that. FitzMagic shredded the Saints defense with five total touchdowns en route to a victory. Tampa struggled mightily on defense, almost allowing New Orleans to make a comeback, but the Bucs are happy to have a win.

Chargers logo

19. San Diego Chargers: 0-1
The Chargers failed to capitalize on chances against the Chiefs and looked outmatched on defense. Without Joey Bosa, the pass rush was ineffective and Patrick Mahomes had a field day. Despite a number of dropped passes, the offense had a solid showing. Los Angeles will need to play a much more complete game though to earn a win.

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20. New York Jets: 1-0
Possibly the most shocking result of Week 1 was the Jets dismantling the Lions. New York tied Tampa Bay for the most points scored this week and picked off Matt Stafford four times. So why not higher on the list? Despite the lopsided scoreline, this is still a young team with a lot to prove. A win over Miami next week would do a lot to show this wasn’t a fluke. It finally seems like New York has found its franchise quarterback though.

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21. New Orleans Saints: 0-1
Maybe the defense hadn’t improved as much as we all thought. The Saints gave up a whopping 48 points to the Buccaneers. It was a pathetic showing that marred an impressive offensive performance. New Orleans will have a lot to work on this week in practice.

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22. Miami Dolphins: 1-0
In easily the longest contest of the weekend, Miami outlasted Tennessee in a weather-delayed mess. Ryan Tannehill returned for the Dolphins and had his ups and downs. Kenny Stills had a massive day and the ground game looked reliable. The run defense bottled up Derrick Henry, but had little answer for Dion Lewis. We will get a better sense for Miami when it takes on the Jets.

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23. Dallas Cowboys: 0-1
What happened to the Cowboys offense? Two years ago, Dallas was the talk of the town, with two stud rookies and a deep receiving core. Now, America’s team is lacking playmakers and that once great offensive line is in shambles. Surprisingly, the defense was a bright spot, only conceding 16 points. The Cowboys face the Giants this week needing to play a lot better to avoid dropping to 0-2.

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24. Indianapolis Colts: 0-1
Andrew Luck seems like he is finally back to his old self. Unfortunately, so does the Colts defense. Indy is waiting on someone to emerge from the crowded backfield it currently boasts, but showed signs of being competitive against the Bengals. Late mistakes ended a comeback bid, but there is still plenty of promise.

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25. Houston Texans: 0-1
It was not the welcome back party Deshaun Watson had hoped for as he had a rather uneven performance in a loss to New England. The Texans did not nearly pressure Tom Brady enough, a major problem for a team that is supposedly loaded with defensive talent.

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26. Seattle Seahawks: 0-1
This might seem a little harsh considering the Seahawks only lost by three on the road, but if not for a poor start from Case Keenum, Seattle might have been blown out. The Seahawks did not run the ball well and Russell Wilson was constantly harassed. The defense allowed almost 500 yards as well. On top of all of that, it appears Doug Baldwin will miss extended time with a knee injury.

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27. Tennessee Titans: 0-1
It is tough to rally from behind following multiple weather delays, but the Titans seem to have taken a major step back from last season. Marcus Mariota struggled before leaving with an injury. Derrick Henry was wholly ineffective. The defense could not contain a Dolphins offense missing one of its top receivers. Tennessee looked nothing like the team that won a playoff game just a year ago.

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28. Cleveland Browns: 0-0-1
Not quite a win, but Cleveland will take it as the Browns avoid losing their season opener for the first time since 2004. It was an impressive second-half surge from Cleveland, but there are some major concerns already. Tyrod Taylor looked awful passing the ball in some tough weather and the running game failed to ever get going. That defense seems as if it is the real deal though, with five forced turnovers.

Raiders logo29. Oakland Raiders: 0-1
Despite the energy created by John Gruden’s return, the Raiders fell flat against LA. The Rams bulldozed Oakland in the second half. Derek Carr showed flashes of greatness, but threw three interceptions, including two costly ones in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. Gruden is still figuring out what he has in Oakland, but with no pass rush and an offense that failed to get much production out of its wide receivers, this team does not look like a contender.

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30. Detroit Lions: 0-1
That might have been the worst start to the season the Lions could have imagined. Matt Stafford threw four picks and left the game battered. The Lions allowed defense and special teams scores as well in a full-scale meltdown. There is a lot of talent on this team, but it is clear new coach Matt Patricia is not sure how to maximize it yet.

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31. Arizona Cardinals: 0-1
It seemed like things were looking up for the Cardinals after signing Sam Bradford and getting David Johnson back from injury. Only the Bills had fewer total yards than Arizona and Washington finished with the sixth most yards in the league. Johnson finally scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but it was too late. The Cardinals could be looking at a season in the NFC West cellar.

Bills logo

32. Buffalo Bills: 0-1
Watching Buffalo play on Sunday, it is hard to remember this team was in the playoffs just a year ago. Nathan Peterman and Josh Allen combined for the worst passer rating in the league. Peterman actually posted a 0.9 Total QBR, which is one of the worst ratings in the history of the stat. Sean McDermott essentially has to start fresh this week, with basically nothing to build on against the Ravens.

2017 NFL Pro Potential Power Rankings

For many college football players, the goal is to have success at school to earn a spot in the NFL. Most players who turn pro after college enter the league via the NFL Draft.

I started this project a year ago, ranking each school based on the how many athletes they send to the NFL and how high those athletes are drafted. I only look at the last five years of NFL drafts to keep the sample size manageable. This also reflects modern trends in college football, rather than historic ones. With this five-year rule, that means results from the 2012 NFL Draft are no longer considered. Oregon and Baylor take major hits in the rankings as a result. This is college football we are talking about, so here is the top 25.

The scoring system is as follows:
1st round-10 points
2nd round-7 points
3rd round-5 points
4th round-4 points
5th round- 3 points
6th round- 2 points
7th round- 1 points

Alabama Logo1. Alabama Crimson Tide- 253 points
Previous: 1 (225 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Amari Cooper, 4th Overall, 2014
It is good to be king. Alabama just sent one of its most loaded draft classes yet to the NFL, with seven players going in the first two rounds. All that did was stretch the lead atop the rankings for ‘Bama. The Tide have had 10 first round selections since 2013.

Ohio State Logo2. Ohio State Buckeyes- 200 points
Previous: 3 (166 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Joey Bosa, 3rd Overall, 2016
Ohio State isn’t going anywhere. With eight first rounders in the past two drafts, Urban Meyer has turned Colombus into a football factory again. Having moved passed Florida State, the Buckeyes will take aim at Alabama next.

Florida State Logo3. Florida State Seminoles- 192 points
Previous: 2 (183 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Jameis Winston, 1st Overall, 2015
Jimbo Fisher has turned Florida State into a breeding ground for NFL talent. The Seminoles increased their point total with a strong draft class, but didn’t have a first rounder for the first time since 2009. As a result, they drop to three.

Florida logo.jpg4. Florida Gators- 181 points
Previous: 6 (145 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Dante Fowler Jr., 3rd Overall, 2015
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, the Sunshine State is churning out pro prospects. The Gators close in on their in state foe while passing up SEC rival LSU. A deep group this season has Florida in the top five.

Louisiana State University logo5. LSU Tigers- 175 points
Previous: 4 (160 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Leonard Fournette, 4th Overall, 2017
LSU sent eight players to the NFL this year, including three first rounders. Yet, the Tigers slide back a spot to round out the top five. Three first round picks in one draft weren’t enough to make up for back-to-back years without a player going in the opening round.

Clemson Logo6. Clemson Tigers- 151 points
Previous: 8 (134 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Sammy Watkins, 4th Overall, 2014
Five straight years Clemson has had a player selected in the first round. Only a year removed from a national title and with Dabo Sweeney still calling the shots, there is a good chance that Clemson unseats someone in the top five next year.

Notre Dame Logo7. Notre Dame Fighting Irish- 123 points
Previous: 5 (151 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Ronnie Stanley, 6th Overall, 2016
A down year for the Irish on the field leads to a meager draft class and a drop in the rankings. Notre Dame had only two players selected this year, in the second and seventh rounds respectively. Brian Kelly’s group might fall a little more before he rights the ship.

Texas A&M logo8. Texas A&M Aggies- 115 points
Previous: 10 (108 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Myles Garrett, 1st Overall, 2017
Texas A&M makes a small leap in the rankings after seeing Myles Garrett go first overall, followed by four more of his former teammates before the draft was over. The Aggies should continue to rise playing in the ultra-competitive SEC.

UCLA logo.jpg8. UCLA Bruins- 115 points
Previous: 17 (90 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Anthony Barr, 9th Overall, 2014
A huge jump for UCLA sees it move up nine spots after sending six more prospects to the pros. Takkarist McKinley made it two straight years with a Bruin going in the first round. Josh Rosen will likely make it three in 2018.

Stanford Cardinal10. Stanford Cardinal- 113 points
Previous: 7 (137 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Solomon Thomas, 3rd Overall, 2017
Despite Stanford producing two first round picks this year, Stanford falls three spots. That’s because those were the only two players the Cardinal had drafted this year. With that 2012 class that featured Andrew Luck no longer counting, Stanford saw it’s point total dip significantly.

MichiganWolverines11. Michigan Wolverines- 107 points
Previous: Unranked
Highest Drafted Player- Taylor Lewan, 11th Overall, 2014
We all knew it was coming. Michigan roars into the top 25 after sending 11 players, including two first rounders, to the NFL this year. That was the most by any school this spring. With Jim Harbaugh continuing to produce quality players, it would not be a surprise to see the Wolverines nestled into the top 10 next year.

USC logo12. USC Trojans- 105 points
Previous: 11 (107 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Leonard Williams, 6th Overall, 2015
The Trojans had a player selected in the first round for just the third time since 2013. A solid class of five prospects should bolster USC for the near future. Entering the top 10 is unlikely until it starts producing first rounders regularly, but I have a feeling that Sam Darnold should help with that.

Miami logo13. Miami Hurricanes- 98 points
Previous: 14 (92 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Ereck Flowers, 9th Overall, 2015
Don’t look now but the U is returning to its former glory. Success on the field is growing and as a result, Miami climbs closer to the top 10. In the early 2000s, the Hurricanes would have dominated this list. Now, they are sending deep classes to the NFL, just not the star-studded ones of yesteryear.

Washington Huskies logo.jpg14. Washington Huskies- 97 points
Previous: 25 (71 points)
Highest Drafted Player– John Ross, 9th Overall, 2017
The biggest jump of any team from last year’s rankings belongs to Washington. John Ross made it five straight years that a Washington player went in the first round. The difference from previous classes is that there were several more Huskies that followed. As a result, Washington finds itself in the thick of the top 15.

Georgia Logo15. Georgia Bulldogs- 96 points
Previous: 9 (125 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Todd Gurley, 10th overall, 2015
Georgia has been very hit or miss with recent draft classes. After producing five prospects last year, including first rounder Jarvis Jones, the Bulldogs had just one player drafted this year. Fifth rounder Isaiah McKenzie was the lone Georgia player in the 2017 draft. Georgia’s fall in the rankings is reflective of that.

Oregon logo16. Oregon Ducks- 88 points
Previous: 13 (101 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Marcus Mariota, 2nd Overall, 2015
It is unbelievable that Oregon is envious of Georgia’s draft class, but when not a single Duck gets drafted, that’s what happens. I guess when Chip Kelly left, all of the blue chip prospects disappeared with him. The likelihood is that Oregon will continue to fall.

Oklahoma Logo17. Oklahoma Sooners- 87 points
Previous: 12 (106 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Lane Johnson, 4th Overall, 2013
The Sooners fell pretty hard in these rankings and seemed poised to continue to do so. Oklahoma has not produced a first round pick since Lane Johnson in 2013. Good for them they have produced a ton of players drafted in rounds four through six or they would already be off the list.

Missouri logo18. Missouri Tigers- 86 points
Previous: 21 (81 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Sheldon Richardson, 13th Overall, 2013
Missouri hasn’t exactly been competitive in the SEC of late, but it continues to send highly valued prospects to the NFL. Charles Harris represented the only player from Missou selected this year, which likely means that the Tigers are due for a drop come next year.

Louisville logo19. Louisville Cardinals- 85 points
Previous: 18 (88 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Sheldon Rankins, 12th Overall, 2016
Only producing two players this year in the sixth and seventh rounds certainly hurt the Cardinals, but with Louisville looking like a team on the rise, there could be more prospects on the way to bolster its ranking. Still, the Cardinals could be in for a sharp drop in a couple of years with its 2014 class accounting for more than a third of its points.

Wisconsin logo19. Wisconsin Badgers- 85 points
Previous: 15 (92 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Melvin Gordon, 15th Overall, 2015
A really solid 2012 draft class accounted for much of Wisconsin’s success a year ago and with how tight the points are in the middle of the table, it shows. Wisco drops four spots, but now has a good base to build from with two first round picks in 2017.

UNC logo.jpg21. UNC Tar Heels- 84 points
Previous: 22 (74 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Mitchell Trubisky
You would think that having the second overall pick in the draft would correlate with a big jump up the rankings. Instead, North Carolina moves up just one spot, but seems set to climb higher. A deep class this year consisting of six players should keep the Tar Heels in the top 25 for the foreseeable future.

West Virginia logo22. West Virginia Mountaineers- 83 points
Previous: 16 (90 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Kevin White, 7th Overall, 2015
This is my pick for the school most likely to leave the rankings next year. With West Virginia’s 2013 class consisting of five players taken in the first three rounds and just one player drafted this year in round five, the Mountaineers would need a stellar draft next year to keep them in the conversation.

Michigan State logo23. Michigan State Spartans- 75 points
Previous: 20 (87 points)
Highest Drafted Player– Jack Conklin, 8th Overall, 2016
The Spartans slid a little with just two players selected in 2017. A rough season for Michigan State in 2016 could seal its fate for the future of these rankings. Still, East Lansing has produced more than its fair share of Day 2 selections, which could keep them alive.

Utah_Utes_logo23. Utah Utes- 75 points
Previous: Unranked
Highest Drafted Player- Star Loutelilie, 14th Overall, 2013
Utah is quietly becoming a football school. The PAC-12 is improving each year and NFL teams are noticing. Washington has climbed the rankings. Utah has it’s niche now. Colorado is a candidate to join a in the future. The Utes have produced several mid-round selections headlined by the occasional first rounder; a solid recipe for success.

Auburn_Tigers_logo25. Auburn Tigers- 74 points
Previous: Others Receiving Votes (66 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Greg Robinson, 2nd Overall, 2014
After just missing the rankings a season ago, Auburn snags the final spot. A solid if unspectacular 2017 group pushed the Tigers over the hump. Tennessee is knocking on the door though and could push Auburn out if its draft success does not improve.

Others Receiving Votes: Tennessee- 66 points, Penn State- 65 points, Ole Miss– 62 points, Arkansas- 59 points

Note: All images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

2016 NFL Power Rankings: Week 14

Cowboys logo1. Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 1)
How bout them Cowboys? Dallas became the first team to clinch a playoff berth for 2016 edging out the Vikings on Thursday night. Minnesota has clearly been slumping but it was a very solid performance from the defense.

Patriots Logo2. New England Patriots (Last week: 2)
The Pats got another solid win at home, but with the news that Rob Gronkowski is out the rest of the season, New England has considerably less hype surrounding then they did a week ago. Trust Belichick and Brady to keep this group moving along, but it is certainly a blow to their Super Bowl chances.

Raiders logo3. Oakland Raiders (Last week: 3)
Oakland is the surprise story of the AFC this season. (I would say NFL, but the Cowboys.) Derek Carr is in the MVP conversation and this defense is finding it’s groove. Jack Del Rio is definitely headlining Coach of the Year discussions.

Chiefs Logo4. Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 4)
Someone tell Eric Berry to stop being so mean to Matt Ryan. The Chiefs’ safety bailed Kansas City out with a pick-6 and a pick-2 to seal a win. Next up is a visit from Oakland on Thursday to decide control of the AFC West and maybe the AFC.

Pittsburgh_Steelers logo5. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last week: 7)
No one cares if it’s unorthodox if it results in a win. Pittsburgh has won three straight and has a chance to control their own destiny with three divisional games still on the slate. The Ravens lead the division right now, but the Steelers possess more firepower to get it done.

Falcons logo6. Atlanta Falcons (Last week: 5)
Brutally tough loss for Atlanta sees them only move down one spot. The Falcons moved the ball very consistently against one of the best defensive units in the league. If they clean up the mistakes, they should close out the NFC South.

Seahawks logo7. Seattle Seahawks (Last week: 8)
Will the real Seahawks offense please stand up? Seattle came off a total dud against Tampa to blow out Carolina 40-7 on Sunday Night Football. Thomas Rawls looks healthy, but Earl Thomas is likely done for the year. Seattle remains a bit of unknown as the playoffs approach.

Ravens logo8. Baltimore Ravens (Last week: 10)
Where did that come from? After failing to score 20 points in their last two games, Baltimore drubbed Miami 38-6. The division race is tight, but the Ravens are still in the driver seat.

Lions Logo

9. Detroit Lions (Last week: 12)
Matt Stafford torched the Saints’ defense to earn the Lions a fourth straight win. As anyone who reads this blog knows, I am not a fan of Stafford, but I have to acknowledge when he does well. Detroit has a tough final four games standing between them an a division title.

Denver_Broncos10. Denver Broncos (Last week: 6)
This might seem strange to see the Broncos drop four spots after a win. Denver outlasted Jacksonville in a defensive struggle, but Paxton Lynch continued to struggle. If Trevor Siemian is unable to play at points down the stretch, the Broncos will be in trouble against a legitimate contender.

Buccaneers logo11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last week: 15)
Luppino is ready to talk playoffs. The Bucs are the possessors of the final wildcard spot in the NFC after this weekend. An interesting final four games against Carolina, Dallas and New Orleans twice allow Tampa to control their own destiny with wins.

Packers logo12. Green Bay Packers (Last week: 13)
Don’t look now, but the Packers have won back-to-back games in commanding fashion. Even if it was the Eagles and Texans, these were two games that the Pack needed to win to keep playoff hopes alive. They are only a game back of the Buccaneers for the final wildcard spot, and a tough final stretch for Detroit means that the division is not out of reach.

Giants Logo13. New York Giants (Last week: 11)
The Giants were thoroughly outplayed Sunday against the Steelers. The defense held its own for the most part, but the offense struggled and continued to give New York headaches. The running game is non-existent and Eli Manning is struggling to win games for this team. Don’t be surprised if the Giants collapse to miss the postseason.

Washington made up logo14. Washington (Last week: 14)
That was a tough loss for Washington. They got dealt a bad hand, playing on the road in Arizona against a team desperate for a victory. Playoff hopes are still alive, but dwindling.

Dolphins logo15. Miami Dolphins (Last week: 9)
Well back to reality. The Dolphins’ six-game win streak came to an end in Baltimore in disappointing fashion. Miami allowed 38 points and now that win streak looks rather flimsy when you consider the only win against a team with a winning-record was Pittsburgh without Ben Roethlisberger.

Arizona_Cardnals_logo_(1994-2004)16. Arizona Cardinals (Last week: 21)
Don’t get your hopes up quite yet. Arizona got a big win against Washington, but a playoff run is highly unlikely here. Four straight wins would push Arizona to 9-6-1. The Cardinals would need to knock off New Orleans, Seattle and Los Angeles, plus get some help from elsewhere.

Vikings logo17. Minnesota Vikings (Last week: 16)
The roller coaster ride that is the 2016 Minnesota Vikings continued in Dallas with a tough two-point loss to the NFC leaders. Mike Zimmer should be back after having eye surgery, but playoff hopes are quickly slipping through Minnesota’s fingers.

Bills logo18. Buffalo Bills (Last week: 17)
Buffalo gave Oakland a run for its money in the first half. Unfortunately, the offense stagnated and the defense fell apart. The Bills still have an outside shot at the playoffs coupled with an easy final four games. Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Miami and the Jets all represent winnable games for Rex Ryan’s crew.

Saints logo19. New Orleans Saints (Last week: 18)
Not what New Orleans expected for sure. Drew Brees failed to throw a touchdown pass. The running back committee failed to do much. The defense is a joke. The Saints have a lot of offseason concerns to address.

Chargers logo20. San Diego Chargers (Last week: 19)
2016 will be remembered as a season of what ifs for San Diego. They will look to turn the page in their franchise history with a move to LA next summer. If this team is healthy next year, the AFC West might be the best division ever.

Colts logo21. Indianapolis Colts (Last week: 24)
Say what you want about how week the AFC South is, but the Colts are right in this thing. Indy blew out the Jets, which isn’t much, but it was a good confidence booster going into a slate of divisional games down the stretch. Oh and Dwayne Allen seems to be back.

Texans logo22. Houston Texans (Last week: 2o)
Another deflating loss for Houston. This team has needed a quality win all season, and continually fail to get it. They still hold a lead in the AFC South, but Tennessee and Indy are right on their heels.

Titans logo23. Tennessee Titans (Last week: 23)
The week off sees Houston lose, giving the Titans’ playoff hopes a little boost. Tennessee has a chance to knock off an AFC elite team in the next two weeks in either Denver or Kansas City to show they mean business this year.

Eagles Logo24. Philadelphia Eagles (Last week: 22)
Remember when the Eagles were 3-0 and the hottest team in football. Carson Wentz doesn’t. The rookie quarterback only threw one interception in his first five games. In his last seven, he has tossed ten passes to the other team. This is a Philly team in transition, but the second half of this season has still been a disappointment so far.

Bengals Logo25. Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 26)
The Bengals showed a flash of their 2015 form, where they made the playoffs and won the AFC North. A dominant performance against Philly doesn’t really mean very much right now after the season they’ve had. Mark my words, this team will be back in 2017 ready to compete for a playoff spot.

Panthers logo26. Carolina Panthers (Last week: 25)
Carolina is apparently still hungover after losing the Super Bowl. Cam Newton looks pedestrian compared to the MVP version we saw last year. The defense is banged up and it is time for the Panthers to start thinking about next season.

Bears logo27. Chicago Bears (Last week: 27)
There is some promise brewing in Chicago. Jordan Howard looks like the real deal. Cameron Meredith is turning into a solid receiver. The defense is coming together. Yes it was a win over the 49ers, but any step in the right direction is a good one.

Rams logo28. Los Angeles Rams (Last week: 28)
Somehow, Jeff Fisher received a contract extension. Expect the Rams to be bad for the next two years and for Jared Goff to continue to struggle in an offense that lacks talent. Also if someone finds 2015 Todd Gurley, please let me know. My fantasy team could use him.

Jets logo29. New York Jets (Last week: 29)
Well, at least they took the field? The Jets got absolutely demolished on Monday night football. The bright side? Bryce Petty will start the last four games so the organization can see if they have their future quarterback on the roster. That’s as close to a bright side the Jets can get.

Jaguars logo30. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last week: 30)
They hung in their with Denver, but it was another disappointing loss for Jacksonville. Gus Bradley should probably start packing his desk. Blake Bortles continues to look lost and has yet to cut down on the turnovers. This is a young team, but the results have been disappointing.

49ers Logo31. San Francisco 49ers (Last week: 31)
If I’m a betting man, I’d say that San Francisco makes a move to draft a quarterback in the first round in April. Colin Kaepernick was beyond pathetic. Blaine Gabbert wasn’t much better. This team has no one to turn to right now. Chip Kelly should probably just head back to Oregon.

Browns logo32. Cleveland Browns (Last week: 32)
The Browns didn’t lose for the first time this season. They also didn’t play, but you have to take what you can get. Reports point toward Robert Griffin III playing in Week 14 against Cincinatti. This might be Cleveland’s best chance to win in 2016 at home against their division rival. If not, it looks like 0-16 for the Browns.

NFL Power Rankings: Week 9

Patriots Logo1. New England Patriots (Last week: 1)
Another week, another dominant victory. Tom Brady is a legitimate MVP candidate despite missing the first four games of the season. Jamie Collins might be gone, but this defense should keep humming along. Revenge against Rex Ryan is always nice too for Bill Belichick.

Cowboys logo2. Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 2)
The Cowboys have played half of their schedule and have a 2.5 game lead over the rest of the NFC East. Overtime was required for Dallas to oust Philly, but the 4th quarter Dallas put together cannot be overlooked. The biggest question now is who deserves Rookie of the Year, Dak Prescott or Ezekiel Elliot.

Denver_Broncos3. Denver Broncos (Last week: 6)
Three weeks ago, Denver had lost two straight and seemed to be slipping. Fast forward to now where they sit at 6-2 with solid wins over Houston and San Diego. The Patriots have the early lead, but the Broncos are hanging around in the AFC.

Raiders logo4. Oakland Raiders (Last week: 9)
The Raiders actually lead the AFC West right now, but a matchup with Denver on Sunday will decide who gets that designation. Oakland won this weekend despite setting a record for the most penalties in a game. That’s impressive, but also concerning.

Falcons logo5. Atlanta Falcons (Last week: 10)
Talk about a fourth quarter comeback. Atlanta slowed down the Packer offense in the second half and moved themselves to 5-3. Atlanta has shown that they are going to be competitive this year against anyone.

Chiefs Logo6. Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 7)
Somehow, the Chiefs are in third place in the AFC West with a 5-2 record. That’s a testament to just how good this division is this year. Even if Alex Smith and the backfield are banged up, Kansas City has always won with defense and will continue to going forward.

Seahawks logo7. Seattle Seahawks (Last week: 3)
Seattle has only one win against a team with a winning record so far this season. A tough road loss to the Saints means that the Seahawks return home for a Monday night matchup with the Bills at 4-3-1. AKA not where anyone thought they would be right now.

Vikings logo8. Minnesota Vikings (Last week: 4)
The loss to the Eagles seemed like an anomaly, until Minnesota laid an egg on Monday Night Football. It might have been a divisional game, but a loss to the Bears really hurts. The Vikings suddenly look like a team with a lot of question marks on the offensive side of the ball.

Packers logo9. Green Bay Packers (Last week: 5)
Green Bay came within about a minute of beating the Falcons for what would have been an impressive road victory. Considering that Ty Montgomery, James Starks and Randall Cobb were out with injury, the Packers had a strong offensive showing. Minnesota’s loss leaves the Packers just a game out of first in the NFC North, but they need to be much more consistent down the stretch.

Eagles Logo10. Philadelphia Eagles (Last week: 8)
It was a solid week, but still a loss to a division rival. Dallas now has a commanding lead in the NFC East halfway through the season. Carson Wentz is still playing well, but the ground attack could use a bit of a boost.

Washington made up logo11. Washington (Last week: 13)
A tie over in London wouldn’t suggest for Washington to move up, but after losses by both Arizona and Detroit, this seems fitting. Washington is still right in the mix for a wildcard spot in the NFC, with this offense leading the way averaging the third most yards per game.

Giants Logo12. New York Giants (Last week: 14)
New York took the week off and as a result moved into second place in the NFC East. However, the Giants have some offensive issues to solve. They rank last in rushing yards per game and are scoring fewer points per game than the Browns. Ben McAdoo has some work to do.

Arizona_Cardnals_logo_(1994-2004)13. Arizona Cardinals (Last week: 11)
Arizona fell on the road against Carolina, showing that they really are just an average team. The Cardinals rank 18th in points per game but sixth in points per game. Time for what can be a high powered offense to catch up to its defense.

Lions Logo

14. Detroit Lions (Last week: 12)
Detroit had a chance to take down a slumping Texans team but instead find themselves at .500 at the midway point of the season. A matchup with the reeling Vikings will show us if this was just a bump in the road after a three-game win streak for the Lions, or a sign of things to come.

Chargers logo15. San Diego Chargers (Last week: 15)
All of the statistics in the world point to the Chargers being a good team, except for their record. San Diego’s upcoming schedule of Tennessee, Miami, Houston and Tampa Bay does give them a good chance to turn that around though.

Saints logo16. New Orleans Saints (Last week: 21)
Finally, the Saints got a win against a quality opponent. It has been a rough start to the season for Sean Payton’s group, but the NFC South is still wide open, as is the NFC as a whole. The defense looked better this week, allowing fewer than 27 point for the first time since week 2.

Pittsburgh_Steelers logo17. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last week: 18)
There are rumors that Ben Roethlisberger might be closer to returning than we initially thought. Big Ben coming back to the Steelers offense makes them a force again in the AFC. And with the rest of the division slumping, Pittsburgh has to feel pretty confident.

Bengals Logo18. Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 17)
Washington moved up but Cincinnati is moving down. The Bengals had a chance to force a tie atop the AFC North with Pittsburgh, but could not find a way to get the win in London. Cincy has a bye week to attempt to regain its 2015 form.

Texans logo19. Houston Texans (Last week: 23)
Someone please explain the Houston Texans to me. After looking completely helpless in Denver, Bill O’Brien turned his team around to take down a red-hot Lions team. Houston isn’t good, but they are probably good enough to win the AFC South.

Ravens logo20. Baltimore Ravens (Last week: 19)
A week off gave the Ravens time to recover from the four game slide they are currently on. The division is still wide open, but Joe Flacco need to find a way to jumpstart the 26th ranked scoring offense in football.

Bills logo21. Buffalo Bills (Last week: 16)
And they are back to normal. Just two weeks after claiming a spot in the top 10, Buffalo is now back in the bottom half of the league. Back-to-back divisional losses where your defense looks helpless will do that to you.

Titans logo22. Tennessee Titans (Last week: 27)
Tennessee is very quietly sitting at .500 through the halfway point of the season. It has already surpassed its win total for 2015 and sits just a game out of first place in the AFC South. How the Titans do in this next four game stretch, with three of them on the road, will decide the outcome of their season.

Dolphins logo23. Miami Dolphins (Last week: 22)
The Fins got a week off, which have been the last thing they wanted. They had won two in a row and Jay Ajayi was on fire. Next week brings a matchup with the Jets to avoid the AFC East cellar.

Buccaneers logo24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last week: 20)
How Tampa failed to win on Sunday is almost mind-boggling. Oakland committed 23 penalties and still beat the Buccaneers. Overall, not a good look. Winston has nine interceptions in seven games. That number needs to come down if the Bucs want to compete.

Panthers logo25. Carolina Panthers (Last week: 26)
Finally a win for the Panthers gets them back on track. Sitting at 2-5, Carolina still has a long way to go before they can really say they have righted the ship, but this was step one.

Colts logo26. Indianapolis Colts (Last week: 24)
Andrew Luck needs to start getting some help. He has played well in the first half of the season for the Colts, but the lack of a run game and a pathetic defense continue to plague the Colts. Allowing 28.8 points per game means that Chuck Pagano might not have his job for much longer.

Jets logo27. New York Jets (Last week: 28)
Two straight wins for the Jets over AFC North teams puts them at 3-5. Being down 20-7 at halftime with Ryan Fitzpatrick completing 3 of his 12 passes for 30 yards will not work most weeks, so Todd Bowles has a lot of work to do to prep this team for Miami.

Rams logo28. Los Angeles Rams (Last week: 25)
The Rams have shown flashes of being a competent team this season, with wins over the Seahawks and Buccaneers. But inconsistent play along with poor coaching has this team in flux as it tries to find an identity.

Bears logo29. Chicago Bears (Last week: 31)
Chicago just got a statement win for John Fox against Minnesota. It won’t really do much for them this season, as they sit at 2-6 right now, but it is a huge boost for the future. Jay Cutler played the best football we’ve seen him play in some time and Jordan Howard tore apart a very good Vikings defense. This gives the Bears something to build on.

Jaguars logo30. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last week: 29)
Another rough week for Jacksonville. The Jags were blown out through three quarters until they scored late to make the game seem competitive. Gus Bradley is on the hot seat and he knows it. I think these next two weeks against Kansas City and Houston will decide his future.

49ers Logo31. San Francisco 49ers (Last week: 30)
Now the only one win team in football, San Francisco needs to find some offensive weapons not named Carlos Hyde. This season seems pretty far gone and Chip Kelly has to be thinking about next year at this point, most notably about which quarterback he would like to draft in April.

Browns logo32. Cleveland Browns (Last week: 32)
There was hope for Browns fans for a good chunk of Sunday. But then that completely disappeared and the Cubs beat the Indians. Now, Browns fans are facing a Game 7 with a possibility of blowing a 3-1 lead in the World Series. We all know how quickly the sports world tends to forget about that.