2019 NFL Power Rankings: Week 10

Finally! We had some exciting results in the NFL for the first time in a while. The Patriots went down, the 49ers had a nail-biter and the Seahawks went to overtime. Lamar Jackson showed off his skillset once again, the Packers fell apart on the west coast and the Chiefs proved they could win without Patrick Mahomes. Overall, it was a wild week of football.

With so many important results, the rankings got a good shake up this week, including a new team at the top. Another slate of important games awaits, so there is plenty more to come in the near future. Let’s dive into all the action from this weekend.

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1. New Orleans Saints: 7-1 (Last Week: 2)
Bye Week
It is good to be on top. New Orleans took the week off and moved to the top of the power rankings. Funny how that happens. It does have a loss this year, but the Saints are capable of playing at a higher level than anyone else in the NFL right now. The defense plays lights out and with the offense finally getting healthy, we will see this team at full strength. There is a lot of season left to play, but the team to beat currently resides in NOLA.

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2. San Francisco 49ers: 8-0 (Last Week: 3)
Won 28-25 at Arizona
And then there was one. San Francisco is the only undefeated team left in the NFL after New England suffered its first loss of the year. The 49ers were tested by a plucky Cardinals team on Thursday night, but emerged with its eight win of the season. Jimmy Garoppolo tore up what has been a bad secondary, but it was still good to see him get into a groove. He had four touchdown passes in a good offensive showing. San Fran might get its best test of the year yet with a visit from Seattle on Monday Night in Week 10.

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3. Baltimore Ravens: 6-2 (Last Week: 5)
Won 37-20 vs. New England
Talk about a statement win. The Ravens certainly managed that with a convincing victory over the Patriots on Sunday Night Football. If not for a couple of untimely fumbles, this might have been a real blowout for Baltimore. Lamar Jackson showed once again why he is so difficult to gameplan for and the defense continues to make game-changing plays. For the third straight week, Marlon Humphrey returned a fumble for a touchdown. The AFC suddenly looks very interesting now that the Ravens have inserted themselves into the conversation.

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4. New England Patriots: 8-1 (Last Week: 1)
Lost 37-20 at Baltimore
After playing easily the softest schedule in the league through the first eight weeks, Baltimore punched New England in the mouth. There are real concerns with this offense’s ability to protect Tom Brady and play from behind. Brady threw the ball 46 times as the Patriots could not use the run to control the clock. Defensively, the Pats had no answer for Lamar Jackson, specifically running the ball. After dominating to start the year, New England is suddenly giving up almost 100 yards per game on the ground, surrendering over 150 in back-to-back contests. Championships aren’t won in November, but this was a troubling loss.

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5. Kansas City Chiefs: 6-3 (Last Week: 6)
Won 26-23 vs. Minnesota
You got the feeling that Kansas City was capable of hanging with tough teams even without Patrick Mahomes last week against Green Bay. The Chiefs followed that up with a massive win over the Vikings. Moving to 6-3 feels much different than falling to 5-4. It was not a perfect outing, as KC struggled to run the ball outside of a 91-yard outburst from Damien Williams. Excluding that run, the Chiefs averaged 3.3 yards per carry. At the end of the day though Kansas City can just be happy it has Harrison Butker.

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6. Seattle Seahawks: 7-2 (Last Week: 7)
Won 40-34 (OT) vs. Tampa Bay
Well that was much too close for comfort. Seattle trailed for much of this contest and looked incapable of stopping Jameis Winston. The 34 points were the most the Seahawks have given up all season. Miscues played a role as well. Chris Carson fumbled yet again and Jason Myers missed three kicks in total. It is good to see Seattle can overcome these mistakes, but it also goes to show how vulnerable the defense can be against a team that can stretch the field. A Monday Night Football divisional battle with the undefeated 49ers awaits.

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7. Green Bay Packers: 7-2 (Last Week: 4)
Lost 26-11 at Los Angeles
That was flat out ugly. I don’t know the last time I saw the Packers offense play like that. Aaron Rodgers was seemingly always under pressure and the group as a whole showed very little cohesiveness. Much of the game just felt disjointed from an offensive standpoint. Defensively, the inability to stop the run showed up again as Green Bay gave up 159 yards to a team that entered the game averaging under 70 yards per contest. These are the type of outings the Packers are liable to have given the holes on the roster, but they cannot afford to let them become a regular habit.

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8. Los Angeles Rams: 5-3 (Last Week: 9)
Bye Week
A week off was much needed for this Rams team that has struggled through the first half of the season. I say struggled, but this group is still 5-3. The biggest thing missing from last year’s success is the rushing attack. That sets up just about everything else in this offense and keeps Los Angeles’ defense well rested. A date with the Steelers is up next and that should give us a lot of information about which direction the Rams are headed.

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9. Minnesota Vikings: 6-3 (Last Week: 8)
Lost 26-23 at Kansas City
In a week where the offense actually played fairly well, it was the defense that let Minnesota down. This has to be chalked up as a disappointing loss after scoring 23 points and facing the Matt Moore-led Chiefs. It was the big plays that killed the Vikings, allowing a 91-yard touchdown run to Damien Williams and a 41-yard touchdown catch from Tyreek Hill. This is a team that feels good enough to reach the playoffs, but at the same time has no chance of actually winning the Super Bowl. It simply does not show up in big games.

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10. Dallas Cowboys: 5-3 (Last Week: 10)
Won 37-18 at New York
It was a bit of a rocky start, but Dallas turned in a solid second-half performance. Dak Prescott played really well after throwing an interception on his pass of the night. The ground game showed up big time with 172 yards rushing and the Cowboys forced three Daniel Jones turnovers. Dallas controls the division right now, but next week features a visit from the Vikings for a big-time NFC showdown.

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11. Houston Texans: 6-3 (Last Week: 12)
Won 26-3 at Jacksonville (London)
This was the type of performance many have wanted to see from the Texans. Against a tricky Jacksonville outfit, Houston took care of business. The Texans ran the ball well, Deshaun Watson played extremely efficiently and the defense came up with a bunch of turnovers in an important divisional win. With the Colts losing, they take back over the lead in the AFC South. Houston has to feel good about where it stands.

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12. Buffalo Bills: 6-2 (Last Week: 13)
Won 24-9 vs. Washington
Hey Buffalo Bill(s)! You are now 6-2 and looking like a playoff team. Beating Washington is nothing to write home about, but it was an important bounce-back win. The defense fared well against a rookie quarterback, but struggled to stop the run for the second straight week. This next stretch of games is important as Buffalo makes its postseason push. With a tough final few games, beating the Browns, Dolphins and Broncos is going to be crucial.Eagles Logo

13. Philadelphia Eagles: 5-4 (Last Week: 14)
Won 22-14 vs. Chicago
It certainly wasn’t pretty, but the Eagles gutted out another win to move back above .500. The victory came at a cost as now it sounds like DeSean Jackson is done for the season with an injury. Still, there were some very positive signs here. The defense played well once again against what has been an inept Bears offense. Philly held Chicago to just nine yards of offense in the first half. However, the offense could not find a way to put this one away. The Eagles should be able to build a more commanding lead when the defense plays as well as it did. New England follows a bye week, so Doug Pederson will have to have this team firing on all cylinders.

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14. Carolina Panthers: 5-3 (Last Week: 16)
Won 30-20 vs. Tennessee
Carolina bounced back with a convincing win over Tennessee. It was far from perfect, but it was another MVP-type performance from Christian McCaffrey. The defense made its fair share of plays as well with two picks, a fumble recovery and four sacks. It is hard to know how to assess this team. The Panthers have won five of their last six, but the loss was a 38-point drubbing by the 49ers. Carolina has another huge game coming up against a reeling Green Bay side looking to rebound after a shocking loss of its own.

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15. Indianapolis Colts: 5-3 (Last Week: 11)
Lost 26-24 at Pittsburgh
Indy lost Jacoby Brissett early and that proved to be the difference in the contest. Sure, Brian Hoyer played well in relief, but he tossed a back-breaking interception that was returned 96 yards for a touchdown. No game is decided by one play, but that momentum swing was huge in what proved to be a two-point affair. Adam Vinatieri also botched the potential game-winning field goal to ice things for a hurting Colts team. Brissett’s status will determine if this team still has hope of winning a division title.

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16. Pittsburgh Steelers: 4-4 (Last Week: 20)
Won 26-24 vs. Indianapolis
Flash back to six weeks ago when Ben Roethlisberger was ruled out the rest of the year and the struggling Steelers looked destined for a top-five pick. Well it turns out that Minkah Fitzpatrick trade worked out pretty well for them and now Pittsburgh is back to .500. It hasn’t always been pretty, as the Steelers had to sweat out a missed field goal to squeak by the Colts, but they are winning. Good offensive line play and opportunistic defense has Pittsburgh back on track. This banged up team is building momentum and certainly has its eye set on a postseason run.

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17. Oakland Raiders: 4-4 (Last Week: 21)
Won 31-24 vs. Detroit
The Raiders defended the Black Hole in an impressive offensive showing. Derek Carr balled out with 289 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He spread the ball around and got a lot of help from Josh Jacobs, who rumbled for 120 yards and two scores. One week after challenging Houston, Oakland got an important home win to get back to .500. The upcoming Thursday night game against the Chargers is going to be huge in determining which team can challenge for a wild card spot.

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18. Detroit Lions: 3-4-1 (Last Week: 15)
Lost 31-24 at Oakland
After a positive start to the year, all of the issues that seem to regularly plague the Lions defense have returned. Derek Carr shredded the secondary and the front seven could not slow down Josh Jacobs. Matt Stafford threw for over 400 yards and tossed three touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the porous defense. Seemingly out of the divisional race, Detroit has to hope it can right the ship and make a run at the wild card in the NFC.

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19. Tennessee Titans: 4-5 (Last Week: 18)
Won 27-23 vs. Tampa Bay
The Ryan Tannehill experiment went a little bit sideways on Sunday, but maybe it’s not fair to put all the blame on him. He has his share of it after throwing two interceptions, but the defense had no answer for Christian McCaffrey. He racked up 166 yards of offense and scored three touchdowns. I know he is really good, but you would think Tennessee might devote a bit more of its gameplan to stopping him. Regardless, the Titans playoff hopes got dented in the loss.

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20. Jacksonville Jaguars: 4-5 (Last Week: 17)
Lost 26-3 vs. Houston (London)
Jacksonville might have had its worst game of the season in London. The offense managed a meager three points and Gardner Minshew looked very much like a rookie sixth-round pick. Credit the Texans for bottling up Leonard Fournette, but the Jaguars just never got in sync. Whether it was turnovers or lack of execution, they could not find a way to stay on the field. The defense didn’t do them any favors either, giving up 216 yards on the ground. A week off is much needed to solve some of these alarming issues.

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21. Los Angeles Chargers: 4-5 (Last Week: 24)
Won 26-11 vs. Green Bay
Is it possible the Chargers are on a winning streak? In easily the most stunning result of the week, Los Angeles beat up Aaron Rodgers and completely grounded this high-flying offense. Rodgers will be having nightmares about Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram all week. Offensively, the Chargers really committed to the run, rushing it 38 times to keep Rodgers off the field. If this is the type of performance LA can turn in on a weekly basis, the playoffs are not out of the question just yet.

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22. Arizona Cardinals: 3-5-1 (Last Week: 23)
Lost 28-25 vs. San Francisco
Arizona certainly gave San Francisco a Halloween scare on Thursday night with a huge comeback that came up short. The secondary is still a mess, but the offense played lights out against one of the best defenses in the league. Kyler Murray looked comfortable and Kenyan Drake had a monster debut with 162 yards from scrimmage. There is still plenty of room for growth, but the Cardinals are quickly becoming one of the most entertaining teams to watch and a real threat to upset contenders.

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23. Denver Broncos: 3-6 (Last Week: 25)
Won 24-19 vs. Cleveland
The Brandon Allen era started on a high note with Denver holding off Cleveland in an ugly game. Courtland Sutton made one of the catches of the year and Noah Fant ripped off a dominating catch and run to propel the offense. The defense was disruptive and did just enough to hold off a late Browns rally. It was a much-needed win for a team struggling with injuries and identity. One easy fix would be handing the ball to Phillip Lindsay more. He had nine carries for 92 yards on Sunday. Both the new starting quarterback and my fantasy team would appreciate a heavier dose of him next week.

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24. Chicago Bears: 3-5 (Last Week 19)
Lost 22-14 at Philadelphia
This tumultuous season hit another bump in the road as the offense found a new low. Chicago gained nine yards of total offense in the first half against Philly. Nine! Matt Nagy has gone from looking like a guru to snapping at reporters about playcalling. Mitchell Trubisky is making a case for the worst quarterback in the league still starting this year. It was a better second half, but the Bears dropped another one and look nothing like the group we saw reach the postseason a year ago.

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25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2-6 (Last Week: 27)
Lost 40-34 (OT) at Seattle
It is weeks like this that make it difficult to envision the Buccaneers moving on from Jameis Winston this offseason. He threw for 335 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. He did fumble once, but this was a really good game from Winston. The defense was nowhere to be found, allowing Russell Wilson to toss five touchdown passes. It is very clear where Tampa’s weaknesses lie. Still, this team went on the road and pushed Seattle to overtime. There is something to be said for that.

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26. Cleveland Browns: 2-6 (Last Week: 22)
Lost 24-19 at Denver
Turns out the Browns are still the Browns. One week after falling apart against the Patriots, an acceptable thing to do, this team lost to Brandon Allen making his first career start. Baker Mayfield has broken down mechanically because he always looking for the rush. He is not getting the ball to his best playmakers in big moments either, as Odell Beckham Jr. should definitely be getting more targets. Cleveland is extremely undisciplined and looks like a trainwreck. Freddie Kitchens needs to get this team back on track or risk losing his job after just one year.

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27. New York Giants: 2-7 (Last Week: 26)
Lost 37-18 vs. Dallas
If you only look at the scoreline, it is easy to assuming Dallas simply blew out New York on Monday Night Football. However, the Giants were in this contest for a while. They had some early opportunities to build a lead at home, but squandered them with poor play in the red zone. A late defensive touchdown for the Cowboys made the result look even more comfortable. It is clear the Giants are close to breaking through the next tier in the NFL, but that will require them to take full advantage of their opponents’ mistakes.

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28. Atlanta Falcons: 1-7 (Last Week: 29)
Bye Week
Atlanta has had one of the most disappointing first halves of any team in the league, right up there with Cleveland and Chicago. There are a lot of the major building blocks already in place for this franchise with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and a decent offensive line. The defense has been what is holding this team back, failing to generate any sort of pass rush. Injuries have also decimated the Falcons this year, but hopefully that allows them to build some depth for years to come.

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29. Washington: 1-7 (Last Week: 30)
Lost 24-9 at Buffalo
Dwayne Haskins finally got his first NFL start and it went about as well as you could’ve imagined. Washington failed to score a touchdown and did not threaten much through the air. This was facing a good Buffalo defense, so maybe all Haskins needs is a bit of patience. Adrian Peterson did turn back the clocks though with a 110-yard performance rushing. If Haskins can get into a bit of rhythm, the ground game is good enough to do most of the heavy lifting for this offense to start producing touchdowns.

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30. Miami Dolphins: 1-7 (Last Week: 32)
Won 26-18 vs. New York
It finally happened! The Dolphins won a football game in the regular season. It has been a long time coming honestly, as Miami has been building throughout the course of the year. Despite the struggles this season, the Dolphins have a few young players emerging in crucial roles. Unfortunately, Preston Williams went down with a season-ending injury. The offensive line is still getting a bit better and there are some signs of life on defense. This might not be the last game the Dolphins win this year.

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31. New York Jets: 1-7 (Last Week: 28)
Lost 26-18 at Miami
This team is once again the laughing stock of the NFL. If not for what is looking more and more like a fluky win over the Cowboys, this team would be hurdling towards the first overall pick. Sam Darnold definitely has regressed since his rookie season. The offensive line is completely out of sync and the secondary looks hopeless. Adam Gase is on thin ice already and if this team does not show any signs of improvement, he will be out of a job at the end of the year.

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32. Cincinnati Bengals: 0-8 (Last Week: 31)
Bye Week
It might’ve been a week off for the Bengals, but they suddenly find themselves as the lone winless team in the NFL. Cincinnati should get a boost when A.J. Green does finally return from injury. Zac Taylor has the second half the season to start building a core for this team to lean on in the future. It is all about trying to build for the next few years and hopefully finding a way to win at least one game in the process.

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2019 NFL Power Rankings: Week 9

Don’t look now, but the NFL season is already halfway over. Well just the regular season. Don’t worry, you still have three more months of football ahead of you. It was a fairly predictable week, with the biggest upset coming in the form of Buffalo falling at home. It was far from a shock though to see the Bills struggle. The Eagles cannot defend the pass and the Bills cannot effectively move the ball downfield, so something had to give. Otherwise, we saw first year head coaches not named Matt LeFleur struggle, veteran quarterbacks get upset about playcalling and the Dolphins look like an NFL team for one quarter.

As a result of a slate of mostly expected results, there really wasn’t much movement in this week’s rankings. It was easily the least we’ve had all year. With some exciting matchups on the horizon, things will get a whole less predictable in the weeks to come.

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1. New England Patriots: 8-0 (Last Week: 1)
Won 27-13 vs. Cleveland
Win number 300 came for Bill Belichick came against his old ball club as the defense once again led the way for a Patriot victory. New England forced three turnovers early in the game and built a lead that it rode the rest of the way. Baker Mayfield never got comfortable either as the Pats sacked him five times in the contest. With Josh Gordon going on the injured reserve, there might be some room for concern about this New England offense, but Tom Brady has done more with less in the past and there is no reason to think this year will be any different.

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2. New Orleans Saints: 7-1 (Last Week: 2)
Won 31-9 vs. Arizona
Welcome back Drew Brees. The future Hall of Famer really didn’t miss a beat as he aired the ball out for 373 yards and three touchdowns. We still have not seen this Saints team at full strength, which is unbelievable given their success on the season. Sheldon Rankins missed the beginning of the year. Brees had missed the past five games and Alvin Kamara has been out the past two weeks. With the division seemingly already locked up, New Orleans might just be the favorite to take home the Lombardi trophy in February.

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3. San Francisco 49ers: 7-0 (Last Week: 3)
Won 51-13 vs. Carolina
If there was anyone still sleeping on San Francisco, which there really shouldn’t have been, there is no hiding from how good this team can be any more. Led by its stifling defense, the 49ers pummeled the Panthers en route to scoring 51 points. Tevin Coleman had four total touchdowns to lead the offense. Nick Bosa seems like a lock for Rookie of the Year with three sacks and an interception. No one expected the Niners to be this good, but this team has legitimate title aspirations.

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4. Green Bay Packers: 7-1 (Last Week: 4)
Won 31-24 at Kansas City
It seems like Aaron Rodgers has found his groove in Matt LeFleur’s offense and that is a scary thing for the rest of the NFL. Rodgers put together another masterful performance on Sunday night, throwing for 305 yards and three touchdowns. He made one of the throws of the year on that touchdown pass to Jamaal Williams. What has been more surprising though is the emergence of Aaron Jones in the passing game. Green Bay will keep getting healthier and likely won’t face anyone with the speed Kansas City brings to the table again this year.

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5. Baltimore Ravens: 6-2 (Last Week: 6)
Bye Week
Baltimore got a chance to rest up and get a few key players healthy. Marquise Brown and Jimmy Smith are expected to be back for a big clash with the undefeated Patriots in Week 9. Given how well we’ve seen this offense operate at times, the Ravens should give the Pats their best test of the year. We’ve already seen the defense starting to play better in recent weeks as well and it’s hard to think of a better secondary than one that boasts Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters and Smith.

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6. Kansas City Chiefs: 5-3 (Last Week: 5)
Lost 31-24 vs. Green Bay
Despite missing Patrick Mahomes, this was an incredible showing from the Kansas City offense. Andy Reid did an excellent job to keep Matt Moore doing this he felt comfortable with. Granted, this team might just have the most talent at the skill positions of anyone in the league, but the veteran played well in his first start of the year. However, the defense was exposed once again, this time it was by a running back in the passing game. The Chiefs should definitely make a move at the deadline to bolster its secondary.

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7. Seattle Seahawks: 6-2 (Last Week: 7)
Won 27-20 at Atlanta
It was a tale of two halves for Seattle, who led Atlanta 24-0 at halftime. After that, the Seahawks offense seemingly lost its way while the Falcons steadily climbed back into the game. The important thing is moving to 6-2 and staying perfect this season on the road, but that was not the type of second-half performance Seattle can put up regularly. It might be time to find some secondary help as well after allowing Matt Schaub to throw for 460 yards.

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8. Minnesota Vikings: 6-2 (Last Week: 8)
Won 19-9 vs. Washington
Clearly, this offense needs Adam Thielen in order to be successful. With the veteran receiver out due to a hamstring injury, Minnesota managed just 19 points against what has been a weak Washington defense. Stefon Diggs and Dalvin Cook put up big numbers again, but this paltry scoring output comes on the heels of three straight weeks with at least 28 points. There is a lot to be positive about though as the Vikings move to 6-2, continuing to keep pace with the Packers in the NFC North. They face significant tests though with road games against the Chiefs and Cowboys up next.

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9. Los Angeles Rams: 5-3 (Last Week: 10)
Won 24-10 vs. Cincinnati (London)
Cooper Kupp might still be running past fallen Bengals defenders as you read this. The third-year receiver had an outrageous 220 yards receiving, including a 65-yard touchdown. Jared Goff looked very comfortable for the second straight week. While it is easy to dominate the weaker teams in the league, the Rams still have some holes to address. The ground game mustered 3.8 yards per carry against the worst rush defense in the NFL and the Los Angles defense gave up over 400 yards of offense to Cincinnati. With a bye coming up, Sean McVay needs to get this team firing on all cylinders heading into the second half.

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10. Dallas Cowboys: 4-3 (Last Week: 11)
Bye Week
While Dallas can still feel good about its dominant win over Philadelphia the Eagles won in Week 8 and the Cowboys only have a half-game lead in the division. It is important to remember that it has been a rocky first half of the year in Texas. After all, Dallas is still only one game removed from a three-game losing streak. Given how well the offense has played and what the ceiling is for the defense, Dak Prescott and company should be fine. With a tough second-half schedule, the Cowboys will need to get into a good rhythm out of the bye.

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11. Indianapolis Colts: 5-2 (Last Week: 12)
Won 15-13 vs. Denver
Indianapolis is proving that it can win close games, but it also seems incapable of winning comfortably. Adam Vinatieri made up for missing a potential game-tying extra point by kicking the game-winning field goal. Still, the Colts need to turn more drives into touchdowns the rest of the way. The defense played very well, but Denver’s offense has been among the worst in the NFL, so it is hard to get too excited about the overall performance. Indy’s slate is one of the easiest ones over the next few weeks though with Pittsburgh, Miami and Jacksonville on the docket.

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12. Houston Texans: 5-3 (Last Week: 13)
Won 27-24 vs. Oakland
Where would Houston be without Deshaun Watson? If I had to guess, it would be the dark, scary place called the AFC South basement. The former Clemson standout threw another three touchdown passes and accounted for 325 yards of total offense. He came up clutch in the fourth quarter to pull out a crucial win over another AFC playoff hopeful. It was nice to get back on track, but the Texans are still waiting on an improvement from that pass defense. They have already added one player via trade, now its time for that unit to gel and stop giving up big plays.

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13. Buffalo Bills: 5-2 (Last Week: 9)
Lost 31-13 vs. Philadelphia
This was always the concern for Buffalo. In a week where the defense did not play its best game, the Bills offense did not have enough firepower to come out on top. Josh Allen has improved drastically from last season, but without a true big play threat, this is exactly what will happen when Buffalo falls behind. There simply is not enough offensive playmaking for this team to effectively play when down big. I have already advocated for this front office to add a proven contributor at receiver, because this offense needs some help if the Bills want to continue this impressive start.

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14. Philadelphia Eagles: 4-4 (Last Week: 16)
Won 31-13 at Buffalo
Welcome back to the win circle Philadelphia. It was a really solid week for the Eagles, who bounced back in a big way after the drubbing they took from the Cowboys. The offense played extremely well against what has been a great defense this year. Philly rumbled for 218 yards rushing and Carson Wentz took care of the football. It wasn’t a huge day through the air, but with DeSean Jackson finally coming back, things are looking up.

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15. Detroit Lions: 3-3-1 (Last Week: 15)
Won 31-26 vs. New York
It wasn’t always pretty, but Detroit got back to .500. Matt Stafford played extremely well to lead a banged offense to a big day. Defensively, this team has completely fallen apart. After getting torched by Kirk Cousins a week ago, Daniel Jones had a field day against this Lions secondary. Give them some credit for mostly bottling up Saquon Barkley, who only managed 3.4 yards per carry, but it is time for Matt Patricia get this defense back to where it was at the start of the season. With hopes of a playoff run still on the table, Detroit will need to play more complete games going forward.

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16. Carolina Panthers: 4-3 (Last Week: 14)
Lost 51-13 at San Francisco
Wow. That was bad. I understand that may be an oversimplification, but any time you give up 50-plus points in a game, that’s pretty awful. Carolina had no answer for the San Fran ground attack, or Nick Bosa for that matter. The Panthers offensive line hung Kyle Allen out to dry, allowing him to be sacked seven times. He didn’t do much to help himself either though, tossing three interceptions. Allen has already been announced as the starter for next week’s game against the Titans so he will need to find a way to settle down and avoid mistakes against another good defense.

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17. Jacksonville Jaguars: 4-4 (Last Week: 18)
Won 29-15 vs. New York
Jacksonville’s defense came to play and so did Gardner Minshew. The rookie out of Washington State tossed three touchdowns and racked up 279 yards through the air. The defense registered eight sacks and intercepted a trio of passes. One major issue that unexpectedly showed up was an inability to run the ball. Leonard Fournette ripped off a 66-yard run, but only managed 10 more yards on his other 18 carries. That is horribly inefficient and will need to pick up for the Jaguars to beat better teams.

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18. Tennessee Titans: 4-4 (Last Week: 20)
Won 27-23 vs. Tampa Bay
Suddenly the Titans are .500 and look like they belong in the playoff conversation. There is still a long way to go for this defensive-minded outfit to really deserve serious consideration, but Ryan Tannehill has righted the ship. On the season, Tannehill has completed 73.1 percent of his passes at an average of 8.3 yards per attempt for five touchdowns and just two interceptions. He has actually elevated his play each week. If the defense can keep generating turnovers, it had four in this game, Tennessee is more than capable of picking up some gritty victories.

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19. Chicago Bears: 3-4 (Last Week 17)
Lost 17-16 vs. Los Angeles
Kicker woes cropped up again, but honestly that should be the least of Chicago’s worries. The Bears managed just one touchdown despite several drives in their opponent’s territory. Mitch Trubisky had another game to forget despite a huge game from David Montgomery. The rookie back amassed 135 yards on the ground, but that resulted in just 16 points. Matt Nagy had some questionable playcalling leading into the missed field goal as well. This team is a mess right now.

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20. Pittsburgh Steelers: 3-4 (Last Week: 19)
Won 27-14 vs. Miami
There were boos raining down at Heinz Field, and it had nothing to do with Halloween. Pittsburgh eventually got back on track and handled Miami, but that first quarter is cause for concern. Credit is due for in-game adjustments by the coaching staff and a stellar night from James Conner. He finished with 145 yards on the ground, but left the game late with a shoulder injury. The Steelers cannot afford to start this slow again with games against the Colts and Rams coming up.

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21. Oakland Raiders: 3-4 (Last Week: 21)
Lost 27-24 at Houston
Oakland played three great quarters of football, but could not see the job through to the finish. The Raiders defense gave up 14 fourth-quarter points to drop a heartbreaker to the Texans. It was a massive opportunity for Oakland to secure a solid position in the AFC playoff picture. Instead, the defense wasted a great performance from Derek Carr to fall below .500 again. Don’t be surprised if the Raiders are working to acquire a defensive back at the trade deadline.

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22. Cleveland Browns: 2-5 (Last Week: 22)
Lost 27-13 at New England
If you missed the first 10 minutes of this game, you probably thought the Browns played a decent game. In those first 10 minutes though, Cleveland managed to turn the ball over on three straight offensive plays. Spotting any team a free 17 points is a recipe for disaster. Doing so against a team that is already one of the most dominant in the league removes any chance of winning the game. Baker Mayfield had another rough outing and the five sacks he took really underlines how badly this team needs offensive line help if it has any hope of making a playoff push.

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23. Arizona Cardinals: 3-4-1 (Last Week: 23)
Lost 31-9 at New Orleans
So that wasn’t a great outing for this young Cardinals team. Granted, it was against one of the best teams in the NFL, but failing to score a touchdown gave Arizona fans little to be excited about. You have to give Kliff Kingsbury some credit for staying aggressive, but as soon as Chase Edmonds went down, this offense could not find a way to string together a drive. Kyler Murray played fine, but ran just twice for 13 yards. Without the top two options at running back and a speedy quarterback, it was a bit surprising not to see Murray involved with his legs.

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24. Los Angeles Chargers: 3-5 (Last Week: 25)
Won 17-16 at Chicago
Los Angeles pulled off a big win Sunday, but the offense needs a real rework. The Chargers fired offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt on Monday. That should reshuffle things a bit and it was clear Philip Rivers was unhappy with the playcalling. LA is still in the mix for a playoff push, but they have a long ways to go. Running the ball 12 times for 36 yards, what the Chargers managed against the Bears, is not good enough. This team needs a jolt offensively.

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25. Denver Broncos: 2-6 (Last Week: 24)
Lost 15-13 at Indianapolis
Joe Flacco was spot on. This team is playing not to lose and that isn’t exactly going well. Denver decided to punt late in the game, allowing Indianapolis to set up a game-winning field goal. Flacco had a lot of issues with the timid playcalling down the stretch. Well now Flacco is out with a neck injury, meaning Brandon Allen is going to be the starting quarterback going forward. This feels more and more like a lost season for the Broncos and is certainly a troubling start to the Vic Fangio-era.

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26. New York Giants: 2-6 (Last Week: 26)
Lost 31-26 at Detroit
Daniel Jones had his best game of the year, but it was his one mistake that ended up being the difference. A lost fumble returned for a touchdown was extremely costly in a close contest. Defensively, this was not a great showing. Matt Stafford tore the secondary apart despite the total lack of a ground game. I also have no idea what the Giants are doing trading for Leonard Williams. Sure, he is talented, but he doesn’t really feel a need for right now for a team sitting at 2-6. Adding a corner or linebacker seems like it would’ve been a better investment of draft picks.

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27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2-5 (Last Week: 27)
Lost 27-23 at Tennessee
I know Bruce Arians defended Jameis Winston, but with four more turnovers, it is hard to not blame him somewhat. There is still more to be pinned on a secondary who gave up three touchdowns to Ryan Tannehill though. While Mike Evans showed up for an amazing outing, Tampa Bay has to be frustrated after another tough loss. A struggling secondary and missing running game leaves a lot to desired.

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28. New York Jets: 1-6 (Last Week: 28)
Lost 29-15 at Jacksonville
Jacksonville had a lot of fun heckling Sam Darnold and Darnold gave them plenty of ammunition. He threw three interceptions and the offensive line failed to block once again. The hopes that Darnold would solve all of the offensive issues are long gone. Defensively, the secondary had a really rough day again, giving up tons of big plays to the Jaguars offense. There is no question the Jets are focusing on the upcoming draft at this point.

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29. Atlanta Falcons: 1-7 (Last Week: 29)
Lost 27-20 vs. Seattle
After a brutal first half, Atlanta did turn things around in the second half. Matt Schaub actually put up monster numbers, with 460 yards and a touchdown. Three turnovers made the 24-0 margin at halftime too large to overcome though as the Falcons dropped their fifth-straight game. Coach Dan Quinn’s seat is getting a little bit warmer and there is talk of making deals at the deadline. This shocking season continues for a team that entered the year with much higher hopes.

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30. Washington: 1-7 (Last Week: 30)
Lost 19-9 at Minnesota
Honestly, this was one of the better showings from Washington’s defense all year. It helped that Minnesota’s Adam Thielen could not suit up, but there is a lot to like about some of the young performers from Thursday night. Jonathan Allen played extremely well as part of a great night in the red zone defensively. Unfortunately, Dwayne Haskins struggled again in limited action, but Terry McLaurin looks like a great find. Washington is a long way from competing, but there are a couple of pieces in place to build around.

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31. Cincinnati Bengals: 0-8 (Last Week: 31)
Lost 24-10 at Los Angeles (London)
Somewhere, Marvin Lewis is probably laughing. Zac Taylor’s tenure has been a really rough go so far. The offense managed just 10 points and the defense had an embarrassing showing. For the Rams, Cooper KuppĀ could not be stopped and Jared Goff had one of his best games of the season. It’s par for the course for a struggling team with very little direction. Cincinnati needs a full-scale rebuild. That has to start by making moves at the trade deadline to add draft capital.

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32. Miami Dolphins: 0-7 (Last Week: 32)
Lost 27-13 at Pittsburgh
For a short while there, the Dolphins were making a lot of noise. Unfortunately, that early lead disappeared and Miami gave up 27 unanswered points to lose their seventh straight game. What compounds this loss for the Dolphins is that they own the Steelers’ first round pick, which would’ve only increased the value of that draft slot if they could have mustered their first win. Brian Flores still has a long ways to go with this group, but the start was promising and something to build on.

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2019 NFL Power Rankings: Week 8

My goodness that was rough. This past week of NFL action might have been one of the worst ones I can remember. All three primetime games were blowouts. We had a mud bowl shutout in the Washington typically known for politics, not rain. The average margin in these 14 NFL games was 15 points. The closest thing we got to a thrilling finish was a replay-filled, goal line stand between two 2-4 teams in Nashville. In short, the past week of NFL action was brutal.

I know it’s not right to complain because I would beg to watch this slate of games in July, but wow it was so boring. Still, we did learn a lot about the NFL. Week 7 determined the direction of a lot of team’s seasons. The Titans still have hopes of a playoff run while the Chargers seem headed for a top-10 pick. It is clear the Broncos, Jets and Giants are still rebuilding, while the Cheifs, Rams and Cowboys got back on track. Patrick Mahomes’ injury looms over all other NFL headlines, but he should be back on the field relatively soon. Despite a boring week, we have lots of movement in the middle part of the rankings, including a shakeup to the top 10.

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1. New England Patriots: 6-0 (Last Week: 1)
Won 33-0 at New York
Dominant. That is the only word to describe New England’s play so far this season. The Patriots blanked the Jets on Monday Night Football. The honeymoon is over for the champs though as the schedule finally starts to get a bit tougher from here. The Browns and Ravens stand between the Pats and a bye week. After that, the Eagles, Cowboys and Chiefs all get a shot at knocking off Tom Brady and company. We are going to learn pretty soon if this team is one of the all-time greats, or just another solid Bill Belichick team with championship potential.

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2. New Orleans Saints: 6-1 (Last Week: 2)
Won 36-25 at Chicago
New Orleans is making a very compelling case for being the best team in the league. The Saints have routinely faced down good competition and won. On Sunday, it was the defense that stole the show against a Bears team with a renown defense of it’s own. Don’t let the final score fool you, this was a blowout. Chicago could not get anything going offensively while Teddy Bridgewater dealt with the absences of Alvin Kamara and Jared Cook just fine. He might not be as prolific as Drew Brees, but Bridgewater deserves a lot of credit for the job he has done in keeping this team on track to make a deep postseason run again.

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3. San Francisco 49ers: 6-0 (Last Week: 3)
Won 9-0 at Washington
The weather certainly helped, but San Francisco earned a shutout. Playing in the pouring rain on a terrible surface, I am throwing out basically all statistical significance in this one and focusing on a few other things. The 49ers are the NFC’s last remaining undefeated team and boast one of the best defenses in the league. On the flip side, Jimmy Garoppolo still does not seem like he has settled in this year. Things are going to get a lot tougher with the Panthers on tap.

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4. Green Bay Packers: 6-1 (Last Week: 5)
Won 42-24 vs. Oakland
Aaron Rodgers put together a vintage performance Sunday, the likes of which we have not seen from him in some time. Well, we have not seen Rodgers put up numbers like this ever before, but he hasn’t played at that level in quite a while. On a day where many games turned into defensive slogs, it was refreshing to see. In addition to accounting for six touchdowns, five through the air and one on the ground, Rodgers earned a perfect passer rating. And that was all without top reciever Davante Adams. With Kansas City’s unreliable defense coming up, who knows what Rodgers might do next.

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5. Kansas City Chiefs: 4-2 (Last Week: 6)
Won 30-6 at Denver
It is easy to forget Kansas City dominated Denver on Thursday because the attention immediately turned to the health of Patrick Mahomes. He dislocated his knee and his status is unclear for the weeks that lie ahead. The defense picked up the slack with nine sacks, but this is a huge loss for the Chiefs. With games against the Packers and Vikings up next, Andy Reid must find the balance between wanting to win crucial games and prioritizing getting his star quarterback healthy. The last thing anyone wants is for Mahomes to come back too soon and cost himself the season.

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6. Baltimore Ravens: 5-2 (Last Week: 10)
Won 30-16 at Seattle
This was arguably Baltimore’s most complete game of the year. The defense came up with big plays, scoring a pair of touchdowns. Lamar Jackson turned in another incredible performance running the ball as well. There is still some room for improvement when it comes to his throwing ability, as Jackson was just 9 of 20 passing. In time, the Ravens will also need to rediscover a pass rush that has failed to show up consistently. It seems like the addition of Marcus Peters is already going to be a good one though as this team continues to pull away in the AFC North.

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7. Seattle Seahawks: 5-2 (Last Week: 4)
Lost 30-16 vs. Baltimore
Sunday in Seattle saw the compounding of a lot issues and mistakes resulting in a surprisingly sound defeat. Russell Wilson threw his first interception of the year, which turned out to be a pick six. DK Metcalf inexplicably dropped the ball while running late in the game to seal the Seahawks’ fate, as that was also returned for a touchdown. In between, the defense struggled to contain Lamar Jackson. A lot of these same issues appeared in Seattle’s other loss this year to New Orleans. Taking care of the ball is important, but so is getting home with the pass rush and controlling the clock with the run game.

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8. Minnesota Vikings: 5-2 (Last Week: 9)
Won 42-30 at Detroit
Kirk Cousins has gone from hack to hero in a very short time in Minnesota. He probably hasn’t put to bed all of his critics, but it was another stellar showing. He tossed four touchdowns and 337 yards as the Vikings rolled on offense. It wasn’t a perfect showing all around, as Minnesota seemed incapable of stopping Marvin Jones in the red zone. He scored four touchdowns in the contest, becoming just the third receiver in NFL history to accomplish that feat. With Washington up next, I think we might see another strong showing from this new version of Cousins.

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9. Buffalo Bills: 5-1 (Last Week: 8)
Won 31-21 vs. Miami
For a while there, it looked like Miami would finally earn its first win of the year with a stunning upset of Buffalo. The Dolphins got out to an early lead and nearly managed an improbable comeback. Josh Allen and the offense got off to a pretty poor start, but tossed two second-half touchdowns to pull out the win. The Bills desperately need an infusion of talent at receiver and it is time to explore the trade market to find one. This team is trending toward the postseason and it’s time to start preparing for that.

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10. Los Angeles Rams: 4-3 (Last Week: 12)
Won 37-10 at Atlanta
I had a feeling all the Rams needed was a get-right game and they had exactly that against a paltry Falcons defense. Jared Goff looked a lot more like he did last year en route to a Super Bowl appearance. Aaron Donald and the defense dominated, keeping Atlanta out of the end zone for the first three quarters. However, this running game is still nowhere to be found. Todd Gurley, Darrell Henderson and John Kelly managed 2.5 yards per carry against an unimpressive Falcons defense. Los Angeles does play the worst run defense in the NFL next week in Cincinnati, but that won’t solve everything.

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11. Dallas Cowboys: 4-3 (Last Week: 15)
Won 37-10 vs. Philadelphia
Talk about a bounce back. Dallas beat the doors of Philadelphia to take the top spot in the NFC East. Ezekiel Elliott featured heavily, registering 147 yards of total offense on his own. The defense made a number of big plays, forcing three Eagles turnovers and giving Dak Prescott a level of comfort throughout the game. It certainly looks like that loss to the Jets was just a fluke and this team should be ready to defend its division title. There is still certainly room for improvement, but the Cowboys got back on track.

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12. Indianapolis Colts: 4-2 (Last Week: 17)
Won 30-23 vs. Houston
Two months ago, I would have laughed at the idea the Colts could be leading the division after seven weeks of action. Here we are though with Indianapolis knocking off Houston to take sole ownership of first place in the AFC South. Jacoby Brissett continues to be clinical, executing without a whole lot of proven talent around him other than T.Y. Hilton. Indy’s success in the red zone has been particularly impressive so far. The Colts went four for four scoring touchdowns on Sunday. Punching the ball in when it gets close to the goal line has Indy eyeing the postseason once again.

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13. Houston Texans: 4-3 (Last Week: 7)
Lost 30-23 at Indianapolis
Some of this can be blamed on suspect officiating, but this loss was a missed opportunity for the Texans. Turnovers plagued Houston again and this time the offense could not score enough to overcome them. Jacoby Brissett also picked apart the secondary to the tune of 326 yards and four touchdowns. A late-game safety didn’t help matters either. Houston already acted to improve the back end of the defense, trading for former first round pick Gareon Conley from Oakland. With corner Phillip Gaines out for the season, Conley should help lessen the blow. However, Houston is running dangerously low on draft capital and excuses for why it hasn’t taken control of this division.

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14. Carolina Panthers: 4-2 (Last Week: 16)
Bye Week
Carolina is one of the most interesting teams in the NFL nearing the midway point. The Panthers have won four straight with a backup quarterback and now have a legitimate quarterback controversy. Cam Newton is nearing a return, but Kyle Allen is playing just fine. He will start next week against the 49ers, but after that, things might get tricky. I suggested on Monday Carolina should trade Newton to Tennessee, but maybe it is worth giving the former MVP a chance to compete at full health. It wasn’t that long ago he led the Panthers to a Super Bowl after all. Like I said, this is one of the most fascinating conundrums in the league.

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15. Detroit Lions: 2-3-1 (Last Week: 11)
Lost 42-30 vs. Minnesota
Detroit might have felt slighted by their controversial loss in Green Bay last week, but it was soundly beaten by Minnesota. Kirk Cousins carved up the secondary for 337 yards and four touchdowns, wasting another strong performance from his Lions counterpart. Matthew Stafford had four touchdown passes of his own, all to Marvin Jones. Jones joined Jerry Rice and Sterling Sharpe as the only players in NFL history with four receiving scores in one game. All of that was for naught though as the Lions fall below .500. With Kerryon Johnson out for some time with a knee injury, Detroit might have to lean even more on Stafford.

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16. Philadelphia Eagles: 3-4 (Last Week: 13)
Lost 37-10 at Dallas
Howie Roseman is going to be making a lot of phone calls this week looking to trade for a corner. Philly looked helpless trying to slow down Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. Carson Wentz looked pedestrian once again despite some better play from the running game. Costly fumbles by Wentz and Dallas Goedert crushed the Eagles momentum and put the defense in way too many tough situations. At its best, Philadelphia is taking down the Packers. At its worst, the Eagles are losing to the Falcons and getting blown out by the Cowboys. Finding some consistency is going to be key the rest of the way.

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17. Chicago Bears: 3-3 (Last Week 14)
Lost 36-25 vs. New Orleans
The Bears are in trouble. Mitchell Trubisky is missing open receivers and throwing into coverage. They cannot establish the run at all. Even this incredible defense cannot find ways to compensate for that. Matt Nagy has to find a way to get Trubisky back in rhythm and take some pressure off him. Starting the game by surrendering a safety doesn’t help that cause. This is a really good Saints team, but given the number of injuries New Orleans is dealing with at key positions, it was a disappointing loss.

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18. Jacksonville Jaguars: 3-4 (Last Week: 20)
Won 27-17 at Cincinnati
Cincinnati provided a bit of scare, but Jacksonville survived its first game in the post-Jalen-Ramsey era. Gardner Minshew was not super sharp as he struggled to complete passes against that Bengals secondary, but he made some plays with his legs and handed the ball off to Leonard Fournette well. I joke a little bit about handing the ball off to Fournette, but it happened 29 times. He has already eclipsed his carry total from last year and seems to be fulfilling the potential the Jaguars saw when they drafted him. A strong running game and a talented defense is a combination that can win a lot of games in this league.

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19. Pittsburgh Steelers: 2-4 (Last Week: 19)
Bye Week
No team in the NFL needed a bye week more than the Steelers. With Mason Rudolph making his way back from a brutal concussion, James Conner working through some nagging injuries and a banged up defense, Pittsburgh just needed some time to get healthy. The defense has been rounding into form in recent weeks since adding Minkah Fitzpatrick. It is still a long shot the Steelers will make a playoff run with a backup quarterback and an otherwise inexperienced roster, but they will get a chance to ease back into things with a visit from the Dolphins.

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20. Tennessee Titans: 3-4 (Last Week: 24)
Won 23-20 vs. Los Angeles
It really wasn’t a sure thing until the very end, but Tennessee picked up a huge win to keep their hopes of challenging in the AFC South alive. The defense came up with a massive turnover on the final drive to preserve a slim victory. Ryan Tannehill was good not great with 312 yards through the air, two touchdowns and an interception. He played at a much higher level than what we had seen from Marcus Mariota in recent weeks, but that’s not saying a whole lot. Potentially lost in the shuffle, 2019 first round pick Jeffrey Simmons made his season debut and did not disappoint. He finished with a pair of tackles for loss and a sack. This team is going to be tricky to beat if it can take care of the football.

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21. Oakland Raiders: 3-3 (Last Week: 18)
Lost 42-24 at Green Bay
That was incredibly rough. Oakland was on the wrong end of Aaron Rodgers’ resurgence as one of the great NFL quarterbacks. It was a day to forget for the secondary, which resulted in Gareon Conley being traded to Houston. Some of this loss can be pinned on unfortunate errors, namely Derek Carr fumbling the ball into the end zone for a touch back. That score would have put the Raiders up 17-14. Instead, the Packers drove downfield and made it 21-10 at half. That 14-point swing came at a crucial point in the game and Oakland never recovered. Being .500 is not a terrible thing for the Raiders, but the defense definitely needs to find some quick solutions.

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22. Cleveland Browns: 2-4 (Last Week: 22)
Bye Week
This week off came at a very good time for the Browns, who needed some time off to solve their offensive issues. Part of it stems from a porous offensive line, which I think they should fix in the trade market. However, Cleveland only has three really tough games left on the schedule. The Patriots are up next, but then the Browns face the Broncos, Bills, Steelers, Dolphins, Steelers again, Bengals, Cardinals, Ravens and Bengals again. It is definitely not out of the question for Cleveland to win seven of those ten games and sneak into the playoffs at 9-7. Stranger things have happened in the NFL.

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23. Arizona Cardinals: 3-3-1 (Last Week: 27)
Won 27-21 at New York
It might be against a weak schedule, the Cardinals have beaten the Giants, Bengals and Falcons, but this is one of the surprise stories of the year. Chase Edmonds powered this Arizona offense in David Johnson’s absence. He posted 126 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Arizona’s defense put together another solid showing in Patrick Peterson’s return. It’s a little early to start buying stock in this young Cardinals team, but it is clear they have greatly improved from a year ago.

Denver_Broncos

24. Denver Broncos: 2-5 (Last Week: 21)
Lost 30-6 vs. Kansas City
If I told you the Broncos knocked Patrick Mahomes out of the game, you might’ve thought they kept it close, or maybe even won. Instead, Denver’s offense flopped against one of the worst defenses in the league. The offensive line looked awful, surrendering nine sacks. It was a long shot for the Broncos to turn the season around, but this loss set them back a ways. Real concerns exists at pretty much every level of this franchise. The year is not over, but there is a steep uphill climb.

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25. Los Angeles Chargers: 2-5 (Last Week: 23)
Lost 23-20 at Tennessee
In case you hadn’t heard, Melvin Gordon is back at running back for the Chargers. That hasn’t been a good thing so far. Gordon rushed 16 times for 32 yards in Tennessee. Two yards per carry is not what you are looking for with your season quickly slipping away. Gordon also put the ball on the ground twice Sunday and the latter fumble cost his team the game. This loss does not all fall on Gordon, the defense could not shut down Ryan Tannehill making his first start as a Titan after all, but given the offseason Gordon had, he deserves a lot of criticism.

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26. New York Giants: 2-5 (Last Week: 25)
Lost 27-21 vs. Arizona
Remember when Daniel Jones was the greatest thing since sliced bread? That comeback win against the Buccaneers was pretty spectacular, but since then, Jones has been terrible. In his past four games, Jones has thrown for less than 200 yards per contest while tossing four touchdowns compared to seven interceptions. He is a rookie quarterback after all. His offensive line did not help him a ton against Arizona, allowing eight sacks. That being said, Jones needs to work on getting rid of the football faster. He looked like he was playing in slow motion at times Sunday. New York feels very far from competing with the NFL’s elite.

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27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2-4 (Last Week: 26)
Bye Week
Tampa got a week off to try to solve it’s offensive woes. The last time we saw this team take the field, Jameis Winston was tossing five picks in London. There is one thing the Bucs do really well that is being overlooked. Tampa has allowed the fewest rushing yards per game so far this year. What might be more impressive is the fact the defense is allowing just 2.9 yards per carry on the season. The closest team to them is the Rams at 3.4. That means that teams trying to run the ball average a half-yard worse per carry than the next best run defense in the league. Tampa is elite at something, but now it is time to make that count.

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28. New York Jets: 1-5 (Last Week: 28)
Lost 33-0 vs. New England
Oh, so that’s where the Jets went. Sam Darnold had one of the worst games by a quarterback in NFL history and the offense looked anemic once again. Obviously, it was against an otherworldly defense, but that was pathetic. The Jets offensive line cannot pass block and Darnold struggled to identify where the blitz was coming from. There was very little help from the running game as well. Overpaid corner Tremaine Johnson looks like he didn’t care at all either, getting beat all over the field. This team needs to find an identity on both sides of the ball.

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29. Atlanta Falcons: 1-6 (Last Week: 29)
Lost 37-10 vs. Los Angeles
The Falcons’ season is officially out of control. In addition to getting blown out on Sunday, Devonta Freeman was ejected for punching Aaron Donald in the facemask and Matt Ryan left with an ankle injury. Needless to say, Sunday was rough. If there is one bright side, the run defense looked pretty good, holding the Rams to just 2.5 yards per carry. Unfortunately, that is exactly the same average the Falcons mustered with their ground attack. Dan Quinn has a lot of soul searching to do with this group. If Matt Ryan misses time, this already struggling team will only get worse.

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30. Washington: 1-6 (Last Week: 30)
Lost 9-0 vs. San Francisco
Some fans will look at the scoreline and think Washington played a competitive game. While it was only a nine-point loss, Washington managed 154 yards of total offense. Some of that was due to the horrible weather in D.C., but a lot of it was due to poor play calling and blocking. Adrian Peterson did his best to carry this team through the mud, but there were just too many mistakes. There is very little to make substantive assessments of given the playing conditions. Bottom line is FedEx field is awful.

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31. Cincinnati Bengals: 0-7 (Last Week: 31)
Lost 27-17 vs. Jacksonville
Cincinnati had some moments to be happy with in this game, taking a lead into the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, unlike many of their previous games, where they turned it on in the fourth quarter, the Bengals fell apart in the fourth. The defense played decently well, holding Gardner Minshew under a 50 percent completion percentage. Jacksonville did run all over Cincy though. Leonard Fournette led the way as the Jags racked up 216 yards on the ground. The season is over for the Bengals and it is time to move on from a couple of veterans to focus on the future.

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32. Miami Dolphins: 0-6 (Last Week: 32)
Lost 31-21 at Buffalo
It finally seems like the Dolphins are turning the corner. Miami led for a good portion of this game and actually made a late comeback bid. That comeback ended after Buffalo returned an onside kick for a touchdown. This was a more complete showing from the Dolphins. The results haven’t changed yet, but the process is improving. This season is long over for Miami, but it is still valuable for Brian Flores to sort out who has a role to play going forward and who the team can move on from this offseason.

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2019 NFL Power Rankings: Week 7

It finally feels like the NFL contenders are beginning to separate themselves. It was a week that saw both undefeated teams emerge with comfortable victories and maybe of the fringe contenders drop a game to cast doubt on their merits of being included in that tier. Six weeks into the NFL season, I think we are starting to see which teams look built for the long haul and which teams might still be a few pieces away from contending. Lombardi trophies are not won in October, but I would say the number of teams I believe have a shot at winning the Super Bowl is down to maybe 12.

We are also headed into a crucial Week 7. The results of this upcoming slate of games will likely greatly impact the NFL landscape for the rest of the year. With the trade deadline looming, it will be time for those middling contenders to decide to stand pat, or make a move to bolster their championship chances. Despite the early successes of the Patriots and 49ers, both have clear needs that could be addressed in the trade market. While a loss for either of those teams would not change course, losses by say the Titans or Broncos or Chargers could have those teams much more willing to trade away a player to a contender. Bottom line is, this week is going to be make or break for a lot of NFL teams’ seasons. There is a massive difference between being 3-4 and 2-5 as you approach the halfway point. Now enough of my trade ramblings for now (I will be doing an article on this later in the week), time for some power rankings.

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1. New England Patriots: 6-0 (Last Week: 1)
Won 35-14 vs. New York
Who says Tom Brady can’t get it done with his legs? Brady scored a pair of rushing touchdowns as the defense continued to play lights out in a commanding win. There is no question there are still areas for growth on this roster as the receiving core remains banged up. Tight end also feels like a major position of need. However, this defense might honestly be good enough that with no additions, New England could still win the Super Bowl.

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2. New Orleans Saints: 5-1 (Last Week: 2)
Won 13-6 at Jacksonville
Who dat gonna score on this defense? New Orleans looked sharp again on that side of the ball, prompting Sean Payton to say he didn’t think Jacksonville would have reached the end zone if they had played eight quarters of football. It was another grind it out type of win for the Saints, but there are no style points in the NFL. The offense has another tough task ahead of it though with a trip to Chicago on the horizon, but if the defense plays at this level, all Teddy Bridgewater might have to do to win is avoid turning the ball over.

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3. San Francisco 49ers: 5-0 (Last Week: 6)
Won 20-7 at Los Angeles
No more sleeping on this group. San Francisco’s defense is the real deal. Any group that is capable of shutting down the Rams offense demands respect. Jared Goff looked like an overmatched quarterback trying to figure out where the pressure was coming from next. Now, the offense still seems like a work in progress. Jimmy Garappolo threw a truly head-scratching interception in the end zone. On top of that, despite 41 attempts on the ground, the 49ers only managed 99 yards rushing. This is a brand of football the Niners can certainly win with, but it is going to require a bit more offensive production to be considered a true Super Bowl favorite.

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4. Seattle Seahawks: 5-1 (Last Week: 5)
Won 32-28 at Cleveland
Seattle definitely got some help from a hapless group of Cleveland receivers not named Odell Beckham Jr., but this was another quality trip for Russell Wilson and company. The Seahawks relied on their bruising identity by running the ball 38 times. This game was a lot closer than Pete Carroll would have liked it to be, but picking up a road win is hardly something to complain about. Seattle needs a bit more production from the defensive line, which failed to record a sack. That is going to be necessary if a division title is the goal at the end of the year.

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5. Green Bay Packers: 5-1 (Last Week: 4)
Won 23-22 vs. Detroit
That was about as tight as it gets. Green Bay never led in this game. At least not while there was any time remaining on the clock. Mason Crosby’s game-winning field goal as time expired gave the Packers their first lead of the night. It was a very solid showing from a defense that managed three sacks and held Detroit to just 2.8 yards per rush. It was not a convincing outing in any sense of the word, but a win is a win. Green Bay keeps pace with the rest of the NFC in the win column and maintains that buffer in the division. Now it just has to pray for Davante Adams to return from injury to get back on track offensively.

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6. Kansas City Chiefs: 4-2 (Last Week: 3)
Lost 31-24 vs. Houston
This is starting to become a real issue for the Chiefs. One week after being stunned by the Colts at home, the defense had no answer for the Texans and dropped another one at Arrowhead. As prolific as the offense might be, it has to be on the field in order to score. It was on the sideline for the vast majority of this game, with just 20 minutes time of possession. It was the same blueprint from Indy used again and Kansas City had no way to stop it. If this team is serious about making a deep postseason run, it is going to need to make at least one move at the deadline to bolster this struggling defense.

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7. Houston Texans: 4-2 (Last Week: 12)
Won 31-24 at Kansas City
Suddenly, the Texans offensive line can pass protect and run block. Houston didn’t allow a sack for the second straight week and produced an impressive 4.7 yards per attempt average. The defense did a good job of pressuring Patrick Mahomes consistently. If Deshaun Watson can avoid interceptions, he had two Sunday, this team is going to be very hard to beat. Give the Colts credit for designing the gameplan, but the Texans still had to execute it. Holding the ball for 40 minutes is definitely the best way to limit the impact of that high-powered Chiefs offense.

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8. Buffalo Bills: 4-1 (Last Week: 10)
Bye Week
Buffalo had a week off to rest up and feel pretty good about its standing in the AFC. Technically, just one team in the conference has a better record than the Bills, and that would be the only team to beat the them this season. Buffalo is continuing to develop depth across the offense. Devin Singletary is nearing a return from injury and Josh Allen is continuing to improve as a passer. The Bills will not need to score many points to win games given the level of play of its defense. Thankfully, points shouldn’t be hard to come by with the Dolphins coming up next.

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9. Minnesota Vikings: 4-2 (Last Week: 17)
Won 38-20 vs. Philadelphia
This seems like a massive jump for the Vikings, but it was exactly the type of showing Kirk Cousins needed to have. Yes, I understand it was against a really bad secondary, but when you look around the NFL, are there a ton of other teams you feel better about than Minnesota right now? The losses have been rather close, even if they were disheartening, and the Vikings have taken care of all the other teams on the schedule in convincing fashion. All of that will be worthless though if the Vikings offense goes missing again next week against the Lions. A decisive win in Detroit would go a long way to silencing the doubters.

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10. Baltimore Ravens: 4-2 (Last Week: 13)
Won 23-17 vs. Cincinnati
Baltimore seems capable of grinding out victories and finding new offensive players to step up pretty much every week. Lamar Jackson completed passes to nine different players. The second-year signal caller also ran for an incredible 152 yards. Give some credit to this defense as well. It bottled up Joe Mixon, holding him to just 10 yards rushing on eight carries. A late drive from Andy Dalton made this look a bit closer than it really was, but the Ravens were in control for most of this one. This group still has a lot of room for improvement, but has to feel good about a two-game lead in the AFC North.

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11. Detroit Lions: 2-2-1 (Last Week: 11)
Lost 23-22 at Green Bay
If you ask me, Detroit outplayed Green Bay on Monday night at Lambeau. Close only counts in horseshoes, but there is still a lot of reason for optimism. While it is easy to point at poor officiating as the reason for this unfortunate result from the Lions perspective, a lot of the blame should still fall on the offense. Matt Stafford and company could easily have built a 17 or even 21-point lead in the first half, but settled for field goals way too often. While Matt Prater is great, you aren’t going to beat the Packers by scoring just one touchdown. This goes to show Detroit is capable of hanging with anyone in the division, but there is still lot of room for improvement.

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12. Los Angeles Rams: 3-3 (Last Week: 7)
Lost 20-7 vs. San Francisco
Jared Goff is wanted for robbery in Los Angeles after signing a massive $134 million deal a few months back. After managing just 78 passing yards against the 49ers, there is real cause for concern here. There is no question the San Francisco defense is legitimate, but this was the third straight week the offense struggled and consequently lost. It is too early to really panic about a playoff run, which I know I also said last week. The next three games on LA’s schedule are against Atlanta, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. No, the real concern here is regarding this team’s ability to compete with the top tier teams in the conference, something it was expected to do well coming off a Super Bowl appearance.

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13. Philadelphia Eagles: 3-3 (Last Week: 9)
Lost 38-20 at Minnesota
That was about as ugly as it gets from this secondary. Philly needs help at corner, and it showed up again and again … and again in Minnesota. After now-former linebacker Zach Brown called out Kirk Cousins, the Vikings quarterback tossed four touchdowns and threw for 333 yards. The Eagles also needed more from a pass rush that managed just one sack and really failed to disrupt the opposing offense much. The defense did contain Dalvin Cook, but that was all for naught as Alexander Mattison proved a steady option in the run game. Philly does have the benefit of being tied for the lead in the NFC East, but these problems that cropped up Sunday show no signs of going away any time soon.

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14. Chicago Bears: 3-2 (Last Week 14)
Bye Week
While getting healthy on the bye week is important, so is finding a way to recalibrate the offense. Matt Nagy had a very similar group to this one humming last year, but consistency is a tough thing to find in the NFL these days. Mitchell Trubisky could be back in time for Chicago’s upcoming game against the Saints, but he will need to play at a much higher level to score against a New Orleans defense that is allowing 14 points per game in its past three contests. The Bears boast a talented defense of their own, but they need to find a way to score some points in order to make the most of it.

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15. Dallas Cowboys: 3-3 (Last Week: 8)
Lost 24-22 at New York
Many predicted it would take a catastrophe for the Cowboys to lose to the Jets. I will leave it up to you what exactly the catastrophe was in Dallas’ loss, but it clearly overlooked its opponent. With an important divisional battle against the Eagles coming up, that is somewhat understandable, but finding a way to go down 21-6 at halftime to the Jets is not. Yes, Sam Darnold was back, but this was the same offensive line that gave up 10 sacks to Philly a week before. Banged up and facing some real adversity, a loss to the Eagles to cede the division lead midway through the season would see fans call for Jason Garrett to be fired, or just intensify the already existing pleas for action.

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16. Carolina Panthers: 4-2 (Last Week: 16)
Won 37-26 at Tampa Bay (London)
Suddenly the Panthers seem to be in a great spot to earn a wild card berth. Keep in mind this team did start 6-2 last year, only to finish 7-9. Christian McCaffrey ran the ball 22 times for 31 yards, not exactly setting the world on fire like he had the previous few weeks. Still, he managed two touchdowns in a winning effort. Kyle Allen seems to be getting more comfortable as the offense finds the best way to use Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore. Carolina’s defense came up with an outrageous six turnovers in London as well. Cam Newton is rumored to be back following the upcoming bye week, but there is some question as to whether or not they should take the offense away from Allen, who has played very well in relief.

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17. Indianapolis Colts: 3-2 (Last Week: 15)
Bye Week
Beating the Chiefs is still really impressive, but it looks a lot less impressive after the Texans did it the very next week. Still Indy had a chance to get healthy on a bye week. Injuries to T.Y. Hilton, Darius Leonard and Malik Hooker have made it really difficult for this team to play at its full potential. Assuming the Colts get everyone back on the field, they have a schedule stacked with winable games ahead of them. That starts with a visit from the Texans this week, a potential statement game for Indy.

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18. Oakland Raiders: 3-2 (Last Week: 18)
Bye Week
Oakland got to rest up after a trip to London and had to love what it saw. Kansas City dropped its second in a row while Los Angeles failed to beat a banged up Pittsburgh team at home. Suddenly, the Raiders sit just half a game back of the Chiefs for the AFC West lead. While there have been flashes of excellence, we will learn a lot about the Raiders over the next three weeks. Road games in Green Bay and Houston before returning home to face Detroit will likely make or break the season. If Oakland can find a way to win two of those three, there will be a lot of playoff buzz.

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19. Pittsburgh Steelers: 2-4 (Last Week: 23)
Won 24-17 at Los Angeles
Don’t look now, but this Steelers defense is rounding into form. While many will choose to focus on the solid ground game, it was really the defense that made the difference in LA. Pittsburgh intercepted two passes and rookie Devin Bush returned a fumble for a touchdown. There is still a bit of a ways to go, but winning a game with your third-string quarterback is always impressive. With a bye week to get healthy, the Steelers then face the Dolphins. Looking at the rest of the schedule, don’t be surprised if they make things interesting in the AFC North before all is said and done.

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20. Jacksonville Jaguars: 2-4 (Last Week: 21)
Lost 13-6 vs. New Orleans
That Minshew magic Jacksonville rode to open the year is beginning to fade a bit. The Jags mustered just 226 yards of total offense in this one and failed to reach the end zone. Now, New Orleans has arguably the best defense in the NFC, although San Francisco might take issue with that. The Jaguars defense had about as strong of a showing as you could ask for, but it wasn’t enough. This was essentially a reversal of last week’s performance, where the offense showed up, but the defense faltered. Bottom line is this team needs to find a way to play a complete game if it wants to find a way to stay within reach of the Texans.

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21. Denver Broncos: 2-4 (Last Week: 26)
Won 16-0 vs. Tennessee
After a really tough start, Denver has righted the ship and now looks a bit more like the team we expected, at least defensively. The offense still has a lot of work to do. The tandem of Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman continues to be the bright spot. Joe Flacco actually played alright, as the interception he threw was 100 percent Noah Fant’s fault. Vic Fangio finally has the defense playing the way he wants them to, if the offense can begin to catch up, maybe the Broncos could turn into a Cinderella story.

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22. Cleveland Browns: 2-4 (Last Week: 19)
Lost 32-28 vs. Seattle
This offense is broken. It has been a rotating circuit of who to blame in Cleveland as the losses have piled up. Last week, it was the offensive line and Baker Mayfield. This week, the blame lies almost solely with the receivers. Drops led to turnovers and a lack of rhythm offensively. There is a high ceiling for this group, as we saw in a big win over the Ravens. However, the floor is incredibly low as well. Now two games back in the AFC North heading into a bye week, Freddy Kitchens has to find a way to reset this offense before a matchup with the Patriots.

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23. Los Angeles Chargers: 2-4 (Last Week: 20)
Lost 24-17 vs. Steelers
Turns out the Chargers were not ready for a title run this year after all. After a great 2018 season, Los Angeles is floundering. Somehow, it went down 21-0 very quickly to Delvin Hodges making his first NFL start. Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler could not run the ball against the Pittsburgh defensive front, averaging 2.4 yards per carry between them. Injuries have certainly plagued this group, but the issues for the Chargers go well beyond that. Anthony Lynn gets to face another struggling team in the Titans next week, with hopes this team can stop the bleeding. On the bright side, welcome back Hunter Henry!

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24. Tennessee Titans: 2-4 (Last Week: 22)
Lost 16-0 at Denver
Tennessee finally pulled the plug on the Marcus Mariota era. After years of inconsistent production, the former Oregon quarterback found himself on the bench halfway through Sunday’s loss to Denver. He threw a pair of interceptions and completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes. Despite the game-ending interception, Ryan Tannehill looked a lot better in Mariota’s place. Still the Titans were shutout and seem to lack direction on the offensive side of the ball. This team’s starting quarterback for 2020 is likely not on the current roster.

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25. New York Giants: 2-4 (Last Week: 24)
Lost 35-14 at New England
Without Saquon Barkley or Wayne Gallman, a lot was asked of Daniel Jones. That didn’t go very well for the Giants facing the best defense in the NFL. Jones struggled, tossing three interceptions and mustering just 161 yards. He got very little help from the run game or the defense. Keep in mind, New York was also missing Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram as well. In better news, Golden Tate seems to be integrating himself well. Once healthy, we should start to see a more competitive Giants team the rest of the way.

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26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2-4 (Last Week: 25)
Lost 37-26 vs. Carolina (London)
Tampa Bay’s win over the Rams is looking worse by the week and their own play isn’t helping things either. Jameis Winston had six turnovers in this game. Yes, six. He threw five interceptions and fumbled it once as well. Any time Winston is asked to throw the ball 54 times in the game, things probably aren’t going to go well for the Buccaneers. The ground game completely disappeared once again. On the bright side, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans are a great receiving pair. When the offensive line gives up seven sacks though, their impact doesn’t really matter.

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27. Arizona Cardinals: 2-3-1 (Last Week: 28)
Won 34-33 vs. Atlanta
It only takes two to start a win steak and that’s exactly what the Cardinals have done. Kyler Murray balled out with 340 yards passing and three touchdowns. The defense played really well through three quarters, but struggled down the stretch again. This secondary needs help in the worst way possible. Both Austin Hooper and Julio Jones went over 100 yards receiving and Matt Ryan had another huge day. In the end, it was another fourth quarter full of questionable play, but Arizona will take the win.

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28. New York Jets: 1-4 (Last Week: 31)
Won 24-22 vs. Dallas
Never in a million years would I have thought the Jets would win this game. I had this pegged as a 31-10 win for the Cowboys, no questions asked. Turns out Sam Darnold makes a very big difference, or at least he is a lot better than Luke Falk and Trevor Seimien. Entering the game, New York was averaging 113.5 yards per game through the air. Darnold had 338. Let’s be clear, this does not mean everything is fixed. The offense slowed down significantly in the second half. Dallas was fairly banged up along the offensive line as well. Another tough matchup awaits with the Patriots visiting on Monday night.

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29. Atlanta Falcons: 1-5 (Last Week: 27)
Lost 34-33 at Arizona
Oh what could have been. Matt Bryant missed an extra point that would have tied the game at 34. The Cardinals were able to run out the clock on the Falcons’ incredible comeback bid. Atlanta trailed 27-10 in the early stages of the third quarter after all. Instead, this leaves Atlanta with a bitter taste in its mouth. Matt Ryan was masterful again, but it means nothing when the defense fails to show up. It was another defensive meltdown. Atlanta had no answer for Kyler Murray or David Johnson. Rumor has it Dan Quinn is safe, but that won’t be true much longer if the defense keeps it up.

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30. Washington: 1-5 (Last Week: 30)
Won 17-16 at Miami
Bill Callahan is undefeated as the head coach in Washington! He might have done it in the least convincing way possible, as Miami came just a failed two-point conversion away from winning this game. Overall, Washington needs more out of the quarterback position, whoever is under center. There were some positives, as the defense came up with five sacks and two interceptions. It did completely wilt in the fourth quarter facing Ryan Fitzpatrick, but that can be a problem for another day. This win is significant insofar this group will not finish the season winless, but at 1-5 with holes all over the roster, the front office should be focused on draft prep and trading Trent Williams.

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31. Cincinnati Bengals: 0-6 (Last Week: 29)
Lost 23-17 at Baltimore
Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow. These are all players the Bengals could draft next year in the top five, which is undoubtedly where this team is headed. Cincinnati opened the game with a bang, returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown. After that, it was a whole lot of disappointing offensive play with a side of inability to stop Lamar Jackson. It was a spirited comeback attempt, but this offensive line is a mess right now. Joe Mixon managed 1.3 yards per carry on 10 attempts. While the Bengals will likely have a new quarterback by next year, they will also need a new group to protect him.

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32. Miami Dolphins: 0-5 (Last Week: 32)
Lost 17-16 vs. Washington
I would say this was the most Dolphins loss ever, but that would imply they had come close before in 2019. Miami managed to score, but went for the win with a two-point conversion attempt. The result was a dropped screen pass as the Dolphins continue to search for their first win. Josh Rosen had a day to forget and Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced him midway through the contest. Coach Brian Flores has already announced Rosen as the starter once again next week. This was the best the Fins did at disguising their tanking this season, so there is something positive to point to in the loss.

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2019 NFL Power Rankings: Week 6

And then there were two. With the Chiefs falling on Sunday night, only the Patriots and 49ers remain undefeated in the 2019 season. The ’72 Dolphins can cross another team off the countdown to open the champagne. After five weeks of action, we have seen tons of unexpected results and parity certainly reigns supreme. There is just about no such thing as a sure thing anymore, other than maybe just betting against the Jets and Dolphins.

The top five gets a reorganization again following Kansas City’s loss and an impressive win from New Orleans. While the bottom of the pecking order is pretty clear, even if there is some small movement, it feels like the middle of the pack is shrinking slightly, due to Atlanta’s struggles and Pittsburgh’s quarterback carousel. The middle part of these rankings feels just as murky now as they did Week 1. In fact, I think I probably feel less confident about my ranking of teams 9-22 than I did before the year started. Just goes to show how unpredictable this season has been. We will start with the only form of stability this league has to cling to, and let the madness unravel from there.

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1. New England Patriots: 5-0 (Last Week: 1)
It was a slow start from New England as they emerge from Week 5 as the lone undefeated team in the AFC. No one is playing better than New England right now, but this schedule has been as soft as it gets. Wins over Pittsburgh, Miami, New York, Buffalo and Washington came in convincing fashion, but no one other than the Bills have even come close to testing the Patriots. And they won’t for a few more weeks. With games against the Giants and Jets coming up, we should expect the Patriots to be 7-0 heading into a matchup with the Browns.

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2. New Orleans Saints: 4-1 (Last Week: 3)
Touchdown Teddy torched the Buccaneers defense to the tune of four touchdowns and 314 yards. Bridgewater followed a pretty simple gameplan: throw the ball to Mike Thomas. Thomas finished with an incredible 11 catches for 182 yards and a pair of touchdown receptions. The defense gave up a meaningless touchdown to make the scoreline look close at the very end of the game. Against a Bucs team that dropped 55 on the Rams last week, the Saints sacked Jameis Winston six times and shutout Mike Evans. This team is rounding into form, and all of this is happening without Drew Brees on the field yet.

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3. Kansas City Chiefs: 4-1 (Last Week: 2)
Talk about a dud. After 25 straight games with 25 of more points scored, Kansas City managed just 13 on Sunday night at home against Indianapolis. Credit to the Colts defense for getting after Patrick Mahomes, but this was a troubling performance from the reigning MVP. He was banged up and he missed on a number of passes downfield. Travis Kelce dropped a couple of catchable balls as well. The defense played well enough for the Chiefs to win too. It’s not time to panic about this team yet, but Andy Reid needs to get this team back on track fast.

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4. Green Bay Packers: 4-1 (Last Week: 5)
Green Bay loves traveling to Dallas and nobody loved it more than Aaron. Aaron Jones that is. The Packers running back overpowered the Cowboys defense for 182 yards from scrimmage and four rushing touchdowns. With Davante Adams out, this was the type of performance needed to win. The Green Bay defense earned a ton of extra possessions as well, intercepting Dak Prescott three times. Now it wasn’t a perfect performance as Dallas climbed back into things and Amari Cooper ran wild for 226 yards through the air. This team is still figuring things out, but winning in the process.

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5. Seattle Seahawks: 4-1 (Last Week: 15)
This was exactly the type of performance I was waiting to see from Seattle. To this point, the Seahawks had squeaked past the Bengals and Steelers, lost badly at home to the Saints and handled the Cardinals. Not exactly a convincing slate of results. Even though it was a really tight win, it is still a massive win over a division rival. Russell Wilson turned in an MVP-level performance and the defense bottled up Todd Gurley. The secondary still needs some work, but at 4-1 the Seahawks are in a good spot to make a playoff run.

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6. San Francisco 49ers: 4-0 (Last Week: 8)
So uh, this team might be pretty legit. San Francisco is 4-0 for the first time since 1990. The defense battered Baker Mayfield. Matt Breida got things going early for the offense, but after that it was a ball control offense that racked up 275 yards rushing. San Fran’s schedule hasn’t really been too tough, but this was a dominant showing against a supposedly explosive offense. There are still holes on this team, with a need for corner help and a developing receiving core. This is going to be a very interesting team to watch at the trade deadline.

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7. Los Angeles Rams: 3-2 (Last Week: 4)
Back-to-back losses should drop the Rams a ton, but the rest of the NFL is a mess right now, so Los Angeles lands here instead. This secondary needs a shot in the arm after allowing eight touchdown passes in the past two games. Sean McVay has to reestablish the run game to take some pressure off Jared Goff. Given all the major areas of concern, a one-point loss on the road in October is not the end of the world. If the Rams win their next four games against the 49ers, Falcons, Steelers and Bengals to move to 7-2, we will barely remember these two games.

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8. Dallas Cowboys: 3-2 (Last Week: 6)
Similar to the Rams, the Cowboys drop two in a row, but to good competition in both games. There is no question Dak Prescott needs to take care of the ball, but this was concerning for a lot of other reasons. The defense had no answer for Aaron Jones, despite the fact Green Bay was missing its best receiver in Davante Adams. No one else on that team should stop you from stacking the box to shut down the run. That is unacceptable. The Cowboys get the week off next week because they play the Jets, but after that is a trip to Philadelphia and this team will need to be playing better by then.

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9. Philadelphia Eagles: 3-2 (Last Week: 9)
Sorry Philly fans, beating the Jets does not correlate to a move up the rankings. The Eagles looked very strong in doing so though, hounding Luke Falk and scoring a pair of defensive touchdowns. After a rocky start, Philadelphia is getting healthier and is back in the race for the division. The continuing improvement of Jordan Howard offers some hope that this offense is going to be more balanced. If they can find a way to sure up the secondary, this team will be in business.

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10. Buffalo Bills: 4-1 (Last Week: 12)
It was an ugly win, but the defense showed up once again and dominated. It sacked Marcus Mariota five times and held the Titans to 3.8 yards per carry. Buffalo could have used a little more out of Josh Allen and the offense. After all, you can’t count on the opposing kicker to miss four field goals every week. That being said, the Bills now have the same record as the Chiefs. This defense is playing like the best in the league.

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11. Detroit Lions: 2-1-1 (Last Week: 11)
The Lions got a week off to watch the Bears lose, but now Detroit has to prove its hot start can be sustained. This might be the most competitive division in the NFL this season. With games coming up against the Packers and Vikings, the next two weeks could make or break the season. The secondary is going to need to find a way to step up, after allowing the third most pass yards per contest through their first four games. The time is now for Detroit to make a statement and a playoff push.

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12. Houston Texans: 3-2 (Last Week: 14)
It’s hard to find any faults in the offensive performance after putting up 53 in a big win. Deshaun Watson put together an otherworldly statline with 426 passing yards and five touchdowns while completing 28 of 33 throws. Will Fuller played the game of his life as well, going over 200 yards receiving with three touchdowns. The defense did allow 15 points late in the game, but Houston dominated this contest from start to finish. Finally the offensive line kept Watson clean, and we saw how good he can be when he has time.

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13. Baltimore Ravens: 3-2 (Last Week: 10)
Baltimore was lucky to escape with a win. Make no mistake about it, this was not a good showing from the Ravens. Even after Mason Rudolph left the game with a concussion, the defense needed a big play from Marlon Humphrey to set up a game-winning field goal in overtime. The bright side of this is now the Ravens are back in sole possession of first place in the division. Lamar Jackson struggled mightily, throwing three interceptions and just 161 yard. He also took five sacks in the game as well. Baltimore will need to clean up a lot of mistakes with their next three games against Cincinnati, Seattle and New England.

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14. Chicago Bears: 3-2 (Last Week 7)
London is calling. The Bears will be all too happy to head home and regroup after a wild game across the pond. Chicago trailed 17-0 at halftime, then scored 21 unanswered to open the second half, only to allow the deciding touchdown in the final two minutes. Chase Daniel did the one thing he couldn’t do and that was turn the ball over. The Bears defense also picked a bad week to suddenly have its pass rush go missing, failing to record a sack. Chicago needs to find its identity after another disappointing showing.

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15. Indianapolis Colts: 3-2 (Last Week: 18)
Will the real Indianapolis Colts please stand up? Indy lost Week 1 in overtime to a struggling Chargers team, beat the lowly Titans and Falcons, and then dropped a home game to the Raiders. So logically, they followed that up with a dominant defensive performance against the Chiefs. Give credit to this coaching staff for putting together an incredible defensive gameplan despite missing their best player in Darius Leonard. Malik Hooker was out as well. Thankfully, Justin Houston decided to put on a show versus his former team. It wasn’t a great game from Jacoby Brissett and the offense, so there is still room for improvement, but the Colts are now right back in the thick of the AFC South race.

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16. Carolina Panthers: 3-2 (Last Week: 20)
The Kyle Allen experience continues as he moves to 4-0 in his career as a starter. Allen actually struggled quite a bit, but that didn’t matter because he got a lot of help from MVP candidate Christian McCaffrey. The former Stanford standout had 237 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns in a dominant display. That dismal outing against the Buccaneers feels like a lifetime ago now as the Panthers are just a game back of the Saints in the NFC South. A rematch with those Bucs awaits, this time in London.

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17. Minnesota Vikings: 3-2 (Last Week: 17)
Kirk Cousins took Adam Thielen’s advice and found him early and often all over the field. Thielen and Dalvin Cook ran all over the Giants defense. It was exactly the type of bounce back performance Minnesota needed after laying an egg against Chicago. There is still room for improvement as Cook fumbled at the goal line and the team as a whole committed 12 penalties. It is also a bit disappointing to not see the nearly 500 yards of offense turn into more points. The Vikings can take care of the lower tier, but questions remain about their ability to compete with quality teams.

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18. Oakland Raiders: 3-2 (Last Week: 22)
Oakland looked untouchable in the first half and then collapsed after halftime. The Raiders did eventually pull out the win and prove that Khalil Mack is not crucial to winning football games. In fact, Mack and company failed to register a sack, while Oakland brought down Chase Daniel four times. In the process though, Jon Gruden sent a clear message, running the ball 39 times. Josh Jacobs handled 26 of those carries. Gruden clearly trusts his rookie running back and likes his team’s ability to control the clock. The Raiders had the ball for nearly 35 minutes. That formula takes pressure off Derek Carr and the defense, and can clearly lead to victories.

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19. Cleveland Browns: 2-3 (Last Week: 16)
Oh Cleveland. After an offseason of hype and hope, the Browns crashed back down to Earth. Even after defeating the Ravens last week, Cleveland has not put to bed any of the concerns about its offensive line or it’s ability to show up in big games. Baker Mayfield put up a better QBR than just one player this week and that was Luke Falk. That’s not good company to keep. He completed just eight passes and spent a good chunk of the game picking himself up off the grass. Given all the injuries to the secondary, you would expect the pass defense to struggle. Instead, the run defense fell apart, giving up 275 yards on the ground. Cleveland has a lot of problems to solve before hosting the Seahawks next.

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20. Los Angeles Chargers: 2-3 (Last Week: 13)
The Chargers could be in trouble. Philip Rivers is airing the ball out and completing passes at a high rate, but Los Angeles is not scoring touchdowns. The Chargers are fifth in passing yards per game, but 20th in points per game this season. Desmond King II scored LA’s lone touchdown against Denver on a punt return. It was easily the worst showing of the year so far for the Chargers’ offense, as they committed three turnovers and managed 2.2 yards per carry. It is going to take Melvin Gordon a little time to get up to speed, but this was a full unit meltdown, not just one player.

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21. Jacksonville Jaguars: 2-3 (Last Week: 19)
Gardner Minshew, DJ Chark and Leonard Fournette create quite the offensive trio. If not for three fumbles by Minshew in this game, the Jags would probably be holding a share of the AFC South lead. The usually stout defense got shredded for 285 yards on the ground though. They did make life difficult on Kyle Allen, but had absolutely no answer for Christian McCaffrey. To be fair, not many people have, but when Jacksonville puts up 27 points, that should be enough given the amount of talent on the defensive side of the ball.

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22. Tennessee Titans: 2-3 (Last Week: 21)
This is typical Titans football. The defense plays lights out, but the offense cannot find a way make it count. Derrick Henry carried the load once again as Marcus Mariota failed to do much of anything in the passing game. The offensive line had a rough day in Taylor Lewan’s return from suspension. Tennessee can play at a high level, but when it comes up against a decent defense, things seem to fall apart. Only one game out of the AFC South, there is time to turn things around, but it is starting to seem like the offense will never take that next step.

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23. Pittsburgh Steelers: 1-4 (Last Week: 23)
It is incredible that Pittsburgh lost Mason Rudolph in this game and somehow managed to hang with the Ravens. Over the past few weeks, the Steelers defense has finally found its stride. The offense is still a bit of a work in progress, even beyond the quarterback position. For Pittsburgh, this running game really needs to get on track now facing playing with it’s third-choice (actually fourth-choice, they traded Joshua Dobbs earlier this season) quarterback of the year.

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24. New York Giants: 2-3 (Last Week: 24)
It was a tough week for the Giants defense. Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook had a field day. They allowed an outrageous 490 yards. Wayne Gallman went down with an injury, leaving Jonathan Hillman to handle the backfield duties. Sterling Shepard will miss some time with a concussion as well. Daniel Jones has not been quite as prolific as he was during the second half of his first start. There were always going to be growing pains with a rookie quarterback, but the injuries have not made it any easier.

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25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2-3 (Last Week: 25)
How did the Buccaneers follow up shocking the Rams? They could barely find a way to move the ball against the Saints. A last-minute touchdown made the scoreline look respectable. Tampa could not find a way to protect Jameis Winston, giving up six sacks. Mike Evans went missing in action, failing to even reel in one catch. This team has shown flashes of being able to compete with the cream of the crop. It is tough to win divisional road games, but the Bucs gave themselves little chance of doing so with an uneven performance.

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26. Denver Broncos: 1-4 (Last Week: 27)
Denver probably should be 3-2, but getting one in the win column is huge for a team that has struggled to get going out of the gates. We saw more signs of the Broncos defense of old with two interceptions and stifling run stopping. The offense still has a long way to go. Its 18 points per game rank tied with Buffalo for 27th in the league, only ahead of Chicago, Cincinnati, Washington, New York and Miami. Moving out of that group is going to be just as critical to the defense continuing to round into form.

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27. Atlanta Falcons: 1-4 (Last Week: 26)
The promise that surrounded this team entering the season is gone. Injuries have once again derailed the Falcons, but so has poor defensive play. This seems to be a capitulation of all the struggles Dan Quinn has had on that side of the ball, allowing 53 points. Atlanta also became the first team to fail to bring down Deshaun Watson all year. Unless there is a major turn around, Quinn is going to be out of job. The Falcons have plenty of high-priced and highly-regarded pieces to be a competitive team, but already three games back in the NFC South with a floundering defense, this group seems destined for a top-10 pick.

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28. Arizona Cardinals: 1-3-1 (Last Week: 30)
At last, the Kliff Kingsbury-Kyler Murray era nets a win. It wasn’t pretty. In fact, the Cardinals almost managed to flip the script on their Week 1 comeback to force a tie by blowing this game late. Arizona led 23-9 in the fourth quarter, but allowed Cincinnati to tie things up. Thankfully, the Murray played his most complete game of the year, completing 62 percent of his passes, not turning the ball over and rushing for 93 yards, to lead the Cardinals to a win. The Bengals do have one of the worst defenses in the NFL, but getting a win here is big for confidence and presents Kingsbury something to build on with a very young group.

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29. Cincinnati Bengals: 0-5 (Last Week: 31)
The Bengals are moving up! Not really because of anything they did, but more because of how bad other teams around them have been. Sure Cincy is still winless, but they came a lot closer this weekend and showed some signs of life. Granted it took a while for the offense to get going, but that was without John Ross and A.J. Green. Once the latter returns, this offense should be a bit more dynamic and reliable. Zac Taylor certainly has his work cut out for him when it comes to finding ways to compensate an awful offensive line.

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30. Washington: 0-5 (Last Week: 29)
Jay Gruden is gone. It was going to happen eventually, and honestly this might even be a little bit premature given the circumstances. I’m hard pressed to remember the last time a team fired the head coach just five games into the season. Washington actually played fairly well in the first half of the game, holding New England to just 12 points. Things got a lot more lopsided after halftime and it is clear to see this team is in need of a serious rebuild.

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31. New York Jets: 0-4 (Last Week: 28)
I don’t think the league has seen a passing offense as inept as the one the Jets have rolled out since the turn of the century. Adam Gase does not have much to work with, as he is starting Luke Falk, who started the year on the practice squad, but this has been downright pathetic. Gase is not free from blame either, after giving Sam Darnold nearly all the first team reps this week. New York is averaging 179.5 yards per game. That’s nearly 50 fewer yards than the freaking Dolphins! The Jets have also scored two offensive touchdowns this year. After allowing nine sacks against the Eagles, the only way to go is up. Unfortunately, the Cowboys and Patriots are the next two teams up. It’s going to be a really long season.

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32. Miami Dolphins: 0-4 (Last Week: 32)
Miami took a week off from getting blown out, but only because the league requires every team to have a bye. I don’t really expect it to make a difference, but given how little time Josh Rosen has actually had in this offense, perhaps it will allow him to settle in a bit more. The lack of talent around him certainly does not help either. The Dolphins are going to be drafting first overall, or at least the top three. In reality the focus should start shifting to how this team is going to rebuild with three first round picks this year, which you can see in my latest mock draft!

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