1) Atlanta Falcons (Last week: 2nd = +1)
As I wrote in my NFC season preview and prediction article, I thought the Falcons would experience some Super Bowl hangover while still winning the division. Well, it is time to officially call the hangover dead with that win over the Lions.
It wasn’t just the fact that they beat a very good Lions team on the road that impressed me; it was how they did it. It was a game the Patriots have had so many times including this week. One where you look up at the end of the game and wonder how they just won that game after playing way below their potential. That was Atlanta on Sunday which showed me they are for real.
Legit in terms of not only the best team in the NFL, but also a true, real Super Bowl contender yet again. I get we are only 19 percent of the way through the season, but if a team can over come the embarrassment that happened to them against the Patriots in a somewhat important game in February, it looks to be the 2017-18 Falcons.
2) Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 5th = +1)
For those of you who have been reading this every week, you know what I have said about the Chiefs: they are eventually going to let everyone down. However, this Power Ranking is based on what’s happening right now and man, do they look impressive. Their defense has made Tom Brady and Philip Rivers look average (being kind) and Alex Smith has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league so far.
Can I ask a question though, why aren’t more people talking about Kareem Hunt? The rookies leads the league in rushing and it really isn’t even close. Hunt is literally on pace for over 2,100 yards and 21 touchdowns which obviously won’t happen, but if he even comes close to that, that would be remarkable. And oh yea, let’s not forget he can catch the ball too as he’s on pace for more than 700 yards and 11 touchdown in that department.
That kid looks to have it all and it’s about damn time we talk about it. If only he was in a different market outside of Kansas City.
3) Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 4th = +1)
I told you so. I mean I really did, people overrated to the extreme last week as Dak and Zeke literally suffered the first bad loss of their careers. What did they do this week? Exactly the have done for the past year: display an indescribable amount of maturity. They got behind early and stuck with their game plan while Dak literally put this team on his back.
And that defense people have been beating up on in Dallas, let’s give them some credit for rebounding after another rough start. Listen, I still have my doubts too, but if they can tack care of business against the Rams and then be tested against the Packers who wouldn’t be impressed?
4) New England Patriots (Last week: 3rd = -1)
That game-winning drive was one thing and one thing only: classic Tom Brady. Without it, we are talking about a completlety different narrative. They almost allowed a rookie quarterback to come into Foxborough and beat them – Deshawn Watson had three turnovers in the game.
I am baffled by what I see coming out of New England. They improved their backfield and their running game has been inept. They added the best cornerback on the free agent market in Stephon Gilmore and their defense is the worst in the league based on yards and points allowed. There simple is no excuse for that.
What we are use to seeing from the Patriots, and what has won them five rings, is performing above expectations. Right now, for the first time in a long time, New England is underperforming. Until that gets fixed, they seriously could lose to any of the teams in the top five which is not the dominant team we all expected coming into the season.
5) Oakland Raiders (Last week: 1st = -4)
The Nick Friend jinx that has caught the Giants this season continued with the Raiders. Right after I named them the best team football last week they let me down.
On a serious note, what was that? I am not suprised by their secondary struggling, I get that. What I don’t get is why their offensive went from looking like one of the best to very average, why Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper combined for 13 yards, and why Marshawn Lynch looked like he should retire again.
As someone who has been high on this team for the past year, I want to chalk it all up to a bad week and we are all going to find out if that’s true when they get tested on the road in Denver on Sunday.
Rest of my top ten:
6) Green Bay Packers (Last week: 10th = +4)
7) Detroit Lions (Last week: 7th = E)
8) Tennesse Titans (Last week: NR)
9) Denver Broncos (Last week: 6th = -3)
10) Minnesota Vikings (Last week: NR)
Tomorrow: The SWN Show and podcast
-Article by Nick Friend
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