1) New England Patriots (Last week: 1 = E)
They lost and they lost in ugly fashion. There are big questions that are, and should be, raised about their offensive line, defense and dare I say Tom Brady? Yet still, four out of the top five teams in last week’s Power Rankings lost and the Patriots are still the best team in football.
Again, I do have my concerns, but I don’t see those stopping New England from getting to the Super Bowl and running through the AFC. Next week against the Steelers is a big week. If they do what I think they will do, my confidence (that isn’t that shaken to begin with) will be restored completely, if not, we are going to have to start asking some long-term questions.
2) Philadelphia Eagles (Last week: 4 = +2)
The Eagles are up only because of those around them and they still managed to find a way to beat the Rams. With that said, the Carson Wentz injury obviously puts a damper on everything as I mentioned on yesterday’s show:
For those who don’t think the Eagles are done, I would love to know what you are watching. Yes, the Eagles have a pretty good defense, a good offensive line and a very impressive overall team. However, in order for a team to overcome the loss of their franchise quarterback they would need great coaching with Philadelphia doesn’t have.
They are probably still going to get the bye and possibly win a game; though I doubt it. They are at number two for now and will probably remain in the top five for the rest of their season which is a testament to how good their team is. In the playoffs though, one game is all they will likely see.
3) Pittsburgh Steelers (Last week: 6 = +3)
At this point their offense looks board line unstoppable. What Antonio Brown is doing is somehow going overlooked, Le’Veon Bell is on pace to put up over 1,300 yards on the ground and Big Ben has rebounded nicely since his five interception performance which seems like forever ago now.
The main question that remains at this point is the same one was last year: Can their offense overcome their defensive flaws?
Statically their defense is ranked in the top ten, but it did last year too until they actually faced a potent offense in New England and gave up 36 points in the AFC Championship game as their offense couldn’t keep up. This year, the best offense Pittsburgh has faced is Minnesota who still isn’t that good.
Now to give credit where credit is due, the Steelers usually have multiple games they really shouldn’t lose, but do. However this year they only have two and with two out of their three games being cupcakes (Patriots, Browns and Texans) they are likely to finish with at least 13 wins.
Oh and by the way, if Pittsburgh fans want me to buy in fully on this team, ask them to beat the Patriots this weekend.
4) Los Angeles Rams (Last week: 2 = -2)
I bought completely in on this team before this game and this has done little to shake my confidence. They flat out got beat. I said heading into this game that I thought Philadelphia would win because this is a game the Rams need another year of maturing to win and that played out. Still, their offense showed no signs of slowing down and they are going to end up an 11+ win team…yes, the 2017 Rams.
Now I previously had said that I didn’t think this team would get to the NFC Championship Game, but if they manage to get a bye week…watch out.
5) Carolina Panthers (Last week: 10 = +5)
I have very little faith in the rest of the teams on this list as a Super Bowl caliber team and something more than a playoff team. That sentiment remains true for me with the Panthers. With that said, they have beat the Vikings, Panthers and Patriots. However, just like we saw earlier this year, it is only a matter of time until Carolina disappoints you, it might just come in the playoffs this year.
The rest of my top 10:
6) Atlanta Falcons (Last week: 8 = +2)
7) New Orleans Saints (Last week: 7 = E)
8) Minnesota Vikings (Last week: 5 = -3)
9) Jacksonville Jaguars (Last week: NR)
10) Los Angeles Chargers (Last week: NR)
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