These rankings are based on how good the team is right now, so teams that were good but lost key players won’t get credit for those wins.
1: New England Patriots (Last week: 1)
2: Green Bay Packers (Last week: 2)
3: Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 3)
4: Los Angeles Rams (Last week: 4)
5: Jacksonville Jaguars (Last week: 5)
6: Houston Texans (Last week: 6)
7: Chicago Bears (Last week: 7)
Last week I had the Chiefs as significantly better than everybody else, so why the drop? Am I just overreacting to one loss despite giving other teams like the Browns and Jaguars multiple chances?
No, the one and only reason for the drop is injuries. We’ll see who does and doesn’t play this week, but right now it looks like virtually every big name player not named Mahomes and Kelce is going to be out, and even Mahomes has been battling injuries this season.
If it wasn’t for Mahomes the Chiefs as they currently stand would be one of the bottom 10 teams in the NFL. Quarterback is such an important position, and Mahomes is so good, that he makes the team good regardless, and I’m not panicking for the playoffs yet, but there are some tough games coming up on the schedule. This stretch may prevent us from getting the top seed.
8: San Francisco 49ers (Last week: 23)
9: Buffalo Bills (Last week: 10)
10: Philadelphia Eagles (Last week: 18)
11: Carolina Panthers (Last week: 25)
12: Cleveland Browns (Last week: 8)
13: Baltimore Ravens (Last week: 12)
14: Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 13)
This week’s Monday Night Football was a complete disaster for my rankings. Yes the game was in San Francisco, but I had the Browns as so much better that there’s no way they should have gotten blown out.
Yet they did.
So I’ll finally join everybody else in ranking the 49ers high. I’m still not completely confident in them, since they’ve mostly beaten up on bad teams and they weren’t great last year even with competent quarterback play, but a blowout win over a good team and being 4-0 is enough to be ranked highly for now, especially considering how nobody else really looks all that great.
On the flip side Cleveland gets a big fall. Analytics show that point differential is a better predictor than record, and the Browns now have two blowout losses on their record. One can be ignored as a fluke, but two? Very rarely will good teams get blown out multiple times in the same season. If anything I should rank them lower, but I’m not much of a believer in anybody else below them.
15: Indianapolis Colts (Last week: 24)
16: Minnesota Vikings (Last week: 13)
17: Tennessee Titans (Last week: 16)
18: New Orleans Saints (Last week: 17)
19: Seattle Seahawks (Last week: 18)
20: Detroit Lions (Last week: 19)
21: Pittsburgh Steelers (Last week: 20)
22: Los Angeles Chargers (Last week: 14)
23: New York Giants (Last week: 21)
24: Atlanta Falcons (Last week: 22)
25: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last week: 25)
26: Oakland Raiders (Last week: 24)
27: Denver Broncos (Last week: 27)
28: Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 28)
29: Washington Redskins (Last week: 29)
30: Arizona Cardinals (Last week: 30)
31: New York Jets (Last week: 31)
32: Miami Dolphins (Last week: 32)
So far this year the Dolphins have been massive underdogs no matter who they play. Last week they had their bye, but this week it’s Washington’s turn to get the free win.
Or is it? The Redskins are only favored by 3.5, which is a pretty typical line (for comparison, the Chiefs are favored by 5 over Houston). Are the Redskins really that bad?
Maybe they are, especially if they start Colt McCoy again. But I can’t help but feel that the Dolphins are truly historic, to the point where even a bottom feeder like Washington should have no problems winning.