Tier 1: The Super Bowl Contenders
1: Los Angeles Rams (Last Week: 2)
2: Buffalo Bills (Last Week: 4)
3: Arizona Cardinals (Last Week: 5)
4: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last Week: 6)
5: Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week: 1)
6: Green Bay Packers (Last Week: 3)
These teams are still tough to sort out, and you can really put them in any order. So instead of trying to come up with convoluted reasons why I should put one team over the other I’ll just use the space to talk about the team we all care about, the Kansas City Chiefs.
While the drop looks dramatic in the rankings, it really isn’t. It’s still the case that a lot of our struggles are things that tend to be flukey, and if we regress to the mean we should go back to being the best team in the NFL.
But what this drop signifies is a shift in my view, from giving them the benefit of the doubt that this regression to the mean will happen, to now wanting them to prove it before I believe it. The defense has just been so bad that, while in theory it should naturally improve from sheer luck, there’s been no signs of it yet.
Tier 2: The Playoff Contenders
7: Baltimore Ravens (Last Week: 7)
8: Dallas Cowboys (Last Week: 8)
9: Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week: 9)
10: Cleveland Browns (Last Week: 10)
11: San Francisco 49ers (Last Week: 11)
12: Los Angeles Chargers (Last Week: 12)
13: Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week: 13)
14: Tennessee Titans (Last Week: 15)
This is why I have resisted putting the Ravens in the contender category. This was a bad game no doubt, but I’m willing to dismiss it as a fluke and not drop them (yet).
Tier 3: The Less-Than-Good Teams
15: New England Patriots (Last Week: 16)
16: Las Vegas Raiders (Last Week: 17)
17: Minnesota Vikings (Last Week: 18)
18: Denver Broncos (Last Week: 19)
29: Chicago Bears (Last Week: 29)
25: Cincinnati Bengals (Last Week: 24)
The Bears and Bengals get promotions, as they had decent outings last week. I still don’t quite buy the Bengals, but playing the Packers tough is hard to ignore.
22: New Orleans Saints (Last Week: 22)
20: Washington Football Team (Last Week: 20)
21: Atlanta Falcons (Last Week: 21)
23: Carolina Panthers (Last Week: 23)
14: Seattle Seahawks (Last Week: 14)
It’s hard to know exactly how far the Seahawks will fall without Russell Wilson. The conventional wisdom is that Wilson has been carrying the Seahawks basically by himself the past couple years, but I’m not so sure of that. If the Seahawks look competent with Geno Smith it will damage his legacy worse that he damaged his finger.
Tier 4: The Terrible Teams
26: Detroit Lions (Last Week: 25)
27: Indianapolis Colts (Last Week: 26)
28: New York Giants (Last Week: 27)
I feel bad for the Lions. They’re basically a lesser version of the Chiefs. They have performed at a level well above their 0-5 record, but they just can’t catch a break.
Tier 5: The Rookie Quarterbacks
24: Miami Dolphins (Last Week: 28)
30: Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week: 30)
31: New York Jets (Last Week: 31)
32: Houston Texans (Last Week: 32)
Is it just me, or are the Dolphins not getting enough attention as a bad team? Like you could argue they’re the worst team in the NFL right now, but the Jaguars and Jets are getting most of the attention for being bad.