Power Rankings: Week 11
The only undefeated record in the league went, Peyton Manning continued to impress, and we got to witness a rare tie.
Just another week in the NFL, right?
But what did our analysts make of the week’s action? Would they fall hard for the impressive Broncos? Give up on the Giants? Let’s see, shall we.
Rank Khaled Neil Sam Ben Nathan 1 HST DEN HST HST DEN 2 ATL NE ATL GB HST 3 DEN GB SF ATL SF 4 GB SF NE NE GB 5 PIT HST DEN BLT NE 6 NE ATL CHI SF CHI 7 SF BLT BLT DEN ATL 8 CHI CHI SEA PIT SEA 9 NYG NYG GB CHI NYG 10 SEA SEA NYG NYG BLT 11 BLT PIT PIT SEA NO 12 TB NO TB DAL DAL 13 IND TB MIN NO TB 14 MIN CIN NO TB IND 15 NO SL MIA MIN PIT 16 CIN IND DAL MIA MIA 17 DAL DET WAS CIN MIN 18 MIA DAL DET IND WAS 19 WAS MIN IND SD DET 20 DET WAS ARZ DET BUF 21 SL MIA CIN SL SL 22 PHI SD PHI PHI CIN 23 SD CLV SL WAS TEN 24 TEN NYJ SD CLV SD 25 ARZ PHI CAR TEN PHI 26 CAR TEN CLV NYJ NYJ 27 BUF BUF OAK ARZ CAR 28 NYJ ARZ TEN BUF ARZ 29 CLV CAR BUF OAK CLV 30 OAK OAK NYJ CAR OAK 31 KC KC JAX JAX KC 32 JAX JAX KC KC JAX
And now let’s get to the overall rankings.
1. Houston Texans (3rd)
Ever since the Packers gave the Texans a beating, there’s been some concerns over how they would fare against one of the stronger teams in the league. Well, in beating the Bears (in tricky conditions, to boot), Houston obviously convinced our staff this week.
2. Denver Broncos (6th)
Manning may not be the player he once was, but what does that say about the rest of the Broncos’ team? They’re more loaded than anything the former Colt had and getting it done on both sides of the ball.
3. Atlanta Falcons (2nd)
A first defeat of the year and it was twice as painful coming against the Saints. That shouldn’t take away from the eight wins on the bounce they picked up or how close they fought a good New Orleans side in their own dome.
4. New England Patriots (4th)
They didn’t exactly put forth a convincing display against the Bills. Should Patriots fans or those of the opposition be concerned with that? Anyone else have a feeling they’ve yet to really get going?
5. Green Bay Packers (5th)
Bryan Bulaga down and concerns about Clay Matthews. The bye week could have gone better for the Packers couldn’t it?
6. San Francisco 49ers (1st)
A big drop for the 49ers as they struggled to a tie with the St. Louis Rams. At times that defense hasn’t looked anywhere near as good as it did last year. That’s got to be a concern, regardless of whether Alex Smith suits up.
7. Chicago Bears (8th)
For weeks the Bears keep winning and don’t move up in our rankings. Then they lose and move up one spot. We saw how their season fell apart without Jay Cutler last year and that concussion has to be scary for their prospects.
8. Baltimore Ravens (11th)
That was as good as the Ravens have looked this year, but a demolition of the Raiders didn’t mean all that much to some of our analysts. They’ll have bigger tests and how they deal with those could depend on if Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata can get healthy quickly.
9. New York Giants (7th) and Seattle Seahawks (10th)
The Giants were our top-ranked team two weeks ago but their November woes are scaring our analysts off. They were positively sloppy against the Bengals. You can’t say the same for a Seattle team that dominated the Jets. Much like the Ravens, that does come with an asterisk given the level of opposition.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (9th)
Well, that was unconvincing. Sure they picked up the win but they made real hard work out of a Chiefs outfit that seemed intent on shooting themselves in the foot. In the process Big Ben went down and the momentum they had been building stopped abruptly.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12th)
The Bucs weren’t at their best against the Chargers, yet they still won. Is that not the sign of a good team? They’re playing real smart football right now.
13. New Orleans Saints (15th)
It wasn’t always pretty against Atlanta but they made plays when they needed to. Suddenly, they’re only two games off the playoffs and a lot of teams are keeping a close eye on them.
14. Dallas Cowboys (14th)
They needed that win, especially with the Giants stumbling, but let’s not think the Eagles didn’t give them a helping hand. There are still plenty of things the Cowboys have to prove.
15. Minnesota Vikings (17th)
That was a much needed win over a good Lions outfit. We’ve come to expect Adrian Peterson to look good, but the play of Christian Ponder had to be encouraging for the Vikings’ hopes down the line.
16. Indianapolis Colts (19th)
Our team is slow to buy into the Colts despite the development of Andrew Luck. They’ve looked good recently, but some poor performances earlier in the year aren’t easily forgotten.
17. Miami Dolphins (13th)
What happened to the Miami defense against Tennessee? An off day? That would be two straight and the optimism of a few weeks ago is being replaced with some more practical thinking. That’s fine, though, this is a team building toward something.
18. Cincinnati Bengals (23rd)
One win doesn’t make a team, but for an group that has struggled to beat winning teams so much over the past couple of years, that was significant. Andy Dalton is playing some of his best football to date and that defensive line is doing a good job getting pressure.
19. Detroit Lions (16th)
Just when you think the Lions are heading places they turn the ball over at crucial times against the Vikings and their defense just can’t get pressure off the edge. No other way to dice it.
20. Washington Redskins (18th)
They’ll be looking to rebound after a bye week. If they can, then they can put themselves right back in the hunt for the NFC East. That division is there for the taking.
21. St Louis Rams (22nd)
The Rams had a real chance to make a statement with a win over the 49ers. They didn’t, and in the process showed they’re still a ways away from challenging.
22. San Diego Chargers (21st)
Norv Turner had his Denny Green, and the Chargers lost again. Why? Because they are who we thought they were.
23. Philadelphia Eagles (20th)
I remember when the Eagles used to be a tough team to go against. Now they’ve become something of a circus and an example of why good moves in free agency aren’t always good moves when the season rolls around.
24. Tennessee Titans (30th)
An interesting team, the Titans are starting to run the ball, with their line really stepping up their performance. Despite their struggles, that actually makes them quite a dangerous team. Maybe not this year, but they have some components.
25. Arizona Cardinals (25th)
At least this week their offensive line didn’t put the health of their quarterback in any danger… that we know of.
26. Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills (29th)
Jobs are on the line in Cleveland so it’s no surprise to see them playing so hard. It’s a similar case in Buffalo, and the two share more than just that in common; they’re not winning games they put themselves in a good position to win.
28. New York Jets (24th)
Rex Ryan has faith in Mark Sanchez, but that faith could be what costs him his job. There’s a fine line behind loyalty and stupidity and he’s walking it.
29. Carolina Panthers (27th)
The danger with the Panthers was always that they would try to run before they could walk. The offense just hasn’t worked this year after they tinkered with a successful formula.
30. Oakland Raiders (28th)
Another one of the teams out there capable of lowering your expectations when you didn’t think they could get any lower.
31. Kansas City Chiefs (32nd)
They showed some fight and the changes on defense seemed to work, but they still made plenty of stupid mistakes and did so at the most inopportune times.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (31st)
There’s going to be a lot of interesting decisions being made in Jacksonville come the end of the year.
Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled