The playoff race in the NFL is heating up, and the 14-team field has created even more competitiveness as we hit the second half of the year. As we near the end of the regular season, some teams have established themselves at the top, while others have sunk to the bottom. Obviously, there are also many teams in the middle who are struggling to find an identity. With all of that in mind, I’ve decided to make my NFL power rankings (keeping in mind Thursday Night Football from Week 11). The rankings and team descriptions are below.
- Kansas City Chiefs (8-1)
The Chiefs, coming off of a Super Bowl victory, have been having another fantastic year. Patrick Mahomes is back in the MVP conversation, and things are looking good for Kansas City so far.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-0)
It’s tough to not put the league’s only undefeated team at number one, but the Steelers have been helped by a relatively easy schedule. They only won their two toughest games – vs. the Titans and Ravens – by a combined total of seven points, which is understandable, however, the Chiefs have done more to earn the top spot, and they have looked like a more complete team. The Steelers have a great squad, but some inconsistencies in pass defense have given them some trouble as of late, and with the Ravens and Bills looming, they haven’t quite established themselves as the league’s best team.
3. New Orleans Saints (7-2)
The injury to Drew Brees hurt, literally and figuratively, but the Saints were able to go 5-0 with Teddy Bridgewater at the helm last year. They should find a way to hang on with Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston, but there is major competition for this number three spot.
4. Green Bay Packers (7-2)
The Packers’ offense has come back to Earth over the past few weeks, and the trouble they had with the Jaguars was concerning. If it wasn’t for last week, they would be my number three team.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3)
While the Bucs have their inconsistencies, their record doesn’t lie, and Tom Brady is flourishing with three star wide receivers in the offense.
6. Seattle Seahawks (7-3)
The Seahawks have struggled after starting off 5-0, but don’t count this team out. They are still in the elite tier of the NFL, and Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson will find a way to get the offense moving again.
7. Buffalo Bills (7-3)
Josh Allen’s inconsistency is holding this team back from its true potential, but the Bills have been finding ways to win.
8. Miami Dolphins (6-3)
The Dolphins have won five straight, and critics of the switch to Tua Tagovailoa at QB are long gone by now. However, while this team has looked really good, they’ve yet to beat a truly elite squad so far this year.
9. Baltimore Ravens (6-3)
Lamar Jackson has not been the same so far this year. Have the defenses figured him out? Maybe. But this team is still 6-3, and John Harbaugh will figure out new ways for Jackson to produce.
10. Arizona Cardinals (6-4)
The game against the Bills came down to a Hail Mary, but at least the Cardinals won. That win combined with an overtime victory over Seattle makes for a pretty impressive resume.
11. Las Vegas Raiders (6-3)
The blowout of Denver was impressive, but the Raiders face the Chiefs next. However, don’t count Las Vegas out, they beat the Chiefs 31-17 earlier this year.
12. Indianapolis Colts (6-3)
Philip Rivers hasn’t done much, but he hasn’t needed to. The Colts’ defensive line soared to new heights after the DeForest Buckner trade.
13. Los Angeles Rams (6-3)
Sean McVay hasn’t gotten enough credit for turning LA around this year. He has done a nice job of making the Rams a contender, and the Rams are clearly one of the top three teams in the NFC West.
14. Minnesota Vikings (4-5)
Minnesota has won three straight, and they’ve made up for their atrocious 1-5 start. With a strong finish, they could bounce back to make the playoffs.
15. Tennessee Titans (6-3)
The Titans have lost three of their last four after a 5-0 start, and it seems like this team overachieved at the start of the season. Their defense needs to be fixed.
16. Cleveland Browns (6-3)
The Browns’ victories were over the Bengals (twice), Washington Football Team, Cowboys, Colts, and Texans. The victory over Indy is the only truly impressive win from Cleveland this year, but at least they have been winning.
17. New England Patriots (4-5)
Everyone always counts out Bill Belichick. Everyone always looks stupid for doing so. I counted out the Patriots myself, but I will try not to make that mistake again.
18. Detroit Lions (4-5)
This team has actually managed to be respectable so far. However, they probably won’t make the playoffs unless the courts rule that the NFC East won’t get a spot.
19. Atlanta Falcons (3-6)
This team has been better since Dan Quinn was fired, but it’s not a contender. Atlanta’s defense is really holding them back.
20. Chicago Bears (5-5)
Shockingly, the Bears were once 5-1. It’s going to be difficult to salvage this season, but Chicago has at least a small chance to do so.
21. San Francisco 49ers (4-6)
Injuries have turned a Super Bowl contender into just a bad team. No one could’ve envisioned that San Francisco would be the worst team in the NFC West.
22. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5-1)
The fact that a division leader is number 22 shows just how bad the NFC East is. Maybe the courts should get involved.
23. Cincinnati Bengals (2-6-1)
The Bengals have been close in a lot of games, and while they are better than their record says, they are still not a playoff-caliber team.
24. Denver Broncos (3-6)
Denver has shown flashes, they just haven’t been able to accomplish much. This team is still a couple of years away from contending.
25. New York Giants (3-7)
The Giants have won three of five, and their two losses came by a combined three points. That’s actually pretty impressive when you think about it.
26. Los Angeles Chargers (2-7)
The Chargers have looked good on offense, but they just haven’t been finding ways to win.
27. Carolina Panthers (3-7)
Things would be easier if the Panthers actually had Christian McCaffrey healthy for an extended period of time. This team has promise, they’re just a couple of years away.
28. Houston Texans (2-7)
Deshaun Watson is the only reason that Houston is ranked this high.
29. Washington Football Team (2-7)
Washington has been close to having more wins than this, but they haven’t been able to finish games. Shockingly, they’re still in contention for the NFC East title.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8)
The Jags probably wish that they hadn’t won their opener so that they could be in a better spot for the tankathon.
31. Dallas Cowboys (2-7)
The defense has been terrible, and the offense cannot function without Dak Prescott.
32. New York Jets (0-9)
There’s at least one positive to keeping Adam Gase as the head coach, and it can be summed up in two words: Trevor Lawrence.
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