1) Los Angeles Rams (6-0)
Last week’s top team holds true. They’re now the lone undefeated team in the NFL but may not stay that way for long. The Rams face the Packers, Saints, and Chiefs all before their Week 12 bye.
2) New England Patriots (4-2)
Not even in my top ten two weeks ago, they’ve shot all the way back up to where we’re accustomed to seeing them. Sony Michel put together his third straight 100-yard performance of the season against the Chiefs and Josh Gordon is getting more snaps and targets every week. When Kansas City puts up 40 points and you still manage to outscore them, there’s not much your opponents can do.
3) Kansas City Chiefs (5-1)
I’m not worried about them in the slightest. There were multiple instances in their Sunday night game against the Patriots where they could have pulled out the win. Their game against the Bengals should be another close one but they wont need to put up 40 points again.
4) New Orleans Saints (4-1)
The Saints were on bye this week so the only thing I could have done was move them down a slot to make room for the Patriots. The last time we saw the Saints, they were setting records and running Washington off the field. There is some cause for concern, however. If their defense doesn’t return to last year’s form, the next month of the season could be nightmarish. They get BAL (4-2), MIN (3-2-1), LAR (6-0), and CIN (4-2) in their next four.
5) Los Angeles Chargers (4-2)
This may be a little higher than they should be. The Chargers have one of the most consistent offenses in the league but they only have wins against teams they were supposed to beat. Their four wins have come against the Bills, 49ers, Raiders, and Browns. I’m still waiting for that signature win. Unfortunately, they wont have real competition until the final quarter of the season so they need to keep rolling if they want to be taken seriously.
6) Baltimore Ravens (4-2)
When looking at the current standings across the league, I noticed the Ravens have the second highest net point differential in the league with a +76. The only team better is the Rams with a +78. They’re in a similar situation as the Chargers. The Ravens have been getting the job done but the Steelers are their only notable win. They’ll need to be a little more consistent to remain near the top.
7) Cincinnati Bengals (4-2)
8) Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2-1)
I’m keeping the Bengals ahead of the Steelers for now. The Bengals have a better record and the Steelers only won their game because of an illegal pick play that wasn’t called. The Steelers are on bye this week and will need to look more formidable upon their return.
One Big Mess
Minnesota Vikings (3-2-1), Chicago Bears (3-2), Green Bay Packers (3-2-1), Carolina Panthers (3-2), Miami Dolphins (4-2), Cleveland Browns (2-3-1)
The Vikings have one of the best passing attacks in the league but the running game and defense aren’t nearly what they used to be. Latavius Murray ran all over the Cardinals but it was the Cardinals. The same goes for the Packers. Aaron Rodgers mounted an incredible comeback against San Francisco but the Niners were in the driver’s seat for most of that game.
Brock Osweiler and the Miami Dolphins defeated the Chicago Bears Sunday in what I expected to be a bloodbath with the opposite result. After that game finished, I wanted to erase it from the history books. From what I saw, the Dolphins didn’t beat the Bears, Albert Wilson did. The Dolphins only had 13 points in the 4th quarter until Albert Wilson took two short passes to the house.
The Panthers were looking solid until they allowed a Washington team to beat them without throwing for 200 yards. That shouldn’t happen coming off a bye week. According to my logic from last week’s article, the Browns should be a 5-1 team. But when you have a losing record and get beat by the Chargers in that fashion, you become increasingly difficult to defend.
“Prove It” Games
New England (4-2) vs Chicago (3-2)
The Patriots are coming off their best game of the season and the Bears are coming off of their worst. This is the perfect chance for Chicago to swing the pendulum back in their favor. They will need to be careful as 3-3 will be hard to bounce back from in their division.
Detroit (2-3) vs Miami (4-2)
The Lions’ loss against the Jets on Monday Night Football is still fresh in some minds but more people should be taking notice of when they handled business against the Packers and Patriots. Detroit had a whole bye week to prepare for the Dolphins and Miami needs to prove that the Bears game wasn’t just a fluke.
New Orleans (4-1) vs Baltimore (4-2)
If the Ravens want to show the league that their defense is for real, this is the game to do it. They held the Tennessee Titans scoreless but this is Drew Brees and the Saints. Baltimore couldn’t even put up more than 9 points against Cleveland so something has to give.
Cincinnati (4-2) vs Kansas City (5-1)
Here are two teams looking to rectify losses that probably should have never happened. Cincinnati has been on both sides of nail-biters this past month. They beat Atlanta on the final play of regulation and lost to the Steelers on a controversial touchdown. This is the chance to show the league they’re the real deal. Unfortunately, they may need to score upwards of 30 points in primetime to do it.