NFL Power Rankings Week 11
Ladies and gentlemen fasten your seat belts and prepare yourselves for a wild finish to the season. The NFL playoffs are in the not too distant future and things are beginning to take shape.
In week 10, the St. Louis Rams shocked the Indianapolis Colts at home, the Jaguars earned their first win of the season, Carolina went into San Fran and held off the powerful 49ers and New Orleans dominated Dallas on Monday Night Football.
Here are the NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 11.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Arrowheads are still the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL. Next week will be the ultimate test for the Chiefs as they go head-to-head division rival Denver on Sunday Night Football. This game will truly prove whether the Chiefs are worthy of being the NFL’s best. Prepare for a “Clash of the Titans.”
After getting off to a slow start, the birds managed to gain momentum late and then proceed to stomp the Falcons. Russell Wilson hooked up with Golden Tate on a sweet, corner of the end zone touchdown pass, while Marshawn Lynch grounded and pounded his way to a season-best 145 yards. The Seahawks look almost unstoppable.
The John Fox-less Broncos took to the field with Jack Del Rio calling the shots and it seemed like nothing had changed as Denver took care of business against the Chargers. Peyton Manning, who has 33 touchdown passes through 9 games, continues his MVP-like season. Denver is smoking hot at the moment.
New England Patriots
The Patriots are coming off a bye week following one of their best performances all season. One can only hope that this momentum they have magically found will continue.
New Orleans Saints
After a devastating loss to the New York Jets, the Saints came out this week and put a giant hurting on the Dallas Cowboys. Drew Brees was back to his lethal self, carving up the Dallas defense for 392 yards and four scores. The Saints rolled to an easy victory, as former Cowboy defensive coordinator Rob Ryan got revenge against his former team.
With five straight wins under their belt, the Carolina Panthers are sizzling right now. The defense stepped up in unimaginable ways against a powerful 49ers offense, holding them to only 9 points and keeping Colin Kaepernick on his toes all afternoon. The only question that lingers for this squad is whether they are a contender or a pretender? Only time will tell…
The Lions stormed Soldier Field and gave the Chicago Bears a run for their money. Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson hooked up for a pair of touchdowns, while the defense held the Bears on a game-tying two-point-conversion attempt. The Lions are now the sole leader in the NFC North. Who would have thought?
Carson Palmer threw for three touchdown passes as the Arizona Cardinals were able to hold on to a slim victory and hand the Houston Texans its seventh consecutive loss. The Cardinals have certainly had their ups and downs this season, but when they are on… they let their opponents know it. Arizona has most definitely found new life this year.
San Francisco 49ers
Never have we seen the 49ers struggle as much as they did on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. After taking a 9-0 lead, the Niners struggled to move the ball against the ferocious Panther defense. If San Francisco expects to be elite, they need to figure out a better way to move the ball.
What happened to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday? This seemingly unstoppable squad was shocked at home and got lambasted by the St. Louis Rams. Indy’s struggles continued in the absence of Reggie Wayne, while Andrew Luck threw three interceptions. Certainly we’ve never seen the Colts play this bad. Hopefully, they’ll move on and forget about this unspeakable debacle.
The Eagles marched into the “Frozen Tundra” and had no problem handing the Green Bay Packers a loss. Nick Foles was once again a force to be reckoned with, tossing long touchdowns to DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper. Philly now finds themselves back at the top of the NFC East race. The Eagles have found common ground and look to keep on soaring.
Sunday marked the return of Jay Cutler after missing a week due to a groin injury. The Bears lost a close one to the Lions and are now chasing them in the NFC North.
Green Bay Packers
Sunday was a glimpse into the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers as Green Bay looked flat on offense. Seneca Wallace left the game early and was replaced by third string quarterback Scott Tolzien. Green Bay could be in a world of hurt without Rodgers leading them and now needs to find a way to stay afloat during the second half of the season.
In consecutive weeks, the Bengals have been able to force overtime, yet finishing in overtime seemed to be the Bengals’ weakness. Andy Dalton hit A.J. Green in the end zone off a double tipped pass to tie the game and go into overtime. Yet, it was Justin Tucker’s game winning field goal that sealed the Bengals fate. If Cincinnati wants to hold onto the AFC North lead, they need to win close contests.
New York Jets
The Jets took a much needed week of rest to get everything in order. Now they jump back into a action looking to make a splash in the second half of the year…and hopefully make a run at the playoffs.
Cleveland’s week off may be just what this team needed going into a tough second half. The Browns are indeed hungry this year and look to keep proving critics wrong.
The Dallas Cowboys were no match for the powerful New Orleans Saints on Sunday night. The Dallas offense struggled to move the ball forward and looked like they had given up late in the game. This loss is a devastating blow to the Cowboys, who now need to regroup and reformulate a game plan for next week.
Baltimore played rough and tough football against their division rival Cincinnati on Sunday and had a secure victory, except for a double-tipped ball that ended up in the hands of A.J. Green as time expired, forcing the Ravens into overtime. Thank goodness Tucker kicked the game winner to give the Ravens a much needed win to stay in the hunt for the playoffs.
St. Louis Rams
Where did this performance come from? The St. Louis Rams crushed the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday as receiver Tavon Austin had a career day, returning a 98-yard punt return for a touchdown and catching two long TD passes to boot. This was the first Rams win with Kellen Clemens under center and maybe this win proved that the Rams are a more capable football team than once thought.
The Miami Dolphins are in turmoil right now and Monday night didn’t help. Fact is, the Fins gave up a game to the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Miami’s scandal may have proven to be a devastating blow in their hopes.
New York Giants
The Giants secured their third straight victory and now are finding themselves more relevant in the NFC East race than ever. The G-Men defense stepped up and carried the team to a victory over the Oakland Raiders. The Giants are still a turnover-riddled squad and need to right those wrongs, but kudos to the defense for stepping up big when they needed it most.
The Pittsburgh Steelers bounced back with a big win over the Bills, effectively shutting down E.J. Manuel and the Buffalo offense. The Steelers held the Bills to just 227 total yards as Ben Roethlisberger passed for 204 yards and a score. Pittsburgh hasn’t been the same team this season as year’s past, but is making tremendous strides.
Even with 17 points scored off of turnovers, the Oakland Raiders couldn’t out-duel the New York Giants. A costly late interception sealed the Raiders’ fate in a game they could have used to gain leverage in West. It’s time for Oakland to think of an alternative game plan.
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers stayed alive as long as they could against the Denver Broncos, but ultimately couldn’t get the job done as they fell to 4-5. San Diego has had a revival year, but needs to keep pressing hard if they hope to prove to the San Diego faithful that they are capable of making the playoffs.
The Redskins season has been a whirlwind of crazy. RGIII has had a roller coaster year coming off an injury and Washington is seemingly reeling at the moment, but is still alive in the NFC East race.
Sunday in a loss to the Jaguars, Tennessee lost QB Jake Locker and had to rely on the arm of Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Titans let a sure-fire win escape them and now need to climb out of the hole they have dug themselves into.
E.J. Manuel returned to the field, but in a mediocre performance the Bills couldn’t withstand the pressure of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bills quarterback carousel has really affected their game play and the lights may be burning low on what was once thought to be a promising season for the Bills.
In a rag tag performance, the Minnesota Vikings snagged a much needed second victory of the season by topping the Washington Redskins on Thursday night. Adrian Peterson ran for two scores and the Vikings stopped the Skins at the 4-yard-line in the final seconds to hold on to victory. Minnesota has been through the ringer this year, but this was a nice win.
The Atlanta Falcons are reeling this season. It hasn’t been the year anyone thought Atlanta would have and with a slew of injuries, the Falcons could be packing it in soon.
Tamp Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay has finally overcome the drama that has been plaguing them all season, taking advantage of a Dolphins team bathed in controversy at the moment. The Bucs earned their first win of the season and can look forward to a possibly brighter future.
The Jacksonville Jaguars secured their first win of the season in a thrilling victory over the Tennessee Titans. Maurice Jones-Drew was in fine form and the Jags shocked a Titans team that might have still been in mourning of Bud Adams. If the Jags can play this good, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t get more Ws.
Seven consecutive losses is an unbearable franchise record for this team, but this year has been a mess for the Texans. Case Keenum has done his part, but what about the rest of the team? Houston is losing precious time as the NFL weeks fly by.
Photo Credit: SI.com
Chris Strong is a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan living in the heart of Chicago and though he gets many strange looks wearing his green and gold, he represents his team proudly in the windy city. By day, Chris is a supervisor at a Chicago Cubs merchandise store located across the way from Wrigley Field, not to mention an avid film and media writer. By night, Chris continues to pursue a sports writing career as he loves all things football, especially the NFL.