Although only a quarter of the season has passed, a lot has changed in that 16-10 range. With teams like the Eagles and Vikings being replaced by the Bears and Colts. There were also some teams that dropped out of the top ten last week like the 49ers. Let’s see if any of that happened this week.
16 Las Vegas Raiders
I don’t know what to think of the Raiders. This smash mouth offense has been working very well, but it seems like teams that can stop Josh Jacobs are guaranteed to beat the Raiders. The defense has been below average, I believe this is because of a lack of talent on the defensive side of the ball. The Raiders will need Jon Gruden to find a way to incorporate the passing game more if they want to make a playoff run.
15 Chicago Bears
The Bears have a great team. My only problem with the team this week was poor play by Nick Foles, but it was only his first start so I expect him to just get better. Their running game, led by David Montgomery, looks phenomenal. The defense is slowly becoming one of the best in the NFL, allowing only 81 points so far this season (7th best in the league). Matt Nagy may be able to get Nick Foles to another super bowl if he doesn’t allow the offense to make too many mistakes.
14 Cleveland Browns
Kevin Stefanski seems to have found a way too use all of these offensive weapons, just like he did in Minnesota. Odell Beckham just played his best game since he was traded to the Browns. The offense was phenomenal, but it’s a different story with the defense. The defensive line is great and all but the rest of that defense was horrible, allowing 38 points. The offense, coached by Kevin Stefanski, has enough talent to carry this defense to the AFC championship if everything goes right.
13 San Francisco 49ers
This is how you know a team is well coached. When a team has this many injuries and they can still be successful, you know the coach is doing his job well. The 49ers are starting to get a lot of their offense back which means they are only getting better. Even without most of their stars on defense they only allowed 71 points so far this season (3rd best in the league). Kyle Shanahan may prove that his team can make the playoffs no matter who is injured.
12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I get that this team made a huge comeback and that’s great, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are injured. They were also down 17-0 against the Chargers, that isn’t a good sign. Of course this team is still high caliber with a superb defense, and a great quarterback. Bruce Arians clearly can’t run the deep pass oriented offense he wants to considering who is taking the snaps, but he did a great job creating a new offense that Brady is more comfortable in.
11 Indianapolis Colts
If you haven’t been watching the team this may seem like it’s too high. Anyone who has been watching this team would understand why I have the team so high on the rankings. Their running game is spectacular especially with rookie running back, Johnathan Taylor, running behind Quenton Nelson and Anthony Costonzo. The defense has solidified itself as one of the best in the NFL. Deforest Buckner and the defensive line have been lights out and Darius Leonard is the NFL’s best linebacker. In conclusion, Frank Reich has a playoff contending team on his hands.
10 New England Patriots
They game planed very well for that game against the Chiefs. If Cam Newton was healthy the Patriots would’ve beat them, but he wasn’t healthy, so they didn’t. This team will absolutely rise on the rankings, but due to losses of stars like Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore I had to rank them low.
9 Las Angeles Rams
The Rams were very disappointing last year but now they are making up for it by playing phenomenally this season. Jared Goff is having a redemption season despite not having as good of a running back. Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey are leading this defense into a position to allow the offense to win them games. Sean McVay may have a shot to redeem himself this year.
8 Tennessee Titans
This team hasn’t dropped off at all since the AFC championship. Derrick Henry is still leading smash mouth style offense. The defense is solid, and it allows Ryan Tannehill to win the team games. We just need to hope that the team didn’t lose its rhythm due to a bye week. Mike Vrable is a great defensive minded coach that can lead this team into another deep playoff run.
7 Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have a tough stretch of games ahead and they have to come off this bye week better then they were before it. The offense is good enough to allow the stacked defense with stars like Bud Dupree, Tj Watt, Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, and Joe Haden, to win them games. As long as this team stays healthy the sky is the limit. Mike Tomlin was a contender for coach of the year last season and I expect him to be just as good of a coach this year.
6 Buffalo Bills
I was wrong about Josh Allen. Last week I said that the team was great but Josh Allen’s horrific ball placement and accuracy made the team much worse. I will admit there are times his inaccuracy shows but he makes up for that with his great play making ability. The defense still doesn’t have a great pass rusher but the rest of the of the defense is so good it doesn’t really matter. Sean McDermott is a great head coach that might be coaching the team that’s going to knock the Chiefs out of the playoffs.
5 New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees and the Saints are only going to step up with the return of Micheal Thomas, the NFL’s best receiver. Alvin Kamara is a top 3 running back right now, Drew Brees is one of the most accurate passers in the league, and Micheal Thomas can run almost every route on a elite level. Demario Davis is a superb linebacker, Marshon Lattimore can shut down some of the best receivers, and Cameron Jordan is a supreme pass rusher. Sean Peyton just needs to avoid choking in the playoffs.
4 Baltimore Ravens
This team is undoubtedly the most talented, but they don’t have the ability to consistently have this talent play to their full potential. It’s no secret that they can beat the bad teams, but they need to be able to beat the better teams such as the Chief, Bills, Saints, etc. John Harbaugh is a great coach but he needs to learn how to coach well against the great teams.
3 Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson is cooking and it’s working. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett have been great weapons for Russell Wilson. Chris Carson is a superb running back that has help from Carlos Hyde when he’s tired. The most important addition of this offseason is to the defense, Jamal Adams, and he has made a huge impact over the first quarter of the season. Pete Carroll has went from a run based offense to a pass based one over the offseason and it has been working.
2 Green Bay Packers
The Packers have one of the best offenses in the league. Aaron Rodgers has returned to his elite status and he’s playing like he has nothing to lose. Aaron Jones is a strong runner that can take any run to the house. His receivers may not be great but this week showed Aaron Rodgers doesn’t need great receivers. The defense has been solid, Jaire Alexander is still very athletic and can lock down most receivers and Kenny Clark is a phenomenal run stuffer. Matt Lefleur is currently the front runner for coach of the year and he’s going to lead them to a great playoff run.
1 Kansas City Chiefs
Are you surprised? This team has been lighting up every team they play, including the Ravens. The offense has too many high caliber weapons for defense’s to handle. The Chiefs’ defense is what stole the show last week. It became clear that Tyrann Mathieu’s ability to cover a lot of ground allows the rest of the defense to play tight defense. Andy Reid may get back to back Super Bowls if the team keeps playing like it is.
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