Overtime thrillers, the catch of the year (twice) and a season obituary – this is what you came for.
Here are this week’s NFL power rankings.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0)
Last week: 1
Still sitting pretty atop, well, pretty much everything right now. Steelers move to 10-0 by taking care of Jacksonville with little fuss.
James Conner was running at 6.8 yards per carry, Big Ben was distributing the ball around his receiving corps and the defence while only picking up two sacks, still made life miserable for Jags quarterback Jake Luton by picking him off four times. But don’t blink now, as the Ravens come to town to share Thanksgiving hostilities.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (9-1)
Last week: 2
Speaking little fuss – Patrick Mahomes showed about as much worry as a cat by a fire, when Raiders took the lead with 1:43 left on the clock.
That was way too much time, as it turned out. Should the Chiefs be worried that their defence got largely pushed around? Not when you got Postman Pat. Another big clash coming up this week too – at Tampa Bay. The GOAT versus the heir apparent? Stay tuned.
3. New Orleans Saints (8-2)
Last week: 5
Well, the NFL blew up over the weekend at the Saints starting Taysom Hill over Jameis “30 for 30” Winston, in place of the injured Drew Brees.
Well, we need not really have worried, as Hill slotted in pretty well – gaining two touchdown runs (surprise, surprise) and forming a solid rapport with safety net receiver Michael Thomas. Also, that Saints defensive unit is becoming a problem. For opponents that is.
4. Buffalo Bills (7-3)
Last week: 4
No news is good news in a bye week. I can only assume that during the break, each member of the Buffalo Bills team stayed home and wrote thank you notes to the greatest fans in all of football.
Seriously the level of commitment to getting absolutely hammered, then jumping on tables in the freezing cold – yeah, that’s a real special breed.
5. Indianapolis Colts (7-3)
Last week: 8
Well, well, well – they might just be getting something going in Indy. To be honest, I didn’t really know if they had it in them to keep pace with Green Bay. Not only did they come back from a 14-point deficit, but they really had the game sewn up in regulation, until they fell apart with a series offensive penalties.
It was like they taken classes on how to blow a game – hosted by the Chargers and Falcons. But fret not, the defence held firm (as per usual) and kicker Rodrigo Blankenship kicked them home in overtime.
6. Green Bay Packers (7-3)
Last week: 3
A lot of support from withing the side for receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling who had the game-losing fumble. And despite the finality of it, I actually think that’s fair.
The Packers were a bit fast and loose with possession, which ultimately cost them a game that was going along swimmingly during the middle stages. But, no time to sulk fellas, as the Bears come to Lambeau this week, in primetime.
7. Los Angeles Rams (7-3)
Last week: 10
The up-tempo offense of the Rams continues to bemuse defences and any poor sap trying to use the 15-second fast forward option on Kayo (like myself). This week’s victim – the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It is a really good win for the Rams considering the NFC standings and proves that they can turn it on away from SoFi Stadium. Also, Cooper Kupp was running around like a ghost out there – Bucs defenders couldn’t even seem to lay a hand on him.
8. Seattle Seahawks (7-3)
Last week: 11
Nothing like a bit of Russ’ home cookin’ to get things back in order. Backup running back Carlos Hyde put up 79 rushing yards and a score on just 14 carries and for some reason Tyler Lockett seems to really like playing against Arizona. He’s now amassed 267 receiving yards and four touchdowns in two games!
9. Tennessee Titans (7-3)
Last week: 12
Probably my favourite game of the round. It all started with some chat before the game, with Titans players gathering on the Ravens shield on the halfway line and attracting the ire of Ravens players and even coach John Harbaugh. From that point you knew it was on.
The Titans battled back from 21-10 down in the second half, as King Henry steadily got better (like he does) and receiver AJ Brown scored a ridiculous touchdown that elicited memories of Jonah Lomu. He simply would not be stopped by any tackler.
10. Cleveland Browns (7-3)
Last week: 14
Don’t look now, but the Browns are in the top 10. Yes, the Cleveland Browns. Still not exactly sure what to think of this team, due to it’s passing game limitations. But the old adage of “run the ball and play good defence” is well and truly alive in these Browns, as they head to Jacksonville next week.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3)
Last week: 7
Uncle Tom and Tampa take a bit of a tumble. That’s the ‘çhildren’s book’ summation of what’s going on with these Bucs. And really, what is going on with these Bucs?
Coach Bruce Arians has asserted that a lack of continuity being a key reason. Albeit, that the last guy in – Antonio Brown – has been working well with Brady finding him early and often. Some real wobbles on offense overall though. Sheesh.
12. Baltimore Ravens (6-4)
Last week: 6
Just a quick recap – the Ravens got disrespected and headbutted at home by the Titans. Then, running backs Mark Ingram, J.K. Dobbins, defensive lineman Brandon Wiilliams, and linebacker Pernell McPhee were all been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list and won’t pay next week.
They’ve cancelled practice and their Tuesday media session. Oh and now head to Pittsburgh on a short turnaround to take on the unbeaten Steelers. If I liked the Ravens more, I might care. But I just don’t.
13. Arizona Cardinals (6-4)
Last week: 9
Took a step back against the Seahawks on Thursday Night Football, but not exactly a huge step back. Seattle can be a horrid place for teams to play at, so I wouldn’t sweat it too much. What the team can address is it’s defensive frailties and maybe too many sneaky plays by the offense, which are often getting caught out badly. Good to see first round draft pick Isaiah Simmons getting a more prominent role at the linebacker spot. He’s a playmaker, this kid.
14. Las Vegas Raiders (6-4)
Last week: 13
Not much of a consolation for Raiders fans, but they are still the only team to have picked off Patrick Mahomes. They managed to keep him reasonably quiet (by his ridiculous standards), while the offense really had their way with the KC defence – seemingly putting up points at will.
Then the KC drive happened. Oh well. I’m sure Derek Carr can bounce back after this loss and also my fiancé commenting “he’s scary” (looking).
Poor guy. On both counts.
15. Miami Dolphins (6-4)
Last week: 15
Last week I said that three straight wins had settled the ‘FitzMagic versus Tua’ debate, but alas, that proved slightly premature.
Struggling mightily against a Broncos defence for three quarters, head coach Brian Flores benched Tagovailoa and brought Fitzpatrick into the game. The result was typical – he injected some much-needed life into the offense, then folded with an end zone interception. I just don’t know anymore.
16. Chicago Bears (5-5)
Last week: 16
How good are bye weeks? The Bears players get to rest up and sort whatever physical/mental/spiritual issues that may have arisen, while the fans are not subjected to having to watch their atrocious offense for three hours and I don’t have to write about how atrocious their offense is.
Even though, I kinda just did. Whoops.
17. Detroit Lions (4-6)
Last week: 17
If you’re looking for positivity here, you’ve come to the wrong place. There’s no positivity here. The Lions got held to zip, zero, Robert De Niro against the Panthers missing its quarterback and running back.
It’s the first shut out for the Lions since 2009 and the first time Matthew Stafford has been blanked in a Lions uniform. Now headed back to Detroit to host the Texans, I don’t know if anyone has a clue what happen there.
18. New England Patriots (4-6)
Last week: 18
Managed not to fall in this week’s rankings, due to the teams below them all losing too. Cam Newton threw for 365 yards and a touchdown, while receiver Damiere Byrd hauled in six catches for 132 yards and a touchdown, so it was a bit of an offensive explosion by the Pats (by 2020 standards).
Curious match-up this week as they host ‘The Kyler Murray Experience’ and Arizona.
19. Minnesota Vikings (4-6)
Last week: 19
The game against the Cowboys featured the catch of the season, as rookie Dallas wideout CeeDee Lamb caught a magnificent, twisting, turning one hander for a touchdown.
Only for the Vikes own Adam Thielen to go and grab another stunner up the other end of the field. Check them out if you get a chance. All this sugar-coats Minnesota losing to ‘Dem Boys’.
20. San Francisco 49ers (4-6)
Last week: 20
Bit of a chance to get healthy with a week off and the 49ers will welcome back some running back reinforcements in the form of Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr to take on the Rams this week.
That’s the good. The bad is cornerback K’Waun Williams getting suspended two games for using performance enhancing drugs. Does that sort of penalty seem a bit light to you?
21. Denver Broncos (4-6)
Last week: 24
They’re a tricky little team to figure out, these Broncos. Falling behind early, proved no issue, as they’re defence and running game got going.
Probably could’ve sealed this one too, had Melvin Gordon III not fumbled on his way to what would’ve been his third touchdown of the day. Quarterback Drew Lock also had a steady performance, as he battled through a rib injury.
22. Carolina Panthers (4-7)
Last week: 26
You gotta love it when I guy who was a former CFL star gets in to the big leagues and has success. Quarterback P.J. Walker filled in for Teddy Bridgewater and came away with a win against Detroit.
Walker threw for 258 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, as the Panthers defence dominated in this one. Bridgewater was close to playing in this game, so is expected to take over against the Vikings next week.
23. Philadelphia Eagles (3-6-1)
Last week: 21
Despite losing to the Browns, Philly are still actually leading the NFC East – by way of a tie against the Bengals, earlier in the season.
Now, we can look forward one of the league’s more frustrating teams playing on Monday Night Football against Russell and the Seahawks. Prepare to be irked.
24. New York Giants (3-7)
Last week: 22
Bit of an up-and-down bye week for the G-Men as the Eagles lost, but the Cowboys and Washington both won. This all means it’s game on in the NFC East, as the Giants head to Cincinnati to take on a devastated Bengals outfit.
25. Atlanta Falcons (3-7)
Last week: 23
Former Falcons wide receiver Roddy White tweeted about how the Falcons were going to smack the Saints, with Taysom Hill as their quarterback. And much like the entire Falcons season, this turned out to be an embarrassment, with Saints coach Sean Payton re-posting White’s tweet for a laugh. That about sums it up really.
26. Los Angeles Chargers (3-7)
Last week: 27
It was so satisfying to see this side get a win this week, after numerous close calls and heartbreaks. I know, it was only against the Jets, but for all the effort these Bolts have put in, they deserved something. Albeit that despite leading 31-13 in the third quarter, they did almost let it slip (sound familiar?). But thankfully, not this time. Phew.
27. Washington Football Team (3-7)
Last week: 28
There was some caution for Joe Burrow heading to Washington to face their vaunted pass rush, but man-oh-man it turned out to be a feeding frenzy. WFT piled up only four sacks, but 12 quarterback hits – including the infamous Joe Burrow feller.
Great time for a win though, as Alex Smith leads the side against Dallas in a divisional match-up that could be vital.
28. Houston Texans (3-7)
Last week: 29
You know what we haven’t seen enough of this year? Actually, that is quite a loaded question in 2020, but what I mean is that we haven’t seen nearly enough Deshaun Watson highlights. So, it was refreshing to see him pull out some of his renowned heroics against the Patriots.
Could this be the start of a resurgence? OK, that’s a stretch, but we’ll see.
29. Dallas Cowboys (3-7)
Last week: 30
Yee-haa! Andy Dalton got back on deck and the Cowboys pulled off a somewhat unexpected win against Minnesota. Dalton threw three touchdowns, including the game-winner with 1:37 left in the fourth quarter. In fact the final quarter saw four touchdowns scored, as both teams used the “last score wins” approach.
30. Cincinnati Bengals (2-7-1)
Last week: 25
RIP to the Bengals 2020 season. In fact if this were a rankings based on fan morale – the Bengals would be comfortably last.
Rookie quarterback Joe Burrow not only tore the ACL in his left knee, but also his MCL and pretty much anything else that is in there. It also broke Cincinnati hearts. Maybe it will strengthen their resolve to go O-Line, O-Line, O-Line in the upcoming draft and free agency.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9)
Last week: 31
Good thing there’s no relegation playoff for these Jags. Suffering a good old thrashing at the hand of the unbeaten Steelers is nothing to be sniffed at, but this team just doesn’t seem to be progressing at all. They could play the role of spoiler down the stretch, but then again, that may be slightly optimistic.
32. New York Jets (0-10)
Last week: 32
It’s stagnant water down here at the bottom of the rankings. After falling well behind against the Chargers, the Jets did spring to life and nearly steal it. But I guess it goes to show how bad this team is – the Chargers tried to choke and New York still couldn’t win.