As the 2018-19 NFL season is underway, certain franchises have stepped into the spotlight. As the weeks progress, here are the NFL Power Rankings, brought to you by The Athletes Hub:
1. Los Angeles Rams (11-1) (+1)
Even with a loss to the New Orleans Saints a few weeks back, the Los Angeles Rams are now the most impressive team in the NFL. Gaining Aqib Talib back will improve the defense over time, and as long as this roster stays healthy, the Rams may be the favorites in the NFL once again.
2. New Orleans Saints (10-2) (-1)
There is still an argument to place the New Orleans Saints at #1 this week, but after a loss to the Dallas Cowboys, it’s apparent that this franchise is no longer immune to defeat. Although Dallas holds one of the best defenses in the NFL, New Orleans’s offense found zero rhythm on Thursday night.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (10-2) (-)
The Kansas City Chiefs came away with a victory in Week 13, but let up 33 points to a struggling Oakland Raiders offense. Patrick Mahomes kept himself in the MVP race, tossing 295 yards and 4 touchdowns.
4. New England Patriots (9-3) (-)
With a win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, the New England Patriots seemed impressive on both sides of the ball. Tom Brady is not playing at an elite level, but the Patriots are continuing to find ways to win football games.
5. Houston Texans (9-3) (-)
I was sold on the Houston Texans weeks ago, and it’s been justified week in and week out. With 9 consecutive victories, the Texans hold the longest active win streak in the NFL.
6. Los Angeles Chargers (9-3) (-)
By posting 18 points in the fourth quarter, the Los Angeles Chargers upset the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road. This not only cements them as a playoff roster, but perhaps as an elite AFC powerhouse.
7. Chicago Bears (8-4) (-)
The Chicago Bears pushed their game against the New York Giants into overtime, but were unable to secure the victory under Chase Daniel. This is a team that should secure the NFC North, but Mitchell Trubisky needs to rehab sooner than later.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4-1) (-)
Although the Pittsburgh Steelers dropped a game to the Los Angeles Chargers, it’s hard to deny that they remain as a contender in the AFC. James Conner is projected to miss some time, so the pressure will be on Ben Roethlisberger’s arm for the time being.
9. Baltimore Ravens (7-5) (+1)
A victory over the Atlanta Falcons makes three straight for the Baltimore Ravens, as Lamar Jackson continues to become the driving force of this offense. With a quarterback controversy at hand, it’ll be difficult to tell who gets the start when the postseason arrives.
10. Dallas Cowboys (7-5) (+3)\
With perhaps the largest upset of the season at hand, the Dallas Cowboys have bumped themselves into the top ten. If Dak Prescott and company come away with a victory against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 14, the Cowboys should be cemented as the NFC East champions.
11. Seattle Seahawks (7-5) (+3)
A win over the San Francisco 49ers was the highest-scoring outing this season for the Seahawks (43 points). With 3 consecutive wins, the Week 14 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings may prove to be vital to the playoff picture.
12. Minnesota Vikings (6-5-1) (-3)
As the weeks go on, the Minnesota Vikings become less convincing as a postseason contender. At this current rate, there is a chance that Minnesota misses out on the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.
13. Carolina Panthers (6-6) (-2)
With yet another loss, the Carolina Panthers are continuing to dig their own grave. Before the end of the season, Cam Newton and company are forced to play the New Orleans twice, including in Week 17.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (6-6) (+1)
The Philadelphia Eagles prevailed against a Mark Sanchez-led Washington Redskins on Monday night, which can’t be much of a surprise. The winner of the Week 14 matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles may very well go on to win the NFC East.
15. Denver Broncos (6-6) (+2)
The rest of the season is smooth sailing for the Denver Broncos, who play the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, and then the Los Angeles Chargers at home in Week 17. Although it’s a stretch, the Broncos could win out and secure themselves a wild card slot.
16. Indianapolis Colts (6-6) (-4)
I’m not sure how to describe the events that took place for the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13, as they were shut out 6-0 by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Attempting to compete for a wild card spot, these next few weeks will be vital for Andrew Luck’s offense.
17. Green Bay Packers (4-7-1) (-1)
After releasing Mike McCarthy, the Green Bay Packers will start from scratch next season. The rumor mill will be flooded with candidates for the 2019 head coaching position, but who emerges as the favorite has yet to be seen.
18. Tennessee Titans (6-6) (-)
Had the Tennessee Titans lost to the New York Jets on Sunday, I think their playoff chances would have been out of the box. Instead, the team is hanging on by a thread for a wild card spot, and play the Jacksonville Jaguars next weekend.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7) (+4)
I’m not sure what to make of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have been one of the most inconsistent offensive teams in the NFL. Jameis Winston played like his career in Tampa Bay was on the line, and may have bought himself a little more time.
20. Miami Dolphins (6-6) (+7)
An impressive win over the Buffalo Bills keeps the Miami Dolphins in contention, and I’m not sure how that’s possible. With a 5-1 home record, the Dolphins will need to steal a win from the New England Patriots or Minnesota Vikings in the next two weeks.
21. Detroit Lions (4-8) (-2)
The Detroit Lions essentially knocked themselves out of the playoff picture with a loss to the Los Angeles Rams. The health of Kerryon Johnson has been in question for the last several weeks, and it has slowed down the dynamics of this offense.
22. Atlanta Falcons (4-8) (-2)
It’s hard to imagine that a team that once appeared in a Super Bowl has now dropped 4 straight games, this time to a rookie quarterback. The Atlanta Falcons don’t have the necessary pieces to move forward, and the solution isn’t as easy as some may think.
23. Cleveland Browns (4-7-1) (-2)
The Cleveland Browns didn’t wake up until the second half in their loss to the Houston Texans, but outscored them 13-6 during that stretch. Baker Mayfield has been the most impressive rookie quarterback this season, and the future is still bright.
24. New York Giants (4-8) (+4)
New York was lucky to hold onto a win over the Chicago Bears, but the future is still dim. There are missing pieces on the offensive line, and acquiring a younger quarterback needs to be a priority this off-season.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8) (-)
With a 6-0 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, the Jacksonville Jaguars snapped their 7-game losing streak. Despite the win, the Jaguars are forced to go on the road against the Tennessee Titans, who need a win to remain in the hunt.
26. Buffalo Bills (4-8) (-4)
After a win the week prior, the Buffalo Bills suffered a loss to the Miami Dolphins in which Josh Allen continued to shows dim sparks of light. Had the Bills won, their chances at the postseason would have been much greater, seeing that the upcoming schedule is predominantly weaker opponents.
27. Cincinnati Bengals (5-7) (-3)
It turns out that Jeff Driskel is not the future of the Cincinnati Bengals. With a loss to the Denver Broncos, the Bengals were hindered with further barriers, as AJ Green has been placed on IR.
28. Arizona Cardinals (3-9) (+4)
Somehow the Arizona Cardinals found themselves under the win column against a desperate Green Bay Packers. It wasn’t impressive, but nonetheless, a win is a win.
29. New York Jets (3-9) (-)
The New York Jets almost stole a win from the Tennessee Titans, but instead see their 2019 draft stock increase. Without Sam Darnold on the field, this is a totally different offense.
30. Washington Redskins (6-6) (-4)
Just as the Washington Redskins felt like they had a chance to secure the NFC East, Colt McCoy goes down with a season-ending injury and is replaced by Mark Sanchez. Reports have detailed that Colin Kaepernick will not be brought in, so erase the conspiracy theories.
31. San Francisco 49ers (2-10) (-1)
After being blown out by the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers may be in position to secure the #1 pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. If that’s the case, a conservative addition is needed in order for the 49ers to remain competitive.
32. Oakland Raiders (2-10) (-1)
The Oakland Raiders drop down to #32 after letting a win escape against Kansas City. From a team that was once an AFC contender, it’s shocking to see how far downhill this franchise has slipped.
Featured Image: USA Today