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. New Orleans Saints (11-2) (+1)
After a brief drop to the #2 slot last week, the New Orleans Saints offense gelled together to overcome the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With 17 points placed in the 4th quarter, the Saints are still proving to be the best in the league.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (11-2) (+1)
An overtime victory for Patrick Mahomes places him back in the lead of the MVP conversation. There is worry about a second-year quarterback such as Mahomes facing elite talent in the postseason, but based on his efforts during the regular season, the only primary worry for Kansas City should be their defense.
3. Los Angeles Rams (11-2) (-2)
After dropping a Sunday night game to the Chicago Bears, there are still glaring issues on both sides of the ball for the Los Angeles Rams. Had the New England Patriots held on to beat the Miami Dolphins, the Rams could have very well fallen to #4.
4. Los Angeles Chargers (10-3) (+2)
Even without Melvin Gordon in the backfield, the Los Angeles Chargers are still winning week after week. With 3 consecutive victories under their belt, the Chargers may be the most impressive wild card franchise in recent memory.
5. New England Patriots (9-4) (-1)
We can talk about the “Miracle in Miami”, or the fact that to end the first half, Tom Brady took a sack in the closing seconds, rather than throwing the ball away and settling for a field goal. The New England Patriots continue to outsmart themselves, and need to fix any issues they may have before it’s too late.
6. Chicago Bears (9-4) (+1)
With what I believe to be the best defense in the NFL, the Chicago Bears overthrew the Los Angeles Rams at home. Perhaps the weather got to the Rams, but this was another impressive feat for Chicago’s defense.
7. Houston Texans (9-4) (-2)
The Houston Texans had the opportunity to overthrow the New England Patriots for the #2 seed in the AFC, but failed to beat the Indianapolis Colts. This was the Texans first loss since September 23rd against the New York Giants.
8. Dallas Cowboys (8-5) (+2)
After 5 straight wins, the Dallas Cowboys are one victory (or one loss from the Eagles) away from clinching the NFC East. While the division has been a bore for a majority of the season, the Cowboys are gaining a bit of traction before the postseason emerges.
9. Seattle Seahawks (8-5) (+2)
An impressive defensive stand by the Seattle Seahawks forces us to respect their current roster, regardless of the inconsistencies. With Doug Baldwin getting the week to rest, there is optimism that he will be ready for Week 15 against the San Francisco 49ers.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5-1) (-2)
At this rate, there is a possibility that the Pittsburgh Steelers may not even make it to the postseason. With James Conner absent, the Steelers will hope to witness some consistency out of Ben Roethlisberger before it’s too late.
11. Baltimore Ravens (7-6) (-2)
Although the Baltimore Ravens suffered a loss, holding onto the Kansas City Chiefs until overtime is impressive. Lamar Jackson is now 3-1 as a starter in the NFL, and faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 15.
12. Indianapolis Colts (7-6) (+4)
The Indianapolis Colts continue to push for the wild card, and a victory over the Houston Texans was much needed. Andrew Luck is continuing to resemble himself from years back, but his 3-3 record in the postseason is worrisome.
13. Minnesota Vikings (6-6-1) (-1)
Monday night was a must-win game for Minnesota, as Kirk Cousins proves to be one of the most overpaid quarterbacks of all-time. The defense is no longer elite, and because of that, the Vikings may miss out on the postseason for the 2nd time in 3 years.
14. Tennessee Titans (7-6) (+4)
Out of all the 7-6 teams in the AFC, the Tennessee Titans may have the easiest remaining schedule. With games against the New York Giants and Washington Redskins, there is a good chance the wild card will go to the winner between the Colts and Titans in Week 17. Tennessee is currently 5-1 at home this season.
15. Miami Dolphins (7-6) (+5)
Somehow and someway, the Miami Dolphins are still in the playoff hunt. A desperate victory against the New England Patriots shakes up the AFC to a degree, but the expectations are still low.
16. Carolina Panthers (6-7) (-3)
At one point in time, the Carolina Panthers were considered a sincere threat in the NFC this season. A few weeks later, we are talking about a franchise that lost to the Cleveland Browns and have dropped 5 straight games.
17. Green Bay Packers (5-7-1) (-)
In the first game with Mike McCarthy, the Green Bay Packers found their first victory in 4 weeks. The rest of the NFC should hope the Packers drop one more game this season, because at this rate, the wild card is still up for grabs.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) (-4)
After losing Corey Clement in a loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles practically need to win out in order to secure the wild card. Carson Wentz was oddly inaccurate in Week 14, which begs us to wonder whether his ACL injury is affecting him mentally.
19. Cleveland Browns (5-7-1) (+4)
The hype is starting to incline around the Cleveland area, and everyone knows it. The Browns have won 3 of their 4 games, and face struggling franchises in the Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals over the next 2 weeks of play.
20. Denver Broncos (6-7) (-5)
Just as Denver’s defense was starting to emerge, they allow 300+ passing yards and 2 TD to Nick Mullens and the San Francisco 49ers. Sitting below .500 at this stage in the season is dangerous, as the Broncos are on the brink of playoff elimination.
21. Detroit Lions (5-8) (-)
Detroit did what we expected them to do in Week 14, taking down the Arizona Cardinals 17-3. The Lions improve to 2-4 on the road, which is a record that doesn’t sit well with most fans.
22. New York Giants (5-8) (+2)
A 40-point performance by the New York Giants was their largest margin of victory this season (24). The playoff hopes for this team are bleak at best, but it was impressive to see this offense remain so fluid without Odell Beckham Jr. on the field.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-8) (-4)
Prior to the loss against the New Orleans Saints, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were sitting at a 4-2 record at home. For a team that’s won 5 games in total, obviously some much-needed changes across the board will be put into motion before Tampa Bay is taken seriously.
24. Atlanta Falcons (4-9) (-2)
Atlanta continues to get punished by each opponent that comes their way, with the Green Bay Packers being the latest suitor. The Falcons have lost 5 straight games, and will likely lose a few more before the end of the season.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9) (-)
The Jacksonville defense hasn’t been put in a position to be successful, as the offense is continuously changing quarterbacks. Blake Bortles has been shut down for the season, as the Jaguars will look to either the upcoming draft or free agency for their successor.
26. New York Jets (4-9) (+3)
In his first game since Week 9, Sam Darnold picked up his 4th win of the season. His rookie season isn’t anything to write home about, but Darnold will continue to be the centerpiece of this offense for years to come.
27. Buffalo Bills (4-9) (-1)
Josh Allen has impressed as of late with his legs, but hasn’t been able to finish drives when it matters. The Buffalo Bills are now 2-4 at home this year, and Allen is 32nd in QBR with 62.8.
28. Cincinnati Bengals (5-8) (-1)
Since the injuries to Andy Dalton and AJ Green, the Cincinnati Bengals haven’t been taken quite seriously. A loss to the Los Angeles Chargers sealed their fate for the year.
29. Arizona Cardinals (3-10) (-1)
Arizona scored 3 points against the Detroit Lions defense, which leaves us to wonder why scouts were calling Josh Rosen the most “pro-ready” rookie coming into 2018.
30. San Francisco 49ers (3-10) (+1)
Nick Mullens showed another flash of fine play, as the San Francisco 49ers picked up their 3rd win of the campaign. This hurts their draft position obviously, but we’re glad to know the 49ers have a few pieces in place to be successful when the timing is right.
31. Oakland Raiders (3-10) (+1)
Oakland picked up a win of their own over the weekend, and it was a shock to almost everyone. The media is jumping to conclusions over the future of the Raiders, but patience will be key for this future Las Vegas franchise.
32. Washington Redskins (6-7) (-2)
After benching Mark Sanchez, the Washington Redskins turned to their 4th QB this year in Josh Johnson. Many are calling upon Colin Kaepernick to receive an opportunity, but the Redskins are hesitant to say the least.