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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 (13-2) (-)
A marginal victory for the New Orleans Saints on Sunday grants them home field advantage through the postseason. Drew Brees remains a steady favorite for the MVP award, as the Saints are primed for a deep playoff run.
2. Los Angeles Rams (12-3) (+3)
Even without Todd Gurley in the backfield, the Los Angeles Rams put up 31 points in a win over the Arizona Cardinals. Week 17 should see the Rams rest multiple star assets, as the #2 seed is locked up in their favor.
3. Chicago Bears (11-4) (+1)
Although controversial, it’s hard to dispute a franchise that has won 9 of their last 10 games. The Bears often struggle on the road, as they are 4-3 to this point.
4. Los Angeles Chargers (11-4) (-2)
As soon as we begin to hand the Los Angeles Chargers a minimal amount of credit, they return the favor with doubt. In a 22-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, it will be difficult for the Chargers to make a deep postseason run as the #5 seed and be pinned against elite opponents.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) (-2)
Against opponents in a prime time setting, the Kansas City Chiefs simply can not deliver. In their latest road loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the Chiefs should be grateful that the AFC will run through Kansas City this year.
6. New England Patriots (10-5) (+2)
It wasn’t pretty, but the New England Patriots won comfortably against the Buffalo Bills to snap a 2-game losing streak. Without Josh Gordon on the roster, Tom Brady will continue to be in search for an elite WR1.
7. Houston Texans (10-5) (-1)
The Houston Texans was exposed on Sunday, allowing 4 TD passes to Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles. In result, the Texans allowed for the #2 seed to fall into the laps of the New England Patriots, and there won’t be enough time to earn it back.
8. Baltimore Ravens (9-6) (+1)
The defense for the Baltimore Ravens continues to be elite, allowing only 10 points to darkhorse MVP candidate Philip Rivers. Although Lamar Jackson lacked superstar numbers in Week 16, he holds a starting record of 5-1.
9. Indianapolis Colts (9-6) (+1)
Week 17 will be treated as a playoff game for the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans, as the winner comes away with the final AFC wild card spot. The game has been moved to Sunday night, making this a must-watch spectacle.
10. Dallas Cowboys (9-6) (+1)
Dallas secured themselves the NFC title on Sunday, despite an inconsistent season. Dak Prescott now holds 2 division titles in 3 years, so it’s difficult to count him as anything but a winning quarterback.
11. Seattle Seahawks (9-6) (+1)
On their home field, the Seattle Seahawks continue to dominate opponents, holding a 5-2 record. With a recent victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle is proving to be a force within the NFC.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6-1) (-5)
Pittsburgh Steelers fans will also be Cleveland Browns fans in Week 17, as they need their divisional colleagues to defeat the Baltimore Ravens, which would result in Pittsburgh claiming the AFC North title.
13. Minnesota Vikings (8-6-1) (-)
Minnesota is on their home turf in Week 17 against the Chicago Bears, and a victory secures them into the final NFC wild card slot. With a potential loss, Vikings fans need for the Washington Redskins to pull off an upset against a red-hot Philadelphia Eagles roster for them to retain their #6 slot.
14. Tennessee Titans (9-6) (-)
After a victory over the Washington Redskins on Saturday, their home record improves to 6-1. With a must-win Week 17 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts at hand, Tennessee should be favored in this elimination game.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (8-7) (-)
Under Nick Foles, the Philadelphia Eagles are beginning to look dangerous. He was won 2 straight, but aside from a victory on Sunday over the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia also needs for the Chicago Bears to beat the Minnesota Vikings in order to sneak into the playoffs.
16. Cleveland Browns (7-7-1) (-)
The Cleveland Browns may be eliminated from playoff contention, but Baker Mayfield and company have won 5 of their last 6 games. With a victory in Baltimore on Sunday, the Browns will likely eliminate the Baltimore Ravens from the postseason.
17. Green Bay Packers (6-8-1) (+2)
Under Joe Philbin, the Green Bay Packers have seen victory in 2 of their last 3 games. Aaron Rodgers has indirectly supported Philbin moving forward in 2019, but would he be a successful heir to Mike McCarthy?
18. Atlanta Falcons (6-9) (+2)
The Atlanta Falcons won their 2nd home game of the season over the weekend, and have put up 84 points in the last 3 games. With no playoff aspirations, the Falcons close the season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
19. Carolina Panthers (6-9) (-2)
Cam Newton was shut down for the season, and Taylor Heinicke is questionable for Week 17 against the New Orleans Saints. In result, the Carolina Panthers may be grooming none other than Kyle Allen to hold his own against the NFC favorites.
20. Miami Dolphins (7-8) (-2)
Losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars is a new low for the Miami Dolphins, who previously held a 6-1 record at home. The quarterback situation is bleak for 2019, as Ryan Tannehill proves to be incapable of getting the job done.
21. Denver Broncos (6-9) (-)
Running back Phillip Lindsay has been ruled out of Week 17, as well as the Pro Bowl with damage to his wrist. Still, the undrafted rookie has given the Denver Broncos a sense of hope for next season.
22. Detroit Lions (5-10) (-)
As soon as Matt Stafford was pulled from the Week 16 defeat to the Minnesota Vikings, we actually heard fans booing him. For someone who signed a 5-year, $135M extension in 2017, this can’t be the best look for the veteran QB.
23. New York Giants (5-10) (-)
Remember when analysts were calling the New York Giants a favorite for the NFC East? Saquon Barkley was held to 2 yards per carry in Week 16, resulting in their 2nd consecutive loss.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-10) (-)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could have hindered Dallas’ chances at the postseason, but fell short on the road. Jameis Winston has played decent football as of late, but holds a starting road record of 0-6 this year.
25. Buffalo Bills (5-10) (-)
Had Josh Allen played above-average football on Sunday, the Buffalo Bills would have beaten the New England Patriots. With 2 interceptions and only 30 rushing yards under his belt, the expectations couldn’t be much lower.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10) (+1)
The recent victory over the Miami Dolphins only hurt the draft stock for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who may invest in a new quarterback in 2019. The defense continues to create drama off the field, as the coaching staff is facing difficulty controlling their own roster.
27. Cincinnati Bengals (6-9) (-1)
Cincinnati’s defense allowed 3 TD passes to Baker Mayfield, as Hue Jackson continues to face embarrassment from his former team. At this point, it’s shocking that the Bengals won 6 games.
28. New York Jets (4-11) (-)
In a game where the New York Jets were expected to be blown out, they gave Aaron Rodgers a run for his money in a losing overtime effort. Sam Darnold is still an exciting prospect, as he finished with a QBR of 128.4.
29. San Francisco 49ers (4-11) (-)
San Francisco was 5 points away from pulling off an upset against the Chicago Bears, but should have been blown out on paper. There is hope for the 49ers in years to come, but the pressure will be at an all-time for Jimmy Garoppolo to be fully healthy and productive.
30. Washington Redskins (7-8) (-)
Josh Johnson couldn’t pick up another victory, as the Washington Redskins saw defeat against the Tennessee Titans. There is obvious fear that Alex Smith may not be ready by the start of 2019, so is Johnson a better backup option than a rehabbing Colt McCoy?
31. Oakland Raiders (4-11) (+1)
Despite the victory on Monday night, the biggest story surrounding the Oakland Raiders is where they will play home games in 2019. With rumors about the team relocating to London temporarily, this could develop into a major story in coming weeks.
32. Arizona Cardinals (3-12) (-1)
The Arizona Cardinals haven’t seen much time at #32, but may finish the season at this position. The offense had enough pieces to be successful, but there are too many gaps for a sense of fluid play.