Another week of football calls for another week of The Intermission’s Power Rankings. The Chiefs stay on top of the rankings despite the Steelers remaining undefeated coming into Week 11. The Titans and Seahawks also fall this week, while the Cardinals continue to rise. Don’t like where your team ranks? I suggest you call your team’s headquarters and request they improve their play. Now, onto the rankings!
1. Kansas City Chiefs (8-1)
Previous Rank: 1
With the signing of Le’Veon Bell, many thought he would re-emerge as a star once again on a destructive Chiefs offence. But that just hasn’t been the case. He’s looked a step slow in his limited work with the Chiefs offence, much like the same guy who struggled with the Jets. While this is not the slightest bit of an issue for a team that has the most running back depth in the league (Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams), it makes you wonder what his role will be with the team once he returns.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-0)
Previous Rank: 2
After sustaining knee injuries to both knees in last week's win over the Cowboys and not being able to practice due to being placed on the COVID-19 list on a close-contact designation, things weren’t looking that great for Ben Roethlisberger going into Sunday’s derby against the Bengals. But Big Ben showed up, and did his same ol’ Big Ben routine. He carved up a depleted Bengals secondary for 333 yards and four touchdowns in a 36-10 win to move the Steelers to 9-0. With the 1-8 Jaguars on deck for the Steelers, the road to 10-0 has never looked easier.
3. New Orleans Saints (7-2)
Previous Rank: 3
Alvin Kamara led the way for the Saints with three touchdowns in a 27-13 win over the 49ers on Sunday. However, the story that came out of the game was about Drew Brees. After getting rocked on a clean hit by 49ers defensive end Kentavius Street, it was reported by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport that Brees entered Week 10 with at least one cracked rib, and suffered multiple broken ribs and a lung issue during the game. With the Saints choosing to start ultimate utility man Taysom Hill over Jameis Winston, it’ll be interesting to see how Hill is at the reigns of one of the best teams in football.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3)
Previous Rank: 8
After an embarrassing loss to the rival Saints last week, Tom Brady and his Buccaneers needed to bounce back in a big way. They got their opportunity to do so against the 3-6 Panthers and didn’t disappoint, blowing the Panthers out in a 46-23 win. The offence totaled 544 total yards of offence, and the damage could’ve been even worse if not for some red-zone struggles and Tom Brady misses on downfield throws. A statement game for these Buccaneers.
5. Green Bay Packers (7-2)
Previous Rank: 4
If one thing is clear about this Packers’ team, it’s that Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams have undeniable chemistry (dare I say, the most chemistry Rodgers has ever had with a wideout?). It showed in the most important play on Sunday. On the deciding play of the game, Rodgers fooled the Jaguars’ defensive line with a play-action fake, and Adams exploded past rookie cornerback C.J. Henderson to catch a 6-yard touchdown which ultimately were the deciding points in a 24-20 win. Marquez Valdes-Scantling also broke out with four catches for 149 yards. The Packers may have their No. 2 receiver they’ve been looking for this whole time.
6. Buffalo Bills (7-3)
Previous Rank: 5
With less than a minute left in play and down by four points, it was all up to Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs to help deliver the win for his Bills. Diggs responded by beating Patrick Peterson on his route, and Allen made a beautiful throw for the touchdown to help put the Bills ahead of the Cardinals. It looked like a clear win for the Bills. There’s no way Kyler Murray can march his offence down the field with 34 seconds left in play, right? Wrong! On the final play of the game with no time left in play, Kyler evaded the pressure and threw a hail mary into four defenders to DeAndre Hopkins, and Hopkins came up with the ball in probably the highlight of the year to win the game for the Cardinals. This was the type of loss that’s hard to bounce back from for these Bills; where will they go from here after their Week 11 bye?
7. Baltimore Ravens (6-3)
Previous Rank: 6
The Ravens are a good team; the question is are they a great team? Lamar Jackson hasn’t been able to help dig his team out of deficits, shown by his 0-6 record (including playoffs) when trailing by 10 or more points at any point in a game. Jackson has also not been like his previous MVP self, throwing for less passing yards on the season than Dak Prescott (who hasn’t played since Week 5). It’s clear the defence can be elite and the offence is still pretty good despite Jackson’s struggles this season, but is that enough for a championship run this year?
8. Arizona Cardinals (6-3)
Previous Rank: 11
You have to wonder why Bill O’Brien ever traded away his superstar receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals. Hopkins made arguably the play of the year on Sunday, showcasing his insane athleticism to catch a last-second hail mary over three defenders to seal the win for the Cardinals. While the catch was amazing, it was also amazing how potential MVP candidate Kyler Murray evaded the Bills pressure to get the laser-accurate pass off on the run too. This was probably the greatest play in Cardinals history since Larry Fitzgerald’s go-ahead touchdown late in Super Bowl XLIII.
*Edit: The Cardinals lost to the Seahawks on Thursday night, moving their record to 6-4*
9. Seattle Seahawks (6-3)
Previous Rank: 7
It’s been a tough stretch for Russell Wilson and his Seahawks over the past few games. Wilson has accounted for 10 of his 16 turnovers over the past four games, and the Seahawks have a 1-3 record during that span. Is Russell Wilson starting to burn out carrying his team to a potential playoff berth. It’s clear that he’s the only reason the team has been winning, as the defence has been historically bad this season, and a plethora of running back injuries doesn’t help either. A measuring game against the Cardinals for the lead of the division commences Thursday night.
*Edit: The Seahawks beat the Cardinals 28-21 on Thursday night, moving their record to 7-3*
10. Miami Dolphins (6-3)
Previous Rank: 10
The Dolphins are making huge plays on defence or special teams every week. Is that sustainable? Probably not, but Dolphins fans are enjoying the show so far. Miami got a blocked punt to set up an early touchdown on Sunday, and rookie Tua Tagovailoa delivered another strong performance in a 29-21 win over the Chargers. This win pushed Miami’s winning streak to five games, and the Fins are 3-0 with Tua under center. The team is tied with the Bills in the loss column so far with seven games to play, and look to tie the record by potentially going 7-3 with a win against the Broncos this upcoming Sunday.
11. Indianapolis Colts (6-3)
Previous Rank: 13
After Thursday’s night beatdown of the rival Titans, it’s clear that when playing the Titans, the Colts are the better, more balanced team. They’ve now won 20 of their last 24 games against their division rivals in a surprisingly one-sided rivalry. The Titans’ imploded on special teams and the Colts took advantage of it: a shanked punt, a blocked punt for a touchdown, and a missed field-goal try. With Marlon Mack’s unfortunate season-ending injury, the Colts are hoping that Nyhiem Hines, who had 115 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns, can build off this performance in the pending game against the Green Bay Packers this Sunday.
12. Tennessee Titans (6-3)
Previous Rank: 9
Mistakes on special teams and offence ultimately cost the Titans in their Thursday night thrashing against the Colts. With a shanked punt, a blocked punt for a touchdown, and a missed field-goal try, plus a dropped (wide open) pass by A.J. Brown in the first quarter with the Titans ahead of the Colts 7-0 killed any momentum the Titans had in this game. The Titans look to bounce back against the Ravens, who also suffered a tough loss in Week 10 to the Patriots.
13. Las Vegas Raiders (6-3)
Previous Rank: 12
The Raiders have quietly been on a tear so far, embarrassing the Broncos in a 37-12 win to push their record to 6-3 and extend their winning streak to three games. Josh Jacobs has been breaking out in the backfield, totalling over 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns in just the third quarter on Sunday. The Raiders have defeated three straight AFC West rivals and will try to make it four when the Chiefs come to town on Sunday. This is a huge measuring game for the Raiders, as they can really announce themselves as a legit AFC contender with a season sweep of Patrick Mahomes and co..
14. Los Angeles Rams (6-3)
Previous Rank: 14
If you were told that Jared Goff wouldn’t throw for a touchdown or Aaron Donald wasn’t going to record a single tackle in a game against the Seahawks, you would probably think they would lose. That just wasn’t the case. The other players on defence, mainly Leonard Floyd, sacked Wilson six times and forced the MVP candidate into three turnovers in the win, with Floyd accounting for three of the sacks. Darius Wilson intercepted Wilson twice, and Jalen Ramsey completely shut down DK Metcalf. Metcalf didn’t even see his first target of the game till the third quarter and finished with just two catches for 28 yards. Still, Jared Goff’s lacklustre play so far this year hasn’t been noteworthy, and it makes you wonder if he can be the man to help the Rams in a potential playoff push.
15. Cleveland Browns (6-3)
Previous Rank: 15
The return of Nick Chubb has definitely bolstered this Browns offence. With Baker Mayfield doing almost nothing against the Texans (but to be fair, the weather didn’t help him out either), completing 12 of his 20 passes for 132 yards and no touchdowns, Chubb and Kareem Hunt stepped up to produce 230 yards on the ground against the Texans. Chubb could’ve had two touchdowns on the day (and possibly prevented the many heart attacks of people who bet on the game) on a late run where he broke free with barely a minute left, but chose to go out of bounds so his offence could just kneel the ball and run the clock out. With games against the Eagles and Jaguars over the coming weeks, this team has the potential to make its first playoff berth since 2002.
16. Minnesota Vikings (4-5)
Previous Rank: 17
Kirk Cousins finally broke his Monday Night Football curse with a 19-13 win over the Bears. The QB finally secured the win after failing previously 10 times. With Dalvin Cook being suppressed by the Bears elite run defence, it came down to Cousins to help win the game, and he delivered the win with a fourth-quarter completion to Kyle Rudolph to help seal the win. While Cousins play was... uninspiring (to say the least) to start off the season, he’s been better over the Vikings three game winning streak, throwing for 672 yards for six touchdowns and one interception. That’s better than earlier in the season, where he threw for a previous league-leading 10 interceptions before the winning streak. The Vikings look to continue their winning ways with a game against the Cowboys in Week 11.
17. New England Patriots (4-5)
Previous Rank: 14
After a narrow victory versus the Jets on Monday Night Football, not many would think the Patriots would go and upset the Ravens at a soggy Gillette Stadium to revitalize their season. But they did just that. Cam Newton was smart and efficient in terrible conditions, and Damien Harris led a rushing attack that bullied Baltimore’s depleted front seven. The defence didn’t let Lamar Jackson make impact plays to help Baltimore, and the Patriots ultimately played better than the Ravens, which is crazy to say about a team that almost lost to the defeated Jets.
18. Atlanta Falcons (3-6)
Previous Rank: 19
The Falcons are an interesting team so far this year. The team started off 0-5 but ever since the firing of Dan Quinn, the team is now 3-1. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones have shown they can still perform at a high level, which makes you wonder if the Falcons should deal them this coming offseason. Todd Gurley is also having an interesting year. He’s been elite at finding the endzone -- scoring nine touchdowns in as many games. But he’s nowhere near the player he once was in Los Angeles. When you factor in his yards per carry (3.7) and some of the questionable decisions he’s made so far this season that has cost Atlanta dearly, it makes you wonder if he’s really bringing anything to the table for Atlanta.
19. Los Angeles Chargers (2-7)
Previous Rank: 18
Justin Herbert was due for a pedestrian performance. After all, he has been ballin out the whole season, and is arguably the offensive rookie of the year. With Sunday’s 29-21 loss to the Dolphins, it drops the Chargers record to 2-7 and pretty much eliminates them from contending for any playoff spot with nearly half the season to play. Herbert managed only 187 passing yards with two touchdowns and one interception against this hot Miami defence. But hey, at least they didn’t lose in crushing fashion this time around.
20. San Francisco 49ers (4-6)
Previous Rank: 21
The 49ers play nearly perfect in the first quarter on Sunday at the Superdome, holding the ball for 13 of the 15 minutes and taking a 10-0 lead with barely any time left in the first quarter. But the depleted 49ers can only do so much. The team muffed two punts and Nick Mullens threw a pair of interceptions, which was ultimately what cost them the game (especially since the defence knocked Drew Brees out of the game and held New Orleans to just 237 yards). This upcoming bye week should help the 49ers get some players back to try to make somewhat of a playoff push.
21. Chicago Bears (5-5)
Previous Rank: 16
After the Bears started the season off 5-1, they immediately proceeded to lose four games in a row to bring them back to .500. The defence played well, shutting down the red hot Dalvin Cook, and limited the Vikings to only 19 points. But the offence is the real issue. The offence could only manage 149 yards of total offense. Things got even worse for the Bears as Nick Foles was carted off the field late in the game, suffering a leg or hip injury. This offence is the stuff of nightmares.
22. Detroit Lions (4-5)
Previous Rank: 27
The Lions barely escaped with victory in Sunday’s 30-27 win against the Washington Football Team. Matt Prater helped solidify the win with a 59-yard field goal as time expired. However, this win was not an inspiring one for these Lions. The team almost blew a 21-point lead to one of football’s worst offences but nevertheless, they managed to still win. Detroit won’t play a team that currently has a winning record until the middle of December, so the path to the playoffs is there. It’s just do you trust Matt Patricia and his Lions to seize the opportunity? I thought so.
23. Carolina Panthers (3-7)
Previous Rank: 20
Things were looking good for the Panthers. They had an early lead on the Buccaneers, and Teddy Bridgewater had completed his first 12 passes, including two for touchdowns. But then the worst started happening. The defence fell apart, the offence self-destructed, and Bridgewater left the game in the final minutes with a knee injury as the Panthers lost to the Buccaneers 46-23. While the Panthers are a competitive team, they’ve now lost five straight games after their previous three game winning streak. Some ugly stuff.
24. New York Giants (3-7)
Previous Rank: 28
The Giants may be the best team in their division; they’ve certainly been playing like it over the past five weeks. While it isn’t much of a milestone since it is, well, the NFC East, it shows the Giants are making undeniable progress under first-year coach Joe Judge. It showed during the Giants 27-17 win on Sunday against the Eagles. Daniel Jones scored on a long TD run and didn’t commit a turnover (for the second consecutive game) and the defence played well, limiting Carson Wentz to no touchdowns and not allowing a single third down try.
25. Denver Broncos (3-6)
Previous Rank: 25
Drew Lock has been hot and cold (mainly cold) this season. He’s shown he can sling the ball with some good performances, but he also showed why he might not be the man to help lead the Broncos out of the basement. This showed in Sunday’s meltdown against the Raiders, as Lock threw four interceptions as the Broncos went on to lose 37-12. Lock is now up to 10 interceptions on the season, and has been playing sort of reckless so far. While Lock is still very young and could improve with the right coaching and better decision-making, will John Elway and the Broncos have the patience to live with this?
26. Cincinnati Bengals (2-6-1)
Previous Rank: 23
The Bengals were Joe Frazier entering the ring against George Foreman on Sunday. It was a knockout from the start. Ben Roethlisberger carved up the injury-depleted Cincinnati secondary for 333 yards and four touchdowns, and Burrow wasn’t his usual self playing against Pittsburgh’s elite defence in the 36-10 loss. The Bengals have shown they can hang with decent opponents or teams around their level, but they’re not particularly close to the top tier teams. While Burrow has given a depleted fanbase some hope, there’s a lot more work that must get done for the Bengals to truly become contenders.
27. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5-1)
Previous Rank: 22
The Eagles are beyond broken on offence. Carson Wentz has been undeniably bad this season, and his season hit a new low with a 27-17 loss against the Giants. The offence went the entire game without converting a third down (0-for-9), and Carson Wentz didn’t find the endzone once. There was no excuse for Wentz this time. He had most of his weapons (Miles Sanders, Jalen Reagor, Travis Fulgham, Dallas Goedert, Alshon Jeffrey) and he still couldn’t get the job done. To my Eagles friend Dalton… if you’re reading this, the Eagles are DONE.
28. Houston Texans (2-7)
Previous Rank: 26
At least the Texans still have Deshaun Watson. Watson has been the only light in a season where the Texans can’t get out of the basement. Unfortunately, due to harsh weather conditions where there was driving rain and fierce winds, it grounded both Cleveland and Houston’s passing games in what was a close 10-7 win. Watson’s streak of six straight games with a 100-plus passer rating and Will Fuller’s six-game touchdown streak were wrapped. At least the Texans will get a good pick in the draft, right? Nope. They traded their top two picks away to the Dolphins. As if the season couldn’t get any worse.
29. Washington Football Team (2-7)
Previous Rank: 29
Alex Smith proved he can still be a legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL, nearly leading his team back from a 21-point deficit, but ultimately falling short by a Matt Prater 59-yard field goal as time expired. Still, it was a win to build off of for this offence. Alex Smith set career highs in completions (38) and passing yards (390). If one thing is clear, it’s that the Redsk- I mean the Football Team, doesn’t want anything to do with Dwyane Haskins ever again.
30. Dallas Cowboys (2-7)
Previous Rank: 30
The return of Andy Dalton should undeniably bolster this offence that’s been horrible since the Dak Prescott injury. While Dalton did struggle mightily in his first starts, he’s had some time to probably talk with Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to talk about plays that worked for him during his heyday with the Bengals during his time dealing with a concussion and COVID-19. Given the firepower of this offence, featuring weapons such as Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb, Dalton should be able to lead this team competence on offence at least. If he can’t, it’s on the coaching staff as much as it’s on the quarterback.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8)
Previous Rank: 31
The Jaguars may have no shot at making the playoffs, but at least they still continue to fight. On Sunday, the Jaguars went back and forth with the Packers at Lambeau and even managed to take the lead in the fourth quarter. But ultimately, the defence folded and rookie Jake Luton couldn’t lead his team to a dramatic finish. While the Jaguars are 1-8, things could be worse, right?
32. New York Jets (0-9)
Previous Rank: 32
#TankForTrevor. That’s all I got to say.