James White

No change in the league’s power rankings, with the undefeated New England Patriots taking the number one spot, ahead of the undefeated Carolina Panthers, and also the contending Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals. Things are highly contested at the bottom of the power rankings as well, with the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, San Diego Chargers and Tennessee Titans all fighting hard to be worse than everyone else.

1. New England Patriots, 10-0: Still perfect, still very difficult to score against, although with the injuries piling up, offense is suddenly looking like the weaker side of the team.

2. Carolina Panthers, 10-0: Cam Newton is a legitimate MVP candidate this season, even if his numbers don’t fall into the traditional way of measuring a quarterback’s performance.

3. Arizona Cardinals, 8-2: Carson Palmer will make mistakes from time to time, but his defense can make big plays and so can a lot of guys around him in his offense, something he hasn’t had in years.

4. Cincinnati Bengals, 8-2: Shouldn’t be too worried about their losses, although their issue with finishing and closing out both games deserves some internal reviewing.

5. Denver Broncos, 8-2: Is a team with Brock Osweiler at quarterback good enough to be considered Super Bowl contenders? Right now, it’s better than a team with Peyton Manning.

6. Green Bay Packers, 7-3: There’s nothing like a threat to the top spot in the NFC North to rally the Packers back into their usual dominant form, although Aaron Rodgers still doesn’t look like the guy from earlier this season.

7. Minnesota Vikings, 7-3: The Vikings couldn’t protect Teddy Bridgewater while Adrian Peterson had his worst game of the season and one of the worst of his career in the loss to the Packers. This team still isn’t where it wants to be.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers, 6-4: With Ben Roethlisberger healthy again, the Steelers can probably keep up the scoring with anyone in the league.

9. Kansas City Chiefs, 5-5: Who needs Jamaal Charles anyway? Turns out the Chiefs platoon of running backs, along with a careful game from Alex Smith and a frightening defense is enough to bring the season back to life.

10. Buffalo Bills, 5-5: Looked like they wouldn’t score the game tying touchdown even with 20 more opportunities, but they have a defense that can shut down anyone in this league.

11. Indianapolis Colts, 5-5: With Matt Hasselbeck it seems as if the Colts aren’t any worse than they are with Andrew Luck, 3-0 when he’s starting.

12. Seattle Seahawks, 5-5: Thomas Rawls is helping the Seahawks remain the most potent rushing offense in the league, helping hide its other issues on both ends of the field, at least for one week.

13. Atlanta Falcons, 6-4: Four losses in five games, and it seems the big problem right now is Matt Ryan not playing well for some reason.

14. New York Giants, 5-5: The NFC East is still theirs for the taking, and their next game in Washington could help them seal the deal for the top spot.

15. Chicago Bears, 4-6: Losing isn’t fun, but the Bears weren’t called for a single penalty in their loss to the Broncos for the first time since 1995.

16. Houston Texans, 5-5: Is T.J. Yates the quarterback they’ve always been looking for? Even if he is, it seems Brian Hoyer is back at starting QB in the next game.

17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 5-5: Doug Martin seems to be on pace for another contract with the team, as the Bucs are third in the NFL in rushing yards with 142.2 per game. Martin is 59 shy of the 1000 mark.

18. New York Jets, 5-5: Suddenly, Ryan Fitzpatrick is the quarterback everyone thought he is while Darrelle Revis is no longer capable of shutting down passing offenses just by being on the field.

19. Dallas Cowboys, 3-7: With Tony Romo healthy and shedding off rust, this is one of the best teams in the NFL. It’s probably not going to help them make the playoffs.

20. Washington Redskins, 4-6: Kirk Cousins will remain a potential franchise quarterback one week and an absolute disaster (Due to poor protection as well and no running game) a week later.

21. Philadelphia Eagles, 4-6: The tables have turned on Chip Kelly, who is losing control of this team and his ability to make something of this season.

22. St. Louis Rams, 4-6: The Todd Gurley gimmick can’t last forever, and why did Case Keenum get on the field after that hit? Jeff Fisher might be a comfortable man for Stan Kroenke on the sidelines to smooth over the move to Los Angeles, but he’s making so many mistakes, throwing away what could have been a much better season.

23. Miami Dolphins, 4-6: The Dolphins don’t trust Ryan Tannehill at the line of scrimmage when it comes to drawing up plays. Right or wrong, the approach right now isn’t getting them beyond the place they’ve been in the last three years.

24. Oakland Raiders, 4-6: Teams are figuring out the Carr-Cooper connection, and the Raiders need to think of a new gimmick.

25. New Orleans Saints, 4-6: The Saints are hoping that a one small fix, changing defensive coordinators, is going to be enough for them to start winning games on the road this season while not giving up more points and yards than anyone in this league.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars, 4-6: Blake Bortles is improving as a passer and has a nice pair of wide receivers to get the ball to, but without a solid, consistent running game, this team seems to be stuck below a level of maybe thinking about the playoffs, despite being just one game behind right now.

27. Detroit Lions, 3-7: Are the changes being made in the front office and on the sidelines the reason for the Lions playing better?

28. San Francisco 49ers, 3-7: The punching bag of the NFC West, and now probably looking for a new quarterback. Kaepernick won’t play for them again.

29. Baltimore Ravens, 3-7: Without Joe Flacco and about half their key players, this season might end with them finishing at the bottom of the league.

30. San Diego Chargers, 2-8: Philip Rivers seems to have given up as well, and so dies the season for the Chargers.

31. Tennessee Titans, 2-8: The only team without a home win this season.

32. Cleveland Browns, 2-8: Kept things interesting in the bye week by giving Johnny Manziel some partying time, something he does better than any other quarterback in the NFL.

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