A new team on top of the NFL power rankings, as the one-loss Arizona Cardinals keep on winning without really dominating. The New England Patriots continue their rise after demoting the Denver Broncos, while the Oakland Raiders remain win-less and the most pathetic bunch in the league, something that probably won’t change.
1. Arizona Cardinals, 7-1: Maybe the best defense in the NFL and with an offense that does a good job of avoiding mistakes, now playing with their #1 quarterback again, they might also be the best team in the league.
2. New England Patriots, 7-2: Tom Brady has been the best quarterback in the NFL over the last month, and the Patriots simply blow everyone away when playing at home.
3. Denver Broncos, 7-2: Peyton Manning can have bad days. The defense too. But it might end up costing them in the race for home field advantage through the playoffs.
4. Cincinnati Bengals, 5-2-1: A.J. Green is back, and even without Giovani Bernard, Jeremy Hill can fill in for yards without missing a beat.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers, 6-3: Ben Roethlisberger, still without a whole lot of protection but plenty of offensive weapons, is putting up some incredible, record breaking numbers.
6. Indianapolis Colts, 6-3: Riding Luck’s arm might cause an interception or two from time to time, but for the most part, it’s the best offensive decision Chuck Pagano has ever made.
7. Detroit Lions, 6-2: The best team in the NFC North? It’s not something that has happened in the lifetime of some of their fans, but that’s what the record says.
8. Seattle Seahawks, 5-3: Things keep going the hard way for the Seahawks, as Russell Wilson continues to struggle with his passing in recent weeks.
9. Philadelphia Eagles, 6-2: Like their NFC East partners, a quarterback problem might make all their other strong suits irrelevant soon enough.
10. Kansas City Chiefs, 5-3: Without a lot of impressive weapons at wide receiver, a smart Alex Smith, an excellent Jamaal Charles and a great defense are getting the job done.
11. Dallas Cowboys, 6-3: If Tony Romo is really injured for a long time, it won’t matter how many yards DeMarco Murray can rack up behind that offensive line.
12. Green Bay Packers, 5-3: A week for Aaron Rodgers to try and figure out what went wrong in New Orleans.
13. Baltimore Ravens, 5-4: Joe Flacco is going through a very bad and even disastrous phase, that might cost the Ravens in a very difficult division.
14. Miami Dolphins, 5-3: The only hope in the AFC East to somehow catch up with the Patriots.
15. San Francisco 49ers, 4-4: Problems with offensive play calling and zero protection for the quarterback keep this season under the ‘disappointing’ label for now.
16. Cleveland Browns, 5-3: It’s almost unbelievable to wrap your head around, but Brian Hoyer just might be the quarterback they’ve been waiting for all these years.
17. Buffalo Bills, 5-3: Rested during this week and just like the Dolphins, have a small shot of upsetting the natural order of things in the AFC East.
18. San Diego Chargers, 5-4: It’s hard to believe this is the team that looked so good against the Seahawks when the season began. Three losses in a row and getting shutout by the Dolphins.
19. New Orleans Saints, 4-4: It looks like the Saints have figured out how to win on the road, finally, and sorted out their problems of protecting Drew Brees while providing Mark Ingram with some very good running routes.
20. Houston Texans, 4-5: For all the defensive touchdowns and sacks J.J. Watt and his crew can generate, there’s one Ryan Fitzpatrick to drag them back down.
21. New York Giants, 3-5: The season is almost over, and it’s not Eli Manning’s fault. It’s his offensive line.
22. Minnesota Vikings, 4-5: Teddy Brdigewater continues to be up and down in his rookie season, as expected. He’s getting a lot of help from unexpected places.
23.Carolina Panthers, 3-5-1: The defense just isn’t as good as it was last season, and a limited Cam Newton isn’t good enough to overcome that decline.
24. St. Louis Rams, 3-5: The pass rush worked like magic for the first time this season. It’s hard playing the Rams, even without anything impressive on offense, when they’re sacking on almost every snap.
25. Chicago Bears, 3-5: A bye week means more time to think about firing Marc Trestman and getting rid of Jay Cutler.
26. Atlanta Falcons, 2-6: It’s a shame that a team with such a fantastic offense is out of the running for the playoffs so soon.
27. Washington Redskins, 3-6: Robert Griffin is back, and so are the losses.
28. Tennessee Titans, 2-6: A bad team with more than just quarterback problems to worry about.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1-7: The Bucs knew it was going to be a long and painful rebuilding process, but Lovie Smith is probably on the hot seat after such an awful first half to the season.
30. New York Jets, 1-8: Geno Smith, Michael Vick, Matt Simms; this team is done.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-8: Blake Bortles makes some nice plays from time to time, but he’s also part of the problem in Florida with a team that simply can’t get it right.
32. Oakland Raiders, 0-8: They didn’t get blown out by the Seahawks. That might be the best thing to possibly say about them all season long.