The Buffalo Bills remain in top spot this week, but I've moved the Philadelphia Eagles up from three to two because they have shown me enough to believe this is not simply a two-horse race in 2022. San Francisco are my biggest risers after demolishing the Los Angeles Rams while there is a precipitous fall for the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Buffalo Bills were far from perfect on Sunday Night Football and yet they still beat the Green Bay Packers by 10 points. The spectre of Patrick Mahomes looms down the road, but this is the best team in the NFL and they look complete in every area. Adding Nyheim Hines doesn’t hurt, either.
The Eagles dominate along the offensive line and that means that one week they can run all over an opponent or, like on Sunday, Jalen Hurts can stand back there and throw it all over the yard. A.J. Brown ripped Pittsburgh’s double teams apart in Week 8. This is a powerhouse of a team.
Going on a bye week is dangerous in these rankings. I still love the Chiefs, don’t get me wrong. I just no longer see this season as a two-horse race between Buffalo and Kansas City. The Eagles have inserted themselves into the mix. There’s a lot to love here, though, with Patrick Mahomes shining.
Tony Pollard’s performance was outstanding last Sunday as the Cowboys scored 49 points against Chicago. But he shouldn’t get all the backfield carries to himself moving forward. When Ezekiel Elliott is healthy, a job share at running back is going to be a good thing for Mike McCarthy’s team.
We cannot ignore the Titans for any longer. They have won five in a row and Derrick Henry remains, well, Derrick Henry! The King is not dead in today’s NFL. He is thriving on a team that is built on Mike Vrabel-inspired discipline and aggression. The Titans are a dangerous AFC foe.
The Vikings are winning the close games that were losses in 2021. And as it stands, they are running away with the NFC North Division. Kirk Cousins benefits from having Justin Jefferson at receiver, but the Vikes also rushed for 173 yards and three scores last week.
The San Francisco team we saw in Los Angeles on Sunday is good enough to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. The 4-4 record may suggest otherwise, but this team is loaded with talent and is well coached. The addition of Christian McCaffrey is a real difference-maker.
The Ravens are getting a mixed bag from Lamar Jackson this season. He was better against Tampa Bay but the real boost in their Week 8 win over the Bucs was the 231 yards gained on the ground. I love the addition of Roquan Smith to the D. He is a baller.
The passing attack is prolific and Miami must feel they are true contenders because they were active at the trade deadline, adding quarterback-hunter Bradley Chubb and speedy running back Jeff Wilson. I like both moves. This is going to be a dangerous team the rest of the way.
The Seahawks have now won four of their last five, proving that they are no fluke. Geno Smith continues to drop absolute dimes down the field but what has impressed me in recent weeks is the form of the defense. They held Saquon Barkley to 53 rushing yards in Week 8.
It was bound to happen sooner or later… one of these close games was going to get away from the Giants and that’s just what occurred in Seattle on Sunday. A 6-2 record is very nice for this team, though. This is a step in the journey and Sunday was a reminder that this is not a complete team yet.
The offensive line fell apart again during Monday’s loss to the Cleveland Browns as Joe Burrow was sacked five times. He can paper over a lot of cracks when he gets the ball out quick to Ja’Marr Chase, but his injured receiver is on the sidelines. This is a tricky period for the Bengals.
The defense is good, very good. But Zach Wilson has to be better. He cannot put that unit’s backs to the wall time and again, as he did during Sunday’s loss to New England with three interceptions. Let’s look big picture, though – the Jets would have taken 5-3 if offered to them at the start of the year.
A loss to Seattle before their bye week probably had the Chargers right where they should be at 4-3. They’re very dangerous on their day, but injuries to vital players have knocked them down to the middle of the NFL pack even with Justin Herbert at quarterback.
The Patriots stifled Wilson and the Jets and Bill Belichick is going to have this team ready each and every weekend. But I worry that they don’t have enough explosive playmakers on offense to make any serious noise in the second half of this season. Now, watch them prove me wrong!
If Andy Dalton is in the starting lineup at quarterback because he has more of a propensity to throw to Alvin Kamara than Jameis Winston, then the plan worked perfectly last week. Kamara touched the football 27 times for 158 yards and scored a hat-trick of touchdowns.
The Packers have now lost four in a row. Aaron Rodgers says one win could see momentum gathered and a run of sorts being produced. Great, it’s Detroit up next. Go win that one and then we’ll see because after that comes Dallas, Tennessee and Philadelphia. Ouch!
The Falcons probably should have lost to Carolina at the end of a wild game in Week 8. But they didn’t and their fans must be delighted with a 4-4 start to the year, especially with the rebuild set to accelerate in 2023. Oh, and Atlanta are in first place in their division. No tanking here.
The defending Super Bowl champions feature one of the league’s great connections in Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp. And yet LA mustered just 17 passing yards in the second half of a stunning capitulation to the 49ers. There are real problems on this team that cannot be fixed quickly.
Tom Brady is 45 years old, often looks every day of those 45 years and then some behind a porous offensive line. His running game is a mess, his team cannot stop losing and his personal life is in tatters. And yet, somehow, Brady still ranks second in the NFL with 2,267 passing yards on the season.
Jacoby Brissett did an admirable job on Monday Night Football, but it was some familiar names who powered Cleveland to victory over the Bengals. Nick Chubb rushed for 101 yards and two scores, Amari Cooper caught five passes for 131 yards and a touchdown; while Myles Garrett had 1 ½ sacks.
The Cardinals have been one of the bigger disappointments of this season at 3-5. But they are very much alive in the NFC West Division and the return of DeAndre Hopkins makes them a dangerous week to week proposition. Hopkins has 22 catches for 262 yards in two weeks.
It will rarely be error-free, but P.J. Walker is fun to watch and I would rather see him lead Carolina the rest of the way over Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold. D’Onta Foreman is also running hard. Since Christian McCaffrey was traded, Foreman has rushed for 236 yards in two games.
Are the Commanders about to go on some kind of magical run? I don’t expect that, but they have won three in a row and two of those wins have been led by Taylor Heinicke. Let him keep the job and let him keep throwing up chances for Terry McLaurin, who is playing like a beast at receiver.
I don’t claim to know the inner workings of the Colts and their offense that ranks 30th in the NFL in scoring. But I do know that Frank Reich, the head coach, calls the offensive plays. So, how come offensive coordinator Marcus Brady got fired this week? That one has me confused.
The Bears are positioning themselves for a 2023 rebuild after trading away veteran defenders in Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn. One piece of the jigsaw was added this week in receiver Chase Claypool. The rest of this year should be about the continued unlocking of Justin Fields at QB.
I’m not letting one close and hard-fought win sway me too much here. The Broncos are a tough defensive nut to crack but I have serious worries about Russell Wilson. I just don’t know what he is seeing sometimes when he drops back to pass. And I’m not sure how Denver fixes him.
Oh Trevor, what were you doing? That was a terrible interception at the goal-line against Denver. Score there and you’re up 14-0. Hard for the Broncos to come back from that. And Doug Pederson, what were you doing calling a pass there anyway? It was first and goal from the one. Run the ball!
The worst thing about Pittsburgh’s slide to 2-6 is that there is not much to say about this once-great team that is now taking its lumps. They were briefly competitive, but the offense is not up to the job and the defense sorely misses T.J. Watt. Mike Tomlin’s first losing season beckons.
Derek Carr didn’t do much of anything last weekend, barely breaking 100 passing yards and Davante Adams had one catch for three yards. I don’t care what other problems are plaguing this under-achieving team, that is shocking output from your supposed leaders.
The Lions are a fun watch when D’Andre Swift is at running back and Amon-Ra St. Brown is playing wide receiver. But their defense is an absolute liability. They have given up at least 24 points in every game this season. Not going to win too many like that
Houston’s opponent completed just six passes last weekend and still won pretty comfortably. There is just not much to get excited about with this team at the moment. They surely have to get a franchise quarterback in 2023 and go from there.