The following are this week’s power rankings. In parenthesis you will find last week’s rankings. Enjoy!

The Power Ten:

  1. New England Patriots: 7-0 (1)

Another week, another outstanding game for the Patriots. They are clearly the best team in the NFL. I feel like I say it every week, but the Patriots have so much versatility on offense they are almost impossible to prepare for. Tom Brady is playing the best football of his career. He is making the quarterback position look easy each and every week. Brady is on pace for 46 touchdowns and over 5,500 yards.

 

  1. Cincinnati Bengals: 7-0 (2)

Despite Andy Dalton playing his worst game of the season, the Bengals got it done Sunday, beating the Steelers 16-10. This win showed me a lot about the Bengals. They traveled into Pittsburgh and got the job done. In the past, this is a game the Bengals would have laid an egg in, but instead they pulled through. This Bengals team is special, and it looks like they are well on their way to a first round bye in the AFC.

 

  1. Arizona Cardinals: 5-2 (4)

The Cardinals showed their resilience on Sunday, coming back from a 20-10 halftime deficit. In the absence of John Brown, Michael Floyd shined, finishing the game with four catches for 106 yards. The emergence of Floyd perfectly exemplifies just how much depth this Cardinals team has.

They are loaded on offense. Even without their number two wide receiver, the offense didn’t miss a beat. Players like Floyd and J.J. Nelson stepped up to the plate to fill in for the injured John Brown.

The Cardinals’ offense continues to impress, as they lead the league in yards per game and point differential. On the other side of the ball, the defense has been lights out in the second half of games. They’ve given up the fewest amount of second half points of all NFC teams this season.

 

  1. Green Bay Packers: 6-1 (3)

Yes, the Packers laid an egg in their Sunday night matchup against the Broncos, but I still consider them one of the best four teams in the NFL.

It comes down to this, injuries. The Packers are one of the unhealthiest teams right now. Eddie Lacy is just getting back into football shape, Davante Adams is finally back, and Randall Cobb is still recovering from a shoulder injury, which has hindered him all season long. By the end of the season, the Packers will be healthy and will be one of the few teams I think could legitimately win the NFC.

 

  1. Denver Broncos: 7-0 (8)

It took eight weeks, but the Broncos’ offense finally decided to show up for a game. They exploded for 29 points and 500 total yards. Peyton Manning threw for a season high 340 yards, but more importantly, he completed 21 of his 29 pass attempts. On top of that, Manning actually looked comfortable in the pocket. Also, the non-existent running game wasn’t so non-existent, as the team ran for over 160 yards and three touchdowns between C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman.

Now, I think what we have seen from the Broncos’ offense for the majority of the season is much more likely to continue than what we got from them last night. But, if the offense can play somewhat above average, this team can win a Super Bowl, thanks to their domain defense.

Their defense is clearly one of the best we have seen in the last decade. They held Aaron Rodgers to a career low 77 yards passing, They lead the NFL in defensive points scored and give up the fewest amount of total yards per game.

 

  1. Carolina Panthers: 7-0 (5)

Their wins may not be pretty, but wins are wins. The team is 7-0 despite having little to no talent at the wide receiver position.

Dating back to last regular season, the Panthers have won 11 straight regular season games. Their defense is playing at an exceptional level, tied for fifth in forced turnovers.

 

 

  1. Minnesota Vikings: 5-2 (12)

The Vikings find themselves in the Power Ten for the first time this season, thanks in part to wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Since becoming a staple of the offense, the Vikings have averaged more points, yards, and plays per game than they did prior to him being active. In addition to that, with Diggs in the lineup Teddy Bridgewater has looked much more like the guy we saw at the end of last season, than the guy we saw through the first three weeks.

With Adrian Peterson at running back and a legitimate threat at the wide receiver position, the Vikings’ offense is no joke. With a very favorable remaining schedule the Vikings find themselves in a nice situation as we head toward the second half of the season.

 

  1. St. Louis Rams: 4-3 (13)

Yes, you read that correctly, the St. Louis Rams are in my Power Ten.

They have an elite defense, ranking in the top six of each statistical category for team defense. They have the best defensive line with Chris Long, Aaron Donald, and Robert Quinn. Their secondary is one of the best in the game, routinely shutting down opposing teams passing games.

The team has always had a great defense during the Jeff Fisher Era, but for the first time the team finally has a legitimate playmaker on offense, and that guy is Todd Gurley. Gurley leads the NFL in rushing yards per carry with 6.7. Despite only playing in five games, Gurley is fifth in the entire league in rushing yards. The Rams are a serious threat to qualify for a wild car spot and are clearly the second best team in the NFC West.

 

 

  1. Seattle Seahawks: 4-4 (9)

It was ugly, but the Seahawks managed to escape against the Cowboys to improve their record to 4-4.

Like all their teams since 2012, the defense has been outstanding. Richard Sherman is playing the best football of his career. Over the last five games, wide receivers have recorded a total of two catches when guarded by Sherman. He is shadowing opposing team’s number one receivers, essentially shutting them out of the game.

The biggest question mark the Seahawks have is on their offensive line. They’ve been shaky all season long. One bright spot to consider was this past weekend was the first time all season that Russell Wilson wasn’t sacked in a game.

 

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers 4-4 (7)

The Steelers Super Bowl hopes took a huge hit on Sunday with the loss of Le’Veon Bell, but even with that loss, the Steelers are still one of the ten best teams in the league. They still have one of the best quarterbacks in the league with Ben Roethlisberger. In addition to that, wide receivers like Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant are two of the best playmakers in the entire league.

  1. Atlanta Falcons: 6-2 (10)
  2. Oakland Raiders: 4-3 (16)
  3. New York Jets: 4-3 (6)
  4. New York Giants: 4-4 (11)
  5. New Orleans Saints: 4-4 (19)
  6. Miami Dolphins: 3-4 (14)
  7. Buffalo Bills: 3-4 (17)
  8. Philadelphia Eagles: 3-4 (15)
  9. Kansa City Chiefs: 3-5 (23)
  10. San Diego Chargers: 2-6 (18)
  11. Indianapolis Colts: 3-5 (21)
  12. Dallas Cowboys: 2-5 (20)
  13. Chicago Bears: 2-5 (22)
  14. Baltimore Ravens: 2-6 (25)
  15. Washington Redskins: 3-4 (24)
  16. Cleveland Browns: 2-6 (26)
  17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 3-4 (29)
  18. Detroit Lions: 1-7 (28)
  19. San Francisco 49ers: 2-6 (27)
  20. Houston Texans: 3-5 (32)
  21. Jacksonville Jaguars: 2-5 (31)
  22. Tennessee Titans: 1-6 (31)

 

Sean Mason

Spark Sports NFL Analyst

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