NFL Power Rankings Entering Week 11: Who's Carter's Number One?
There are about eight to 10 teams I would consider elite and about four that were in the running for my top spot. The Jets keep finding ways to win, the Falcons are starting to look fantastic, the Titans are underrated, the Colts are always solid as long as Payton Manning is taking snaps, Michael Vick is leading the Eagles and leading them very well, and the Packers are looking to pick up where they left off after the bye week.
But only one team can get the top spot. I've been doing these for a while, but I've never done a slideshow version...until now. Enjoy!
32. Carolina Panthers (1-8)
This team is the absolute worst in the entire NFL.
They get crushed basically every week, they really don’t a quarterback, their running game is terrible, they have no significant receiver (not even Steve Smith) and John Fox is going to get fired soon.
It’s not going to get any easier for the Panthers either. I’d be shocked if this team wins another game this season. Maybe the home game against the Cardinals on December 19 but other than that, there’s no success on the horizon and they will get the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft.
31. Arizona Cardinals (3-6)
The Cardinals are a team that pulls off a crazy win here and there, but still stink for the most part. They’ve lost four in a row every since upsetting the Saints and have given up at least 27 points in three straight games. This team is bad and took a huge hit with the retirement of Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald got the worst of it.
30. Buffalo Bills (1-8)
It’s interesting: the Bills have eight losses. Only two of those are by more than 10 points, and those two opponents were the Patriots and Packers. So they can hang around with the mediocre teams but they can’t play with the big boys. Simple as that. I honestly don’t think the Bills defensive linemen can stop snails from going through their gaps.
29. Dallas Cowboys (2-7)
Many see the Cowboys win over the Giants as a turnaround, which could be true. But I’ll label it as a turnaround with new coach Jason Garrett if I see them beat teams like the Colts, Saints, and Eagles. The Cowboys are acting like they are excited again, but they are pretty much done as far as playoff chances.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-4)
If I were a Jaguars’ fan, I wouldn’t get too excited about their 5-4 record by thinking that they are going to the playoffs. Here are the facts: when the Jaguars win, they barely win, and when the Jaguars lose a game, they get CRUSHED! David Garrard will never become an elite quarterback.
27. Denver Broncos (3-6)
The only significant win this season was their 26-20 win over the Titans. It’s going to be a while before they become a contender for anything.
They’ve lost four straight games against true contenders (Colts, Ravens, Jets, Raiders). If they can beat the Chargers on Monday night, it could be a start of a nice second half for the Broncos, seeing that they have mediocre teams like the Rams, Chiefs, and Cardinals coming up after the Chargers game.
26. Washington Redskins (4-5)
The Redskins have had a couple of shining moments this year with wins over the Eagles in Philly and the Packers in overtime.
The whole Donovan McNabb issue is interesting and confusing. He’s getting up there in age, get’s a contract extension before Monday’s game against the Eagles, they get crushed into a billion pieces that night and the next day everybody’s talking about him getting released again. It’s just weird and I feel bad for Mike Shanahan. The Redskins probably have the worst secondary unit in the NFC.
25. Houston Texans (4-5)
I’m not sure what to say about this team because I just don’t know if they are good or not. They have wins over the Colts, Redskins, Raiders and Chiefs, but have lost to the Cowboys, Giants, Colts, Chargers and Jaguars.
The wins over the Colts and Raiders are pretty nice when you look back on them and see where the teams are right now. The bad news for the Texans is that their upcoming schedule is going to be tough. They have road games against the Jets, Eagles, and Titans, and home games against the Ravens and Titans again. The second half of the season is going to be interesting and they’ve already started it with a loss to the Jaguars. Their secondary is so bad it’s not even funny.
24. San Francisco 49ers (3-6)
The only elite win they’ve had this year was over the Raiders. The Broncos stink and the Rams are just okay but not good. This team isn’t going to the playoffs no matter what anybody says. The playoffs involve elite teams and they’ve already lost to the Saints, Falcons, and Eagles, who are all significant playoff-caliber teams.
23. Seattle Seahawks (5-4)
Bold prediction: the Seattle Seahawks are going to get crushed by the New Orleans Saints this Sunday. Before their win over the Cardinals on Sunday, they were outscored by the Raiders and Giants, 74-10. This is not a team I would put my money on if they are playing a team over .500.
22. Cincinnati Bengals (2-7)
I’m sure it’s hard for Bengals’ fans to continue to watch their team barely lose games. On their current six-game losing streak, all six losses are by eight points or fewer. Aside from the first game of the season against the Patriots, they’ve been in every single game they’ve played, but just can’t seem to get over the hump. And it’s not going to get any easier as they have the Saints and Jets coming up.
21. Minnesota Vikings (3-6)
Honestly, I’m getting tired of all this Brad Childress/Brett Favre crap. It’s like television is reporting things between two junior high teenage girls. On the field, this team has no chance to win the Super Bowl or probably make the playoffs. The playoffs are stacked with elite teams and the Vikings have already played four teams I consider elite and they’ve lost to them all (Saints, Jets, Packers, Patriots).
20. Miami Dolphins [5-4]
The Dolphins do have a couple of wins against elite teams. In fact, they have wins over teams that I think are the best in the league. Let’s see if they can beat the Raiders and Jets and then I’ll tell you if I think they are a legit playoff contender.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3)
Arguably the biggest fraud team in the entire NFL. Their five wins are over the Browns, Panthers (twice), Bengals, Rams, and Cardinals, but have losses against the Steelers, Saints, and Falcons.
I bet the Buccaneers go no better than 10-6 and get crushed against whoever they play in the playoffs if they get there. If you have fantasy football running backs going up against the Buccaneers, you are probably going to win that week.
18. Cleveland Browns (3-6)
Browns fans should feel optimistic about their team right now. They have a great young QB who can give them a chance to win every week in Colt McCoy. Another reason why the Browns’ fans can feel optimistic is because of their upcoming schedule. Their next five games are against opponents that are mediocre or just bad (Jaguars, Panthers, Dolphins, Bills, Bengals).
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Browns have at least a 7-7 record heading into their Week 16 game against the Ravens the day after Christmas.
17. St. Louis Rams (4-5)
Sam Bradford went over 200-yards passing yard for the first time since October 10 on Sunday against the 49ers, but it came in a losing effort. The Rams still have a chance to win the NFC West Division and make the playoffs a year after they went 1-15.
I believe this because they’ve only gotten crushed once this year. If they beat the Atlanta Falcons this week, that will be a huge momentum boost for this team.
16. Detroit Lions (2-7)
I’m going to make a guarantee right now and say that the Detroit Lions will win at least one road game this season. Their final three road games are against the Cowboys, Buccaneers, and Dolphins. All of those teams are beatable no matter where the game is. They are 0-3 against elite teams this year (lost to Eagles, Packers, and Jets) and probably won’t beat the Patriots on Thanksgiving and might not beat the Packers at home either.
15. Kansas City Chiefs (5-4)
The Chiefs have five wins to this point over no elite NFL teams (defeated the Chargers, Browns, 49ers, Jaguars, Bills). Those teams have a combined record of 15-30. They lost to the Colts and Ravens and their defense forgot to show up against the Broncos. If their running wasn’t so good, they would not be better than 3-6.
14. Chicago Bears (6-3)
The Bears have one significant win this year: the 20-17 win over the Green Bay Packers.
This is the worst team in the NFL with at least six wins.
They lost to the Seahawks (a mediocre team) and Redskins (who stink) and could’ve lost to the Bills (the worst team in the AFC). They have the Eagles, Patriots, Jets, and Packers remaining on their schedule. If they can beat two of those teams, I’ll gain some confidence in them. For now, I they are the worst team in the league with at least six wins.
13. Baltimore Ravens (6-3)
The Ravens are a team that I still believe can win the AFC North Division. They have already proven that they can beat the Steelers, but it’s going to be a fight to the end between them and Pittsburgh.
They are stacked defensively. The only real defensive collapse they’ve had this year was against the Bills. The best win they’ve had all season was against the Jets. Some might say the win over the Steelers was great too because they are their biggest rival at the moment, but the Steelers aren’t an elite team right now. The only real reason I have the Steelers ahead of the Ravens is because I would rather have Ben Roethlisberger over Joe Flacco as my starting QB in a playoff game.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3)
This team received a huge left hook from Tom Brady on Sunday night. That was the worst defensive performance I’ve seen from the Steelers in a long time. I understand that they played the Patriots but still, that was bad.
They had a great start to the season by beating two elite teams in the Titans and Falcons. After that, they currently have a three-game losing streak against teams I have ranked in the top 16 (Ravens, Saints, Patriots). Ben Roethlisberger has played well, but I’m not sure if he can lead this team to a Super Bowl just yet. On a more positive note, if you are planning to run the ball against the Steelers, here’s a thought, plan something else.
11. San Diego Chargers (4-5)
The only real significant win they’ve had this year is against the Titans and they do have a few weird losses. But when they lose, they barely lose. This team isn’t going to get crushed. Norv Turner has a team that will put up a fight in every game. I still think they have a chance to make the playoffs, but probably won’t win the Super Bowl.
10. New York Giants (6-3)
Dallas was probably the most confusing game of the season for the New York Giants. I had such high hopes for them until Sunday evening. It’s not a good thing to lose to a team that just fired its head coach a few days before.
The Giants have played against two teams currently ranked in my top ten and lost to them both (Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts). If they can beat the Eagles this weekend, my confidence in them will grow once again because it will be their biggest win of the season. But for now I’m drawing a blank on my thoughts about the Giants.
9. New England Patriots (7-2)
The Patriots bounced back with a great road win over the Steelers after they got embarrassed by the Cleveland Browns in their worst game of the season. I don’t think the Patriots are as good as their record says because they have only out-scored their opponents by a combined 44 points and they don’t have any wins over teams ranked in my top ten. They will get a chance to do that against their buddies, the Indianapolis Colts, this Sunday.
8. Oakland Raiders (5-4)
The Raiders have only played one game against a team in my top ten, the Tennessee Titans, and they lost it in the first week of the season, 38-13. But here’s something else that’s true: the Oakland Raiders are a good football team and that loss to the Titans happened a long time ago.
Raider Nation is starting to feel confident about their team once again. Jason Campbell has played consistently well over the past few weeks, their running game is so good it’s just crazy and the team hasn’t given up more than 20 points in a game in over a month. They also have the best secondary in the AFC.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (6-3)
How many of you Eagles’ fans still want Kevin Kolb as your team’s starting quarterback? Not very many, if anybody at all.
Michael Vick probably had the best game of his entire career last night against the Redskins. As a team, the Eagles do have two wins over teams currently in my top ten (Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts). This proves to me that Andy Reid’s team is capable of winning against elite teams. If Michael Vick continues to put on big performances and stays consistent, the Eagles are going to fly as high as they want to. They could even fly to Arlington, Texas in February if they play like they did last night.
6. Atlanta Falcons (7-2)
The Falcons are beginning to capture my interest more and more each week. They are the only NFC team with at least seven wins, but they only have one win over a team currently ranked in my top ten and that is their 27-24 overtime win over the New Orleans Saints back on September 26. Their next big game comes on November 28 against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. This game will answer my question of who really is the best NFC team. Right now, it’s still the Packers, but if the Falcons win, my answer will most likely change to the “Dirty Birds.”
5. New Orleans Saints (6-3)
The New Orleans Saints still have a great team, but they aren’t as good as last year. They have the best secondary in the entire league. They have only played one team ranked in my top ten (the Atlanta Falcons) so far this year and lost. I’m still going to question the Saints' ability to beat good teams until they actually do it. The Falcons are the next top ten team (for right now at least) on their schedule on December 27. Yes, they are a great team, but can they beat other great teams?
4. Indianapolis Colts (6-3)
Peyton Manning gets to play against his biggest rival once again this week in Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. It’s going to be the biggest competition of the year for the Colts and this game could answer whether the Colts can beat another elite AFC team.
3. New York Jets (7-2)
This team is getting closer and closer to being the best NFL team. But it does concern me a little bit that they could’ve lost to the Broncos, Lions, and Browns and four of their seven wins are by eight points or less. Their defense is still good, but it isn’t as good as last year. I will give credit to Mark Sanchez, who has thrown for over 250 passing yards for three straight games and looks like it could be four in a row next week since he’s passing against the Houston Texans on Sunday.
2. Tennessee Titans (5-4)
This is a bit of a down-grade for the Titans, but I still think they are the ultimate dark horse team in the AFC. They have good playmakers in Chris Johnson, Nate Washington, and now Randy Moss, and solid defensive guys. If Kenny Britt comes back and plays just as good as he did before, if (enter starting quarterback’s name here) can play consistently and if the defense plays well, this team will go far. The Titans are way better than their 5-4 record indicates.
1. Green Bay Packers (6-3)
With the bye week out of the way, it’s time for the Packers to prove that they are capable of winning games down the stretch and are a legit playoff team and Super Bowl contender. I still think this team is number one because of all the injuries they’ve suffered (not to mention another this past week with Mark Tauscher going down) and still managed to be 6-3. Who knows where they would be without Aaron Rodgers taking the snaps.