2022 B/R NFL Power Rankings: Where Does Every Team Stand Entering Week 12?

BR NFL StaffNovember 22, 2022

2022 B/R NFL Power Rankings: Where Does Every Team Stand Entering Week 12?

0 of 32

    INGLEWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 20: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates with tight end Travis Kelce (87) after a touchdown during the NFL regular season game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers on November 20, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Eleven weeks into the 2022 NFL season, division races are heating up. We have a pretty good idea which teams are for real and which are also-rans.

    Before the season, the AFC West was widely expected to be the best division in the game. But that race is all but over, with the Kansas City Chiefs barreling toward a seventh straight division crown. Expectations weren't as high in the AFC East or NFC East, but both those divisions are loaded top to bottom with teams with winning records.

    The Minnesota Vikings are still firmly in control in the NFC North, but they are reeling after getting pounded at home by the Dallas Cowboys. The New York Giants are searching for answers after falling at home to the suddenly red-hot Detroit Lions. After another loss, the defending champion Los Angeles Rams are headed nowhere—fast.

    After yet another wild week of NFL action, Bleacher Report NFL Analysts Gary Davenport, Maurice Moton and Brent Sobleski have gathered together to review Week 11 and rank the league's teams from No. 32 to No. 1.

    The former hasn't changed. But after an unimpressive win by the Eagles in Indianapolis, there's a new king of the NFL mountain.

32. Houston Texans (1-8-1)

1 of 32

    Dameon Pierce
    Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

    Last Week: 32

    Week 11 Result: Lost vs. Washington 23-10

    We have officially reached the point in the 2022 season when fans of the Houston Texans would probably be better off rooting for losses than for wins.

    Because right now, the Texans need to focus on the future. Toward the first overall pick in 2023. To the pick they will also get from Cleveland as part of the Deshaun Watson trade. Toward C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young or Will Levis.

    Toward rebuilding this raging dumpster fire of a team.

    The Texans are terrible in just about every way a team can be. Houston is dead last in total offense. 30th in scoring offense. 31st in total defense. The brightest spot on offense is a young running back (Dameon Pierce) who has struggled of late against loaded boxes. The best defensive player may well be a 34-year-old edge-rusher (Jerry Hughes). The Texans haven't really been competitive in a game since beating the Jaguars for their only win back in Week 5.

    Even head coach Lovie Smith's weekly platitudes have taken on a nihilistic tone.

    "There's not a whole lot that we're doing well," he told reporters. "We're building. We're not quite there yet. We're not a good football team right now."

    Whether Smith will be back in 2023 is anyone's guess.

    But this team is going to be blown up in a few months. It has to be. It needs to be.

    Because it's completely, hopelessly broken.

31. Carolina Panthers (3-8)

2 of 32

    Baker Mayfield
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Last Week: 30

    Week 11 Result: Lost at Baltimore 13-3

    The Carolina Panthers are terrible.

    This is not news. But even by the dismal standards of their 2022 season, Sunday's loss to the Ravens was ugly.

    Running back D'Onta Foreman, who had been a rare bright spot over the past month, gained just 24 yards on 11 carries. Quarterback Baker Mayfield struggled once again, failing to throw for 200 yards with a pair of interceptions.

    After the game, Mayfield told reporters that the Panthers offense let down the defense.

    "We turned the ball over in our own territory. The defense is playing great up until then," Mayfield said. "That set them up for their first touchdown. That's on us. One, we didn't make enough plays. Two, in that second half, we have to protect the ball a little bit."

    This is a team that will be starting a ground-up rebuild in 2023—again. Mayfield probably won't be back. Neither will Sam Darnold. Or interim head coach Steve Wilks. As things stand right now, the Panthers are actually in the red against next year's salary cap.

    A lot can change from one year to the next in the NFL. But right now the future in Carolina isn't that much brighter than the present.

    And that is a depressing thought.

30. Denver Broncos (3-7)

3 of 32

    Russell Wilson
    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    Last Week: 22

    Week 11 Result: Lost vs. Las Vegas 22-16, OT

    The acquisition of veteran quarterback Russell Wilson was supposed to be a game-changer for the Denver Broncos—the move that would propel the franchise back into the status of a perennial contender.

    Instead, it appears to be one of the great boondoggles in NFL history. Because this year's Broncos offense isn't better with Wilson. It's worse.

    Markedly worse. Dead-last-in-the-NFL-in-scoring worse.

    The latest disappointment came Sunday against a bad Raiders team. After leading most of the way, Wilson made a terrible decision on a late third down, throwing an incompletion that stopped the clock. The Raiders drove down for a field goal to force overtime and then won via a long touchdown on a busted coverage.

    After the loss, Wilson offered the verbal equivalent of shrugging his shoulders while speaking to reporters.

    "We get a first down, and the game is over," Wilson said. "They kind of covered it up pretty good. I got out of the pocket, and [Jalen] Virgil was scrambling down. Thought I had him, but the ball went away a little bit."

    Ten games into the season, Wilson has seven touchdown passes. He has fewer than Dak Prescott, who has played in four fewer games. Has has fewer touchdown throws than Davis and Jacoby Brissett.

    At least Denver didn't also sign Wilson to a five-year, $240 million extension.

    Oh, wait. The Broncos did that too.

29. Las Vegas Raiders (3-7)

4 of 32

    Maxx Crosby
    Michael Owens/Getty Images

    Last Week: 31

    Week 11 Result: Won at Denver 22-16, OT

    Good news has been in short supply this year in Las Vegas. By most objective standards, Josh McDaniels' first season has been a mess. The Raiders came into the season with Super Bowl aspirations. They will all but certainly leave it as one of this year's most disappointing squads.

    However, when things are going this poorly, you take good news where you can get it. And as Moton said, after Sunday's overtime win the Raiders earned a season sweep of the rival Broncos.

    "At 3-7," he said, "the Raiders can claim they're clearly better than the Broncos, whom they swept for the 2022 season series. In Week 11, on the road, the Silver and Black knocked off their division rival in overtime thanks to Derek Carr's 35-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams in the extra period. Unfortunately for the Raiders, they've only beaten the Houston Texans, who hold the league's worst record, and the Broncos, who have scored the fewest points per game with an offensive play-calling chain of command in flux.

    "To show glimmers of hope for the future, the Raiders must continue to show promise on defense. The offense should improve once tight end Darren Waller (hamstring) and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (oblique) recover from their injuries, which will allow them to fully grasp McDaniels' system. Defensively, a few players other than Maxx Crosby must contribute with consistency. Going into Week 12, he's the only defender on the roster with multiple sacks. Play-caller Patrick Graham will likely spend the remainder of the season figuring who stays and who goes before the team revamps its defense during the 2023 offseason."

28. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-7)

5 of 32

    George Pickens
    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Last Week: 27

    Week 11 Result: Lost vs. Cincinnati 37-30

    The Pittsburgh Steelers are inching closer and closer to uncharted territory. Unless the Steelers can peel off six wins over their last seven games, Pittsburgh will do something it has never done under Mike Tomlin—post a losing record.

    It's not all doom and gloom in the Steel City. Running back Najee Harris has looked better the past couple of weeks. Rookie wide receiver George Pickens continues to impress. After missing half the season, star edge-rusher T.J. Watt is back. But the Steelers still aren't winning (at least consistently), and this week at least rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett told reporters that the brunt of the blame belongs with him and the offense.

    "Our defense did a great job to give us a chance to win the game and we didn't come through in the second half," Pickett said. "That's on us. We have to get it fixed and have two strong halves in order to beat a team like that."

    Davenport said: "To his credit, Pickett actually played pretty well Sunday. The Steelers topped 350 yards of offense and won the turnover battle. But this latest loss shows that Pittsburgh's problems go beyond any one player or position group. Whether it's the offensive line or the defensive backfield, Pittsburgh is more than just one piece short of being a contender, and the 2023 offseason is going to be the most critical one the franchise has faced in quite a few years."

27. Chicago Bears (3-8)

6 of 32

    Justin Fields
    Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Last Week: 23

    Week 11 Result: Lost at Atlanta 27-24

    The Chicago Bears haven't been winning—just one victory since the beginning of October. But the play of second-year quarterback Justin Fields has injected a jolt of enthusiasm into a fanbase that hasn't experienced much of that in recent years.

    Now, that fanbase is holding its collective breath—because after Sunday's loss to the Falcons, Fields was carted to the locker room with an injured left shoulder.

    For his part, Fields told reporters he wasn't entirely sure how he got hurt while acknowledging he was in a lot of discomfort.

    "I don't know what happened, to be honest with you," Fields said. "I just landed on it, I think. ... I was hurting, but it was the last drive of the game. I tried to be there for my teammates."

    Frankly, at some point the Bears may have to ask themselves whether it makes more sense for Fields to keep taking a beating playing in meaningless games or to rest him until he's 100 percent. The focus for a Bears team that leads the NFL in 2023 cap space and is flush with draft capital needs to be on next season.

    And on trying to ensure that Fields doesn't spend a big part of a crucial offseason rehabbing from the pounding he took down the stretch in 2022.

26. Los Angeles Rams (3-7)

7 of 32

    Matthew Stafford
    Sean Gardner/Getty Images

    Last Week: 21

    Week 11 Result: Lost at New Orleans 27-20

    Things just keep getting worse and worse for the Los Angeles Rams.

    After falling in New Orleans on Sunday, the Rams have lost four straight and six of seven. Over that span, the team has eclipsed 20 points just once. Cooper Kupp's season is more likely than not over after ankle surgery. Matthew Stafford made it out of concussion protocol just in time to land right back in it.

    The Rams defense of their Super Bowl win has become a nightmare. The playoffs aren't happening, And head coach Sean McVay acknowledged to reporters that the challenge now is keeping the team from coming completely off the rails.

    "You challenge the guys to have enough pride to know that we're all professionals here," McVay said. "This is our job. We've got to be able to focus on getting better, going back to work. That's what pros do."

    Davenport said: "To say that everything that could go wrong has gone wrong with the Rams is an understatement. The offense is a mess. The defense is starting to knuckle under the weight of carrying the team. And McVay is already fielding questions about shutting Stafford down for the season. The icing on this particularly awful cake? As the Rams keep losing, their slot in the 2023 draft continues getting better and better. But that pick belongs to the Lions as part of the Stafford trade. Ouch."

25. Cleveland Browns (3-7)

8 of 32

    Grant Delpit
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Last Week: 25

    Week 11 Result: Lost vs. Buffalo 31-23 in Detroit

    Send in the clowns.

    The Cleveland Browns mortgaged their future in a trade for Deshaun Watson in the offseason. But by the time Watson is eligible to play for the first time this season two weeks from now, it will be for a team playing out the string. After six losses in seven games, the present is toast.

    Frankly, even without Watson the offense hasn't been the issue. The Browns are one of the best running teams in the NFL. Wide receiver Amari Cooper has been everything the team hoped for when it acquired him. But Cleveland's run defense has been awful, and Week 11 was no exception—the Bills gashed Cleveland for 171 yards and over five yards a carry.

    After the loss, safety Grant Delpit said the defense isn't doing much well.

    "In order to have trust, you have to know what you're doing," Delpit said. "You gotta have faith in everybody. You have to know what you're doing and then your team have to have faith they know what they're doing. If you don't know what you're doing, then it never works."

    As things stand, the biggest takeaway from the 2022 Browns would be that they would pick seventh in the 2023 draft.

    But that pick belongs to Houston as part of the Watson deal.

    "The hope in Cleveland was that backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett, a strong run game with Nick Chubb leading the way and a defense with plenty of talent could keep the team afloat until its new franchise quarterback took the reins," Sobleski said. "Instead, Brissett has played solid ball, Chubb has been mostly great and the defense has been laughably bad at points. So bad in fact, players are openly questioning if teammates are putting in the work and know what they're actually doing. The amount of breakdowns this season, particularly in the secondary leaving wide-open receivers, is simply staggering and comes across as straight amateur hour. Cleveland isn't good enough right now to run the table for the rest of the season or even get six wins in seven games to be serious playoff contenders, which equates to a lost season. "

24. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7)

9 of 32

    Trevor Lawrence
    Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Last Week: 26

    Week 11 Result: Bye

    In terms of wins and losses, the Jacksonville Jaguars are having another rough season. Since starting the season 2-1, the Jaguars are just 1-6.

    But the 2022 season wasn't really about wins and losses for the Jaguars. Or contending for a playoff spot. After the disaster that was Urban Meyer's tenure as head coach, the first season under Doug Pederson was about building a culture. Learning how to compete on a weekly basis. Developing quarterback Trevor Lawrence. And if Week 10's loss in Kansas City is any indication, progress is being made in that respect,

    In each of the past two games, Lawrence has completed at least 70 percent of his passes and posted a passer rating north of 100. He has avoided the turnovers that plagued so much of his career. Pederson told reporters that he thinks things are starting to click for the first overall pick in the 2021 draft.

    "I think what you're seeing is just him learning from mistakes that were made previously in the season, opportunities that we've missed, and he's just capitalizing that," Pederson said. "That's a good player that's just taking correction and coaching and understanding what we're asking him to do. Just being better as a player. I think he's understanding our system better. We're recycling plays a little bit more, so the verbiage and everything is sort of easier to spit out in the huddle than Week 1 or even in training camp. All of that really helps him in his growth and really his development, and it's all starting to come together for him."

    The key for the Jags now is to stack a few wins together down the stretch. But it won't be easy—five of Jacksonville's seven remaining games come against teams with winning records.

23. Indianapolis Colts (4-6-1)

10 of 32

    Matt Ryan
    Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Last Week: 24

    Week 11 Result: Lost vs. Philadelphia 17-16

    Last week in Las Vegas, the Indianapolis Colts gave interim head coach Jeff Saturday a win in his debut. For a good portion of Sunday's tilt with the Eagles, it looked like the Colts were going to follow that up by stunning the NFL's best team in terms of record.

    Then, in the second half, the Colts remembered they aren't very good—and what could have been a season-saving victory became one more disappointment in a season replete with them.

    The Colts' biggest problem is the same as it has been for the past several years—iffy quarterback play. Matt Ryan wasn't awful, completing 23 of 32 passes for 213 yards. But he's no longer the player who won NFL MVP in 2016—or even close. He isn't going to elevate the team. Will the Colts to victory.

    The Colts are trapped in the place no team wasn't to be—mired in mediocrity. Even in a bad AFC South, Indy can't be considered any kind of legitimate playoff threat. But if the season ended today, the Colts would pick well outside the top 10, which leaves them on the outside looking in where the top prospects in next year's draft are concerned.

    That could leave the Colts trying to convince themselves that another veteran retread can do what Ryan and Carson Wentz could not.

    Can we interest you in Jimmy Garoppolo?

22. Detroit Lions (4-6)

11 of 32

    Jamaal Williams
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Last Week: 28

    Week 11 Result: Won at New York Giants 31-18

    Maybe all that rah-rah chest-pounding kneecap-biting talk from Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell wasn't just bluster after all.

    After taking down the Giants in New York, the Lions have won three straight—a streak that matches their total number of victories from last season. The Lions didn't just beat the Giants, either—Detroit handled a seven-win team with relative ease. This is a game that was in hand long before the final gun sounded.

    Campbell talked up his young team while speaking to reporters after Detroit's biggest win in a long while.

    "Everything that we said we had to do and needed to do to beat this team, we did that for almost all of the game," Campbell said. "There were a couple of spots in there. These guys are playing their [butts] off and they're starting to figure out a way to win."

    The winning streak puts the Lions in an interesting predicament where next year's draft is concerned. As things stand, the pick they will receive from the Rams is higher than their own. They are potentially winning their way out of an elite quarterback prospect. But that may not matter to them. Maybe they have seen enough from Jared Goff to let him lead the team for another year.

    In any event, the Lions have a nice head of steam leading into a Thanksgiving matchup with the Bills that will be Detroit's stiffest test yet.

    "The Lions just needed some help from their defense to string together a winning streak. Since the players on the defensive side of the ball had a players-only meeting after a 31-27 loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Lions have forced seven turnovers, holding two of their last three opponents under 19 points," Moton said. "Detroit is strong in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Anyone who believes in building a football team inside-out isn’t surprised that the Lions can compete with and beat teams with winning records."

21. New Orleans Saints (4-7)

12 of 32

    Chris Olave
    Sean Gardner/Getty Images

    Last Week: 29

    Week 11 Result: Won vs. Los Angeles Rams 27-20

    The New Orleans Saints entered Week 11 mired in a massive funk. They had lost four of five and seven of nine. The offense was sputtering. The defense was leaky. The team was going nowhere fast.

    One win over a reeling Rams team isn't going to fix all that ails the Saints. But it at least offered a glimpse of what these Saints could be.

    Rookie wide receiver Chris Olave had a big day, topping 100 receiving yards with a touchdown. Veteran slot receiver Jarvis Landry, who had missed most of the season, also found the end zone. Quarterback Andy Dalton threw three touchdown passes and posted a passer rating of almost 150.

    It was one of the team's best performances of the year, and head coach Dennis Allen told reporters the team cut it loose.

    "We're well aware of where we're at in the season," Allen said. "Our guys came out and they were swinging today. It was good to see."

    The problem for the Saints is it doesn't really get them anywhere. The playoffs are the longest of long shots in 2022. The Saints don't have a first-round pick next year. And the quarterback position remains a sizable question mark.

    The Saints are neither good nor bad—and that can be a terrible place to be.

20. Green Bay Packers (4-7)

13 of 32

    Aaron Rodgers
    Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    Last Week: 18

    Week 11 Result: Lost vs. Tennessee 27-17

    The Green Bay Packers are teetering—in more ways than one.

    Just four days after what seemed a potentially season-saving win over the Dallas Cowboys, all of Green Bay's issues this season were evident again against Tennessee—and then some. The offense struggled to move the ball. Green Bay's usually solid pass defense buckled, allowing 320 yards against one of the NFL's more anemic aerial attacks. And Packers head coach Matt Lafleur was left at a loss about the loss while speaking to the media after the game.

    "Extremely disappointed right now to put on a performance like that," LaFleur said. "I don't even know what to say. It was nothing like a few days ago, and that's why you're only as good as your last game and every time you step out on that field, you've got to go out and do it."

    Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, on the other hand, continued to insist that the Packers can still turn their season around.

    "We've got to play up to our potential," Rodgers said. "If we play up to our potential, we can win our last six games. I'm confident in that. Obviously I've got to play up to my potential. Tonight wasn't it."

    Rodgers has been singing a similar song for most of the past two months. But the 2022 Packers are done. Toast. The notion that a team with one win in its last seven games is going to peel off half a dozen wins in a row is...it's not happening.

    The question now is what a team with an aging $50 million-per-season quarterback and salary-cap problems does when it has gone from Super Bowl contender to also-ran.

    That's what these Packers are.

19. Arizona Cardinals (4-7)

14 of 32

    Kliff Kingsbury
    AP Photo/Fernando Llano

    Last Week: 19

    Week 11 Result: Lost vs. San Francisco 38-10 in Mexico City

    Embattled Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury found himself in a familiar position after Monday's NFC West tilt with the San Francisco 49ers: having to explain away another loss.

    This one was particularly painful. The 49ers cruised on offense on the way to a 38-10 blowout. Kingsbury cited the same two-step plan Cardinals fans have become painfully accustomed to. First came credit for the opponent.

    "That's a really good team," he told reporters. "We knew we had to play as good as we played all year and I thought they played really physical in the second half and found a way to make plays. ...

    "They played a really good game. Well-coached, well-played team that I thought played pretty much flawlessly in some areas."

    Then came the pledge to turn things around.

    "We got to flush it and we got a short week with the [Los Angeles Chargers] coming in," Kingsbury said. "That's what we talked about. We know we got to play a lot better, improve on a lot of areas in a short time.

    "It's going to be a lot of mental preparation for Sunday's game before our bye, so we got to find a way to get it corrected."

    The thing is, we've heard it before. But not only is Arizona not turning it around, but the team also is getting worse. The Cardinals have won once in the last month, and that was against the Rams with John Wolford at quarterback.

    Arizona has more losses after 11 weeks than it did all last season. There's essentially no chance that this team will make the playoffs. And rather than take a step forward in Kingsbury's fourth year, Arizona has backslid—significantly.

18. Atlanta Falcons (5-6)

15 of 32

    Cordarrelle Patterson
    Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

    Last Week: 20

    Week 11 Result: Won vs. Chicago 27-24

    With the Falcons riding a two-game losing streak into Week 11, there were more than a few calls for the Atlanta Falcons to make a change at quarterback—calls that head coach Artur Smith made it clear were not going to be answered—at least not yet.

    "If we're going to make a change, I'd tell you," Smith told reporters. "... Everything is up for grabs every week. If we felt that one move would certainly be the difference in us winning and losing, we'd make it. We're not at that point at a lot of spots."

    To be clear, the Falcons won as much in spite of Mariota as because of him. Yes, Mariota ran for one touchdown and threw for another. But he threw for just 131 yards and averaged less than two yards per carry on the ground.

    But the Falcons won again, and at 5-6 they sit just a half-game of the Buccaneers in the NFC South.

    "It's fitting that one of the heroes of Sunday's win was Cordarrelle Paterson, who set a new NFL record for career kickoff return touchdowns," Davenport said. "After all, he's been the team's most consistent offensive weapon this season. With tight end Kyle Pitts banged up, the Falcons are going to need Patterson more than ever to have any chance of hanging with the Buccaneers in the division."

17. Washington Commanders (6-5)

16 of 32

    Taylor Heinicke
    Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

    Last Week: 16

    Week 11 Result: Won at Houston 23-10

    The Washington Commanders are now officially Taylor Heinicke's team.

    After downing the Texans in emphatic fashion Sunday, the Commanders have won five of six and are above .500 for the first time since winning the season opener. Heinicke has won four of five starts in place on an injured Carson Wentz, and after Sunday's victory head coach Ron Rivera told reporters that regardless of Wentz's health, Heinicke will start next week against the Atlanta Falcons.

    For his part, Heinicke said he's going to enjoy the ride for however long it lasts.

    "I take every opportunity I can get and have fun with it," Heinicke said. "Something may change in two weeks and he's back in there. Who knows? But this week I'll have fun with it, go out there and hopefully get a win. I feel I play my best doing that. I just want to keep this thing rolling. The biggest thing for me is to try to be a clean quarterback, get the ball in those playmakers' hands and let them do their thing."

    By just about any objective measure, Heinicke has outplayed Wentz. The team has certainly rallied around him. And there's at least one other reason for the Commanders to stick with Heinicke.

    If Wentz plays 70 percent of Washington's snaps this year, the Commanders owe the Indianapolis Colts a second-round pick in 2023. But if Wentz fails to hit that benchmark, the pick becomes a third-rounder.

    "At 6-5, the Commanders are technically the worst team in the NFC East," Sobleski said. "Yet Rivera's squad has won five of its last six games. Wentz's injury opened the door for Heinicke, and the Commanders have been a better team because of the change. Granted, Heinicke hasn't lit the world on fire. Yet he's extending plays and getting the ball in the hands of his playmakers, particularly wide receiver Terry McLaurin, who has 352 receiving yards, including two 100-plus-yard efforts, in the team's last four games. Rivera's decision to name Heinicke the starter was the right move, and the Commanders could benefit with a surprising postseason appearance."

16. New York Jets (6-4)

17 of 32

    Zach Wilson
    Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

    Last Week: 10

    Week 11 Result: Lost at New England 10-3

    It's bad enough that the Jets lost to the Patriots for the 14th time in a row Sunday. Worse that the game was decided in the most soul-crushing way imaginable—a punt return for a touchdown in the game's waning seconds.

    But New York's historically putrid offensive performance was the worst of all.

    On a day when the Jets played very well defensively, Zach Wilson and the offense posted one of the worst performances in team history. The Jets barely cracked 100 total yards in the game. Wilson completed nine of 22 pass attempts for 77 yards. New York had two yards of offense in the second half.

    Two.

    A clearly frustrated Garrett Wilson put his offensive teammates on full blast while talking to the media after the game.

    "This s--t is sorry," the rookie said. "We're out here looking sorry—and we know that we're not sorry. That's why it really hurts. We know we're better than that. That's why it hurts."

    Wilson wasn't the only one adding cash to the swear jar.

    "It was dog s--t," head coach Robert Saleh said of the offense.

    "Don't tell me about the weather," Davenport said. "Mac Jones played in the same conditions and threw for almost 250 yards with a passer rating over 100. It's not like Wilson doesn't have weapons. The defense kept him in this game throughout. Yet Wilson was terrible—again. Fans can try to convince themselves that Wilson just needs time. That he can be the guy. So can the Jets. But he's not. Isn't going to be. And the sooner the Jets acknowledge that, the quicker they can go about trying to fix it."

    Moton added: "After Wilson's miserable game against the Patriots, he dismissed the thought that the offense let down a defense that didn’t give up a touchdown. SNY’s Connor Hughes, who posed the question to Wilson at the postgame press conference, reported that the second-year quarterback’s lack of accountability has rubbed some of his teammates the wrong way. Head coach Robert Saleh must pull Wilson aside and use his poor showing of leadership at the presser as a teaching moment before the locker room completely sours on him. If not, the Jets will remain at the bottom of the AFC East."

15. Los Angeles Chargers (5-5)

18 of 32

    Justin Herbert
    Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Last Week: 15

    Week 11 Result: Lost vs. Kansas City 30-27

    This was the year the Los Angeles Chargers were finally going to get over the hump. The talent was there on both sides of the ball. So was the franchise quarterback in Justin Herbert. This was the season it was finally going to come together.

    Instead, this season is starting look a lot like so many in the Chargers' past. After a soul-crushing loss to the Chiefs on Sunday night, the Bolts are a .500 team on the outside of the playoffs looking in. And as Sobleski noted, the reason is depressingly familiar to Chargers fans.

    "All of the hope instilled in the Chargers this season appears to have been naught," he said. "They're banged up all over the lineup again. The defense is still soft at the point of attack. Quarterback Justin Herbert can only do so much himself. Thus, they're a .500 team with a 5-5 record.

    "Coming into this season, Los Angeles looked like a potential Super Bowl contender. The Chargers had the hotshot quarterback. The organization went out and acquired the likes of Khalil Mack, J.C. Jackson and Gerald Everett. Two of those didn't even play Sunday against the rival Kansas City Chiefs. In the end, Patrick Mahomes' squad looked like a superior collegiate team that bided its time until the top talents took over to win the game—which is exactly what happened. At this point, the Chiefs own a three-game lead in the AFC West, and the Chargers are just trying to get their head above water to make a run at a wild-card playoff spot."

14. New England Patriots (6-4)

19 of 32

    Deatrich Wise
    Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

    Last Week: 17

    Week 11 Result: Won vs. New York Jets 10-3

    There isn't a head coach in the NFL who cares less about style points than Bill Belichick—as evidenced by his wardrobe.

    With each game, this young Patriots team becomes more like its coach. The toughness. The run game. The defense. And the winning,

    Calling Sunday's win over the Jets ugly doesn't do it justice. The two teams combined for 400 yards of offense, no offensive touchdowns, 19 first downs and seven third-down conversions in 29 attempts.

    However, thanks to a last-second punt return for a touchdown, the Patriots downed the Jets for the 14th consecutive time to slide past New York into third place in the division. The Patriots defense was completely dominant, allowing just 103 yards of offense. After the win, defensive lineman Deatrich Wise Jr. told reporters that New England came into the contest intent on shutting New York down.

    "Complete domination. That's kind of what we wanted to do," Wise said. "We wanted to stop the run and affect the pass. And I thought we did that."

    The elements played a part as well, but playing great defense and running the ball is a very Belichick way to play.

    And it's a plan that will keep the Patriots in a lot of games.

    "Belichick and his Patriots are lurking, like some old tale about a beast that would not die and continually comes back to life," Sobleski said. "Their 6-4 record is good enough to place them in one of the AFC's playoff spots after they won their last three contests—two of which came against the rival New York Jets. Concerns are still obvious. The offense is not playing well. Mac Jones needs to be better. The offensive line remains in flux. The running game can't seem to get going with any regularity.

    "Yet New England has found ways to win, particularly with a strong defense and special teams. Only one opponent scored more than 17 points during the Patriots' last six games. Unsurprisingly, the team won five of those contests. The defense just might be enough to keep New England in the thick of things, but the schedule becomes far more difficult in the coming weeks, with the Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills (twice), Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins still on tap."

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5)

20 of 32

    Tom Brady
    Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

    Last Week: 14

    Week 11 Result: Bye

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers no doubt did not expect to be a 5-5 team entering their bye week. But given where they were just a couple of weeks ago, on some level they are fortunate to be .500 and in first place in the NFC South.

    After a woeful six-game stretch in which the Buccaneers managed just a single win, Tampa peeled off back-to-back wins to get back in the postseason mix in the division.

    While speaking to Ira Kaufman of JoeBucsFan.com, former Tampa head coach Bruce Arians laid the blame for at least some of Tampa's early struggles squarely at the feet of the Golden Boy himself.

    "I don't think it was fair to [offensive coordinator] Byron [Leftwich]," Arians said. "Nobody is going to say that Brady was playing bad, but he was playing bad. We also had growing pains on a young offensive front and we weren't running well. There comes a time as a play-caller when you're losing yards running the ball and you say, 'Forget this, I'm putting the ball in Tom's hands.' "

    However, in the next breath, Arians said he expects Brady and the Buccaneers to be just fine.

    "I'm really optimistic about the rest of the season," he said. "First off, we're getting healthy. Tom smiled at practice last week for the first time this season. He's going to be fine. I love the swagger we played with [last] Sunday, especially defensively. It's been missing. Seattle's a good running team, but that kid [Ken Walker III] went nowhere."

    The schedule offers more room for optimism. Of Tampa's last seven opponents, only two sport winning records. Add in a bad NFC South, and the Bucs are the clear favorites to win the division.

12. New York Giants (7-3)

21 of 32

    Saquon Barkley
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Last Week: 9

    Week 11 Result: Lost vs. Detroit 31-18

    If it all falls apart for the New York Giants this year, we'll look back on Week 11 as the game where it all started to unravel.

    The Giants had lived dangerously much of the year, winning with defense and the running of Saquon Barkley—often in comeback fashion. But all the things the Giants had done successfully, they failed to do against the Lions.

    Playing against one of the worst defenses in the NFL, the Giants managed just 89 yards on the ground and turned the ball over three times. And thanks to a balanced offense and a huge game from running back Jamaal Williams, the Lions controlled most of this contest.

    While speaking to reporters after the game, quarterback Daniel Jones said this is a loss that the Giants need to learn from quickly.

    "Credit to Detroit—they had a good plan and stopped us in some areas that we've had success," Jones said. "We've got to look at ourselves and see where we can execute better."

    However, one of our analysts thinks this loss was more than just one off game.

    "The Giants were exposed Sunday," Davenport said. "It's not a difficult blueprint to follow—load the box, shut Barkley down and make Jones and a weak pass-catching corps beat you.

    "Now the Giants have to get ready on a short week to play a Cowboys team that just demolished the Minnesota Vikings. A Cowboys team that's more talented and more balanced. A Cowboys team that already beat the Giants in New York.

    "Six of New York's last seven games are against teams with winning records—including the next five. Here comes a swoon. The only question is how big."

    "After a 6-1 start, the New York Giants have lost two of their last three games. In both defeats, Big Blue turned the ball over multiple times, and the opposition limited running back Saquon Barkley to 53 rushing yards or fewer," Moton said.

    "Because the Giants have limited offensive firepower, they cannot afford to give away possessions, and Barkley has to produce at a high level in most outings. Darius Slayton is the club's only consistent (healthy) pass-catcher on the perimeter.

    "Last Sunday, Wan'Dale Robinson caught nine passes for 100 yards, but per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, his season is done after tearing his ACL," he continued. "According to ESPN's Jordan Raanan, Robinson is one of six players who went down with an injury in the loss to the Lions. As the Giants' injuries pile up, we could see this team continue to slide in the power rankings."

11. Seattle Seahawks (6-4)

22 of 32

    Kenneth Walker
    Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

    Last Week: 12

    Week 11 Result: Bye

    The Seattle Seahawks headed into the bye off one of their weaker performances of the season in a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Munich.

    But at 6-4 and in second place in the NFC West, the Seahawks have exceeded expectations in a big way so far this season. And loss or no, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll told reporters the bye came at a good time for the team.

    "Well, it's coming at the time it comes, so we are going to frame it as it's the right time," Carroll said. "We are going to try to maximize this turnaround because when you take a step back, perspectives can grow and we can see things a little more clearly. We go into this bye fairly healthy, so that means that we can come out of it even better.

    "That could be a big boost to us as other teams continue to struggle to stay healthy. Hopefully, we can make that come to life, and it helps us in all ways. We are going to get clearer, come back fresh, and be ready to go."

    The Seahawks have gotten a career season from quarterback Geno Smith. Rookie running back Ken Walker III struggled on the ground against the Buccaneers, but he looks like the real deal. And after a rocky start to the season, the Seattle defense has been markedly better over the past month.

    The 2022 Seahawks are a great story. But they are not a fluke.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (6-4)

23 of 32

    Samaje Perine
    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Last Week: 11

    Week 11 Result: Won at Pittsburgh 37-30

    The Cincinnati Bengals went into Sunday's showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers short-handed on offense. The team became that much more so after running back Joe Mixon suffered a concussion during the game.

    It didn't matter even a little.

    With Chase sidelined, wide receiver Tee Higgins had a big game, hauling in nine passes for 148 yards. With Mixon on the shelf, backup running back Samaje Perine set a new franchise record for receiving touchdowns in a game by a running back with three.

    Add in a four-score effort from quarterback Joe Burrow, and you have the Bengals' fourth win in five games—and a victory that Burrow told reporters was particularly appealing.

    "That was awesome," Burrow said. "One of my favorite wins since I've been here. A lot of adversity. AFC North game. Bad weather, cold, windy. We fought through. We found a way to win."

    The Bengals are now two games above .500 for the first time this season, but there's no time for the banged-up Bengals to take a break. If the season ended today, Cincinnati would be the seventh and final seed in the AFC Playoffs.

    And starting with next week's home date with the Titans, five of Cincinnati's next six games come against teams that made the playoffs last season, and six of the team's last seven opponents would be in the postseason right now.

9. San Francisco 49ers (6-4)

24 of 32

    George Kittle
    Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

    Last Week: 8

    Week 11 Result: Won vs. Arizona 38-10 in Mexico City

    There has been a fair amount of speculation of late regarding what the San Francisco 49ers might look like if they put it all together.

    Monday night against the Arizona Cardinals, we finally saw it—and it was impressive.

    Granted, it came against a team without its starting quarterback. But Kyler Murray's absence didn't have anything to do with how the Niners moved the ball at will. On the ground, San Francisco had 159 yards and averaged 5.7 yards per attempt. Through the air, Jimmy Garoppolo had four touchdowns without an interception plus a passer rating of 131.9.

    Defensively, Nick Bosa and Co. shut the Cardinals down. Arizona averaged 2.8 yards per carry, and while the Cardinals converted half of their third-down attempts, San Francisco continually turned Arizona away when it was in position to score.

    With the win, the 49ers (by virtue of a Week 2 win over the Seahawks) moved into first place in the NFC West. It's a spot that Davenport doesn't expect them to relinquish.

    "The team we saw Monday is what we thought the 49ers could be if things fell into place," he said. "The offense was balanced and methodical. The defense is as good as any in the NFL. The Niners are more than just the favorites to close the season as the champions of the NFC West. If Garoppolo can avoid mistakes, this team is absolutely good enough to get back to the Super Bowl."

8. Tennessee Titans (7-3)

25 of 32

    Derrick Henry
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Last Week: 13

    Week 11 Result: Won at Green Bay 27-17

    The Tennessee Titans are the Rodney Dangerfield of NFL teams. Tennessee was the No. 1 seed in the AFC last season, and after downing the Packers in Green Bay Thursday, the Titans are 7-3 and firmly in control in the AFC South.

    But the Titans seemingly can't get any respect as a Super Bowl contender.

    As is the case more weeks than not, the Titans rode Derrick Henry hard in this one. The bruiser piled up 30 touches, two pass attempts, 136 total yards and accounted for two touchdowns, one of which he threw for. But Tennessee also got a big game from Ryan Tannehill, who threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns with a passer rating of 127.1.

    After the game, Tannehill told reporters that while running the ball to set up the pass may be an antiquated notion in today's pass-wacky NFL, it also happens to be the recipe for success for the Titans.

    "We want to be a balanced attack," said Tannehill. "We're going to run the football. We're going to be physical and then try to take advantage of some opportunities that arise from that in passing. I don't think the formula's any different than it's been for the past four years. Be physical, establish the run and have our opportunities in the passing game off that."

    "The Titans can run the ball with the best of them," Davenport said. "Tannehill just lit up one of the better pass defenses in the league. And the Titans sport the No. 2 run defense in the league.

    "Are the Titans without flaws? No—the secondary isn't great, and Tannehill isn't Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen. But the Titans are a very good team with a track record of winning, one of the most underrated head coaches in the league and a clear path to the AFC South title again. Respect where it's due."

    "For the most part, you know what you're getting from the Tennessee Titans every week," Moton said. "Under head coach Mike Vrabel, they're a hard-nosed team that runs the ball to lure extra defenders into the box, which opens up pass-catching lanes. Tennessee allows the second-fewest rushing yards per game, limiting most of its opponents to a one-dimensional attack.

    "The Titans are a less flashy version of the Minnesota Vikings. Other than running back Derrick Henry, they don't have multiple Pro Bowl-caliber playmakers at the skill positions.

    "With that said, rookie first-round wideout Treylon Burks had his best outing in Week 11, hauling in seven passes for 111 yards against the Green Bay Packers' fifth-ranked pass defense. Following an 0-2 start, the Titans have won seven out of eight games, with the only loss to the Kansas City Chiefs (20-17) in overtime. They're long overdue for a top-10 spot in these power rankings."

7. Baltimore Ravens (7-3)

26 of 32

    Lamar Jackson
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Last Week: 6

    Week 11 Result: Won vs. Carolina 13-3

    As we move toward Thanksgiving and past the holiday into December, the weather becomes more and more a factor for outdoor teams in the Midwest and on the East Coast. It played a big role in Sunday's matchup between the Panthers and Ravens, with cold temperatures and a brisk wind making it difficult for either team to move the ball.

    The Ravens and Panthers had only 32 first downs combined in the game and were just 9-for-27 on third down, but thanks to an opportunistic defense that forced three turnovers and allowed just three points, the Ravens got a win that kept them in first place in the AFC North.

    After the victory, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson applauded his team's ability to gut out a win under less-than-ideal conditions.

    "That's November, December football," Jackson said. "You just find a way to win to get in the playoffs. That's what it's all about right now. Some of them going to be ugly, some of them going to be pretty, but a win is a win."

    Davenport said: "It has happened quietly, but the Ravens have peeled off five wins in six games and are very much in the mix to earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. The weather in Baltimore might not be doing the team any favors, but their schedule the rest of the way is pillow-soft.

    "Baltimore has all of one game the rest of the season against a team with a winning record, and that doesn't come until a Week 18 trip to Cincinnati. If Baltimore continues getting healthier in the secondary, the Ravens are going to be a tough out in the postseason."

6. Dallas Cowboys (7-3)

27 of 32

    Tony Pollard
    Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Last Week: 7

    Week 11 Result: Won at Minnesota 40-3

    There's little question who the biggest winners of Week 11 were.

    One week after a dispiriting overtime loss at Green Bay, the Dallas Cowboys were once again on the road in the NFC North—this time against the hottest team in the league.

    But after blowing a 14-point fourth quarter lead against the Packers, they didn't offer a repeat in Minnesota. Instead, the Cowboys annihilated the Vikings in the biggest road win in franchise history.

    The Cowboys dominated every facet of the game. Running back Tony Pollard continued his monthlong rampage, piling up 189 total yards and two scores. The Dallas defense stymied the Vikings, sacking Kirk Cousins seven times. And as Sobleski noted, the Cowboys served notice to the rest of the NFC that they may be the conference's best.

    "This year's Cowboys squad looks to be the best unit the organization has fielded in the last five years and possibly a lot longer," he said. "At least owner Jerry Jones thinks so. 'I think if we use the experience of what we're having in the season, then we're going to be playoff-ready,' Jones said, via the team's website. 'But I sure do think that what I see out here right now is the team that you could go get a Super Bowl with.'

    "Some may take the comments as Jones' normal bluster. But the 7-3 Cowboys molly-whopped the previously one-loss Vikings. A 40-spot on the road against a top-caliber opponent shows how well-rounded they are, and, yes, they're included with a handful of Super Bowl contenders."

5. Minnesota Vikings (8-2)

28 of 32

    Kirk Cousins
    Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

    Last Week: 3

    Week 11 Result: Lost vs. Dallas 40-3

    Life comes at you fast in the NFL. Just ask the Minnesota Vikings.

    Just one week ago, the Vikings were riding high. The team had won its seventh straight game by shocking the Bills in Buffalo. Minnesota looked like one of the NFC's best teams. Maybe the best.

    Then the Dallas Cowboys came to town and dropped a forty-burger. Minnesota was blasted in every way a team can be. The loss was the worst home setback for the team in almost six decades and the second-worst home loss in franchise history.

    The loss left Minnesota with a negative point differential, a rarity for an 8-2 team. It also drastically shifted the narrative around the team, from that of Super Bowl contender to talk that it isn't as good as its record. Head coach Kevin O'Connell acknowledged that the conversation may have changed—but said that didn't matter to him.

    "I don't think we can get concerned with those things," O'Connell said. "I just know each and every week in this league is another opportunity to really prove who you are. As a football team, I don't think we did that [Sunday]. I don't think we gave ourselves a chance to compete. We've got a lot of things in a short week to try to get right."

    At least the Vikings won't have to wait long to attempt to quiet the doubters. Minnesota will host the 6-4 New England Patriots on Thanksgiving night.

4. Buffalo Bills (7-3)

29 of 32

    Stefon Diggs
    AP Photo/Paul Sancya

    Last Week: 5

    Week 11 Result: Won vs. Cleveland 31-23 in Detroit

    It was quite the week for the Buffalo Bills.

    After back-to-back losses, grumbles had begun to swirl. Josh Allen was turning the ball over. Buffalo's usually stout defense had sprung a few leaks. Maybe the Bills weren't the AFC's best team after all.

    As if that weren't enough, the Bills also faced an unexpected road trip after a winter storm that dumped several feet of snow on Buffalo caused Sunday's game with the Browns to be moved to Detroit.

    As it turned out, that may have been good for the Bills. Buffalo started slowly against the Browns but took control in the second half before prevailing in a game that was nowhere near as close as the final score.

    Head coach Sean McDermott told reporters he thinks everything the team went through this week could pay dividends down the road.

    "We got into a good rhythm," McDermott said. "We were a little bit off early. ...

    "When you go through a shared experience like this, it can bring a team closer together."

    The biggest payoff may have been a ground game that gashed Cleveland for 171 yards. If the Bills can run the ball and get more offensive balance, it's only going to make Allen, Stefon Diggs and the passing game that much more dangerous.

3. Miami Dolphins(7-3)

30 of 32

    Tua Tagovailoa
    Megan Briggs/Getty Images

    Last Week: 4

    Week 11 Result: Bye

    When the conversation turns to the AFC's best team, two squads are usually mentioned: the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs.

    The Miami Dolphins need to be part of that conversation—and Tua Tagovailoa needs to be mentioned as a legitimate MVP candidate. Tagovailoa's passer rating of 118.4 leads the NFL. He has started and finished seven games this season. The Dolphins are a perfect 7-0 in those games.

    Per Alanis Thames of the Associated Press (via Yahoo), first-year head coach Mike McDaniel lauded the maturation of his third-year quarterback.

    "He has really come into his own skin in regards to being a leader at the quarterback position," McDaniel said. "Guys are rallying around him. He is demanding a standard and holding himself at a tremendous high standard."

    Tagovailoa returned the compliment to his head coach.

    "He is a man of the people," he said. "He has no ego, no ego toward what he believes is right or wrong. But then again, it's 'our team' is what he will tell you. I think just him being himself is really what helps us be able to be ourselves as well. We don't have to be anyone we're not."

    It's all smiles now. But with all this success comes expectations. The Dolphins will be expected to do more than just make the playoffs. Miami must make noise once it gets there.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (9-1)

31 of 32

    Jalen Hurts
    Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Last Week: 1

    Week 11 Result: Won at Indianapolis 17-16

    The Eagles headed into Week 11 fresh off their first setback of the season. And for much of Sunday's tilt with the Indianapolis Colts, they looked like a team hung over from that loss. But if this really is going to be a special season for Philadelphia, it has to find ways to win games when it doesn't play especially well. Find a way to win ugly.

    Despite trailing for most of Sunday, the Eagles hung around. And with the opportunity to lead the team on a game-winning drive, Jalen Hurts seized the moment, orchestrating an 11-play, 75-yard march that culminated in a seven-yard Hurts run.

    The win kept the Eagles alone in first place in the NFC East, though they dropped from the top spot in these power rankings. Davenport noted it shows there is no dominant team in either conference.

    "Credit where it's due to the Eagles for figuring out a way to scratch out a victory when they certainly weren't at their best," he said. "But for the second time in as many weeks, they were outplayed by a team no one is counting on for a deep postseason run. The Giants' loss to the Lions gave the Eagles a two-game cushion in the division, but with two of its next three against teams with winning records, Philly needs to shake off this minifunk if it wants to hold on to the top seed in the NFC."

1. Kansas City Chiefs (8-2)

32 of 32

    Patrick Mahomes
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Last Week: 2

    Week 11 Result: Won at Los Angeles Chargers 30-27

    The Kansas City Chiefs just keep winning. Despite injuries and shortcomings and the trials that go with every season, they keep winning.

    On Sunday night against the Los Angeles Chargers, the Chiefs were down their top two wide receivers. Patrick Mahomes wasn't especially accurate, missing on 14 of his 34 pass attempts. But thanks to three touchdown catches by tight end Travis Kelce, a 100-yard effort from rookie running back Isiah Pacheco and late-game heroics from the game's best quarterback, the Chiefs got a win that gave them a clear path to their seventh consecutive AFC West title.

    Head coach Andy Reid told reporters the win was a matter of big-time players stepping up in a big-time moment.

    "Patrick and Travis calm everything down on both sides of the ball. The good players really stepped up when we needed it," he said. "I'm proud of our guys for stepping up offensively and defensively. That's big-time football at the right time."

    For Davenport, the win was a reminder that while the Chiefs may not have the NFL's best record, they are on the shortest of lists for the title of the NFL's best team.

    "Yes, the Eagles have the best record," he said. "And the Chiefs lost a head-scratcher to the Colts back in Week 3. But against any team in the league at a neutral site—say, Arizona in February—my money is on Mahomes and Co. The offense continues to thrive regardless of who is out there. The defense is better than it gets credit for. And Kansas City has the best player at the game's most important position. It is the NFL's best team. Period."

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.


X