NFL Power Rankings: B/R's Expert Consensus Standings Heading into Week 10

Brent Sobleski@@brentsobleskiNFL AnalystNovember 11, 2015

NFL Power Rankings: B/R's Expert Consensus Standings Heading into Week 10

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    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    The NFL's undefeated ranks are slowly dwindling. 

    Two weeks ago, five teams stood tall as the league's best. Four undefeated squads entered last weekend's slate of games. Now, only three remain. 

    Everyone finally saw the Indianapolis Colts lineup most envisioned when the season began. Andrew Luck and his crew upset the previously undefeated Denver Broncos and their No. 1-ranked defense. 

    Meanwhile, the New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers continue to take care of their business. Those three teams are a combined 24-0. 

    Three undefeated teams might remain, but one clearly stands above the rest. 

    To make sense of it all, eight Bleacher Report NFL writers—Gary Davenport, Mike Freeman, Brad Gagnon, Matt Miller, Ty Schalter, Mike Tanier, Sean Tomlinson and yours truly—ranked the teams.

    To build a consensus for these power rankings, each squad's ranking from each writer was added to the others. The lowest totals indicated the best teams, while the highest totals marked the other end of the spectrum. If there was a tie, the club with the single highest vote got the nod as the better squad.

    Others, meanwhile, already started their race toward the No. 1 overall pick. This week, five different teams elicited at least one tally as the league's worst.

    Click through the slideshow to find out where all the teams landed in Bleacher Report's Expert Consensus Standings.

32. Detroit Lions

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    Matt Dunham/Associated Press

    Current Record: 1-7

    Highest Ranking: 30 (Gagnon, Tanier)

    Lowest Ranking: 32 (3 voters)

    What's Good?: Owner Martha Ford put her stamp on the Detroit Lions organization by firing team president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew during the team's bye week. Some might argue strong ownership is a step in the right direction for a franchise with one playoff win in the past 57 years. Ford met with the team to clear the air about the changes within the organization. This gesture might not seem like a big deal, but it was for the players. 

    "She's the owner and she wants what's best for this team and this city, the same way all of us in the locker room do, and she was just making sure that we were all on the same page and clear with that," linebacker Brandon Copeland told the Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez. "It was a good meeting and [got] everybody on the same page and shooting in the right direction."

    What's Bad?: With all the changes already seen in Detroit, the biggest move might occur during the offseason. Quarterback Matthew Stafford's future with the organization is "very much in doubt," according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. With his potential departure on his mind, Stafford will be forced to deal with the rumors throughout the rest of the campaign and into the offseason. 

    "I don't think it helps, you know, for me to sit there and think about it," Stafford said on FOX2, via ESPN.com's Michael Rothstein. "I'm doing a disservice to the other guys in the locker room preparing to win games on Sundays to sit there and worry about what the future holds. I'm trying to play as good of football as I possibly can and help the Lions win."

    With another potential No. 1 overall pick looming, the Lions might even have a replacement ready for Stafford, whether the selection is Cal's Jared Goff or Memphis' Paxton Lynch. 

    What's Next?: Thoughts of the future overshadow the work that still needs to be done. The Lions had two weeks to prepare for this weekend's contest against the Green Bay Packers. The Packers are currently on a two-game losing streak, but it's difficult to see the Lions going to Lambeau Field and escaping with a victory. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 32

31. Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Current Record: 2-6

    Highest Ranking: 24 (Gagnon)

    Lowest Ranking: 32 (Tanier, Tomlinson)

    What's Good?: The Jacksonville Jaguars have plenty of young talent at the skill positions. Quarterback Blake Bortles is slowly progressing. Running back T.J. Yeldon is the second-leading rusher among rookies.

    But the area where the Jaguars are the most dangerous is wide receiver. The Allen brothers, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, currently have more combined receiving yards than any other wide receiver tandem in the league. The second-year rising stars amassed 1,342 receiving yards though the first half of the campaign.

    The duo's also caught 12 touchdowns so far, which includes a six-game scoring streak from Hurns. Each had at least 121 receiving yards Sunday against the New York Jets. 

    What's Bad?: Robinson and Hurns are clearly more effective when both are on the field at the same time. Robinson (6'3", 215 lbs), a former second-round pick, is a slightly bigger, more physical target, while Hurns (6'3", 205 lbs) can take the top off most defenses.

    However, Hurns might not be able to play this weekend against the Baltimore Ravens. The Miami product suffered a sprained foot against the Jets. 

    "It's kind of tender right now," Hurns said Monday, per ESPN.com's Mike DiRocco. "As far as the week goes, I'm not sure how it'll play out. As far as game day, it's going to take a lot for me not to be out there on the field. If I can fight through anything I'll be out there."

    What's Next?: With Hurns on the field, the Jaguars could exploit one of the Ravens' biggest weaknesses. Baltimore is ranked 29th overall in pass defense. Jacksonville will need a big performance from Bortles and his receivers to earn the team's third win. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 29

30. San Francisco 49ers

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Current Record: 3-6

    Highest Ranking: 25 (Davenport)

    Lowest Ranking: 31 (Freeman)

    What's Good?: The Blaine Gabbert show will continue. To the surprise of many, the San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback didn't fall flat during his first legitimate action since the 2013 campaign. Instead, Gabbert completed 15 of 25 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns.

    His play helped lead the 49ers to a 17-16 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. As a result, the 49ers announced Monday he will remain the team's starter after its Week 10 bye.

    Linebacker and team leader NaVorro Bowman discussed Gabbert's performance with the team's Twitter account, saying, "He did a great job today to get us this win. I was impressed with his confidence. Our hats go off to him." As a former top-10 pick, Gabbert always had the talent. Maybe he'll finally get to realize his full potential after being given a second chance. 

    What's Bad?: The 49ers offensive line continues to be an issue. It's reached the point where the team is shuffling in players mid-game to try to solve its problems up front. Right guard Jordan Devey started every game so far this season, but his streak could be snapped as the team comes out of its bye week. Devey lasted only two series against the Falcons before he was replaced by Erik Pears and Andrew Tiller. 

    What's Next?The 49ers are one of four teams—including the Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers—on a bye during Week 10.

    Last Week's Ranking: 31

29. Tennessee Titans

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    Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

    Current Record: 2-6

    Highest Ranking: 24 (Tomlinson)

    Lowest Ranking: 32 (Miller)

    What's Good?: Delanie Walker is one of the league's best tight ends, yet he's rarely discussed. In Sunday's 34-28 overtime victory over the New Orleans Saints, Walker made big play after big play, including a ridiculous 61-yard touchdown off a tipped pass. The tight end finished the contest with seven receptions for 95 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He's currently tied for second among tight ends with 42 catches and ranks sixth with 456 receiving yards. Clearly, Walker developed into Marcus Mariota's favorite target. 

    What's Bad?: Interim head coach Mike Mularkey turned conservative when the Tennessee Titans had an opportunity to put the game away late in the fourth quarter. On 2nd-and-19 from the 41-yard line with 2:31 remaining, Mularkey called two straight run plays that netted four yards. Kicker Ryan Succop then missed a 55-yard field-goal attempt. Fortunately, the Titans blocked the Saints' game-winning field-goal attempt and found a way to score a touchdown in overtime. Otherwise, Mularkey's play-calling at the end of the fourth quarter would have been eviscerated. 

    What's Next?: The Titans finally put another notch in the win column, but building a winning streak will be a difficult proposition with a trip to face the undefeated Carolina Panthers looming. The Panthers own one of the league's most talented defenses, and it will be a good test for the Titans' rookie quarterback, Mariota. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 30

28. San Diego Chargers

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    Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

    Current Record: 2-7

    Highest Ranking: 21 (Freeman)

    Lowest Ranking: 32 (Gagnon)

    What's Good?: Anytime one of the game's best safeties returns to the lineup, it's a good thing. Eric Weddle missed the San Diego Chargers' previous two games with a groin injury. He returned Monday night and didn't miss a beat. The All-Pro performer led his team with 13 total tackles in a 22-19 loss to the Chicago Bears. It was his highest total so far this season. The safety also recovered a fumble. Much has gone wrong with the Chargers' season, but Weddle's play certainly hasn't been an issue. 

    What's Bad?: At this point, the Chargers will need to rely heavily on veteran wide receiver Stevie Johnson. Keenan Allen is already out for the season with a lacerated kidney, and Malcom Floyd suffered a shoulder injury during the Monday night affair with the Chicago Bears. If Floyd misses significant time, Johnson becomes Philip Rivers' No. 1 wide receiver by default.

    So, it was disappointing to see Johnson draw a delay-of-game penalty out of frustration because he didn't score on a pass. When the team loses by three points and the infraction costs it field position for a potential touchdown, this is a concern. Johnson must keep his composure, because the Chargers will be relying on him heavily for the rest of the season. 

    What's Next?The Chargers are one of four teams—including the Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers—on a bye during Week 10.

    Last Week's Ranking: 27

27. Houston Texans

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    George Bridges/Associated Press

    Current Record: 3-5

    Highest Ranking: 22 (Schalter)

    Lowest Ranking: 31 (Tanier)

    What's Good?: The last time the Houston Texans were seen on the field, outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus dominated the Tennessee Titans. Mercilus registered 3.5 sacks, four tackles for loss and four more quarterback hits. The fourth-year defender is generally overlooked on the Texans defense because of J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney, but he's currently second on the team with 5.5 sacks (or 4.5 more than Clowney). As the former No. 1 overall pick continues to deal with a back issue, Mercilus' presence off the edge becomes even more important. 

    "What he does is he sets the edge," head coach Bill O'Brien said, per ESPN.com's Tania Ganguli. "Watch how he hits the tight end. Hits him right underneath the chin. Does a good job of setting the edge, funnels the back inside and then makes the tackle himself."

    What's Bad?: The Texans own the league's 29th-ranked rushing offense. As a whole, the offense averages 3.3 yards per carry, which ranks dead last. It's hard to imagine the team's run game getting any better now that Arian Foster has been lost for the year due to a torn Achilles tendon. Alfred Blue currently leads the team with 74 carries for 273 yards. In order to remain competitive in the AFC South, the Texans must accept their current predicament and become a pass-first team that relies heavily on its defense to win games. 

    What's Next?: Two weeks of preparation—thanks to a bye week—might not be enough for the Texans to topple the team's next opponent. O'Brien's squad will travel to Cincinnati to face the undefeated Bengals on Monday Night Football

    Last Week's Ranking: 28

26. Chicago Bears

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    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    Current Record: 3-5

    Highest Ranking: 18 (Tanier)

    Lowest Ranking: 31 (Schalter)

    What's Good?: As Matt Forte continues to deal with a right knee injury, the Chicago Bears are still in good hands at running back. Obviously, Forte's presence makes a difference. After all, the veteran was one of the league's leading rushers before the injury occurred. However, rookie Jeremy Langford filled in admirably during in Forte's absence Monday against the San Diego Chargers. The Michigan State product ran the ball 18 times for 72 yards. More importantly, the running back was a reliable weapon out of the backfield. He caught three passes for 70 yards. 

    "The catch he made on the go route…wide receivers have a tough time on that catch," head coach John Fox said after the game, per ESPN.com's Jeff Dickerson. "He’s explosive. He can take short runs and make them into long runs. I thought he had a great night."

    What's Bad?: It's been a tough year for kickers. Still, Robbie Gould has been one of the league's best at the position for a long time. In fact, Gould converted his first 17 field-goal attempts this season. The 11-year veteran missed a pair of field goals Monday for the third time in his career. Actually, he's missed three straight kicks dating back to last week's contest. This isn't the time to panic when Gould has been so reliable throughout his career, but it's certainly a situation worth watching. 

    What's Next?: The Bears' schedule through the rest of the month is absolutely brutal. A trip to St. Louis to face the Rams and rookie sensation Todd Gurley is next on the docket, followed by the Denver Broncos and the Green Bay Packers. Those three teams claim a combined 17-7 record. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 26

25. Cleveland Browns

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    Gary Landers/Associated Press

    Current Record: 2-7

    Highest Ranking: 16 (Freeman)

    Lowest Ranking:  32 (Davenport)

    What's Good?: The Cleveland Browns can't get out of their own way even when it involves the team's best player, offensive tackle Joe Thomas. Rumors ran rampant last week that the team listened...attempted...nearly traded the left tackle to the Denver Broncos.

    In the end, nothing came of the situation, which was the best scenario for the Browns. Thomas is the game's premier left tackle. He's never missed a snap during his career. And he's signed through the 2018 season. The Browns won by doing nothing. Why? The organization kept one of the league's best players instead of making the mistake of thinking draft picks are more valuable. 

    What's Bad?: Quarterback limbo still resides in Cleveland. Johnny Manziel played well in spurts during his second start this season. The former first-round pick was particularly impressive during his first half in the 31-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. But Marvin Lewis' squad bottled up Manziel in the second half, which put the quarterback's weaknesses on full display.

    The question now: Who will Browns head coach Mike Pettine start for the rest of the season? A healthy Josh McCown played well this year, but the organization needs to know what it has in Manziel before it enters the offseason. Pettine is in a no-win situation with his potential future hanging in the balance. 

    What's Next?: The Browns lost their last four games and surrendered at least 24 points in each. The Pittsburgh Steelers, though, won't have quarterback Ben Roethlisberger available for Sunday's contest due to a sprained foot. How Cleveland's 29th-ranked defense handles Steelers backup Landry Jones will determine if this game will be competitive. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 25

24. Baltimore Ravens

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    Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

    Current Record: 2-6

    Highest Ranking: 23 (3 voters)

    Lowest Ranking: 29 (Freeman, Sobleski)

    What's Good?: Brandon Williams' play tends to get lost in shuffle even during a good season. With the Ravens falling apart during the first half of the year, the nose tackle has been almost completely overlooked despite playing at an elite level.

    Williams has established himself as the game's premier nose tackle. No one in the league defends the run better, according to Pro Football Focus. At 6'1" and 335 pounds, Williams is an absolute load in the middle of the Ravens defense and nearly impossible to move. While the team crumbles around him during a very trying season, Baltimore's nose tackle is truly one of the league's best defenders. 

    What's Bad?: While the off week came at the right time for the ailing Ravens, not every player is getting healthy. Yes, the offensive line should receive a boost this week with Eugene Monroe and Jeremy Zuttah returning, but it's unlikely the team will get this year's first-round pick, Breshad Perriman, in the lineup anytime soon. 

    "I'd love to get four games out of him, just so you can see him and he can develop for four games," head coach John Harbaugh said, per ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley. "I haven't been told that he's going to practice this week. I think that's a conversation that the doctors and Ozzie [Newsome, general manager] need to have, and we need to make a determination on that real soon."

    What's Next?: Two wins through eight weeks certainly isn't Ravens-like. The team is now six wins behind the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals in the division and 2.5 games behind the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, Baltimore has an opportunity to build a winning steak in the next month with games against the Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 24

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Cliff McBride/Getty Images

    Current Record: 3-5

    Highest Ranking: 19 (Davenport)

    Lowest Ranking: 28 (Schalter)

    What's Good?: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers activated offensive lineman Demar Dotson on Monday from injured reserve with a designation to return. Dotson could provide a stabilizing presence at right tackle for the entire offensive line once he's inserted into the lineup.

    Dotson proved to be the Buccaneers' best offensive lineman over the past three seasons, but the team needed to sign veteran Gosder Cherilus while the Southern Mississippi product recovered from a knee injury. As the team's starting right tackle, Cherilus already committed a team-high nine penalties. 

    What's Bad?: Mike Evans, 22, is one of the league's best young wide receivers, but he can have a bad day. Sunday's effort against the New York Giants was downright pathetic. Yes, Evans caught eight passes for 152 yards, but he also dropped five passes, which tied for the most by any receiver in the past 10 years, according to ESPN Stats & Info. As talented as Evans is, he still needs to be a more consistent option for rookie quarterback Jameis Winston. 

    What's Next?: The Buccaneers have yet to win two straight games under head coach Lovie Smith. They obviously won't do so this weekend after losing to the New York Giants on Sunday. But an opportunity is present with the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles as the team's next two opponents. Neither has played well in stretches this season, and Tampa Bay continues to improve. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 23

22. Dallas Cowboys

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    Brandon Wade/Associated Press

    Current Record: 2-6

    Highest Ranking: 16 (Gagnon)

    Lowest Ranking: 29 (Tanier)

    What's Good?: While Greg Hardy continues to draw all of the attention (for all of the wrong reasons), undrafted rookie David Irving quietly developed into one of the team's best defensive linemen. The Dallas Cowboys originally signed Irving off the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad, and he quickly established himself as an integral part of the Cowboys' rotation.

    Irving might not have a sack this year, but his size, length and athleticism at 6'7" and 273 pounds make him a disruptive force when he's on the field. Irving also experienced off-the-field issues, which is why he went undrafted, but he's been a pleasant surprise for the Cowboys. 

    What's Bad?: At 2-6, the Cowboys are technically still alive in the playoff hunt due to the poor performances of the other NFC East teams, but those hopes are fading fast. Dallas hasn't won a game since quarterback Tony Romo suffered a broken collarbone in Week 2, and his return may come too late in the process, particularly when the team has surrendered 26 points or more in five of its six losses.

    Not all of those points came against the defense, but the Cowboys simply haven't been able to get over the hump due to all of the key injuries. Eventually Romo will return, but he might not make much of a difference at that point. 

    What's Next?: A flicker of life could be rekindled with a win Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs and quarterback Jameis Winston have played well in recent weeks, and they're a better team now than they were at the start of the season. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 22

21. Miami Dolphins

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    Rich Barnes/Getty Images

    Current Record: 3-5

    Highest Ranking: 17 (Freeman)

    Lowest Ranking: 31 (Gagnon)

    What's Good?: Once Dan Campbell became interim head coach of the Miami Dolphins, the coaching staff placed a much higher emphasis on the team's running game. This also coincided with rookie running back Jay Ajayi coming off the injured reserve with a designation to return.

    Lamar Miller is playing well, but Ajayi's addition could make the Dolphins' running game even more potent. In his first professional contest, the Boise State product carried the ball five times for 41 yards last week. He ran the ball hard and nearly scored a touchdown. His presence allowed the team to release veteran Jonas Gray. With Miller and Ajayi, the Dolphins now have a strong one-two punch at running back. 

    What's Bad?: While the Dolphins' run game continues to improve, the team's run defense disappoints. Even with the $114 million man, Ndamukong Suh, in the middle of the defense, Miami ranks 31st against the run. In fact, the Dolphins are giving up roughly 20 more yards per game on the ground this year compared to last. The Buffalo Bills managed an impressive 266 rushing yards Sunday. 

    What's Next?: The Philadelphia Eagles might not be as dangerous running the ball this year compared to Chip Kelly's first two seasons, but his backfield still features top talent and the offense ranks 10th overall in rushing. Neither the Eagles nor the Dolphins have shown any consistency this season. This game can be considered a toss-up, depending on which team actually decides to show up ready to play. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 19

20. Washington Redskins

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    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    Current Record: 3-5

    Highest Ranking: 18 (Miller)

    Lowest Ranking: 27 (Davenport)

    What's Good?: The Washington Redskins lost a game, and quarterback Kirk Cousins didn't throw two interceptions. The previous sentence might read as a bit sarcastic, but it's actually a step in the right direction. The New England Patriots overwhelmed the Redskins in a 27-10 knockout. Cousins didn't completely fold, though.

    In fact, he played relatively well and could have had a much better day if not for seven drops by the receivers. Cousins might not be a true playmaker behind center, but he proved over the last two weeks that he can be an effective distributor. He simply needs those around him to help a little bit. 

    What's Bad?: The return of DeSean Jackson should have been viewed as a positive. It usually is when a team's No. 1 receiver returns to the lineup. However, his re-emergence didn't come without a little bit of controversy. Jackson caught three passes for 15 yards, and he clearly wasn't on the same page with Cousins. Head coach Jay Gruden didn't exactly sound thrilled about his receiver's performance. 

    "The problem is he wasn’t here in OTAs, he missed a lot of camp and he missed the first [seven] games," Gruden said, per the Washington Post's Mike Jones. "So, to have the cohesiveness with the quarterback right out of the chute would probably be a little bit wishful thinking."

    What's Next?: At 3-5, the Redskins are still within striking distance of the NFC East-leading New York Giants (5-4). Washington currently sits 1.5 games behind the Giants, and this weekend's contest against an explosive New Orleans Saints squad could be a strong indicator of which direction the Redskins will trend over the second half of the season. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 20

19. Kansas City Chiefs

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    Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

    Current Record: 3-5

    Highest Ranking: 16 (Tanier)

    Lowest Ranking: 28 (Freeman)

    What's Good?: Prior to the Kansas City Chiefs' Week 9 bye, the team's coaching staff asked Jeff Allen to start at right tackle one week and then left guard the next. In two starts, Allen is already the highest-graded offensive player on the Chiefs roster, according to Pro Football Focus

    "Jeff Allen is in London looking like an elite guard [against the Detroit Lions]," former Pro Bowl lineman LeCharles Bentley tweeted. "He may or may not get the love in [free agency] he deserves but that's a football player right there."

    Allen helped solidify an offensive line that's required numerous changes so far this season, and the team benefited from the improvement as it has won its last two games. 

    What's Bad?: Allen's presence is needed, because Ben Grubbs' status this week (and maybe longer) is still up in the air. The veteran guard is dealing with a neck injury, and he didn't practice at the start of the week, according to ArrowheadPride.com's Joel Thorman. It has yet to be determined whether the injury is actually season-ending. 

    "I think what they'll do is they'll go back in and re-MRI it here and just make sure or see where it's at," head coach Andy Reid said, per Thorman. "If it comes down to he can play, make sure he's OK to play, if not then we'll see how much longer it will take."

    Allen can replace Grubbs at left guard for however long he needs to, but the Chiefs offense is even better with Grubbs in the lineup and Allen at right tackle. 

    What's Next?: The Chiefs rode a two-game winning streak into their bye, which gave the team confidence as it prepared for the Denver Broncos. When the squads first met this year, the Broncos captured a 31-24 victory in Week 2, but Gary Kubiak's squad no longer looks invulnerable after its recent loss to the Indianapolis Colts. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 21

18. New Orleans Saints

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    Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

    Current Record: 4-5

    Highest Ranking: 14 (Tomlinson)

    Lowest Ranking: 19 (3 voters)

    What's Good?: Anything good on the New Orleans Saints falls on the offensive side of the ball. For example, quarterback Drew Brees, wide receiver Willie Snead and the resurgence of tight end Ben Watson are all worthy topics. Yet, it's the overlooked play of left tackle Terron Armstead that deserves the most attention.

    When healthy, Armstead has been fantastic this season and moved his way into the conversation as one of the league's best left tackles. The third-year pro surrendered his first sack Sunday. His athleticism generally defines his game, but he's also shown improvement as a run-blocker this season. The former third-round pick is quickly developing into one of the game's best blockers. 

    What's Bad?Anything bad on the New Orleans Saints falls on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan still hasn't figured out how to turn around this particular sinking ship. The Saints currently rank 31st in total defense.

    The group is giving up 414.8 yards per game, which is 30.8 more yards per contest than last year's woeful performance. Ryan doesn't deserve all of the blame, though. Cornerback Brandon Browner continues to get beat. If he doesn't get beat, it's usually because he committed a penalty. The veteran cornerback has already committed a league-high 15 penalties. 

    What's Next?: After a stunning 34-28 overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans, the Saints will face the Washington Redskins in Landover, Maryland. New Orleans made up plenty of ground during its previous three-game win streak, but it's still two games behind the Atlanta Falcons for second place in the NFC South. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 13

17. Buffalo Bills

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    Bill Wippert/Associated Press

    Current Record: 4-4

    Highest Ranking: 10 (Gagnon)

    Lowest Ranking: 22 (Freeman)

    What's Good?: When wide receiver Sammy Watkins is healthy, he can absolutely wreck a defense. This is exactly what he did Sunday against the Miami Dolphins secondary. Watkins registered eight catches for a career-high 168 yards.

    In fact, the second-year receiver accounted for 92.8 percent of the Bills' total passing yards during the contest, which was the third-highest percentage since 1960, according to NFL Network. Watkins benefited from quarterback Tyrod Taylor's return to the lineup. With both Taylor and Watkins healthy, the Bills offense can be absolutely dynamic. 

    What's Bad?: In recent weeks, Stephon Gilmore hasn't played to the level expected of a top cornerback in a Rex Ryan defensive scheme. The cornerback's play has been very good for stretches, but it's also been inconsistent. During Sunday's contest against the Dolphins, refs called the South Carolina product for two big penalties. Overall, the team played very well, but Gilmore can up his game in the coming weeks, particularly with two marquee matchups on the horizon. 

    What's Next?: The Bills will face Rex Ryan's former team, the New York Jets, for the first time since the head coach took over in Buffalo. A win would place the Bills in second place in the division with the New England Patriots looming. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 16

16. Philadelphia Eagles

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    Current Record: 4-4

    Highest Ranking: 13 (Tanier)

    Lowest Ranking: 18 (Sobleski)

    What's Good?: In the Philadelphia Eagles' 33-27 overtime victory over the rival Dallas Cowboys last week, Chip Kelly's squad finally made some strides and looked like a team that can compete for an NFC East crown. Sure, the roster remains flawed in certain areas, but there were plenty of positives to take away from the effort.

    Quarterback Sam Bradford played efficient football. The team's running back stable accumulated 173 rushing yards. And wide receiver Jordan Matthews (nine catches, 133 yards, TD) played one of the best games of his young career. Kelly's offense continues to be questioned every step of the way, but the Eagles are still in a position to make a move in the division. 

    What's Bad?: What was a positive performance turned into a negative. Rookie linebacker Jordan Hicks played an absolutely outstanding game against the Cowboys. The Texas product registered seven total tackles and intercepted a pass he turned into a 67-yard touchdown when he undercut an out-breaking pass. Unfortunately, Hicks suffered a torn pectoral muscle later in the game. The organization placed the first-year linebacker on injured reserve Tuesday, according to NJ.com's Matt Lombardo

    What's Next?: After opening the season with two losses, the Eagles have won four of the team's last six games. They'll return home after two straight road contests to face the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins faded the last two weeks after a strong start under interim head coach Dan Campbell, but this isn't a team the .500 Eagles can overlook. However, the Dolphins own one of the league's worst run defenses, while the Eagles claim a top-10 rushing offense. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 17

15. St. Louis Rams

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    Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

    Current Record: 4-4

    Highest Ranking: 9 (Gagnon)

    Lowest Ranking: 18 (Freeman)

    What's Good?: The St. Louis Rams needed more playmakers on offense, and the organization potentially acquired one this week when it signed veteran Wes Welker. The move was necessary when the league suspended fellow wide receiver Stedman Bailey for violating its policy on substance abuse.

    No one should expect Welker to revert to the same dominant slot receiver once seen in New England, but he's a crafty veteran who provides a strong presence in the locker room. The 34-year-old target won't be the team's No. 1 wide receiver, but he knows how to create separation, particularly in the middle of the field. 

    What's Bad?: At this point, it's pretty clear quarterback Nick Foles is holding the team back. The team has a superstar running back in Todd Gurley, a talented, young offensive line, a dynamic wide receiver (if used properly) and one of the league's most intimidating defenses.

    Yet, the Rams are only 4-4 overall. Why?

    Foles simply can't make opposing defenses pay even when they're sneaking defenders up in the box to stop Gurley. Foles still hasn't thrown for more than 200 yards since Week 1. In fact, Foles' average of 6.72 yards per attempt currently ranks 26th overall. His 58.2 completion percentage ranks 27th. Foles must improve if the Rams are going to make a legitimate playoff push. 

    What's Next?: There is currently a bit of a logjam in the NFC West after the division-leading Arizona Cardinals (6-2). Both the Rams and Seattle Seahawks own .500 records. The San Francisco 49ers are only one game behind that pair in the win column. Sunday's meeting with the Chicago Bears is an opportunity for St. Louis to keep pace or even make gains in the division with a victory. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 14

14. Indianapolis Colts

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    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    Current Record: 4-5

    Highest Ranking: 12 (3 voters)

    Lowest Ranking: 22 (Tanier)

    What's Good?: The Indianapolis Colts finally rose to the occasion for the first time this season. All of the team's flaws seemed to be on display during the first two months of play as the organization struggled to remain atop the AFC South.

    Indianapolis' performance Sunday against the previously undefeated Denver Broncos showed exactly what the Colts are capable of this year. The team's previous three wins came against division rivals, who are currently 7-17 overall. Andrew Luck finally looked like himself, and all of the talent on the Colts roster came to play against one of the league's best teams. But it likely won't last for long...

    What's Bad?: As gratifying as Sunday's win was for the Colts, the organization didn't come away from the game unscathed. Luck suffered a lacerated kidney against the Broncos.

    "It's too early to try to say, 'Hey, it's going to be this or that.' So we'll just keep evaluating him on a weekly basis and see how he progresses," head coach Chuck Pagano told the Indianapolis Star's Zak Keefer.

    Defensive end Henry Anderson also suffered a knee injury, and the Colts placed him on injured reserve Monday, according to ESPN.com's Mike Wells. Anderson became a pleasant surprise after the team selected him in the third round of this year's NFL draft. Pagano told Colts.com's Kevin Bowen, "That one hurt. He was playing really good football for us."

    What's Next?The Colts are one of four teams—including the Atlanta Falcons, San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers—on a bye during Week 10.

    Last Week's Ranking: 18

13. Oakland Raiders

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    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Current Record: 4-4

    Highest Ranking: 8 (Gagnon)

    Lowest Ranking: 18 (Tomlinson)

    What's Good?: Wide receiver Amari Cooper draws a lot of attention and deservedly so. But quarterback Derek Carr has another reliable weapon in the Raiders' impressive passing attack. Michael Crabtree is finally living up to the potential that made him the 10th overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft.

    Crabtree eclipsed 80 catches and 1,000 receiving yards only once during his six-year career with the San Francisco 49ers. In his first season with the Raiders, Crabtree is on pace to make 94 receptions for 1,182 yards. Carr is slinging the football all over the yard, and the Texas Tech product still owns some of the league's most reliable hands. 

    What's Bad?: While the Raiders own one of the league's most potent passing attacks, the team's defense is terrible at stopping opposing aerial attacks. Oakland ranks dead last against the pass and surrenders 314.6 yards per game. Charles Woodson has been phenomenal along the back line, but he's also dealing with a bum shoulder. Meanwhile, D.J. Hayden continues to struggle in trying to cover each opposing team's top receiver. 

    What's Next?: A showdown with one of the NFC's hottest teams will commence in Oakland on Sunday. The Minnesota Vikings come to town. Carr and Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater were selected four picks apart from each other during the 2014 NFL draft. Both have their teams going in the right direction, but this weekend's meeting will show which club got the better signal-caller (at least early in their careers). 

    Last Week's Ranking: 9

12. New York Giants

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Current Record: 5-4

    Highest Ranking: 8 (Tanier)

    Lowest Ranking: 15 (Freeman, Schalter)

    What's Good?: Jason Pierre-Paul is back on the field, and the New York Giants didn't exactly ease him into the lineup. The edge-rusher played 47 out of 62 defensive snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. Despite missing the first eight games of the season, JPP made an instant impact. The defensive end registered two quarterback hits and four more hurries. While he didn't convert the pressure into any sacks, his presence off the edge will certainly help an anemic Giants pass rush. 

    What's Bad?: While Pierre-Paul is finally back in the fold, the Giants lost the team's other playmaker along their defensive front to a season-ending injury. Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins suffered a torn pectoral muscle Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which required the team to place him on injured reserve. At 6'2" and 320 pounds, Hankins could be a force against the run and difficult to move off the line of scrimmage. 

    "John has been a guy that has anchored in the middle of that defensive line for a few years, and we will definitely miss his presence," head coach Tom Coughlin said Monday, per ESPN.com's Dan Graziano.  

    What's Next?: The Giants currently reside in first place in the subpar NFC East. Despite being atop its division, Sunday's meeting with the undefeated New England Patriots will tell New York exactly where it stands in the NFL's pecking order. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 15

11. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Current Record: 5-4

    Highest Ranking: 8 (Sobleski)

    Lowest Ranking: 13 (Davenport, Gagnon)

    What's Good?: Antonio Brown is so good. He's amazingly good. At 5'10" and 181 pounds, he shouldn't be able to dominate in the NFL like he does. Brown already surpassed the 1,000-yard mark this season with his 17-catch, 284-yard performance Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. To place Brown's effort this past weekend into perspective, the wide receiver gained more total yards by himself than three other teams around the league. The only thing that can stop Brown is another injury to Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. 

    What's Bad?: Unfortunately, Roethlisberger suffered a sprained foot against the Oakland Raiders. The Steelers won't rule him out, but the team is preparing Landry Jones to start this weekend's contest against the Cleveland Browns, according to ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler. An injury to the team's quarterback is bad enough, but the Steelers could also be without running back DeAngelo Williams. Williams originally signed with the team as a backup to Le'Veon Bell, but he was forced into starting duties due to Bell's injury issues. Now, Williams is dealing with swelling in his foot, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Mark Kaboly. Without Roethlisberger and possibly Williams, Brown better step up, because there isn't much left on the Steelers offense. 

    What's Next?: The Steelers simply need to make it through this weekend's game against the Browns. Afterward, the team will have time to rest during its bye week. What once looked like an easily winnable game could be far more difficult than initially anticipated. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 12

10. Seattle Seahawks

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    Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

    Current Record: 4-4

    Highest Ranking: 8 (Davenport, Tomlinson)

    Lowest Ranking: 14 (Tanier)

    What's Good?: Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson doesn't get enough credit for how well he's playing even in a trying season. Consider this fact: Wilson is on pace to be sacked more times this season than any quarterback in the last 10 seasons, yet he's also on pace to set career highs in completion percentage and passing yards. He's doing this without a consistent running game or the expected production from All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham. Wilson's play is usually undersold due to the surrounding talent on the Seahawks roster, but he's showing his value this year as part of the team's overall success. 

    What's Bad?: Brandon Mebane has been a good player and an integral part of the Seahawks defense for the past eight seasons. But the play of the 30-year-old defensive tackle dramatically dropped this season. The Cal product always relied on first-step quickness and natural leverage to easily blow by or shed defenders. This doesn't appear to be the case this season. Mebane is losing at the point of attack and being blown up by physical offensive linemen. Of the 70 defensive tackles graded by Pro Football Focus this season, only one of them received a lower grade through the first half of the season than Mebane. 

    What's Next?: The Seahawks won two straight contests before their bye week. The extra preparation time will be critical against the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals. A victory would bring the Seahawks within 1.5 games of Arizona's lead. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 10

9. Atlanta Falcons

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Current Record: 6-3

    Highest Ranking: 8 (Freeman)

    Lowest Ranking: 18 (Gagnon)

    What's Good?: Rookie defensive end Vic Beasley hasn't been the terror off the edge most expected him to be after the Atlanta Falcons used the eighth overall pick in this year's NFL draft on the Clemson product. However, his play Sunday stood out during a closely contested affair with the San Francisco 49ers. The rookie edge defender even snagged a fourth-quarter interception to give his team an opportunity to take the lead. Atlanta ultimately fell short, but Beasley's continued improvement is notable.

    What's Bad?: After a blistering start to the season, the Falcons' play has dropped off dramatically in recent weeks. The team started 5-0 only to lose three of its last four games. In the one game the Falcons won during that stretch, they barely overcame a 2-6 Tennessee Titans squad after scoring only 10 points. Primarily, the offense hasn't clicked over the last month. During the team's undefeated stretch, Atlanta averaged 32.4 points per game. That number decreased to 16.8 points per game during the last four weeks.  

    What's Next?The Falcons are one of four teams—including the Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers—on a bye during Week 10.

    Last Week's Ranking: 8

8. New York Jets

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    Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Current Record: 5-3

    Highest Ranking: 7 (Schalter)

    Lowest Ranking: 12 (Freeman)

    What's Good?: New York Jets center Nick Mangold continues to deal with a neck injury that caused him to sit out one game and forced him out of another. However, the former All-Pro performer is expected to start Thursday night's game against the Buffalo Bills, according to ESPN.com's Rich Cimini. Mangold's presence in the lineup is particularly important since veteran guard Willie Colon isn't expected to play due to a knee injury. Mangold calls the protections and sets the tone up front for the Jets. If he can make it through the entire game, the Jets offensive line should be able to hold its own against a talented Buffalo Bills defensive front. 

    What's Bad?: Despite what many would consider the most talented secondary in the NFL, the Jets simply aren't a good pass defense. In the past three weeks, New York surrendered 1,069 passing yards to Tom Brady, Derek Carr and Blake Bortles. Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Buster Skrine and Calvin Pryor are certainly talented, but the group hasn't lived up to expectations in recent weeks. Plus, Cromartie might miss Thursday's contest due to a lingering quad injury. 

    What's Next?: Of course, Rex Ryan will dominate the headlines prior to Thursday night's meeting between the Jets and Bills. But there is more on the line than bragging rights. The Jets are currently one game ahead of the Bills in the AFC East (and behind the New England Patriots). This game will be important for both teams' playoff hopes. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 11

7. Minnesota Vikings

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    Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press

    Current Record: 6-2

    Highest Ranking: 4 (Gagnon)

    Lowest Ranking: 8 (Schalter)

    What's Good?: Defensive tackle Linval Joseph is developing into one of the league's most disruptive defensive tackles. Simply put: Joseph has been a wrecking ball in the middle of the Minnesota Vikings defense this season. Joseph served as one of the primary reasons why rookie sensation Todd Gurley gained only 89 yards on 24 carries during Sunday's contest. The defensive tackle tied for the team lead with 10 total tackles, which included three tackles for loss. 

    "Linval continues to be a terrific player for us," head coach Mike Zimmer said, per the St. Paul Pioneer Press' Chris Tomasson. "He's tough, physical, smart, a great competitor, loves the game, loves his teammates, wants to do the dirty work. He's a guy that I'm awful glad we have."

    What's Bad?: Brandon Fusco made the transition from right to left guard this season, and it hasn't gone smoothly. No interior blocker has surrendered more quarterback hurries than Fusco, according to Pro Football Focus. In the last three weeks, the Slippery Rock product allowed 13 of those hurries. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is a smooth operator under pressure, but his line, particularly Fusco, needs to play at a higher level. 

    What's Next?: The Vikings travel to Oakland to face the Raiders. These two teams are considered rising programs ready to make a playoff splash this season. While the Vikings won four in a row, the Raiders are slightly reeling after falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 7

6. Arizona Cardinals

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    Ron Schwane/Associated Press

    Current Record: 6-2

    Highest Ranking: 4 (Davenport)

    Lowest Ranking: 6 (5 voters)

    What's Good?: The Arizona Cardinals defense has been one of the league's best for some time, but Calais Campbell doesn't receive enough recognition for the caliber of football player he truly is. The 6'8", 310-pound defender is one of the game's premier 5-techniques in the Cardinals' 3-4 defensive front. Sure, the team's No Fly Zone secondary is certainly flashier and contains bigger names, but Campbell sets the tone for the entire defense with his play up front. Pro Football Focus currently ranks Campbell as the seventh-best 3-4 defensive end. He graded that well or better in each of the last four seasons. 

    What's Bad?: The Cardinals bye week came at the right time, because the second half of the team's schedule will be very difficult to navigate. In the next eight weeks, Arizona will face the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals, the St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks twice. Bruce Arians' squad is clearly one of the league's best, but this would be a difficult proposition for any team. 

    What's Next?: The team's difficult trek begins with the rival Seahawks. Arians and his staff had two weeks to prepare the team for this year's trip to Seattle. A victory should set the tone for the rest of the season as the Cardinals prepare to run the gauntlet. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 6

5. Green Bay Packers

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    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    Current Record: 6-2

    Highest Ranking: 3 (Tanier)

    Lowest Ranking: 7 (3 voters)

    What's Good?: A two-game losing streak tends to put a damper on anything good after the Green Bay Packers started the season 6-0. Anytime a first-round rookie shines, though, it's reason for some excitement. Damarious Randall, who is still learning as he makes the transition from collegiate safety to cornerback, picked off a pass for the second straight week. Randall's interception against Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was quite timely, because it provided the Packers with an opportunity to potentially tie the game late in the fourth quarter. The offense simply didn't live up to its end of the bargain. 

    What's Bad?: Plenty of things have gone wrong in the past two weeks. The most perplexing aspect of the entire Packers team right now is the complete disappearance of Eddie Lacy. Lacy carried the ball five times for 10 yards Sunday before leaving the contest with a groin injury. Over the past month, the Alabama product managed only 78 rushing yards at a meager 2.4 yards per carry. James Starks is now entrenched as the team's primary running back, but he hasn't been much better in recent weeks. Starks managed only 48 combined rushing yards against the Panthers and Denver Broncos. 

    What's Next?: After facing a brutal two-week stretch against the Broncos and Panthers—both games were on the road—Green Bay will return to the friendly confines of Lambeau Field to face the listless Detroit Lions. The Lions are coming off a bye week where owner Martha Ford fired both the team's president and general manager. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 5

4. Denver Broncos

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Current Record: 7-1

    Highest Ranking: 4 (4 voters)

    Lowest Ranking: 6 (Schalter, Tanier)

    What's Good?: Prior to the trade deadline, the Denver Broncos made a splash by acquiring veteran tight end Vernon Davis. It wasn't a seamless transition, though. Quarterback Peyton Manning targeted Davis only once in this past weekend's game against the Indianapolis Colts, and the tight end didn't catch the pass. However, another veteran tight end, Owen Daniels, provided a spark. Daniels led all receivers in the game with six receptions for 102 yards. As Davis continues to work his way into the offense, Daniels' role can also grow in Gary Kubiak's system, which often requires two tight ends. 

    What's Bad?: The Broncos will be without their top cornerback Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, because Aqib Talib decided to poke the eye of Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen. In response to the flagrant gouging, the NFL suspended Talib for this weekend's contest. 

    "They're entitled to discipline me," Talib said Monday, per Denver 9News' Mike Klis. "I think I deserve discipline. I didn't intentionally poke him in his eye but I did get his eye. It was unintentional. They have to (sic) right to discipline me as they did."

    What's Next?: The Chiefs are riding a two-game winning streak and had two weeks to prepare for the Broncos. Even without Talib, the Broncos defense is good enough to completely overwhelm Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, and Chris Harris Jr. will likely cover Jeremy Maclin for extended periods. But the Chiefs aren't the same team that originally lost 31-24 to the Broncos in Week 2. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 3

3. Carolina Panthers

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    Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

    Current Record: 8-0

    Highest Ranking: 2 (Schalter)

    Lowest Ranking: 4 (Tanier)

    What's Good?: Quarterback Cam Newton continues to prove many wrong. A quick look at his stat line from Sunday's contest against Green Bay shows Newton completed only 50 percent of his passes, yet he was able to throw for 297 yards and three touchdowns. It's quite perplexing, because he's not a traditional quarterback. The former No. 1 overall pick actually scored his fifth rushing touchdown in eight games. The quarterback's athletic ability also adds to an efficient run game. The Carolina Panthers currently lead the league with 142.2 rushing yards per game. 

    What's Bad?: Wide receiver continues to be a sore spot this season. Granted, this previous statement isn't any kind of revelation, but the organization eventually expected someone to step up and earn the targets that would have gone to Kelvin Benjamin had he been healthy. Instead, Ted Ginn Jr. leads the team's receivers with 21 receptions for 363 yards. The Ohio State product also leads the league in the dubious distinction of dropping 25 percent of his passes this season, according to NFL.com's Gil Brandt

    What's Next?: The Panthers continue to win despite expectations for them to stumble along the way. The team is a bit of a throwback with a strong running attack and dominant defense. Newton simply serves as the X-factor. The 2-6 Tennessee Titans are next. A standout game from rookie Marcus Mariota will be needed for them to even challenge the Panthers. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 4

2. Cincinnati Bengals

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    David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

    Current Record: 8-0

    Highest Ranking: 2 (7 voters)

    Lowest Ranking: 3 (Schalter)

    What's Good?: Move over, Rob Gronkowski: You have some competition as the NFL's most dominant receiving tight end. The Cincinnati Bengals' Tyler Eifert currently leads the league with nine touchdown receptions. No other player has more than seven. All nine of Eifert's scores have come within the red zone. The former first-rounder's ability to stretch the seam and dominate the middle of the field opens everything up for the rest of the Bengals offense. Quarterback Andy Dalton can give Eifert a lot of the credit for the success he's currently experiencing in what may be considered an MVP-caliber season. 

    What's Bad?: The entire right side of the Bengals offensive line might be rebuilt coming off last Thursday's game against the Cleveland Browns. Neither right tackle Andre Smith nor right guard Kevin Zeitler practiced early this week, according to CincyJungle.com's Jason Marcum. Smith is currently in the team's concussion protocol, while Zeitler injured his foot during last week's prime-time affair. 

    What's Next?: If the undefeated Bengals are going to get knocked off anytime soon, it's difficult to envision an offensively challenged Houston Texans doing so in Cincinnati. A more likely possibility is seeing the Bengals fall to the Arizona Cardinals a week later. But stranger things have happened. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 2

1. New England Patriots

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    Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

    Current Record: 8-0

    Highest Ranking: 1 (8 voters)

    Lowest Ranking: Unanimous No. 1 selection

    What's Good?: What makes the New England Patriots truly special and beautiful to watch is the total team effort seen every week. The players understand their contributions will vary each week based on the team's game plan. For example, running back LeGarrette Blount didn't have a single game this season with 20 carries or 100 yards prior to Sunday's contest against the Washington Redskins. Blount carried the ball 29 times for 129 yards to exploit Washington's 29th-ranked run defense. Next week, a completely different player will likely dominate the team's game plan, but Blount effectively executed when called upon.

    What's Bad?: One of the team's primary weapons, Dion Lewis, will no longer be at the Patriots' disposal for the rest of the season. The team's second-leading rusher suffered a torn ACL on Sunday, and the Patriots placed him on injured reserve Monday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Lewis was also the team's third-leading receiver with 36 receptions for 388 yards. With Lewis out of the lineup, James White and Brandon Bolden will receive bigger roles. 

    "You just have to be yourself," White said, per ESPN.com's Mike Reiss. "You can’t be Superman and do exactly what he was doing. I’m going to do whatever I can. My role might be different than what his role is; you never know what it is. Whatever I have to do, I’m going to do it."

    What's Next?: After an 8-0 start, the New England Patriots now face the New York Giants. The obvious storyline of Eli Manning ruining another perfect Patriots season will certainly be discussed ad nauseam, but the likelihood of it occurring certainly isn't in the Giants' favor. 

    Last Week's Ranking: 1

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