NFL Power Rankings: Breaking Down Sunday's Action Ahead of Week 11

Elizabeth FinnyContributor INovember 12, 2018

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) dives in for a touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
Gary Landers/Associated Press

Sunday did not see many close and exciting NFL games, with only three one-possession games in the Week 10 pre-Monday Night matchups.

Despite that, Sunday football had some surprising and dominating results. The New England Patriots were upset by the 5-4 Tennessee Titans, 10-34, in a game that didn't have a single Tom Brady touchdown.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the New Orleans Saints both crushed their opponents by more than 30 points, while the Kansas City Chiefs only beat the 2-7 Arizona Cardinals by 12 points. Top quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for a season-low 249 yards and only had two touchdowns on the day—his lowest since the beginning of October.

The Buffalo Bills came to life in a 41-10 victory over AFC East rivals New York Jets, with LeSean McCoy running for 113 yards and two touchdowns—his first score on the season. 

Despite six teams on byes, Week 11 poses some exciting divisional matchups as well as top-team matchups in the upcoming Chiefs-Rams game.

Here's a look at the power rankings for Week 11, not including Monday Night Football's outcome, and some analysis on a few standings.


Pre-Monday Night Football Rankings Ahead of Week 11

1. Los Angeles Rams (9-1)

2. New Orleans Saints (8-1)

3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-1)

4. Los Angeles Chargers (7-2)

5. New England Patriots (7-3)

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2-1)

7. Houston Texans (6-3)

8. Chicago Bears (6-3)

9. Washington Redskins (6-3)

10. Carolina Panthers (6-3)

11. Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1)

12. Cincinnati Bengals (5-4)

13. Green Bay Packers (4-4-1)

14. Tennessee Titans (5-4)

15. Seattle Seahawks (4-5)

16. Baltimore Ravens (4-5)

17. Philadelphia Eagles (4-5)

18. Miami Dolphins (5-5)

19. Atlanta Falcons (4-5)

20. Indianapolis Colts (4-5)

21. Dallas Cowboys (4-5)

22. Cleveland Browns (3-6-1)

23. Denver Broncos (3-6)

24. Detroit Lions (3-6)

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6)

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6)

27. Buffalo Bills (3-7)

28. New York Jets (3-7)

29. Arizona Cardinals (2-7)

30. New York Giants (1-7)

31. San Francisco 49ers (2-7)

32. Oakland Raiders (1-8)


New Orleans Saints Overtake Kansas City Chiefs for No. 2 Spot

The infamous New Orleans "Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?" chant has certainly rung true through the first 10 weeks of the regular season. The Saints look better than ever and are on an eight-game winning streak, which is the longest winning streak left in the league.

New Orleans scored a season-high 51 points in Week 10's matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, with all-star quarterback Drew Brees throwing for 265 yards and three touchdowns.

Brees has now passed Brett Favre for most career touchdown passes in the first half of games, coming in at 509 touchdown passes compared to Favre's 508. Brees also ran for a touchdown, while Alvin Kamara ran for two as well.

FOX Sports @FOXSports

The @Saints scored on every drive today except for when they took a knee to end the game. https://t.co/kQ8dXJvMFJ

The Saints defense was able to keep Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to only 153 passing yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions—arguably his worst game of the season so far.

New Orleans' Marcus Williams returned one interception for 78 yards, setting the Saints up for a quick 17-yard touchdown pass to Michael Thomas to end the half and put the Saints up 35-7.

The Saints have put up at least 30 points in all but two games this season—showcasing their spectacular offense led by Brees.

Even in their season-opening loss to the Buccaneers, the Saints put up 40 points. Their lowest scoring games have come in a 21-18 victory over the Browns in Week 2 and a narrow 24-23 win over the Ravens in Week 7 coming off their Week 6 bye.

With players like Brees, Thomas and Kamara, the Saints have shown how dangerous their squad is and how tough they are to beat.

New Orleans Saints @Saints

Brees has an 89% completion percentage when targeting Michael Thomas this season 👀 https://t.co/QIzROQQG4g

Houston Texans at No. 7 Over Three Other 6-3 Teams

While the Houston Texans had a bye in Week 10 and didn't play, the performances of all the other 6-3 teams —the Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers, and Chicago Bears—were not to the level that would push them above the Texans. 

Carolina was pummeled by the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 52-21 loss, and even Christian McCaffrey's career-high touchdown game could not help them to victory.

McCaffrey scored all three touchdowns on the day for the Panthers, receiving two and running for one, and totaled 138 yards. Beyond McCaffrey, Carolina has an offensive line that has trouble guarding Cam Newton, and the quarterback hasn't thrown for more than two touchdowns since Week 2.

While the Redskins and the Bears both won their Week 10 contests, the only team that came close to topping Houston was Chicago.

Washington played an ugly Week 10 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with Ryan Fitzpatrick out-throwing Alex Smith by more than 200 yards and the Redskins getting by on one touchdown and three field goals in a 16-3 win.

Chicago's Mitchell Trubisky had an impressive day with over 350 passing yards, three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown in the 34-22 victory over Detroit.

Despite Chicago's impressive performance, all three 6-3 teams have more difficult upcoming schedules against teams such as the Saints, Eagles, Rams, Packers, and more.

Houston has a lighter schedule that it can take advantage of to continue its five-game winning streak. The big test will be in Week 11 when the Redskins and Texans face off and show which 6-3 team is better.

Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

Green Bay Packers a Top-15 Team Despite Record

There has been a lot of talk surrounding the Green Bay Packers' lack of a receiving corps for Aaron Rodgers to work with, as well as no rush game.

While the Packers aren't as strong as they have been in years past—with players such as Jordy Nelson, James Jones and a young, healthy Randall Cobb—the team still has enough depth to make a run and beat some tough teams. 

Running back Aaron Jones stepped up for Green Bay in its 31-12 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Week 10. Jones ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns, including a 71-yard drive dominated by Jones.

The young back ran 67 yards to put the Packers in the red zone and then ran for two two-yard plays, the second of which was a touchdown that put Green Bay up 14-3 at the beginning of the second quarter. 

Bleacher Report NFL @BR_NFL

Aaron Jones. WHEELS. (via @NFL) https://t.co/pV6TsTGavi

Rodgers continues to dominate in his 14th season in the NFL, throwing for 15 touchdowns and only one interception so far. His completion percentage has not dipped below 50, and he has thrown for less than 200 yards only once—in Sunday's contest against Miami.

Paired with his go-to receiver of Davante Adams, who had two receiving touchdowns in Sunday's win, the Packers aren't far behind in a tight NFC North division.


FINAL: @packers WIN in Week 10! #MIAvsGB #GoPackGo https://t.co/2XjqmdnayT

The Packers have important games coming up against NFC North rivals Minnesota and Chicago—the two teams that rank above them with one and two more wins, respectively. Both games against these teams at the beginning of the season came down to a point, with the Vikings game ending in a tie.

If Green Bay plays like it did in Week 10, it has a chance to regain the division as Minnesota and Chicago have tougher schedules ahead of them.