Raul Vazquez | October 16th, 2019
We are almost halfway into the regular season and the identities of teams are starting to become clear. Slow starts might not be just slow starts while hot starts might just mean a team like the Lions or 49ers are for real. Here is where I see teams and where they stack up with the rest of the league.
1. New England Patriots (+0)
The Patriots have had the easiest schedule through six weeks but they’ve gone 6-0 and you can’t ask for much more. A week after the Redskins were able to keep it interesting in the first half, the Giants took it one step further keeping the game close all the way into the fourth quarter. The game was still just a one-score game to start the fourth but the defense and Tom Brady ultimately pulled away. New England heads to Metlife next against a Jets team that will have a ton of confidence.
2. New Orleans Saints (+0)
It was an ugly battle with the Jaguars down in Duval but the Saints and Teddy Bridgewater edged it out again to make it four in a row since the Drew Brees injury. With the expected return for Brees being week eight, the Saints are in great hands to finish with a top spot in the NFC to make a playoff push.
3. Green Bay Packers (+0)
Green Bay is now atop the division after a scrappy win over Detroit. The Packers win is marred with talk over the bad officiating in the late stages of the game, but at the end of the day, the Packers are now 5-1. Aaron Rodgers proved just how special he can be with the win as his receivers provided little help. Aaron Jones dropped a would-be touchdown while Darrius Shepherd dropped a pass in the redzone which directly led to a pick.
4. Seattle Seahawks (+1)
One of the teams that aren’t talked about much by the national media is the Seahawks but they are absolutely one of the five best teams in the NFL. Russell Wilson should be picking up more steam as an MVP candidate.
5. San Francisco 49ers (+2)
The 49ers defense did it again. A week after proving to the NFL world that they were legit, they did it again to quiet the remaining few who still didn’t believe in them. San Francisco’s incredible defense held the Rams to just seven points a week after holding the Browns to just three points.
6. Buffalo Bills (+0)
The Bills were on break this week but maybe would have wanted to keep playing the way they have started the year. They get back into action this week hosting the Miami Dolphins and all signs point to an incredible 5-1 start.
7. Kansas City Chiefs (-3)
Down go the Chiefs, again. A week after being held to ten points and losing to the Colts, the Chiefs fell once again at home but this time to the Texans. They should be able to pick it up on Thursday against the Broncos.
8. Detroit Lions (+2)
The Lions are scrappy and are here to stay. The Lions blew a nine point lead to the Packers in Lambeau. If it weren’t for two blown hands to the face penalties, Detroit would have pulled it out. They missed opportunities in the redzone but still showed they are real.
9. Houston Texans (+6)
Houston is back in contention to come out of the AFC after a win over the Chiefs. They have another chance to make a statement when they head on the road to Indianapolis against a Colts team that is legit.
10. Indianapolis Colts (+1)
The Colts were off this week after beating the Chiefs at Arrowhead in week five. The Colts’ defense will be up against another special quarterback when they face the Texans who are on a roll.
11. Chicago Bears (+2)
Chicago had a bye week after losing to the Raiders in London. They get right back into tough NFC play hosting New Orleans in Soldier Field.
12. Minnesota Vikings (+7)
The major jump may be an overreaction to the way Kirk Cousins and the receivers played on the Eagles secondary, but that was a really nice win for the Vikings who are now 4-2 with both losses coming to really good teams in the Packers and the Bears. Minnesota will need to keep up in a division where no team has a losing record and they will have the chance to do so next week at Detroit.
13. Philadelphia Eagles (-5)
Wow, that secondary is bad. The Viking receivers completely torched the Eagles secondary. Philadelphia falls to 3-3 but lucky for them, Dallas has not done anything to take advantage of their bad start. Next week’s game against Dallas will have huge implications in the division.
14. Dallas Cowboys (-5)
The Cowboys looked like Superbowl contenders the first three weeks but have now looked nothing close to it. They started 3-0 and have now fallen back to Earth after losing three straight. The most disappointing of those losses was a lackluster effort against the Jets. Something that is concerning about this Dallas squad is the slow starts that they often have.
15. Baltimore Ravens (-1)
The Ravens have fallen off quite a bit from their hot 2-0 start. They have won their past two games against division rivals in the Steelers and Bengals but neither have been convincing wins. The two wins came by a combined nine points against two teams that are at the bottom of the league.
16. Los Angeles Rams (-4)
After starting 3-0, the Rams have now dropped three in a row and now sit at 3-3. The Rams could not afford to fall behind in the NFC West with the 49ers starting 5-0 and the Seahawks starting 5-1, but they have done just that. Luckily for the Rams, they head to Atlanta next week to face a struggling Falcons team.
17. Carolina Panthers (+1)
4-0: That is the Carolina Panthers record with Kyle Allen starting. The Panthers have scored 34+ points in three of the four games that Allen has started and there is now chatter that Cam Newton might not slide back into the starting role when he’s healthy which is incredible to think about considering he is a former MVP.
18. Oakland Raiders (-1)
The Raiders enjoyed a bye during week six. The surprising 3-2 Oakland team will be in Lambeau for week seven in what might be an interesting game the way the Raiders have been playing.
19. Cleveland Browns (-3)
The hype train that the Browns are on has reached all kinds of lows. After losing a close one to a really good Seattle team the Browns have now fallen to 2-4. What is more shocking is Baker Mayfield‘s ten interceptions. They aren’t all on him but nobody could have predicted Mayfield leading the league in interceptions. The Browns are on bye this week but then have a date with the Patriots in Foxborough.
20. Arizona Cardinals (+8)
Arizona needed a missed extra point to get the job done against Atlanta but it was an impressive win nonetheless. Kyler Murray had his best game as a pro as he threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns. The 2-3-1 Cardinals will look to improve to 3-3-1 when they visit the Giants next week.
21. New York Jets (+10)
Easily the biggest jump in my power rankings was made by the Jets. They jump from the number 31 slot last week all the way up to 21. An offense that looked awful the last three weeks with Luke Falk under center looked like a completely different unit against Dallas. Sam Darnold led the offense to 21 first-half points and made all the difference. The Jets host New England next week and hope to have tight end Chris Herndon and star middle linebacker C.J. Mosley finally back.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars (-1)
Jacksonville started the year 0-2 then won two straight and have now once again dropped two straight games. The bright side is that the Jaguars hung in there with the Saints until the very end but the bad news is that the Minshew magic might have worn off. New Orleans kept Gardner Minshew to just 163 yards over the air, no touchdowns and one interception. Jacksonville hopes to get it going again next week against the Bengals.
23. Pittsburgh Steelers (+3)
Don’t count the Steelers out just yet. Whether the win “at” the Chargers was a sign of falling Chargers or not, Pittsburgh proved they can ride their defense to a win. The Pittsburgh offense was actually outgained by the Chargers and only managed to move the ball for 256 yards but that was enough to build a 24-0 lead and the win. Devlin Hodges is 1-0 as the starter.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4)
Jameis Winston found a way to turn the ball over six times in London. Five interceptions and one lost fumble en route to a 37-26 defeat. Remarkably, the Panthers only managed to score 14 points off of the six turnovers. If Winson was at least somewhat competent and held onto the ball, Tampa Bay would’ve had a real chance to win the game.
25. Denver Broncos (+0)
The Broncos have put together back to back wins after starting the year poorly. They made Marcus Mariota look absolutely terrible and took him down seven times. Both wins came against extremely disappointing Titans and Chargers and will now host the Chiefs on short rest on Thursday night. It will be interesting to watch if the Broncos defense can continue the success they had against the Titans and make it hard on Patrick Mahomes.
26. New York Giants (-2)
The Giants put up much more of a fight can anyone could have predicted but crumbled badly in the end to the defending champs losing 35-14 and falling to 2-4. The odds were stacked against Daniel Jones, or better known as Danny Dimes. It’s hard to get anything going when your running back group is comprised of Jon Hilliman and Elijhaa Penny and your number two receiver is fifth-rounder in Darius Slayton.
27. Tennessee Titans (-4)
Hello Ryan Tannehill? Mariota was benched in favor of Tannehill after throwing for just 63 yards, completing just 53% of his passes and throwing two interceptions in over a half of football. Tannehill didn’t fare much better and the Titans ended up being blanked in an ugly 16-0 loss to Denver.
28. Los Angeles Chargers (-6)
The trainwreck that is the Los Angeles Chargers should be getting much more national spotlight for being a completely underwhelming 2-4. Philip Rivers started off the wreck on Sunday night with a backward pass that ended in a Devin Bush score. That wouldn’t be the last time Bush made a play. He picked off Rivers on the very next drive in what would be a 24-17 loss for the Chargers to Hodges led Steelers.
29. Atlanta Falcons (-2)
What is going on down in Atlanta? The team has the potential to win double-digit games but has only one win through six games and got their one win against a banged up Eagles squad. The Falcons might start 1-8 with their next three games against the Rams, Seahawks, and Saints. Yikes!
30. Washington Redskins (+0)
The Redskins won a game! After opening up a 17-3 lead on the Dolphins late in the third Washington seemed ready to comfortably win a game but that would be far from the case. Washington needed a drop from Kenyan Drake on a two-point conversion to secure the win but hey, a win is a win, right?
31. Cincinnati Bengals (-2)
The Bengals sit at the bottom of the league along with the Dolphins as the only two winless teams. Give Cincinnati credit. They sit at 0-6 but have not been a complete joke. They have lost four of the six games by one score and hung in there with Baltimore this past Sunday. A matchup at home against the Jaguars who have dropped back-to-back games gives them some hope.
32. Miami Dolphins (+0)
So close! The Dolphins almost got it done. After benching Josh Rosen for Ryan Fitzpatrick, Fitzmagic made an appearance and led two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter but a failed two-point conversion keeps the Dolphins well on their way to the first overall pick. So close!
Questions and comments?
Follow Us on Twitter @thescorecrow
Follow Us on Reddit at u/TheScorecrow
Follow Us on Facebook at The Scorecrow
Follow Us on Instagram at The Scorecrow
Facebook Group where you can read and post articles at The Scorecrow
Reddit Group where everyone can post without fear of being banned at The Scorecrow
Follow Raul Vazquez on Twitter@RaulV45
Main Image Credit:Embed from Getty Images