2017 NFL power rankings: week 10

2017 NFL power rankings: Week 10

Many teams are starting to separate themselves into their positions this season. We are learning who the true contenders and pretenders are.

The Wild Card races will also be extremely entertaining over the next eight weeks. In the AFC, the two teams in the current Wild Card spots have three losses. There are eight other teams with four or five losses that are within two games of being in their shoes. In the NFC, the two Wild Card teams also have three losses, and there are seven teams with three, four or five losses.

The picture should become more clear each and every week. For now, here are the 2017 NFL power rankings: Week 10.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-8)

Last week: 32 (no change)

Next game: away vs. Detroit

Cleveland had a bye week, but nothing happened in Week 9 to prove there is a team worse than them.

Yes, the 49ers are also winless and sit at 0-9 rather than at 0-8, but if the two teams played, who would you pick to win? Cleveland will likely win at least one game at some point this season because going 0-16 is hard to do.

Either way, the Browns are still the Browns and will end up with a top three pick that they will find a way to mess up.

31. San Francisco 49ers (0-9)

Last week: 31 (no change)

Next game: home vs. New York Giants

The 49ers are not a team with talent that should be winless. They lack a quarterback, and everyone can tee off on the run game. The defense is young and just needs time to grow.

This week, they play another horrible team and have a shot at a win. Last week, I picked the 49ers to upset the Cardinals, and it didn’t happen. This week though, they will beat the Giants and move up in the rankings.

30. New York Giants (1-7)

2017 NFL power rankings: week 10

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Last week: 30 (no change)

Next game: away vs. San Francisco

New York was completely overwhelmed and annihilated by the Rams. New York needs to hit the reset button and rebuild this franchise. It is time to trade Eli Manning and fire Ben McAdoo.

This offense needs to build around Odell Beckham Jr. Defensively, they need to build around Landon Collins.

New York can look to OBJ and Collins to lead a new era of Giants, but this season is done. McAdoo has already proven to be incapable of leading this team to success.

29. Indianapolis Colts (3-6)

Last week: 29 (no change)

Next game: home vs. Pittsburgh

Indy beat a Houston team that just lost all hope after Deshaun Watson tore his ACL. Beating Tom Savage is not an impressive feat. This team also shut down Andrew Luck for the season, which basically tells the world they are throwing in the towel for the season.

Jacoby Brissett has looked decent, but his team has little talent on either side of the ball. Three wins are decent for what they have, but they will be lucky to win three more games this season.

28. Denver Broncos (3-5)

Last week: 22 (-6)

Next game: home vs. New England

Denver got manhandled by the Philadelphia Eagles, so badly that the Broncos have now moved into the top 10 of the NFL draft. They will stay at the top of the draft and likely finish fourth in the AFC West.

This team went from a juggernaut defense that could carry an offense to a team that needs a rebuild. They have nothing on offense that can help a quarterback. A whole new offense is needed. On defense, Von Miller is still a stud, but the secondary has been split up and is getting old.

Vance Joseph looks lost as a head coach. He doesn’t challenge things he should, but then challenges things he shouldn’t. In his press conferences, he keeps talking about how good practice was. The man is straight up overwhelmed. The future looks bleak at best in Denver.

27. Miami Dolphins (4-4)

Last week: 27 (no change)

Next game: away vs. Carolina

So Miami is the epitome of an average NFL team. One week they look like world beaters, and the next they look like the Browns.

Two weeks ago, the Ravens slaughtered them 40-0. This week they gave the Raiders all they could handle, but fell short. Jay Cutler threw for a season-high 311 yards. It still wasn’t enough to get a win, which says all you need to know about the Dolphins.

Even if Jay Cutler plays like an MVP, this team can’t make the playoffs.

26. Baltimore Ravens (4-5)

Last week: 25 (-1)

Next game: Bye

Baltimore is playing good defense, ranking in the top 10 in points allowed per game. The one issue they have is stopping the run, as they allow 125.9 yards per game.

On the other hand, the offense runs the ball well for an average of 120.9 yards per game. This only results in the team scoring 21.1 points per game. The Ravens are competitive, but won’t make the playoffs.

25.  Arizona Cardinals (4-4)

Last week: 28 (+3)

Next game: home vs. Seattle

Despite losing Carson Palmer, the Cardinals were able to win behind Drew Stanton and Adrian Peterson. Peterson had a career-high 37 carries for 159 yards. Stanton threw for 201 yards and two touchdowns. That was all it took to beat the San Francisco 49ers, who are going through a rebuild.

When Arizona plays better teams, they won’t be able to give Peterson nearly 40 carries that often. He is way too old and injury prone to rely on this much.

Next week, Arizona faces Seattle, and the Cardinals will fall back to reality.

24. Chicago Bears (3-5)

Last week: 24 (no change)

Next game: home vs. Green Bay

The Bears are coming off a bye and face their biggest rival. Because the Bears are at home, they have a real shot to win with Aaron Rodgers out. Chicago’s defense is much better than anyone realizes.

The Bears will continue to run the ball to take pressure off of rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky. For the first time in a long time, the Bears will not have to outscore the Packers to win.

They may not make the playoffs this season, but the Bears might be building something special in the windy city.

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-6)

Last week: 23 (no change)

Next game: home vs. New York Jets

Tampa already has six losses, but are not as bad as their record. There is too much talent on this team for them to have this record, but sometimes that is the way the cookie crumbles.

When you look at the Bucs, the burning question is, what is their identity? The problem is they don’t have one.

Until Tampa can find their identity, they will continue to underachieve.

22. Cincinnati Bengals (3-5)

Last week: 21 (-1)

Next game: away vs. Tennessee

Cincinnati just can’t get above .500, and every time they get close, they run into a really good team. This team is on the brink of a complete implosion, and it showed when one of their most level-headed players, A.J. Green, threw Jalen Ramsey into a chokehold.

The Bengals offense will not help the defense out, who is holding up their end of the bargain. Until the offense can get rolling, the Bengals will remain in this downward spiral.

21. Houston Texans (3-5)

Last week: 14 (-7)

Next game: away vs. Los Angeles Rams

The Texans have lost their season with the loss of Deshaun Watson. He was the sole reason this team still had a shot to be competitive and possibly earn a playoff berth. Watson was not only leading the NFL in touchdown passes, but he had the Texans as the highest scoring team in the NFL.

An optimistic Texans fan should hope that the Texans tank the season to earn a high draft pick. If they get a great college player, then when Watson and the others who were injured and lost for the season return, the team will have enough talent to possibly win a Super Bowl.

20. Green Bay Packers (4-4)

Last week: 20 (no change)

Next game: away vs. Chicago

The Packers’ flaws are being exposed due to the injury to Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay’s defense can’t stop a nosebleed, and an offense led by Brett Hundley can not outscore other teams.

It is time for a change of scenery in Green Bay. It is evident that the success of the Packers is solely due to the greatness of Rodgers.

Green Bay needs a new general manager who will bring in more talent around him. They also need a new coach who can help build a respectable defense.

19. New York Jets (4-5)

2017 NFL power rankings: week 10

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Last week: 26 (+7)

Next game: away vs. Tampa Bay

The Jets are stuck in the middle of the NFL. At 4-5, they have a shot at making the playoffs, but aren’t truly contenders for a spot or even a run.

At 4-5, they also won’t be getting a high enough pick to really change the team around. The Jets are stuck in Mediocreville, and there is no way out. Just when you expect them to win, they lose and vice versa.

We will see what they do this week, but whatever you expect to happen, the exact opposite will unfold.

18. Los Angeles Chargers (3-5)

Last week: 18 (no change)

Next game: away vs. Jacksonville

The Chargers are a competitive team, but aren’t quite ready to be a playoff team. The defense is young but making good strides. The Chargers are only giving up 19 points per game.

Part of the defensive success is coming from their ability to pressure the quarterback. Los Angeles averages the third most sacks per game at 3.3.

If the offense can just protect the ball, they will have a shot to win any game they play.

17. Oakland Raiders (4-5)

Last week: 19 (+2)

Next game: Bye

The Raiders are down but not out. Their bye comes at a great time to give them a chance to regroup.

Derek Carr is beginning to heat up, throwing for over 300 yards in three straight games. During Carr’s hot streak, the Raiders are putting up 24 points per game.

The problem with Oakland is the defense. As crazy and fictional as it might sound, the Raiders have yet to record an interception. The defense is also giving up 23.8 points per game.

If they can fix the defense during their bye, they can make a run in their second half of the season.

16. Atlanta Falcons (4-4)

Lst week 15 (-1)

Next game: home vs. Dallas

The Falcons are seriously hungover from the Super Bowl. This is true and a bit lazy to say, but it is fun to say a team is hungover.

Atlanta’s true problem is that the offense is no longer lighting up scoreboards. Matt Ryan is not playing at an MVP level and is really missing offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Ryan has just 11 touchdowns this season.

Dan Quinn was hired for his defensive genius, but Atlanta is ranked in the middle of the pack defensively. The road doesn’t get easier either, as their remaining opponents have a combined record of 38-27.

15. Buffalo Bills (5-3)

Last week: 7 (-9)

Next game: home vs. New Orleans

Buffalo has improved this season and might still make it to the playoffs. But they are still not a true contender.

The loss to the Jets shows that more than anything. Buffalo is building a great defense behind Sean McDermott. The offense, however, is a middle of the pack ranked offense, and that is what is going to hold them back.

They can’t lose games to teams like the Jets if they want to be considered a true contender.

14. Detroit Lions (4-4)

Last week: 16 (+2)

Next game: home vs. Cleveland

Beating Green Bay without Aaron Rodgers isn’t all that impressive, but any win in the NFL is tough to come by. The Lions were able to get back to .500 and are just two games back of the Vikings for first place in the NFC North.

The Lions will go as far as Matthew Stafford can take them, and typically that means 8-10 wins. 8-10 wins won’t be enough to beat out the Vikings for the division or even earn a Wild Card berth.

Detroit will sit perfectly in the middle of mediocrity for the rest of the season.

13. Seattle Seahawks (5-3)

Last week: 8 (-5)

Next game: away vs. Arizona

Seattle is going to be held back by their offensive line. Just when you think they are still going to be one of the best teams in the NFC, they lose at home to the Washington Redskins, who will finish as a .500 team.

The Seahawks can win a bunch of games due to the great defense and playmaking ability of Russell Wilson. However, they will not make it deep into the playoffs if they even make it.

12. Washington Redskins (4-4)

Last week: 17 (+4)

Next game: home vs. Minnesota

The Redskins are a better version of the Miami Dolphins. They look great one week and incompetent the next.

For now, they deserve the high ranking because they went on the road and beat the Seattle Seahawks. They will likely finish 8-8, but if they end up beating Minnesota, it will prove that they might be better then they have looked up to this point.

11. Tennessee Titans (5-3)

Last week: 12 (+1)

Next game: home vs. Cincinnati

Few are looking at the Titans as a serious threat, but they are quietly moving along this season. They are tied for first place in their division, and the three-team race has come down to a two-team race.

Marcus Mariota isn’t doing anything eye-popping, but has thrown only five interceptions in three games. Tennessee will continue to run the ball, and once Mariota gets hot, the Titans will have an unstoppable offense.

10. Carolina Panthers (6-3)

2017 NFL power rankings: week 10

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Last week: 13 (+3)

Next game: home vs. Miami

Cam Newton gets so much hate, but his receivers were dropping balls left and right last week. When it mattered most though, Cam took over the game and led Carolina to a win against a division rival.

For as bad as people say Cam is, he has the Panthers sitting at 6-3 and still in a prime position to earn a playoff berth. Carolina can get hot at any moment. Before you know it, they could end up with a first-round bye. Now, that probably won’t happen but anything is possible.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-3)

Last week: 11 (+2)

Next game: home vs. Los Angeles Chargers

The Jaguars defense is really good and is the backbone of the team. From top to bottom, the Jaguars defense is elite. Jacksonville has the best scoring defense (14.6 points per game allowed), best pass defense (156.4 passing yards allowed per game) and are third in total defense (281.2 total yards allowed per game).

Jacksonville must continue to run the ball effectively to keep up their winning ways. It can be done, and Jacksonville is marching toward the playoffs with a championship caliber defense.

8. Dallas Cowboys (5-3)

Last week: 10 (+2)

Next game: away vs. Atlanta

Dallas got a season-changing win against Kansas City. Two weeks ago when they faced the 49ers, I mentioned it was the perfect time for them to get on a roll. Now they have won three straight.

The rest of the schedule remains challenging, but the Cowboys are back to the formula that gave them a ton of success last season. As long as they continue to run the ball well, they will stack up wins.

7. New Orleans Saints (6-2)

Last week 9 (+2)

Next game: away vs. Buffalo

After an 0-2 start and terrible defense, the Saints’ season looked like it was over. However, after winning their next six games, they are considered one of the best teams in the NFC.

Drew Brees continues to play at a high level, and they are getting help in the running game. The key to the Saints six-game winning streak is the improvement of the defense. Over their last five games, New Orleans is allowing just 15.4 points per game, including one shutout.

If they maintain this level of play defensively, then a Super Bowl run is possible.

6. Kansas City Chiefs (6-3)

Last week: 3 (-3)

Next game: Bye

Kansas City is in a rut with three losses in their last four games. They have cooled off mightly since their 5-0 start.

This is more due to the fact they are playing some tough opponents and losing close games. The Chiefs will still finish as one of the best teams in the AFC and will be a threat to the Patriots.

Their bye week comes at a good time to regroup for a run at a Lombardi Trophy.

5. Minnesota Vikings (6-2)

Last week: 5 (no change)

Next game: away vs. Washington

A bye week came at the perfect time for the Vikings. They played exactly half their season and got a chance to evaluate how they must finish in order to win the division. At 6-2, the Vikings are on pace for a 12 win season.

Minnesota fans should be cautious though because last season the Vikings went 5-0 before finishing 8-8. The second half of the Vikings schedule is much tougher than the first half was, but they should still find their way to 10 wins. They still have to face the Bears, Lions, Bengals and Packers, all games that they can and should win. The other four games against Washington, Carolina, Atlanta and the Los Angeles Rams could go either way.

Minnesota should finish between 10-12 wins, and if they do so, will finish as one of the top teams in the NFL.

4. Los Angeles Rams (6-2)

Last week: 6 (+2)

Next game: home vs. Houston

The greatest show on turf seems to have returned, but this time they are performing in Hollywood. Sean McVay is the leading candidate for coach of the year for what he has done with the Rams and their offense.

Jared Goff has made amazing strides in his second year. Goff has thrown for 2,030 yards, 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions in eight games. For comparison, in seven games last season, Goff threw for 1,089 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions.

McVay has also revitalized Todd Gurley, who has 1,024 yards from scrimmage and 10 total touchdowns. Los Angeles will continue to win games, and the playoff drought will end.

3. New England Patriots (6-2)

Last week 4: (+1)

Next game: away vs. Denver

Time to sound like a broken record. The Patriot way continues to bring about wins to the franchise. With Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, the Patriots will put up 12 or more wins and make it to the AFC Championship.

The only question is who will be their challenger and will it actually be a challenge. Speaking of challenges, they won’t have one this week because Denver isn’t very good.

The Patriots will be 7-2 in the next rankings, and if the Steelers falter, they can move up to No. 2.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)

Last week: 2 (no change)

Next game: away vs. Indianapolis

The Steelers had the week off thanks to their bye week right at the halfway point of their season. Pittsburgh is back to getting it done on the defensive end. The Killer B’s (Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown) started to warm up before the bye, averaging 417 yards per game in their last three games.

Just like the Patriots, the Steelers will be playing deep into January with hopes of winning the Super Bowl.

1. Philadelphia Eagles (8-1)

Last week: 1 (no change)

Next game: Bye

Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that the Eagles aren’t? They are one of the most balanced teams in the league, which is the reason they are 8-1. They average over 30 points per game with success in both phases of the offense. Philly throws for 240 yards and rushes for 136 yards per game.

Defensively, the Eagles are giving up less than 20 points per game and are 11th in total defense. Philly gets a break this week so they will remain at the top for at least another week.

 

Featured image from Getty Images

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2017 NFL power rankings: week 4

2017 NFL power rankings: week 4

Week three was pretty wild in the NFL. There were a plethora of games that finished with a very unexpected outcome. It has caused a shift in power rankings. It is still early and difficult to tell which teams are contenders and which teams are pretenders. The deeper the season goes the clearer the picture will be. With week three officially in the books, here are the 2017 NFL power rankings: week 4

32. Cleveland Browns (0-3)

Last week: 29 (-3)

Next opponent: home vs. Cincinnati

Losing to the Colts makes the Browns look like the worst team in the NFL. They won’t finish the season this low but right now this is where they rank. Not everything about the game on Sunday was bad. Cleveland fought back from a 28-7 deficit to lose 31-28. Saying this will get old by the end of the season but this team is young and heading in the right direction. They are still learning how to win.

31. San Fransisco 49ers (0-3)

2017 NFL power rankings: week 4

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Last week: 28 (-3)

Next opponent: away vs. Arizona

The 49ers have been battling tough in their games but are coming up short. The defense has been making strides but is too young and inexperienced. They let Todd Gurley and Jared Goff go bonkers on them. Offensively they must rely on Carlos Hyde to carry the workload and hope that Brian Hoyer doesn’t make too many mistakes.

30. Cincinnati Bengals (0-3)

Last week: 27 (-3)

Next opponent: away vs. Cleveland

The Bengals almost pulled off the upset in Lambeau Field. They even got a pick six off Aaron Rodgers. In the end,  the offense was unable to close out the game. The Bengals were winning 21-17 late in the game. Had the offense driven the ball into the end zone to take a 28-17 lead they would have won the game. Instead, they had to settle for a field goal taking the lead to 24-17. They committed a cardinal sin. You should never give the ball to Aaron Rodgers with the game on the line. Rodgers drove the Packers down for a touchdown and won the game in overtime. The Bengals are in for a long season and may start a rebuild.

29. New York Jets (1-2)

Last week: 32 (+3)

Next opponent: home vs. Jacksonville

Holy crap the Jets actually won a game. They weren’t going to go 0-16 but beating the Dolphins in week three was a surprise. They don’t look the like the worst team in the NFL but can still end up there as the season progresses. Heading into week four they will play host to the Jaguars. If they find a way to win that game then the Jets will have fully messed up their tank.

28. New York Giants (0-3)

Last week: 23 (-6)

Next opponent: away vs. Tampa Bay

Who would have thought that after three weeks the winless New York team would be the Giants? Not a single person would have predicted this. The Giants are struggling to run the ball averaging just 48.7 yards per game, the worst mark in the NFL. Eli Manning isn’t able to make up for a one-dimensional offense. The defense is also underperforming giving up 23.3 points per game. Last year they gave up 17.8 points per game. The Giants are in danger of having a horrible season and if they do they will move on from Eli.

27. Indianapolis Colts

Last week: 31 (+4)

Next opponent: away vs. Seattle

Jacoby Brissett didn’t look too bad in his start against the Browns. He completed 17 of 24 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown. Brissett also added 14 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. The Colts are going to hang around with good teams but won’t have enough talent to win many games without Luck. The defense played well but it against a rookie quarterback and the Browns. Going forward this team will remain somewhere within the top 10 of the NFL draft.

26. Arizona Cardinals

Last week: 25 (-1)

Next opponent: home vs. San Fransisco

Carson Palmer had a clean pocket and found Larry Legend all night against the Cowboys. Fitzgerald had 13 receptions 149 yards and a touchdown but it wasn’t enough to get a win at home. The Cardinals defense has been considered elite but that isn’t the case anymore. They are giving up 25.3 points per game. There is nothing positive to look forward to this season for Arizona.

25. Los Angeles Chargers (0-3)

2017 NFL power rankings: week 4

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Last week: 20 (-5)

Next opponent: home vs. Philadelphia

Philip Rivers is an interception throwing machine and it is hurting the Chargers. Los Angeles has a good defense and can run the ball but still can’t win games because of Rivers and their special teams. The Chargers will continue being competitive this season but will finish fourth in their division. The next step for the Chargers is finding a replacement for Rivers as soon as possible.

24. Miami Dolphins (1-1)

Last week: 19 (-5)

Next opponent: home vs. New Orleans

Jay Cutler gets all the hype and a big win in their first game but then comes back and lays an egg against the Jets. After two weeks the Jets ranked 18th in pass defense giving up 224 yards per game. Cutler only completed 59 percent of his passes for 220 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The Jets were also allowing over 30 points per game and the Dolphins only managed to score six. It was a lousy performance that raised many questions on how good the Dolphins will be this season.

23. New Orleans Saints (1-2)

Last week: 26 (+3)

Next opponent: away vs. Miami

It was a strange week in the NFL and the Saints deserve part of the blame. They intercepted Cam Newton three times and held the Panthers to just 13 points. The defense played much better than they had in the first two weeks. Offensively, Drew Brees got the ball to a ton of different weapons and threw for 220 yards and three touchdowns. This performance might have saved the season for the Saints. If they go to Miami and get a win they will be back in the thick of the NFC.

22. Chicago Bears (1-2)

Last week: 30 (+8)

Next opponent: away vs. Green Bay

The Chicago Bears have been known as a defensive franchise for most of their history. This season they seem to have gotten back to that and it looks like the Bears are going to be better than most expected because of it. They lost a close one to Atlanta and then upset the high-powered Steelers. The Bears rank 12th in total defense allowing just 321.7 yards per game. Chicago may not make the playoffs but they are going to be a tough opponent for everyone they face.

21. Baltimore Ravens (2-1)

Last week: 13 (-8)

Next opponent: home vs. Pittsburgh

The Ravens are as bad as I thought they were and they finally showed it. Baltimore traveled to London just to get lit up by none other than Blake Bortles. The Ravens only managed to score seven points and those points came with the outcome of the game already decided. The Ravens defense was picked apart and the offense looks more basic than a middle school offense. Baltimore will not win a lot of games this year.

20. Seattle Seahawks (1-2)

Last week: 16 (-4)

Next opponent: home vs. Indianapolis

All great empires fall at some point unless you’re Bill Belichick. The Seahawks don’t look as mighty as they were expected to or have in the past. Seattle still can’t run the ball as well as they would like too and the entire offense revolves around Russell Wilson running for his life and being a playmaker. The defense is getting gashed in the run game and giving up 146 rush yards per game. As long as that continues the Seahawks are going to be in a ton of dogfights.

19. Houston Texans (1-2)

Last week: 21 (+2)

Next opponent: home vs. Tennessee

DeShaun Watson played pretty well against the Patriots but it wasn’t enough. Tom Brady drove 92 yards on the vaunted Texan’s defense to hand Houston a second loss in three games. The Texans now have to host the Titans who may be one of the true contenders in the AFC. Houston is giving up just under 100 rush yards per game. They need to do that against Tennessee in order to get a win. The Texans will either pull to .500 or fall to 1-3 and maybe too far behind in the race for the division.

18. Los Angeles Rams (2-1)

2017 NFL power rankings: week 4

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Last week: 18 (no change)

Next opponent: away vs. Dallas

Not many are going to believe this but the Rams have the number one scoring offense in the NFL at 35.7 points per game. This high point output may be a bit fluky as their 40 point outbursts came against the Colts and the 49ers. Two teams that aren’t all that good. The good sign though is that Todd Gurley and Jared Goff are off to hot starts to the season. If they play like this all year they will dethrone the Seahawks in the NFC West. The Rams will move higher in the power rankings if they can continue their success against tougher opponents.

17.  Buffalo Bills (2-1)

Last week: 24 (+7)

Next Opponent: away vs. Atlanta

The Bills were able to upset the Denver Broncos and now look like a wildcard candidate in the AFC. Buffalo’s new head coach, Sean McDermott, built his reputation on defense and that is what he is excelling at in Buffalo. The Bills are first in scoring defense giving up 12.3 points per game. As long as the Bills continue to dominate on defense they will be a playoff team. On offense, Buffalo needs to focus on running the ball. Tyrod Taylor needs to manage this team and not turnover the football. After three weeks, the Bills look like they may finally end their playoff streak, but it is early and there is plenty of time for the wheels to fall off.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1)

Last week: 23 (+7)

Next opponent: away vs. New York Jets

Was that Blake Bortles at quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars or some new super quarterback? Bortles looked outstanding against a Ravens defense that was embarrassing opposing quarterbacks. Bortles threw for 244 yards and four touchdowns in a 44-7 rout. The real strength of this team is the defense. The Jags rank third in total yardage allowing just 259.7 per game. They can thank their amazing secondary for this third overall ranking. Jacksonville is allowing a league-best 124.3 yards per game through the air. That is nuts considering the passing era the NFL is in. If they continuing playing this well throughout the year then Jacksonville will make the playoffs.

15. Carolina Panthers (2-1)

Last week: 7 (-8)

Next opponent: away vs. New England

Cam Newton might have rushed back to quickly because he looks horrible this season. He has thrown four interceptions and just two touchdowns. His accuracy has been all over the place. Once he fixes his issues, or his should becomes fully healthy, the Panthers will become a Super Bowl contender. Until then, their defense is going to keep them competitive but they need their MVP to start playing like an MVP. The season isn’t getting any easier as they head to New England this week.

14. Green Bay (2-1)

Last week: 14 (no change)

Next opponent: home vs. Chicago

It is going to be unpopular to say, but the Packers aren’t very good this season. They got a win over Seattle in a tough fought game but the Seahawks look bad this year. That win just doesn’t look impressive. Green Bay then lost to the Falcons fairly easily. This past week they struggled to beat the Bengals at home. Their defense gave up 24 points to a team that didn’t have a touchdown through their first two games. Aaron Rodgers will win them around nine to 10 games but there will be no deep playoff run.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)

Last week: 8 (-5)

Next opponent: home vs. New York Giants

Tampa Bay is a tough team to figure out. They miss week one due to a hurricane the, in week two, they absolutely annihilate the Bears. The Buccaneers looked to be a real threat in the NFC. Week three their opponent was the Vikings who are down to Case Keenum at quarterback. Tampa Bay was a road favorite and nobody expected the Vikings to win. In conclusion, the Bucs lose 34-17 to the Vikings and it is still yet to be determined how good the Bucs really are.

12. Washington Redskins (2-1)

Last week: 17 (+5)

Next opponent: away vs. Kansas City

Very few saw the Redskins manhandling the Raiders the way they did. Washington held them to 10 points and a total of 128 yards. The Redskins exploded for 472 yards of offense. There is part of me that thinks this was a flukey game for Washington. This week they travel to Kansas City to take on a very good Chiefs team. If they win that game they will have proven to be a legitimate team that should be feared.

11. Denver Broncos (2-1)

2017 NFL power rankings: week 4

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Last week: 6 (-5)

Next opponent: home vs. Oakland

It was rather shocking to see the Broncos lose to the Bills but everybody in the NFL is tough if you don’t come to play. The Broncos had two turnovers, both of which were interceptions by Trevor Siemian. That proved to be the difference in the game. Denver is still playing great defense and they are finally running the ball the way they did during their Super Bowl runs. Denver has a chance to move up this week with a huge divisional game against Oakland.

10. Detroit Lions (2-1)

Last week: 9 (-1)

Next opponent: away vs. Vikings

Honestly, the Lions got robbed and should have won that game. Detroit should be 3-0 but at the end of the day, they sit at 2-1. The Lions are still a very good team and will be in the thick of the NFC North race all season but they are right around the top 10 in terms of power rankings. The only reason they aren’t higher on this list is that they haven’t played a tough schedule. Arizona and New York are bad football teams and the Falcons are overrated. A huge divisional game takes place this week for the Lions and a win could really do wonders for their playoff aspirations.

9. Minnesota Vikings (2-1)

Last week: 15 (+6)

Next opponent: home vs. Detroit

Minnesota deserves some respect. Their defense is nasty and nobody is having success running against them. The Vikings rank third in the NFL against the run allowing just 62.7 yards per game. This defense is forcing teams to become one-dimensional. Offensively there are playmakers all over the field. Dalvin Cook has adjusted to the NFL nicely and is the second leading rusher. Adam Thielen is second in receiving yards while Stephon Diggs is third. Diggs also leads the NFL in touchdown receptions. Minnesota has a divisional game at home and a win could vault them into the top five.

8. Dallas Cowboys (2-1)

Last week: 12 (+4)

Next opponent: home vs. Los Angeles Rams

Dak Prescott is getting the job done yet again in his second season. Dak had three total touchdowns in the Cowboys Monday night win against the Cardinals. The running game also got going this week and Dallas may be starting to hit their stride. The defense has been shaky but still held the Cardinals to just 17 points. The task will be tougher this week as they face the number one scoring team in the NFL. Dallas should be able to defend home field but if they don’t they will drop significantly in the power rankings.

7. Philadelphia Eagles (2-1)

Last week: 10 (+3)

Next opponent: away vs. Los Angeles Chargers

The Eagles are firing on all cylinders so far. Their only loss has come to the best team in the NFL in a tightly contested game. Philly is putting up the 10th most points per game (25.7). They run the ball well averaging 119.3 yards per game (9th) and pass the ball well too, averaging 252.7 passing yards per game (10th). Many, including myself, believed that the Cowboys would win the NFC East but Philadelphia has looked like the best team thus far.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)

Last week: 3 (-3)

Next opponent: away vs. Baltimore

There is no need to have a crazy overaction to the loss the Steelers suffered in Chicago. Every season the Steelers lose games on the road they shouldn’t. Last year it was in Philadelphia 34-3. Pittsburgh just plays down to the level of their competition. By the end of the season, the Steelers will still win the division and be in the playoffs.

5. Tennessee Titans (2-1)

2017 NFL power rankings: week 4

(Photo Credit: Austin Anthony/AP)

Last week: 11 (+6)

Next opponent: away vs. Houston

Tennesee punked a Seahawks team that never gets punked. The Titans ran the ball right down Seattle’s throat to the tune of 195 yards. Marcus Mariota also threw for 225 yards against the Legion of Boom. The Titans are really looking like the eventual AFC South champions and have a chance to create some early breathing room in the division this week. It may not seem like it but the Titans have one of the best offenses in the league scoring 28.7 points per game. Teams in the AFC should be worried about the Titans.

4. Oakland Raiders (2-1)

Last week: 2 (-2)

Next opponent: away vs. Denver

Boy, the Raiders really crapped the bed on Sunday Night Football against the Redskins. Derek Carr didn’t look like himself and the defense made Kirk Cousins look like an elite quarterback. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree combined for two receptions and 13 yards.  Marshawn Lynch had only six carries for 18 yards. There will not be another performance that bad from Oakland the rest of this season. This game will be chalked up as a flue and the Raiders will get back to looking like Super Bowl contenders.

3. New England Patriots (2-1)

Last week: 4 (+1)

Next opponent: home vs. Panthers

Tom Brady drove down 92 yards against the Texan’s defense to win the game. Even at 40, Brady can get it done when the team needs it the most. New England is still figuring out their defense but Bill Belichick always has them improving over the course of a season. As long as Brady is playing at this level the Patriots will be alright.

2. Atlanta Falcons (3-0)

Last week: 5 (+3)

Next opponent: home vs. Buffalo

Atlanta doesn’t look great but are still managing to win games. They snuck out of Chicago with a win thanks to three drops. The Falcons then beat Green Bay in week two but allowed a lot of points late in the game. On Sunday, the Falcons walked out of Detroit with an extremely controversial win against the Lions. The defense is still struggling. Atlanta has earned this rank as they remain undefeated but they won’t remain here much longer.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)

Last week: 1 (no change)

Next opponent: home vs. Washington

There is no question that the Chiefs are currently the best team in the NFL and Kareem Hunt is not only the rookie of the year but looking like the M.V.P. as well. Hunt leads the league with 401 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Alex Smith is also playing lights out completely 77.4 percent of his passes while throwing for seven touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Chiefs defense ranks seventh in the NFL allowing 19 points per game. This team is arguably the most well-rounded team and the reason they have proven to be the best so far.

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Featured image courtesy of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4F5eI9U-J4