Written By: David Scanlan
#10: Los Angeles Rams (6-3) Previously – Unranked
The Rams showed up in a big game last Sunday, keeping them in a position to compete for the division title. This was a very slow game from both sides, and the Rams came out on top against the Seahawks due to the biggest reason of playing a clean game. Goff didn’t turn the ball over but also didn’t throw a touchdown. All three of the Rams scores came from the ground attack. They also forced Russ into two interceptions and kept him from finding the endzone all night. The Rams have a big game once again against the Buccaneers this weekend, and I look forward to seeing how they handle this week’s matchup.
#9: Arizona Cardinals (6-4) Previously – #10
There are two games to talk about for this Cardinals squad that landed them a spot higher from last week. Many may say the Cardinals didn’t deserve to win this game, but the matter of fact is they won and they picked up Deandre Hopkins to come through in the biggest of moments during games. He did just that against Buffalo. Not very often you see game-winning hail mary plays, but the Cardinals managed to get one at the right time. Kyler had a great game with three total TDs. Kenyan Drake had a solid 100 yards as well, and the big man Hopkins came through with 127 Receiving yards and a TD. Now onto the game that ultimately caused this ranking. The Cardinals lost their second matchup with the Seahawks by a score of 28-21. Neither side really made any big plays and it was a slow-paced game for how explosive both of these offenses are. Deandre Hopkins didn’t find the endzone all night and going up against such a weak defensive secondary, it was a little surprising. Many, including myself, expected Hopkins to have a bigger game. The Cardinals have a chance to bounce back and get right this weekend against the New England Patriots.
#8: Seattle Seahawks (6-3) Previously – #7
Once again, we have two games to discuss that caused the Seahawks to fall a spot following last week’s power rankings. The Rams game was one of the worst games I have seen from this team. Russell Wilson failed to record a passing or rushing touchdown all night and threw two interceptions to go along with being shut out of the endzone. The Seahawks only TD came from Alex Collins on the ground. In recent years, the Rams have beaten Seattle 5 out of their last 6 matchups. Clearly a pattern has been occurring and the Seahawks need to turn the tables. Game two, Arizona at Seattle. Not an explosive game from this Seattle offense, but it was enough to get the job done. Russ found DK and Tyler Lockett both in the endzone once apiece. The defense held up enough to allow the offense to work with a lead for most of this game. Seattle’s next game comes against a struggling Eagles team, and they look to come out victorious.
#7: Buffalo Bills (7-3) Previously – #5
A tough loss happened for the Bills last Sunday as they lost on the final play due to a hail mary throw. The Bills receivers had a great day, most notably Cole Beasley and Stefon Diggs. Beasley had 109 Yards and a TD, while Diggs had 93 Yards and a TD as well. The biggest reason the Bills lost this game though is because Josh Allen had two careless passes that were picked off. He has been portrayed as a big arm QB who fails to hit the open man most times. This season, for the most part, he has tremendously improved and fixed these issues partially. Other than his two interceptions that could have led to scoring chances, the Bills played a great game and lost based on pure luck.
#6: Baltimore Ravens (6-3) Previously – #4
After watching Sunday’s game against the Patriots, there is one prevalent issue with this Baltimore offense that should have been addressed last offseason but has to be a priority this one. There is no number one or “main guy” receiver for this team and they continue to rely on this WR rotation they have to work, but the secret is out. It won’t work. The Ravens highest receiver only brought in 64 yards and it was Willie Snead. Marquise Brown has practically vanished from this offense as he has another game with only 2 receptions for 14 yards. Cam didn’t have a noticeable game, but he didn’t turn the ball over against this team’s defense and found the endzone twice. With how competitive the Browns have made the division this year along with the Steelers, it is going to be a long rest of the year for this team.
#5: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3) Previously – #8
The Buccaneers once again looked dominating, and there was a clear choice of who stood out from this offense Sunday. Ronald Jones was a BEAST. 23 carries for 192 yards and an average of 8.3 YPC, not to mention a TD to go along with it also. Tom Brady also had a good game, throwing for 341 yards, 3 TDs, and no INTs. A bright spot in this offense is AB. He hasn’t found the end zone yet, but considering he has been out of football for nearly two years, he has started off pretty well. The Buccaneers have a tough matchup on MNF against the Rams.
#4: Green Bay Packers (7-2) Previously – #3
The Packers faced Jake Luton in just his second career game, and it was way closer than it should have been. The Packers won 24-20, and held Luton to under 170 passing yards, and grabbed an INT, but gave up a TD to Keelan Cole. Aaron Jones has cooled off from his red hot start at the beginning of the season, and Davante did pretty well considering he left the game early due to injury. The Packers will face a stifling defense this weekend when they travel to Indianapolis to face the colts.
#3: New Orleans Saints (7-2) Previously – #6
A grit and grind attack was how the Saints approached the game this past weekend against the 49ers after QB Drew Brees went down and was ruled out for the rest of the game with a punctured lung, prayers up to Drew for a speedy recovery. But, after Drew went down this was a rushing attack and screen game finish for the Saints. Neither Drew or Jameis Winston recorded over 100 yards passing. The key player from this game on the Saints offense is no doubt Alvin Kamara. Kamara led the team in receiving yards and was responsible for all three TDs, grabbing one through the air and two on the ground. The Saints announced Taysom Hill will be starting over Winston against the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday so be on the lookout for a possible upset.
#2: Kansas City Chiefs (8-1) Previously – #2
Another game went by for the Chiefs where the running game was practically non-existent, as Clyde Edwards-Helaire led the team in rushing with just 14 yards. But when your QB is Patrick Mahomes, the half-billion-dollar man, that is just fine. Mahomes threw for 372 yards, 4 TDs, and no interceptions. It seemed he had two favorite targets this game in Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Kelce racked up 10 receptions for 159 yards, while Tyreek had a monster game. Hill had 9 catches for 113 yards and 2 TDs. Even with Pittsburgh having the best record in the NFL, it is still reasonable to call the Chiefs favorites to win the Superbowl once again.
#1: Pittsburgh Steelers (9-0) Previously – #1
I think this standing shows for itself. Pittsburgh has been absolutely killing it this year, and they have a really good chance to possibly find themselves undefeated going into the postseason. Big Ben had a fantastic game, throwing for 333 yards and 4 TDs, without throwing an interception. Ben is definitely going to be in contention for the comeback player of the year, if not already winning it by a mile. Three wide receivers also killed it on Sunday for the Steelers and they were Juju Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, and Chase Claypool. The three combined for over 200 yards and 4 TDs, all of them finding the endzone at least once. They have an easy task against the Jaguars this weekend looking to find themselves 10-0.
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