Written By: David Scanlan
#10: Tennessee Titans (7-3) Previously – Unranked
The Titans walked away victorious in a thrilling 30-24 overtime victory against the Baltimore Ravens this past Sunday. All sides of the offense were clicking together this past Sunday for Tennessee. Tannehill had a solid game throwing for 2 TDs and 259 yards, while only giving the ball up once. Derrick Henry was just doing Derrick Henry things out there, giving flashbacks to last season’s playoff game vs the Ravens. Henry finished the game with 133 rushing yards and 1 TD on 28 attempts, ultimately putting the game away on his 29-yard TD in overtime. Corey Davis had a monster game with 5 catches for 113 yards, and AJ Brown gathered in a TD while racking up 62 yards to go with it. As of recent times, it seems as if this rivalry is one-sided so far.
#9: Seattle Seahawks (7-3) Previously – #8
Coming off the long week after their Thursday night game, many teams stepped up to bounce the Seahawks down a spot. Since the game was recapped, I figured I could discuss a big factor on their team and upcoming game. Carlos Dunlap was a huge pickup for this struggling defense at the deadline. After losing a big piece of their defense in Clowney during the offseason to Tennessee, Dunlap has come in at the midway point and filled the void of a pass rusher they have been craving. Dunlap has 3.5 sacks, 7 QB hits, and 5 tackles for loss in just three games. Dunlap has been a stud so far and the trade is looking like it paid off so far. Seattle has a game against the injured and struggling Philadelphia Eagles so they look to have a big game. Seattle can use this game as a chance to get their defense on the right track before the playoffs.
#8: Indianapolis Colts (7-3) Previously – Unranked
The Colts are one of the most, if not the most, underrated teams in the NFL. We don’t really hear about them because they fly under the radar due to no star power on either side of the ball really, but here they are leading their division with 7 wins. This Indy defense is very elite and they proved so this past weekend. The Colts were able to grab a nail-biting 34-31 win against the Green Bay Packers this past Sunday and did enough to hold this explosive and high-scoring Packers offense down. The Colts forced Rodgers into throwing an interception, and as crazy as it sounds, held Davante Adams to 106 yards and a TD. Philip Rivers had a great game throwing 3 TDs and only one INT. Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman Jr. also had solid games, ultimately pushing them to victory. This Colts squad could be very much in a position to cause an upset in the playoffs.
#7: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-4) Previously – #5
The Buccaneers once again lost a primetime, national television game but this time it was to the Los Angeles Rams. The Buccaneers’ offense struggled terribly during this game. Ronald Jones, who I made sure to give tons of credit to last week, was practically non-existent. Jones rushed for only 24 yards on 10 attempts and didn’t find the endzone all game. Brady threw for 216 and 2 TDs but also threw 2 interceptions. In the passing game, Godwin and Evans found the endzone once apiece, but Antonio Brown led all receivers in yards with 57. Brady must start stepping up in big games with this contract he is getting paid. The Buccaneers need to figure out how to beat these top teams or else they will be in trouble come playoff time.
#6: Buffalo Bills (7-3) Previously – #7
Bills were on a bye last week, following the heartbreaking loss from Arizona. Coach Sean McDermott said he wants to find more ways to utilize the ground game, and he should be doing just this. Bills rely too much on the passing attack from Allen and Diggs, that it has completely allowed teams to focus on leaving the run and covering as much field as you can to guard the air attack. Zack Moss and Devin Singletary haven’t gotten much action this season, but for the Bills, to compete, it is an area they need to focus on. Bills have two games coming up that they can work on the rushing game against the Los Angeles Chargers, and then the San Francisco 49ers.
#5: Green Bay Packers (7-3) Previously – #4
This loss for Green Bay was just one of those games where you can’t get out of your own way. Green Bay had a 28-14 lead going into halftime and looked to come away victorious giving them an 8th win on the season. The final score ended up being 34-31 and the GB offense was held to just 3 points in the second half and those three came off a last-minute drive to put the game into overtime. In overtime, Marquez Valdez-Scantling fumbled the ball and set the colts up for what would be the game winning field goal. GB has a big game against Chicago this weekend.
#4: Los Angeles Rams (7-3) Previously – #10
To say the least I am very shocked with how the Rams have turned out, and how their season has played out so far. Beginning of the season I was very harsh on the Rams and had them finishing under 5 wins. Here they are, coming into week twelve with 7 wins and 3 losses thus far. Cooper Kupp has stepped up, as well as Jared Goff. In the most recent game where they took down the Buccaneers, Goff did struggle a little bit causing 2 Interceptions, but he did also throw 3 TDs and 376 yards to go with it. The Receiving corps of Woods and Kupp have been magnificent so far. Kupp had 11 catches for 145 yards, while woods had 12 catches for 130 yards and a TD. The Rams will be looking to grab their 8th win of the season this weekend against the San Francisco 49ers who are missing their starting QB.
#3: New Orleans Saints (8-2) Previously – #3
Two words. Taysom Hill. Many including myself did not expect Hill to show up and be as efficient as he was as a passer or even QB. Hill didn’t record a passing TD, but he didn’t turn the ball over either and scored twice on the ground while also rushing for 49 yards. The New Orleans defense was locked in as they sacked Matt Ryan 8 times and also picked him off twice. The Atlanta offense was held to 9 points, and when New Orleans has their team hitting on all sides, watch out. The Saints play Denver this weekend so look for Taysom Hill to try and get into a groove through the air.
#2: Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) Previously – #2
It seems as if the Chiefs’ kryptonite is the Las Vegas Raiders. Granted, the Chiefs did walk away winners from this game, but they would’ve lost their second game of the season and gotten swept by this Raiders team if it wasn’t for Mahomes magic. After going down from Derek Carr’s Touchdown Pass with 1:43 left to play, Mahomes marched 75 yards and threw the game-winner to Travis Kelce. The receiving crew once again had a big day, but so did the ground game. Clyde Edwards-Helaire found the endzone twice, and Le’Veon Bell got in once. Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill both gathered 100+ yards and each found the endzone once. Winning this game practically secured another division win for Kansas City, so now they look to catch up to Pittsburgh.
#1: Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0) Previously – #1
Steelers Defense did plenty in the win over Jacksonville Sunday. The defense forced Jake Luton into throwing 4 Interceptions and held him to just 151 yards. The defense also didn’t give up a TD all game, winning 27-3. Claypool, Ebron found the endzone through the air, while Snell Jr. got a rushing TD. This Pittsburgh team is terrific on all sides of the ball, but need their offense clicking if they happen to meet KC in the playoffs. Pittsburgh faces a Baltimore Ravens team that will be without Lamar Jackson due to COVID. Expect another big game from the defense going up against Robert Griffin III.
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