1. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (6-1)
You know that the Chiefs will be looking for Kelce frequently, and you still can’t stop him. On National Tight End Day, Kelce went to town with 12 catches for 179 yards and a TD, helping the Chiefs beat the Chargers by 14.
2. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (6-1)
The Eagles bounced back from their first loss with a 14-point win over the Dolphins on Sunday Night Football. The Eagles dominated in the trenches and were able to contain the Dolphins’ high-octane offense.
3. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (5-2)
The Niners were not able to bounce back from their first loss. Brock Purdy had a pair of interceptions in the 4th quarter that proved costly. Now we will see how Purdy responds to his first losing streak.
4. BUFFALO BILLS (4-3)
The Bills are feeling frustrated – and it’s visible. It’s not surprising. This team is supposed to be a Super Bowl contender, but they are now 4-3 after falling to a struggling Patriots team. With such a huge advantage at the QB position, that’s not a game Buffalo should lose.
5. MIAMI DOLPHINS (5-2)
Uh-oh. Are the Dolphins a pretender or a contender? On one hand, the offense has been operating at a record pace. On the other hand, their 5 wins have come against teams from the bottom of the barrel; and their losses have come by 14 or more. We will get some clarity on this subject in two weeks when the Dolphins travel to Arrowhead to face off against the Chiefs.
6. BALTIMORE RAVENS (5-2)
Those losses against the Colts & Steelers are two blemishes on a team who has otherwise handled everything else thrown at them… with ease. We saw an example of this on Sunday when the Ravens made it look like the Lions – who have been one of the hottest teams in football – shouldn’t even be on the same field as them.
7. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (5-2)
The Jaguars impressed me on Thursday Night Football. The Superdome is a tough place to play on a Sunday afternoon – let alone in a primetime slot on a short week. The Jags offense has been performing well under Lawrence, but the defense is what impressed me on Thursday. After a couple of miscues by the offense gave the Saints excellent field position, the Jags defense only conceded 3 points. That’s what you want to see out of a good football team – the offense and defense picking each other up when needed.
8. CLEVELAND BROWNS (4-2)
PJ Walker continues to get the job done for the Browns. After earning a stunning upset win over the 49ers a week ago, the backup QB had to step in once again when Deshaun Watson left the first half with an injury. The result was a done to the wire thriller which saw Walker’s Browns leave with a 1-point victory.
9. CINCINNATI BENGALS (3-3)
The Bengals entered their bye on Sunday at .500, which felt like quite an accomplishment considering how things went early on in the season for this team. I’m curious if we will start to see something closer to the Super Bowl team they fielded two years ago after having a week off which they surely spent trying to figure out how to get things back on track.
10. DALLAS COWBOYS (4-2)
The Cowboys had a bye on Sunday. This week they will take on the Rams. This could be a good measuring stick game for the Dallas offense, as they should be able to put some points up on this LA defense.
11. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (4-2)
The Seahawks had a bye this week, which is well-timed, since they will host a Cleveland Browns team this week who has looked good over their past couple games despite Deshaun Watson’s absence.
12. DETROIT LIONS (5-2)
You could lay some of the blame on Jared Goff’s indoor/outdoor splits – he is far better inside domes. It was a windy day in Baltimore, but that’s still no excuse to get trounced as a team that is 5-1 with all the momentum in the world.
13. NEW YORK JETS (3-3)
The Jets entered their bye with some momentum from a win over the previously undefeated Eagles. They will look to carry that momentum into their game against the Giants this week.
14. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (4-2)
It’s crazy that one player on defense can impact the outcome of games the way that TJ Watt does. Watt had a pick-6 on Sunday which helped the Steelers improve to 4-2 via a 7-point road victory over the Rams.
15. LOS ANGELES RAMS (3-4)
The Rams saw one slip away on Sunday. The Steelers defense was about to stifle the Rams, and score a defensive TD in the process, as Los Angeles just can’t seem to find any traction this season.
16. ATLANTA FALCONS (4-3)
The Falcons won by 3 against the Bucs. This was a big road win, both for divisional standings, and to get the team above .500 which should be a confidence boost.
17. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (2-4)
So, aren’t we supposed to be seeing more out of Justin Herbert? Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good QB and, in my opinion, doesn’t have the greatest coaching staff; but it feels like he should have progressed more after all the hype around him in his rookie season. They played Dallas and Kansas City in the past two weeks – two games that put Herbert under the national spotlight – and the Chargers lost both games. At this point in his career, if he was going to be the QB that we all expect him to be, he needs to start winning games like that.
18. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (3-4)
We all knew the Vikings record didn’t indicate the strength of their team. However, not too many people expected an upset win over the Niners – with Justin Jefferson injured, nonetheless. The defense looked much better, forcing 3 turnovers, including 2 picks in the 4th quarter that sealed the game.
19. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (3-3)
This was a demoralizing loss for Tampa. A week after getting taken to the woodshed by Detroit, the Bucs hosted the division rival Falcons – who are a very beatable team. The result was a 3-point loss. You would expect a bounce back from Tampa in this spot, and it’s troubling that that was not the case.
20. HOUSTON TEXANS (3-3)
The Texans had a bye this past week. I don’t think too many people expected them to be at .500 entering their bye week, so the Texans should come out next week rested and confident.
21. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (3-4)
Inefficiency has been the name of the game for the Saints. It showed up again on Thursday Night Football. The Saints have been failing to find the goal line on their trips to the red zone, and it’s really been putting them behind the 8-ball in games, which in turn have been leading to 1-score losses.
22. WASHINGTON COMMANDERS (3-4)
I really wanted to see the Commanders get a win this week. It’s not a good look for Sam Howell to be losing to a Giants team that fielded Tyrod Taylor as their starting QB.
23. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (3-4)
Sunday was embarrassing for the Raiders. There isn’t really any other way to say it. Even if Justin Fields wasn’t injured, it would have been an embarrassing outcome – yet the Raiders lost by 18 to Tyson Bagent, (whoever that is).
24. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (3-4)
It would appear that Minshew’s magic has completely worn off. The Colts’ backup had 3 costly turnovers in the 2nd half, including a fumble that resulted in a scoop & score.
25. TENNESSEE TITANS (2-4)
The Titans were off on Sunday. Hopefully they spent that time figuring out how to win games that don’t take place in the state of Tennessee.
26. NEW YORK GIANTS (2-5)
The Giants put together a nice performance against the Bills 2 weeks ago, but it still resulted in a loss. The defense showed up again this week, and the Giants were able to capitalize on that this time, as they beat the Commanders 14-7 in a low-scoring affair.
27. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (2-5)
The Pats win over Buffalo was a shocker, especially considering the way Mac Jones has been playing of late. In recent weeks it has felt like a 10-0 deficit for New England would be insurmountable. They were able to put up 29 points on a stingy Buffalo defense, however. This was a win that Belichick & company desperately needed as their season has been a train wreck so far.
28. DENVER BRONCOS (2-5)
The Broncos got their 2nd win, but it was in no way pretty. Still though, it’s better than a loss.
29. CHICAGO BEARS (2-5)
Tyson Bagent was able to get the job done against the Raiders, as the Bears won 30-12. This is a feel good moment for Bagent, but I doubt it will become much more than that for the backup QB.
30. GREEN BAY PACKERS (2-4)
This is just a game you gotta win. Sure, it’s a road game, but you’re coming off a bye and facing the free-falling Denver Broncos – not to mention you held the lead in the 4th quarter. This is a bad loss for Green Bay. It’s also their 3rd straight loss, and if you look at the upcoming schedule, that streak could grow.
31. ARIZONA CARDINALS (1-6)
Another week, another double-digit loss from the Cardinals. If the Cardinals end up at #1 overall in the next draft, do they stand behind Murray or take a shot with Caleb Williams?
32. CAROLINA PANTHERS (0-6)
The Panthers had a bye on Sunday, but so did the opponent they will face this week, the Houston Texans. It would have been nice for the Panthers to have both home-field and a rest advantage, as this is a good spot for Bryce Young to get his 1st NFL win, as we see the #1 & #2 overall picks from the 2023 NFL Draft going head-to-head. They have had very different trajectories so far this year, so it would be a huge win for Young, as Stroud, who went after Young in the draft, has been hogging the spotlight recently.