1. Denver Broncos(4-1) --last wk #1--
Since losing to the Seahawks in week 3, the Broncos have kicked it another notch with impressive wins over the Jets and Cardinals. The defense is beginning to gel and take over the 2nd half of games.
2. Arizona Cardinals(4-1) --last wk #3--
They have played as tough a schedule as any and for that Seattle's fall is Arizona's rise. They are the team to beat in the NFC West at the moment
3. Dallas Cowboys(5-1) --last wk #10--
Debated whether the Cowboys should be ranked 3 or 4. They are the better road team and beating the Seahawks in Seattle gives the Cowboys more style points than the Chargers
4. San Diego Chargers(5-1) --last wk #5--
Despite playing an easier schedule, the Chargers can compete with the best teams as shown with their win against the Seahawks and a near victory against the Cardinals.
5. Seattle Seahawks(3-2) --last wk #1--
I gave the Seahawks the benefit of the doubt for the first 4 weeks but now its clear they haven't looked like the same team from last season.
6. Philadelphia Eagles(5-1) --last wk #6--
The Eagles are still flying high but without Darren Sproles for the next several weeks maybe the Eagles will finally start coming back down to Earth.
7. Cincinnati Bengals(3-1-1) --last wk #4--
The Bengals defense hasn't been the same since the Patriot beatdown giving up 37 points against the Panthers at home.
8. Indianapolis Colts(4-2) --last wk #9--
The Colts have the most explosive offense and their defense is just as good. A win against Cincinnati will move them up higher in the rankings.
9. Baltimore Ravens(4-2) --last wk #7--
The Ravens are playing good football but they still have yet to beat a great team. Playing the Falcons this week will hardly move their stock up if they win.
10. San Francisco 49ers(4-2) --last wk #8--
the 49ers have won 3 straight games with some great defense. The loss against the Bears and Cardinals hurts them a little in the rankings
the rest of the 22 teams...
11. Detroit Lions(4-2) --last wk #11--
12. Green Bay Packers(4-2) -- last wk #12--
13. Kansas City Chiefs(2-3) --last wk #13--
14. New England Patriots(4-2) --last wk #16--
15. New York Giants(3-3) --last wk #15--
16. Cleveland Browns(3-2) --last wk #22--
17. Pittsburgh Steelers(3-3) --last wk #16--
18. Buffalo Bills(3-3) --last wk #17--
19. Carolina Panthers(3-3) --last wk #18--
20. Chicago Bears(3-3) --last wk #19--
21. Houston Texans(3-3) --last wk #21--
22. Miami Dolphins(2-3) --last wk #23--
23. Atlanta Falcons(2-4) --last wk #20--
24. New Orlean Saints(2-3) --last wk #24--
25. Minnesota Vikings(2-4) --last wk #25--
26. Tennessee Titans(2-4) --last wk #26--
27. Saint Louis Rams(1-4) --last wk #29--
28. Washington Redskins(1-5) --last wk #27--\
29. New York Jets(1-5) --last wk #30--
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers(1-5) --last wk #28--
31. Jacksonville Jaguars(0-6) --last wk #31--
32. Oakland Raiders(0-5) --last wk #32--
1. Seattle Seahawks(3-1) --last wk #1--
Russell Wilson is the most elusive and clutch QB in the game but the Seahawks have played a bit sloppy since week 2. Their grip on the #1 spot is certainly up for grabs in the next few weeks. They will face the Cowboys at home then play 2 straight games on the road where their championship mettle will be tested.
2. Denver Broncos(3-1) --last wk #2--
Knocking the unbeaten Cardinals off their perch has firmly kept the Broncos in the #2 spot. Their offense and defense is finally starting to pick it up and they will need to because they play 2 playoff calibur teams at home after facing the Jets on the road. The Broncos are in good position to reclaim #1 should Seattle lose again.
3. Arizona Cardinals(3-1) --last wk #4--
The Cards fought hard for three quarters before Peyton took control. Give this team credit for playing tough teams and giving it their all. The Cardinals didn't really move up but switch spots with the Bengals to be #3(they should've been last week anyway), but with their historical bad luck with QB injuries it's hard to see them maintaining this spot for long. This team deserved to go to the playoffs last year and they just might miss it again 2 years in a row! Shame!
4. Cincinnati Bengals(3-1) --last wk #3--
Was this the same Bengals that I saw go 3-0 earlier in the season then gets thrashed by a struggling Patriots team? I was right not to rank the Bengals #1 yet. Bengals hadn't faced a playoff calibur team until the Patriots - whom aren't quite playing at playoff calibur themselves. That embarassing loss was enough to drop them a little bit.
5. San Diego Chargers(4-1) --last wk #6--
The Chargers have played a relatively easy schedule so far but make no mistake they are definitely improved from last season. Beating the Seahawks in week 2 is looking more impressive in hindsight. The Chargers will continue to bolt up the charts if they keep up this level of play.
6. Philadelphia Eagles(4-1) --last wk #7--
The Eagles have looked good in one half and then play poorly the other half. The Eagles are lucky to be 4-1 but sooner or later their inconsistent play is going to catch up to them.
7. Baltimore Ravens(3-2) --last wk #5--
The Ravens should be lower in the rankings but losing to Andrew Luck in Indy was nearly guaranteed. At least their defense kept them in the game but offense needs to step it up. Since the Ravens have played a schedule as tough as the Cardinals --with opponent's combined record of 14-9 and against 3 playoff teams from last season, dropping two spots is reasonable.
8. San Francisco 49ers(3-2) --last wk #9--
The 49ers have had two impressive wins in a row by going back to what they do best -- letting Frank Gore run the ball. The offense is still struggling with all the weapons they have but if they improve that the 49ers will be a dangerous team mid-to-late season.
9. Indianapolis Colts(3-2) --last wk #14--
The Colts made a big jump from all the 2-2 teams with a hard fought win against the Ravens. The defense is getting better each week
10. Dallas Cowboys(4-1) --last wk #10--
I projected the Cowboys to win no more than 6 games, but looks like they will surpass that. They beat teams they shouldn't have beaten. I'll give them credit for that. The Cowboys haven't faced a good team since the 49ers and the Seahawks will make the Cowboys look like the same 8-8 team we're used to seeing.
11. Detroit Lions(3-2) --last wk #8--
Losing to the Bills at home definitely hurts the Lions as well as not having Megatron, Reggie Bush or Joique Bell playing at full strength. That is 100% of their offense right there. October will be a tough stretch for the Lions and I see the stock dropping on the Lions.
12. Green Bay Packers(3-2) -- last wk #11--
The Packers should be going up the charts not down but the Colts have been playing better of the two. The beatdown against the Vikings shows the Packers are finally back on track. This is the week the Packers can start their ascension up the rankings with a test on the road against the Miami Dolphins and former GB coordinator Joe Philbin.
13. Kansas City Chiefs(2-3) --last wk #13--
While Alex Smith's homecoming game against the 49ers didn't go exactly as planned. This Kansas City Chief's squad looks to be one of the top contenders for the wildcard spot. They have played some tough teams with a respectable 2-3 record.
14. New York Giants(3-2) --last wk #16--
They rallied back to beat the Falcons but they have yet to play against a playoff contender. The Eagles should be a good test and a win against them next week may finally see the Giants get a crack at the top ten.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers(3-2) --last wk #15--
The Steelers didn't play that great against the Jaguars but managed to win in unimpressive fashion.
16. New England Patriots(3-2) --last wk #20--
Have to give the Patriots credit for beating one of the top, if not a little overrated team in the Bengals. Still have to wonder if this is just a temporary phase or the start of the Patriots finally getting it together. We will find out week 6 against the Bills
17. Buffalo Bills(3-2) --last wk #22--
The Bills are now 2-0 against the NFC North. Strange indeed. An impressive victory against the Lions has leapfrog the Bills five spots
18. Carolina Panthers(3-2) --last wk #21--
A nice come from behind victory against the Bears has given some respectability back to the Panthers defense but they will get to face a pissed off Bengals team in Cincinnati.
19. Chicago Bears(2-3) --last wk #12--
The Bears have lost two straight and all of a sudden are on shaky ground dropping 7 spots. They're still better than most 2-3 teams.
20. Atlanta Falcons(2-3) --last wk #17--
The Falcons are just not good on the road but it seems like none of the teams in the NFC South are.
21. Houston Texans(3-2) --last wk #19--
The Texans beat up bad teams but lose to okay teams. At least the Bills have come out with more surprises than the Texans.
22. Cleveland Browns(2-2) --last wk #24--
The Browns have played in 4 straight games decided by 3 points or less. Make it 5 next week when they try to get revenge on the Steelers next week
23. Miami Dolphins(2-2) --last wk #18--
The Dolphins are still on life support and their schedule doesn't get any easier in the months of October and November
24. New Orlean Saints(2-3) --last wk #25--
The Saints usually blow out teams in the Superdome but they are just not doing that anymore due to their awful defense. They move up a little bit but not by much.
25. Minnesota Vikings(2-3) --last wk #23--
The Vikings looked awful Thursday night but with Bridgewater back in the lineup they have as good a chance to beat a wounded Lions offense to get back to .500
26. Tennessee Titans(1-4) --last wk #26--
this team can't catch a break. The Titans continue their awful play at home.
27. Washington Redskins(1-4) --last wk #27--
the Redskins put up a much better team effort and almost made a game out of it between the Seahawks. But sadly this game could have easily been 48-17 despite the Redskin defensive front putting pressure on Wilson.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers(1-4) --last wk #29--
The Buccaneers almost pulled off a victory against the Saints but have had the worst luck and can't finish games.
29. Saint Louis Rams(1-3) --last wk #30--
At least the Rams are competitive and almost came back to beat the Eagles
30. New York Jets(1-4) --last wk #28--
The Jets are the worst 1-4 team, nuff said. Have fun against Denver.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars(0-5) --last wk #31--
They gave the Steelers a run for their money. It's encouraging, but not by much. Bortles should get the first win in his NFL career against the Titans.
32. Oakland Raiders(0-4) --last wk #32--
they are so bad, they even lose during the bye week
The 2014-15 NFL Season has already reached the one-quarter mark. There have been some surprise teams. Here are my team rankings based on performance, and strength of opponent's record
1. Seattle Seahawks(2-1)
Despite losing to a great Chargers team on the road, the Seahawks are still the team to beat. They have been impressive at home against the Packer and Broncos. Home being the keyword. The test of a great team is the ability to win on the road. The Seahawks surprisingly had a good road record last season. If they struggle to beat the Washington Redskins then I can see a reason to knock them down a couple spots. Their defense might have lost an edge as they have given up almost doubled the points they did a year ago but their offense has picked up the slack.
2. Denver Broncos(2-1)
The Broncos almost pulled out a win at Century Link. Like the Seahawks, the Broncos are ranked above the undefeated teams due to playing playoff calibur teams like the Colts, Chiefs and the defending champs. This time the Broncos get to face the undefeated Cardinals and that will determine where the Broncos end up in the standings. The Broncos defense has been a disappointment so far with all the high profile acquisitions they made during the offseason.
3. Cincinnati Bengals(3-0)
Cincinnati may be playing the best disciplined football of any team right now. Their defense is giving up a league low 11 points and Andy Dalton has led an efficient passing offense and can run the ball. So why are they ranked #3? Quite simply the strength of their opponent is not in the same league as what the Broncos and Seahawks have faced. Sure beating the Ravens is somewhat impressive, but they almost lost that game. They beat a Falcon squad who isn't quite elite yet but shows they can stop an offensive powerhouse. And lastly they beat..the Titans. I'm not quite sold on this team yet until they beat a playoff calibur team. If they can beat the Patriots(cough..) on the road and go 4-0 then the Bengals will move up the charts accordingly
4. Arizona Cardinals(3-0)
One of the surprise 3-0 teams. I predicted before the pre-season that Arizona would be a better team this season based on their defensive performances from a year ago but what i didn't realize was that 3 of their main stars on defense were gone. They have picked up right where they left off. They won 6 of 8 games toward the end of last season and that momentum has carried over. One of the very few 10 win teams that I can remember not making the playoffs. The NFC West is still the toughest division in the NFC
5. Baltimore Ravens(3-1)
The Baltimore Ravens have continued to surprise alot of people despite all the negative attention with the Ray Rice scandal and questions on how much better this team is from a season ago. Well they are definitely much better than people give them credit for. Ravens can finally run the ball and protect Flacco. Those were big issues last season. Steve Smith has made the difference too. Most picked the Ravens to end up in third place in the AFC North below the Steelers and Bengals. It's still too early in the race as it looks like any team in this division can get a leg up. The AFC North is the best division in football at the quarter mark.
6. San Diego Chargers(3-1)
The Chargers defense has improved. Phillip Rivers is just playing lights out and is the most fun quarterback to watch. The Chargers should be at the #1 spot after shocking the Seahawks but they've played against uninspired competition in the Bills and Jaguars. If they had beaten the Cardinals they would have ranked higher. As of right now the Chargers are definitely in the mix.
7. Philadelphia Eagles(3-1)
Everyone expected the Eagles to be one of the top teams in the NFC, and so far they have lived up to expectations..somewhat. Their offense is exciting to watch. They beat a Colts team in stunning fashion but the lost to the 49ers have brought the Eagles back down to Earth. They almost lost to bottom-feeder teams in the Redskins and Jaguars. They could easily be 0-4 right now but they are the luckiest 3-1 team! #7 seems about right..
8. Detroit Lions(3-1)
This defense is for real and is the reason why the Lions are 3-1. The offensive side could use some improving especially the running game. Most teams in the NFC North can't run the ball well so that isn't really an issue. I wont consider the Lions elite yet until they can win a road game against a good team and that probably won't happen until week 11 when they face off against the Cardinals in which they lost to them last year..
9. San Francisco 49ers(2-2)
The 49ers looked like they were going to fall apart completely early in the season. Then they somehow stopped the Eagle offense and all seems well in Niner land. All the distractions and injuries to their defense hasn't helped. Beating the worst Cowboys squad in recent memory didn't seem like a big deal back then but in hindsight it has helped the 49ers look a little better in the rankings.
10. Dallas Cowboys(3-1)
Who would have thought the Cowboys would be 3-1 instead of 1-3? Demarco Murray has literally carried this team and the defense has more than held its own. I still have reason to be a little cautious about the Cowboy's successes. They beat a weak Titan and Rams team. The Saints aren't who we thought they would be but give credit where it's due. The Cowboys are playing better than most 2-2 teams at this point.
11. Green Bay Packers(2-2)
The Packers have looked unimpressive offensively until week 4. There's no reason to be R-E-L-A-X-E-D just yet as their defense needs to learn how to stop the run first and they need to start running the ball better themselves. Their inconsistent play will continue to put the Packers in the middle of the pack.
12. Chicago Bears(2-2)
The Bears had a nice little streak going where they came from behind to beat the 49ers and dominated the Jets but yet lose to a team like the Buffalo Bills. The only reason Packers are ranked higher is cause they played tougher opponents and they beated the Bears handily..
The Bears still have one of the best wide reciever duos in the NFL.
13. Kansas City Chiefs(2-2)
I guess most people were ready to write off the Kansas City Chiefs including me as a one season wonder. I thought the Chiefs were overrated last year and I still think they aren't all that great. They beatdown Brady and lost to the Titans... at home? Their defense is good and i love what Kniles Davis has done for the run game during Jamaal's abscence. This squad looks improved but they get to play a tougher schedule. They'll be lucky to make the playoffs. I pegged them to win no more than 6 games but they may win more than i expected.
14. Indianapolis Colts(2-2)
The Colts could have been 3-1 but as it is they are still the best team in the AFC South despite being a game behind the Texans. The Colts played a tougher schedule and yet they are still right where they want to be. Winning back to back to back 11-win seasons shouldn't be much of a problem for the Colts in the weak AFC South
15. Pittsburgh Steelers(2-2)
The Steelers without a doubt have the most dangerous running attack in the NFL but can their aging defense keep the Steelers from blowing leads in games and ultimately losing them like they did versus the Buccaneers? I don't think they can but it's a long season and I have learned never to count out Big Ben.
16. New York Giants(2-2)
Everybody was saying how bad their offense looked early on in the season. I think their running game will keep improving and that just makes their passing game look better. I picked the Giants to challenge the consensus favorite Eagles for the division crown and win it. how convenient that the season finale matchup happens to be against the Eagles at home. we'll see how that turns out.
17. Atlanta Falcons(2-2)
In hindsight, they beat a New Orlean Saint team that looks bad now than when they played against them and the Buccaneers weren't that much better either. For whatever that is worth, you can't take away the fact that the Falcons are having a much better year with an improved offense. their defense still leaves a little to be desired though. The Falcons are the best team in the NFC South at the quarter mark, and it looks like they won't be done yet.
18. Houston Texans(3-1)
The Houston Texans are sort of like the Kansas City Chiefs of last season, the most unimpressive 3-1 team thus far. they are not a great team nor bad but in between. their defense has won games for them but against small fry like the Bills, Redskins, Raiders. They get the benefit of playing in the good ol' easy AFC South where competition is almost nill. They could win 4 games in their division and be on their way to 8-8 or 9-7 season and possibly make the playoffs!
19. Buffalo Bills(2-2)
You could say the Bills have overachieved like they always have done early in the season. Despite all the inconsistencies of the QB position the team has played better as a whole compared to the others in their division. At the quarter mark, you can say the Bills are the best team in the AFC East right now.
20. Miami Dolphins(2-2)
Have to give the team credit for rallying around Tannehill. The Dolphins got a much needed win in England. It wasn't impressive given who they went up against but it should keep them afloat for a couple weeks.
21. New England Patriots(2-2)
The Chiefs came close to ending the Patriot dynasty in 2008 and after the Monday Night debacle it looks as if the writing is finally on the wall for Tom Brady. This is basically the same offense from last season minus Logan Mankins that Brady somehow resiliently took them to the AFC Championship last year and now he's basically calling out his offense saying they are not talented anymore. luckily for them they could still win the weak AFC East but i doubt they will get far, not with that kind of defeatist attitude.. the dynasty is over..
22. Carolina Panthers(2-2)
It seemed like the Panthers might struggle to win games with a whole new cast of wide recievers but to their credit they started the season off with two wins. Now at 2-2, its not really their offense that is giving them problems..it's their defense! shock! I just can't see the Panthers making that mid-season run again where they won 11 of their last 12 games.
23. Minnesota Vikings(2-2)
The Vikings are looking to find their identity on offense and they may have already found it in Teddy Bridgwater. If the young running backs and wide recievers get more settled in their roles this will be a dangerous young team down the stretch. Their defense remains the anchor of this team.
24. Cleveland Browns(1-2)
I'm kind of impressed with the way the Browns have been playing even in a losing effort. I think the BYE week has given the Browns team time to reflect and stew over how they could have been 3-0! They just need to learn how to finish games. I think they get it done in Tennessee.
25. New Orlean Saints(1-3)
The Saints have proven they aren't a really good road team but I like to think there is more to it than that. Their defense is just plain embarassing they can't even tackle! Last season their defense at least gave them a fighting chance. No matter how you slice it, being on the road is no excuse. Before long they will start to lose at home too.
26. Tennessee Titans(1-3)
The Titans have played some tough playoff calibur teams and managed to win one of them. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. The Titans will probably play better down the stretch but without Jake Locker things are going to be tough. The win against the Chiefs is enough to make them better than most 1-3 teams
27. Washington Redskins(1-3)
The slide down the power rankings continues for the Washington Redskins as they face the defending champs. How many picks will Kirk Cousins throw against the Legion of Boom? Redskin's pass defense is beyond salvageable without Deangelo Hall.
28. New York Jets(1-3)
With their menacing defensive front they probably should have been 4 and 0, but turnovers on the offense have killed the Jets. Unfortunately their string of bad luck may continue this Sunday against the Chargers who feast on turnovers.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers(1-3)
Bucs got a nice come from behind win last week beating a battered Steeler defense at Heinz Field. It's quite clear that Mike Glennon should be running this offense. The NFC South figures to be the one of the weakest divisions and the Bucs actually might have a chance as their defense and running game improves.
30. Saint Louis Rams(1-2)
Rams could easily have been 2-1, but they imploded against the Cowboys. Seems like they can't catch a break at home giving up 34 points in each game. they might have better luck on the road but they face the Eagles..
31. Jacksonville Jaguars(0-4)
Jaguar's defense is giving up a season high 152 total points however they played against playoff calibur teams in Chargers, Eagles and Colts so that is to be expected. Unlike the Raiders, they have a promising rookie quarterback in Blake Bortles and things can't get any worse than they are now. Gus Bradley demands that the defense improves and they will get better
32. Oakland Raiders(0-4)
when youre the first team to fire your head coach 4 games into the season, then you've pretty much hit rock bottom. a winless season is looking more and more likely unless Sparano can turn things around in short order. by far the worst offense in the league and the defense is just as bad...