2017 Power Rankings: Week 10
It’s time for this week’s power rankings and it feels like we’re beginning to find out what’s what in the crazy world of the NFL. It only took 9 weeks…
32) San Francisco 49ers – Last week a made a point of putting the Colts here simply because of what they’ve done to Andrew Luck. This week I went with at least a semi-realistic look at it and thought it was time to put an 0-9 team in last place. Niners could move up in the coming weeks depending on what Garoppolo can do or even if he starts at all this season. On the plus side, this is very beginning of a rebuild. There’s a lot still to come from this team.
31) Cleveland Browns – They probably should be no. 32. Where as the Niners seem to be on the up, the Browns rebuild appears to be not going anywhere. With the constant changes at QB and issues on both sides of the ball, there’s a very real chance that they’ll be in exactly the same spot next year, having learnt nothing this year.
30) New York Giants – They haven’t been helped by injuries to receivers, but still this is a bad year for a team that was considered a Superbowl contender by many. At the end of this year though it looks like they’ll be moving on from McAdoo, Manning and I would imagine for what he’s brought to the team this season, Jerry Reese.
29) Indianapolis Colts – They continue to tread water. They’ll get wins against teams that are struggling like the Texans and lose to all the teams they should lose to, which is most of them. Big changes are needed in Indianapolis and they’re dangerously close to winning enough games to overlook this teams issues for yet. Another. Year.
28) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – This team reminds me of last years Rams team. There is clearly a lot of talent on this roster, but it just seems that there’s a serious lack of discipline. It would seem this team needs a little of what turned the Rams into a force this season and get the most of the obvious talent on this team.
27) Arizona Cardinals – With the window closed on Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald’s Superbowl window, it feels like it’s time for them to just see what they’ve got on the roster. Cardinals will probably start fresh next season with a new QB, new wide receiver and sadly a new Head Coach.
26) Cincinnati Bengals – Much like the Bucs it feels like there’s a lack of discipline on this team and much like the Cardinals it feels like this teams Superbowl window is firmly shut. Marvin Lewis might well be ending his run as longest running head coach of one team, this year and to be fair. Probably deservedly so. This team also needs to decide if Andy Dalton is the answer at QB. Currently it feels like he’s just good enough to keep his job. Which is dangerous.
25) Baltimore Ravens – Speaking of just good enough to keep his job, Flacco seems to pushing his luck in that respect. Defence currently tells a very different story to the offence, which needs a ground up rebuild. This is another team that is really just treading water.
24) Denver Broncos – I had my doubts about the Broncos this season, but never expected to see them this low on the power rankings. Whilst QB is undoubtedly the biggest issue, there are other massive holes on this team, including replacing the older players in the secondary. The offence though needs a complete overhaul… much like the Ravens.
23) Miami Dolphins – If there was any doubt over who was the better choice between Cutler and Moore, I think it’s been laid to rest. Cutler though seems just good enough to get them back into close games. The trade of Ajayi says to me that Gase is desperate to gain control and there are issues in Miami right now.
22) Green Bay Packers – I never expected to see the Packers below the Bears on any power rankings, but the loss of Aaron Rodgers is the biggest loss of any player to any team. Whilst this is stating the obvious, it’s worth noting that, in my mind this is the most complete Packers team I can remember for a long time and still they rely on Rodgers. This season might get a few coaches fired in Green Bay.
21) Chicago Bears – I can’t tell whether I’ve got them this high because I’m a fan or because they’ve got a deceptively good defence. Honestly I have no idea what this team is until we see Trubisky cut it loose a little. This team could be a little higher, but also a lot lower. I genuinely don’t know.
20) Houston Texans – To have the Texans 2 spots higher than the Packers should show that whilst the loss of DeShaun Watson was a big deal, they’re still a better team than the Packers. I will say this though… Tom Savage throws some dangerous passes that are going to get his receivers hurt.
19) Tennessee Titans – Whatever exotic smashmouth brought them last year, it’s leaving them a little predictable this year. The offensive line is still one of the best in the year, but the lack of progression from the passing game is really holding them back.
18) New York Jets – Nose bleeds for the New York Jets, who have reached the dizzy heights of no. 18. There’s part of me who thinks they should still be lower, but they keep proving me wrong. The Jets were meant to be the worst team in the league and thought to be tanking intentionally to pick up a new QB. 9 games in and this supposed “historically bad” team has won 4 games. A tally that the other New York team would dream of.
17) Atlanta Falcons – Long, hard road to the middle. Last year during the regular season they were a team of destiny. This season could be summed up by a wide open Julio Jones dropping a perfectly thrown pass. The Falcons might need to make changes at offensive coordinator, again.
16) Buffalo Bills – It’s safe to say the AFC East has been full of surprises. The Bills have let a number of key players go to other teams, all through the season, including 2 weeks ago when the let Dareus head to the Jags. Still though they remain relevant. The Bills have a tough decision to make at the end of the year. Is Tyrod Taylor their guy or is it time to move on? In my eyes he’s done enough to keep his job.
15) Oakland Raiders – Still probably got them a little high.It feels like the whole league has just figured it out. Derek Carr is still playing well, as is Lynch, but the secondary hasn’t improved and both their receivers are a liability. A lot to figure out in Oakland next year.
14) LA Chargers – Speaking of having teams a little high. The Chargers just seem to be heading in the right direction. On defence they have a top 3 defensive end and a solid secondary. On offence they have a collection of weapons that keep them relevant.
13) Carolina Panthers: They’re by no means perfect, but they keep getting results. The offence is undoubtedly flawed (seeing Christian McCaffrey as a power back is square peg/ round hole situation), but they still manage to stay in games. The defence is the reason this is possible though. Once again it’s nothing too flashy, but it gets them wins. Just a quick warning to Carolina. If they’re not careful, this could be another season that Cam finishes the year with an injury. They need to find a way to give him some help.
12) Detroit Lions – This team remains in playoff contention, thanks in no small part to another solid season from Stafford. That being said on defence I’m beginning to warm to the duo of Whitehead and Davis. Still a few pieces needed though if this team is to be a contender.
11) Jacksonville Jaguars – If this isn’t the best defence in town, it’s certainly one of the most exciting. Calais Campbell is a talented player that’s gone a little unnoticed in recent years. Now he’s on arguably the most talented front 7 in the league and he’s shining. On offence, they have a few issues. There’s no way Bortles should be mouthing off at head coach like he did at the end of the last game and Leonard Fournette’s exclusion is a definite concern. Regardless they just keep taking care of business.
10) New Orleans Saints – Another team that’s been something of a surprise. Whilst it’s fun to watch the offence move the ball with Drew Brees under centre, it’s the defence that has kept them in games, in a way that previous seasons it’s been a problem. For what it’s worth Marshon Lattimore has been outstanding this year. Could be the defensive rookie of the year.
9) Washington – Every year they’re surprisingly good. This week, despite missing several starting offensive linemen and constantly under pressure, Kirk Cousins managed to engineer a performance that late in the game won a matchup they had no right to win. The Washington defence has been great too across the field and although the Seahawks offensive line is hugely ineffective, they managed to keep Russell Wilson under duress.
8) Seattle Seahawks – I pretty much highlighted their deficiencies above. It’s a simple fact that as good as Duane Brown can be, he’s not good enough to bail out a whole offensive line. On defence they will always struggle if Earl Thomas isn’t playing. Without Thomas there is always an easy out in terms of where to line up receivers.The Seahawks need to improve the secondary and the offensive line next off-season.
7) Kansas City Chiefs – The Cowboys put in a great performance and I don’t want to take anything away from that, but in truth they were helped a great deal by the Chiefs insistence to commit pre-snap penalties. We’ve seen this before with the Chiefs and it’s something they need to deal with quickly.
6) Dallas Cowboys – I’ve given up second guessing whether Ezekiel Elliott will play or not. All I know is, that on offence Dak Prescott has taken the next step from last season and that Rod Marinelli continues to Macgyver a decent team together. The Cowboys will remain consistent and are surely favourites for a Wild Card spot.
5) LA Rams – I’m starting my “Sean McVay for Coach of the Year” campaign now. The Rams look like a completely different team this year on both offence and defence. Players that had previously been given up on are beginning to look like pro-bowlers and it’s in no small part down to McVay and Wade Phillips.
4) Minnesota Vikings – They keep suffering injuries and yet they keep remaining relevant. The Vikings are a lesson in how to build a deep roster. Pat Shurmur should probably get some credit as a coordinator of the year candidate. Minnesota have total control of the NFC North now and I don’t think it’s close.
3) Pittsburgh Steelers – They look like a team that could actually make a Super bowl run. The key for this seems to be a combination of a stand out season for Ryan Shazier, a decent performance from a sprinkling of rookies and Ben Roethlisberger pulling his socks up.
2) New England Patriots – We can’t put them any lower until we figure out what they are. Currently they’re still winning games, regardless of a mixture of free agent pickups not playing well and injuries to key players like Dont’a Hightower. Really we’ll see what happens with this team, but the fact is their still the Patriots and it’s still Tom Brady.
1) Philadelphia Eagles – They could be last years Falcons, or the year before’s Panthers. Right now though what they are is the best team in the league and I don’t think it’s that close. Carson Wentz is indeed the front-runner for MVP and rightly so.
See you next week for more Power Rankings fun!