1. Philadelphia Eagles
Their schedule seems so unfair to the rest of the league. Steelers with a rookie QB, then Texans, Commanders, and Colts, who basically have a rookie QB. There’s a realistic chance they could be 10-0 heading into Thanksgiving, where they’ll host a Packers team who may or may not have figured it out by then. It’ll be interesting to see if they play somewhat vanilla through this stretch as they get ready for the 2nd half of the season, which includes an away game in Dallas and two games against the Giants.
2. Buffalo Bills
Is there a better time to face the Packers? Home game in primetime coming off a huge win and a bye week. Either the stars are aligning in Buffalo this year, or it’s a trap.
3. Kansas City Chiefs
It was close, then JuJu got more involved, then they took off. Mahomes looks like he’s actually starting to have a little fun exploring his new weapons. MVS takes the top off and JuJu and Hardman are lethal underneath. 49ers looked like they had all the momentum until Mahomes found MVS wide open on a 3rd down… there was no other play bigger than that one. You just knew after that KC had it in the bag.
4. Dallas Cowboys
Dak didn’t do much, but more importantly, his time away seems to have shown him that he doesn’t have to. Pollard and Zeke combined for 140 yards rushing and the defense dominated. Now they get the Bears at home, which a week ago would’ve been seen as a cakewalk. Now maybe not so much, but Dallas is far better than New England, so they should dispense with them easily.
5. Cincinnati Bengals
The best part about writing a blog that no one reads is that, even with no traffic, I still have a timestamp on things I said that turn out to be true. It was only a matter of time before Burrow and Chase got into a groove. For a few weeks, Burrow had to force it to him, but eventually it paid off and now they’re taking off. Even though Baltimore has a tiebreaker lead over them in the division right now, based on trajectory, Cincinnati has to be considered the AFC North favorite.
6. Minnesota Vikings
They don’t get a lot of games to really test their mettle. Cards could be annoying this week, but it’s a game they should win. Same with Commanders. But then they get Buffalo and Dallas, and we’ll finally get to see if they’re for real. I assume they used their bye week to figure out how to triple Justin Jefferson’s touches. Maybe give him some 1st team reps at QB. Can he pitch?
7. Baltimore Ravens
A close win over a team that’s not very good, but still a win. With Cincy winning as well, they effectively crushed the Browns dreams of hanging on until Watson comes back. But come on, Lamar, start slinging. Mark Andrews had more carries than catches last week. Let me say that again. Mark Andrews had more carries than catches last week. That can’t happen. And how dare they on Tight End Day. I get that they’ll always be more focused on the run, but Lamar has proven he can throw, Andrews is a dominant TE, and Bateman and Duvernay are solid receivers. Let the man cook.
8. New York Giants
Keep telling me I’m wrong. I don’t care. I still don’t buy it. *10/26/22 timestamp*
9. New York Jets
It would be nice if Zach Wilson could find a groove, but as long as the running game with newly-acquired James Robinson can weather the loss of Breece Hall, they should keep piling up wins. Their defense is stacked.
10. Tennessee Titans
Literally made the top 10 cause I don’t know who else deserves that distinction and they’ve won 4 in a row. But wake me up when they beat someone, or decisively beat anyone.
11. Miami Dolphins
They’re decidedly better with Tua, but I was confused by the play calling after the first few drives. I’m not ready to question Mike McDaniel’s offense yet, though. It may have just been a matter of easing Tua back in. But the Steelers are a mess with Pickett, and I’d posit that Trubisky would’ve won this game. Dolphins schedule for the next month is still extremely weak, and with the Bills and Jets both ahead of them, they need to pick up all of them.
12. San Francisco 49ers
I’m not saying they should’ve gone with Jimmy G from the start, but I do have to wonder what this team would look like if their QB was in training camp. And based on very little evidence, I think Lance could’ve used another year of sitting. In any case, the offense seems fine, and as they add McCaffrey more, it will get better. The bigger concern is how their defense, considered one of the best in the league, got torched by Andy Reid’s offense.
13. Los Angeles Chargers
Why even bother having a QB like Herbert if you won’t let him push it down the field? I’m hoping at some point this blog will generate at least enough revenue so I can justify a PFF subscription, and if I had it right now, I’d wanna see where Herbert stands against the rest of the league on yards in the air per throw. Cause this dude with his monster arm is throwing sideways more than forward, and I don’t get it. I’ll take all those Ekeler PPR points, but by the time my fantasy season is over, I better start seeing some jumpballs to Mike Williams. This is ridiculous. Joe Lombardi and Brandon Staley have to be aware that they’re far more expendable than Herbert, so maybe let the guy start slinging.
14. Seattle Seahawks
Who are you?! First place in the NFC West, that’s who! And that’s a division with the two teams from last year’s NFC Championship. Seattle isn’t beating bad teams… they’re beating teams they should as well as a few they shouldn’t. And you better believe I’ve got the timestamps on Kenneth Walker III. DK’s injury looked worse than it was and he should be back after a few weeks. I’m so on board with The 12s. Be ready for them to jump to the top 10 after they expose the Giants this week. That better be the game of the week. Figure it out, Fox.
15. Los Angeles Rams
Legitimately curious to see what team returns from their bye. That had to be a 2 week long come to Jesus session. 49ers won’t be an easy opponent coming out of their break, but at least they get them at home. Honestly, with their early season performance and the schedule they have ahead, last week’s bye and hopefully reset couldn’t have come at a better time.
16. Arizona Cardinals
What a completely different team they are with Hopkins. I could see them continue to rise as long as they realize Eno Benjamin is way better than James Connor. They chose Connor over Edmonds, which was a mistake. Don’t make the same mistake again. Also, the replay angle of Dalton throwing that pick 6 might be the best football clip all year.
17. Green Bay Packers
Aaron can keep blaming everyone else, but HE made mistakes. His deep ball is sailing. But more importantly, he’s stopped getting out of the pocket and extending plays. Instead he wings it to his first or second option before the play has any time to develop. Maybe his 38 year old body can’t escape pressure the way it used to, and if so, that’s a problem, because that’s where so much of his Hall of Fame career has been built. Much like with Brady, if this team doesn’t go on a run, don’t be surprised to see a vague “injury” pop up in week 14 or 15 that keeps him out the rest of the year while they evaluate Jordan Love.
18. Atlanta Falcons
The joys of being in the NFC South. The Bucs are the only real challenge based on strength of roster, and they’re a mess. It’s time to start forcing it to Kyle Pitts. Him and Drake London are built for 50/50 balls… give them a shot.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
What a disaster. Another example of being fortunate to be in the NFC South. So they’ve got time to figure things out, but not too long. Run defense is a good place to start. But maybe simultaneously dump a bucket of ice on Brady.
20. Las Vegas Raiders
Keep an eye on them coming off their bye week. Like Tampa, they had a lot to work on. Unlike Tampa, they went into it with positive momentum. They’re 20 now, but I can envision scenarios where they’re in the top 10 in 3-4 weeks.
21. New England Patriots
Bill Belichick is Kobayashi Maru for journalists. You’ll never win, but man does it build character to keep trying. Bravo, New England media. That aside, it’s hard to rank a team when you don’t know who their QB will be week to week, and Bill has made it clear he doesn’t want us to know. Whatever is used to make the decision, last week it led to getting whipped by one of the worst teams in the league. Not a great look. Crazy idea, but maybe your QB will be more prepared if they know who’s playing and they get reps during the week.
22. Indianapolis Colts
I’m weirdly excited to see them move on from Matt Ryan. Not that I think Sam Ehlinger is gonna light it up, but he brings a different dimension to the offense that may help get Jonathan Taylor going again. He’s got some really good receivers with Pittman, Pierce, and Campbell. O-line is shaky, but with a little pocket presence, Ehlinger can manage that much better than Ryan.
23. New Orleans Saints
Maybe Dalton isn’t the answer? I kinda feel bad for all the studs on this team. So much talent being led by a dysfunctional and confusing QB room. Might be time to sell a few few and get you a franchise QB for next year. Jameis can’t be it if he’s never available.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
Why do you insist on forcing a rookie QB out there when you don’t have to? I’ll never understand. Give the kid some time to learn the offense in practice and by watching Trubisky. I don’t get it. I’ll never get it.
25. Washington Commanders
I honestly didn’t even try to keep them here this time. They just landed here. Rivera has to now see they’re so much better with Heinicke. You’ll get some extra turnovers with him, but you’ll also have some spark and excitement on offense. I hesitate to move them up too much until Rivera tells me Heinicke gets the rest of the year.
26. Cleveland Browns
Same problem as last week. Chubb and Hunt combined for 21 carries. Until Watson steps in, these two should be combining for at least 30 carries, if not more. Now 2-5, I find it hard to believe they can turn it around in a must-win game against the red-hot Bengals this week. Don’t be surprised if Kareem Hunt doesn’t travel back with the team.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars
Progress is something, and they’re clearly better than last year, but it seems there’s still a long road ahead. The good news is that they’re aware of that and took the opportunity to get a pick in return for James Robinson. Bad news is that it’s a conditional 5th or 6th round pick. That doesn’t seem like great value. In any case, this looks to be the kind of team that can play some fun spoiler games late in the year, but they’re not quite ready to grab hold of their weak division or make a wildcard run. I like Doug Pederson, so I’d love to be proven wrong.
28. Chicago Bears
Even as a fan of their bitter rival, the way the Bears played last week made my heart happy. Above all, I love watching good football, and that was a team that left their guts on the field. Competing with Dallas this week could send Fields confidence straight up. If he can reduce the mistakes and just manage a game, while still being deadly out of the pocket on 3rd down, their trajectory will keep pointing up. A future of Fields throwing down twice a year with Jordan Love or whoever eventually replaces Rodgers… Yes please!
Edit: Almost hit publish before addressing the Robert Quinn trade. Fields is finally starting to look comfortable, Eberflus has the team believing in themselves… so perfect time for the front office to torpedo everything! I said it at the beginning of the year, with a timestamp: I can’t believe in this team’s future with this dysfunctional front office.
29. Carolina Panthers
I mean, if you wanna pull yourself up out if the toilet, beating Brady after trading away your best player is one way to do that. Seems like their backfield was being held back simply because they were CMC. Good on PJ Walker finally focusing on DJ Moore.
30. Detroit Lions
Seems like the Hard Knocks honeymoon wore off. After putting up 45 in a loss to Seattle, they’ve now scored 6 points in the last two games combined. Now on a 4 game losing streak with a schedule that isn’t getting any easier, it’s probably time to shift offensive strategies. Jamaal Williams remains my favorite.
31. Denver Broncos
Welcome to The Toilet! Goodness, does anyone deserve it more? I genuinely would not be surprised to see Nathaniel Hackett back on the Packers sideline this season. I bet he’s even called Lafleur already. What a mess. Now they get Jacksonville in London, which is basically Jacksonville Europe, but don’t worry cause Russ was working out in the aisles for half the flight. Will he start cooking now?
32. Houston Texans
The rest of the AFC now hates them for giving Vegas a confidence boost. And their schedule is just brutal. They drew the NFC East this year, which means they still have to play the 6-0 Eagles, the 6-1 Giants, and the 5-2 Cowboys. Oh, and throw in a game against the Chiefs and 2 division games against the 1st place Titans. Lovie might as well spend Sundays interviewing college QBs.