2018 NFL Power Rankings Week 11: Patriots drop to fifth spot

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1. New Orleans Saints (8-1) Def. Cincinnati 51-14. Last Week: 1

Drew Brees threw for three first-half touchdowns, exactly what he needed to pass Brett Favre and move into second place on the career touchdown list. He even ran for a score in the Saints’ romp over the Bengals. However, we might not see Brees move past Peyton Manning this season as he needs 30 more scores.

2. Los Angeles Rams (9-1) Def. Seattle 36-31. Last Week: 2

After a week filled with tragedy and fire, the Rams scored a late winner to ensure they wouldn’t start their first losing streak of Sean McVay’s career. They also completed the season sweep over Seattle at the same time. The defense redeemed itself with a late forced fumble on a day where they allowed 273 rushing yards to Seattle. The Rams’ run defense is looking increasingly like their only weakness. But it wasn’t a big enough one in Week 10.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) Def. Arizona 26-14. Last Week: 4

Sunday saw the lowest scoring output for the Chiefs yet this season. But it also saw Patrick Mahomes set the franchise record for passing touchdowns in a season with his 31st scoring strike. In his first year as the Kansas City signal caller, it only took Mahomes ten games to break a mark set in 1964 by Hall of Famer Len Dawson. Not a bad start to his career for a franchise that notably struggles to find homegrown quarterbacks.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2-1) Def. Carolina 52-21. Last Week: 5

Ben Roethlisberger threw a touchdown once every five passes last Thursday night against Carolina, finishing with five touchdowns, three incompletions, and a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating. Since opening the season with six interceptions in his first five games, Roethlisberger has just one in the past four games, coincidentally all Steeler victories.

5. New England Patriots (7-3) Lost to Tennessee 34-10. Last Week: 3

The Patriots lost for the first time since Week 3, but their performance was pretty similar to those early season stumbles, three sacks of Tom Brady, just 40 yards on the ground compared to 150 for their opponents, and a brutal 3-for-15 stat line on third down. This time around however, there are six really impressive wins stacked between the two games, and an appetizing matchup with the Jets to set things right.

6. Los Angeles Chargers (7-2) Def. Oakland 20-6. Last Week: 6

For so many seasons, the Chargers would turn out hard-luck losses in close contests against good teams. Their seasons would be full of impressive performances, but short on wins. This year’s team is something different, after their sixth win in a row on Sunday. They survived a rough opening quarter in Oakland before pouring it on against the NFL’s worst team.

7. Houston Texans (6-3) Bye. Last Week: 8

The Texans get back to work in Week 11 in a matchup of six-win teams against Washington. Houston has won six straight, but their slow start to the season has them up by just one game over the Titans and another over the similarly hot Colts.

8. Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1) Bye. Last Week: 9

The Vikings leave Week 10 and their bye heading for a huge divisional matchup against Chicago. The winner will be in the driver’s seat in the NFC North. After Dalvin Cook totaled 109 yards in his first game since September, will his snap counts be gone?

9. Chicago Bears (6-3) Def. Detroit 34-22. Last Week: 10

Cody Parkey may have hit the uprights on four separate kicks last Sunday, but it somehow didn’t matter for the Bears, who built a 26-0 lead in the first half against Detroit. Allen Robinson caught two of Mitchell Trubisky’s three touchdown passes and had 133 receiving yards in his first action in three weeks.

10. Carolina Panthers (6-3) Lost to Pittsburgh 52-21. Last Week: 7

That was an ugly end to the Panthers’ three-game winning streak in front of the nation last Thursday night. The Steelers almost doubled their total yardage (457-242) and did more than double their points. Meanwhile, the division-leading Saints looked unbeatable against the Bengals. However, the good news in Carolina? They get Detroit this week, one of the only teams that may have had a worse Week 10 than the Panthers.

11. Washington (6-3) Def. Tampa Bay 16-3. Last Week: 11

A nice rebounding win for Washington came despite being outgained 501-268. Winning the turnover battle by four will do that. The other thing it did is open up a two-game advantage for Washington over their nearest divisional rivals: the Eagles and Cowboys. Before they can think about either of those teams, however, they have a test against Houston, who has won six straight.

12. Green Bay Packers (4-4-1) Def. Miami 31-12. Last Week: 16

The running game took the lead in Green Bay for once: the Packers ran for 195 yards and threw for just 182 after taking a lead for the majority of the game against the Dolphins. It was Aaron Jones doing most of the damage with 145 yards and two scores on the ground. With at least 12 carries in three straight games (and 306 yards over that span) Jones seems to be rightly claiming the running back spot in Green Bay.

13. Tennessee Titans (5-4) Def. New England 34-10. Last Week: 23

The Titans are settling into a streaky season. After an opening weekend loss to the Dolphins, they’ve won three straight, lost three straight, and now won back-to-back efforts. Along the way they’ve shown that they can land a punch against 2017’s heavyweights: Jacksonville, Philadelphia, and now New England.

14. Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) Lost to New Orleans 51-14. Last Week: 12

The Bengals need to sort out their defense, fast. They’ve allowed 500 yards in three straight games. And while doing so to the Saints offense might be the least surprising of those three, it was certainly the most embarrassing loss as well. Meanwhile, the Steelers are plowing straight ahead and widening the gap at the top of the division.

15. Seattle Seahawks (4-5) Lost to LA Rams 36-31. Last Week: 15

Despite losing for the second time this season to their successors in the NFC West, we can officially say the Seahawks multi-season struggle to run the ball is in the past. They totaled 273 yards on the ground against the Rams without Chris Carson, who had been leading the resurgence of the run game in Seattle.

16. Indianapolis Colts (4-5) Def. Jacksonville 29-26. Last Week: 19

The Colts scored 29 points in the first half – and needed every one of them as they survived a comeback attempt from Jacksonville. Eric Ebron caught his eighth and ninth touchdowns of the season in this game. He had 11 total scores in the first four seasons of his career in Detroit.

17. Dallas Cowboys (4-5) Def. Philadelphia 27-20. Last Week: 24

Amari Cooper led the Cowboys in receiving for the second time in two games with Dallas, and Ezekiel Elliott responded with one of his best games now that there exists a second threat on offense. Their next game is against the Falcons, also 4-5. Both teams are looking up in the divisional standings and desperate for a win.

18. Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) Lost to Dallas 27-20. Last Week: 13

The Eagles have now lost three straight at home, but they might still be better off in Philadelphia than on their upcoming trip to New Orleans. Following Ronald Darby’s injury Sunday night, they’re now missing their top three cornerbacks. There aren’t a lot of good times for a game against the Saints, but this sure is a bad one.

19. Baltimore Ravens (4-5) Bye. Last Week: 18

The Ravens’ bye week paused a three-game losing streak, at the very least. Baltimore will try to put a stop to it permanently against the Bengals. There aren’t many better cures for an ailing offense than the Bengals defense, guilty of allowing three straight 500-yard games to their opponents.

20. Miami Dolphins (5-5) Lost to Green Bay 31-12. Last Week: 17

After Brock Osweiler was sacked six times last Sunday, it might be a good idea to keep sitting Ryan Tannehill instead of throwing him out there behind this injury-ravaged offensive line. The Dolphins’ line had more success on the ground: spearheading the way for Frank Gore to gain 90 yards and almost rushing for more (131) yards than their admittedly low passing benchmark (163).

21. Atlanta Falcons (4-5) Lost to Cleveland 28-16. Last Week: 14

As soon as the Falcons had clawed their way back to .500 with a three-game winning streak, they threw it all away. Losing to the Browns may not be as shocking as it once was, but it’s still not how you get your playoff hopes back on track. It’s starting to look grim for Atlanta in a grid-locked NFC.

22. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6) Lost to Indianapolis 29-26. Last Week: 21

Jacksonville fell into sole possession of last place in the AFC South following their fifth loss in a row. The Jaguars began this season 2-0 and finished last season as 10-6 division champions. They’re on the shortlist for the most disappointing team in 2018.

23. Cleveland Browns (3-6-1) Def. Atlanta 28-16. Last Week: 27

Gregg Williams picked up his first win as Browns interim head coach much faster than the man he replaced: Hue Jackson. Nick Chubb had 176 yards rushing thanks to a 92-yard score, the longest run in franchise history.

24. Buffalo Bills (3-7) Def. NY Jets 41-10. Last Week: 30

Sean McDermott asked for “some time: to decide on his starting quarterback going forward, but it only took the Bills one day to cut Nathan Peterman after Matt Barkley threw two touchdowns in his first game as the Bills’ starter.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) Lost to Washington 16-3. Last Week: 22

The dangerous Tampa Bay offense racked up 501 yards and scored three points. At this point, does anyone even need to be told that turnovers were what did the Buccaneers in for the sixth time in seven games?

26. Denver Broncos (3-6) Bye. Last Week: 26

The Broncos entered their bye week after losing to one of the hottest teams in the NFL and their former star Demaryius Thomas. They’ll try not to leave it the same way. Week 11 brings a matchup against the Chargers, who have won six straight.

27. Detroit Lions (3-6) Lost to Chicago 34-22. Last Week: 20

The Lions look uniquely bad in the NFC North. Three turnovers, six sacks, and letting Chicago score four straight touchdowns to begin the game built a 26-0 hole. Two touchdowns from rookie Kerryon Johnson couldn’t drag them out.

28. New York Jets (3-7) Lost to Buffalo 41-10. Last Week: 25

Since exploding for a franchise record 219 rushing yards against the Broncos on October 10th, Isaiah Crowell is averaging 2.8 yards per carry. He’s totalled 162 yards in the five games since. Also, the Jets as a whole are not great.

29. Arizona Cardinals (2-7) Lost to Kansas City 26-14. Last Week: 28

Another week, another loss, and another record for Larry Fitzgerald. The 35-year-old wide receiver moved past Terrell Owens into sole possession of second place in NFL history with 15,952 career receiving yards. It may be a long time before we get to talk about Fitzgerald’s ascension up the career rankings again. He trails only Jerry Rice by 7,000 yards.

30. New York Giants (2-7) Def. San Francisco 27-23. Last Week: 31

The Giants won their first game since Week 3 after Eli Manning showed he had at least one fourth-quarter comeback left in him. Manning’s third touchdown pass found Sterling Shepard in the corner of the endzone in the game’s final minute.

31. San Francisco 49ers (2-8) Lost to NY Giants 27-23. Last Week: 29

Nick Mullens’ second start didn’t go quite the same way as his first. After throwing three touchdown passes a week ago, Mullens had two interceptions against the Giants.

32. Oakland Raiders (1-8) Lost to LA Chargers 20-6. Last Week: 32

The Raiders led for a whole quarter against the Chargers, so, that’s something, right? Next step is to get that quarter to be the fourth and not the first.

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