Matzek's NFL Power Rankings: Week 11
It's been a couple weeks since I've drafted fresh rankings (I had a bye last week), but I'm back with a fresh outlook. Now that we're approaching December, I no longer felt I should use previous weeks rankings as a benchmark for the next. I included a teams previous rank just for kicks, but I really didn't pay attention to it when building this weeks.
Things are starting to sort themselves out, but the playoff scenarios should be difficult to wrap your arms around after a few more weeks of play.
1. ATLANTA FALCONS (4) – There are several reasons why I'm awarding Atlanta the top spot in my rankings. First of all, they're tied for the best record in football (8-2). Second, and most important, it seems like every time I list a new team as #1, they lose their next game. I can only hope this reigns true for this weekends match up (high-five Packers fans!).
2. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (8) – Back to back weeks beating the Steelers and Colts have vaulted the Patriots back to a lofty ranking. I'm giving them a mulligan for their loss to the Browns a few weeks back.
3. BALTIMORE RAVENS (3) – They were able to sleep walk past the Carolina Panthers and stay-at-home-dad-QB Brian St. Pierre, but a tougher test lies ahead this weekend against the Buccaneers.
4. GREEN BAY PACKERS (5) – The Packers have outscored their last three opponents 85-10! For the second consecutive game, their punishment of the opponent earned the opposing teams coach a pink slip.
5. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (7) – Very happy the Packers played and beat the Eagles in week one because they are a scary team with all that speed. They didn't look great against the Giants, but still won by 10.
6. NY JETS (6) – The Jets should buy lottery tickets. Since losing to the Packers in week 8, the Jets have eeked out three consecutive victories over teams with a combined 9 wins.
7. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (2) – Strong rebound win over the Raiders after a disappointing loss to the Patriots, but 14 penalties did not make Head Coach Mike Tomlin very happy.
8. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (10) - Here we go again! They're starting to heat up when the weather is getting colder and are putting the heat on the Atlanta Falcons for the top spot in the NFC South.
9. NEW YORK GIANTS (3) – Slide FEET first Eli...FEET FIRST!! Back to back brutal division losses have the Giants back to reality.
10. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (9) – Usually at this time, the Colts have positioned themselves as the lead dog in their division. Several injuries later and the Colts are in a dog fight down the stretch.
11. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (14) - They'll face Baltimore and Atlanta in the next two weeks. Following those two games we'll find out if the Buccaneers are more than just a dollars worth of corn.
12. CHICAGO BEARS (17) - Their toughest test since week 4 strolls into Soldier Field this weekend in the Philadelphia Eagles.
13. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (21) - I'm not sure how, but the Jags have won three straight. They finish up with 4 of their last 6 games on the road.
14. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (22) - I know the Chargers are still a game behind the Chiefs in the AFC West, but in looking at the way the teams are trending, the Chargers have earned this spot. Lest we not forget that San Diego leads the NFL in yards per game AND fewest yards allowed...weird that they're record is 5-5.
15. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (13) - The Chiefs are all alone in first place in the AFC West, but they hear the very loud footsteps of the San Diego Chargers behind them.
16. OAKLAND RAIDERS (12) - I gave them a boost to #12 a couple weeks back and what do they do? They completely wet the bed against the Steelers.
17. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (15) - After giving up 59 points a week ago, the Skins managed to win at Tennessee by not allowing an offensive TD. Did you know they lost 9 starters due to injury during the game? Yikes!
18. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (20) - Is it possible to win a division with a sub-.500 record? The Seahawks are giving it a run!
19. MIAMI DOLPHINS (16) - How in the world can Tony Sporano justify handing the ball off just 7 times with a third string QB starting? The Dolphins game plan was pathetic against the Bears.
20. TENNESSEE TITANS (11) - All of a sudden, the Titans have some serious issues at QB. What's the over-under on the number of carries Chris Johnson will get with Rusty Smith starting at QB? 50? More?
21. HOUSTON TEXANS (18) - The Texans have lost 4 in a row, and unless they score over 30 points per game, the streak will continue.
22. ST. LOUIS RAMS (19) - They hung around against the Falcons, but injuries in the secondary killed them in the end. Still in the division hunt however.
23. DALLAS COWBOYS (30) - Too little too late? Yes. But things look much more professional with Jason Garrett as their interim Head Coach.
24. DENVER BRONCOS (28) - The most explosive team to be this low in the rankings. The Broncos have lost 5 of 6, but Kyle Orton has already thrown for over 3000 yards.
25. CLEVELAND BROWNS (25) - Two steps forward (wins over the Saints and Patriots), two steps back (losses to the Jets and Jaguars). Did I hear that Jake Delhomme is starting this weekend against the Panthers? I think I'd rather visit a proctologist than watch that game.
26. ARIZONA CARDINALS (24) - Anybody still on the fence of whether Kurt Warner deserves to be in the Hall of Fame?
27. BUFFALO BILLS (32) - Not just a rare win, but a rare winning streak! The Bills have won 2 in a row. Effort most certainly not a question...and the offense is capable of running up the total.
28. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (23) - Brad Childress out as Head Coach, rest of NFC North collects petition signatures to reinstate him.
29. SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (29) - I think Mike Singletary has a longer leash than Brad Childress or Wade Phillips, but wouldn't it be something if yet another Head Coach was shown the door after a loss to the Packers?
30. CINCINNATI BENGALS (26) - Losers of 7 straight. Remember when they beat Baltimore in week 2? Neither do I.
31. DETROIT LIONS (27) - I'm still holding out hope that the Lions finish ahead of the Vikings in the NFC North. It's most certainly possible.
50. CAROLINA PANTHERS (30) - Yes - they are THAT bad. They should let the Bank of America Stadium fan of the game start at QB.