power rank­ings


1. Rams (5-0)

— They don’t blow every­one out. They can win the close ones, too. Good teams re­spond when pushed.

2. Chiefs (5-0)

— They were 5-0 last year, just like now, only to fall back to earth. Ac­tu­ally, they crashed. Will his­tory re­peat? With a dif­fer­ent quar­ter­back? Don’t bet on it.

3. Saints (4-1)

— Drew Brees breaks the all-time pass record then has a bye week to cel­e­brate. Tim­ing is ev­ery­thing.

4. Pa­tri­ots (3-2)

— Their de­fense can stop sweat­ing. Tom Brady and the of­fense are back scor­ing 30-plus points a game.

5. Pan­thers (3-1)

— It took a 63-yard field goal to keep them from be­ing a .500 team.

6. Jaguars (3-2)

— Can’t win when the quar­ter­back com­mits five turnovers. But they paid Blake Bor­tles dur­ing the off­sea­son, so they have to live with the con­se­quences.

7. Ben­gals (4-1)

— Saw a pitch for Marvin Lewis as an early coach-of-theyear can­di­date. Yes, the Ben­gals have been very good, but let’s not get car­ried away. He’s 0-for-the play­offs in Cincy (0-7).

8. Bears (3-1)

— Did the bye week cool off Mitch Tru­bisky? Or will he be the same guy who threw six touch­down passes against the Bucs?

9. Vik­ings (2-2-1)

— Their record isn’t much to brag about, but Kirk Cousins has still been pretty in­cred­i­ble. Would they be any dif­fer­ent with Case Keenum? That’s the in­ter­est­ing ques­tion.

10. Ravens (3-2)

— The of­fense be­came the first in NFL his­tory to score a touch­down on its first 13 trips in the red zone. Now? They have the NFL’s long­est ac­tive streak with­out a touch­down.

11. Steel­ers (2-2-1)

— They served up their best ev­i­dence that they’re ready to climb back into con­tention.

12. Pack­ers (2-2-1)

— Ma­son Crosby, the fran­chise’s all-time lead­ing scorer, can’t find the ocean with his kicks. It’s like he has foot­ball Steve Blass dis­ease.

13. Ea­gles (3-3)

— No one man­aged to jump them in the NFC East while Car­son Wentz re­gained his foot­ing. The Skins, Gi­ants and Cow­boys had their chance.

14. Charg­ers (3-2)

— Phillip Rivers is qui­etly play­ing the best foot­ball of his ca­reer. Thanks to Pa­trick Ma­homes in KC, he’s only slightly un­der the radar.

15. Ti­tans (3-2)

— Mar­cus Mar­i­ota has thrown twice as many in­ter­cep­tions (4) as touch­downs (2). Doubt that’s what they’re look­ing for.

16. Dol­phins (3-2)

— What’s worse, get­ting blown out, or blow­ing a 17-point sec­ond half lead? Put them down for the dreaded dou­ble-header.

17. Bucs (2-2)

— Af­ter a bye week, Jameis Win­ston jumps back in with one of the league’s best pass­ing of­fenses. We’ll see if he can con­jure up some Win­ston magic of his own.

18. Browns (2-2-1)

— They’re mak­ing their sec­ond at­tempt at a win­ning streak. The way Baker May­field is play­ing, they’re bound to get it.

19. Lions (2-3)

— They head into their bye week hav­ing taken down Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Still need some work on the or­di­nary peo­ple.

20. Bron­cos (2-3)

— Their de­fense used to be one of the best. They used to carry the of­fense. But now they’ve fallen, and can’t get up.

21. Red­skins (2-2)

— They had a bye to get the of­fense on the right track with Alex Smith, but came back and looked worse. The good news? They haven’t lost sight of first in the di­vi­sion.

22. Sea­hawks (2-3)

— They don’t want to hear how they put up a good fight against the Rams. There are no moral vic­to­ries in the NFL.

23. Tex­ans (2-3)

— They were given last rites a few weeks ago, but now they’re a game out of first place.

24. Fal­cons (1-4)

— This is a team many picked to ei­ther be in the Su­per Bowl or win it. Al­ready, their play­off hopes are go­ing, go­ing . . . and just about gone.

25. Cow­boys (2-3)

— The only time the of­fense looks good is when Ezekiel El­liott is car­ry­ing the foot­ball.

26. Jets (2-3)

— How do they take pres­sure off Sam Darnold? Just run, baby. They pro­duced 323 rush­ing yards last week, 219 from Isa­iah Crow­ell.

27. Bills (2-3)

— No quar­ter­back has been sacked more than Josh Allen (19 times). And no QB has a worse passer rat­ing (60.4). But some­how, they’re find­ing a way to win.

28. Colts (1-4)

— It might help An­drew Luck if he had some sem­blance of a run­ning game. See Jets.

29. Raiders (1-4)

— Why is there a prob­lem giv­ing Mar­shawn Lynch the ball at the 1-yard line? It’s a no-brainer. And yet, Jon Gru­den used him as a de­coy three times. The les­son? He lost, just like Pete Car­roll in Su­per Bowl XLIX.

30. Gi­ants (1-5)

— The vis­ual told a thou­sand words. Odell Beck­ham Jr. head­but­ting a cool­ing fan out of frus­tra­tion dur­ing Thurs­day night’s loss to the Ea­gles, need­ing to be calmed down by a rookie — Saquon Barkley.

31. Nin­ers (1-4)

— They had prime time dates three times in the next five weeks. Thank god for flex sched­ul­ing.

32. Car­di­nals (1-4)

— Ugly wins, are still wins. They’ll take it, even if their de­fense never left the field.





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