Rankings by Andrew Laidlaw, Andrew Miller, and Daniel Thompson. Team write-ups by Andrew Miller
1. LA Rams
HOT TAKE: This LA Rams’ offense is better than the Greatest Show on Turf. The offense finds new and creative ways to dice you up for 40 yards at a time each week. Todd Gurley is the best offensive player in football, and looks like he cannot be stopped. Every play Goff is throwing to an open receiver. However, this defense is not as dominant as we thought, they give up a couple too many big plays a game. Doesn’t matter because this team can outscore everyone.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes is sensational. There is nothing he cannot do. If he rolls out, you are dead. Kansas City beat the Jacksonville defense (who also beat themselves in scheming the coverage) with great decisions and no play where Kareem Hunt didn’t at least look like he was getting the ball. The defense looked much improved as well, although against Blake Bortles and him throwing a goal-line pick on top of his guard’s head. This team has one huge liability, Orlando Scandrick is the worst starting CB in the NFL. Each time he is on a receiver he’s forced to pass interfere or just allow 15 yards. Other than that, good week for the Chiefs.
3. New Orleans Saints
Congrats Drew Brees on breaking Peyton Manning’s passing record, seems no one wants to bring up Sean Payton’s genius as being partly responsible but that’s ok. This team can dice you up methodically even without Kamara playing. Mark Ingram impressed in his debut this season, along with Drew Brees spreading the wealth around the team. The Defense even looked like we thought they could be at the beginning of the year. However, if Marshon Lattimore misses extended time, that could spell doom for the Saints defense, forcing them to win by offense, which they are more than able to do.
4. Chicago Bears
The Bears move up because they are on a BYE, and half of those ahead of them lost. I still think this may be the best Defense in the sport outside Jacksonville, and Trubitsky, I think, can still be a really good QB. Matt Nagy has shown himself to be a creative, risk taking offensive mind. They could really do something this year.
6. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals are so well-rounded. There’s nothing on them that is really a flaw (not even Andy Dalton anymore). There’s nothing on defense that’s really elite either. Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin has been able to come up with gameplans to maximize their strengths. What is elite on this team is their playmakers. Joe Mixon is the real deal, he’s Le’veon Bell in tiger stripes. AJ Green always gets it done, and Tyler Boyd is legit, I don’t know if this team is a contender, but the Bengals could ruin any team’s record any week.
6. New England Patriots
The Patriots Defense is bad, REAL bad, like can’t cover Chester Rodgers bad. But this week proved that the patriots have the power and creativity on offense to win games with a good defensive plan by Bill Belichick. Any team can score on the Patriots defense, but now with their stable of running backs and and pass catchers, this offense is as dangerous as anyone in the league. James white might have to get rid of that 28 and get a new number because he is pretty much a Wide Receiver now.
7. Carolina Panthers
Yeah they almost lost to the giants, but look at Saquon, he’s amazing. The defense looked really good, and the one really big play game against the Giants’ best QB Odell Beckham throwing a dime. The offense looks dangerous with McCaffery, Moore and Samuel offering more gadget plays than James Bond could. Devin Funchess looks better than ever, and Cam Newton is always a threat. This team is a sleeper contender, and one opposing teams know they could lose to any given Sunday.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars
Blake Bortles is ruining the greatest defense since the Legion of Boom. The defense underperformed, but they didn’t play to their strengths either, expect that to change. The team cannot rely on Blake Bortles to not-lose, let alone win, a football game. Every team knows this, and even with Leonard Fournette back, teams know to stop him and let Bortles lose the game for them. They have been able to win a lot of 17-14 games because of their defense, but with the NFL points explosion we are seeing right now, that won’t be happening anymore, and Bortles will not step up.
9. Minnesota Vikings
Remember the beginning of the season when we were worried that Kirk Cousins couldn't keep up with this dominant Defense? The exact opposite has happened. Kirk Cousins has played almost perfect football and is a dark-horse MVP candidate. The offense has weapons galore, even without Dalvin Cook, they can win. The defense is really disappointing and I do not know what has gotten into Xavier Rhodes who seems to bite on any double move thrown his way. The Defense allows a lot of big plays that can hurt them along with major depth problems on the front 7. The offensive line is still a liability and if they lose games they are probably the reason why.
10. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are in a funk I fully expect them to get out of. The defense, is fine. The offense, is fine. They are just missing big pieces. Ronald Darby stands out on film, but he secondary needs to stop putting Jalen Mills on an island like he has the speed to cover, which means Jim Schwartz might not get to blitz on every single play. The Offense is good, and Carson Wentz looks to have found his groove in the fourth quarter, they just really need a running back now that Ajayi’s season is done, although Wendell Smallwood looks really good. Hopefully, this team figures it out in an easy division.
11. LA Chargers
The NFL’s only team to have 16 away games has looked really good after a rough start, all without Joey Bosa. The defense is getting it done and will be elite again when he gets back. This team can spread the ball with a bunch of really solid options for Rivers to throw to. There really isn’t a flaw on this defense outside coverage linebacker. This team is a danger to the rest of the league, Chargers can hang with anyone.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers
This defense sucks, but this offense sure doesn’t. In a game that was supposed to be a shootout, ended up being James Conner Running all over the Falcons. This teams has all the weapons in the world, and doesn’t have to be clicking on all cylinders to score 21 points. The defense somehow, was able to stifle the Falcons offense and all their playmakers. The Steelers played for Mike Tomlin last week, and wanted to show the world who they really are. O ya, Le’veon is (tentatively) coming back in 2 weeks, watch out.
13. Tennessee Titans
It’ hard to win a game in Buffalo, it’s a weird place to play. 13 feels right for the Titans because they are the definition of an average roster in the NFL, but they gameplan well enough to catch teams off guard and will often win games their own way. They can control the clock, and no win will be easy against the Titans, but no win will be easy for them with their offense. Corey Davis is the rea deall.
14. Baltimore Ravens
You block Myles Garrett, it’s really hard, that’s what happened to the Ravens this week against Cleveland. The weapons on this team are not special, no matter what your friend says John Brown has done for their fantasy team. The Ravens have no one special on their offense and they have trouble getting open against good defenses. The reason they are this high is because they destroy in the trenches on both sides of the ball and this Baltimore defense is sneaky good and obviously deep. CJ Mosley is a top 4 LB in football.
15. Green Bay Packers
This team should be really good, considering they have the best QB in football on their team*. But the Packers have no pass rush to speak of and their coverage is average at best. Jaire Alexander has been a bright spot on tape, but it seems as though this team will be unable to win games unless Aaron Rodgers does something spectacular each week. Although, that is 100% possible.
*These write-ups do not necessarily reflect the editor's opinions.
16. Cleveland Browns
The Browns are real and they’re angry. I love this roster so much. This defense is a top 7 unit, and Myles Garrett may be the best pass-rusher in football. If Khalil Mack didn’t average a fumble a game, Garrett would be my favorite for DPOY. Denzel Ward can run with anyone in the league, and Peppers seems to have figured out some coverage skills. Baker Mayfield is making me re-evaluate my scouting process because he is clearly the best rookie QB and the game seems to just come natural to him. Him and Njoku are due for a breakout now that we are a third of the way into the season. Baker has some of the best decision making in the league ALREADY.
17. Miami Dolphins
Bad team wins three early, but shows their true colors when the season picks up, this is the Dolphins, they are the winner of the New York Jets trophy of forcing Power Rankers to put them high, while we know they’re a bottom third team in the NFL. The Dolphins are really bad on offense, except when they want to include Kenyan Drake. The defense has no pass rush outside a 36 year old who has chiseled his body and committed himself to not eat meat or drink beer until he retires. The Dolphins don’t have a prayer in the AFC, and the only good thing to take from this team is the power of veganism in athletes. Thanks Cam Wake.
18. Detroit Lions
The Lions have promise. I never thought I would say those words. Their pass defense is the surprise of this team, and played really well against Rodgers for 3 ½ quarters. The offense has 3 solid WRs with TJ Jones being a solid backup. Kenny Golladay is a star in this league and Marvin Jones and Golden Tate are no slouches. Kerryon is a legit player; I saw a burst this game I didn’t see previously. I think they may have actually found their answer at running back. The run defense is awful, and maybe that’s why they won, because Green Bay doesn’t rely on their run game. Promising start for Lions beating all the teams people thought we’d love to, but losing to the Jets, Cowboys, and 49ers. Go figure.
19. Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson, not the Seattle Offense, held their own against the LA Rams. They look lost on defense because each time that Russell Wilson was miraculously able to score, Seattle kept LA in it. When Russell’s magic hit a limit, LA Swooped in and scored. Tyler Lockett is really impressive and probably Wilson’s new favorite target. The Seahawks have no one, but Wilson can win you games when it counts. The offensive line looked okay in this game, an improvement!
20. Washington Redskins
Washington isn’t good enough to beat good teams. They have Alex Smith at QB. But Chris Thompson, a baller. Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, studs. Jordan Reed, fluid. DJ Swearinger, an animal in intensity. They can play good football, but I never trust them to win football games when they are down to the wire. The Saints showed that no matter if this defense is up and coming, it just is not ready to handle elite offenses in the NFL.
21. Houston Texans
The Texans have a dominant Defense, JJ and Clowney should give coaches nightmares. Kevin Johnson is excelling at his new role at safety. Deshaun Watson also looks really good, and the offense ain’t too shabby either. The problem is the offensive line is so bad, Deshaun has to play lights out just to put points on the board, a well as stops any hope of a running game. This team has a lot of talent, but one of the largest liabilities in the sport. Martinas Rankin is their blindside tackle.
22. Atlanta Falcons
This defense is bad, even worse without their two best players in Deion Jones and Keanu Neal. They cannot stop teams from scoring on them, and are not creative enough on offense to muster up a fight. Their season is over, they play in the NFC South against the Saints and Panthers. The offense isn’t creative enough to beat people in shootouts. They couldn’t get 20 on the Steelers defense with all that talent on offense it should be easier for Atlanta to score, but it has not been easy. This team is snakebit and isn’t showing any sign of improving.
23. Dallas Cowboys
If you can stop the run, you beat the Cowboys. The Cowboys are the most one dimensional offense in football, and it feels like the only offense where that relates to running the ball. Zeke didn’t have the best day, but it’s hard to when Dallas’s offensive line is mostly hurt against JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. Still, the Cowboys are a team that has serious problems surprising teams on offense. Dak isn’t helping either.
24. Denver Broncos
The Broncos lost to an exciting Jets team. The defense is still really good and should be a nightmare when anyone has to play them in Denver. It’s hard to see how this team truly beats anyone on the road however. Any team, any game, can beat the Broncos, but the Broncos can win their way. If you call Case Keenum a game manager, you’d be wrong because this guy takes a lot of risks.
25. New York Jets
The Jets are in an awkward stage, and like everyone in an awkward stage, they don’t know how to use their strengths well. Sam Darnold looks really good out there throwing the ball, and Jamal Adams is, in my opinion, definitely the best Safety in football. They have pieces, and next year they will be everyone’s surprise pick to win the AFC, but now they will have to deal with the off and on play of one Robby Anderson.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs have Jameis Winston back. Does that make them a better football team? Probably not. This team has a lot of work ahead of them, mainly in the secondary. Lavonte David and Gerald Mccoy does not a defense make. Mike Evans, DeSean and Chris Godwin are all really good receivers, but it doesn’t help the fact that this team now has to deal with Jameis back in the spotlight and an only above average offensive line. Not to mention they’re in a division with the Panthers and Saints.
27. New York Giants
Ereck Flowers isn’t the reason Eli plays bad. He can’t move in the pocket, throw a deep ball, or fit the ball into a window, yet the media still wants to say it is the offensive line’s fault. Here is a stat for you, the pass that ODELL threw to Saquon is the longest pass thrown by the Giants all season. The Giants would be better off having the Dragon Davis Webb come back to play QB than trotting out Eli every week. Thank god they have two of the six best offensive position players in football, or they might just be the worst team in football, with the WORST STARTING QB IN FOOTBALL.
28. Buffalo Bills
Dark Horse Coach of the year Candidate: Sean McDermott. This guy has turned the worst overall roster in the game, into a team that can be every playoff team’s most embarrassing loss. Buffalo always comes ready to play with a dangerous CB/S duo in Micah Hyde, and Tre White. Josh Allen looks better and more comfortable with every game, but probably shoulda sat this year out. If only they didn’t trade AJ McCarron. Watching Josh Allen sling it is always fun.
29. Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck is back!!!!! He is throwing dimes, and rarely any screens which I love. Watch a Colts game and every pass attempt is 7 to 12.25 yards, he always trusts himself to make big plays. It worked a lot against the Patriots. The Colts have giants on their offensive line. You are never out of any game when you have Andrew Luck as your QB, and he isn’t running for his life. You are out of the game when your weapons are Eric Ebron and Charles Rodgers. Hopefully TY fixes that. The Colts are a team on the rise.
30. Oakland Raiders
The John Gruden experiment is just really weird. The team should have stars but they just aren't playing. Amari Cooper should be a star, but drops too many balls. Marshawn should be a bulldozer, but just looks old. Derek Carr should be an MVP candidate, but lost some zip and confidence in his throws. The O-line should have been a strength, while the inside is elite the tackles are bad. Oh, and the defense is the worst in football. I feel bad for Oakland, having a team preparing for the future that you won’t get to enjoy. There still is hope though. They just need to rush the passer more… Oh wait.
31. Arizona Cardinals
Hooray you won!!!! David Johnson is starting to play like himself. Josh Rosen throws a BEAUTIFUL spiral. That’s about it for this team. Everything else has been a negative so far. Their O-line is a liability, that may be giving them too much credit. Their secondary is not very good, Patrick Peterson may be going through the deadly disease almost being 30 at CB. This team’s season was over since the beginning. Maybe, if they’re lucky they can eek out an extra win.
32. San Francisco 49ers
Never count Kyle Shanahan out of a game. This team is just depressing to think about. The genius that is Kyle is wasted on CJ Beathard and the lack of receiving talent on the 49ers. Trent Taylor looked sensational in the loss to the Cardinals because he's always open on Shanahan’s well drawn up play. This team will lose a lot of games, but give other teams headaches in how to cover them. CJ Beathard and his goatee can only do so much you guys.
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