NFL Draft Diamonds teamed up with Mike Valverde to bring you this week’s NFL Power Rankings. Mike feels the New England Patriots are the team to beat.
1. Patriots (7-2)
They started off sluggish in the beginning of the year, losing to Miami, then escaping with a victory against the Raiders then losing to the Chiefs, had many believing Tom Brady and New England were old news. Then they faced Cincinnati in week five, and won by 27 they haven’t looked back. They have won five in a row, including trashing the Broncos last week 43-21.
2. Broncos (6-2)
They were the best team in the NFL, and were at 6-1, until they got run over by New England. The only loss came to a Seattle Seahawk team that was playing dominating defense, and facing the 12th man. They then won four straight, before playing the Patriots. Peyton Manning won’t let them falter, and are going to be on a mission, look-out Oakland, St. Louis, and Miami.
3. Cardinals (7-1)
The Cardinals have been on a streak of domination. Their only loss came against the Denver Broncos, and made the Cowboys look like simpletons. They won their first three before facing Denver, and have won four straight since. Their next three games will pose a challenge, as the face St. Louis, Detroit, and Seattle. Then it eases up as they face Atlanta, Kansas City, and St. Louis for the second time. Before they close out in a rough spot against the Seahawks and 49ers.
4. Eagles (6-2)
Nick Foles is most likely out for the season, so in steps Mark Sanchez. Sanchez looked good in the Mike McCoy offense, and should continue to perform as the offense allows him too. The two losses have been against good teams in San Francisco and Arizona, and they have also beat quality teams in the Colts. Their schedule hasn’t been overly difficult for them, and only face three teams over .500, the rest of the season, but they play Dallas twice.
5. Steelers (6-3)
Playing with Bi-Polar in Pittsburgh this season. They have had a tough time adjusting as they barely beat the Jaguars, and lost to Cleveland and Tampa Bay. On the flip side, they go out and throttle the Colts and the Ravens. Their schedule remains a cake-walk as the rest of the teams are below .500 clubs, except for the Saints, that are 4-4.
6. Colts (6-3)
The Colts are struggling, they got demolished by the Steelers, and even though they beat the Giants on Monday Night Football, New York bull-dozed their offensive line. They have won six of their last seven after losing their first two, and now are on a bye week. Unfortunately, they face the New England Patriots, luckily they are at home, so they get a nice rest. Indianapolis will need to pull the line together, and it is a good thing that Andrew Luck is mobile, or his season may already be over.
7. Lions (6-2)
The impressive thing about the Detroit Lions is that they stayed strong through the injuries to their key players. Reggie Bush, Eric Ebron, Brandon Pettigrew, Joseph Fauria, and of course Megatron. Well, the crew is all healthy now, and looking to make waves. Their only losses came against the Panthers and Bills, but the next three are going to be a test, as they play Miami, Arizona, and New England. But, it eases out as they face the Bears twice, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota and Green Bay.
8. Packers (5-3)
The loss to the Saints a few weeks ago was brutal. The offense got shut-down and the defense blown-up. Aaron Rodgers will right the ship this week against Chicago. They then face the Eagles, Vikings, and Patriots. Then the next four are Atlanta, Buffalo, Tampa, and Detroit.
9. Dallas (6-3)
This team can never catch a break, they were 6-1, and lose a tough one, then lose Tony Romo to injury. They have the Jaguars in London, and this game should get them on track, regardless even if it’s Weeden at the helm.
10. Seattle (5-3)
Like the Cowboys they have slowed down. The Seahawks were their typical dominating selves, until running into the Cowboys and DeMarco Murray. Murray gashed them for 115 yards in their home. They went on to lose to the Rams, and squeaked by the Panthers and Raiders, winning both by a combined 10 points.
11. Miami (5-3)
They embarrassed the Chargers last week, beating them in San Diego 37-0, and have won their last three, only allowing 27 points combined, after allowing 83 points in their first four. Ryan Tannehill has gotten the grasp of the Bill Lazor system and playing well, doing his best interpretation of Forrest Gump, being a running fool.
12. San Francisco (4-4)
It’s a mess in there, as it has been extremely hard for the 49ers to band together. Like his mentor, Mike Ditka, the team eventually gets tired of its coach, and this may be happening in San Francisco. They have lost two in a row, after winning three straight, after losing two consecutive. They face the Saints, who have won two in a row, destroying both Carolina and Green Bay. Their schedule lightens up after that though.
13. Chiefs (5-3)
Alex Smith is the ultimate game manager. He has thrown 10 touchdowns with just one interception in the past seven games, and none of those touchdowns have gone to a wide receiver. The show runs through Jamaal Charles and Travis Kelce. The Chiefs have won their last three games, and take on Buffalo, Seattle, Oakland, Denver, and then Arizona in their next five.
14. Saints (4-4)
This team has struggled, as has Drew Brees, see the correlation there? But, they are winners of two straight, and four of their last six, sort of mirroring Tom Brady and the Patriots start of the season. The rest of their schedule is going to be tough, as they face teams that are .500 and above the rest of the way.
15. Ravens (5-4)
They looked like a top five team after the first four weeks as they were 3-1, but have fallen off, losing three of their last five. Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh all took their turn on them. They face the Titans this week, in a game they should win. They have only two teams in their next six that are above .500 (Miami and Cleveland).
16. Cleveland (6-3)
This is some kind-of-joke right? The Browns cannot be 6-3? The last time Cleveland won more than five games in a season was in 2007, and it only took them nine games this season. They are winners of five of the last six games, but in the process has beaten teams such as the Titans, Raiders, and Buccaneers. Impressive wins against the Steelers, Saints, and Bengals this week have shown their fortitude, but losing to the Jags 24-6, showed their ugly side.
17. Bills (5-3)
Kyle Orton has this team on a solid path, as they have won three of four. They face the Chiefs this week, and if they can win here, they can really start to make a push toward the playoffs. The rest of their schedule is going to get bumpy with Miami, Denver, Green Bay, and New England, inter-mixed with Oakland, Cleveland and New York Jets.
18. Cincinnati (5-3-1)
AJ Green is back, and even though it didn’t help much against the Browns, it should, help down the road. Jeremy Hill will be effective as will Giovani Bernard when he returns. Unfortunately, their defense is a sieve and they have stumbled, losing three of five, and tying once.
19. Chargers (5-4)
What the heck happened to this team? They were 5-1 after their first six games, losing to Arizona by only one point, at the tail-end of the game. Now it looks as though they are drowning, losing their last three games, and getting thrashed by Miami at home. Their first three games after their bye week, they face the Raiders, Rams, and Ravens, then finish the brutal schedule against the Patriots, Broncos, 49ers and Chiefs.
20. Bears (3-5)
They are struggling this season, and without a complete collapse by the 49ers they would be a gaudy 2-6. None of the skill players are doing much, as they are all having a down season. Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Jay Cutler have dropped in production. They have lost four of their last five and play the Packers this week on Sunday Night Football. If they can win in a few nights, and then beat Minnesota and Tampa Bay, they may make a run, but lose, and their season is going to be close to over.
21. Texans (4-5)
The Texans will be rolling out Ryan Mallett this week in replace of Ryan Fitzpatrick, in attempts to save their season. They have struggled to keep winning after starting the season 2-0, as they have gone 2-5 since. All four of their wins have come against teams such as Washington, Oakland, Buffalo, and Tennessee. This is not an exact list of “who’s who” as these teams have a combined record of 10-23. They are on a bye week, so maybe they can regroup and get a few wins.
22. St. Louis (3-5)
The win over San Francisco put them closer to the top 20, and they had an impressive win against Seattle. They would have broken the top 20 with those wins, if they were not division opponents. The rest of their schedule is tough, two games against Arizona, then one against the Seahawks in Seattle, Denver, and San Diego. They will also face the Raiders, Redskins and Giants as well.
23. Minnesota (4-5)
The one thing for sure is that the Vikings are a lot better with Teddy Bridgewater at the helm. Interesting fact, Matt Asiata has two games of three touchdowns, no other play has more than two touchdowns in a game. Four of their next seven games will be against teams under .500, can you say playoffs?
24. Carolina (3-5-1)
Cam Newton has struggled for most of the season and they have lost five of six, after winning their first two games of the season. The only real consistent bright spot has been the play of Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen.
25. Atlanta (2-6)
They are better than their record indicates, and will have a great chance to prove that after they face the Panthers, Buccaneers, and Browns in the next three weeks. They have lost the last five after starting 2-1. I predict they win their next three games, and be hot when they face the Cardinals in week 13.
26. New York Giants (3-5)
New York fans must be frustrated as both the Giants and Jets are crap. The combined record of the two teams is 4-13. The Giants got picked apart on Monday Night Football against the Colts and Andrew Luck, and even though Bob McAdoo’s system has helped Eli Manning be more proficient, they are a long ways off from being any good.
27. Washington (3-6)
This team has had some interesting games. They lost four straight, then won two, one being against the Cowboys, then go on to lose to the Vikings. They have Tampa Bay, San Francisco, and Indianapolis coming up, followed by the Rams and Giants. If they can win three of their next five, they can make a push to finish at 8-8.
28. Tennessee (2-6)
Ugly. They have a brutal three game stretch with the Ravens, Steelers and Eagles, and they cannot convert a third down. They are dead last at a 29.5% conversion rate, and their biggest wins have come against the Chiefs and Jags. After Philadelphia they will face the Texans, Giants, Jets, and Jaguars, it can’t get any easier than this, before finishing with the Colts, who may be using reserves, as a playoff spot may be in lock.
29. Tampa Bay (1-7)
Lovie Smith grew tired of Mike Glennon and now has decided to place the team on the shoulders of Josh McCown. The season has been lost and the ship sunk. They did beat the Steelers this season, so that’s good.
30. Jaguars (1-8)
No surprise here. They have been trampled on every game this season, except for the close game against the Titans, and the surprising win over Cleveland. They finish the season with a good chance of winning some games, as they face the Texans twice, Tennessee, New York Giants, and Baltimore.
31. New York Jets (1-8)
Like their New York counter-part, they are awful. They have two quarterbacks, one that throws interceptions in Geno Smith, and the other that fumbles in Michael Vick. If these two are starting over Matt Simms, he must really stink. Their next four games are against the Steelers, Dolphins, Bills and Vikings. Then finish with Tennessee, New England, and Miami. Who was their one win against? The Oakland Raiders.
32. Oakland Raiders (0-8)
My goodness this team has caught some unlucky breaks. They have battled every step of the way this season, and minus a couple of blow-outs to the Dolphins and Texans, they have been competitive to the very last quarter. I would not think they would have lost every game, as they are probably better than three or four teams above, but not winning one game this season, and losing to the Jets, puts them in the cellar.
This article was written by Michael Valverde a contributor to NFL Draft Diamonds. Mike has associated with different celebrities, athletes, and entrepreneurs. He enjoys talking with his twitter followers. Follow him on twitter @RFLRedZone .
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