November 9, 2021   6 MIN READ

ITB’s NFL Power Rankings

Red-Hot Steelers Rising; Cards Still No. 1


In our weekly NFL team rankings, we’ll grade them by:
– Roster
– Current Injury Issues
– Coaching
– Performance
– Record

[Caplan’s Note:] We don’t subscribe to the theory that a team with a lesser record can’t be ranked higher than a team with a better record. It’s about how they look as
of now based on the criteria listed above.

Ben Roethlisberger

The Steelers have won four straight

1) Arizona Cardinals (8-1; ranked last week: #4): A dominant bounce-back game last week and they’ll face a Panthers team that has lost five of their
last six.

2) Tennessee Titans (7-2; ranked last week: #6): Once again, you can’t count this team out. This time, it was their defense that bailed them out against the host Rams.

3) Los Angeles Rams (7-2; ranked last week: #1): It’s stunning how bad their offense looked, but give the much-improved Titan defense credit.

4) Green Bay Packers (7-2; ranked last week: #2): Life without star QB Aaron Rodgers clearly wasn’t very good during last week’s loss to the host Chiefs.

5) Dallas Cowboys (6-2; ranked last week: #3): Talk about a loss no one saw coming. The Cowboys were stymied on both sides of the ball during last week’s loss to the visiting Broncos. And don’t sleep on the Falcons this week.

6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2; ranked last week: #5): A rematch of the playoff game where QB Taylor Heinicke put his game on the map.

7) Baltimore Ravens (6-2; ranked last week: #10): They continue to find a way to win each week when it looks bleak for them.

8) Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3; ranked last week: #13): Well, that’s four wins in a row and now they’re just one game back of first place. And they still have not played the first place Ravens yet.

9) Buffalo Bills (5-3; ranked last week: #7): I’m still stunned that they lost on the road to the lowly Jaguars. And they’ve now lost two out of their last three games.

10) New England Patriots (5-4; ranked last week: #16): Not many could have predicted their season to date where they’ve won four out of their last five games, but have a losing record at home (1-4), and are undefeated on the road (4-0).

11) Los Angeles Chargers (5-3; ranked last week: #12): I’m still concerned about their defense, but the Chargers are finding a way to win close games this season — something that was lost on the previous coaching staff.

12) Kansas City Chiefs (5-4; ranked last week: #14): That’s back-to-back improved defensive performances from the Chiefs. Can they sustain it?

13) Cleveland Browns (5-4; ranked last week: #15): Tremendous bounce-back victory over the division rival Bengals last week. But this week’s matchup is perhaps much tougher against the improved Patriots, who have won three games in a row and four out of five.

14) New Orleans Saints (5-3; ranked last week: #11): Just when we started to trust this team, they struggled against the division-rival Falcons at home. We’ll see if they can bounce back this week against the host Titans.

15) Las Vegas Raiders (5-3; ranked last week: #9): That game last week could have gone any way, but they could not overcome their issues on offense.

16) Cincinnati Bengals (5-4; ranked last week: #8): Again, this is a team that can’t handle success. That’s now two bad losses in a row. Perhaps their bye week has come at the right time.

17) Denver Broncos (5-4; ranked last week: #22): In a weekend of upsets, this one perhaps might have been the biggest one and this week they face an Eagle team that has lost three of its last four games.

18) Atlanta Falcons (4-4; ranked last week: #24): I doubt anyone saw this one coming against the host Saints. Winning ugly counts as a win on the left-hand side of the column.

19) Indianapolis Colts (4-5; ranked last week: #19): They have won three out of their last four and a Wild Card spot is in reach if they continue to improve.

20) Seattle Seahawks (3-5; ranked last week: #21): They’ll get star QB Russell Wilson back this week, perhaps a few weeks earlier than expected. And they’ll need him if they want to have any chance to beat the host Packers on Sunday.

21) Carolina Panthers (4-5; ranked last week: #17): Their issues at QB aren’t going away, which is a big reason why they’ll struggle to secure an NFC Wild Card spot.

22) New York Giants (3-6; ranked last week: #28): They’ll head into their bye week playing relatively well over their last two games.

23) San Francisco 49ers (3-5; ranked last week: #18): A very bad loss at home last week and their defense continues to struggle. Something will have to be done at cornerback next season.

24) Chicago Bears (3-6; ranked last week: #25): They’ll head into this week’s bye on a 4-game losing streak, but did take the Steelers to the limit in Week 9.

25) Minnesota Vikings (3-5; ranked last week: #20): They have too many injuries on defense to overcome at this point.

26) Philadelphia Eagles (3-6; ranked last week: #23): They’re still in it for an NFC Wild Card spot and they still have two games left against the WFT and NYG and one against the Jets. So, they’re still very much alive.

27) Miami Dolphins (2-7; ranked last week: #29): Yeah, a win is a win, but it was against the lowly Texans.

28) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6; ranked last week: #30): They’re still a bad team, but that was a heck of a win against the very good Bills team.

29) Washington Football Team (2-6; ranked last week: #27): They’ll come off their bye against the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers.

30) New York Jets (2-6; ranked last week: #26): Their defense was terrible last week against the host Colts and it won’t get any easier against the Bills high-powered offense.

31) Houston Texans (1-8; ranked last week: #31): I have a feeling that they won’t be moving from this spot. And they have now lost eight games in a row after beating the Jaguars in Week 1.

32) Detroit Lions (0-8; ranked last week: #32): Another tough road matchup for them against a team that has won four games in a row.

– Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for

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