Big Red’s Machine
ITB Power Rankings: Chiefs Back In Usual Spot – On Top
In our weekly NFL team rankings, we’ll grade them by:
– Current Injury Issues
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.
1) Kansas City Chiefs (12-3, previous ranking: #2): Of the top-five teams, they have the least number of issues as this point of the season. And they’ve found a way to still be explosive on offense without WR Tyreek Hill.
2) Philadelphia Eagles (13-2, previous ranking: #1): Their injury issues are very concerning with just two games left in the regular season.
3) Cincinnati Bengals (11-4, previous ranking: #3): Much like last year at this time, the Bengals are poised to make another late season run.
4) San Francisco 49ers (11-4, previous ranking: #5): They’re getting healthier at the right time of the season. This is a team, much like the Bengals, who are playing great football (eight straight wins) as we get closer to the playoffs.
5) Buffalo Bills (12-3, previous ranking: #4): While they’ve won six in a row, something is missing from their offense.
6) Dallas Cowboys (11-4, previous ranking: #6): That’s now five wins in their last six games, but the defensive issues are concerning as we get closer to the playoffs.
7) Minnesota Vikings (12-3, previous ranking: #7): They continue to win close games like no other team in NFL history, but can they do it in the playoffs?
8) Los Angeles Chargers (9-6, previous ranking: #8): That’s now three straight wins and four of their last five. They’re a dangerous team that’s capable of winning a game in the playoffs.
9) Baltimore Ravens (10-5, previous ranking: #11): You can call it winning ugly, as the Ravens have not scored more than 17 points in any of their last five victories, but they still are finding ways to win.
10) Jacksonville Jaguars (7-8, previous ranking: #13): They are a fun, young team to watch, and the Jaguars have their franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence.
11) Miami Dolphins (8-7, previous ranking: #10): While they’re playing competitive football of late, that’s now four straight losses, yet they likely will make the playoffs in the AFC.
12) Detroit Lions (7-8, previous ranking: #9): Getting blown out against the host Panthers last week was very surprising and now they don’t control their own destiny for making the playoffs.
13) New York Giants (8-6-1, previous ranking: #14): It’s hard to call a loss a good one, but they put up over 500 yards on offense last week, which is very encouraging considering the lack of talent that they’re dealing with at WR.
14) Green Bay Packers (7-8, previous ranking: #19): They still need to win their last two games in order to have a shot at the playoffs, but at least the Packers are playing better of late (three straight wins).
15) Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8, previous ranking: #20): They know they have to essentially win their final two games and will need some help in order to earn an AFC Wild Card spot, but at least they have won four of their last five games.
16) Washington Commanders (7-7-1, previous ranking: #12): Despite not winning a game over their last three outings, this team still has a decent shot to make the playoffs in the NFC.
17) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-8, previous ranking: #23): Despite a ton of talent on offense, they are still really hard to watch from that side of the ball each week.
18) Carolina Panthers (6-9, previous ranking: #24): This is a tough, gritty team under interim head coach Steve Wilks.
19) New York Jets (7-8, Previous ranking: #15): At least QB Mike White will return to the lineup this week, but it’s probably too late for them to make the playoffs.
20) New Orleans Saints (6-9, previous ranking: #25): They’re still a big longshot to make the playoffs, but at least this team is showing signs of life over their last few games.z
21) Seattle Seahawks (7-8, previzous ranking: #16): That’s now three straight losses and five of their last six. They were a big surprise earlier this season, but reality hit this young team as the second half progressed. They need more help on defense if this team wants to earn a playoff spot next year.
22) Tennessee Titans (7-8, previous ranking: #17): They continue to deal with bad injury issues from both sides of the ball, which is why it’s hard to see them winning the AFC South.
23) Cleveland Browns (6-9, previous ranking: #21): They did not handle playing in the windy conditions last week well at all and that pushed them out of the playoff picture.
24) New England Patriots (7-8, previous ranking: #18): Head coach Bill Belichick will have to take a hard look at how QB Mac Jones is being coached after their season ends.
25) Las Vegas Raiders (6-9, previous ranking: #22): We could be nearing the end of veteran QB Derek Carr’s tenure with the Raiders.
26) Los Angeles Rams (5-10, previous ranking: #30): Head coach Sean McVay has had significant injury issues from both sides of the ball for the first time in his career, but he’s closing the season well with this revamped group of players.
27) Atlanta Falcons (5-10, previous ranking: #26): This is simply a team with a bottom-five roster and it shows every week.
28) Denver Broncos (4-11, previous ranking: #27): Well, the defense couldn’t carry the team any longer and Russell Wilson’s poor play this season contributed greatly to head coach Nate Hackett losing his job this week.
29) Indianapolis Colts (4-10-1, previous ranking: #28): Based on the roster, this should be a team that finishes with 8-9 wins, but because of the poor play from the QB position, they will finish well below .500.
30) Houston Texans (2-12-1, previous ranking: #32): Again, they continue to play hard for head coach Lovie Smith, who deserves to return next season. They have one of the NFL’s worst rosters, yet Smith’s players continue to overachieve.
31) Arizona Cardinals (4-11, previous ranking: #29): They’ve bottomed out (five straights losses, seven of their last eight) due to significant injury issues.
32) Chicago Bears (3-12, previous ranking: #31): That’s now eight straight losses and 11 out of their last 12. They simply need a talent infusion on both sides of the ball next year in order to be more competitive.
– Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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