ITB NFL Power Rankings
Eagles Rising Up The Charts; Can Pack Be Topped At Lambeau?
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) Green Bay Packers (13-3; ranked last week: #1): Can any opponent beat them in Green Bay? The Buccaneers did it last year, but this Packers team is better than last year’s.
2) Los Angeles Rams (12-4; ranked last week: #3): We have to give them credit for winning five games in a row despite going through some significant COVID-19 issues.
3) Kansas City Chiefs (11-5; ranked last week: #2): During their 8-game winning streak, the defense was the big reason for the turnaround this season. However, the defense was a big reason why they blew a 14-point lead against the Bengals.
4) Dallas Cowboys (11-5; ranked last week: #4): It was certainly surprising that they lost last week after winning four straight. However, they’re still one of the NFL’s top teams and capable of beating any teams in the playoffs.
5) Tennessee Titans (11-5; ranked last week: #7): As noted last week here, RB Derrick Henry (broken foot) might do some limited practicing this week, but the hope is that he gets cleared to play for their first playoff game, so earning a first-round bye is obviously important here.
6) Buffalo Bills (10-6; ranked last week: #8): All they have to do is beat the beat the visiting Jets and they win the AFC East for a second season in a row.
7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-4; ranked last week: #5): Their WR situation is of great concern as they head into the playoffs.
8) Arizona Cardinals (11-5; ranked last week: #11): What an amazing win when you consider how poorly they played in December. Can they make a run in the playoffs?
9) New England Patriots (10-6; ranked last week: #9): They righted the ship last week against the lowly Jaguars, but we still need to see if rookie QB Mac Jones can throw the ball in bad weather conditions.
10) Indianapolis Colts (9-7; ranked last week: #6): If they beat the lowly Jaguars on Sunday, they’re in the playoffs for the third time in four seasons under HC Frank Reich.
11) Cincinnati Bengals (9-6; ranked last week: #10): Great come-from-behind win over the Chiefs, but the defense is still a huge concern going forward. They will not go far in the playoffs because of issues on that side of the ball.
12) Philadelphia Eagles (9-7; ranked last week: #12): It’s hard to believe they’ve earned a playoff spot after their 2-5 start. But they took advantage of a great second-half schedule and won seven of their last nine.
13) Los Angeles Chargers (9-7; ranked last week: #14): This is a dangerous team that could make some noise if they make the playoffs.
14) Las Vegas Raiders (9-7; ranked last week: #16): We have to give them credit for still being in the playoff hunt considering the off-the-field issues the team has had this season.
15) San Francisco 49ers (9-7; ranked last week: #17): This is yet another team that is very mediocre, but could earn a playoff spot this weekend.
16) Miami Dolphins (8-8; ranked last week: #13): They weren’t going make the playoffs after their 1-7 start, but give the players and coaches credit for turning around their season.
17) Baltimore Ravens (8-8); ranked last week: #14): Like so many teams this season, the Ravens could not overcome their injury issues.
18) Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7-1; ranked last week: #20): It’s highly unlikely they’ll make the playoffs, but once again, HC Mike Tomlin will finish with a record of at least .500.
19) New Orleans Saints (8-8; ranked last week: #21): They still have a shot to earn a playoff spot, but even if they get in, they have too many issues on offense to go very far.
20) Atlanta Falcons (7-9; ranked last week: #18): While their record isn’t what they were looking for this season, they’re still a bit better than most thought.
21) Cleveland Browns (7-9; ranked last week: #19): Their injury and COVID-19 issues helped to curtail what should have been a playoff-bound team this season.
22) Minnesota Vikings (7-9; ranked last week: #22): This is one of those teams that is hard to pinpoint why expectations fell short.
23) Denver Broncos (7-9; ranked last week: #23): They’ve been hit hard by injury issues all season on defense, but their lack of a quality starting QB is the main reason why they aren’t headed to the playoffs.
24) Washington Football Team (6-10; ranked last week: #24): This team has a lot of work to do in the off-season if they want to do be a legitimate playoff contender.
25) Chicago Bears (6-10; ranked last week: #25): Changes are afoot in one way or another after this team fell short of expectations this season.
26) Seattle Seahawks (6-10; ranked last week: #26): I can’t see veteran QB Russell Wilson remaining with the team in 2022 if HC Pete Carroll is back. It’s about the offensive philosophy and both men see the direction of the offense differently.
27) Carolina Panthers (5-11; ranked last week: #27): Their off-season plan will be to significantly upgrade their QB and OL positions.
28) New York Jets (4-12; ranked last week: #28): At least rookie QB Zach Wilson has made some strides of late, but GM Joe Douglas has a lot of work to do in order for this team to make a push for the playoffs over the next few years.
29) New York Giants (4-12; ranked last week: #29): What a disaster this team was this season. Like many teams in our bottom 10, it’s not just one thing that kept them from having a winning record.
30) Houston Texans (4-12; ranked last week: #30): GM Nick Caserio has a lot of work ahead of him as the Texans are basically an expansion team again in terms of talent.
31) Detroit Lions (2-13-1; ranked last week: #31): Their record is terrible, but HC Dan Campbell has them competitive most weeks. GM Brad Holmes has a lot of work to do as the Lions have one of the least-talented rosters in the NFL.
32) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14; ranked last week: #32): The season can’t end soon enough for this team.
– Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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