October 12, 2021   7 MINUTE READ

ITB’s NFL Power Rankings

Bills Leapfrog Cards To No. 1

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In our weekly NFL team rankings, we’ll grade them by:

– Roster
– 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.]

1) Buffalo Bills (4-1; ranked last week: #2): When you demolish the defending AFC Champions in their home stadium, you’re going to be our #1 ranked team. It’s as simple as that.

2) Arizona Cardinals (5-0; ranked last week: #1): Another impressive win, but the Bills are the better team. Let’s see how the Cardinals do this week on the road against the Browns.

3) Los Angeles Rams (4-1; ranked last week: #3): After a slow start, they found a way to win against the host division rival Seahawks last week. I’m still stunned at how the Cardinals beat them soundly in LA.

4) Los Angeles Chargers (4-1; ranked last week: #5): Once again, HC Brandon Staley is finding a way to win close games. What a change from his predecessor. I’m still a little surprised at how bad their defense was against the Browns considering how good it had been prior to last week’s game.

5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-1; ranked last week: #7): Another huge win for the defending SB champs and they should have a relatively easy time on the road this week against the Eagles.

6) Dallas Cowboys (4-1; ranked last week: #8): The story for this team continues to be on the defensive side of the ball. DC Dan Quinn is the biggest reason why this team is a lock to win the NFC East.

7) Green Bay Packers (4-1; ranked last week: #6): We all knew that their offense would be one of the best in the NFL, but I still struggle believing they have a championship defense.

8) Cleveland Browns (3-2; ranked last week: #4): Both loses were 5 points or less. As much as their defense looks to be improved this season, they can’t have games like they did last week against the host Chargers if they want to make a deep playoff run. Great game to watch, however.

9) Baltimore Ravens (4-1; ranked last week: #13): Another come from behind win for the Ravens. Can we start talking about Lamar Jackson for MVP again?

10) Carolina Panthers (3-2; ranked last week: #12): A rare move up for a team that lost. It’s not really so much about them moving up. Look at the teams below them and can you tell me that they should be higher than this team? The Panthers outplayed the Eagles for 3 quarters, but somehow found a way to lose late in the 4th quarter.

11) Cincinnati Bengals (3-2; ranked last week: #11): They gave the Packers a heck of a game last week. They won’t win the division, but should hang in there for a Wild Card spot in the end.

12) Chicago Bears (3-2; ranked last week: #19): Don’t sleep on this defense or DC Sean Desai. They did a number against the Raiders offense last week.

13) New Orleans Saints (3-2; ranked last week: 17): Their defense will keep them in most games. That’s why they’ll have a winning record by the end of the season.

14) Denver Broncos (3-2; ranked last week: #14): Like some of these teams near the middle, they’re strong on one side of the ball, but have issues on the other side (see QB situation).

15) Tennessee Titans (3-2; ranked last week: #15): No team is more banged up on both sides of the ball than the Titans, which is why they’re not ranked higher despite their winning record.

16) Las Vegas Raiders (3-2; ranked last week: #10): Their head coach resigned, they’ve lost two in a row and you have to wonder if they can rebound the rest of the way.

17) Kansas City Chiefs (2-3; ranked last week: #9): I can’t believe how bad they were on both sides of the ball during last week’s bad loss to the Bills. I still believe they’ll turn their season around (HC Andy Reid usually get it done when you think his teams won’t be able to do it), but it better start this week.

18) Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3; ranked last week: #21): That was the most complete game they’ve had in a while in last week’s win over the visiting Broncos. Can they sustain it?

19) San Francisco 49ers (2-3; ranked last week: #18): That’s three losses in a row and both of their QBs are dealing with injuries. Their bye week came at the right time.

20) Seattle Seahawks (2-3; ranked last week: #16): With journeyman QB Geno Smith starting for a while and a substandard defense, it will be a major challenge for this team to be at .500 or above by the end of the season.

21) Minnesota Vikings (2-3; ranked last week: #20): They barely beat the lowly Lions, so it’s hard to justify moving the Vikings up. However, I still thought they’d be over .500 this season, which still could happen if their defense can play like many thought it would this season.

22) New England Patriots (2-3; ranked last week: #22): They beat a very bad Texans team last week, so the Patriots really don’t deserve to be ranked higher. Let’s see them beat the Cowboys this week before we move them up.

23) Washington Football Team (2-3; ranked last week: #23): This team is yet another one where we’ve seen a really bad drop-off on defense and now they’re dealing with significant injuries on offense.

24) Philadelphia Eagles (2-3; ranked last week: #26): Winning ugly against the host Panthers last week, but it’s still a win. Reality will come this week against the defending champion Buccaneers this week.

25) Atlanta Falcons (2-3; ranked last week: #29): They’ve won two out of their last three games and are starting to become more competitive each week.

26) Indianapolis Colts (1-4; ranked last week: #24): What a brutal loss on the road on Monday night against the Ravens. They had that game and put played them for most of the night. However, they’re still not out it for the AFC South crown. If they win and the Titans lose this week the Colts would only be one game back out of first place. And they still have to play the Titans one more time (they lost the first matchup).

27) Miami Dolphins (1-4; ranked last week: #25): They’ve now lost 4 in a row and are in a free fall. However, their roster is way better than you think and they continue to underachieve.

28) New York Jets (1-4; ranked last week: #28): It’s going to be a while before they’re over .500, but I’m bullish on QB Zach Wilson. They just have to surround him with more talent.

29) Detroit Lions (0-5; ranked last week: #30): They continue to play at a competitive level and as you’ve seen lately, the better opponents are barely beating them.

30) New York Giants (1-4; ranked last week: #27): Bruised and battered at WR all of the sudden. However, it’s hard to believe how much their defense has regressed this season.

31) Houston Texans (1-4; ranked last week: #31): They’ll likely be ranked around this spot all season, as they’re exactly where I thought they’d be.

32) Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5; ranked last week: #32): I still think they’ll win 3-4 games this season.

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

Listen to the latest “Inside The Birds” podcast from Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan here:

 

Or watch on YouTube:
– Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.

Listen to the latest “Inside The Birds” podcast from Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan here:

Or watch on YouTube:

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