Week 11 in the NFL shook things up again across the league. While the three best teams came up with impressive victories, the next wave of contenders took some hits. There also were several also-rans who showed needed fight to try to dig out of bottom-feeding status.
That’s caused sweeping change in latest Sporting News NFL power rankings going into Week 12. Here’s how all 32 teams stack up against each other in a heaping helping of analysis before Thanksgiving:
NFL power rankings
1. Kansas City Chiefs 9-1 (last week: 1)
The Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the league doesn’t. That means it doesn’t matter what else they have when he’s playing so when with everything starts to count a little more.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers 10-0 (2)
The Steelers’ push for a perfect season continues with another walkover victory for their offense and defense in Jacksonville. They will need to keep putting pressure on the Chiefs, but first they need to finish cooking the Ravens on Thanksgiving.
3. New Orleans Saints 8-2 (3)
The Saints put in Taysom Hill and marched to a dominant victory over the hard-fading Falcons. What’s scary is how well thier defense has started to play all-around in recent weeks.
4. Los Angeles Rams 7-3 (9)
The Rams’ backbone is their defense. They must find more consistency, balance and explosiveness with Jared Goff and their rushing committee. They can’t be forgotten as a threat to win the NFC now that they moved up to No. 2 behind the Saints to remind everyone how they can be with Sean McVay.
5. Green Bay Packers 7-3 (4)
The Packers’ defensive issues resurfaced again in Indianapolis, costing them a victory despite another spectacular Aaron Rodgers performance against a tough Colts defense on the road. The good news is that was an NFC loss. The bad news is they are No. 3 in the conference again.
6. Buffalo Bills 7-3 (6)
The Bills enjoyed a bye week by seeing both the Dolphins and Patriots lose behind them as favorites in their games. Buffalo, with the AFC East in hand and little chance to climb up in seeding, needs to just work on fine tuning with Josh Allen and the defense. Finding a running game for December and January would help, too.
7. Seattle Seahawks 7-3 (11)
The Seahawks needed that win over the Cardinals to get back into first place, get Russell Wilson back to efficiency, running the ball well and to an inspired pass rush. The positive developments in that game helped Seattle rediscover its most successful identity.
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-4 (5)
The Buccaneers have been bad twice against the Saints, once against the Bears and one more time against the Rams, with three of those games in prime time with Tom Brady struggling. They’ve looked very good against everyone else. Watch them to keep grinding to find their groove with Tom Brady and the defense.
9. Indianapolis Colts 7-3 (13)
The Colts showed their resilience and offensive firepower in a game where the defense wasn’t at its best, giving Frank Reich’s team more winning versatility. Philip Rivers is starting to play much better at the ideal time.
10. Tennessee Titans 7-3 (14)
Ryan Tannehilll and Derrick Henry desperately needed a get-well game and, go figure, it happened in comeback and overtime mode against the Ravens’ defense. The Titans maybe needed a playoff-like wakeup call to get them back in wild-card position.
11. Cleveland Browns 7-3 (15)
The Browns are made for ugly weather. They are winning despite unfavorable conditions and more shaky play from Baker Mayfield because they are smartly oriented around their defense and running game under Joe Woods and Kevin Stefanski. Credit them to playing to what they are, instead of trying to be something they’re not.
12. Las Vegas Raiders 6-4 (12)
The Raiders’ loss to the Chiefs almost counts as a win because they kept the confidence they can hang with the division and Super Bowl champions. That’s a good boost toward the playoffs and motivation they can win a game or two when they get there.
13. Miami Dolphins 6-4 (7)
The Dolphins were bound to take some offensive lumps with Tua Tagovailoa at some point. It finally happened against the Broncos in a hostile road environment. The defense did its best again, but it was still weird to bench Tagovailoa in desperation. Miami should hope that doesn’t send its rookie QB into mental free fall.
14. Arizona Cardinals 6-4 (8)
The Cardinals’ defense has been an issue all season and it can catch up to them when facing more explosive offenses. Kyler Murray will keep passing and running around well with a favorable schedule, but they will need to keep winning high-scoring games.
15. Baltimore Ravens 6-4 (10)
The Ravens are no longer ruling the roost in the AFC and they are in dangers of flapping their wins right out of the playoffs. Lamar Jackson is getting better help from the running game, but the wide receivers aren’t doing much of anything and the defense is starting to suddenly wilt on every level.
16. Chicago Bears 5-5 (16)
The Bears had a bye to regroup and will hope that either Nick Foles or Mitchell Trubisky will be healthy to salvage their slipping playoff status in a must-win game against the Packers in Week 12. Defense simply isn’t enough to save them.
17. San Francisco 49ers 4-6 (21)
The 49ers needed a bye to get somebody healthy, as pretty much nobody of note is. They’ve competed hard despite being depleted offensively and defensively. That’s a credit to Kyle Shanahan and Robert Saleh. They wouldn’t be in a Super Bowl hangover without the injuries.
18. Denver Broncos 4-6 (23)
The Broncos’ defense finally showed up to support their sputtering offense with Drew Lock. Imagine what they could have been with more competent QB play.
19. Minnesota Vikings 4-6 (18)
What was that? The Vikings overlooked the resting Cowboys and their pass defense went back to being burned all over the field, all throughout the game. It’s such a waste, given what Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson are all doing offensively.
20. New England Patriots 4-6 (17)
The Patriots had their opportunity to shoot back into the AFC wild-card race with several of the teams ahead of them losing. Unfortunately, Deshaun Watson and the Texans had their number for a second consecutive season.
21. Detroit Lions 4-6 (19)
What was that? The Lions didn’t have Kenny Golladay or D’Andre Swift, but they might as well have had nobody in that ugly 20-0 loss at the lowly Panthers vs. a backup QB. It’s over for Matt Patricia
22. Carolina Panthers 4-7 (26)
The Panthers got it done with P.J. Walker and a needed inspired defensive effort for Matt Rhule, grinding to another victory without Christian McCaffrey. Just wait until this young team puts it all together, regardless of who’s the quarterback.
23. Philadelphia Eagles 3-6-1 (20)
The Eagles are really pushing it with this “we can still win the weak NFC East” thing. Carson Wentz has gone back to regressing, right when the defense is playing better. Their lead is down to being razor-thin with a very tough schedule ahead.
24. Los Angeles Chargers 3-7 (27)
Justin Herbert is having the best rookie season of any quarterback ever. He is fearless, focused and taking advantage of his strong receivers. Now let’s hope the Chargers keep Anthony Lynn for when they get their defense back at full strength for 2021.
25. Houston Texans 3-7 (28)
Watson has been terrific since Bill O’Brien was fired and he looked awesome picking apart the Patriots. He keeps making the Texans job more and more appealing because of his championship-like elite ceiling.
26. New York Giants 3-7 (24)
The Giants had a bye to get healthier and although the Eagles did lose ahead of them to help, the Cowboys and Washington were also able to pull even in the standings. The NFC East is set up for a doozy of a finish, and they’re hoping they are the new favorites. Just imagine if they had won those close games against the Cowboys and Eagles.
27. Dallas Cowboys 3-7 (30)
The Cowboys got the performance they expected from Andy Dalton filling in for Dak Prescott in Minnesota. The bye was very helpful for their offense to be more balanced and explosive and their defense to be more active and passionate. Don’t sleep on them taking back the East.
28. Atlanta Falcons 3-7 (22)
What was that? The Falcons seemed to have some good offensive mojo with defensive improvement, only to completely fall apart against the Saints. They need someone to come in and clean up everything at coach and GM.
29. Washington Football Team 3-7 (29)
WFT played more gritty defense against the Bengals and got the plays it needed from Alex Smith and Antonio Gibson. They can’t be forgotten to displace the Eagles, either.
30. Cincinnati Bengals 2-7-1 (25)
The Bengals are now a bottom-three team without Joe Burrow. Burrow was that good, making them look better offensively despite their running and blocking issues.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-9 (31)
The Jaguars need to get Gardner Minshew back out there to save face at quarterback because the running game and defense won’t be helping them win games.
32. New York Jets 0-10 (32)
Joe Flacco has been a better QB than Sam Darnold, which pretty much sums up their likely final season with Adam Gase (hopefully). With the playoffs officially out of reach, the Jets can focus on winless history now.