Devereaux’s NFL Week 11 Power Rankings and Playoff Predictionsby John Devereaux November 14, 2019 0 comments
Week 10 was full of surprises, as there were more upsets than teams on bye weeks. There are a few teams losing their footing in the playoff hunt, as new teams are starting to gather themselves as a contender. The NFC and AFC wildcard races are full of competitive teams, each trying to make a case for the final two playoff spots.
After 10 weeks of football, I have gathered enough information to update my prediction list for the playoffs:
The New England Patriots (AFC East Winner)
Baltimore Ravens (AFC North Winner)
Houston Texans (AFC South Winner)
Kansas City Chiefs (AFC West Winner)
Buffalo Bills (AFC Wildcard Winner)
Indianapolis Colts (AFC Wildcard Winner)
Seattle Seahawks (NFC West Winner)
New Orleans Saints (NFC South Winner)
Green Bay Packers (NFC North Winner)
Dallas Cowboys (NFC East Winner)
San Francisco 49ers (NFC Wildcard Winner)
Carolina Panthers (NFC Wildcard Winner)
Now to the power rankings.
- San Francisco 49ers (8-1) (Last Week: 1): A tough loss Monday night in overtime against their divisional rival the Seattle Seahawks. The 49ers offense looked very strong in the first half of the game, but started to crumble and rely heavily on Jimmy Garropolo’s arm. The 49ers should stick to what has been winning them games, which is running the ball.
- The New England Patriots (8-1) (Last Week: 2): The Patriots have one of the toughest schedules during the next four weeks. New England has to face the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, and the Kansas City Chiefs. These four weeks will determine whether or not the Patriots are true title contenders.
- Baltimore Ravens (7-2) (Last Week: 4): Lamar Jackson roasted the Cincinnati Bengals in just three quarters, and he was able to be taken out of the game early. Jackson is a serious MVP candidate in only his second year in the league. The identity of this team is no longer based on their defense—it is now centered around Jackson’s play style.
- Seattle Seahawks (8-2) (Last Week: 6): For the first time all year, the Seahawks defense looked better than their offense. The defense forcing three fumbles and an interception were crucial to their incredible victory over the undefeated 49ers. After this game, it is clear to say that this team is now a serious contender to win the NFC West as well as the entire conference.
- New Orlean Saints (7-2) (Last Week: 3): A confusing and shocking loss to the Atlanta Falcons saw the Saints offense MIA for most of the game. A rare game from the Saints, but a wake-up call for Sean Payton and the team. The running game has been irrelevant as of late. Alvin Kamara has been good as a pass-catching back but has under 100 carries and 400 yards thus far. If Payton can get Kamara going again in the run game, there will be less of a chance of seeing the Saints lose again this year.
- Green Bay Packers (8-2) (Last Week: 5): Aaron Jones had a total of three touchdowns in Sunday’s game. Jones has been a consistent player on offense for the Packers, as he has rushed for 11 touchdowns and has four receiving touchdowns. This is the first time that Aaron Rodgers has had a running back that has been this productive. The Packers did have Davante Adams come back this week, which means that Rodgers has another weapon to work with on offense.
- Houston Texans (6-3) (Last Week: 7): A bye week for the Texans gives the team time to relax and look at the film they need against Baltimore Sunday. What the Texans should be working on during their time off this week, is fixing the offensive line. The offensive line may be getting more credit than they deserve. Deshaun Watson is a magician and can escape most pressure scenarios, but having an extra second or two would benefit the quarterback’s health and play.
- Minnesota Vikings (7-3) (Last Week: 9): Kirk Cousins finally won a game against an above-.500 team. But more importantly, Dalvin Cook is a few yards shy from 1,000 rushing yards on the season already. Cook has been very good all year for the Vikings and has been the reason why the Vikings are winning games.
- Buffalo Bills (6-3) (Last Week: 8): Imagine drafting a strong-armed quarterback, and in two-plus seasons that quarterback is mostly known for his wheels rather than his arm. Josh Allen has not been disappointing as a quarterback, but needs to work on his passing game. This team will not progress until Allen learns to be more accurate with the ball.
- Dallas Cowboys (5-4) (Last Week: 11): Although the Cowboys lost in prime time Sunday night, the team looked as though they can still compete in the playoffs. Ezekiel Elliot only had 47 yards on the ground, and the worst part is that he had 20 rushes to get those 47 yards. Elliott was completely shut down against the tough Vikings defense. This is the first time that Elliot was held to under 100 yards rushing with 20 or more carries.
- Indianapolis Colts (5-4) (Last Week: 13): Jacoby Brissett will be back for the Colts this week, and it’s possible T.Y Hilton could be coming back from injury as well. The Colts have been banged up and riddled with injuries these past three weeks. Players are now starting to return and the Colts should round back into form.
- Kansas City Chiefs (6-4) (Last Week: 10): The last four games that Patrick Mahomes has started, the team has gone 1-3. Mahomes in each game he finished, has thrown for over 300 yards, but the team still couldn’t win. Many other analysts and sports reporters are praising the Chiefs’ defense for being decent. It’s simply not true. The secondary is awful and allows bunches of long plays each week. The defensive line does not get many sacks or pressures throughout the game. If this team does not start tightening up on the defensive end, then we’ll be seeing the Oakland Raiders on top of the division.
- Los Angeles Rams (5-4) (Last Week: 12): It looks like the bye week did not help the Rams. The offense is so dysfunctional, Jared Goff is just an average quarterback and nothing more. I think it is time to consider Goff’s extension as a failure. Sean McVay may also take some of the blame for not improving the offense. Although they have five wins, this team should be better than their record. Something needs to change in order for the Rams to succeed.
- Carolina Panthers (5-4) (Last Week: 14): Another tough loss for the Panthers. This is the second time that Christian McCaffrey had been stopped at the goal line with time running down to zero. The reason why the Panthers lost was not because of the Packers’ brilliant defensive stand. No, the Panthers had eight plays within the five-yard line to score and each time the play call was abysmal. Ron Rivera should have run the ball sooner rather than passing the ball seven times than settling for a readable dive play. Rivera cost the Panthers the loss, not their star running back McCaffrey.
- Oakland Raiders (5-4) (Last Week: 16): Who would’ve guessed that the Raiders would be fighting for the division, and a playoff spot. They are fighting for the last playoff spot in the AFC with the Steelers, but are also just one game behind the Chiefs. Jon Gruden has done a surprisingly great job with this Raiders team.
- Philadelphia Eagles (5-4) (Last Week: 15): This team is mediocre. That is the best way to describe them. They have a great defense, full of dynamic players. But, the offense is slow and inconsistent. Their receivers are in and out of the lineup, and it was not until recently that the run game came into fruition. I do not see this team making a full-fledged push into the playoffs.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4) (Last Week: 19): The Steelers are on a four-game win streak, and it is all thanks to their defense. The young Steelers defense is helping the team succeed and are allowing the team to make a late playoff push, led by Minkah Fitzpatrick.
- Tennessee Titans (5-4) (Last Week: 21): Ryan Tannehill has officially made Titans fans forget about Marcus Mariota. Tannehill has been the best quarterback that the Titans have seen in a long time. Although Tannehill is not having a great season, he is leading the Titans to a better record than what they were projected for with Mariota at the helm.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) (Last Week: 20): Nick Foles will be the starting quarterback for the Jaguars this upcoming Sunday. The team is still in the hunt for the playoffs, and they are relying on the Foles effect. Can he do it again for his team?
- Detroit Lions (3-5-1) (Last Week: 17): Another close loss for the Lions. Stafford is week-to-week and it seems that if Stafford misses another game, that the Lions will be giving up on the season. Without Stafford leading the offense, the Lions have no chance of making the playoffs.
- Chicago Bears (4-5) (Last Week: 22): After a few weeks of bashing Mitchell Trubisky and his throwing ability, he comes out and throws another couple of touchdowns. But it’s nothing to write home about. They almost lost to the Jeff Driskel-led Lions. Yikes.
- Los Angeles Chargers (4-6) (Last Week: 18): The Chargers were having a great two weeks just to meet another team who was on a hot streak. Losing to a divisional rival is not a bad loss, however, this does mean that their chances of going to the playoffs are becoming slimmer as the AFC is becoming much more competitive.
- Arizona Cardinals (3-6) (Last Week: 23): Kliff Kingsbury made a comment Monday night saying that the team will start to focus on giving all their running backs equal chances. This means that star running back David Johnson will be receiving the same role as Chase Edmonds and Kenyan Drake. I highly doubt this will sit well with the pro bowl running back and I expect Johnson to be traded this offseason.
- Cleveland Browns (3-6) (Last Week: 26): Baker Mayfield and Jarvis Landry each had incredible games against the Bills. Both players were having down years, but a game like this could help them gain confidence and end the year off right.
- Denver Broncos (3-6) (Last Week: 24): What the Broncos should be focusing on is what they will do this offseason. Will they start to trust Drew Locke, or will they go out and get another average bridge quarterback like Mariota or Trubisky if they are on the market this coming spring.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) (Last Week: 25): The Buccaneers are the best worst team in recent NFL history. On offense, they have two solid running backs that can get them enough yards to bring the defense into the box, and they have Mike Evans and Chris Godwin who are each having great years to take the top off the defense. On defense, they have been solid and are getting off the field quicker than most NFL teams. The only thing holding this team back from being .500 or above is their quarterback, Jameis Winston.
- Miami Dolphins (2-7) (Last Week: 30): Two straight wins. They have more wins than the Patriots and 49ers this month combined. Brian Flores has been doing a fantastic job as of late. I will take full responsibility for not being a believer in him when the team was awful. But he has turned everything around and although the team should be tanking for the top pick, I believe that they want to build a culture of hard work and dedication through the tough times that they are enduring.
- Atlanta Falcons (2-7) (Last Week: 28): Matt Ryan returned this Sunday after missing a week of football due to an injury. In his return, he graced Atlanta fans with a win in New Orleans. This win ended their six-game losing streak, but also hinder their chance of obtaining a top-three pick.
- The New York Jets (2-7) (Last Week: 31): For the first time in three games, Sam Darnold was able to get over his fear of ghosts. Darnold had an impressive game in the air, as he led his team to a not so compelling win against their in-state rival. The Jets defense does not get enough credit and would be considered top-10 if the Jets offense could provide longer drives.
- The New York Giants (2-7) (Last Week: 27): The Giants after going 2-0 with Daniel Jones, are now on a five-game losing streak. The team after two big games of a young rookie quarterback have now gone back to what they looked like with Eli Manning at the helm.
- Washington Redskins (1-8) (Last Week: 29): Dwayne Haskins is now the full-time starter for the Redskins. Their season is officially over unless they can manage to win every game and if everyone else in their division loses all their remaining games. So it makes sense for the Redskins to be testing Haskins’s experience and confidence in the final seven weeks.
- Cincinnati Bengals (0-9) (Last Week: 32): I am not sure if the Bengals believe that Ryan Finley is their future quarterback. But if he is not, being winless may be the best thing for the team moving forward. There are a handful of potential franchise quarterbacks in this upcoming draft, including Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts.