There’s a big shake-up in this week’s Top 15 Team Power Rankings. There are only four unbeaten’s left in the National Football League right now.
1. New England Patriots
Last Thursday, the New England Patriots reminded the Miami Dolphins that they were still the leaders of the AFC East. Quarterback Tom Brady was flawless against the all of sudden aggressive Dolphins defense. Brady threw for 356 yards and four touchdown passes.
2. Denver Broncos
A vast majority of football analyst around the country thought that the Denver Broncos would struggle significantly against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football. However, it was the complete opposite. The Broncos defeated the Packers 29-10. They held one of the league’s premier passers in check for four quarters. In my opinion, the victory against the Packers will be a huge confidence booster for the Broncos going forward.
3. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals showed everyone why they will indeed run away with AFC North this season. In a physical matchup with division rival the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Bengals left Heinz Field as the victors. Unless Andy Dalton has a mid-season collapse, the Bengals should have a first round bye come playoff time.
4. Carolina Panthers
The saying “keep pounding” is the battle cry of the Carolina Panthers for the last couple of seasons. Last night they did just that against the Indianapolis Colts. Quarterback Cam Newton led to Panthers to an overtime come from behind victory against the Colts on Monday Night Football. Due to the Packers losing to the Broncos on Sunday Night, the Panthers are now the no. 1 seed in the NFC Playoff race. It could be tough for Mr. Rodgers to beat Carolina at Bank of America Stadium.
5. Green Bay Packers
The Packers offense faced a serious opposition on Sunday Night when they took on the Denver Broncos. The Packers were taken to the woodshed 29-10. Like always, they are still struggling with teams that have solid running games. Last time I checked, the Seahawks, Panthers, and Vikings have some of the best rushing attacks in the game right now. They’d better resolve this issue before the postseason starts, or it will be the same old story for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
6. Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals showed that they are capable of pulling off a come from behind victory on the road. The Cardinals overcame a 20-10 halftime deficit, only to win the ball game 34-20 in the second half. The Cardinals must continue to win ball games like this to keep their lead in the NFC West. Both the Rams and Seahawks are coming.
7. Minnesota Vikings
The Green Bay Packers better not lose a grip on their lead in the NFC North. The reason is that their division rival the Minnesota Vikings are getting better every week. They are only one game behind the Packers for the division lead in the NFC North. The anticipated matchup between the two should be interesting.
8. Atlanta Falcons
The saying “fraud label” has been placed upon the Atlanta Falcons. I predicted that they would lose against the Tampa Buccaneers in last Sunday’s contest. That prediction came to pass as the Falcons fell to the Bucs 23-20. The Falcons next ball game is an on the road matchup against the 49ers. If they lose that contest, they will mostly likely miss the playoffs in my opinion. Boy did they fool us or what at the beginning of the season.
9. St. Louis Rams
Once again another young and exciting team got to throttle their opponent on last Sunday. The St. Louis Rams tore apart the San Francisco 49ers 27-6 in what appeared to be a lopsided affair. Young running back Todd Gurley’s stock is steadily rising as he is becoming one of the league’s top rushers.
10. Oakland Raiders
In a crucial AFC matchup, the Oakland Raiders showed everyone that they are indeed a team on the rise in the conference. The Raiders handed the Jets a 34-20 beat down at the Oakland Coliseum. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr threw for 333 yards and four touchdown passes.
11. New York Giants
When has the Giants defense ever been known for giving up 614 yards of total offense? All I can say now is that the Giants will not run away with the NFC East like everybody thinks they will. Playing with a defense like that will only lead to a “one and done” playoff game.
12. New York Jets
After almost pulling off the victory against the New England Patriots, the New York Jets laid an egg against the Oakland Raiders. The loss to the Raiders could mean two things; the Raiders are superb or the Jets are not ready to compete against the top-notch competition.
13. New Orleans Saints
After coming off a 0-3 start, the New Orleans Saints are finally at the 500 mark. They have beaten three quality opponents over the last four games. The victory against the Cowboys is debatable due to the fact the Cowboys were the “walking wounded” in that contest. Expect this explosive ball club to be right in the midst of the wild card hunt in the second half of the season.
14. Seattle Seahawks
The victory wasn’t pretty, but the Seattle Seahawks went to Dallas and took care of business. Be on the lookout for a possible second half surge from this fierce ball club. They are capable of running the table when all of their pieces are in place.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers took a turn for the worst with star running back Le’Veon Bell. In the loss against the Bengals, Bell suffered a torn MCL injury that will eventually sideline him for the rest of the season. Up next for the Steelers are the red hot Oakland Raiders. The outcome of this ball game looked a lot different before the season started. However, things have changed and the Steelers season is on the line.
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