Each week, we will bring you staff NFL Power Rankings. The overall rankings are a combination of polls submitted by Justin Rozzero, Marc Clair, Chad Campbell, Greg Phillips, Andrew Flanagan & Maurice Pogue. Each team is assigned points based on rank and then compiled and ranked overall based on total points. Managing Editor Brad Woodling has the power to break ties.
- Kansas City Chiefs (187 pts): The Chiefs continue to roll, picking up another stifling victory, this time on the road in Buffalo. The defense was opportunistic, picking on a very overmatched quarterback en route two scores. KC’s passing game is still a work in progress, but the running game and defense are championship level. However, it is tough seeing a team with a defense that outscores an offense as number one.
- Denver Broncos (184 pts): Despite the bye week, the Broncos stayed in the news when head coach John Fox suffered a heart attack. They will hope Fox is healthy and back at it when they head to San Diego for their first key divisional matchup of the season.
- Seattle Seahawks (179 pts): This team continues to struggle, but keeps banking wins to keep hold of the division. Down big at home against Tampa Bay, Russell Wilson rallied and got his team the victory, but there has to be some concern here as to why they are struggling to defeat lesser competition. They will try to buck that trend in Atlanta this weekend.
- Indianapolis Colts (171 pts): Things were looking hairy for a while, but Andrew Luck led yet another late comeback win to keep the Colts comfortably ahead in the South. There needs to be some concern about a sagging pass defense and Indy needs to hope TY Hilton can continue to play like number one receiver as he steps in for Reggie Wayne.
- San Francisco 49ers (171 pts): The 49ers rolled into the bye week feeling good and are poised to start receiving some of their missing pieces back. After rolling over a few subpar squads, the Niners will be tested at home by a hot Carolina team looking to keep pace in their division.
- New England Patriots (161 pts): After weeks of whispers surrounding the health of Tom Brady, there was no doubt that he would lay a beatdown on the Steelers at home to quell the concerns. The defense played well enough and forced Big Ben into some crucial mistakes, but the offense was firing on all cylinders with Gronkowski and Amendola back in the fold and healthy. Despite all the ups and downs, the Pats hit the bye at 7-2.
- New Orleans Saints (161 pts): The Saints suffered a tough road loss and now out of nowhere, the Panthers are breathing down their necks. This week brings Dallas into town for a huge NFC showdown. The offense was strong, but the Jets gashed them on the ground. Rob Ryan needs to fix that sieve before Sunday night.
- Cincinnati Bengals (143 pts): It was no surprise that the Bengals were going to suffer a letdown playing four days after stomping the Jets at home, but even then they almost stole a game in Miami. With ten days to rest and prepare, they have a nice opportunity to bury Baltimore and stay ahead of the roller coaster Browns.
- Detroit Lions (140 pts): After a miracle win over Dallas, the Lions went into the bye in good position to lock up a playoff spot. They can continue to put some distance between them and the competition by knocking off the reeling Bears this weekend.
- Green Bay Packers (133 pts): It was a bad Monday night in Green Bay as not only did the Packers suffer a tough loss on the field, they also took a major hit off with Aaron Rodgers going down to injury. It looks like they dodged a bullet on the severity, but the going will be tough until their franchise star is back in the fold. The team needs to tread water for now.
- Chicago Bears (131 pts): The Bears got a helping hand thanks to an early injury to Aaron Rodgers and were able to pick up a much needed win to keep them in the division mix. Jay Cutler should be back this weekend and head coach Marc Trestman deserves a ton of credit for keeping this team afloat and coaching to a wonderful game plan on Monday night.
- Dallas Cowboys (125 pts): The Cowboys just never make it easy. After a heartbreaking loss in Motown, they came home against a punchless Vikings team and nearly lost. With the rest of the division refusing to die, Dallas has choked away a golden opportunity to lock things up early, Now they head to New Orleans to play a pissed off Drew Brees on Sunday night, meaning things could get shakier before they stabilize.
- Carolina Panthers (124 pts): Don’t look now, but the Panthers sit just one game back in the division after winning four in a row. If they can give San Francisco a game in the Bay, the Panthers can prove they belong with the big boys. They have the defense to hang with anybody, but can Cam Newton and the offense score on a stingy Niner defense?
- New York Jets (118 pts): The roller coaster ride continues as the Jets shocked the Saints in the swamp to head into the bye at 5-4. Many predicted this team to be the worst in the league, but here they sit over .500 and in the running for a playoff spot. The next step is to win two games in a row, starting with a key divisional game in Buffalo in two weeks time.
- San Diego Chargers (109 pts): The Chargers were game, but traveling to the east coast against a desperate team is a tough spot to be in. Keenan Allen continues to prove he can be a number one receiver and Philip Rivers played well yet again. If they want to prove they can be a legit playoff contender, they need to shake that one off and hang with Denver at home.
- Miami Dolphins (109 pts): The Dolphins grabbed a much needed win over the Bengals on Thursday night to move back to .500 and snap a losing streak that included blowing a big lead in New England. They will look to keep Tampa Bay winless on Monday night and will also attempt to tie the Jets for second place in the division.
- Tennessee Titans (87 pts): It wasn’t always pretty, but the Titans scratched their way to a win in St. Louis, mainly riding the resurgent legs of Chris Johnson. With Jake Locker shaking off the rust and pathetic Jacksonville coming into Music City, Tennessee isn’t dead yet.
- Baltimore Ravens (85 pts): The disappointment in Baltimore is ongoing as the Ravens dropped a close one in Cleveland. Joe Flacco has struggled mightily and hasn’t been able to lead this team back when needed. If they lose to the Bengals this weekend, their hopes of repeating as champions will be in serious danger.
- Cleveland Browns (84 pts): The Browns run through quarterbacks like a fantasy team, but they keep finding ways to win and are just 1.5 games out of the division lead as the bye arrives. The team will have two weeks to settle on a QB as a huge matchup with the Bengals looms.
- Washington Redskins (75 pts): The Redskins battled and squeezed out a quality home win over the Chargers. RG3 continues to play with reckless abandon, and while the style works, you have to wonder if it is just a matter of time before he is knocked out of action again.
- Philadelphia Eagles (74 pts): The Eagles kept pace in the division with an all out assault in Oakland. Nick Foles returned from his concussion and tossed seven touchdowns against just six incompletions on the day. Foles will need to keep chucking the rock as the Eagles head to Green Bay this weekend.
- Buffalo Bills (69 pts): The Bills just can’t stay healthy and it is killing them. They have shown a lot of heart and Doug Marrone has done an admirable job despite having very little to work with behind center. They head to Pittsburgh this week, and a win could be a nice confidence boost for a struggling team.
- Arizona Cardinals (67 pts): Arizona has to be feeling pretty good coming off a dominant home win against the Falcons and a bye to rest their banged up team. Andre Ellington finally got the full workload and he delivered. Now is the time for Arizona to start their best players as they are still within striking distance of that sixth playoff spot.
- Houston Texans (52 pts): Houston and Case Keenum were rolling on Sunday night, but thinsg got scary at halftime when head coach Gary Kubiak collapsed on the field. It was clear that the team was affected and had a sluggish second half, leading to a late collapse and loss. Keenum looked good in the first half and the starting job should now be his for the rest of the season.
- Oakland Raiders (51 pts): Things got ugly fast for Oakland as Nick Foles and the Eagles completely shredded the defense in route to a rout. Terrelle Pryor left the game with an injury, and the Raiders should be sure he is healthy before rushing him back because he is looking like a legit NFL starter and he comes very cheap.
- Atlanta Falcons (48 pts): The Falcons hourglass may finally have dripped dry as the injuries and losses continue to pile up. Steven Jackson is back but looks to be running in cement and with defenses locking in and jamming Tony Gonzalez, Matt Ryan has very few options to target. With back-to-back losses dropping them down the playoff ladder, their backs are against the wall as Seattle comes knocking, looking for revenge from last year’s playoff defeat.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (36 pts): The Steelers ran into a Patriot buzzsaw last Sunday. They made a valiant attempt to comeback, but got ran off the field in the second half. Big Ben and the offense looked good, but the OL still allows too many leaks and the defense stood no chance. Time is running out, but they have a winnable game against Buffalo this weekend.
- New York Giants (34 pts): After winning two straight to get things back on track, the Giants hit the bye week to reset the team and expectations for the season. With the division crown still in sight, Big Blue needs to take care of business at home against a stumbling Raiders team that may be without their starting QB.
- St. Louis Rams (32 pts): With Kellen Clemens at the helm, the Rams have dedicated themselves to the run and as a result new lead back Zac Stacey has been running wild. Despite his monster day, the Rams still came up short as they continue to fall out of contention. A game in Indianapolis means things won’t be getting any easier.
- Minnesota Vikings (17 pts): The Vikings hung in against the Cowboys but the defense sagged late and couldn’t keep the lead. Quarterback play is wrecking this team and until they find a franchise leader, they will continue to struggle. The good news in Minnesota is that they are looking like a lock for a top five pick in a draft loaded at the position they need to fill the most.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13 pts): It is just one of those seasons in Tampa. Despite a huge game from Mike James and a nice early performance from their defense, the Bucs couldn’t keep hold of a big first half lead against the superior Seahawks. The clock is ticking on the Greg Schiano era but a home win over Miami on Monday night could at least bring a little joy to a very bleak situation.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (6 pts): The Jaguars didn’t lose this week, so there is that.
Biggest Rise: New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns & Philadelphia Eagles (+3)
Biggest Fall: Atlanta Falcons (-5)
PTB Game to Watch: Dallas @ New Orleans, Sunday Night, 8:30PM, NBC
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