NFL Power Rankings for Week 14 (Dec 4, 2014)

aaron-rodgers-vs-patriots1. Green Bay Packers (9-3); beat New England 26-21, moves up one spot – If Green Bay grabs homefield in the NFC, it’s hard to see anybody stopping their Super Bowl run. Especially since Aaron Rodgers has thrown 20 TD’s and zero interceptions at home.

2. New England Patriots (9-3); lost to Green Bay 26-21, drops one spot – As for New England’s march towards AFC homefield advantage, they hold a tiebreaker over Denver with four games left.

3. Denver Broncos (9-3); beat Kansas City 29-16, retains same ranking – It hasn’t been easy to win at Arrowhead this season, but Denver made it look that way.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (9-3); beat Dallas 33-10, retains same ranking – With 256 rushing yards – including 159 yards by LeSean McCoy – Philly looks primed and ready to face Seattle this week.

5. Seattle Seahawks (8-4); beat San Francisco 19-3, moves up four spots – The return of Bobby Wagner has been huge for this defense. But they close against the Eagles and all three divisional opponents.

dan-herron-colts-starter6. Indianapolis Colts (8-4); beat Washington 49-27, moves up two spots – The Colts look to have found a good replacement for the injured Ahmad Bradshaw in Dan Herron.

7. Arizona Cardinals (9-3); lost to Atlanta 29-18, drops two spots – No Carson Palmer and three games left against NFC West opponents doesn’t bode well for a team that’s already headed downward.

8. Detroit Lions (8-4); beat Chicago 34-17, moves up two spots – There are no questions that Calvin Johnson still has it, catching 11 passes for 146 yards and 2 TD’s against the Bears.

9. Dallas Cowboys (8-4); lost to Philadelphia 33-10, drops three spots – This is the type of game that Dallas needed. But after getting blown out at home, their December 14th contest in Philadelphia looks pretty foreboding.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (8-3-1); beat Tampa Bay 14-13, moves up two spots – Andy Dalton still has yet to emerge as a true franchise quarterback this season, but the rest of the team looks solid.

11. San Francisco 49ers (7-5); lost to Seattle 19-3, drops four spots – The Niners still have a chance to make their playoff case. But in a crowded NFC West, they’re looking like the odd man out right now.

philip-rivers12. San Diego Chargers (8-4); beat Baltimore 34-33, moves up two spots – Huge road win for San Diego. Philip Rivers had ice in his veins in this one, completing 8-of-8 passes for 156 yards.

13. Miami Dolphins (7-5); beat NY Jets 16-13, moves up three spots – The Dolphins survived (emphasize this word) against an onslaught of Jets rushers to stay alive in the AFC playoff hunt.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5); lost to New Orleans 35-32, drops three spots – The Saints had a touchdown party against Pittsburgh, with Ben Watson, Erik Lorig and Nick Toon all scoring their first TD of the season.

15. Baltimore Ravens (7-5); lost to San Diego 34-33, drops two spots – How did a 23-13 fourth-quarter lead at home turn into a 34-33 loss for the Ravens?

16. Kansas City Chiefs (7-5); lost to Denver 29-16, drops one spot – KC hasn’t been defending homefield very well lately, losing 8 of their last 9 divisional games at Arrowhead.

17. Buffalo Bills (7-5); beat Cleveland 26-10, moves up one spot – This was a nice win for Buffalo and they still play Oakland. However, remaining games against Denver, New England and Green Bay make the postseason unlikely.

18. Cleveland Browns (7-5); lost to Buffalo 26-10, drops one spot – As the Johnny Manziel era begins, Cleveland seems to be an unlikely playoff team since they hold no tiebreakers in the AFC North.

19. Houston Texans (6-6); beat Tennessee 45-21, moves up one spot – Ryan Fitzpatrck exploded for six touchdown passes in this game – Houston’s franchise record.

20. New Orleans Saints (5-7); beat Pittsburgh 35-32, NR – New Orleans keeps pace with Atlanta in the dreadful NFC South.

NFL Power Rankings for Week 12 (Nov 19, 2014)

jonas-gray-new-england1. New England Patriots (8-2); beat Indianapolis 42-20, retains same ranking – Congratulations to anybody who made a prop bet at the beginning of the season regarding Jonas Gray topping 200 yards in a game.

2. Arizona Cardinals (9-1); beat Detroit 14-6, moves up two spots – Is a Drew Stanton-led team really the second best in the NFL? Who the hell knows, but you can’t doubt them when they keep winning.

3. Green Bay Packers (7-3); beat Philadelphia 53-20, moves up seven spots – Green Bay has been absolutely drilling opponents over the past several weeks. And we can only imagine the records Aaron Rodgers would be setting if he played all 60 minutes during these contests.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (7-3); lost to Green Bay 53-20, drops two spots – Playing Tennessee is a good recipe for bouncing back from the Eagles allowing their most points since 1972 (62-10 loss to Giants).

5. Denver Broncos (7-3); lost to St. Louis 22-7, drops two spots – Looking at the 2014 season schedule, the Broncos probably didn’t expect to be putting up a measly 7 points against St. Louis – the lowest in Peyton Manning’s time in Denver.

demarco-murray6. Dallas Cowboys (7-3); bye week, moves up two spots – Dallas couldn’t have had better timing for a bye week since they got to rest the battered Tony Romo and over-used DeMarco Murray.

7. San Francisco 49ers (6-4); beat NY Giants 16-10, moves up two spots – With 5 interceptions of Eli Manning – the team’s most since 2009 – San Francisco’s defense looks capable of carrying this team.

8. Indianapolis Colts (6-4); lost to New England 42-20, drops three spots – Is Coby Fleener turning into a star? Andrew Luck’s Stanford connection had 144 receiving yards in the blowout home loss to New England.

9. Detroit Lions (7-3); lost to Arizona 14-6, drops three spots – The Lions defense was off their game, failing to record a sack and letting Stanton throw for 306 yards and two touchdowns.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4); beat Tennessee 27-24, moves up one spot – It’s a good thing that Le’Veon Bell had a 204-yard rushing performance because the team just lost major running back depth with the release of LeGarrette “Head to the Bus Early” Blount.

11. Kansas City Chiefs (7-3); beat Seattle 24-20, moves up one spot – This team still doesn’t have a wide receiver touchdown. But who needs those when you average 6.3 yards per carry against Seattle?

12. Seattle Seahawks (6-4); lost to Kansas City 24-20, drops five spots – It’s usually not a good sign when rumors surface that your star running back and head coach aren’t on speaking terms.

aj-green-football13. Cincinnati Bengals (6-3-1); beat New Orleans 27-10, retains same ranking – A week after their dismal performance against the Browns, Cincinnati’s offense got going again, sparked by A.J. Green’s 127 yards and TD.

14. Baltimore Ravens (6-4); bye week, retains same ranking – Baltimore will look to keep pace with AFC North-leading Pittsburgh as they travel to New Orleans.

15. San Diego Chargers (6-4); beat Oakland 13-6, moves up one spot – Maybe Ryan Mathews’ return (70 rushing yards) didn’t ignite San Diego’s offense, but it was enough to establish a running game.

16. Miami Dolphins (6-4); beat Buffalo 22-9, moves up one spot – Much was made about Ryan Tannehill performing against Buffalo’s D. And he came through with 223 passing yards, 2 TD’s and 1 INT.

17. Houston Texans (5-5); beat Cleveland 23-7, moves up three spots – No Arian Foster, no problem as rookie Alfred Blue roasted the Browns for 156 rushing yards.

18. Cleveland Browns (6-4); lost to Houston 23-7, drops three spots – Josh Gordon’s return couldn’t come sooner after Brian Hoyer was just 4-of-14 on downfield throws.

19. Buffalo Bills (5-5); lost to Miami 22-9, drops one spot – The magic of Kyle Orton wore off as he was just 5-of-13 for 47 yards when throwing against Miami’s blitz.

20. St. Louis Rams (4-6); best Denver 22-7, NR – Tre Mason (113 rushing yards) and Kenny Britt (128 receiving yards) gave St. Louis an offensive punch that they’ve been sorely lacking.

NFL Power Rankings for Week 11 (Nov 13, 2014)

tom-brady1. New England Patriots (7-2); bye week, moves up one spot – The Patriots are our new No.1, but they face a tough test in Indianapolis. Tom Brady has won 73% of his games against the Colts, though.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (7-2); beat Carolina 45-21, moves up one spot – Questions persist about Mark Sanchez at starter, however, he answered some of them with 332 passing yards and 2 TD’s.

3. Denver Broncos (7-2); beat Oakland 41-17, moves up one spot – Who will man the Denver backfield? C.J. Anderson seems to have the role for now after gaining over 160 total yards last week.

4. Arizona Cardinals (8-1); beat St. Louis 31-14, drops three spots spots – Despite having the league’s best record and an excellent defense, the question now becomes if Drew Stanton is capable of leading a Super Bowl contender.

andrew-luck-playoffs5. Indianapolis Colts (6-3); bye week, retains same ranking – Andrew Luck will look to continue his streak of seven-straight 300-yard passing games against New England. Can he win the showdown between two top-tier passers?

6. Detroit Lions (7-2); beat Miami 20-16, moves up one spot – It’ll be hard for teams to cover Golden Tate and Calvin Johnson, who both eclipsed 100 yards last game.

7. Seattle Seahawks (6-3); beat NY Giants 38-17, moves up one spot – Seattle’s run game REALLY got going with over 350 yards against the Giants. Their formula of a great running game and defense will be tough to beat once again.

8. Dallas Cowboys (7-3); beat Jacksonville 31-17, moves up one spot – Having Tony Romo under center really makes a difference for this team.

9. San Francisco 49ers (5-4); beat New Orleans 27-24 (OT), moves up one spot – Colin Kaepernick made plays when he had to, but maybe the victory would’ve been easier if Anquan Boldin hadn’t dropped four passes.

10. Green Bay Packers (6-3); beat Chicago Bears 55-14, moves up two spots – It’s just too bad that Aaron Rodgers can’t play the Bears every week.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4); lost to NY Jets 20-13, drops five spots – Ben Roethlisberger finally cooled off after 12 TD passes in two games, throwing for just 206 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT’s.

jamaal-charles12. Kansas City Chiefs (6-3); beat Buffalo 17-13 , moves up one spot – We’re surprised once again by the Chiefs’ record. They face a huge test against Seattle, though.

13. Cincinnati Bengals (5-3-1); beat Jacksonville 33-23, drops two spots – There’s not much to say about this loss; just look at Andy Dalton’s numbers (10-for-33 passing, 3 INT’s).

14. Baltimore Ravens (6-4); beat Tennessee 21-7, moves up two spots – Justin Forsett, a career backup before this year, became the first Baltimore player to rush for over 100 yards (112) and two touchdowns since 2011.

15. Cleveland Browns (6-3); beat Cincinnati 24-3, moves up three spots – Kudos to anybody who predicted that Cleveland would be leading the AFC North 10 weeks into the season.

16. San Diego Chargers (5-4); bye week, drops one spot – The Chargers get a very winnable game against the Raiders, before facing five straight teams with a winning record (Ravens, Patriots, Broncos, 49ers, Chiefs).

17. Miami Dolphins (5-4); lost to Detroit 20-16, drops three spots – Miami hung tough on the road against arguably the league’s top defense. However, they just couldn’t hang on long enough in the fourth quarter.

18. Buffalo Bills (5-4); lost to KC 17-13, drops one spot – Buffalo gets some much-needed running help with the return of Fred Jackson.

19. New Orleans Saints (4-5); lost to San Francisco 27-24 (OT), retains same ranking – New Orleans just can’t win the close ones. This is their fourth loss by 3 points or less in the 2014 season.

20. Houston Texans (4-5); bye week, NR – Houston has a chance to remain relevant with three games left against the Titans and Jaguars. But it will depend upon how new QB Ryan Mallet performs.

NFL Power Rankings for Week 10 (Nov 6, 2014)

andre-ellington-cardinals1. Arizona Cardinals (7-1); beat Dallas 28-17, moves up one spot – Arizona not only got their first win in Dallas since 1989, but they also swept the NFC East division this year (4-0).

2. New England Patriots (6-2); 43-21, moves up two spots – You can’t do much better than blowing out the former top-ranked team by 22 points. September’s struggles seem like years ago.

3. Philadelphia Eagles (6-2); beat Houston 31-21, retains same ranking – We tentatively keep the Eagles at number three while Mark Sanchez takes over for the injured Nick Foles.

4. Denver Broncos (6-2); lost to New England 43-21, drops three spots – Peyton Manning tossed two picks while star tight end Julius Thomas got only two targets. We have to think both numbers will change for the better this week.

5. Indianapolis Colts (6-3); beat NY Giants 40-24, moves up three spots – Despite being blitzed 29 times, Andrew Luck finished with 354 yards passing, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions.

ben-roethlisberger6. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3); beat Indianapolis 51-34, moves up nine spots – Ben Roethlisberger is now the only QB in NFL history to throw six touchdown passes in back-to-back games.

7. Detroit Lions (6-2); bye week, moves up two spots – With Calvin Johnson expected back this Sunday, the Lions offense will get a lot more potent.

8. Seattle Seahawks (5-3); beat Oakland 30-24, moves up two spots – Russell Wilson continues to be inconsistent, miss-firing on 12 passes last Sunday. But this narrow victory is a win nonetheless.

9. Dallas Cowboys (6-3); lost to Arizona 28-17, drops three spots – Once 6-1 with two home games in front of them, Dallas now has a tougher path to the postseason after losing back-to-back games.

10. San Francisco 49ers (4-4); lost to St. Louis 13-10, drops three spots – The Niners lost a true shocker after Colin Kaepernick fumbled at the one yard line.

11. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2-1); beat Jacksonville 33-23, moves up one spot – Cincinnati will have to rely on Jeremy Hill again (154 rushing yards against Jaguars) since Giovani Bernard won’t play against Cleveland.

aaron-rodgers-bet-312. Green Bay Packers (5-3); bye week, drops one spot – Green Bay hosts division rivals Chicago in what could be a revenge game since the Bears won at Lambeau Field last year.

13. Kansas City Chiefs (5-3); beat NY Jets 24-10, moves up one spot – Alex Smith has caught fire, throwing for 10 touchdowns and just one interception over his past seven games. So how do the Chiefs still not have a wide receiver TD?

14. Miami Dolphins (5-3); beat San Diego 37-0, moves up two spots – Miami keeps pace with a muddled AFC East race that sees them, New England and Buffalo still in contention.

15. San Diego Chargers (5-4); lost to Miami 37-0, drops 10 spots – The Chargers lost their sixth straight game in Miami, and in devastating fashion! They’re beginning to slip out of postseason discussions.

joe-flacco16. Baltimore Ravens (5-4); lost to Pittsburgh 43-23, drops three spots – Joe Flacco had a rough time against the blitzing Pittsburgh linebackers, completing just 12-of-23 passes, throwing one pick and being sacked three times.

17. Buffalo Bills (5-3); bye week, retains same ranking – Kyle Orton has breathed new life into this team, and they are one of the biggest surprise postseason contenders so far.

18. Cleveland Browns (5-3); beat Tampa Bay 22-17, retains same ranking – With three talented running backs and a capable quarterback, Cleveland has far exceeded expectations in 2014.

19. New Orleans Saints (4-4); beat Carolina 28-10, retains same ranking – The Saints finally look to be back on track. However, the back end of their schedule won’t make things easy.

20. St. Louis Rams (3-5); beat San Francisco 13-10, NR – The Rams probably won’t stay in our top 20 long, however, they do deserve some credit for knocking off the Niners and Seahawks in two out of the last three games.

NFL Power Rankings for Week 9 (Oct. 29, 2014)

Carson Palmer1. Denver Broncos (6-1); beat San Diego 35-21, retains same ranking – After dispatching San Diego, Peyton and company head to Foxborough in what should easily be a high-scoring affair.

2. Arizona Cardinals (6-1); beat Philadelphia 24-20, moves up three spots – Carson Palmer didn’t have to do a whole lot beyond putting the ball in his receivers’ hands; they racked up 193 yards after the catch.

3. Philadelphia Eagles (5-2); lost to Arizona 24-20, drops one spot – The Eagles lost a close one on the road in Arizona, and the toughest part of their schedule begins in Weeks 13 through 15 (Cowboys, Seahawks, Cowboys).

4. New England Patriots (5-2); beat Chicago 51-23, moves up four spots – After a devastating loss to KC, New England went 4-0 in October.

5. San Diego Chargers (5-3); lost to Denver 35-21, drops one spot – San Diego has one of the most-underrated pass defenses in the league, only allowing one QB to throw for over 300 yards (Carson Palmer, 304 yards).

demarco-murray6. Dallas Cowboys (6-2); lost to Washington 20-17 (OT), drops three spots – Despite another big game by DeMarco Murray (221 total yards), the Cowboys couldn’t overcome the Redskins at home. Now they wait to see if Tony Romo can play this week.

7. San Francisco 49ers (4-3); bye week, retains same ranking – Colin Kaepernick has been hit or miss this season, but he should definitely hit at home against a reeling Rams team.

8. Indianapolis Colts (5-3); lost to Pittsburgh 51-34, drops two spots – Indy’s defense was looking strong…but that was before Ben Roethlisberger threw for 522 yards and six TD’s against them.

9. Detroit Lions (6-2); beat Atlanta 22-21, moves up two spots – For the second straight week, Detroit came back to win. The Matt-Stafford-to-Golden -Tate connection proved to be the difference-maker in London.

10. Seattle Seahawks (4-3); beat Carolina 13-9, retains same ranking – It wasn’t pretty – especially Russell Wilson’s early play – but Seattle snapped their two-game losing streak.

11. Green Bay Packers (5-3); lost to New Orleans 44-23, drops two spots – Eddie Lacy truly broke out of his funk with a career-high 182 total yards. However, a missed 4-and-1 run really turned the tide of this game.

12. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2-1); beat Baltimore 27-24, moves up one spot – A huge win for Cincinnati as they move into a friendly stretch that includes Jacksonville, Cleveland, New Orleans, Houston and Tampa Bay.

13. Baltimore Ravens (5-3); lost to Cincinnati 27-24, drops one spot – Following a tough loss against Cincy, Baltimore sees their NFC North lead shrink to half a game.

alex-smith-kansas-city14. Kansas City Chiefs (4-3); beat St. Louis 34-7, retains same ranking – KC continues their winning formula of rushing the ball, playing defense, and having Alex Smith complete as short of throws as possible.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3); beat Indianapolis 51-34, moves up one spot – Just over two halves after looking like one of the NFL’s worst teams against Houston, the Steelers hang 51 points on one of the league’s best teams.

16. Miami Dolphins (4-3); beat Jacksonville 27-13, drops one spot – The Dolphins keep pace with the AFC East pack by winning this fairly easy road game.

17. Buffalo Bills (5-3); beat NY Jets 43-23, retains same ranking – Despite getting just 44 yards on 22 carries from Anthony Dixon, Buffalo’s pass offense dominated the hapless Jets.

18. Cleveland Browns (4-3); beat Oakland 23-13, moves up two spots – The Raiders kept blitzing, but Brian Hoyer kept completing passes. He finished 9-for-12 for 101 yards and a TD on plays where he was blitzed.

19. New Orleans Saints (3-4); beat Green Bay 44-23, NR – Don’t play the Saints in New Orleans! They have now won 11 straight in the Superdome.

20. Houston Texans (4-4); beat Tennessee 30-16, NR – JJ Watt domination continues as the mammoth D-end racked up two more sacks and mocked rookie Zach Mettenberger with a selfie pose.

NFL Power Rankings for Week 5 (Oct. 2nd, 2014)

andre-ellington-cardinalsThe first bye week of the season saw our top three teams taking breaks. So it’s little surprise that the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks and Cincinnati Bengals are still firmly planted at the top after their inactivity. But there are plenty of other big changes in our power rankings folllowing a week of upsets. That said, let’s look at who’s moving up and down as we enter Week 5 of the 2014 NFL season.

1. Denver Broncos (2-1); bye week, retains same ranking – Denver faces another tough test this week with the Arizona Cardinals visiting. However, we don’t expect this to be an overly difficult game for the Broncos for two reasons: 1) They’re playing at home, and 2) Arizona QB Carson Palmer seems doubtful to play because of the “misfiring” nerve in his shoulder.

2. Seattle Seahawks (2-1); bye week, retains same ranking – As if Seattle wasn’t already expected to win against the Redskins this week, they get a shaky Kirk Cousins coming off a 4-interception game. The Seahawks defense should feast in this one since they can both put major pressure on opposing QB’s and have excellent corners.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (3-0); bye week, retains same ranking – Are the New England Patriots really as hopeless as they’ve seemed over the past two weeks? The Bengals are hoping so as they visit Foxborough this Sunday while trying to keep their unbeaten record intact. Even if they survive the Patriots, though, they’ll continue the gauntlet by facing the Panthers, Colts and Ravens after that.

4. Arizona Cardinals (3-0); bye week, moves up two spots – Arizona jumps into the upper echelon courtesy of teams above them losing. Along with Cincinnati, the Cardinals are the only undefeated squad left in the NFL. However, it’s difficult to see this remaining the case as they travel to Denver with backup Drew Stanton likely to start again. He fared really well against San Francisco, though, so it’s not inconceivable for Arizona to pull of the road upset.

philip-rivers5. San Diego Chargers (3-1); beat Jacksonville Jaguars 33-14, moves up three spots – We’re not that impressed with a blowout win over the Jaguars. However, San Diego has been very impressive throughout the season – including being the only team to beat Seattle – so they belong in the top 5. The injuries at running back are a definite concern moving forward, but Philip Rivers seems to keep getting it done, and the defense has far exceeded expectations.

6. San Francisco 49ers (2-2); beat Philadelphia Eagles 26-21, moves up three spots – San Francisco got their rushing attack going again, piling up 218 yards – 119 of them coming from Frank Gore. The defense also played well, picking Nick Foles off twice en rout to a second-half comeback. The latter is key because the Niners had been getting dominated in the second half and were finally able to reverse this trend.

7. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1); lost to San Francisco 49ers, drops three spots – The Eagles have been flirting with a loss in every game they’ve played, falling behind early, only to come storming back. But this time, they went up early and faltered in the second half. They should easily win the NFC East, but Nick Foles’ inconsistency will be this team’s Achilles tendon.

8. Indianapolis Colts (2-2); beat Tennessee Titans 41-17, moves up three spots – It’s hard to gauge where Indianapolis is after two blowouts of lower-tier teams. However, they did play both Denver and Philadelphia tough in losses, adding legitimacy to their top-10 ranking. Assuming the Colts can eventually surround Andrew Luck with some real weapons, this team will be contending for the Super Bowl.

9. Detroit Lions (3-1); beat New York Jets 24-17, moves up seven spots – The fact that Calvin Johnson had just 16 receiving yards and this team won on the road shows that the Lions have truly become complete. This is backed up by the fact that Detroit was previously 0-6 when Johnson had 20 or fewer yards. With great players on both sides of the ball, they could continue moving up.

10. Baltimore Ravens (3-1); beat Carolina Panthers 38-10, moves up four spots – As expected, Steve Smith played like a man possessed against his old team – posting 139 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Not bad for a 35-year-old! Our main question here, though, is if Justin Forsett will really be the answer at running back.

aaron-rodgers-bet-211. Green Bay Packers (2-2); beat Chicago Bears 38-17, moves up two spots – One week after putting up a measly 7 points against Detroit, the Packers exploded for 38 points on the strength of Aaron Rodgers’ 302 passing yards and four TD throws. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb also turned in excellent performances with multi-touchdown games.

12. New England Patriots (2-2); lost to Kansas City 41-14, drops seven spots – It’s hard to give up on the New England Patriots four games into the season. But things are looking pretty bad right now – especially with regard to Tom Brady. The 37-year-old QB has one of the league’s worst passer ratings, promoting talk of if he’s washed up.

13. Dallas Cowboys (3-1); beat New Orleans Saints 38-17, moves up seven spots – Nobody has defied preseason expectations quite like the Cowboys have. First off, the defense was SUPPOSED to be dreadful after losing three top players from a unit that gave up the third-most yardage in league history. Secondly, DeMarco Murray has went from an oft-injured tease to an MVP candidate. His latest claim for this title: 149 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

jay-cutler-injury14. Chicago Bears (2-2); lost to Green Bay Packers 38-17, drops seven spots – We’re beginning to see an 8-8 season ahead of the wildly inconsistent Chicago Bears. As Jay Cutler goes, so too does his team. And considering his 7-for-13, two-interception performance in the second half, it’s little surprise that a close game turned into a rout.

15. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2); beat New England Patriots 41-14, moves up three spots – We’re still not sure how seriously to take the Chiefs this season, given that they don’t have the same cupcake schedule as last year. But over the past two games, they’ve looked like future Super Bowl champs with blowouts of Miami and New England.

16. New Orleans Saints (1-3); lost to Dallas Cowboys 38-17, drops eight spots – One stat that’s been thrown out quite often regarding the Saints is that less than 15% of 1-3 teams make the playoffs. If there’s a 1-3 team that has a shot at defying the odds, it’s definitely New Orleans. However, they’ve got to be more than just a team that can throw the ball.

17. Carolina Panthers (2-2); lost to Baltimore Ravens 38-10, drops four spots – Carolina continues their tumble after a second-straight terrible outing. And Cam Newton watched the end of another game from the bench. A huge reason why everything is going wrong for the Panthers is that they haven’t forced a turnover in the past two games. That’s quite a turnaround from the six they forced in their first two contests.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2); lost to Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-24, drops three spots – The Steelers are still in shock after giving this game away in the fourth quarter, where they were outscored 10-0. What’s amazing about the result is that Ben Roethlisberger threw for 314 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions, which is usually a recipe for a win.

ryan-tannehill19. Miami Dolphins (2-2); lost to Kansas City 38-14, moves up two spots – The Raiders’ strategy was to keep bringing pressure against Ryan Tannehill. But this time, the third-year QB responded by going 10-for-15 with 145 yards and a TD on throws where he was pressured. With the way that everybody is playing in the AFC East, the division is still wide open if Miami can take advantage.

20. Buffalo Bills (2-2); lost to Houston Texans 23-17, drops one spot – Moving from one QB who excelled under pressure to one who faltered big time, EJ Manuel was 5-for-18 with 36 yards and two interceptions on throws where he was blitzed. He’s fared badly against pressure ever since taking over as the Bills starter, which is why veteran Kyle Orton will now be under center.

21. Atlanta Falcons (2-2); lost to Minnesota Vikings 41-28, drops four spots – Matt Ryan continues to put up impressive numbers, but he’ll have more trouble doing so after three of his O-linemen went down with injuries. The defense did a pretty poor job of stopping the run after giving up 241 yards on 44 rushes to Minnesota.

22. New York Giants (2-2); beat Washington Redskins 45-14, moves up one spot – After having such a poor running game last year, New York seems better able to balance their attack thanks to Rashad Jennings. Plus, the addition of Larry Donnell at tight end has given Eli Manning a very reliable weapon – just look at his three TD’s last game for evidence of this.

23. Houston Texans (3-1); beat Buffalo Bills 23-17, moves up two spots – We’re hesitant to put much stock into the Texans’ 3-0 start, given who all they’ve played. But now everybody gets to see what they’re truly made of as they travel to Dallas, play the Colts at home, then head out to Pittsburgh.

24. St. Louis (1-2); bye week, retains same ranking – Will Austin Davis be able to continue exceeding expectations? He’d better if St. Louis is to have a chance against the Eagles. This is especially the case when considering that Philadelphia will be hungry for a win after losing to San Francisco.

geno-smith-jets-225. New York Jets (1-3); lost to Detroit Lions 24-17, drops three spots – The outcry for Geno Smith’s benching continues to grow after yet another lackluster performance by the second-year QB. Rex Ryan’s refusal to sit Smith will end up costing him a job as the Jets enter a tough mid-season stretch.

26. Cleveland Browns (1-2); bye week, moves up one spot – Don’t be surprised to see Cleveland be .500 within a month. They play Tennessee, Jacksonville and Oakland in three out of their next four games. Given how tough the Browns have played against better competition, they should have no trouble grabbing a few wins with their schedule lightening up.

27. Minnesota Vikings (2-2); beat Atlanta Falcons 41-28, moves up two spots – Minnesota might be on to something with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback and Jerick McKinnon running the ball. The latter rushed for 135 yards on just 18 carries, showing that the rookie is more than capable of taking over starting duties. Going back to Bridgewater, he’s a game-time decision for tonight’s contest against the Packers.

28. Tennessee Titans (1-3); lost to Indianapolis Colts 41-17, drops one spot – It’s a good thing that Jake Locker is expected to play this Sunday against Cleveland because Charlie Whitehurst just won’t get it done. Now we finally get to see second-round pick Bishop Sankey take over the starting running back role – will he pay dividends?

29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3); beat Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24, moves up two spots – Mike Glennon made a case for keeping his starting job for good after racking up 302 passing yards and two TD’s. His last completion – a touchdown to Vincent Jackson – gave the Buccaneers their first win.

30. Washington Redskins (1-3); lost to New York Giants 45-14, drops two spots – This loss is easy to sum up when looking at Kirk Cousins’ stats: 19-for-33, 257 passing yards, 1 TD and 4 interceptions. The last number was killer as Washington continually gave the ball up on their home field.

31. Oakland Raiders (0-4); lost to Miami Dolphins 38-14, drops one spot – After playing inspired during a 16-9 loss at New England, Oakland fell completely flat against the Dolphins. They could really use their bye week to come back with a new plan, and to get rookie QB Derek Carr healthy again.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4); lost to San Diego Chargers 33-14, retains same ranking – Jacksonville has finally begun their youth movement, starting Blake Bortles and featuring Denard Robinson as a passing-down back. We doubt the moves will pay off in many wins this season. But at least they’re building towards a better future.