NFL Power Rankings Week 9, 2016

cowboys-vs-eaglesLast weekend, the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys battled for supremacy in the NFC East. Dak Prescott led the Cowboys to yet another victory, leaving them 6-1 and firmly in control of the East.

See where Dallas moves up to in our Week 9 power rankings, and check out last week’s rankings here.

1. New England Patriots (7-1); beat Buffalo 41-25, same spot – Tom Brady broke this game open on a 53-yard TD pass to Rob Gronkowski. New England also scored 27 points on five consecutive possessions, and they look unstoppable right now.

2. Denver Broncos (6-2); beat San Diego 27-19, same spot – Denver harassed Philip Rivers into 20-of-47 passing and stopped the Chargers on several crucial drives at the end.

3. Dallas Cowboys (6-1); beat Philadelphia 29-23 (OT), up 1 spot – Prescott had a shaky start, but he played well enough down the stretch to win the game. There’ll be no quarterback controversy until Dallas starts losing.

4. Seattle Seahawks (4-2-1); lost to New Orleans 25-20, down 1 spot – Russell Wilson had a chance to win the game, but his end-zone completion to Jermaine Kearse was ruled out of bounds.

nick-foles-chiefs5. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2); beat Indianapolis 30-14, up 3 spots – Much like last year, the Chiefs are putting together a win streak after a slow start. Nick Foles will start against the Jaguars as Alex Smith sits with a concussion.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3); bye week, up 1 spot – It was thought that Ben Roethlisberger would be out for several weeks. But odds are that he’ll play against the Ravens this week.

7. Minnesota Vikings (5-2); lost to Chicago 20-10, down 2 spots – This shocker was partly the result of Minnesota’s normally stout defense giving up 153 rushing yards to Jordan Howard.

8. Atlanta Falcons (5-3); beat Green Bay 33-32, up 2 spots – Matt Ryan found Mohamed Sanu in the end zone with 31 seconds left to notch a huge win against Green Bay.

9. Oakland Raiders (6-2); beat Tampa Bay 30-24 (OT), up 2 spots – Derek Carr was outstanding, passing for a franchise-record 513 yards as Oakland looks like the surprise team of the year.

aaron-rodgers-vs-patriots10. Green Bay Packers (5-3); lost to Atlanta 33-32, down 1 spot – Aaron Rodgers threw for four touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough to hold off Atlanta’s charge in the end.

11. Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1); lost to Carolina 30-20, down 5 spots – As talented as Arizona is, they aren’t even close to a playoff spot halfway through the season.

12. Philadelphia Eagles (4-3); lost to Dallas 29-23 (OT), same spot – Rookie Carson Wentz had a solid performance in this big game. However, he couldn’t move his team downfield in the fourth quarter and overtime.

13. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1); tied Washington 27-27, up 1 spot – Despite their subpar play in the first half of the season, Cincinnati is only one game out of the division lead.

14. Washington Redskins (4-3-1); tied Cincinnati 27-27, up 1 spot
 – Dustin Hopkins took a lot of heat after missing a 34-yard field goal with 2:13 in overtime.

15. Buffalo Bills (4-4); lost to New England 41-25, down 2 spots – Buffalo was bad on both sides of the ball…so bad in fact that one of their fans threw a sex toy on the field out of frustration.

brock-osweiler-texans16. Houston Texans (5-3); beat Detroit 20-13, up 2 spots – Brock Osweiler bounced back from a terrible performance to throw for a modest 186 yards and a TD.

17. New York Giants (4-3); bye week, down 1 spot – New York will come out of their bye week and jump right into a tough NFC East matchup with Philadelphia.

18. Detroit Lions (4-4); lost to Houston 20-13, down 1 spot – Detroit had a three-game win streak snapped as they failed to muster any offense until the fourth quarter.

19. Baltimore Ravens (3-4); bye week, up 2 spots – Baltimore has lost four straight games, and they need to beat Pittsburgh this week to stop their decline.

20. Miami Dolphins (3-4); bye week, up 2 spots – Jay Ajayi will try to become the first-ever running back with three straight 200-yard rushing performances against the Jets.

21. Indianapolis Colts (3-5); lost to Kansas City 30-14, down 2 spots – Indianapolis couldn’t stop Nick Foles when he came in for an injured Alex Smith. Foles threw two touchdowns to put this game away.

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5); lost to Oakland 30-24, down 2 spots – Tampa Bay’s defense was shredded by Derek Carr, including the game-winning touchdown drive in overtime.

23. Tennessee Titans (4-4); beat Jacksonville 36-22, up 3 spots – DeMarco Murray has been running the ball extremely well, but coach Mike Mularkey wants to lighten his load by getting Derrick Henry more involved.

24. LA Rams (3-4); bye week, down 1 spot – LA will try to get back to .500 as they host the Carolina Panthers at home.

25. New Orleans Saints (3-5); beat Seattle 25-20, up 3 spots – New Orleans has been playing much better over the past few weeks, and it showed in this home victory over Seattle.

26. New York Jets (3-5); beat Cleveland 31-28, up 1 spot – The Jets got off to a slow start, but Matt Forte ran for two second-half touchdowns to help them get a comeback victory over the lowly Browns.

New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers27. Carolina Panthers (2-5); beat Arizona 30-20, up 2 spots – It was a bittersweet victory as Cam Newton took a tough shot and blasted NFL officials afterward (justifiably so).

28. San Diego Chargers (3-5); lost to Denver 27-19, down 4 spots – Melvin Gordon has been a bright spot in the Chargers season, rushing for 572 yards and scoring 10 overall touchdowns so far.

29. Chicago Bears (2-6); beat Minnesota 20-10, up 1 spot – After missing five games, Jay Cutler had a solid comeback, throwing for 252 yards and a touchdown in this win.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5); lost to Tennessee 36-22, down 5 spots – Somebody had to go after yet another dismal Jaguars start, and it was offensive coordinator Greg Olson, rather than head coach Gus Bradley.

31. San Francisco (1-6); bye week, same spot – Perhaps the bye week gave Colin Kaepernick more time to work on things and regain his form from 2012 and ’13.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-8); lost to NY Jets 31-28, same spot – The Jets may have been one of the Browns’ last chances to get a win this season. Their best hope now is playing good combined with an emotional letdown by a superior team.

NFL Power Rankings Week 8, 2016

eagles-vs-vikingsThe Minnesota Vikings put their undefeated record on the line against a Philadelphia Eagles team that had lost two consecutive games. And the Vikings lost 21-10, leaving no unbeaten teams this season.

See where Minnesota falls in our Week 8 power rankings. Also, take a look at our Week 7 rankings here.

1. New England Patriots (6-1); beat Pittsburgh 27-16, same spot – An average day for Tom Brady, with 222 passing yards and two TDs. But the big number for Brady is that he’s now 9-2 all time against the Steelers.

2. Denver Broncos (5-2); beat Houston 27-9, up 3 spots – The good news for Denver is that they got their offense clicking again and picked up a solid win. The bad news is that CJ Anderson might miss the rest of the year.

3. Seattle Seahawks (4-1-1); tied Arizona 6-6, same spot – Stephen Hauschka has had some kicking troubles the past couple weeks, missing a short overtime field goal that would’ve won this game. But then again, Arizona’s Chandler Catanzaro also missed a potential game winner.

4. Dallas Cowboys (5-1); bye week, same spot – The Dak Prescott/Tony Romo controversy looms as the latter is getting healthy. But if Prescott plays well against Philadelphia, he could keep the starting job all season.

5. Minnesota Vikings (5-1); lost to Philadelphia 21-10, down 3 spots – It was definitely a forgettable day for Sam Bradford, who was sacked six times en route to giving up 3 turnovers.

Carson Palmer6. Arizona Cardinals (3-3-1); tied Seattle 6-6, up 1 spot – Statistically, Arizona dominated this game, with Carson Palmer racking up 342 passing yards and David Johnson running for 113 yards. But they just couldn’t punch any of their offense in for scores.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3); lost to New England 27-16, down 1 spot – Since coming of suspension, Le’Veon Bell has provided almost 40% of the Steelers’ offense. With Ben Roethlisberger out for several more weeks, expect to see plenty more Bell.

8. Kansas City Chiefs (4-2); beat New Orleans 27-21, up 1 spot – Jamaal Charles suffered a setback with his knee, making Spencer Ware the unquestioned centerpiece of this offense.

9. Green Bay Packers (4-2); beat Chicago 26-10, down 1 spot – Chicago looks like the team that everybody will get bounce-back performances against in 2016. Green Bay suffered a tough loss to Dallas last week, but is still in good shape after this dominating game.

10. Atlanta Falcons (4-3); lost to San Diego 33-30 (OT), down 1 spot – Is this 2016 all over again? Atlanta started off 6-2 last season, only to finish 8-8. This year the Falcons started 4-1, but have since lost two straight.

amari-cooper-raiders11. Oakland Raiders (5-2); beat Jacksonville 33-16, up 1 spot – With a 5-2 record, strong defense, and high-powered offense, this Oakland team looks to be for real.

12. Philadelphia Eagles (4-2); beat Minnesota 21-10, up 3 spots – Philadelphia’s defense was excellent against Minnesota, getting 6 sacks and forcing 3 turnovers.

13. Buffalo Bills (4-3); lost to Miami 28-25, down 3 spots – On paper, this looked like it could be another win for Buffalo. But their normally strong defense was gashed by Jay Ajayi.

14. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4); beat Cleveland 31-17, up 1 spot – Cincinnati started this year off poorly. But with a 3-4 record, it’s not too late to make the postseason for the seventh straight year.

15. Washington Redskins (4-3); lost to Detroit 20-17, down 2 spots
 – Kirk Cousins’ touchdown pass with 1:05 left looked like it could propel Washington to their fifth-straight win. But a late Lions’ drive erased this thought.

16. New York Giants (4-3); beat LA 17-10, same spot – This wasn’t the Giants’ greatest offensive performance, but they got four interceptions to pull away.

anquan-boldin-lions17. Detroit Lions (4-3); beat Washington 20-17, up 1 spot – At age 36, Anquan Boldin proved that he still has it by scoring the game-winning TD with 16 seconds left.

18. Houston Texans (4-3); lost to Denver 27-9, down 1 spot – With just 131 passing yards on 41 attempts, Brock Osweiler is being heavily questioned about leaving Denver for Texas.

19. Indianapolis Colts (3-4); beat Tennessee 34-26, up 1 spot – Despite a subpar O-line, Andrew Luck continues to impress, racking up 353 yards and 3 touchdowns in this game.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3); beat San Francisco 34-17, up 4 spots – Written off after another dismal 1-3 start, Tampa Bay has climbed back to .500 with wins over Carolina and the Niners.

21. Baltimore Ravens (3-4); lost to NY Jets 24-16, down 2 spots
 – Baltimore has now lost four straight contests after beginning the year 3-0.

22. Miami Dolphins (3-4); beat Buffalo 28-25, up 3 spots – Jay Ajayi ran himself into the record books last weekend, becoming just the fourth player to post back-to-back 200-yard rushing performances.

23. LA Rams (3-4); lost to NY Giants 17-10, down 2 spots – Case Keenum followed up a great performance with a terrible one against New York. The pressure is on Jeff Fisher to start rookie Jared Goff.

philip-rivers24. San Diego Chargers (3-4); beat Atlanta 33-30 (OT), up 4 spots – San Diego was involved in yet another close contest, finishing on the right side of this one.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4); lost to Oakland 33-16, down 3 spots – Blake Bortles has been labeled as nothing more than a garbage-time quarterback, and he’s done little to dissuade that notion in 2016.

26. Tennessee Titans (3-4); lost to Indianapolis 34-26, down 3 spots – Tennessee can leap over Jacksonville in our rankings if they beat them tonight.

27. New York Jets (2-5); beat Baltimore 24-16, up 2 spots – Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t have to sit on the bench long since he came in for the injured Geno Smith and threw for 120 yards and a score.

28. New Orleans Saints (2-5); lost to Kansas City 27-21, down 1 spot – New Orleans was playing catch-up the entire time in this contest, running out of time at the end.

29. Carolina Panthers (1-5); bye week, down 1 spot – The once-proud Carolina will try to revive their season against Arizona this week.

30. Chicago Bears (1-6); lost to Green Bay 26-10, same spot – Things aren’t about to get any better in Chicago, with rumors about coach John Fox saying he’s “done” with Jay Cutler.

31. San Francisco (1-6); lost to Buffalo 45-16, same spot – Colin Kaepernick again struggled, throwing for just 143 yards and turning the ball over twice. He looks long removed from the 2012 and ’13 seasons, when he led San Francisco deep in the playoffs.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-7); lost to Cincinnati 31-17, same spot – Cody Kessler took a hard hit in the second quarter, leaving the way for undrafted rookie Kevin Hogan to play. Josh McCown will start this weekend, making him the sixth Browns QB to suit up in seven games.

NFL Power Rankings for Week 8 (Oct. 24, 2014)

peyton-manning1. Denver Broncos (6-1); beat San Diego 35-21 (Thursday), retains same ranking – Denver took care of business in a showdown between two of the league’s top teams, once again solidifying their top ranking.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (5-1); bye week, moves up two spots – Everybody looks at this team as an offensive unit first. However, their special teams are really doing the job with seven TDs this year.

3. Dallas Cowboys (6-1); beat NY Giants 31-21, moves up six spots – DeMarco Murray is now the only running back in NFL history to start the season with seven 100-yard rushing efforts. Expect #8 against Oakland this weekend.

4. San Diego Chargers (5-2); lost to Denver 35-21 (Thursday), drops two spots – A loss at Denver certainly doesn’t put a grim prospect on the rest of a bright season.

carson-palmer-arizona5. Arizona Cardinals (5-1); beat Oakland 24-13, moves up one spot – Arizona is off to their best start since 1976 while Carson Palmer finally looks to have moved past his nagging shoulder problem.

6. Indianapolis Colts (5-2); beat Cincinnati 27-0, moves up one spot – The Indy defense has destroyed teams on third down, holding them to a 16% conversion rate and a QBR of 3.

7. San Francisco 49ers (4-3); lost to Denver 42-17, drops three spots – Injuries have decimated the Niners defense, and they had no shot against Denver’s outstanding offense.

8. New England Patriots (4-2); beat NY Jets 27-25, retains same ranking – Tom Brady is 3-0 against the Bears in his career, and he’d like to keep that streak going this Sunday.

9. Green Bay Packers (5-2); beat Carolina 38-17, moves up one spot – Aaron Rodgers has thrown for 3 TD’s and no interceptions in four straight games, a historical mark he shares with Brady.

10. Seattle Seahawks (3-3); lost to St. Louis 28-26, drops six spots – The Seattle defensive pressure just isn’t what it was last season, and they’ve lost two straight games.

11. Detroit Lions (5-2); beat New Orleans 24-23, moves up one spot – Detroit finally found itself in the last few minutes against the Saints. The win helps them keep pace with Green Bay for the NFC North lead.

12. Baltimore Ravens (5-2); beat Atlanta 29-7, moves up one spot – Baltimore just keeps blowing teams out, as their league-leading 12.7 points margin per game stat suggests.

aj-green-football13. Cincinnati Bengals (3-2-1); lost to Indianapolis 27-0, drops two spots – How much difference does A.J. Green make on offense? Cincinnati failed to get a first down on their first eight drives.

14. Kansas City Chiefs (3-3); beat San Diego 23-20, moves up six spots – We were hard on the Chiefs early in the season. But they definitely look to move up with upcoming games against the Rams (2-4) and Jets (1-6).

15. Miami Dolphins (3-3); beat Chicago 27-14, moves up three spots – Ryan Tannehill has had some of the best games of his career lately. He looks to continue the good times against the Jaguars’ league-worst pass defense.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3); beat Houston 30-23, NR – Last Monday’s game against Houston got off to a rough start for Pittsburgh. However, they scored 3 TD’s in under two minutes to change everything.

anthony-dixon-bills17. Buffalo Bills (4-3); beat Minnesota 17-16, moves up two spots – The record looks good, but Buffalo will have some struggles replacing the injured Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller.

18. Chicago Bears (3-4); lost to Miami 27-14, drops five spots – A painful home loss to the Dolphins was followed by a locker room shouting match. Is it too late for the Bears?

19. Carolina Panthers (3-3-1); lost to Green Bay 38-17, drops four spots – Carolina has given up 24 touchdowns this year – more than any other team. Furthermore, it’s three more than they surrendered all of last season.

20. Cleveland Browns (3-3); lost to Jacksonville 24-6, drops three spots – At least Cleveland faces Oakland (0-6) to try and bounce back from losing to another one of the league’s worst teams.

NFL Power Rankings for Week 8 (Oct. 22nd, 2013)

jamaal-charlesOne obvious question to ask at this point in the NFL season is this: who’d have thought that after eight weeks, the Kansas City Chiefs would be the lone unbeaten team? This year’s biggest surprise team not only leads a very tough AFC West, but also the entire league. Their rival, the Denver Broncos, lost a close road game against the Colts in Peyton Manning’s spoiled homecoming. This loss has no doubt impacted the power rankings, which you can see below.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (7-0); beat Houston 17-16, moves up one spot – Many people still harp on how the Chiefs can’t be number one due to Alex Smith’s inability to throw downfield. And while we were in that boat earlier, it’s hard to keep doubting KC when they continue winning. We’ll see if they can keep up the incredible season as they soon get into the meat of their schedule.

2. Denver Broncos (6-1); lost to Indianapolis 39-33, drops one spot – The return of Von Miller wasn’t enough to spark a better defensive effort. And despite throwing for 386 yards, 3 TD’s and 1 INT, Manning wasn’t able to engineer a rally with two backup offensive tackles in the lineup. This loss by no means discredits the Broncos, though.

3. Seattle Seahawks (6-1); beat Arizona 34-22, moves up one spot – Russell Wilson finally came alive after throwing for 235 yards and three TD’s. And the defense has always been alive, as evidenced by the seven sacks they tallied on Carson Palmer.

4. New Orleans Saints (6-1); bye week, drops one spot – This isn’t the first time that the Seahawks and Saints have flip-flopped in our rankings. And it won’t be the last since these teams are so evenly matched.

5. Indianapolis Colts (5-2); beat Denver 39-39, moves up four spots – The Colts make andrew-lucka big leap after grabbing yet another win over a tough opponent. They lay claim to victories over Denver, Seattle (road) and San Francisco (road). And all of this coming despite a lack of a running game.

6. San Francisco (5-2); beat Tennessee 31-17, retains same ranking – San Francisco spoiled Jake Locker’s return to the Tennessee lineup by jumping out to a 17-0 lead. From then on, it was pretty much over since the Niners are great at running the ball and controlling the clock.

7. Green Bay Packers (4-2); beat Cleveland 31-13, moves up one spot – The injuries are mounting on Green Bay, but it hasn’t slowed them down. This time, Jarrett Boykin stepped in and grabbed eight passes for 103 yards and a touchdown.

8. New England Patriots (5-2); lost to New York Jets 30-27 (OT), drops three spots – New England picked up their second loss following a controversial unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Chris Jones. He violated a new rule that states you can’t push teammates into the offensive line, which gave Nick Foles a second chance to kick a game-winning field goal.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2); beat Detroit 27-24, moves up one spot – Andy Dalton had his best game of the season after throwing for 372 yards and three touchdowns. He’s finally starting to utilize his weapons, which means the Bengals could continue rising.

10. Dallas Cowboys (4-3); beat Philadelphia 17-3, moves up two spots – The Cowboys are looking like the cream of the crop in the NFC East, which isn’t saying a whole lot. However, you do have to give them credit for winning without both DeMarco Murray and DeMarcus Ware.

11. San Diego Chargers (4-3); beat Jacksonville 24-6, moves up four spots – We philip-riversrealize that a victory over Jacksonville doesn’t necessarily justify moving up this far. But San Diego has been a pretty good offensive team this year, and none of the teams immediately in front of them looked too good.

12. Detroit Lions (4-3); lost to Cincinnati 27-24, drops one spot – As long as Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson stay healthy, the Lions won’t have a problem filling up the box score. Unfortunately, their defense keeps allowing opponents to fill up the box score as well.

13. Chicago Bears (4-3); lost to Washington 44-41, drops five spots – As if an upset loss to Washington isn’t bad enough, the Bears will also be missing Jay Cutler (groin) for four weeks or more. Add in the fact that Chicago travels to Green Bay this week and their freefall may continue.

14. Miami Dolphins (3-3); lost to Buffalo 23-21, drops one spot – The Dolphins got off to a terrible start after a Nickell Robey interception return made the score 14-0. From here, it was all about playing catch-up, which Miami did after taking the lead. However, Mario Williams came up big by forcing a Ryan Tannehill fumble and setting up a game-winning field goal for the Bills.

15. New York Jets (4-3); beat New England 30-27 (OT), moves up six spots – Aside from the Chiefs, New York may be the second biggest surprise team. Most people expected them to be terrible; however, they’ve been very competitive and are actually in the playoff hunt.

16. Baltimore Ravens (3-4); lost to Pittsburgh 19-16, drops two spots – After starting the year with a 3-1 record, the Ravens have gone 1-3 and are averaging less than 20 PPG during this span. Baltimore isn’t out of the AFC North race yet, though, since they have the Bengals coming up in a couple of weeks.

17. Arizona Cardinals (3-4); lost to Seattle 34-22, drops one spot – It’s little surprise that Arizona couldn’t come up with a win against a very tough Seattle team. But sooner or later, they have to start reaching up for victories if they want to be a playoff contender.

18. Atlanta Falcons (2-4); beat Tampa Bay 31-23, moves up five spots – With Julio harry-douglasJones done for the season and Roddy White out for this game, Harry Douglas filled their shoes masterfully by catching seven passes for 149 yards and a TD.

19. Carolina Panthers (3-4); beat Saint Louis 30-15, moves up four spots – The Panthers are taking advantage of a soft spot in their schedule and saving Ron Rivera’s job in the process. They have another very winnable game at Tampa Bay before things heat up again.

20. Tennessee Titans (3-4); lost to San Francisco 31-17, drops three spots – Tennessee was thoroughly dominated at home, but the score made this game look closer than it was. The Titans didn’t score until the fourth quarter, when Locker threw a couple of TD passes.

21. Cleveland Browns (3-4); lost to Green Bay 31-13, drops three spots – Just two weeks ago, the Browns were riding high and tied for first in their division. Now, they’re two games out of first and Brandon Weeden is their quarterback again.

22. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4); lost to Dallas 17-3, drops three spots – It’s amazing how big a difference a week can make. Before this game, many believed that it was Nick Foles time to take the reigns in Philly. But after his anemic performance, before leaving the game with a concussion, Eagles fans can’t wait for a healthy Michael Vick.

23. Washington Redskins (2-4); beat Chicago 44-41 moves up two spots – Washington grabbed a much-needed win by taking down the Bears at home. But the celebration may not last long since this porous defense will be subjected to the Broncos and Chargers in the coming weeks.

24. Houston Texans (2-5); lost to Kansas City 17-16, drops four spots – Case case-keenumKeenum (271 yards, 1 TD) did surprisingly well for being on the road against a tough Kansas City defense. However, it wasn’t enough to prevent Houston’s season from falling even further down the tubes.

25. Buffalo Bills (3-4); beat Miami 23-21, moves up three spots – The Bills deserve a round of applause for beating a solid team on the road, despite a hobbled CJ Spiller and their starting QB still being out. But they face two rough upcoming matchups against the Saints and Chiefs.

26. Oakland Raiders (2-4); bye week, retains same ranking – Oakland comes out of the bye week with a chance to really establish themselves in home games against Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

27. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4); beat Baltimore 19-16, moves up two spots – Are we seeing a resurgence in Pittsburgh? Or just a subpar team collecting a couple of wins? This week’s contest against the Raiders will go a long ways towards answering these questions.

28. New York Giants (1-6); beat Minnesota 23-7, moves up three spots – It wasn’t pretty, but the Giants finally got their first win of the season. With games against Philadelphia and Oakland coming up, the Giants could possibly get another win or two before playing Green Bay at home.

29. Saint Louis Rams (3-4); lost to Carolina 30-15, drops five spots – Any slim playoff hopes that the Rams had disappeared with Sam Bradford’s season-ending injury. Rookie RB Zac Stacy provides a nice spark, but it’s not going to be enough this year.

30. Minnesota Vikings (1-5); lost to New York Giants 23-7, drops three spots – Anybody watching this game had to feel sorry for Josh Freeman. Just two weeks after being traded, he threw 53 passes in an offense that he’s still learning. Was Christian Ponder really so bad that he couldn’t have played one or two more games until Freeman was ready?

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-6); lost to Atlanta 31-23, retains same ranking – With Doug Martin (torn labrum) reportedly done for the season, things only get worse from here.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6); lost to San Diego 24-6, retains same ranking – A week after challenging the Broncos through three quarters, Jacksonville took a step back in this performance.