Strike 7 Elite: NFL Power Rankings 1-10
1. Eagles: 12-1
It was another easy day at work for the Philadelphia Eagles. They dropped 48 points on the New York Giants in Sunday’s matchup. Quarterback Jalen Hurts the frontrunner to win the league’s Most Valuable Player Award. He threw two touchdown passes and ran for another. He became the first quarterback in league history to rush for at least ten touchdowns in consecutive seasons. His teammate Myles Sanders had another big day on the ground when he rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Philly also became the first team to clinch a playoff berth this season. The next goal on the agenda will be to secure home-field advantage.
2. Cowboys: 10-3
The Dallas Cowboys was on the verge of losing to the 1-10 Houston Texans until a comeback in the second half avoided the biggest upset of the season. Dak Prescott led the Cowboys on a 98-yard drive that resulted in a short touchdown run by Ezekiel Elliot with 41 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
3. Bills: 10-3 (Previous Ranking 4th)
The Bills inched closer to securing the AFC East when they defeated the New York Jets at home 20-12. Buffalo’s defense combined for four sacks, forced two turnovers and clinched a 20-12 win by having Jets QB Mike White turn the ball over on downs by throwing four straight incompletions — the last batted down by A.J. Epenesa.
4. Bengals: 9-4 (Previous Ranking 5th)
When the Bengals lost to the Cleveland Browns 32-13 in Week 8, many football pundits wanted to push the panic button. From that game forward, they have five-straight games. The Bengals were able to take advantage of a Browns team that has rusty Deshaun Watson under center. Cincinnati won 23-13 over Cleveland and remained within reach of taking over the AFC North.
5. 49ers: 9-4 (Previous Ranking 6th)
Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy continues to look relevant as the 49ers’ starting QB. In our game-of-the-week prediction post, the score would be much closer between the Bucs and the Niners. But when the actual game was played, it was an entirely different outcome. San Francisco blew past the Bucs 35-7. The game was over in the second quarter. Purdy had another solid outing by completing 16 out of 21 passes, 185 yards, and two touchdowns. Running back Christian McCaffrey ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns. One through the air and one on the ground.
6. Chiefs: 10-3 (Previous Ranking 7th)
Before the season, the Chiefs versus Broncos matchup was being hyped as a potential game that could determine who is the top team in the division. Fast forward to Week 14 and its an entirely different landscape. The game was flexed out of it’s primetime slot on NBC and was replaced with the Dolphins versus Chargers matchup. However, the game was still competitive. Kansas City survived a late fourth quarter scare from the Broncos by winning 34-28. Patrick Mahomes threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns, including a no-look hook pass on one of Jerick McKinnon‘s two TD scores.
7. Vikings: 10-3 (Previous Ranking 3rd)
The Minnesota Vikings are lucky that the Detroit Lions are surging right now instead of at the start of the season. Because if they did, it would be a two team race for the NFC North. Minnesota could not pull of another late game heroic when they lost to the Lions on Sunday. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson continues to show why he is the best at the position right now. The former LSU Tiger caught 11 passes for 223 yards.
8. Ravens: 9-4
The Baltimore Ravens was able to squeak out another close victory when they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, the injury bug continues to hit the team as they suffered another injury to the quarterback position. Backup QB, Tyler Huntley left the game with a concussion that occurred in the fourth quarter. Rookie Anthony Brown finished out the game at quarterback as the Ravens (9-4) remained atop the AFC North and ended a four-game losing streak to the rival Steelers. Head coach John Harbaugh is confident that Huntley will be ready to play in next week’s game against the Cleveland Browns. “Listen, I can’t speak on it, but he seems good to me,” Harbaugh said. “He’s reciting the months of the year backwards. Can you do that right now?”
9. Dolphins: 8-5
In last week’s power rankings post, I stated that the Dolphins would either sink or swim in the next two weeks. As of right now, they are falling. Despite keeping the game close with the Los Angeles Chargers, Miami could not capitalize on the opportunities that were presented to them. Up next is the rematch with the Buffalo Bills. Miami is currently the sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture.
10. Commanders: 7-5-1 (Previous Ranking 12th)
The Washington Commanders were on a bye in Week 14. They return to action this Sunday against the New York Giants. The last time these two teams faced each other, the game concluded in a tie. The Commanders hold the final spot in the NFC playoff picture. They must win the remaining games on their schedule. The Detroit Lions are trending up in the playoff standings, holding the tie-breaker over the Commanders.
Power Rankings 11-20: Second Tier
11. Chargers: 7-6
12. Seahawks: 7-6
13. Lions: 6-7
14. Titans: 7-6
15. Giants: 7-5-1
16. Jets: 7-6
17. Patriots: 6-6
18. Buccaneers: 6-7
19. Panthers: 5-8
20. Jaguars: 5-8
Power Rankings 21-32: Bottom Tier
21. Steelers: 5-8
22. Browns: 5-8
23. Packers: 5-8
24. Raiders: 5-8
25. Falcons: 5-8
26. Colts: 4-8-1
27. Cardinals: 4-8
28. Rams: 4-9
29. Saints: 4-9
30. Broncos: 3-10
31. Bears: 3-10
32. Texans: 1-11
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