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NFL Power Rankings: Dolphins take control of the AFC East

NFL Power Rankings: Week 11
Photo courtesy of USA Today.

NFL Top 15 Team Power Rankings: Week 11

1. Vikings: (8-1) Previous Ranking 2nd

The Minnesota Vikings are now the number one ranked team in our weekly top 15 team power rankings poll. They went on the road and took down a Buffalo Bills team that looked unbeatable at home. The drama unfolded late in the fourth quarter when Kirk Cousins connected with wide receiver Justin Jefferson on a pass that would allow them to continue their fourth-quarter comeback. They were able to get deep into Bills territory but could not follow through with a touchdown score.

Buffalo would take over on downs but fumbled the ball in their endzone. Minnesota recovered and took the lead 30-27, but Buffalo responded with a 29-yard field goal attempt by kicker Tyler Bass. The game went into overtime, where the Vikings settled for a field goal and intercepted Josh Allen, which would seal the victory. Jefferson finished the day with a career-high 193 receiving yards.

2. Eagles: (8-1) Previous Ranking 1st

The Eagles’ undefeated season has ended after a controversial call that allowed their opponent, the Washington Commanders, to keep the football and control time of possession. However, on numerous occasions, Washington allowed the Eagles to get back into the game. But they failed to take advantage. Did the Commanders provide a blueprint on how to take down the Eagles? We shall find out soon. The Colts, Packers, Titans, and Giants are their next four opponents. Three out of the four teams mentioned have solid running attacks.

3. Chiefs: (7-2) 

All the hot takes on the Kansas City Chiefs taking a step back as contenders in the AFC West have died down. Kansas City is now 7-2 and has total division control. With the win over Jacksonville, the Chiefs are now the number-one seed in the AFC playoff picture.

4. Dolphins: (7-3) Previous Ranking 7th

With the Buffalo Bills sliding at home to the Minnesota Vikings, the Miami Dolphins took control of the AFC East. They are also the second seed behind the Kansas Chiefs in the playoff picture. Before the season kicked off, we listed Miami as one of our darkhorse Super Bowl-contending teams. So far, they have not disappointed.

5. Giants: (7-2) Previous Ranking 8th

In the offseason, Giants running back Saquon Barkley stated that he would get back to where he was recognized as one of the league’s best weapons on offense. Lately, he has been doing just that against opposing defenses. In Sunday’s win over Houston, Barkley carried the ball 35 times and rushed for 152 yards and one touchdown. Barkley is now the National Football League’s leading rusher with 931 yards. Up next for the Giants is an interesting matchup against the Detroit Lions.

6. Ravens: (6-3) Previous Ranking 10th

The Baltimore Ravens were on a bye in Week 10. They return to action this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. Following the Panthers, the Ravens’ next opponents are the Jaguars, Broncos, Steelers, Browns, and Falcons. Baltimore can distance itself from the Bengals with victories over the five teams that are mentioned.

7. Titans: (6-3) Previous Ranking 11th

The Titans will most likely run away with the AFC South division. However, is another one-and-done playoff appearance on the horizon? Running back Derrick Henry is off to another fantastic start, but what options on the Titans’ offense can scare opposing defenses? The Titans could face quarterbacks like Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, or Lamar Jackson in the playoffs. They will need contributions outside of the All-Pro running back if they want to be successful against those QBs.

8. Jets: (6-3) Previous Ranking 9th

The New York Jets were on a bye during Week 10. They return to action this Sunday against the New England Patriots. The game could have playoff implications down the stretch.

9. 49ers: (5-4) Previous Ranking 11th

The 49ers are now over .500 after defeating the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 10. However, it was not the type of performance that we witnessed against the Los Angeles Rams. Despite missing multiple starters, the Chargers fought hard against the talent-laden San Fransico roster. The Niners are now in second place behind the Seahawks for control of the NFC West.

10. Cowboys: (6-3) Previous Ranking 4th

The Cowboys may have allowed an opportunity for the Green Bay Packers to save their season. The game was winnable, and Dallas had numerous opportunities to slam the door. But Aaron Rodgers reminded everyone that he is still that guy at quarterback. Dallas had a chance to take the lead in overtime against Green Bay, but they decided to go for it on fourth down. The conversion attempt failed, and Green Bay Packers took over downs. The Packers drove down the field and got deep into Cowboys territory. Mason Crosby kicked a 28-yard field goal that would seal the win for Green Bay. There are blessings and curses when it comes to going for it on the fourth down. You are either a hero or a villain for not taking the three points.

11. Bills: (6-3) Previous Ranking 5th

Buffalo went from potential Super Bowl representatives for the AFC to the sixth seed in the playoff race. They are also a game behind the Miami Dolphins for control of the AFC East. Their downfall shows how fast things can change on a week-to-week basis.

12. Seahawks: (6-4) Previous Ranking 6th

Can the Seahawks maintain the red-hot start we witnessed during the first nine weeks of the season? They fell short in the overseas matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10. They have a relatively light schedule that features opponents such as the Raiders, Rams, and Panthers before the showdown with San Francisco. Those three games will tell us much about where the Seahawks are headed.

13. Bengals: (5-4) Previous Ranking 14th

The Bengals were on a bye during Week 10. They return to action this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

14. Patriots: (5-4) Previous Ranking 15th

The Patriots were on a bye during Week 10. They return to action this week against the New York Jets. The last time New England played against the Jets, they were on the receiving end of a 22-17 defeat.

15. Chargers: (5-4) Previous Ranking

Despite the losing effort, the L.A. Chargers had a strong outing against the San Fransico 49ers. Even though the Chargers were missing multiple starters because of injuries, they remained competitive for a significant portion of last Sunday’s game. However, with every loss, the rumors of Sean Payton becoming the new HC will get louder.

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