By Conor Perrett

With four weeks left in the regular season, we enter the final stretch as teams start to push for playoff glory or prepare themselves for the off-season ahead.

We have movement at the top of our rankings with contenders swapping for positions and welcome some new names into the battle of the top-10 with a late season resurgence. 

So without further ado let’s rank all 32 teams.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (12-1)

Last Week – 1st

It’s been a special year for the Eagles on both sides of the ball. The offence has set a team record for rushing touchdowns in a season with 27, and Jalen Hurts is leading the way for the MVP conversation. The defence also leads the league in takeaways, as right now there’s no other team that can compete to the level of Philadelphia on both sides.

Up next: at Chicago, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT

2. Kansas City Chiefs (10-3)

Last Week – 2nd

The Chiefs have been the best offensive team all season and they continued to show why they deserve that title, when they scored 34 points against a very good Broncos defence. 

This team may lack the explosive playmakers like they once had, but they remain  an unstoppable force. With the No. 1 seed still up in the air in the AFC, Kansas will have work to do to secure that top placement if they want a rest week before the playoffs begin.

Up next: at Houston, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT

3. Buffalo Bills (10-3)

Last Week – 3rd

Entering the season Buffalo looked to be the team to beat, but has slowly fizzled down with impactful injuries getting the better of them. They still remain to be one of the elite teams, but the loss of some defensive playmakers have caused them to be a bit less fearful. 

A dominant run game has also been this team’s kryptonite for years, as the weight of the offence remains on Josh Allen’s shoulders despite clearly not being 100% healthy with his elbow injury.

Up next: vs. Miami, Sunday 1:15 a.m. GMT

4. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4)

Last Week – 5th

Cincinnati have had no easy path over the past few weeks, but they have stepped up to the challenge. It’s put them in a position to repeat their success of last year, with them hoping they can go one step further this time round. The defence is back to playing to the levels we saw from them earlier in the season, while the offence is also back to the top of their game. 

Getting through the AFC won’t be easy, but for casual fans that want to see great football. A conference with young quarterbacks that includes Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson, Trevor Lawrence and Tua Tagovailoa will be fun for many years to come.

Up next: at Tampa Bay, Sunday 9:25 p.m. GMT

5. San Francisco 49ers (9-4)

Last Week – 6th

The Niners had their best win of the season last week but we mentioned how the loss of their second starting quarterback could hinder their title hopes. 

Well, their battling of the Buccaneers on Sunday showed that it doesn’t matter who’s at QB when Kyle Shanahan is running the offence. San Fran continued to look dominant on defence and the offence shined with Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy at the helm. 

The Deebo Samuel injury also seemed to look far worse than it actually was, with him expected to be back when the playoffs roll around.

Up next: at Seattle, Friday 1:15 a.m. GMT

6. Dallas Cowboys (10-3)

Last Week – 4th

Dallas find themselves down two spots this week, after they made hard work of a poor Texans team. They entered the game as 17 point favourites, but only led in the last minute when they scored the winning touchdown in a two-minute drill. 

At the end of the day a win is a win, but with the spots at the top here so close between teams, any disappointing performance this late into the season will cause movement in the rankings. 

Up next: at Jacksonville, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT

7. Miami Dolphins (8-5)

Last Week – 7th

Miami’s season has been full of inconsistencies and they find themselves currently on the bad end of the stick, on a two-game losing streak. 

I mentioned last week that the Dolphins can’t let the blueprint San Francisco put out the previous week continue to happen in the following weeks. It seemed the Chargers used that to their advantage in their win this week and they probably won’t be the last. 

I still view Miami as a contender, but in a league where coaches have to learn and adapt, that saying couldn’t be said any louder to Mike McDaniel right now.

Up next: at Buffalo, Sunday 1:15 a.m. GMT

8. Baltimore Ravens (9-4)

Last Week – 9th

The Ravens emerged victorious from a matchup with the Steelers that saw both starting quarterbacks knocked out of the game. The defence has improved drastically over the last few months but until they get Lamar Jackson back at the helm, Baltimore won’t be contending for any Super Bowls.

Up next: at Cleveland, Saturday 9:30 p.m. GMT

9. Minnesota Vikings (10-3)

Last Week – 8th

The division title still looks firmly set in place for the Vikings, but their loss to the Lions this week was a surprisingly expected one. Kirk Cousins looks comfortable in this new system and gets to throw to one of the best receivers in the league, but the defence is at rock bottom right now. The Vikings have given up over 400 yards for the fifth consecutive game and were finally on the other side of a shootout. 

For everyone who has watched them or looked at the stats which shows this team is bang average, it won’t come as a surprise. But with a favourable schedule ahead for Minnesota, don’t be surprised to see them with one of the best records and amongst the league leaders still.  

Up next: vs. Indianapolis, Saturday 6 p.m. GMT

10. Washington Commanders (7-5-1)

Last Week – 12th

Despite having the week off, Washington find themselves in the top-10 for the first time this season thanks to other teams’ misfortunes. They are about to get Chase Young back now.

Up next: vs. New York Giants, Monday 1:20 a.m. GMT

11. Detroit Lions (6-7)

Last Week – 14th

Can I rank a team in the top-11 when there’s a chance they don’t make the playoff? You bet your bottom dollar I will if that’s how they’re playing.

With five wins in their last six games, the Lions are one of the hottest teams in the league right now, with everything coming together for them towards the end of the season. The offence is winning in whatever way they want to, while the defence has seen a vast improvement from their league worst performances earlier in the season.  

With their last four games being @ Jets, @ Panthers, Bears and @ Packers, it’s the fourth easiest schedule remaining according to PFF and Detroit would have to win three of those four if results went their way to make the postseason. It’s a very doable task for a team that could cause some upsets amongst the NFC, if they carry on their recent form.

Up next: at New York Jets, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT

12. New York Jets (7-6)

Last Week – 13th

As impressive and gutsy as Mike White has been, himself and the Jets took one hell of a beating against the Bills this past Sunday. The defence has seen a massive improvement with a new and improved secondary, led by cornerbacks Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed. But the same can’t be said for the offence. That side of the ball has been holding them back all season, rankings 26th in EPA per drive. 

The rotations at quarterback and offensive tackle is a big factor for that and it may be the reason for them not making the playoffs for a 12th consecutive year. 

Up next: vs. Detroit, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT

13. Los Angeles Chargers (7-6)

Last Week – 18th

Week 14’s game against the Dolphins, was the first this season in which wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams were both available from start to finish. It showed when it came down to the tape as Justin Herbert was able to make the most out of that situation by throwing for 367 yards.

It was a much needed win for this coaching staff in prime time, as they edge ever closer to getting Herbert to the postseason for the first time.

Up next: vs. Tennessee, Sunday 9:25 p.m. GMT

14. Tennessee Titans (7-6)

Last Week – 11th

This Titans stubbornness to build an offence around running the ball is starting to backfire on them. For many years we’ve known this Mike Vrabel team to out physical opponents into wins. It came with great success but is slowly dying out now. 

Ryan Tannehill is not a good enough quarterback to get you success in the postseason and more of an effort needs to be put in to acquire pass catchers. There is no ‘Plan B’ for when the run doesn’t work, leading to an offence that equivalates to watching paint dry.

Up next: at Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday 9:25 p.m. GMT

15. New England Patriots (7-6)

Last Week – 15th

The Patriots offence ranks about last in the majority of offensive stats and it has contributed to them being unable to complement the defence and special teams. This of which, has ranked on the better side being the best defence in the league, per EPA per drive. 

The Patriots are in no easy division but the playoffs aren’t completely out of play. For them to make a statement though the offence has got to improve, and that feels like it should start with the play calling duties.

Up next: at Las Vegas, Sunday 9:05 p.m. GMT

16. Seattle Seahawks (7-6)

Last Week – 10th

Things might be slipping away for Geno Smith and the Seahawks, who could be staring at a 7-9 record unless they find a way to win one of their next three games against the 49ers, Chiefs or Jets. This team looked extremely promising at the start of the season but with one win in their last four games, it’s been downhill since.

Up next: vs. San Francisco, Friday 1:15 a.m. GMT

17. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-8)

Last Week – 23rd

It’s been a while since the Jaguars have had an offence that ranked in the top half of the league and it’s mainly because of how well quarterback Trevor Lawrence has played from November on. Since Week 9, he has thrown 10 touchdowns and no interceptions, as he’s finally starting to look like the QB we expected to see out of Clemson. 

Up next: vs. Dallas, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7)

Last Week – 16th

The Buccaneers are averaging less than 17 points per game and it’s some things we’ve never seen from a Tom Brady offence before. To be fair to the GOAT, it doesn’t even feel like his offence. Losing former Head Coach, Bruce Arias is seen to be a bigger miss than expected as the players and coaches are on completely different pages. They somehow remain at the top of the division, but it may not be for long.

Up next: vs. Cincinnati, Sunday 9:25 p.m. GMT

19. New York Giants (7-5-1)

Last Week – 17th

This is the exact kind of worry we had with this Giants team after they started the season 6-1. New York were one of the bigger surprises a few months ago, but now only have one win in their last six games. With a tough set of fixtures remaining, it won’t get any easier but confidence must remain around the organisation. 

A seven win season is still a massive overachievement when you think at where this rebuild is at. Though it’s not going to be a pretty finish to their season, it’s been a successful season regardless for the Giants.

Up next: at Washington, Monday 1:20 a.m. GMT

20. Green Bay Packers (5-8)

Last Week – 20th

By playing on MNF and coming off a bye week, Green Bay will have had over two weeks of preparation for their game against the Rams. You would hope with all that time they won’t let a Baker Mayfield comeback happen again.

Up next: vs. Los Angeles Rams, Tuesday 1:15 a.m. GMT

21. Carolina Panthers (5-8)

Last Week – 26th

The Panthers have found a lot more success since interim head coach Steve Wilks took over and committed to a running game. They’ve averaged 155 rushing yards per game and scored 10 rushing touchdowns in their past seven games, a big reason they are 4-4 under the spell of  Wilks.

On defence and special teams, the Panthers are about where they should be with their young players starting to flourish in those two phases of play.

Up next: vs. Pittsburgh, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT

22. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-8)

Last Week – 22nd

Kenny Pickett suffered a concussion in the first quarter of Sunday’s game and in familiar fashion Mitchell Trubisky threw three interceptions in his absence. It feels like a lost season for Pittsburgh as they wait to see if some of their rookies can progress into the past great like they once had. 

What may be the most worrying is the Steeler defence. That unit is the most expensive unit in the NFL, yet ranks 26th in EPA per drive.

Up next: at Carolina, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT

23. Cleveland Browns (5-8)

Last Week – 19th

Offensively, the Browns have fallen apart since their bye with injuries along the offensive line hurting the running game. QB Deshaun Watson also hasn’t hit the heights that were expected of him. He’s led just one offensive TD in two games as it’s been a lousy start to his Browns’ career. In that span Watson ranks 31st in EPA per drive and last in offensive points per game.

Up next: vs. Baltimore, Saturday 9:30 p.m. GMT

24. Las Vegas Raiders (5-8)

Last Week – 21st

As the Raiders try and recover from their ever-too-familiar loss to the Rams this past Thursday night, they have ‘their Super Bowl’ this week when Josh McDaniels faces his old team. 

Las Vegas has now lost three games in which they led by 17 points and that doesn’t even include the melt down they just had on TNF. This team wants to fight for the playoffs and if they could finish games they could be. The sad truth though is that it comes down to the mentality of the Raiders. A well drilled team would never let that happen and the fact we’ve seen it from them multiple times now is not a good look at all.

Up next: vs. New England, Sunday 9:05 p.m. GMT

25. Atlanta Falcons (5-8)

Last Week – 24th

Atlanta finds themselves all the way down here, but their playoff hopes are still alive by just being one game behind in a horrible NFC South division. With rookie QB Desmond Ridder getting his first taste of NFL action this week, who knows if the Falcons can be playing meaningful games deep in December.

Up next: at New Orleans, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT

26. Arizona Cardinals (4-9)

Last Week – 25th

Kyler Murray left the game after three plays on Monday night with a non-contact injury that ended up being an ACL tear. The injury will finish Murray’s season and end a pretty miserable season for him. The future of Arizona looks misty with the head coach and QB getting new contracts less than a year ago, but an underwhelming season has caused questions to be asked. 

Up next: at Denver, Sunday 9:05 p.m. GMT

27. New Orleans Saints (4-9)

Last Week – 27th

Similar to their opponents this week, the Saints had the bye week to prepare for things. With a division that is still up for grabs, every game is still important in New Orleans.

Up next: vs. Atlanta, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT

28. Denver Broncos (3-9)

Last Week – 31st

Now it’s no secret I’ve been critical of this Denver team, so it may come as a surprise to them to move up three spots despite losing this week. My reasoning for this is they did actually what I needed to see out of them. Yes this defence did just give up 34 points, but it was to one the best offences in the league and my opinion of them being an elite defence won’t change from that. 

The fact their offence scored 28 points was the spark we’ve been waiting to see all season now. It’s a step in the right direction and if their offence can keep that up for the last month of the season, they will win a few more games. 

Up next: vs. Arizona, Sunday 9:05 p.m. GMT

29. Los Angeles Rams (4-9)

Last Week – 30th

Just two days after being picked up by the Rams, Baker Mayfield led an eight-play, 98-yard, game-winning touchdown drive using zero timeouts in the final 1:45 against the Raiders on TNF. Tom Brady blew the NFL world away when he did it last week, but Baker’s cover of the task was just a little bit more impressive.

The question now is whether this was a wild one-off NFL game to remember, or is it what the 2022 Los Angeles Rams actually are.

Up next: at Green Bay, Tuesday 1:15 a.m. GMT

30. Indianapolis Colts (4-8-1)

Last Week – 28th

The Colts have had a lot of time to think about that fourth quarter in Dallas . The offence has been the biggest issue with this team, as they are fundamentally bad on offence with the worst pass-block win rate in the league.

Up next: at Minnesota, Saturday 6 p.m. GMT

31. Chicago Bears (3-10)

Last Week – 29th

The Bear’s season has been heading towards a downhill swirl over the last month, with injuries starting to pile up on an already lacklustre roster. The off-season for Chicago looks promising, but this new regime still needs to prove to the league they are capable of turning the glimmers of success into consistent wins.

Up next: vs. Philadelphia, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT

32. Houston Texans (1-11-1)

Last Week – 32nd

The main reason for the Texans’ poor offensive output is their quarterback play, which is one of the worst in the league. Houston quarterbacks have a passer rating of 75.7, the lowest in the NFL, and have thrown 16 interceptions. For this season there’s nothing they really can do about that now, but they might be able to change that with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft early next year.

Up next: vs. Kansas City, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s