Week 13 Power Rankings

By Conor Perrett 

With December soon upon us, things will change down the final stretch of the regular season, but there appear to be about eight real Super Bowl contenders.

The NFL is all starting to heat up with six games remaining to determine the race for playoffs, the draft order and most importantly fantasy leagues around the world. 

Let’s get into the rankings for those eight and the rest of the 32. 

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (9-2)

Last Week – 1st

Another week, and another dominant offensive performance from the Chiefs. Kansas look like they’ve reached full gear and at a good time as well. With only two teams with a winning record remaining on their schedule, they can afford to put one eye forward to the playoffs in January, to get in the best position possible for the AFC No. 1 seed.

The job isn’t finished yet and they’ll have a big test this week against the Bengals, but the bottom line is, no other team is able to consistently move the ball on offence as well as the Chiefs right now.

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

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (10-1)

Last Week – 2nd

After two Eagles-light weeks, the Philly O-line were back to performing at a top level on SNF and dropped 40 points and 363 rushing yards on the Packers. Jalen Hurts and Miles Sanders both set career highs for rushing yards in the game, while the rushing total is good for eighth-most for any team in the Super Bowl era.

The Eagles have a two-game lead over the Cowboys atop of the NFC East, but Dallas is likely to hold a tiebreaker, if it wins the rematch. Philly cant afford to slip up if they want that No. 1 seed in the NFC, so i am looking forward to the Christmas Eve matchup between the two. 

Up next: vs. Tennessee, Sunday 1 p.m. GMT

  1. Miami Dolphins (8-3)

Last Week – 3rd

Miami has a perfect 8-0 record in games started and finished by Tua Tagovailoa, but they haven’t beaten a team with a winning record since Week 3. They have one of the three best offences in the league by most measures, but they now may need to prepare for life without left tackle Terron Armstead for the rest of the regular season.

They look the business right now and we’ll find out how real they are in the next few weeks when they travel to San Francisco, LA for the Chargers and to Buffalo. The offence may be able to keep up with all of them, but there’s still work to be done on the other side of the ball.

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

  1. Buffalo Bills (7-3)

Last Week – 4th

The NFL sometimes works like a revolving door, with former All-Pro corner-back Tre’Davious White returning from injury this week, but Buffalo’s biggest defensive star Von Miller went down with an injury. Bills have a deep pass rush that won’t fold with the loss of one player, but boy is he a good one.  

Miller’s loss comes at a bad time as well, with three straight AFC East games on the horizon for Buffalo. With a division that looks the closest in football and a 0-2 record, a poor return so far in the AFC East, every game is important if they want to win the division and not try their luck on the road through the playoffs.

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

  1. San Francisco 49ers (7-4)

Last Week – 5th

My favourite stat of the week may be the fact the Niners’ defence haven’t allowed a point in the second half since Week 8! 

That’s a whole month of football and Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans should start preparing for vacant head coaching jobs sooner rather than later.

The offence did take a hit this week with an MCL injury to Elijah Mitchell, sidelining him for at least four weeks. But looking at their No. 2 running back Christian McCaffrey, you would think there be fine. 

There’s a lot of great matches this week but 49ers vs Dolphins might be the one that tops it for me. The Kyle Shanahan vs Mike McDaniel, teacher-student matchup will teach us a lot and lucky for us in Ireland and the UK, its not at stupid o’clock.

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

  1. Dallas Cowboys (8-3)

Last Week – 7th

Since Dak Prescott’s return in Week 7, Dallas ranks third in EPA per offensive drive, behind only the Chiefs and Dolphins. Dallas are looking great right now and it’s not just the offence that’s playing great. In that same stretch, Micah Parsons has continued his campaign for DPOY, leading a Cowboys defence that ranks first in quarterback pressure rate and passing yards allowed per game. 

They may have to settle for a wildcard spot if Philly becomes uncatchable, but home or away this team will be a tough matchup for anyone.

Up next: vs. Indianapolis, Monday 1:20 a.m. GMT 

  1. Cincinnati Bengals (7-4)

Last Week – 8th

The top of the NFL is looking more competitive as ever and that’s easy to see when the Bengals are ranked 7th. Their performance on Sunday in Tennessee, was a statement win we needed to see out of them and Joe Burrow said it himself: “This was the type of game that great teams win.”

The Bengals’ defence held Derrick Henry to 38 rushing yards on 17 carries, his second-fewest yards per attempt over the past three seasons. After a bad month on that side of the ball, they came back with a statement to stop the Titans. 

They look like Super Bowl contenders, if they can just make it through their late season gantlet of games against a host of fellow contenders. 

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

  1. Baltimore Ravens (7-4)

Last Week – 6th

After a good few weeks for this Baltimore side, they fell back to their usual fourth quarter self this Sunday, with a late defeat to the Jaguars. 

Using ESPN’S win probability model, the Ravens had at least a 70% to win in all four of their losses during the fourth quarter. As talented as Lamar Jackson is, none of it will matter if the Ravens can’t play good football and close out games in the playoffs.

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

  1. Minnesota Vikings (9-2)

Last Week – 11th

The Vikings had highs and lows on both sides of the ball during their win on Thanksgiving, leaving many questions to be answered about them still. We’ll start at the highs: The Vikings scored 33 points on Thursday against the No. 1 defence in football. New England has been dominant, especially in the pass game, as they got Zach Wilson benched. But Vikings won in that area, as Belichick had no answers to the weapons of Jefferson, Thielen and Hockenson. 

But what comes up must come down, as the Patriots have been horrible on offence yet Mac Jones looked like Tom Brady against the Vikes on Thanksgiving. Even at 9-2 the Vikings are still an unknown quantity and are opening as just three-point favourites at home against Mike White and the Jets.

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

  1. Tennessee Titans (7-4)

Last Week – 9th

The Titans are a real physically tough team but they tend to go as their defence goes because the offence just isn’t the type to get into shootouts. As seen in their 1-4 record in games where they’ve allowed 20 or more points. 

Treylon Burks has been a pleasant surprise of late with 181 receiving yards over the last two weeks, good for best in the league among rookies. But they need more weapons to be more explosive.

Overall Tennessee are a good football team that looks likely to host a playoff game. Such game will not be easy for most teams, but if they are to make a deep run into the postseason the offence will need more about it. Sadly, it’s kind of the reason why they have failed to consistently do that in past seasons as well.

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

  1. Seattle Seahawks (6-5)

Last Week – 10th

The Seahawks had reality hit them this week after a pretty disappointing team performance. In a 40-34 overtime loss to the Raiders, they were out-gained by 204 yards, as the defence showed their early-season selves.

Despite playing a Raiders defence that ranks 32nd in DVOA, Kenneth Walker was held to just 26 rushing yards on 14 carries. With two winning games up next in the Rams and Panthers, Seattle will need to be on their A-game if they hope to keep up with the rest of the teams fighting for a wild-card spot.

Up next: at Los Angeles Rams, Sunday 9:05 p.m. GMT

  1. New York Jets (7-4)

Last Week – 14th

Zach Wilson was benched this week and taking his place, Mike White showed what the Jets can really do. White completed 22 of 28 passes for 315 yards and three touchdowns in the Jets 31-10 win. By EPA per drive, it was the best offensive performance in the league during Week 12 and the Jets best offensive performance since 2020. 

How long Wilson’s benching goes on will be telling to his future in New York, but it seems for now he will continue to stay there.

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

  1. Washington Commanders (7-5)

Last Week – 15th

Washington has been quietly climbing the rankings over the last couple of months with a sneaky 6-1 record across their last seven games. The results have put them in Playoff contention along with the rest of the NFC East. With two games against division rivals Giants over the next three weeks, it will determine the fate of both teams’ seasons, but the Commanders should open as favourites.

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

  1. New England Patriots (6-5)

Last Week – 13th

Much to what we wrote about the Vikings you could reserve that and it would apply to New England. It was great to see Mac Jones set up, but the defence looked nowhere near its usual self. Despite a record over .500 in a tough conference and division nothing is certain for the Patriots. They do have an elite defence going for them, but until Jones shows some consistency they may continue to look from outside into the playoff picture.

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

  1. Los Angeles Chargers (6-5)

Last Week – 16th

After back-to-back weeks with a failed attempt at a late game-winning drive, Justin Herbert finally came through in Sunday’s 25-24 win. Scoring a 1-yard touchdown with 15 seconds remaining put them in an opportunity to tie but Brandon Staley had other ideas. Known for his aggressiveness, Staley went for a 2-point conversion and it paid off. 

With five teams fighting for three spots in the AFC wild-card spots, it will come down to the end, but one thing for sure, Staley and the Chargers can’t afford to be one of the two teams that miss out or he may be looking for another job. 

Up next: at Las Vegas, Sunday 9:25 p.m. GMT

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-6)

Last Week – 12th

Tampa has not had the season we expected and Sunday’s late game collapse against Cleveland has been an all too familiar sight. The good thing though is this team still leads its division and just has to take care of its divisional games if they want to host a playoff game. 

Up next: vs. New Orleans, Monday 1:15 a.m. GMT

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7)

Last Week – 19th

Trevor Lawrence finally looked like the Trevor Lawrence we knew with a game winning drive performance. 

Trailing by seven points with just over two minutes remaining, Lawrence completed 7 of 7 passes (spikes not included) for 91 yards, a touchdown and the winning two point conversion. The stats looked good and the throws were even better with three perfect dimes during the drive.

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

  1. Detroit Lions (4-7)

Last Week – 17th

Detroit went head-to-head with Buffalo for Thanksgiving but unfortunately came up short. This team is steadily improving, but are still finding ways to lose. Playoffs seem like a slim chance but with an ideal schedule down the stretch nothing is impossible in this league.

One thing for sure though, is the long-term future for the quarterback position may need to be figured out and they have the perfect opportunity to do it this off-season, with two potential top-10 picks in the draft. 

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

  1. New York Giants (7-4)

Last Week – 18th

We mentioned earlier about how competitive the NFC East has been this year, but there’s potential for it to be the best division since 2002. All four teams are in the playoffs and have at least 7 wins. They currently have a non-division record of 26-7 and if they can keep it up, the NFC East will be the best division since 2002.

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

  1. Cleveland Browns (4-7)

Last Week – 23rd

What a way for quarterback Jacoby Brissett to go out with the Browns this season. Brissett threw a touchdown to Njoku to force overtime and has led Cleveland to a top-five offence by EPA per drive. It’s been a pleasant surprise to how well he has played and if his defence could hold their own he would be in the comeback conversation with Geno Smith.

Now though, Cleveland begins a new era with Deshaun Watson, who is set to make his first start in 700 days. Coincidentally it happens to be against Houston as well. The NFL just loves scripting these storylines don’t they?

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

  1. Green Bay Packers (4-8)

Last Week – 20th

In what might become a familiar sight in the next few years, we saw a Aaron Rodgers-less Packers against the Eagles late on. Rodgers left with a rib injury but it might be a blessing in disguise to get game experience for Jordan Love.

Think of it, this season is already done for the Packers and they need to start looking towards the future. If Rodgers does retire, then Love will be your new QB, so see what you got with him in an actual game like situation. 

But if Rodgers does stay, maybe Love impresses and you can get some sort of trade value for him. Basically Love’s stock is at rock bottom, so if he impresses you either have your  future QB or some trade value at least. Better than sitting on the bench like he has done for three seasons.

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

  1. Atlanta Falcons (5-7)

Last Week – 21st

The NFC South is the prime example for why division winners shouldn’t automatically be granted a home playoff game. At 5-7, the Falcons are just a half-game behind the Bucs for the NFC South, with the Panthers and Saints only a game behind them. All teams have been below average and there’s a realistic world where one of these teams get in with seven wins, while another NFC team will miss out with perhaps nine wins.

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

  1. Las Vegas Raiders (4-7)

Last Week – 28th

Josh Jacobs has been one of the breakout stars this season and if you didn’t know him before Sunday, you will now when he totaled 303 yards from scrimmage, while playing through a calf injury. Jacobs averaged almost seven yards per carry on 33 touches with an offensive line in front of him that’s the weakest unit on their offence.

It’s great to see Jacobs break out, but the front office in Vegas will be kicking themselves after declinding his fifth-year option in the pre-season. They made the effort to extend Derek Carr, Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller but are letting the biggest play-maker be a free agent in this upcoming off-season. Jacobs won’t mind though with the offers he will receive at least.

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

  1. Arizona Cardinals (4-8)

Last Week – 22nd

Things are starting to turn ugly in Arizona and it feels like it’s only going to end one way. We have seen all the spats on the sideline between players and coaches, but now Kyler Murray came out publicly to say they lost this Sunday due to “Schematically.” 

With Marquise Brown back to pair with DeAndre Hopkins for the first time, maybe they can bring it back down the stretch, but things will have to change. Murray and Kingsbury, both got big new contracts, but cutting the head coach won’t affect their salary cap.

Up next: Bye

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-7)

Last Week – 27th

Kenny Pickett has shown real improvement over the last three weeks and played the best game of his young career as a starter in the Steelers’ 24-17 win over the Colts on MNF. 

Pickett was decisive and threw accurate balls to each of his top three receivers. He’s limiting turnovers as well, as he and George Pickens look like a great rookie pair for Pittsburgh.

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

  1. Indianapolis Colts (4-7-1)

Last Week – 24th

Jeff Saturday got this team playing well in his first couple of games in charge, but his lack of experience showed towards the end against Pittsburgh. 

Rumours have started to grow on the vines of Michigan head coach and former Colt, Jim Harbaugh making the move back to the NFL for Indy. But this offence needs revamping all over and it isn’t as simple as in college where a few transfers and recruits come easy. 

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

  1. Carolina Panthers (4-8)

Last Week – 30th

Sam Darnold got the nod this week and it paid off with a win over Denver. Steve Wilks has made the most of his interim head coaching job and it’s worth debating whether he will get the job permanently. I’m sure he’ll get a go at interviewing and Carolina will conduct a wide search but it’s been a good signing to get this team back on track.

Up next: Bye

  1. New Orleans Saints (4-7)

Last Week – 25th

The Saints have been up and down this year more than one of those whack-a-mole games. Both offence and defence can look completely different each week, but if there’s been one consistency about this team it’s Chris Olave. 

The rookie receiver has been fantastic and stepped up as veterans Micheal Thomas and Alvin Kamara have underwhelmed. At the moment Olave is the brightest light at the end of the tunnel of a dark tunnel. 

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

  1. Chicago Bears (3-9)

Last Week – 26th

The Bears were a fun team a few weeks ago, but injuries have now derailed their season towards the end. First, all the running caught up with Justin Fields as his season is on hold. Now against the Jets, Chicago lost both Darnell Mooney and Eddie Jackson for the rest of the season. A lot less of a fun team to watch with those guys missing.

Up next: vs. Green Bay, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT

  1. Los Angeles Rams (3-8)

Last Week – 31st

The Rams are currently going down as the worst defending Super Bowl champions of all time, and their season could get summed up with the clip of a player running into Sean McVay this Sunday, dropping the shoulder nicely on his jaw. With all of the injuries this team has faced, the end of the season can’t come soon enough as they try to understand what the future holds for their players and head coach.

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

  1. Houston Texans (1-9-1)

Last Week – 32nd

Houston rallied back from a 30-0 start against Miami, it just so happened to be against their backups. Now the Texans have their Super Bowl this week when they take on the Browns and Watson. Expect a feisty crowd that will be going full force at Watson, as maybe the pressure will get to him and Houston can win the first bout of their trade bragging rights. 

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

  1. Denver Broncos (3-8)

Last Week – 29th

Denver deserves being ranked at the bottom here as they might be the franchise in the most crisis right now. The Russell Wilson trade is looking like the worst trade in league history, with players on his own team getting in his face and yelling. 

In a life comparison, the Broncos dumped everything to be with a supermodel, but are now slowly finding out it’s not quite the lifestyle they wanted. Nathaniel Hackett seems likely to be one-and-done, but they’re stuck with Wilson for the long haul.

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

Week 11 Power Rankings

By Conor Perrett 

With another week of the NFL season ticked off the list, our rankings look like an iPod on shuffle with only three teams remaining in their same spot from last week. We had one of the craziest games in the last four years, an upset no one saw coming and an interim head coach who’s now undefeated in his coaching career.

So without further ado, let’s welcome our newcomers to the top spot of the Smashmouthing

Football Power Rankings. 

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (7-2)

Last Week – 3rd

The Chiefs lead the league in offensive EPA per drive with a mark of 1.23. For reference, that would be the highest mark in TruMedia’s database since the 2011 New Orleans Saints. The difference in EPA per drive between the Chiefs and the No. 2 team, the Dolphins, is the same as the difference between Miami and the No. 15 team.

Despite losing Tyreek Hill this off-season, Kansas City continue to light up the league as Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid adapt to their new cast. Kadarius Toney is the newest man to enter that bunch and his emergence on Sunday was promising. The 2021 first-round pick caught four passes for 57 yards and a touchdown, while adding two carries for 33 yards. He looks to be an exciting weapon that they happily took off the hands of the Giants.

Up next: at Los Angeles Chargers, Monday 1:20 a.m. GMT

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (8-1)

Last Week – 1st

Philadelphia’s run finally ended leaving us without an undefeated team in the league now. The turnover battle finally caught up to them on Monday Night, as crucial mistakes led to the upset loss versus the Commanders. It marked the first time this season the Eagles had trailed in the second half at any point and two costly late fumbles in the fourth quarter spoiled any chances of a comeback win.

While it’s easy to brush over uncharacteristic mistakes, this defence has really struggled to stop the run over the last two weeks. Nose tackle Jordan Davis has missed both games after being placed on IR and Philly has now given up 320 rushing yards in that time. This run defence got brushed over last week and it’s clear now it’s a problem. Today, the Eagles signed former Charger’s DT Linval Joseph to a one-year deal in a bid to address this issue. 

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

  1. Miami Dolphins (7-3)

Last Week – 7th

The Dolphins have been on a roller-coaster across these power rankings, flying up and down the board. On our first edition they started off 2nd but fell as low as 20th at one point during Tua’s concussion injury. Now they have their QB back and boy are they back to being electric. Over the last three weeks Miami have averaged 35 points per game and most recently dropped 39 points on the Browns, who we last saw shutdown the Bengals.

The run game looks dominant, the pass game looks unstoppable, they just need to fix up that defence and we might have a new Super Bowl contender on our hands.

Up next: Bye

  1. Minnesota Vikings (7-2)

Last Week – 10th

Before we get into my weekly Vikings rant, that Justin Jefferson catch might be one of the best I’ve ever seen.  It alone could earn that title but it was ridiculous when you account for the down and distance along with the stakes. 

As for whether the Vikings are actually one of the league’s four best teams, that’s up for debate. Their play up to date didn’t warrant having the tied best record in the league, but can they be taken seriously now that they beat what many thought to be the best team in football in their own backyard? I’m still skeptical but Sunday’s late rally did them many favours. Maybe they are for real?

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

  1. Buffalo Bills (6-3)

Last Week – 2nd

The NFL season is a slog, and the Bills aren’t the first team to hit a mid-season bump after looking like the best team early on. There’s plenty of reason to believe they can get to that level again. They still rank No. 1 in overall DVOA, with a 1st and 5th defensive and offensive DVOA rankings respectively. But the road ahead won’t be easy.

For starters the real problem right now is they sit third in their AFC East division. With a 0-2 record in the division, that could come back to haunt them, if they have to win three road games to make it to a Super Bowl. If anyone can do it then Josh Allen would be a good choice, but his 13 turnovers on the year would worry you.

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

  1. Baltimore Ravens (6-3)

Last Week – 5th

The bye week is in place to get teams healthy and so it did with Mark Andrews likely to return this Sunday. The doors have opened for Baltimore to fight for the AFC No. 1 seed now.

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

  1. San Francisco 49ers (5-4)

Last Week – 6th

The 49ers still look good and one of my favourites out of the NFC, but Kyle Shanahan does do some weird stuff that puts questions in your mind. First, remember that trade they did for Christian McCaffery where they sent an entire draft class to earn his rights. Well he started off amazingly but this past Sunday he got out-carried by Elijah Mitchell. Next, San Fran decided to kick a field goal from the two-yard line with one minute remaining to extend the Niners lead to six points. What was that about?

Now it meant the Chargers had to score a touchdown to win, but if he was successful from the two, it would have ended the game and not allow Justin Herbert to get a chance to spoil the party. It was only one game and San Francisco won in the end, so we won’t overreact but late game management has been Shanahan’s Achilles heel in the past. 

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

  1. Dallas Cowboys (6-3)

Last Week – 4th

Dallas blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead in their loss at Lambeau Field, after their defence fell apart. But Dak Prescott’s turnovers can’t keep happening if the Cowboys are going to be a serious threat in the playoffs. Despite throwing for three touchdowns, Dak did not have a good game as he finished this week ranked 31st in EPA per dropback.

Sunday was a chance to get a game behind the Eagles and have fate back in their hands. Now they’re coming off an ugly defeat and have to play Minnesota this week, who are feeling a sense of high like no other team after the way they upset the Bills in Buffalo. 

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

  1. Cincinnati Bengals (5-4)

Last Week – 9th

The bye week for Cincinnati didn’t make the look of their remaining schedule any easier, but they have a nice warm up fight against Pittsburgh this week to get ready for the seven difficult weeks after that.

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

  1. Seattle Seahawks (6-4)

Last Week – 8th

Things didn’t go great for the Seahawks in Germany, but overall this team is in a rebuilding year, yet are still 6-4 with rookies all over the place. Seattle are leading the league in offensive and defensive snaps played by first-year players, according to TruMedia.

The Seahawks rookie class includes a pair of starting tackles in Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas, an ascending star corner-back, who’s tied first for interceptions in the league, Tariq Woolen and a dynamic home hitter running-back in Kenneth Walker.  

Up next: Bye

  1. New York Jets (6-3)

Last Week – 11th

Defensive star Quinnen Williams has hit the quarterback on 6.5% of his pass-rush snaps this year. To put that into context Aaron Donald, who needs no explaining, has a single season high mark of 5.1%. The Jets have themselves a player on their hands and their defence is among the elite in the NFL this season. 

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

  1. Tennessee Titans (6-3)

Last Week – 12th

Barring a collapse, Tennessee looks to be hosting a play-off game come January. This defence has looked strong in the last few weeks but we will get to see who they really are in their next three-game stretch. First they travel to Green Bay for Thursday Night Football, and then follow that up with the Bengals and Eagles. If the Titans want to be serious in the playoffs then they can prove it here, but if not then the door might open slightly ajar for Jacksonville or Indianapolis.

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

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5)

Last Week – 16th

Tampa’s running game finally came into fruition when rookie Rachaad White ran for 105 yards on 22 carries in Munich. It’s the first time as a team they have topped 100 rushing yards since Week 1, as Tom Brady got some much deserved help.

The defence is looking better, ranking 7th in defensive DVOA as they take control of their NFC South division. The ball is in their court now as they hold a one game lead over Atlanta and only have to face two teams in their remaining seven games that rank higher than 18th in these Power Rankings.

Up next: Bye

  1. New England Patriots (5-4)

Last Week – 13th

The Patriots are the only team with a winning record that ranks in the bottom 10 of the league in offensive DVOA. It speaks to how well their defence have played this year, but also to the limitations they face with the ball in their hands. Their run game is strong but teams have caught onto that and they are packing the box to stop it. 

This theoretically should open up the passing game but right now, Mac Jones ranks 34th out of 35 qualifying quarterbacks in EPA per dropback. Whether the blame is to fall on Jones, his receivers, or Matt Patricia, whose offensive play calling is up for debate. One way or another things will have to change for a deep season for Pat’s run.

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

  1. New York Giants (7-2)

Last Week – 14th

Yes, the Giants have the third best record in the league, yet are 15th in these power rankings. While their play on the field creates their record, it also speaks to how good they are and you could also say they have had a bit of fortune.

In DVOA they rank 20th in overall, split between 15th on offence and 24th on defence. They’re 7-1 in one-score games, which says a lot about their mentality but is probably unsustainable and masks their overall quality. The Giants are probably going to be a playoff team, which would be an awesome accomplishment for Brian Daboll in his first year on the job. They just aren’t yet among the league’s best yet. 

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

  1. Washington Commanders (5-5)

Last Week – 22nd

Credit to the Commanders for fully committing to their run-heavy game plan in the first half of their 32-21 win over the Eagles. It hadn’t been a strength of theirs to date, but they played on the Eagles weakness and it worked out. They ended up holding the ball for 40:24, the second most lopsided time of possession in a game this season.

There was no bigger way for Washington to cement this kind of win, as they get back to .500 on the season and can push on for the playoffs.

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

  1. Los Angeles Chargers (5-4)

Last Week – 15th

The Chargers can look to injuries for their failure this season so far, but they have the second easiest schedule in the league, per Football Outsiders. They’ve been poor offensively and defensively throughout the season and Sunday’s game against the Niners might have looked close, but should have been finished way before the last drive.

Before the season this Kansas City matchup looked really tasty. Let’s hope they can get Keenan Allen and Mike Williams back so we can see an exciting shootout.

Up next: vs. Kansas City, Monday 1:20 a.m. GMT

  1. Green Bay Packers (4-6)

Last Week – 26th

Christian Watson was a riser up the draft boards earlier in the year with his performances in the Senior Bowl and draft combine. He found himself land on the Packers and was instantly expected to make an impact in the Davante Adams-less wide-receiver room. 

Things didn’t start off great when he dropped a touchdown pass on his first NFL target and entered Sunday with only 88 receiving yards. But against the Cowboys he put his name on the scene with his three touchdown performance. With four catches for 107 yards and those touchdowns, it led the Packers back to a comeback win over the Cowboys and former coach Mike McCarthy.

The Packers offence in that fourth quarter was different to anything we had seen all season, but is it just an anomaly?

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

  1. Arizona Cardinals (4-6)

Last Week – 23rd

Kyler Murray missed the game on Sunday due to a hamstring injury, as Colt McCoy took his place and excelled. He went 26 of 37 for 238 yards and a touchdown, as McCoy looked better than, dare I say, Murray. Colt also got rid of the ball quicker than Murray has all season, with a 2.08 second average time to throw, which caused the Rams all kinds of problems getting to him. Murray is day-to-day according to Kliff Kingsbury at the moment, but against another top defence this week, there is little reason why Colt can’t do it again.

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

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7)

Last Week – 21st

The Jaguars opened their game against the Chefs this week with a successful onside kick! Sadly it went downhill from there. There’s no shame losing to Kansas City but this team has been playing better than their record suggests. Their first round picks Devin Lloyd and Travon Walker are looking solid, as their offence is coming together with Christian Kirk and Travis Etienne. Trevor Lawrence should continue to improve as the Jags add more talent around him, with a good foundation in place for 2023 and onwards.

Up next: Bye

  1. Cleveland Browns (3-6)

Last Week – 17th

That was not the kind of performance we were expecting out of the Browns this week. Granted they have been poor this season, but before their bye week we saw them put on an amazing performance both on offence and defence during a prime time game against the Bengals. It looked like their 31st ranked DVOA defence was about to turn things around and then they took a big defeat to the Dolphins. A playoff appearance continues to look out of reach, even when they get Desahun Watson back in two and a half weeks time.

Up next: at Buffalo, Sunday 1 p.m. GMT

  1. Detroit Lions (3-6)

Last Week – 27th

Woo-ah!!! The Detroit Lions won back-to-back games against divisional opponents for the first time in what feels like an eternity. This team showed exactly what Dan Campbell wants out of his team, with a 14-point fourth quarter comeback. 

Justin Fields continued to dominate with his legs until his old familiar Ohio State teammate, Jeff Okudah scored a pick-six. They proceeded to stop Fields again with two sacks to get the ball back on downs, as this team is starting to finish games they control. Now can Detroit continue this run and put an end to the surprising Giants on the road this week? I am optimistic they can. 

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

  1. Chicago Bears (3-7)

Last Week – 24th

The Bears went from 30th in offensive DVOA over the first six weeks of the season to 5th in offensive DVOA over the last four weeks. Sunday against Detroit was no different, with the offence catering to Justin Fields’ legs more as he looks like one of the league’s best scramblers. 

They were up two scores but when Detroit came back and forced the Bears into a potential game winning drive, Chicago fell back into their bad habits of the first six weeks. With two minutes on the clock, three timeouts remaining and only needing 50 yards to get inside field goal range, the ball was put into Field’s arm instead of using his amazing legs. It led to exactly what we had been seeing at the start of the season with no one open and allowing the pass-rush to get in his face. Not surprisingly, it ended with a gut-wrenching home defeat.

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

  1. Denver Broncos (3-6)

Last Week – 20th

Denver spent way too much to acquire Russell Wilson for the offence to still be this bad. The bye week is meant to be a time where teams review how things are going and change the things that aren’t working. Well Denver looked the same as they have every week and that’s not a good thing. There’s going to be a lot of pressure to make significant changes at the end of the season to ensure their bet on Wilson hits, which could mean first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett being given the old heave-ho if things don’t improve dramatically.

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

  1. Los Angeles Rams (3-6)

Last Week – 19th

All is lost for the Rams this season. They were already a long shot to make the playoffs going into Week 10, and their odds only worsened with a loss to the Cardinals. Now they’re expected to miss their best offensive player Cooper Kupp for an extended period of time, possibly four weeks. Maybe a few players including Aaron Donald in Los Angeles might be wishing they had retired after that Super Bowl win last February. 

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

  1. Atlanta Falcons (4-6)

Last Week – 18th

The season is still far from over but that loss last Thursday Night to the Panthers was ugly. Marcus Mariota is a big part of their successful rushing attack which ranks 5th in EPA per rush, but he’s not getting the ball out well and that’s not good when their best player is a pass catcher.

With Desmond Ridder waiting in the wings, his time may come sooner rather than later. It’s important to enter an off-season with a clear idea of what your team is and understanding if Ridder has a place in this league is a big question they will need to know.  If Ridder is not the answer, Atlanta may think of upgrading at that position.

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

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-6)

Last Week – 29th

Pittsburgh came out of their bye week last Sunday with a clear idea in mind of how they were going to beat the Saints. That idea was running the ball and boy were they successful, running it for 217 yards in that win. Just two months on from tearing his pectoral muscle, T.J. Watt returned to the field with the Steelers now looking on the rise. His presence allowed a season low 10 points against the Saints, and if their defensive performances can stay consistent, it will only make things easier on the other side of the ball for rookie quarterback: Kenny Pickett.

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

  1. Carolina Panthers (3-7)

Last Week – 30th

The Panthers were a laughing stock at the beginning of the season, but their young defensive players are starting to look like stars out there. Derrick Brown is looking like the destructive nose tackle we saw from him in Auburn and Jaycee Horn currently leads all corner-back with over 200-plus snaps played in passer rating, with 23.1 yards allowed, according to PFF. Along with edge rusher Brian Burns and safety Jeremy Chinn, Carolina has the makings for a top defence. They just need to hire the right head coach for the job.

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

  1. Indianapolis Colts (4-5-1)

Last Week – 32nd

Almost as stunning as Justin Jefferson’s catch this week was Jeff Saturday winning at his first time of asking on the sideline. Okay maybe a bit of a stretch, but Indy had been a mess this season before Sunday. 

Credit to Saturday and his gameplan, as this was the first time all season the Colts had jumped out to a double-digit lead and the first time since Christmas, they were leading at halftime. It won’t get any easier as Indy faces top of the NFC Philadelphia this week, but there’s still enough time to cement a culture change inside this organisation.

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

  1. New Orleans Saints (3-6)

Last Week – 25th

Andy Dalton hasn’t been the main cause to New Orleans problems so far, but he does add limitations to this offence. With the run game not working out and Dalton struggling at times, why not throw Jameis Winston out there? There may be low times with Winston at the helm but at least he will have upside with that. In a way, this team has already hit rock bottom and with nothing to lose in terms of draft picks, they might as well look at the upside Winston offers.

Up next: vs. Los Angeles Rams, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT

  1. Las Vegas Raiders (2-7)

Last Week – 28th

The Raiders season really is not going to plan and Derek Carr’s emotional post-game press conference made clear how much this season has already bottomed out. Josh McDaniels just got out-coached by a front-office personnel and they rejected the fifth-year option of Josh Jacobs before the start of the season, meaning it’s going to cost them more to keep him or they lose him entirely. 

The chances of playoffs ended a while ago for Vegas and now they have to make sure the culture doesn’t come crashing down, just like how every other Patriot head coach not named Bill Belichick has gone.

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

  1. Houston Texans (1-7-1)

Last Week – 31st

I doubt there are many loud Houston sports fans these days in Ireland and the UK with the worst record in the NFL and NBA. They might be enjoying touch days at the moment, but It looks like a talented draft to have the top draft pick.

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

Week 8 Power Rankings

By Conor Perrett 

Week 7 of the NFL season provided all sorts for our rankings with the Top-3 remaining strong but with newcomers behind them. Poor old Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers continue to slide.

How is your team trending?

  1. Buffalo Bills (5-1)

Last Week – 1st

With the week off, nothing has changed, the Bills are still the best team in football.

Up next: vs. Green Bay, Monday 1:20 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (5-1)

Last Week – 3rd

If you thought the Chiefs were going to go quiet after their defeat to Buffalo last week, then think again because they came back with one of the best offensive performances of the season. Excluding their final possession of running out the clock, the Chiefs scored 44 points on nine drives. That is 4.9 points per drive, the highest tally for any team in a game this season and against maybe the best defence in football in the 49ers. 

There’s no better way for them to enter the bye week, as the thoughts of another Bills v Chiefs later down the line is going to be a Super Bowl like occasion of its own.

Up Next: Bye Week

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (6-0)

Last Week – 2nd

Philadelphia leads the league with a +12 turnover differential, having only given the ball away just twice and taken it away 14 times. That differential is twice as good as the No. 2 team in the league: the Dallas Cowboys. It shows Philadelphia’s dominance through the first half of the season, but is it sustainable? For the time being there is no reason not to doubt that, but things can come crashing down fast. Just ask the Cardinals of last year. It’s harsh they drop a spot this week on their bye, but if they are to keep up their run then they will continue to be the best team in the NFC.

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

  1. Cincinnati Bengals (4-3)

Last Week – 4th

Burrow’s 481 passing yards in Sunday’s win over the Falcons are the most for any quarterback this season. He also had the two highest passing yard games last season. It shows Cincinnati are starting to find their feet again with performances similar to last year when they got to the BIg Show.  Via DVOA, the Bengals now join the Bills, Eagles and Ravens as having above average offences and defences.

Up next: at Cleveland, Tuesday 1:!5 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. Dallas Cowboys (5-2)

Last Week – 7th

Dak Prescott hand-picked the Lions for his return this season, but did not exactly set the world alight in his first game back from a thumb injury. Prescott attempted just 25 passes and the Cowboys offence only scored 10 points on its first eight offensive possessions, as Detroit didn’t make it easy for them until a late collapse. Dallas will be hoping it was just some ring-rust for their quarterback but a win is a win for them.

What we still know about this team is they continue to be rock solid on defence. With five turnovers last Sunday, they stood up the Lions all night and a brilliant play by DeMarcus Lawrence, caused a game-saving fumble on the one-yard line.

Up next: vs. Chiicago, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Baltimore Ravens (4-3)

Last Week – 5th

It really did nearly happen again for the Ravens. Up 23-13 in the fourth quarter, they let the Browns pull within three points and then fumbled the ball deep in Brown’s territory with a few minutes left. After a series of strange events, Baltimore managed to keep Cleveland out of the end-zone, saving themselves from another embarrassing lead-losing defeat. This team continues to look strong throughout games, but if they are to have a crack at a Championship then they must clean up their act in the fourth quarter.

Up next: at Tampa Bay, Friday 1:15 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. New York Giants (6-1)

Last Week – 10th

After this start I don’t know if you can continue to call this team a rebuilding side, but they started this season better than anyone would have ever thought. Despite ranking 14th in overall DVOA, the Giants continue to stay in games late and perform when it matters most with come from behind wins. Brain Daboll has shown what good coaching can do, especially with Daniel Jones.

During his first three seasons in the league, Daniel Jones trailed only Jameis Winston in turnovers per game with 1.7. Now through seven games he has only two interceptions and two fumbles on the season, and it has changed the turnover sigma around Jones.

Up next: at Seattle, Sunday 9:25 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Minnesota Vikings (5-1)

Last Week – 8th

It was a quiet week on the Vikings off-week. They remain top of their division, sitting happily at 5-1 and are laughing at the easy schedule they have yet to face. 

Up next: vs. Arizona, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Miami Dolphins (4-3)

Last Week – 20th

Like most teams who have to go to a backup quarterback, the drop off is season-changing. Luckily for the Dolphins Tua Tagovailoa returned and once again makes this Miami offence dynamic. In the four games Tua has started and finished, Miami are fourth in the league for EPA per drive, where when he isn’t in the game they are tied 29th with the atrocious Broncos. With Tua back, the Dolphins can try and find their groove again and climb back up towards the top of the AFC.

Up next: at Detroit, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. San Francisco 49ers (3-4)

Last Week – 6th

In the weaker NFC conference which could be there for the taking, the Niners shocked the NFL world when they traded for Christian McCaffrey. John Lynch pushed all his chips in for a game-changer who may be able to complete this team. Running backs on pricey second contracts are always risky and the cost of the trade was high, but when you look at the details and the situation San Fran are in I like the deal. 

This team has a lot of things. A fierce O-line, two good receivers one of which is great, the best all round tight end in the NFL, an elite defence and a quarterback in Trey Lance who they view as the future. McCaffery is another big time weapon for Kyle Shanahan to play with and although it’s a big if, should McCaffery stay healthy, the 49ers should be a very serious team with Superbowl credentials. 

Up next: at Los Angeles Rams, Sunday 9:25 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. New York Jets (5-2)

Last Week – 14th

Two New York teams in the top-11. Wow! Although everyone around the Jets will be ecstatic with their record, losing star rookie running-back Breece Hall to an ACL tear sank the hearts of all Jets supporters. General manager Joe Douglas acted quickly to replace Hall, trading a Day 3 pick for Jaguars running-back James Robinson to keep the Cinderella season going. But it will be hard to replace the presence Hall had become in that offence.

Up next: vs. New England, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Tennessee Titans (4-2)

Last Week – 15th

Things looked dire at the start of the season for the Titans and to my surprise, they have turned things around. They had a poor off-season by my books and then they fell to a 0-2 record. The team looked worse than the previous year and Derrick Henry had not looked like his pre-injury self. But fair play to this side, they’ve turned it around and are on a four-game winning streak, with Henry terrorising the league once again.

Up next: at Houston, Sunday 9:05 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Los Angeles Rams (3-3)

Last Week – 13th

The Rams haven’t had the exact start to the season they were after and apparently they also missed out on Christian McCaffery to the 49ers, per Dov Kleiman. Unluckily for them, they will have to face him straight away this week.

Up next: vs. San Francisco, Sunday 9:25 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Las Vegas Raiders (2-4)

Last Week – 16th

Josh Jacobs has been the breakout player of the season for the Raiders. His 633 rushing yards ranks third in the NFL, and he trails only Nick Chubb in rushing yards per game. He’s the main reason the Raiders rank No. 1 in rushing DVOA. But it does leave a strange taste in their mouth for the future, knowing this front office didn’t pick up his fifth-year option when he’s still clearly the lead back. 

Vegas has a very favourable schedule ahead, with a four-game stretch of teams under 0.500.

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

  1. Seattle Seahawks (4-3)

Last Week – 18th

What Geno Smith is doing is crazy. He ranks sixth in EPA per dropback for the NFC West-leading Seahawks and is directing an offence that ranks third in DVOA. All of this while serving as the full-time starter for the first time in eight seasons. He leads the league with a 73.5 completion percentage, which if he can keep up will be the highest completion percentage in a single season for a quarterback that’s not named Drew Brees.

The Seahawks are laughing at ‘that’ trade they made seven months ago. Stocking up on a chest-load of draft picks, while seemingly having a better quarterback waiting in place all along.

Fun stat of the week as well. There’s only one matchup this week with two teams with a winning record playing against each other. That is of course, New York Giants vs Seattle Seahawks. Imagine saying that at the start of the season.

Up next: vs. New York Giants, Sunday 4:25 p.m.

  1. Los Angeles Chargers (4-3)

Last Week – 9th

Another week means another player on injury reverse for LA, with J.C. Jackson’s season coming to an end after injuring himself against Seattle last Sunday.

The Chargers right now are very banged up that’s for sure, but every team gets them and they haven’t even been hit the hardest by the bug. It’s always going to happen and can be rarely used as an excuse for embarrassing losses. For example, their limited offensive game plan has been frustrating with how unaggressive they are on first and second down. That shows when 50 of their 131 first downs or touchdowns have come on a third or fourth down. 

Up next: Bye week

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4)

Last Week – 11th

I mentioned for numerous weeks now Tampa are in a good position with a solid defence, while their experienced offence takes its time to get up to speed. I didn’t expect the offence to take this long and now it’s getting to the point of panicking. 

Brady has Mike Evans and Chris Godwin back and  he’s got Leonard Fournette in the backfield. It’s the same offensive coaching staff minus Bruce Arians. There’s no excuses as to why Tampa hasn’t exploded yet and this week their defence also fell flat on their face. I won’t ever bet against Brady because of what he’s done in the past, but what’s happening with the Buccaneers is concerning.

Up next: vs. Baltimore, Friday 1:15 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. New England Patriots (3-4)

Last Week – 12th

After a tough loss to the Bears in prime time, the eyes in New England turn to the quarterback controversy between Bailey Zappe and Mac Jones. It seems a 50/50 coin toss at the moment and through the statistics of TruMedia, Zappe is 0.06 EPA per dropback, to Jones’ -0.11. For comparison Jones finished his rookie season at 0.04 last season. The sample size is small for both quarterbacks but it’s hard to imagine a first-round pick losing his job in Year 2 to a fourth-round rookie. It will be interesting who starts and finishes against the Jets next weekend. 

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

  1. Green Bay Packers (3-4)

Last Week – 19th

In Sunday’s loss to the Commanders, Aaron Rodgers was pressured on just 8.8 percent of his drop-backs, the lowest pressure rate any quarterback has faced in a game this season. Yet still the Packers only managed eight points on offence against a mediocre Commanders defence, thanks in part to them going zero for six on third down. 

With the trade deadline looming there’s talk of Green Bay going after a new weapon for a desperate offence. Jerry Jeudy, Chase Claypool and Elijah Moore are all names to keep an eye on as Green Bay need to make changes. 

Up next: at Buffalo, Monday 1:20 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. Arizona Cardinals (3-4)

Last Week – 25th

DeAndre Hopkins’s return to the starting lineup was exactly what a struggling Cardinals offence needed last week. Hauling in 10 receptions for 103 yards in his 2022 debut, Hopkins had 48.3 percent of the Cardinals’ targets, the most of any pass catcher with at least 20 routes in Week 7. Quarterback Kyler Murray and the Cardinals will need Hopkins to repeat that success in future weeks, especially on deep throws, as this offence tries to get explosive once again. 

Up next: at Minnesota, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Atlanta Falcons (3-4)

Last Week – 17th

Arthur Smith’s run-heavy offence ranks No. 9 in offensive DVOA and No. 4 in rushing DVOA and it has become their identity. While it seems to be working where it gets confusing is in the last two drafts, Atlanta has spent back-to-back first round picks on pass catchers. Both head coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot were brought in at the same time to rebuild, but it seems one of them didn’t get the message on how this offence is meant to be run. 

This season the Falcons have refused to throw the ball, despite having two very talented pass-catching unicorns in Kyle Pitts and Drake London.  Most teams would love to take advantage of this set of twin towers.

Up next: vs. Carolina, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5)

Last Week – 22nd

The Jaguars came up one yard short of victory against the Giants, when Christian Kirk was tackled at the one-yard line down six points with time expiring. A touchdown there would have completed one of the least aesthetically pleasing game-winning drives in recent memory, as Trevor Lawrence completed just three of his nine passes on the drive. It’s been the sorry state of the Jaguars season, with them being so close to being interesting. If they could just stop shooting themselves in the foot. 

Up next: vs. Denver (in London), Sunday 2:30 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Cleveland Browns (2-5)

Last Week – 23rd

Four of the Brown’ five losses have been by three points or fewer, but the people of Cleveland are probably tired of hearing they’re better than its record at this point.

Expectations for the playoffs may have been high while missing Deshaun Watson for half the season. Only the 2020 Washington Football Team won their division with a 7-9 record and are the only team to make the playoffs in over 30 years after starting the season 2-6. Statistically speaking, this week’s game against the Bengals is crucial. A loss and their season is likely over. 

Up next: vs. Cincinnati, Tuesday 1:15 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. Indianapolis Colts (3-3-1)

Last Week – 21st

Frank Reich’s announcement that Matt Ryan is being benched in favour of Sam Ehlinger, seemingly for the rest of the season, is a most surprising turn of events. The Colts offence could certainly use a spark, as it ranks 30th in offensive DVOA, but Ehlinger is a 2021 sixth-round pick who was not exactly waiting in the wings. 

In a way it adds another dimension for this offence with Ehlinger being more of a mobile quarterback, but that would call for an overhaul on the entire offensive system mid-season.

Up next: vs. Washington, Sunday 9:25 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. New Orleans Saints (2-5)

Last Week – 24th

Dennis Allen’s record as a head coach is now 10-33 through parts of four seasons. It’s not ideal with only Hue Jackson having a worse winning percentage with at least 40 games in charge. 

Although Andy Dalton’s three interception game, including two pick-sixes was at fault for the loss to the Cardinals this week. Since taking over as the starter in Week 4, Dalton ranks 10th in EPA per dropback and 11th in yards per attempt. A significant improvement over Jameis Winston and a key indication that Dalton is not the problem right now.

Up next: vs. Las Vegas, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Denver Broncos (2-5)

Last Week – 27th

Same old story again for this Denver side as their defence continues to impress ranking third in defensive DVOA, but the offence being a let down once again. 

Now missing Russel Wilson and having to start Brett Rypien can be seen as an excuse, but I’m not letting them off the hook that easily, especially with what the Washington Commanders did. Being in an offensive slump similar to Denver’s, against a better defence and with less weapons Washington had to rely on a backup QB as well yet they put up 23 points. All while Denver scores less than double digits points in what’s becoming an all too familiar story.

To make matters worse, there are now talks of them trading away Bradley Chubb and Jerry Jeaudy if they lose in London this week. This is a franchise that went all in with Wilson and are now seemingly backtracking by trading away key pieces for draft assets. This franchise doesn’t have a clue where it’s at and if this disaster show is to continue I don’t expect Nathaniel Hackett to have a head coaching job come the end of the season.

Up next: vs. Jacksonville (in London), Sunday 2:30 P.m. BST/GMT

  1. Washington Commanders (3-4)

Last Week – 29th

After their Week Six TNF win against the Bears, Ron Rivera planted his stance for Carson Wentz in a passionate speech that had him walk out of a press conference. This week he one-upped himself when he wished he could make a Frankenstein quarterback out of the strengths of Wentz and Taylor Heinicke.

The Commanders’ defence is improving, though. It ranks second in the league in success rate per TruMedia, but is only 16th in defensive DVOA because of a relatively easy offencive schedule and a knack for surrendering big plays in the passing game.

Up next: at Indianapolis, Sunday 9:25 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Chicago Bears (3-4)

Last Week – 30th

I mentioned in the preview to MNF that two promising points to the Bears season have been defensive rookies Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker. Well in that game both would go on to record interceptions and showcase what Chicago’s surprisingly good secondary can do. Justin Fields also had himself a good game on the ground. His 14 rushing attempts were a career high, and as it seems the Bears coaches way of going around their poor pass-protecting O-line was to have Fields run for his life instead.

Up next: at Dallas, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5)

Last Week – 26th

By DVOA, the Steelers have played the hardest schedule in the league through seven weeks. The defence is up to No. 13 in DVOA and could be among the league’s best if and when T.J. Watt returns, while Kenny Pickett looks…interesting. Granted the stats don’t look great, with eight turnovers through three games. But he’s shown to be a quick decision maker that trusts his wide receivers. He has had a bit of bad luck with interceptions through no fault of his own.

Up next: at Philadelphia, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Carolina Panthers (2-5)

Last Week – 32nd

Carolina pounded the ball against what was supposed to be a good Bucs defence as D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard combined for 181 rushing yards on 24 carries, while PJ Walker completed 16 of 22 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns. All the while, Steve Wilks’ defence held Tom Brady and the Bucs to a lonely three points.  

Up next: at Atlanta, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Detroit Lions (1-5)

Last Week – 28th

The Lions are a bit of a mess this year. Through just seven weeks they managed to have the No.1 scoring offence with the 32nd scoring defence. They have lost a game scoring 45 points, had a game scoring 0 points and now nearly won a game by scoring 13 points.

Honestly from watching their games they are not far off but there is a lot of work to do. Throughout games they stick with teams and always give themselves a chance of winning, before they go blow themselves up with mistakes. It’s been a regular pattern during the Dan Campbell era and frustration is starting to brew in Detroit.

Up next: vs. Miami, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Houston Texans (1-3-1)

Last Week – 31st

The Texans led three separate times in their loss to the Raiders on Sunday, including a 20-17 lead entering the fourth quarter. They would then be outscored 21-0 in the final quarter. They do have a shining piece in Dameon Pierce though, who’s second in Offensive Rookie of the Year odds and one of the select few that should survive the next phase of a rebuild. 

Up next: vs. Tennessee, Sunday 9:05 p.m. BST/GMT

Week 7 Power Rankings

By Conor Perrett 

What a strange weekend of football that was. With underdog wins all over the place the NFL right now feels like it’s in a state of mediocrity. The top three teams look like the real deal, but below that we have a deep dark hole for the remaining 29 teams. 

Across the league, 10 teams have winning records, 10 are 3-3 and the other 12 are under .500. What that means is plenty of risers and fallers this week, so let’s get straight into the rankings.

  1. Buffalo Bills (5-1)

Last Week – 1st

In the most anticipated game of the regular season, with their eye firmly on avenging the playoff loss to Kansas City last season, Buffalo proved themselves as the league’s big boss. Thye won thanks to the players they added to get them to this point. 

Two-time Super-Bowl Champion Von Miller, solidified his name in Buffalo as he finished with two sacks and four tackles and was instrumental in stopping each of the last three Chiefs drives. He pressured Patrick Mahomes early in the fourth quarter to force a field goal that put Kansas City up 20-17, sacked him to end the next drive and then hurried him before the game-sealing interception by Taron Johnson. 

If the Bills dominance does not strike you enough, Football Outsiders who created the highly respected DVOA metric currently have Buffalo first on offence and defence. Yes that’s right, the best offence and defence in the league! 

Last time that ever happened was 19 years ago back with Tampa Bay and they went on to win the Lombardi.

Up next: Bye week

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (6-0)

Last Week – 2nd

The NFC really isn’t cooking right now and it’s already starting to look like a one-horse race for the No. 1 seed, after only a third of the way through the season. Besides the Eagles, there are only three other teams with winning records, and Philadelphia has already beaten two of them (Cowboys and Vikings) quite comfortably and in prime time as well.

Philly on a by week

With the next three opponents after the bye being Steelers, Texans and Commanders, Philly has a very strong case to start 9-0, while not even breaking that much of a sweat. They’ve looked great on both offence and defence similar to Buffalo, but it does feel that they haven’t reached their top gear yet. In a way that’s exciting as a fan to know there is more to come from your undefeated team.

Up next: Bye week

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (4-2)

Last Week – 3rd

There is no shame in losing to the Bills but the road ahead for Kansas doesn’t get any easier. With one of the harder schedules remaining and being two games behind the Bills, that No. 1 seed might be slowly getting out of their reach. But being a lower seed isn’t the end of the road. It’s about maintaining consistency and being ready for the play-offs when January rolls around.

On a good note this defence does look better than units in the past. With a lot of turnover in the off-season, it was a bit of a mystery to how that side of the ball would play out. But with a solid defensive line, if they can just keep causing havoc and keeping things close, Mahomes will do the rest for them.

Up next: at San Francisco, 9:25 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Cincinnati Bengals (3-3)

Last Week – 8th

For the first time in a while we finally got to see the Joe Burrow – Ja’Marr Chase connection we’ve been missing, and in no better place than where it all started, New Orleans.

The Bengals jump up a nice few spots thanks to their counterparts above them all failing. For the last month now Cincinnati have maintained their steady rise up as they look to regain their form of last year. The defence has been stellar throughout and with the offence slowly getting there, it’s beginning to spice up in the AFC.

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

  1. Baltimore Ravens (3-3) 

Last Week – 4th

Baltimore really has the quarterback, weapons and coach to compete with the ‘Big 3’, but their lack of execution in the fourth quarter is killing them. In all three of their losses, they have blown second-half leads of at least 10 points.

During these bottles, they have only trailed for an astounding total of 120 seconds in their three losses. The Ravens still rank No. 3 in overall DVOA, No. 3 in offensive DVOA and No. 15 in defensive DVOA. This rank is a vote of confidence on what Lamar Jackson brings to the table, but also just because there are no other better options. 

Up next: vs. Cleveland, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT 

  1. San Francisco 49ers (3-3)

Last Week – 5th

San Fran has been on the rise the last couple of weeks and with one of the best defences in the league and  look to be one of the better competitors in the NFC. But with all the strange upsets over the weekend, the Niners loss to Atlanta was one of the most surprising.

A few key players were missing in Trent Williams and Nick Bosa but injuries happen to every team and it’s hard to use it as an excuse. Though a strange thing the 49ers did this week was stay over in West Virginia. This was their second consecutive game on the East Coast so saving themselves the travel, they stayed over on that side of the country. It was an interesting decision and clearly didn’t play out, so back to California for the game of the week against the Chiefs,

Up next: vs. Kansas City, Sunday 9:25 p.m. BST/GMT  

  1. Dallas Cowboys (4-2)

Last Week – 7th

All signs point to Dak Prescott returning against the Lions on Sunday, and what better way to try out his new thumb than against the worst defence in the league.

The Cooper Rush train had to end at some point and he went out diligently against Philly. But realistically Rush deserves great credit for the hope he restored in this team after how sour things seemed when Dak went down in Week 1. With an explosive push rush now and formidable defence alongside them, things are looking up for them Cowboys.

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

  1. Minnesota Vikings (5-1)

Last Week – 10th

Every week this team keeps on winning, yet every week I still remain unimpressed with them. I don’t mean to beat up on teams every week and if there are Vikings fans that read this, I’m not apologising but your record hides up the problems.

Minnesota ranks 17th in overall DVOA, 14th on offence, 21st on defence. Of the five teams they’ve beaten, none have a winning record, and only the Skylar Thompson/Teddy Bridgewater-led Dolphins had one entering their matchup with Minnesota. Now it’s fair that you can only beat what’s in front of you, but this type of play isn’t going to be sustainable when the playoffs come around.

Up next: Bye week 

  1. Los Angeles Chargers (4-2)

Last Week – 9th

It wasn’t the prettiest of wins on Monday night against Denver, but they got there in the end. 

I mentioned in a preview to the game, that the Chargers’ performance can depend on how well they run the ball. When it’s going smoothly they are like a well oiled machine that few teams could beat. The problem is how inconsistent they have been in the run game with the injuries to Corey Linsley and Rashawn Slater. The centre and left tackle have not been available as much as LA would have liked and it is holding them back when trying to run the ball down defences throats. Denver’s defence is elite and Monday was a prime example of when their run game gets stopped, problems start to occur for Los Angeles.

  1. New York Giants (5-1)

Last Week – 11th 

At this point, we all have to put our hands up and say fair play to what the Giants are doing. Stopping Lamar Jackson isn’t an easy task, yet week in-week out, New York keeps beating these teams no one gives them a chance against. Going into the year they were primed for a high draft pick and five wins on the season might have been a success. Yet they’ve gone and got five wins across six weeks, and with an easier schedule among the league, what’s stopping them from going to the play-offs?

Giants winning despite the metrics

The main question is how sustainable is this way of winning for New York. Three of their wins have been comebacks of at least 14 points, while they possess a bottom tier quarterback and 30th ranked DVOA defence. Whether they can keep this up we will see, but at the end of the day all that matters is the record tally. 

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

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3)

Last Week – 6th

When Brady made his big U-Turn out of retirement, I’m sure this is what he wasn’t expecting. Right now this Buccaneers side is being carried by a defence while it waits for its offence to pick things up. 

To be fair it’s not the worst situation for Brady to be in. This Tampa defence is great and can carry the load, while Brady and his weapons get themselves on the same page. Now whether they can do that will be the question, but knowing Brady it’s normally a safe bet to back him.

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

  1. New England Patriots (3-3)

Last Week – 18th

I’ve come up with a Hollywood story here, let me set the plotline. 

A senior does his duties and breaks the records as he becomes a legend for his respected college. Now our main character here wants to go to the big league, but they don’t care about records and want to know how athletic he is. Our star here isn’t very athletic so he falls all the way down Day 3 of the Draft and an old man that wears a sleeveless hoodie likes what he sees. Nothing is given to him and he must watch from the bench until the star QB gets injured and his name is called upon. From that moment the rest is history and he goes on to win seven Super Bowls.

Sounds familiar right. That’s the career for Bailey Zappe!!!

Up next: vs. Chicago, Tuesday 1:15 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. Los Angeles Rams (3-3)

Last Week – 13th 

The stories that dominated the headlines for the Rams this week was the Cam Akers situation. Akers is physically healthy, but the relationship between him and Sean McVay has been simmering throughout training camp, when Akers missed time with what the team said was a soft tissue injury. Afterwards McVay publicly said he needed more ‘urgency’ from Akers, as a trade now seems near.

The Rams may not have the most dynamic set of weapons like they once had, but it’s hard to believe they won’t be able to improve upon their No. 25 ranking in offensive DVOA after the bye.

Up next: Bye week

  1. New York Jets (4-2)

Last Week – 22nd

With Sauce Gardner, Breece Hall, Garrett Wilson and Max Mitchell, the Jets are one of only two teams in the league, with four rookies who have each played 200 snaps on offence or defence. The excitement about the resurgent Jets is not just because they’re playing well, but because they look like they have a young core that they can develop into building blocks for this team.

Not too many people can ever say they have the bookies favourite for Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year.

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

  1. Tennessee Titans (3-2)

Last Week – 15th

No Titans football last Sunday, but if you didn’t hear Tennessee beat Alabama. If you’re from the area and happen to see a goal post laying about let the university know, they’re missing one.

Up next: vs. Indianapolis, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Las Vegas Raiders (1-4)

Last Week – 17th

Up one spot and they probably spent all weekend in the casino. Nice work Vegas. If you just keep taking a bye week every week, you’ll probably be in the top-10 sooner rather than later.

Up next: vs. Houston, Sunday 9:05 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Atlanta Falcons

Last Week – 21st

Arthur Smith has really brought that Tennessee run game with him, and seemingly done it without Derrick Henry. Atlanta ranks No. 1 in rushing DVOA and third in rushing yards per game, with three 50-yard runs in Sunday’s win over the Niners. The big question now is whether he can start getting their unicorn Kyle Pitts more involved. Getting his first TD of the season last Sunday was a good start. 

Up next: at Cincinnati, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Seattle Seahawks

Last Week – 24th

After the offence carried the Seahawks defence through the first five games of the season. Seattle shut down Kyler Murray to nine points thanks to a surprise performance from a run defence that had been exposed through the start of the season. 

All while the offence remains consistently good, with rookie Kenneth Walker shooting onto the scene this week winning Smashmouthing Football’s ‘Rookie of the Week.’

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

  1. Green Bay Packers

Last Week – 12th

As sluggish as the Packers’s offence has been, the defence is arguably now their biggest disappointment, ranking 24th in DVOA and 32nd against the run. It sounds strange but as a Lions fan I was over the moon when Rodgers extended his stay in Green Bay for this very reason. As much as people think the salary cap is a myth, it’s not and the Packers had to let go of some good players to keep them under it. A guy like Za’Darius Smith would come very handy for this defence now but instead they have to keep an ageing quarterback who will be gone in two years.

Up next: at Washington, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Miami Dolphins

Last Week – 14th

It’s never easy winning in this league when your starting quarterback goes down and it’s even tougher when the backup quarterback also follows suit. With the carousel of quarterback-backs coming through in Miami, you’d think it would make life easier when throwing to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. 

Well that’s partly true as they rank first in EPA per play against man coverage. The problem that comes with that is opposing defences have started to steadily decline in man coverage plays, with Minnesota this Sunday only running this scheme 6.8% of the time.

Up next: vs. Pittsburgh, Monday 1:20 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. Indianapolis Colts

Last Week – 25th

Matty Ice keeping things cool

Indy’s offence has been nothing short of abysmal this season, ranking dead last in the majority of statistics, but Sunday’s performance was the turnaround fans have been waiting for. Part of the reason for that was the emergence of rookie Alec Pierce who went on to catch the winning touchdown in their come from behind win. Credit to Matt Ryan as well, who got the passing game going by completing a staggering 42 passes for 389 yards and three touchdowns.

Up next: at Tennessee, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars

Last Week – 16th

The Jaguars rank last in the league in Football Outsider’s variance, meaning they have been the least consistent team in the league on a week-to-week basis. That’s what happens I guess when you go from beating the Chargers by 28 points to losing at home to the Texans. Don’t be surprised when they beat the 5-1 Giants at home this week then. 

Up next: vs. New York Giants, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Cleveland Browns

Last Week – 20th

Despite the losing record Cleveland was keeping games close before this weekend against the Patriots, with their first three losses all being one score games. That changed when the Patriots beat them badly in their own backyard, as the Browns now run the risk of being out of the playoff race before Deshaun Watson even gets under centre. Their next two games are back-to-back AFC North affairs against the Ravens and Bengals, in what will be crucial games for the future of their season.

Up next: at Baltimore, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. New Orleans Saints

Last Week – 23rd

Ja’Marr Chase’s 60-yard touchdown catch Sunday was the longest winning touchdown scored with less than two minutes in a game since the Dolphins famous lateral touchdown on the final play of their 2018 win against the Patriots. As well as the Saints played, it felt like a fairy story waiting to come true for Chase and Burrow in Louisiana and it did. 

Up next: at Arizona, Friday 1:15 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. Arizona Cardinals

Last Week – 19th

Things keep going downhill for the Cardinals after a nine-point performance and an injury to Marquise Brown, who potentially could be for the year. The one last hope for them is the return of DeAndre Hopkins this week. The Cardinals are 16-10 with him and 5-8 without him. With this last throw at the dart board, if it seemingly fails, it might be time for a coaching and general manager change in Arizona.

Up next: VS. New Orleans, Friday 1:15 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers

Last Week – 29th

In a tale of events that no one saw coming, Kenny Pickett went down with a concussion during Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay, and Mitch Trubisky came in and saved the day. Now Trubisky put on a good performance but you would hope Pittsburgh aren’t too hasty and bench the young guy before things really even got started. That said, with a matchup against Miami this week, we would rather not have controversy of two recently concussed players going head-to-head.

Up next: at Miami, Monday 1:20 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. Denver Broncos

Last Week – 26th

Denver entered Monday night ranked second in defensive DVOA and played to that level, getting after Herbert throughout. The defence looks well-coached and strong, which sadly still can’t be said for the offence. I feel like a broken record banging on about it every week, but you can tell some of the starting players in that offence are not happy. With a trade deadline looming, moves may or may not be made but something needs to change in personnel for sure.

Up next: vs. New York Jets, Sunday 9:05 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Detroit Lions

Last Week – 28th

Off a bye week, it felt like the perfect time for this team to huddle up, hash things out and get healthy. However, only negative news continued to come out of Detroit. Last year’s second round pick Levi Onwuzurike had potential career ending back surgery, 13 players are still on the injury reports and Dan Campbell announced the owner is frustrated with how things have developed. It’s really going to be a tough few months unless they turn it around and fast.

Up next: at Dallas, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Washington Commanders

Last Week – 31st

Thursdays Night Football seems to be an offensive curse, but the Commanders escaped Chicago with a win. It just so happens Carson Wentz escaped with a fractured finger that’s going to require surgery, keeping him out for four to six weeks. Ron Rivera gets his wish of a new quarterback and will have to choose between backup Taylor Heinicke, or let the young gun rookie Sam Howell have a crack. This Sunday, Heinicke gets the nod. 

Up next: vs. Green Bay, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Chicago Bears

Last Week – 27th

The running debate in Chicago seems to be what’s the bigger issue on offence, and which person is going to lose their job because of it come the end of the season. On one hand you have Justin Fields, who can make the case for the lack of talent around him, though his reaction after his helmet interception doesn’t do himself any favours. 

Fields is 23rd of 33 quarterbacks in EPA per dropback, while the offence is 30th in DVOA. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has somehow structured an offensive system that is entirely uninterested in working around Fields’ pros and cons, which is rarely a good idea. There’s plenty of weeks remaining so we’ll see how this debate plays out.

Up next: at New England, Tuesday 1:15 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. Houston Texans

Last Week – 31st

Davis Mills and the offence are playing their way to a new quarterback next offseason, which is exactly what the doctor ordered for the rebuilding Texans. Houston ranks 27th in offensive EPA per drive and Mills is at the centre to all the inefficiency. Only Baker Mayfield has a lower EPA per dropback average through Week 6 than Mills, and his coach just got fired. 

Up next: at Las Vegas, Sunday 4:05 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Carolina Panthers

Last Week – 32nd

Steve Wilks was given the interim job after Matt Rhule’s firing last week and he had a fun science experiment in his first game in charge. 

The Panthers attempted 21 passes on the weekend with the travel average of such passes being 0.9 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Yep on average they throw the ball less than 1 yard every time. I’m as mind-boggled as you are reading that stat. How does that even happen? 

Unsurprising in TruMedia’s database, that is the lowest average depth of target they have ever recorded in their eight years of existence.

Up next: vs. Tampa Bay, Sunday 1 p.m. BST/GMT

Week 6 Power Rankings

By Conor Perrett

We have a new name at the top spot, as we count down our Week 5 Power Rankings. With fallers and risers across the Top 10, and a new team at the bottom. 

Check out our rankings below: 

  1. Buffalo Bills (4-1)

Last Week – 3rd

We have a new contender at the top spot! Philadelphia hasn’t done anything to warrant losing the spot, it’s just the Bills are just a step ahead of everyone. Through five weeks Josh Allen is the MVP leader and he doesn’t look like slowing down, as he threw a 98- yard touchdown less than a minute into Sunday’s blowout win against the Steelers. 

Prior to the game the Bills had scored 12 touchdowns with all 12 either being thrown or rushed in by Allen. In Sunday’s win he threw four more touchdowns and until James Cook finally ended that stat when he rushed in for his first NFL touchdown.

Up next: at Kansas City, Sunday 9:25 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (5-0)

Last Week – 1st

Now it feels harsh dropping Philadelphia off that top spot when they still got the job done and kept their undefeated streak alive. In my defence, the offence and defence are still elite and they still remain the top contender out of the NFC. But in no fault of their own, they just lack that scary superstar factor especially on offence. Jalen Hurts is having a career year but the stigma around him going into the year was he might not be the man. Now he has proven to the fan-base through these five weeks that he is indeed, but he’s going to have to do it over a longer stretch to prove people outside the fan-base of his capabilities.

Up next: vs. Dallas, Monday 1:20 a.m. BST/EST

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (4-1)

Last Week – 2nd

Kansas City took every punch the Raiders could throw at them on Monday night, but it just wasn’t enough to bring ’em to the mat.’ After going down 17-0 early in the second quarter, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce connected for four touchdowns to erase the deficit and eventually out-dueled the Raiders in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs enter their Week 6 matchup with the top-ranked offence in EPA per play. In the highly anticipated rematch with the Bills since the AFC play-offs in January, they’re going to need that, as we can expect 60 minutes of fireworks when Mahomes and Allen clash.

Up next: at vs Buffalo, Sunday 9:25 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Baltimore Ravens (3-2)

Last Week – 4th

The top three are in a class of their own, with the Ravens just behind. They have the high-powered offence but lack the consistency on defence like the others do. But in their game last week against the Bengals, they showed us something they haven’t done all year. Staying strong in the fourth quarter and walking out with the win.

Their special teams also deserve some love as Baltimore’s unit is ranked first in DVOA metrics. Future Hall of Fame kicker Justin Tucker has a part to play with that going 4-for-4 in field goal attempts in the team’s 19-17 win over the Bengals. Tucker has now made 61 consecutive kicks in the fourth quarter or overtime.

Up next: at New York Giants, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT 

  1. San Francisco 49ers (3-2)

Last Week – 8th

I mentioned last week that the 49ers have potential to be risers in these power rankings and they continue to do so. The 49ers remind me of the old 2000’s Ravens teams with Ray Lewis: they have a strong defence that could be considered best in the league and they keep the ball safe on offence. It might not be the explosive offence that we thought we were going to get under Trey Lance, but Kyle Shanahan has the team rolling on slowly but surely with Garoppolo at the helm.  

In honesty it’s fairly obvious how this team wants to play. They want to win in the trenches. Establish the run game and then hit play actions once that gets working. But if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

Up next: at Atlanta, Sunday 6 p.m BST/GMT

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2)

Last Week – 6th

Nothing has looked pretty for the Buccaneers this season, but the offence is finally showing signs of life. After finishing 31st in EPA per drive (-0.77) after the first three weeks, Tampa Bay ranked sixth in the same statistic in Weeks 4 and 5, respectively. Quarterback Tom Brady is still getting the ball out faster than anyone else and completing a high percentage of his passes, and his receiving corps has stepped up after the catch in a big way. 

Buccaneers pass catchers ranked 22nd in total yards after the catch (292) through the first three games, but no other team has totaled more in the last two weeks(383). That’s a good sign for fantasy owners, who were waiting on breakout games from their Bucs’ stars.

Up next: at Pittsburgh, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Dallas Cowboys (4-1)

Last Week – 11th

Quarterback Cooper Rush completed only 10 passes and the offence scored just one touchdown, but their stifling defence was all the Cowboys needed to beat the defending Super Bowl champion Rams last Sunday. Rush only completing 10 passes is not promising and the Cowboys won’t win many games when that happens, but a serious question might need to be asked soon. 

The Cowboys and Dak Prescott saga went on for far too long and with Dak looking to return this week or the week after, he will be put straight back into his starting spot. But, and this is a big but, if he doesn’t hit the ground running, should Rush keep the starter spot? Cooper hasn’t set the world alight by all means, but similar to what’s happening over in San Fran with Jimmy G, he’s keeping the ball safe and winning. You can’t ask much more from a back-up than that.

Up next: vs. Philadelphia, Monday 1:20 a.m. BST/EST

  1. Cincinnati Bengals (2-3)

Last Week – 5th

Now we don’t rank on records here but I know it looks suspicious to rank this two-win Bengals side in the top 10 above 4-1 teams. I just honestly believe this side is on their way to figuring things out. They had a ugly start, but looked on the way up after that until a one-point loss this Sunday to a Top Four side in the league. Their defence is an elite unit and they have too many weapons on offence to not turn things around. 

Ja’Marr Chase hasn’t had the impact compared to his breakout year but he’s still the No. 1 receiver every team wants. Zac Taylor just needs to improve his play-calling and start scheming plays for Chase to get him open from these double teams.

Up next: at New Orleans, Sunday 1 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Los Angeles Chargers (3-2)

Last Week – 14th

The Chargers defence, which ranks 28th in defensive EPA per play through Week 5, is still a massive concern. When Brandon Staley came in he was defensive coordinator of a Rams’ defence that was No.1 and looked to be the next great defensive mind. Well that hasn’t turned out so far with the Chargers defence pulling them down for the last 18 months

Somehow despite seemingly having broken hips, Justin Herbert is still thriving, ranking sixth in EPA per dropback. Austin Ekeler has taken a big step up when they needed him, scoring five touchdowns in the last two weeks.

Up next: vs. Denver, Tuesday 1:15 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. Minnesota Vikings (4-1)

Last Week – 13th

Minnesota is thriving on offence under first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell and it’s led to them being the new favourites to win the NFC North. The Vikings lead the league in first-down conversion percentage on first down at 29%, and the offence is 10th in EPA per drive, but part of me still isn’t sold on this team.

They have one of the easier schedules in the league whilst in a bad division and I think it’s making them look better than their record suggests. In those four wins, only one has been a staple win, with their loss being real ugly against the only team they’ve played that ranks in the top tier of these rankings.

Up next: at Miami, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. New York Giants (4-1)

Last Week – 23rd

Now I have been on record not giving New York the credit they deserve. I’ve praised their efficiency and the determination of this young side, but describe them in a way that labels them lucky and on the down-slide. Well, I’m going to change that as they get a massive 12 place bump this week. Winning in this league isn’t easy and something I do know is 4-1 isn’t a fluke, with all the credit going towards Brian Daboll and his coaching staff. 

Daniel Jones who ranks 17th in EPA per dropback is also throwing to one of the most injury-plagued and disappointing receiving corps in the NFL. This defence ranks outside the top half of the league in yards allowed per play, but somehow they are winning. Daboll’s in-game coaching adjustments have been fantastic and most recently shutting out Aaron Rodgers for an entire second half in London.

  1. Green Bay Packers (3-2)

Last Week – 9th

What happened to the Packers’ explosive plays? Aaron Rodgers’s average time to throw (2.44 seconds) is the fourth-fastest in the NFL, and an NFL-high 62 percent of his passing yards have come after the catch. The Packers are simply getting the ball out too quick on shallow concepts and not testing the field out vertically.

Now when you have a receivers room that Rodgers clearly doesn’t trust, that’s what is going to happen. Unless this changes, it’s not going to turn into a successful offence that will win.

Up next: vs. New York Jets, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Los Angeles Rams (2-3)

Last Week – 10th

The Rams truly are in a hang-over limbo with the offensive line, receiving corps, and Stafford himself have all seemingly taken a massive step backward from their Super Bowl win a year ago. Stafford constantly seems to be under pressure and hasn’t had any success throwing the ball downfield. He’s had just 16 compilations on passes thrown for more than 10 yards.

With a coach-less Panthers team next and then a bye the week after, it gives them two weeks to figure things out. But even with the league’s most aggressive front office, none of these problems are getting fixed overnight. 

Up next: vs. Carolina, Sunday 9:05 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Miami Dolphins (3-2)

Last Week – 7th

By the second offensive snap of Sunday’s game against the Jets, the Dolphins were down to their third-string QB, rookie Skylar Thompson, after Teddy Bridgewater was removed under the NFL’s new concussion protocol. Thompson completed 19 of 33 passes for 166 yards and threw an interception in his NFL debut. 

Running back Raheem Mostert and the Dolphins’ rushing attack helped keep the game close into the fourth quarter, but after Tyreek Hill exited with a foot injury, the offence unsurprisingly ran out of gas in the final 15 minutes of their 40-17 loss to the Jets.

Now with Tua expected to practice this week and if injuries go their way with Hill, then this team is better than stated here. But realistically Miami as it stands are on a two game losing streak and rolling with a third-string rookie QB. 

Up next: vs. Minnesota, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Tennessee Titans (3-2)

Last Week – 15th

Derrick Henry is keeping this offence afloat right now, with the recent injury to Treylon Burks doing the team no favours. After a slow start, Henry now has 10 more carries than any other player in the league over the past three weeks, and he ranks fourth in total rushing yards (301) over that span.

Coincidentally, in that span Tannehill ranks fourth in EPA per dropback. It goes to show Henry is still the most important player on this team and if they are to find any success, he’s got to stay healthy.

Up next: Bye

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3)

Last Week – 12th

Trevor Lawrence could be excused when he had five turnovers in rainy Philadelphia last week, but there’s no excuses for his performance in sunny Florida against the Texans. With two interceptions on the day, maybe it’s not time to panic but Lawrence hasn’t been the can’t miss prospect of the decade, like we all thought he was.

With the mess of his rookie season under Urban Meyer, he can comfortably get let off that. But now he has a Super Bowl-winning head coach who’s got this team, especially on the defensive side playing well. Over the past two weeks Lawrence ranks 27th in EPA drop back and needs to step it up and show the become the player we saw in high school and college.

Up next: at Indianapolis, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Las Vegas Raiders (1-4)

Last Week – 17th

The Raiders have shown flashes of excellence, whether it’s Derek Carr finding Devante Adams, Josh Jacobs ploughing through a defender or Maxx Crosby flying off the edge. Those are the kind of superstar players that teams need in the important moments. Right now though, Josh McDaniels just can’t seem to put a full four quarters together and continue to fall at the final hurdle.

Now, granted the refs have made calls that have affected the outcome of games, but a failed 2-point conversion has come back to hurt Vegas again. If they harbour any hopes of the play-offs, decisions like that need to be ironed out.

Up next: Bye

  1. New England Patriots (2-3)

Last Week – 24th

The Patriots held out the No. 1 scoring offence to zero points. Yes that offence was the Detroit Lions, but through four weeks there was no denying that they were an explosive offence that was scoring for fun. What will be more hopeful to fans is the 29 points they put up. It’s the first time this season they have finished top-12 in offensive EPA per drive and with Mac Jones to return, a 29-0 win is a nice way to break out an offensive slump.

Up next: at Cleveland, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT/BST

  1. Arizona Cardinals (2-3)

Last Week – 20th

Even though the Cardinals had a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter against the Eagles, the team is still going through the same struggles week in and week out. Offensively, Kyler Murray and Co. are not creating any explosive plays or moving the ball efficiently on early downs.

When Kliff Kingsbury was named head coach, a high explosive offence is what we thought was coming with him. But right now the Cardinals are far from that, as they sit twiddling their thumbs until Hopkins comes back after Week 8.

Up next: at Seattle, Sunday 9:05 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Cleveland Browns (2-3)

Last Week – 19th

Running back Nick Chubb is playing like a man possessed, leading the league in PFF rushing grade (90.7), forced missed tackles (42), total yards after contact (415), and total runs of 10-plus yards (20). Chubb’s efforts combined with the quarterbacking from Jacoby Brissett have Cleveland’s offence surprisingly sixth in EPA per drive.

But like we keep saying every week this defence is holding them back. Through DVOA’s metrics they are ranked 30th. They made a trade for former pro bowl linebacker Deion Jones Sunday night, in the hope of fixing the league’s worst run defences by DVOA. 

Up next: vs. New England, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Atlanta Falcons (2-3)

Last Week – 18th

Without Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Pitts, Atlanta didn’t score a point until the start of the fourth quarter against Tampa Bay on Sunday. Marcus Mariota was under pressure on more than 40 percent of his drop-backs, and the offence struggled until the Bucs started playing a bit more conservatively up 21-0 late in the game.

I still like the direction Atlanta is heading, but if Sunday’s game has anything to show of going up against a top defence like Tampa, then they aren’t going to have much more fun when they face San Francisco this weekend.

Up next: vs. San Francisco, 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. New York Jets (3-2)

Last Week – 27th

Since his return in Week 4, Zach Wilson has played well in his sophomore season, but the two stars to this team have been picks from their 2022 rookie class. Breece Hall totaled 197 yards and a touchdown on 20 touches as he starts to become a focal point for this offence.

While on the defensive side, Sauce Gardner got his first interception. According to PFF, Gardner has allowed just 127 total yards and one touchdown on 24 targets through five games.

Up next: at Green Bay, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. New Orleans Saints

Last Week – 26th

Every year Tayson Hill has a game where he becomes Superman and can do anything on a football field. Well this week was one of those weeks as Hill rushed for 112 yards and three touchdowns on only nine carries, whilst also throwing a 22-yard touchdown on his only pass attempt. As the Saints wait for Jameis Winston and Micheal Thomas’ return, Hill will continue to be a spokesman for football superheroes.

Up next: vs. Cincinnati, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Seattle Seahawks (2-3)

Last Week – 21st

The Seahawks defence ranks 31st in total points allowed (154) and 32nd in yards per play allowed through five weeks, all while Geno Smith is playing his heart out. 

Smith going into the season was viewed as a temporary piece until they drafted their long-term man. Well so far Smith has exceeded any expectations of him as he ranks third among starters in EPA per drop-back and first among QB’s in PFF grade (90.2). 

This Hawks defence will keep them near the bottom of the league, but Smith is doing everything he can and then some to keep the team in games every week.  

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

  1. Indianapolis Colts (2-2-1)

Last Week – 25th

The Colts offence has been a complete disaster, as the once dominant Colts running game now ranks 32nd in DVOA. Currently they are also 32nd in EPA per drive and total points scored and things hit an all time low in Thursday Night Football. Matt Ryan has already thrown seven interceptions on the season and fumbled the ball 11 times! Yet somehow they find themselves getting wins. However, Frank Reich is still under immense pressure.

Up next: vs. Jacksonville, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Denver Broncos (2-3)

Last Week – 16th

Both Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett are in the public eye for very bad football reasons right now, and there’s no reason to believe they are getting themselves out of this mess. In an ugly 12-9 loss on TNF, Hackett who himself has been making crucial late game mistakes, seemed to throw his quarterback under the bus in his post-game conference.

The Broncos are in a deep hole that has gotten uglier with every week. Players lashing out on the field to Wilson’s mistakes, while fans endure a boring sluggish team. Denver were meant to have entered their Super Bowl window with the moves they made this off-season, but right now they are the laughing stock of the league with another prime time game awaiting them in Week 6.

Up next: at Los Angeles Chargers, Tuesday 1:15 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. Chicago Bears (2-3)

Last Week – 30th

When kept clean in his pocket Justin Fields ranks second in EPA per drop-back, second to only Patrick Mahomes. It’s a positive sign for the former Ohio State prospect that should have Bears fans excited for his potential future. It just so happens he still has a mess of a offensive line and an incompetent receiver corps right now. 

Up next: vs. Washington, Friday 1:15 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. Detroit Lions (1-4)

Last Week – 22nd

After a performance last week that saw the Lions give up 48 points and then going on scoring 0 points this week, Dan Campbell described the situation as “rock bottom.” The Lions have been a poverty franchise for 70 years. Their lone playoff run came over 30 years ago and since then it’s been a constant rotation of rebuilds. Hope after hope, Lions fans think they’re heading in the right direction only to be left disappointed. In a way, no fans have gone through the miserable times as much as Lions fans.

Last year when Dan Campbell stood at a podium in his induction press conference crying on the stand because of how passionate he was about the team and city, fans lapped it up and believed more than ever. Campbell can sympathize with them because he’s played in Detroit and knows how the fans in the city feel. In his first year he was allowed a pass but with two off-seasons under his belt now, he described it himself. The Detroit Lions are at rock bottom, not even a year and a half into their rebuild. Hopefully they find themselves after the bye-week.

Up next: Bye

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4)

Last Week – 28th

Pickett, when up against the Bills, wasn’t nearly as awful as Mitchell Trubisky had been through the first four weeks of the season, which isn’t saying much. But he showed typical rookie growing pains. Against a top defence it was never going to be easy but he finished top-five in passing yards, completed 65% of passes and had an impressive pocket presence during his first start in the NFL. He has another tough match-up on Sunday against the Bucs. 

Up next: vs. Tampa Bay, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Houston Texans (1-3-1)

Last Week – 32nd

Rookie running back Dameon Pierce is a lone star on an otherwise bad Texans team, as he outperforms his draft spot. Rushing for 99 yards and a touchdown was okay but the stat hidden was forcing 17 missed tackles, a record in an NFL game, per PFF. He now ranks fifth in NFL rushing yards, helping the Texans take themselves off of the bottom spot in these rankings. 

Up next: Bye

  1. Washington Commanders (1-4)

Last Week – 31st

Carson Wentz right now is tied first for interceptions thrown on a clean drop-back with five. Right now the Commanders problems are not just at the quarterback position as they need to create stability in the offensive line and second and third levels on the defence. 

But Wentz is currently doing them no favours and it is getting real ugly when head coach Ron Rivera is taking shots at him during a press conference. They should have an even matchup against the Bears on Thursday Night Football. 

Up next: at Chicago, Friday, 1:15 BST/GMT

  1. Carolina Panthers (1-4)

Last Week – 29th

There we have it, Matt Rhule was the first to fall, as he was fired earlier in the week.

In truth, switching from college coaching to NFL has never been a success, just ask Urban Meyer. Even the great Nick Saben couldn’t figure a way out to get it to work. The Panthers now will enter a rebuild as they potentially trade away key pieces for draft picks and Rhule will find a new coaching job in the college world. There have been rumours of Christian McCaffery going to Buffalo. If that happens, how long until DJ Moore and Brian Burns follow?

Up next: at Los Angeles Rams, Sunday 9:05 p.m. BST/GMT

Week 5 NFL Power Rankings

By Conor Perrett

Four weeks in and we’re starting to see the identity of some of these teams, with the good and bad of everyone now coming out. There is only one undefeated team left while a winless team climbs our ranks. Let’s get into the Smashmouthing Football’s Power Rankings as we approach Week 5.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (4-0)

Last Week – 1

As the only remaining undefeated team in the league, the Eagles really haven’t faced high-level competition so far. Their biggest challenge came this week against their former head coach Doug Pederson and his Jaguars. After falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter and faced adversity for the first time this season, the Eagles turned things around and put up 29 unanswered points to keep their winning streak alive.

The man on show this week was Miles Sanders, getting 29 touches on the day taking it for 156 yards and two touchdowns. In previous years, the Eagles have followed a running back committee, but this season Sanders is making the most of the opportunity to be the lead back.

What continues to be a strength for this side is the performance out of this defence. They suffocated Jacksonville’s offence this Sunday, allowing just 219 total yards, while forcing six three-and-outs and four sacks.

Up next: at Cardinals, Sunday 9:25 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (3-1)

Last Week – 5

Patrick Mahomes reminded us all this weekend on why he shouldn’t be forgotten as the best player in the league. Even without Tyreek Hill, Mahomes and Andy Reid are still thriving, ranking No. 1 in offensive EPA per drive. After a lapse in concentration against the Colts, Tampa’s defence was no easy bounce back match, but boy did they put on a show. Forty-one points, 417 total yards and five touchdowns make the Chiefs a serious contender again. The points they scored Sunday night were the most allowed by a Todd Bowles defence since 2018, when he was coaching the Jets. 

Up next: vs. Raiders, Tuesday 1:15 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. Buffalo Bills (3-1)

Last Week – 3

Buffalo delivered and they needed to after the previous week’s loss to Miami. In a way the regular season is just a simulation for Buffalo, as what really matters to them is in January and hopefully February. In the middle of their Super Bowl window, we know this team is going to get through the season just fine. But with injuries adding up, this come from behind win they managed against fellow contender Baltimore, shows the mentality of this team. Buffalo are perhaps the most well rounded team in the league as they rank sixth in EPA per drive on offence and third in EPA per drive on defence.

They can have a week to breathe against the Steelers this week, but will be straight back to it again when they match-up against Patrick Mahomes in the most exciting matchup on the NFL calendar the week after. 

Up next: vs. Steelers, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Baltimore Ravens (2-2)

Last Week – 4

John Harbaugh’s decision to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line in a 20-20 game with 4:15 left was a bold decision and resulted in a Lamar Jackson interception. It’s always easy to criticise decisions once it’s all said and done, but if it wasn’t for two fourth quarter collapses this team would be undefeated right now. In the crucial moments things haven’t quite gone their way and they need to improve upon that, but they have shown plenty of upside in the first three quarters of those losses.

Via DVOA’s metrics this offence and special teams are first in the league. They need to tighten up on defence but we know, under Harbaugh, how good they can be on that side of the ball. Lamar Jackson is balling out and is looking for a second MVP award, so fix that defence and they will be a very serious contender.

Up next: vs. Bengals,  Sunday Night Football, Mon 1:20 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)

Last Week – 9

It feels the top four teams pick themselves at the moment and in a tier below, we have the Bengals leading the way. After a slow start to the season, these last two weeks they figured things out again. The defence is playing well, No. 6 in EPA per drive and the offence is picking up where they left off last year. 

The offensive line, which they invested so much into this past year, is steadily improving, while they possess one of the best wide receiving corps in the league. Ja’marr Chase’s stats are a bit down, as teams scheme against him, but only to the annoyance of his fantasy owners. Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd won’t mind making the most of other people’s misfortune.  With a Sunday Night Football affair in Baltimore, expect a fireworks show, in what looks like the game of the week.

Up next: at Ravens, Monday 1:20 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2)

Last Week – 8

The Bucs, despite giving up 41 points to the Chiefs on Sunday night, deserve the benefit of the doubt to some degree with a defence that was the best in the league through the first three weeks. Patrick Mahomes did special things that no other defence was stopping that night. While the offence is full of ageing skill-position players, who are just trying to make it to the end of the season healthy. 

Though it may seem confusing to see them rise after a loss, they looked good in defeat, as they bide their time to strike late in the season.

Up next: vs. Falcons, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Miami Dolphins (3-1)

Last Week – 2

The Dolphins really should be a feel good story right now. They’ve got a high explosive offence that’s second in DVOA’s metrics. They have Tyreek Hill and Jalen Waddle burning defences over the top. One of the most bliz-heavy defences in the league, creating for exciting matchups like we saw against the Ravens and Bills.  

But looming over their head is the troubling handling of the Tua Tagovailoa situation. Tua’s already been ruled out for their Week 5 match against the Jets, and we likely haven’t heard the last of this injury.

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

  1. San Francisco 49ers (2-2)

Last Week – 16

The big riser this week as they break into the top-10. The 9ers have no reason to not stop rising in the following weeks. They have perhaps the best defence in football right now holding the Rams to no touchdowns on Monday night. One fewer than the 49ers’ defence scored themselves!

While on offence they are getting the basics done and are looking clean. Granted their topman Trent Willams is missing time, but under Jimmy G this offence is doing what they need to do to get by. When you have a defence as good as they do it’s important to not try to be the hero, get the job done and don’t turn the ball over. While they are not as explosive as they might have been under Trey Lance, Deebo Samual is making plays when his name is being called, and they put their defence in situations to win games which is a smart approach..

Up next: at Panthers, Sunday 9:05 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Green Bay Packers (3-1)

Last Week – 7

It’s funny how power rankings work. The Packers won this week, yet drop two spots. It’s easy to rank these teams on wins and losses or what the record says, but frankly Green Bay is not playing like a 3-1 record contender.

They got blown out of it in Week 1, beat a horrible Bears side in Week 2, and then scraped wins in Week 3 and 4 by the skin of their teeth in ugly performances. Credit where credit is due, they are getting wins with underwhelming performances and with a young new offence, that you would hope improves over time. But with even Aaron Rodgers looking a step behind his usual self, we’re going to have to start seeing some improvement before they rise up the rankings.

Up next: vs. New York Giants (in London), Sunday 2:30 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Los Angeles Rams (2-2)

Last Week – 6

The Rams so far haven’t had the best of luck playing against two of the league’s best defences in the first four weeks. This offence ranks all the way down at 28th in EPA per drive, while timely mistakes on defence middle them out at 19th in defensive EPA per drive. 

There’s plenty of time to go, but things are not working out. The offensive line has regressed massively since last year and Allen Robinson is a ghost among this offence. With a bye week looming in Week 7, it seems a perfect week to hash things out, get creative with new ideas and kick themselves into gear for the second half of the season.

Up next: vs. Cowboys, Sunday 9:25 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Dallas Cowboys (3-1)

Last Week – 12

After things looked dire following Dak Prescott’s Week 1 injury, the Cowboys are all of a sudden loaded with a potentially elite defence and a returning quarterback just in time for a prime time Week 6 showdown in Philadelphia.

Cooper Rush has got this offence going along nicely and is doing it really without a running game at the moment. When Dak comes in we can only expect for things to open up in that department, as opposing defence schemes against the pass more. 

Up next: at LA Rams, Sunday 9:25 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2)

Last Week – 10

The Jaguars are the surprise around the league right now, as they seem to be taking a Benagls’ like leap from last year. Picking first overall in the draft just a few months ago, Doug Pederson has got this rebuild far ahead of schedule. Fourteen-nil up against the consensus No.1 team, away from home, was a start no one saw coming. The loss is a tough one to take as Trevor Lawrence looked more like his rookie season self, but it’s a good improvement for a young side.

After leading the league in interceptions last year, the most hyped up college prospect in recent memory turned the ball over five times against the Eagles. It was a wet affair against a top defence, but it’s still not what we expected for Lawrence’s early NFL career. Overall, this team is very well-rounded as they join only the Eagles and Bills in having an above average offence and defence, per EPA per drive.

Up next: vs. Texans, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Minnesota Vikings (3-1)

Last Week – 13

The Vikings feel like they’re in the same sort of spot as their divisional rivals Green Bay. Their record says they are a top team but when you sit down and watch the games they don’t play like that. The last two weeks they have gotten wins where it could have gone either way and luck was on their side. With a favourable schedule for the rest of the season, they gain a benefit of beating up on a poor NFC North, but the performances must improve or they won’t be lasting long when it gets round to January.

The defence, which is going through an overhaul, is below average at best and there’s too much inconsistency on offence. One week Justin Jefferson will set the world alight, the next he’s nowhere to be seen. That falls on Kirk Cousins, who has not made the step-up under Kevin O’Connell so far. Against the blitz, Cousins ranks 30th of 31 qualifying quarterbacks in EPA per dropback when facing it.

Up next: vs. Bears, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Los Angeles Chargers (2-2)

Last Week – 15

This Chargers side is better than the numbers suggest but they are hanging on for dear life with all these injuries. It’s hard to take into perspective how they deal with this, as they played the winless Houston Texans this week. One positive note was sixth-round rookie Jamaree Salyer held up well in his debut at left tackle, allowing just a single pressure in 41 pass blocking snaps, according to PFF.

With a road trip to Cleveland up next, we should get a better comparison on how this Chargers team will hold up for the foreseeable future. 

Up next: at Browns, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Tennessee Titans (2-2)

Last Week – 18

The Titans defence really is throwing waiver-wire picks-ups into the thick of it. In the last two weeks, four signings off other teams practice squads have been inserted into the Titans starting lineup from the get go. Despite this they have still scrambled their way to an average defence. While on offence the surprise has been Derrick Henry, who has started to get involved in the passing game. As the rushing attack ranks 26th in EPA per rush and carry, the involvement makes sense. He is Tennessee’s best weapon and the more he’s involved the more this Titans team is likely to win.

Up next: at Washington, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Denver Broncos (2-2)

Last Week – 11

With a brand new system, new teammates and a coaching staff that has been overhauled, it’s still early days in Denver before we start panicking. Yes, Hackett has got his fair share of criticism as this offence ranks 30th in scoring. And with running-back Javonte Williams now confirmed out for the season, the pressure is only growing on Russell Wilson’s shoulders now.

He got himself the payday of a lifetime this off-season with $124 million guaranteed coming his way over the next three seasons, second only to Deshaun Watson. It’s a bit concerning to see him 15th in EPA per dropback and 16th in passing yards. Denver has been a franchise that has been clambering over finding the right quarterback since Peyton Manning retired, but it’s a hefty price to pay if these are the results they continue to see.   

Up next: vs. Indianapolis, Friday 1:15 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. Las Vegas Raiders (1-3)

Last Week – 29

Up a massive 12 spots, last week I mentioned if the Raiders don’t win in Week 4 their season could be over already. Well they managed to avoid that and get their first win of the season, but when in a division like the AFC West, it only gets harder as they travel to Kansas City this week. It was an impressive win last Sunday as they established the run game with Josh Jacobs rushing for 144 yards and two touchdowns. It’s exactly what this side needed as they try and roll the momentum into MNF.

Up next: at Kansas City, Tuesday 1:15 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. Atlanta Falcons (2-2)

Last Week – 24

If you read this Power Ranking last week, you would have seen I mentioned to keep an eye on Atlanta as they could be a rising stock. That they are, as they are up even spots from last week. They are one of six offences that are above league average in EPA per dropback and EPA per rush, all while their top weapon Kyle Pitts and quarterback Marcus Mariota aren’t reaching the heights we thought.

Now Cordarrelle Patterson has been placed on injured reserve and they face a tough Tampa defence this week, so calm down on pushing their stock any higher. But Arthur Smith has proven his critics wrong so far and as one of them before the season, I have to hold my hands up and admit he’s got this team playing far better than I would have ever thought.

Up next: at Tampa Bay, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Cleveland Browns (2-2)

Last Week – 13

This Browns’ side is a tale of two stories and both are completely different to what we thought before the season. Despite having journeyman Jacoby Brissett as their quarterback, Kevin Stefanski has simplified things down for Brissett as this offence powers heavily on their run game. This offensive line, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt have the Browns second in rushing yards and first in EPA per drive.

The other side of the story has been what’s holding this team down: their defence. Coming in at 28th in EPA per drive while facing the following quarterbacks: Baker Mayfield, Joe Flacco, Mitch Trubisky and Marcus Mariota is far from expected. After having a top-10 defence the last few years, it is weird to see this drop-off and it doesn’t seem to get any easier when their next seven game stretch is the Chargers, the Patriots, at the Ravens, the Bengals, at the Dolphins, at the Bills and the Buccaneers. 

Up next: vs. LA Chargers, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Arizona Cardinals (2-2)

Last Week – 20

Kyler Murray is running a one-man-show over in Arizona right now and keeping Kliff Kingbury in a job. The struggles seem to be consistency issues as they haven’t been able to put four complete quarters together yet. Even facing a bottom team like Carolina last weekend didn’t help as they started slow. DeAndre Hopkins, Murray’s main man,  is a big miss as  Hollywood Brown and Murray haven’t teamed-up like they did in Oklahoma just yet and James Conner, after a tremendous season last year, is only averaging 3.2 yards per carry now.

Up next: vs. Philadelphia, Sunday 9:25 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Seattle Seahawks (2-2)

Last Week – 30

In what will be the biggest fever dream of this season once it is done, the Seahawks and Lions this week just put up a 48-45 scoreline in what really was the battle of the offences. With 1,075 total yards of offence, the only defensive play made all day was a pick-six for the Seahawks. 

With no punts either, Geno Smith really has been the feel good story so far this year. He’s statistically been better this season compared to his past teammate Russell Wilson. In fact through four games, Smith has had better starts than eight of Wilson’s 10 seasons based on QB Rating.

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

  1. Detroit Lions (1-3)

Last Week – 17

In the most Lions fashion they are first in offensive scoring and 32nd in scoring defence. Averaging 35 points on offence is somewhat remarkable especially when they were missing their WR1, WR2, WR3, WR5, WR6, RB1 and both starting guards last Sunday. 

Jarrd Goff is not putting a foot wrong and is making a case to be the long-term future QB in Detroit. Yet somehow this team is 1-3 and already has fans looking at the top draft prospects in October. The worst defensive performance I have ever seen this week is responsible for that. Seattle entered the game scoring 15 per game, yet managed to put up 48 points on the day and didn’t punt once.

It is their 12th one possession loss under Dan Campbell, which is the most in the league since the start of last season. This team needs to start turning these moral victories into real ones. Sure this team shows grit and fights their way back into games, but until they start winning these games, they can’t be taken seriously. 

Up next: at New England, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. New York Giants (3-1)

Last Week – 19

The Giants’ 71 passing yards on Sunday were the fewest for any team in a win this season and the fewest in the league, since the Vikings beat the Bears on MNF last December. Now when you play the Bears, you can be capable of pulling these things off but with Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor both questionable for the Packers in London, it might not be the same story. A bright spot is this defence, who despite losing coordinator Patrick Graham, are holding strong, ranking 13th in defensive EPA per drive.

Up next: vs. Green Bay (in London), Sunday 2:30 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. New England Patriots (1-3)

Last Week – 25

In a surprise appearance, Bailey Zappe made his debut last week going 10-of-15 for 99 yards and a touchdown. It’s never ideal to go down to your third-string QB, but Zappe looked like a reliable quarterback, which teams below the Patriots here probably would consider for their team. The running game is going nicely but apart from that the Patriots are in trouble. It’s just a wonder of how long Belichick will stick around and if he will ever consider a rebuild.

  1. Indianapolis Colts (1-2-1)

Last Week – 21

The Colts are the worst offence in the league through four games and Frank Reich might be the head coach on the thinnest ice. With Wentz at QB last year, things seemed they couldn’t get any worse but now with Matt Ryan somehow they are. Averaging a league worst 14.3 points per game, this team really has fallen apart. Reich and Chris Ballard only a few years ago looked like the new up-and-comers that everyone wanted. If things continue in this fashion, they will be out of a job in a few months. 

Up next: at Denver, Friday 1:15 a.m. BST/GMT

  1. New Orleans Saints (1-3)

Last Week – 23

When Sean Payton left his role as Head Coach this off-season, it seemed inevitable that after all these years of salary cap troubles they would enter rebuild mode. Well they didn’t and pushed all their chips into the middle of the table, trading their 2023 first-round pick and a 2024 second-round pick. Now, barring a turnaround, they stare down the possibility of a lost season that won’t even promise the benefit of a high draft pick as compensation. 

Up next: vs. Seattle, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. New York Jets (2-2)

Last Week – 31

With another come from behind win, something clicked for the Jets on their final two possessions Sunday, with touchdown drives of 81 and 65 yards respectively. Zach Wilson had his struggles at times but when it got to crunch time he came and delivered. This is a young side that has spent a lot of draft capital the past two years on developing players, but it feels with every win they get it comes from a stroke of divine magic. Are the footballing gods finally wearing green? 

Up next: vs. Miami, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3)

Last Week – 22

Last week I questioned just how long the Steelers would put up with Mitch Trubisky and leave their first-round pick Kenny Pickett as back up. Well, we got our answer on Sunday, when Trubisky was benched midway through the game. Now they face a daunting stretch of having to go against the Bucs, Bills and Eagles over the next four weeks, but Mike Tomlin seems to be committing to the future. Making sure Pickett is the right man to be the long term future quarterback should be the plan for the rest of the season. Despite his three interceptions, none were turnover worthy plays according to PFF.

Up next: at Buffalo, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Carolina Panthers (1-3)

Last Week – 28

The Panthers only have six sacks on the season but rank seventh in pressure rate, as Phil Snow has this defence playing above expectation ranking seventh in defensive EPA per drive. If only the same could be said for their offence. Baker Mayfield can’t seem to click under this system and Matt Rhule’s approach of acquiring a bunch of mediocre to below average quarterbacks doesn’t seem to be working out. With their best weapon DJ Moore throwing shade at Baker last Friday, it’s close to being a dumpster fire in Carolina.

Up next: vs. San Francisco, Sunday 9:05 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Chicago Bears (2-2)

Last Week – 26

The Giants won the battle of the worst 2-1 record matchup of all time, leaving the Bears at 0.500 for now. Their offence is throwing for a scary 97.5 yards per game, which at this rate would be the lowest for a full season since 1977, which was well before head-coach Matt Eberflus had started playing pee-wee football. Rebuild years are tough to take, trust me I know I’m a Lions fan, but this offence really has been brutal.  It hurts to see as they have a quarterback in Justin Fields, who is full of potential.

Up next: at Minnesota, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Washington Commanders (1-3)

Last Week – 27

With the fans and coach seemingly fed up with Carson Wentz already, it feels like a lost season in Washington after only four weeks. Jimmy G will probably be available next off-season and that might be the typical upgrade Washington would stereotypically move for. Jahan Dotson is down with a hamstring injury, but has played well.  Already they should be looking towards the future and having foundation pieces on the defence should make fixing that more easy. With one of the better defensive fronts in the league, they are playing below par but still ranks at 17th in EPA per drive. 

Up next: vs. Tennessee, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT

  1. Houston Texans (0-3-1)

Last Week – 32

Another week, another 32nd ranking. Opposing defences have seemed to figure out what stops David Mills is blizing him 34 percent of the time. Mills averages -0.32 yards per play when he is blitzed.  It seems cruel but it has been effective. Now it’s only 269 days away until they can appoint Josh McCown as their coach 

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