NFL Power Ranking Rumblings: Week 10

Hello and welcome back for another week of us critiquing everyone’s favorite sports channel to hate, ESPN! Every week ESPN posts NFL Power Rankings that are generally terrible but not as bad as the commentary they provide to the rankings. So Jesse and I decided it is our duty to endlessly mock the low effort that ESPN put forth.

This year we are doing things a bit different by providing ESPN’s commentary right here on the blog with our personal commentary right below so you don’t have to click between the two articles. But for those of you who want to see the actual rankings, feel free to check them out here:

Week 10 NFL Power Rankings: Biggest risers, fallers since preseason

And thanks for tuning in. Enjoy!

1. Philadelphia Eagles

2017 record: 8-1
Week 9 ranking: No. 1

Preseason ranking: 15. Carson Wentz leads the NFL in touchdown passes (23) and is the primary reason the Eagles jumped from 15th heading into the season to first in our midseason edition. Thanks to the great start, Philadelphia is the FPI favorite to win the Super Bowl (20.8 percent chance).

Jesse: Not that beating the Broncos is anything special, since everyone is doing it these days, but after watching what the Eagles did last week I’d have to concur with this assessment.

2. New England Patriots

2017 record: 6-2
Week 9 ranking: No. 2

Preseason ranking: 1. If there’s any concern around the Patriots this season, it’s the fact that five of their past six games have been decided by eight or fewer points. They aren’t blowing teams out, but wins are wins, and the defending champions still belong toward the top.

Kevin: Poor Patriots, dropped from the 1st spot in the preseason to the 2nd spot after a 6-2 start. I guess dynasties really don’t last…

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

2017 record: 6-2
Week 9 ranking: No. 4

Preseason ranking: 4. The Steelers looked like they could slide down the rankings, but since hopping back on the Le’Veon Bell train, they’re back on track. Bell has rushed 92 times for 389 yards in Pittsburgh’s three-game winning streak.

Jesse: All aboard the Le’Veon Bell train! Wait, everyone other than the Steelers have already been on that train? Way to be late to the party, Steelers.

4. Minnesota Vikings

2017 record: 6-2
Week 9 ranking: No. 5

Preseason ranking: 17. Case Keenum has started the bulk of the games for the Vikings this season, and they’ve still jumped from middle of the pack to near the top in the rankings. Keenum deserves credit, but so does the defense, which has allowed the third-fewest points per game this season.

Kevin: I’ve been doing this every week and I somehow missed that the Vikings are doing this well. Wait are they doing well or does everyone else just suck? Their QB is Case Keenum? I think that answers my question.

5. Kansas City Chiefs

2017 record: 6-3
Week 9 ranking: No. 3

Preseason ranking: 8. The Chiefs are 1-3 in their past four games after a 5-0 start. With Kareem Hunt slowing down (47.8 rushing yards per game over the past four), Alex Smith will need to continue making big plays.

Jesse: The Chiefs lone win during that stretch? You guessed it, it was against the Broncos! This season has been zero fun.

6. Seattle Seahawks

2017 record: 5-3
Week 9 ranking: No. 6

Preseason ranking: 3. Russell Wilson might not be getting enough credit. He has been pressured at the third-highest rate this season, and he’s the only quarterback leading his team in both passing and rushing. The Seahawks would’ve fallen much further from their preseason ranking if not for his efforts.

Kevin: So the Seahawks started at 6 and are currently as 6? Would you say they are who we thought they were?

7. Los Angeles Rams

2017 record: 6-2
Week 9 ranking: No. 8

Preseason ranking: 27. The biggest risers since the preseason edition of our rankings are the Rams, who lead the NFL in scoring with 32.9 points per game. How good has the offense been? They’ve scored 40 points three times this season. The last time the Rams did that in a season was in 2001, when they reached Super Bowl XXXVI.

Jesse: Does that make them the greatest show on grass? Or does the colosseum have turf as well? I have no idea.

8. Dallas Cowboys

2017 record: 5-3
Week 9 ranking: No. 7

Preseason ranking: 6. There hasn’t been much movement for Dallas, but when you start at No. 6, that isn’t a bad thing. Dak Prescott is second in the NFL in Total QBR, and Ezekiel Elliott is second in rushing, so these Cowboys might be here to stay.

Kevin: The Cowboys being a good team has gone back and forth all season long. Kind of like Zeke’s suspension.

9. New Orleans Saints

2017 record: 6-2
Week 9 ranking: No. 9

Preseason ranking: 23. The Saints are just the third team in the Super Bowl era to win six straight games immediately following an 0-2 start. That winning streak has led to one of the most significant rises in our rankings, but there’s better news for New Orleans: The two other teams to win six straight following an 0-2 start both went on to win the Super Bowl.

Jesse: If you think the Saints winning the Super Bowl is the most random outcome this season could have, keep in mind the other top teams in the NFC are the Eagles and Rams.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars

2017 record: 5-3
Week 9 ranking: No. 14

Preseason ranking: 28. The Jaguars have been one of the biggest risers in our rankings, and it’s (mostly) thanks to defense, which ranks first in points allowed per game (14.6), Total QBR (33), sacks (35) and TD-INT ratio (0.4).

Kevin: This has to be an error. Something has to be wrong right? What is going on in the world? 2017 is a dark place.

11. Carolina Panthers

2017 record: 6-3
Week 9 ranking: No. 12

Preseason ranking: 16. It might not be the prettiest of climbs, but the Panthers have risen in the rankings despite the drama surrounding Cam Newton. His passing hasn’t been on point, with 10 touchdowns to 11 interceptions so far this season, but he has picked up the running, accumulating 251 rushing yards the past four games, 11th in the NFL in that span.

Jesse: I guess you could say that Cam pretending to know about routes is also funny? Are we still making jokes about that?

12. Oakland Raiders

2017 record: 4-5
Week 9 ranking: No. 21

Preseason ranking: 7. The NFL season is entering Week 10, and the Raiders’ defense still hasn’t intercepted a pass. Opponents are completing 71.2 percent of their passes against Oakland, so despite a few recent wins, it’s no wonder the team has slipped in the rankings.

Kevin: Can we just take a moment to laugh at the Raiders not getting a single interception this season? They’ve even played the Broncos!

(Jesse’s note: It’s true. We throw picks to everybody.)

13. Washington Redskins

2017 record: 4-4
Week 9 ranking: No. 18

Preseason ranking: 20. The Redskins are .500 despite playing the most difficult schedule so far, so they’re deserving of the bump in these rankings. It doesn’t get much easier with the Vikings, Saints and Cowboys coming up in three of the next four weeks, so if Washington wants to keep climbing, the team will have to pull off some more big wins.

Jesse: Hey only two of those games are a lock to be tough. Washington could always catch Dallas on one of their off weeks.

14. Tennessee Titans

2017 record: 5-3
Week 9 ranking: No. 19

Preseason ranking: 12. What to make of the Titans, who have seen a slight dip in these rankings since the preseason? They currently sit atop the AFC South, but they’re the only winning team with a negative point differential (minus-12).


15. Buffalo Bills

2017 record: 5-3
Week 9 ranking: No. 11

Preseason ranking: 26. The Bills have climbed our rankings well, thanks to a 5-3 start, but a Week 9 loss to the Jets could indicate that they’re still the same team. This is the fifth time they’ve been over .500 through eight games since 2000. They missed the playoffs the past four times.

Jesse: Could indicate? Why would we assume that the Bills have changed until they actually prove it?

16. Detroit Lions

2017 record: 4-4
Week 9 ranking: No. 15

Preseason ranking: 19. The Lions took down an Aaron Rodgers-less Packers team to end a three-game losing streak, with Matthew Stafford posting his first game this season of 300-plus yards, multiple touchdowns and no picks. Detroit has had its ups and downs this season but has risen slightly in these rankings.

Kevin: The Lions have a back-to-back against the Browns and the Bears, safe to say this will be a top 10 team in two weeks.

17. Atlanta Falcons

2017 record: 4-4
Week 9 ranking: No. 13

Preseason ranking: 2. The Super Bowl runners-up have lost four of five following a 3-0 start. The offense was expected to pick up where it left off last season, but Atlanta is averaging 16.6 points per game the past five games, cracking 20 points just once to make them one of the biggest fallers.

Jesse: Pssst, Atlanta, you have Julio Jones on your team still. That’s someone you may want to get the ball to more.

18. Green Bay Packers

2017 record: 4-4
Week 9 ranking: No. 16

Preseason ranking: 5. It’s no surprise that the Packers have fallen so far in the rankings with Aaron Rodgers hurt. They’re 0-3 since Brett Hundley took over in Week 6 and haven’t mustered more than 17 points in any of those games. It’s the Packers’ longest streak of scoring fewer than 20 points since 2005.

Kevin: This season of Packers football doesn’t technically count right? It seems unfair to expect a team to play football without Aaron Rodgers as their QB. Then again that describes the rest of the league, so let’s call it a draw?

19. Los Angeles Chargers

2017 record: 3-5
Week 9 ranking: No. 22

Preseason ranking: 24. The Chargers can’t seem to put everything together, and because of that, they’ve been muddling around the low 20s in these rankings. They rank 22nd in scoring this season after ranking ninth last season and rank seventh in defensive scoring after finishing 29th last season. Maybe everything will even out in 2018?

Jesse: That’s the Chargers’ motto every season: maybe things will even out next year?

20. Baltimore Ravens

2017 record: 4-5
Week 9 ranking: No. 23

Preseason ranking: 21. Joe Flacco has thrown eight touchdown to 10 interceptions, which is good for the third-worst TD-INT ratio in the NFL this season. He isn’t the only reason for the Ravens’ fall from grace, but with his high price tag, he’s going to take the brunt of the criticism.

Kevin: Ha! How the elite Joe Flacco has fallen! Finally after tormenting the Broncos in the playoff all those years ago you have fallen all the way to 20! *Notices the Broncos are 21*…dammit

21. Denver Broncos

2017 record: 3-5
Week 9 ranking: No. 17

Preseason ranking: 9. The Broncos won a Super Bowl with a great defense and below-average quarterback play, but this season, their QB play has bottomed out. Denver ranks 29th in Total QBR this season and has seen a drastic fall in the standings and our rankings as a result.

Jesse: Huh? Oh sorry, I wasn’t listening. I was thinking about how nice it will be to see Andrew Luck or Baker Mayfield in orange and blue next season.

22. New York Jets

2017 record: 4-5
Week 9 ranking: No. 26

Preseason ranking: 32. The Jets weren’t given much of a chance coming into this season, carrying with them the worst playoff chances according to FPI (0.6 percent). They’re now 4-5, and that includes two blown fourth-quarter leads. Their rise would be even greater if not for a minus-60 fourth-quarter point differential.

Kevin: The New York Jets don’t even have four syllables in their name, why would they have four quarters in their game? Damn that was a hell of a hot take, I should be on sports radio.

23. Arizona Cardinals

2017 record: 4-4
Week 9 ranking: No. 28

Preseason ranking: 10. The Cardinals were expected to return to their 2015 form, with which they went 13-3, but a 4-4 start and injuries to Carson Palmer and David Johnson derailed that train. Still, their start despite those injuries isn’t bad.

Jesse: I tried to use this as a silver lining for my girlfriend from Arizona. Her response? “Yeah.”

24. Houston Texans

2017 record: 3-5
Week 9 ranking: No. 10

Preseason ranking: 14. Deshaun Watson briefly had the Texans in the top 10 of our rankings, but with Tom Savage back at QB, the Texans are falling fast. Only one of the 18 drives Savage has led in his two starts this season has resulted in a touchdown.

Kevin: The Texans’ misery is the Browns’ triumph. I think Deshaun Watson going down was the highlight of Cleveland’s season since the Browns own the Texans first and second round pick in 2018. They’ll take any good news they can get.

25. Cincinnati Bengals

2017 record: 3-5
Week 9 ranking: No. 20

Preseason ranking: 22. The Bengals were held to one or fewer touchdowns for the third time this season last week. They’ve scored more than two offensive touchdowns just once this season, and it was against the Browns. The Bengals have seen just a slight dip from the preseason ranking, and the offense is to thank for that.

Jesse: More bad news for the Browns. You guys are the only ones to surrender more than two td’s against the terrible Bungals offense.

26. Miami Dolphins

2017 record: 4-4
Week 9 ranking: No. 25

Preseason ranking: 25. The fact that the Dolphins are .500 seems like a miracle. They rank last in the NFL in scoring and have been outscored by 63 points. Four wins or not, they fit in with the bottom tier in these rankings.

Kevin: The Dolphins being .500 isn’t quite a miracle because it feels like the entire league is at .500 right now. Except for the Browns but come on.

27. Chicago Bears

2017 record: 3-5
Week 9 ranking: No. 27

Preseason ranking: 29. The Bears haven’t seen a huge rise in these rankings since the start of the season, but they’ve performed better than expected, particularly on defense. The Bears rank 13th in points allowed per game this season after finishing 24th last season.

Jesse: Is the bar this low in Chicago because the Bears are terrible or is everyone still celebrating the Cubs’ World Series victory from last year? Both?

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2017 record: 2-6
Week 9 ranking: No. 24

Preseason ranking: 13. The Buccaneers have lost five straight and have taken a huge dive in our rankings as a result. The blame for the downfall lies on both sides of the ball: The offense and defense rank outside the top 20 in points per game this season.

Kevin: The blame for the downfall? They suck. Just say it ESPN, every team from here to the end suck.

29. Indianapolis Colts

2017 record: 3-6
Week 9 ranking: No. 29

Preseason ranking: 18. The Colts have won three games yet have the worst point differential in the NFL this season — and there are two winless teams. If Andrew Luck were healthy, this season could be totally different. But unfortunately for Indianapolis, that isn’t the case.

Jesse: *If Jim Irsay wasn’t a drunk buffoon who was too dumb to actually invest in protecting Andrew Luck, every season could be totally different. But unfortunately for Indianapolis, that isn’t the case.

Fixed that for ya.

30. New York Giants

2017 record: 1-7
Week 9 ranking: No. 30

Preseason ranking: 11. The Giants have taken the biggest fall since the preseason edition of these rankings, but you can’t really blame Eli Manning. The Giants have the highest drop rate, rank 27th in rushing yards per game and rank 29th in points allowed per game.

Kevin: So glad the Broncos were able to give the Giants their one victory this season. We couldn’t have three winless teams right? Two is bad enough.

31. San Francisco 49ers

2017 record: 0-9
Week 9 ranking: No. 31

Preseason ranking: 31. The 49ers kept it close for a stretch, losing five straight by three or fewer points earlier in the season. But when the Week 1 starting quarterback has been released and the team is 0-9, “almost” doesn’t mean much. If it weren’t for the Browns, the 49ers would be last in these rankings.

Jesse: There ya go 49ers. At least you aren’t as bad as the Browns.

32. Cleveland Browns

2017 record: 0-8
Week 9 ranking: No. 32

Preseason ranking: 30. At the start of the season, there was some hope that the Browns might not be the worst team in the league. But after another 0-8 start, the Browns are back to the bottom, and it isn’t getting better. No quarterback on the roster has ever won a game as a starter.

Kevin: Wait ESPN didn’t have the Browns at 32 going into the season? They were drinking the kool-aid? Isn’t that the one slam dunk prediction these guys get every season? ESPN Bot, you had one job!

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