1. Dallas Cowboys Record:10-1 Streak:W10 Differential:+103
The Cowboys played on Thanksgiving and they won in a typical Cowboy fashion- dynamic running game, efficient passing game, and a few shenanigans from Dez Bryant. This is the best roster in the NFL, but we won’t know what the Cowboys will be capable of until we see how they perform in the playoffs. Also, are they going to give Tony Romo some reps before the playoffs in case Dak goes down?
2. New England Patriots 9-2 W2 +96
The Patriots beat the Jets thanks to a fourth quarter comeback and they are still in good position to have home field advantage in the playoffs. Many analysts think that the Patriots are most worried about the Raiders, but I think it will be the Steelers that ultimately give the Patriots a run for their money.
3. Oakland Raiders 9-2 W5 +32
Derek MVP Carr. What a game. The Raiders are rarely dominate, but they have found a way to win a lot of games in the most competitive division in the NFL. There are so many unproven quarterbacks headed to the playoffs this year, and it is going to be fun to see what happens when they face elimination games.
4. Seattle Seahawks 7-3-1 L1 +37
The Seahawks were held to just five points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is certainly worrisome as the Seahawks were just beginning to get their season headed in the right direction. They are still placed this high in the power rankings because last week is not representative of the Seahawks ability. This Sunday, they will get to show the NFL exactly who they are on SNF. Stay tuned.
5. New York Giants 8-3 W6 +18
The Giants looked less than impressive in their victory over the winless Brown. Nonetheless, the win puts the Giants in great position to make the playoffs, and as I have said all season, they have a terrific chance with Eli at quarterback in big time games.
6. Kansas City Chiefs 8-3 W1 +38
The Chiefs beat the Broncos on SNF in what was one of the best games of the NFL season. They are now in great position to make the playoffs, but winning the division will be difficult. Next on the schedule is the Falcons in what will be a battle of two top ten teams.
7. Detroit Lions 7-4 W3 +9
If the playoffs started today, the Lions would be hosting a playoff game. They just beat the Vikings to get the tiebreaker in the division and, without a ridiculous run from the Packers, the Lions should have no problem making the playoffs. The Lions have not been this good in my lifetime, and maybe not yours either. They have not been dominate in a game yet this year, but they have not had to be with Matthew Stafford at quarterback. He is the best fourth quarter QB in the game.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers 6-5 W2 +44
They have won two in a row over a winless Browns team and a Colts team with a college level quarterback. These wins are what will hopefully give them enough momentum to get things going for the year. They have more weapons on the offensive side of the ball than anyone in the NFL, and if they can figure out their defense, a Super Bowl run is quite possible.
9. Atlanta Falcons 7-4 W1 +56
The Falcons score so many points I am not sure they even need a defense. Can their offensive production continue against the Chiefs this weekend? We will see.
10A. Baltimore Ravens 6-5 W1 +17
John Harbaugh is one of the greatest minds in football today and that showed on the last play of Sunday’s game. The Ravens talent is very underwhelming, but Coach Harbaugh has been able to coach them to victory. Joe Flacco also has something on his finger that says he has won the big game. Can he still win big games? This weekend he has an important game against the Dolphins.
10B. Miami Dolphins 7-4 W6 +9
I have no idea how the Dolphins got to this point. They have won their last six games and are now in the playoff picture. Now that they finally have some pressure on them, this Ravens game will be a great test. The winner of this game will certainly be deserving of a top ten spot in my power rankings.
What to Watch:
The AFC South is a mess. One of these teams is going to make the playoffs. The Colts, Titans, or Texans. With the right match-up, any of these teams could win a playoff game but the division is up for grabs. If the Colts can get Andrew Luck back and healthy, I like their chances.
The Redskins played the Cowboys tough, but their schedule does not get any easier going forward. The Redskins have to prove to me that they can win late in the season when the game matter.
The defending Super Bowl champions may not make the playoffs. A tough loss to the Chiefs has the Broncos back against the wall. They have to beat the Jaguars this weekend or their season would be all but over.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
They just beat the Seahawks in what I thought was the biggest upset of the year. Can the Bucs build on this win going forward?
Perfection. 0-11. Will it last? I think what has hurt the Browns all season is the lack of a bye week. They get one this weekend so look for them to come back ready to get their first win of the year.
David Szymanski (@Szymanski96)