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Wow, what an absolutely incredible football weekend. We saw the Big Ten return to action on Friday and Saturday, and then the NFL had by far its best week of the season with lots of divisional matchups. Sunday saw five games determined by three points or fewer, capped off by Arizona’s shocking overtime win against Seattle. With the NFL season approaching its midway point, here is where every team stands. 

Check week one’s rankings here, week two’s rankings here, week three’s rankings here, four’s rankings here, week five’s rankings here, week six’s rankings here, and week seven’s rankings here.

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NOTE: The top 14 are my playoff teams, and the remaining 18 are everybody else. 

  1. Kansas City Chiefs

Last Week: 43-16 win @ DEN

Trending: ↑1

Next Week: 11/1 vs NYJ

This game just goes to show that even if the offense isn’t necessarily clicking early, the Chiefs just have so much talent that they can still command games. In the first half, the Chiefs had just one drive to the red zone, yet they still had 24 points going into halftime. This was because of a pick six by Daniel Sorensen, and then just three minutes later, Byron Pringle returned a kick for another touchdown. Next week’s game against the Jets should bring more dominance. 

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers

Last Week: 27-24 win @ TEN

Trending: ↑1

Next Week: 11/1 @ BAL

Pittsburgh is the only remaining undefeated team after week seven. They went into Tennessee this week and did something that no one has been able to do this year. They contained Derrick Henry. Tennessee tried to get him going all game, but on 20 carries, Henry only accumulated 75 yards and a touchdown. 

Looking only at the box score, you would probably assume that Big Ben had a bad game with his three interceptions. However, take another look at these plays and tell me if he’s to blame for them. 

The third pick is the only one that you can really put the majority of the blame on Roethlisberger. A pre-halftime hail mary and great tip play by the defensive line shouldn’t go one him. However, it does need to be said that Pittsburgh allowed Tennessee back into this game because of an inability to drive the ball in the second half. They might not get away with that against Baltimore this week. 

  1. Baltimore Ravens

Last Week: Bye

Trending: ↓2

Next Week: 11/1 vs PIT

Baltimore comes off a bye and jumps into a very important November. With matchups against Indianapolis, New England and Pittsburgh twice, they can either break away from the pack in the AFC North, or fall behind the eight ball. However, with two weeks of preparation, and Pittsburgh coming off a tough game against Tennessee, I suspect they start this stretch with a win on Sunday. 

  1. Green Bay Packers

Last Week: 35-20 win @ HOU

Trending: ↑4

Next Week: 11/1 vs MIN

The Packers got themselves back on track with a dominant win at Houston this week. Even without Aaron Jones, Green Bay’s offense flowed seamlessly with AJ Dillon, and Aaron Rodgers threw for three touchdowns. Houston left Davante Adams in one-on-one coverage far too often, and the matchup was exploited all afternoon. They should continue their winning ways as they face the Vikings this week. 

  1. Tennessee Titans

Last Week: 24-27 loss vs PIT

Trending: —

Next Week: 11/1 @ CIN

Tennessee showed that they are for real in this game. Even when they couldn’t really get Derrick Henry going, some great play from Ryan Tannehill as well as their defense brought them back in this game. I can’t knock them out of the top five after this loss, especially considering they should have had a chance to win in overtime if Stephen Gostkowski didn’t miss that last second field goal. 

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last Week: 45-20 win @ LV

Trending: —

Next Week: 11/2 @ NYG

I am certainly eating crow from my early season thoughts on this team’s offense, but I’m not sure what we can truly take away from this matchup. Tom Brady went into Las Vegas and beat down a team that had not only defeated the division-rival Saints, but also the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs. 

However, the entire Raiders offensive line was put on the Reserve/COVID-19 list before the game, and it is certainly confusing why a postponement wasn’t at least considered. The fact that the Raiders only managed 76 rushing yards isn’t a coincidental result of that, so that’s why I can’t move the Bucs into the top five despite the impressive win.

We’ll see how Brady fares against his kryptonite, the New York Giants, on Monday night. 

  1. Arizona Cardinals

Last Week: 37-34 win vs SEA

Trending: ↑2

Next Week: Bye

This was an incredibly impressive win by the Cardinals, not only because of who it was against, but also in the fashion that it was won. After the Seahawks scored with under seven minutes left in the fourth, I thought this game was over. 

But, as we all know by now, it certainly wasn’t. Murray led the offense down for a touchdown, the defense got an extremely impressive stop, and then Murray led a 50-second field goal drive to tie the game. They went on to win obviously, but even if they hadn’t (and by the way, they shouldn’t have), the comeback in and of itself is impressive enough. They get to enjoy a bye week to prepare for Miami. 

  1. Seattle Seahawks

Last Week: 34-37 loss @ ARI

Trending: ↓4

Next Week: 11/1 vs SF

Russell Wilson might have lost his lead for the MVP during the fourth quarter and overtime of Sunday night’s game. He had two terrible interceptions that absolutely cost Seattle the game. The Seahawks are still my favorite to win this division, but now that they’ve played a close game against the Vikings and lost in terrible fashion to the Cardinals, they are much more vulnerable than they were three weeks ago. 

  1. New Orleans Saints

Last Week: 27-24 win vs CAR

Trending: ↓2

Next Week: 11/1 @ CHI

The Saints have played three straight close games against teams that they should have easily beaten. There is one reason why: the first half defense. In the last three games, the Saints have given up 51 first half points, compared to 29 second half points. If the defense can ever figure out how to put an entire game together, they will be in great shape. Not to mention, Drew Brees is playing without his top two receivers in Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Going into Chicago is going to be no easy task, especially if both Thomas and Sanders are out again.

  1. Los Angeles Rams

Last Week: 24-10 win vs CHI

Trending: ↑5

Next Week: 11/1 @ MIA

In an impressive win, the Rams offense were able to control the line of scrimmage against Khalil Mack and the Bears’ defense. Jared Goff threw for 219 and two touchdowns, and after a week where Aaron Donald said the Rams were “soft” against the Niners, they came out and played harder than Chicago on both sides of the ball.

  1. Buffalo Bills

Last Week: 18-10 win @ NYJ

Trending:—

Next Week: 11/1 vs NE

This was not good. The Bills got a win, but the fact that the offense could not punch the ball into the endzone against this Jets team is concerning. Lucky for them, their defense stepped up in the second half for them, allowing zero points. The Patriots are looking almost as bad as the Jets right now, so the division should still belong to Buffalo with a win this week. 

  1. Indianapolis Colts

Last Week: Bye

Trending: ↑1

Next Week: 11/1 @ DET

The Colts better win this game because the rest of the month gets insanely difficult. After this, the rest of the month sees them playing Baltimore, at Tennessee, against Green Bay, and against Tennessee again. This is a very good team, but this is one of the toughest schedule stretches in the league as these teams are all 5-1. If they go 1-3 in that stretch, it might be worth watching the Dolphins or Raiders for a playoff spot. 

  1. Cleveland Browns 

Last Week: 37-34 win @ CIN

Trending: ↑5

Next Week: 11/1 vs LV

The Browns weren’t really that good this week, especially defensively, but Baker Mayfield was very good after starting 0/5 with a pick. It was seemingly as soon as Odell Beckham left the game that he got better though, which is something to note. We’ll see how he fares without him against the Raiders. 

  1. Philadelphia Eagles

Last Week: 22-21 win vs NYG

Trending: ↑11

Next Week: 11/1 vs DAL

Well, here we are. There is a new leader in the NFC East, and in true NFC East fashion, the only reason the Eagles are my new favorite to win the division is because they tied instead of lost. I really think the Giants outplayed the Eagles this week, but I cannot in good faith keep Dallas in the final playoff spot when they are most likely going to be starting James Madison University’s favorite son, Ben DiNucci. If the Eagles somehow lose this game, the entire division should just be disbanded.

  1. Chicago Bears

Last Week: 10-24 loss @ LAR

Trending: ↓3

Next Week: 11/1 vs NO

The Bears showed this week that when their offense goes against a team with playmakers like Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, they are going to get beat down. The only touchdown they scored was on defense, and their two red zone trips ended in an interception and a turnover on downs. Chicago may have officially been exposed after getting some huge breaks on the way to 5-1.

  1. Miami Dolphins

Last Week: Bye

Trending: ↑1

Next Week: 11/1 vs LAR

Miami announced this week that they will be starting Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback on Sunday, and I expect it to be a new energy for this Dolphins team that finds themselves in the playoff hunt. If they can find a way to win either this game or next week at Arizona, they could be fighting with the Colts for the last wild card spot by the time December rolls around. 

  1. Las Vegas Raiders

Last Week: 20-45 loss vs TB

Trending: ↓1

Next Week: 11/1 @ CLE

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t put much stock in this loss because the Raiders did not have a single offensive line starter this week. They might have still lost this game with them, but it is a lot closer than it turned out to be. Next week should be a fun shootout against Cleveland.

  1. Detroit Lions

Last Week: 23-22 win @ ATL

Trending: ↑1

Next Week: 11/1 vs IND

The Lions are not a bad team. We always talk about the Lions choking, but they now have a one possession win in Arizona, and now they beat the Falcons on a last second drive by Matt Stafford. Don’t look now, but they have now won three out of four, with their only loss being to the Saints. After this week, they have favorable matchups with the Vikings and Washington on the horizon. 

  1. San Francisco 49ers

Last Week: 33-6 win @ NE

Trending: ↑3

Next Week: 11/1 @ SEA

Following back-to-back ugly losses, the 49ers have compiled back-to-back impressive wins. This team has shown their depth throughout the year, especially at running back, and this showed up again on Sunday. Jeff Wilson Jr. put up 112 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, allowing Jimmy Garoppolo to be little more than a game manager. Cam Newton is obviously not right after his bout with COVID-19, and San Francisco took advantage of that. Now, the real test of the Niners’ depth comes against Seattle this week. 

  1. New England Patriots

Last Week: 6-33 loss vs SF

Trending: ↓10

Next Week: 11/1 @ BUF

As just mentioned, Cam Newton looks bad. But this entire team looks bad. There is the possibility that this was just a bad matchup for New England, but I’m not convinced that they will be able to drastically recover in time for a matchup in Buffalo. 

  1. Los Angeles Chargers 

Last Week: 39-29 win vs JAX

Trending:—

Next Week: 11/1 @ DEN

Justin Herbert finally got over the hump and earned his first career win. On the way, he put together over 400 yards of offense and four total touchdowns. This week LA travels to Denver and can put themselves back into the playoff hunt if they put together another win. 

  1. Carolina Panthers

Last Week: 24-27 loss @ NO

Trending: ↓2

Next Week: 10/29 vs ATL

The Panthers played well enough to win this game if they weren’t facing Alvin Kamara. Kamara put together so many third-and-long conversions for the Saints that it was impossible to put any momentum together in the second half of this game. They have lost consecutive games by one possession, and they need to put together a win against Atlanta to stay alive this season.

  1. Houston Texans

Last Week: 20-35 loss vs GB

Trending: —

Next Week: Bye

It’s the same story for Houston as it’s been all year. The defense simply can’t stop anyone, and Deshaun Watson has nobody to throw to. Green Bay threw to Adams all day, and Houston just couldn’t stop it. They have a bye to figure some things out before their game against Jacksonville, but these remaining ten teams have little hope for the rest of 2020. 

  1. Cincinnati Bengals

Last Week: 34-37 loss vs CLE

Trending: ↑2

Next Week: 11/1 vs TEN

The Bengals should not have had a last second hail mary chance to win this game. Joe Burrow threw a pass with under 11 minutes left that should have been picked off and returned to the house for a touchdown. That would have put the game away, but hey, they were still in this game against a playoff team. The defense is terrible, but there’s still hope for the future with Burrow and his young receivers Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins. 

  1. Denver Broncos

Last Week: 16-43 loss vs KC
Trending: ↓1

Next Week: 11/1 vs LAC

There are two things for Denver fans to feel good about. One, the Philip Lindsay/Melvin Gordon combo is really good. However, Kansas City didn’t make it an option for Denver to really use this combo that much in the running game because they jumped out to such a big lead. Second, the pass rush contained Patrick Mahomes as good as anyone this year. If it weren’t for two non-offensive touchdowns for the Chiefs, this might have been a pretty close game.

  1. Washington Football Team

Last Week: 25-3 win vs DAL

Trending: ↑4

Next Week: Bye

Washington heads into the bye half a game out of the NFC East, which is more than they could have asked for going into the season. They are coming off a dominant win against Dallas in which their defense shined. However, whenever they’ve played a non-NFC East team, they’ve allowed 30 or more points and scored 20 or fewer in each. As long as they’re in the NFC East, they are a playoff contender, but this doesn’t feel like much of a victory. 

  1. New York Giants

Last Week: 21-22 loss @ PHI

Trending: ↑2

Next Week: 11/2 vs TB

Like I have already said, I think the Giants outplayed Philly in this game, but Carson Wentz happened to put together a good drive at the end of the game to win. This defense seems to have legitimately improved throughout the season, but I doubt it’s enough to overcome the Tampa Bay offense. 

  1. Minnesota Vikings

Last Week: Bye

Trending:—

Next Week: 11/1 @ GB

The Vikings will hopefully get Dalvin Cook back this week following the bye, but there’s really not much to be excited about in Minnesota. Justin Jefferson has been a nice bright spot, but outside of that, many players seem to be on the trading block. They play NFC North rivals in five of their final ten games, so if nothing else, they can hope to be competitive in these games. 

  1. Atlanta Falcons

Last Week: 22-23 loss vs DET

Trending: ↓2

Next Week: 10/29 @ CAR

Falcons fans, are you ok? This is yet another heartbreaking, last second loss for this Atlanta team that thought they were leaving that behind with the firing of Dan Quinn. They can’t even score a touchdown without it going horribly for them. Next week is a game against Atlanta, and honestly, I feel like Atlanta’s fan base is hoping for a blowout loss rather than yet another game that puts them in NFL headlines. 

  1. Dallas Cowboys

Last Week: 3-25 loss @ WSH

Trending: ↓16

Next Week: 11/1 vs PHI

Oof. That’s really all I can say. I get Dalton left the game, but even when he was playing, this team did not look good. Now, Dallas is stuck probably playing Ben DiNucci in a must-win game for both teams. Is it too late to give Tony Romo a call?

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars

Last Week: 29-39 loss @ LAC

Trending:—

Next Week: Bye

The Jaguars defense has now given up 30+ points in six straight games after their week one win. The schedule doesn’t get any easier after their bye, as seven of their final nine games are against teams that are currently in the playoff picture. 

  1. Bye Week

Adam Gase gave up offensive play calling duties this week, and the team was up 10-0 against the Bills. 

  1. New York Jets

Last Week: 10-18 loss vs BUF

Trending:—

Next Week: 11/1 @ KC

The Jets offense looked promising for about ten minutes of this game, but they quickly went back to normal. Next week brings the most lopsided matchup in recent memory as they go into Kansas City.

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