*Photo Credit: NFL.com
Three different teams got shutout this weekend, and shutouts mean big changes in rankings. After all of these shutouts, here is this weeks, revamped power rankings.
No. 1: Philadelphia Eagles: 6-1
Last Week: No. 2
The Eagles now have the best record in the NFL with the sensational Carson Wentz at the helm. Wentz has made some of the most insane plays of the season. From turning sacks into handsome gains, to making deep completions in stride, Carson is making an early case for MVP. It helps that the Eagles defense is also performing at a high level despite a void at the corner position.
No. 2: New England Patriots: 5-2
Last Week: No. 3
The Patriots are trending upwards after an uncharacteristically concerning start to the season.The defense is the focus of this ranking as it has improved incredibly since the beginning of the season. The defense allowed only seven points against the Falcons, whose lone touchdown came off what should have been an interception that was instead ripped away by Julio Jones.
No. 3: Pittsburgh Steelers: 5-2
Last Week: No. 4
As the season continues, the Steelers offense is finally starting to click as Le’Veon Bell had another spectacular game. The star running back had over 150 yards from scrimmage in a 29-14 win over the Bengals on Sunday. Big Ben has been proficient enough to win games after his scare against the Jaguars, which is probably still giving him, and Steeler Nation, nightmares. If the Steelers continue to rely on their strong run game and if their defense continues to be solid, then this team will continue to succeed.
No. 4: Kansas City Chiefs: 5-2
Last Week: No. 1
After a 5-0 start, the Chiefs have begun to fall back to Earth as they have lost the past two games to the Raiders and the Steelers. The Chiefs offense was high octane on Thursday night, scoring 30 points but falling just short of the Raiders. The loss of Eric Berry is beginning to show, and the Chiefs will need to shore up their secondary if they want to return to their recent dominance.
No. 5: Los Angeles Rams: 5-2
Last Week: No. 9
In perhaps the most spectacular shutout this year, the Rams trounced the Cardinals 33-0 in London on Sunday. Todd Gurley is another player that is putting up a potential MVP year so far, leading non QBs in touchdowns, with eight, while boasting 627 rushing yards and 293 receiving yards. Jared Goff’s improvement is also a major reason for this team’s rise this year.
No. 6: Seattle Seahawks: 4-2
Last Week: No. 6
The Legion of Boom was able to hold the Giants to only one touchdown (big surprise there). They didn’t really impress on offense either, posting a middling 24 points. There should be great concern over many the mistakes that the team committed in the first half, especially over the drops. The Seahawks will need to refine themselves on offense if they have any deep postseason hopes this year.
No. 7: Jacksonville Jaguars: 4-3
Last Week: No. 13
The second shutout was by the (Sack)sonville Jaguars, who got to Jacoby Brissett 10 times on Sunday. The Jags were fortunate that Fournette missed an easy game and will have an extra week to recover with their bye coming up. The Jaguars still have concerns surrounding Blake Bortles’ play, but with a strong run game, that problem will hopefully be minimized.
No. 8: Houston Texans: 3-3
Last Week: No. 8
DeShaun Watson has been sensational so far in his rookie season and it will be interesting to see if he can keep it up after having a bye week to rest. The Texans will be tested on both sides of the ball as they face the Seahawks.
No. 9: Minnesota Vikings: 5-2
Last Week: No. 11
The Vikings have been impressive despite injuries to their starting quarterback, star receiver, and rookie running back sensation. This success has been, in large part, due to their stout defense that has caused havoc to most of the offenses that it has faced. The Vikings will look for an easy win against the Browns who are still seeking their first.
No. 10: New Orleans Saints: 4-2
Last Week: No. 14
The Saints have truly rebounded in a big way by winning their last 4 games following a 0-2 start. Their defense is still very questionable, but it has greatly improved in at least making plays and turning the ball over. Drew Brees has been struggling lately, but a strong run game with Mark Ingram has emerged to take the edge off of him.
No. 11: Buffalo Bills: 4-2
Last Week: No. 16
It looks like the Bills offense has finally come around to support the stellar defensive play that has surfaced. This success was exemplified in LeSean McCoy’s first two touchdowns of the season against the Bucs. Tyrod Taylor has also impressed at quarterback despite his severe lack of weapons. The Bills defense will be tested against the Raiders, who just beat the Chiefs.
No. 12: Dallas Cowboys: 3-3
Last Week: No. 18
Since the NFL can’t seem to figure out if Elliott is getting suspended, I am going to assume that he won’t, for now. When Zeke plays well, the Cowboys play well, so if he can continue to build off of his stellar performance against the 49ers, this team will be a force to be reckoned with. The Boys will take on the Redskins in a pivotal matchup that could decide who will compete for the Eagles’ current spot as king of the division, or at least for a wild card.
No. 13: Washington Redskins: 3-3
Last Week: No. 12
The Redskins lost to the surprisingly great Eagles again, but they won’t be punished too much as they still looked good in their loss. The biggest issue on offense is still Kirk Cousins’ chemistry with his new receivers.Terrelle Pryor made many mistakes on offense and some receivers seemed out of sync. The Redskins will have an interesting game against the Cowboys this weekend.
No. 14: Oakland Raiders: 3-4
Last Week: No. 26
Just when all hope for the young, up-and-coming Raiders was lost, they come out of nowhere to win a pivotal game against the Chiefs! Derek Carr came out hot and didn’t look back, throwing for 417 yards and four touchdowns. 210 of those yards and two of those touchdowns were to Amari Cooper. The Raiders offense will try to carry their momentum on to the more impressive Bills defense.
No. 15: Atlanta Falcons: 3-3
Last Week: No. 7
The Falcons and their offense are not what they were a year ago. They have only scored 24 points in the last two games against the Dolphins and the Patriots. If the Falcons can’t score more than a touchdown against one of the worst defenses in the league, then they have no chance at making the playoffs this year.
No. 16: Los Angeles Chargers: 3-4
Last Week: No. 21
Don’t look now, but the Chargers have won three games in a row after a rough 0-4 start. Their most impressive win came on Sunday, which was the third shutout of the week, against the Broncos. The Chargers are riding high and will look to keep charging ahead against the Patriots this week.
No. 17: Detroit Lions: 3-3
Last Week: No. 17
After a hot 3-1 start for the Lions, they have now fallen to 3-3. But, in a weak, Rodger-less NFC North, they still have a chance to recover. Hopefully they used their bye to focus on both sides of the ball. In particular, Stafford needs to work on protecting the ball.
No. 18: Chicago Bears: 3-4
Last Week: No. 24
The Bears defense, especially Eddie Jackson, came to play against the Panthers. The defense held Cam Newton and the Panthers to only a field goal and Jackson had two defensive touchdowns. Not much can be said of Trubisky’s performance, as he only threw seven passes and completed four of them. Hopefully we will see more of him in the coming weeks.
No. 19: Tennessee Titans: 4-3
Last Week: No. 19
The Titans’ win over the Browns was far too close of a game and was not pretty by any standards. Their defense allowed only nine points but they failed to score a single touchdown. The Titans’ four field goals carried them to their overtime victory, but the offense will have to improve to beat teams better than the Browns.
No. 20: Denver Broncos: 3-3
Last Week: No. 10
The Broncos had an ugly game as they got shutout against the Chargers on Sunday. Trevor Siemian played poorly, the running game could not get going, and thus they could not score against the Chargers. The Broncos defense didn’t perform horribly, as they allowed only 21 points, but this game was a bad sign for a team that has playoff aspirations.
No. 21: Miami Dolphins: 3-3
Last Week: No. 22
The Fins were able to exorcise their Jets demons and defeat New York after an ugly loss to them in Week 3. Jay Cutler went down with a chest injury, but Matt Moore stepped in and performed just as well, so there shouldn’t be much concern on whether or not Cutler will be missed. The Dolphins are still in the hunt for the division and will look to build next week against the struggling Ravens on Thursday night.
No. 22: Carolina Panthers: 4-3
Last Week: No. 5
You can’t suffer that ugly of a loss to the Bears without dropping heavily in the rankings. The Panthers offense scored only a single field goal and gave up two touchdowns to Bears’ Safety Eddie Jackson. The Panthers defense was at least able to hold the Bears offense to a field goal as well, but the atrocious offensive display is too hard to ignore and will be criticized for weeks to come.
No. 23: Cincinnati bengals: 2-4
Last Week: No. 15
The Bengals started the game out with nice momentum and kept it competitive with the Steelers until the second half. Andy Dalton’s interception to Joe Haden off of AJ Green’s back was not his fault, but this offense needs to get more going in the coming weeks as this team does have, on paper, enough talent to make a playoff push.
No. 24: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2-4
Last Week: No. 23
The Buccaneers’ season is not going as many expected with their stacked receiving core and revamped defense. Jameis Winston had a good game against the Bills, but the run game couldn’t do the same and the defense gave up over 400 total yards again. Things aren’t going to get easier as the Bucs face a stout Panthers defense this coming weekend.
No. 25: Baltimore Ravens: 3-4
Last Week: No. 24
Justin Tucker is a really good kicker and Joe Flacco didn’t throw an interception. Those are the only two positives for the Ravens from their game against the Vikings. With a neutered receiving core, Flacco and this offense will not be able to get going and will leave too much pressure on this talented defense.
No. 26: Arizona Cardinals: 3-4
Last Week: No. 20
So much for any remaining playoff hopes that were in the Cardinals’ minds. Carson Palmer broke his arm against the Rams and is out for at least two months, and Adrian Peterson did not perform well in his second outing as a Cardinal. The Cardinals will have to use this bye week to prepare for a life without Carson Palmer.
No. 27: Green Bay Packers: 4-3
Last Week: No. 29
Without Aaron Rodgers, it looked like, and still looks like, their season is effectively over. Brett Hundley had a poor performance against the Saints defense. However, the running game was strong behind Aaron Jones, who might be the key to any further success this season. Their defense didn’t look awful, allowing 26 points and picking off Drew Brees twice. Their defense and run game will have to step up for any hope of salvaging this season.
No. 28: New York Jets: 3-4
Last Week: No. 27
After beating the Dolphins handsomely in Week 3, the Jets fell to the Fins after giving up 17 points in the fourth quarter. The Jets had a very impressive first half but just couldn’t seem to get out of their own way in the second half. The real finisher was when Josh McCown threw an interception in the final minutes in their own redzone. Whoever it was that made the call to throw on that play will need to answer for it, as it prevented an overtime game.
No. 29: New York Giants: 1-6
Last Week: No. 28
The Giants offense struggled as expected against the Legion of Boom. The run game couldn’t get anything going and rookie tight end Evan Engram was the most productive receiver. The defense allowed 24 points and was unimpressive overall. This team isn’t destined for great things with so little offensive talent, which leads to a tired defense.
No. 30: Indianapolis Colts: 2-5
Last Week: No. 30
The Colts got shutout by the extremely impressive Jaguars defense, with ten sacks on the day. If this kind of performance by the offensive line continues, it be wise to not start Luck, as that could lead to him reinjuring his shoulder.
No. 31: San Francisco 49ers: 0-7
Last Week: No. 31
What did we expect when the Cowboys faced the Niners? A blowout. What happened? A blowout. The 49ers poor play on both sides of the ball won’t transfer to wins until they get more talent surrounding them. Their schedule doesn’t allow for many opportunities for a win, so they very well may be 0-16 this year.
No. 32: Cleveland Browns: 0-7
Last Week: No. 32
After a surprising close overtime game with the Titans, the Browns still remain winless. However, midway through the game, the Browns made yet another change at quarterback, starting Cody Kessler over Deshone Kizer. The Browns still can’t decide who they want to develop and that is certainly not helping their already struggling team win games.