The two hottest teams in the NFL happen to be two teams who many expected to miss the playoffs. The Eagles have won seven straight games after dropping 51 points on a once-feared Broncos defense. After starting off 0-2, New Orleans has rattled off six straight wins, and beat the Bucs so bad it provoked an injured Jameis Winston to start a fight from the sideline.
There are no guarantees in the NFL, as the Eagles and Saints are proving winning often has little to do with expectations. For the Eagles, Carson Wentz has not just taken a step forward, but leaped into his second season in the league.
Lack of expectations can give a team unexpected energy, while lofty goals can be crippling for a team that is not ready for the spotlight. Fresh off their HBO Hard Knocks appearance, the Bucs were expected to do big things, but have lost five straight games as Winston has looked average at best.
It is a long season, as the Chiefs and Cowboys show what a difference a few weeks make. Kansas City started the season off by demolishing the Patriots at home to spoil their banner ceremony, but the Chiefs have now lost three of their last four games including their most recent double-digit defeat to the Cowboys. After starting the season 2-3, the Cowboys have won three straight games as the team continues to await the fate of star running back Ezekiel Elliott.
At the bottom of the standings, Browns fans rejoiced as Cleveland had a bye this week, thus avoiding their ninth straight loss. As Heavy detailed in our latest NFL mock draft, with the way the trade deadline went the week felt like a loss as the coaching staff and front office appear to be very publicly at odds.
We will continue to update our rankings as the last games are completed. Here’s a look at our latest NFL power rankings.
NFL Power Rankings Top 10: The Eagles Take Over the No. 1 Spot
No. 1 Philadelphia Eagles (8-1)
Last Week: Defeated Broncos 51-23
Next Week: Bye
After weeks of trailing the Patriots, it is almost impossible to put the Eagles anywhere but the top of the rankings. Wentz has been en fuego as the Eagles have won seven straight games. The Eagles offense is about to look even scarier as Philadelphia acquired running back Jay Ajayi before the trade deadline.
Ajayi had eight carries for 77 yards and a touchdown in his Eagles debut against the Broncos. Philadelphia can eventually utilize Ajayi in the passing game as well. The Eagles get a much deserved bye next week, before their massive showdown with the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.
No. 2 New England Patriots (6-2)
Last Week: Bye
Next Week: at Broncos
New England had been at the top of our rankings, and did nothing to deserve being dethroned other than having a bye this week. The Patriots moving down to No. 2 has more to do with the kind of hot streak the Eagles are on rather than the Patriots outlook moving forward.
The Patriots are on a winning streak of their own, and will look to make it five straight wins when they resume play next week in Denver. The only question mark for the Patriots is whether their defense can improve by playoff time.
No. 3 New Orleans Saints (6-2)
Last Week: Defeated Bucs 30-10
Next Week: at Bills
It is time to put some respect on the Saints name. All they have done is win six straight games including victories over the Bucs, Packers, Lions and Panthers. The most underrated player in the NFL may be none other than rookie running back Alvin Kamara.
Kamara is coming off his most complete game yet, with both a rushing and receiving touchdown. Kamara averaged 6.8 yards per carry and also had six receptions for 84 yards against the Bucs. Next week, the Saints travel to Buffalo to face a Bills team that was also underrated coming into the season.
No. 4 Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)
Last Week: Bye
Next Week: at Colts
The trade deadline came and went without Martavis Bryant being traded. The Steelers have managed to continue winning despite the drama created by the disgruntled wide receiver. Pittsburgh had a bye this week, and will enter next week’s game against Indianapolis as a heavy favorite.
One name to watch heading into the stretch run is rookie receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. The USC product is coming off seven receptions for 193 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers last game. While fans should not expect this type of performance every week, Smith-Schuster’s presence has made an already potent Pittsburgh offense even more threatening for opposing defenses.
No. 5 Los Angeles Rams (6-2)
Last Week: Defeated Giants 51-17
Next Week: vs. Texans
Gone is the struggling Jeff Fisher offense of old, as the Rams scored 51 points in their most recent outing against the Giants. Sean McVay has revamped the offense, and has helped make Jared Goff look worthy of the No. 1 draft pick he was selected with in 2016.
Goff is proving that the right system can make all the difference in the world as Goff was labeled a bust just a season ago. The second-year quarterback has also been helped by Todd Gurley shaking off his sophomore slump for a stellar third season. Gurley already has more than 1,000 total yards and 10 touchdowns this season.
No. 6 Dallas Cowboys (5-3)
Last Week: Defeated Chiefs 28-17
Next Week: at Falcons
The ever-looming suspension for Ezekiel Elliott seems to be having little impact on the team’s play on the field. The Cowboys earned what may be their most impressive win of the season by defeating the Chiefs at home, as Cowboys legend Tony Romo looked on from the booth.
All eyes are on the Cowboys upcoming matchup against the Eagles in two weeks, but the Cowboys travel to Atlanta next week to face an unpredictable Falcons team. Cowboys fans will be monitoring the injury report as both Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams suffered injuries against the Chiefs. If both players are held out of action, it leaves their receiving unit thin for two big upcoming NFC matchups.
Prescott has found success by continuing to eliminate mistakes as he has only thrown four interceptions this season compared to his 16 touchdown passes.
No. 7 Minnesota Vikings (6-2)
Last Week: Bye
Next Week: at Redskins
As any Vikings fans can attest to, no one is talking about Minnesota, yet the Vikings continue to win. The Vikings have won four straight games, and will look to continue their win streak as they return from a bye.
Case Keenum may be flying under the radar, but the quarterback’s performance has been crucial as he has filled in for Sam Bradford. In seven games, Keenum has thrown for 1,610 yards and seven touchdowns while completing nearly 64 percent of his passes.
With Aaron Rodgers sidelined, the Vikings are the heavy favorites to win the NFC North.
No. 8 Kansas City Chiefs (6-3)
Last Week: Lost 28-17 to Cowboys
Next Week: Bye
The Chiefs once looked like one of the best teams in the league, but now look unsteady as the losses are coming much more frequently. As of now, Kansas City is not in danger of dropping down in the AFC West thanks to the way the rest of the division has played.
Something tells us the Chiefs will get back on track as their offense has been the best we have seen come out of Kansas City in years. The good news for Chiefs fans is Kansas City is headed for a bye then faces the Giants when they return. Sounds like a great recipe for returning to the Chiefs team we saw at the beginning of the season.
No. 9 Carolina Panthers (6-3)
Last Week: Defeated Falcons 20-17
Next Week: vs. Dolphins
The Panthers have been one of the most difficult teams to figure out in the league. Carolina is coming off two straight wins within the division. The front office’s decision to trade Kelvin Benjamin at the trade deadline is puzzling, and leaves the bulk of the Panthers offensive firepower on the shoulders of rookies.
Carolina has two winable games coming up against the Dolphins and Jets before a big NFC South showdown with the Saints. The month of November will either expose the Panthers, or solidify them as one of the top NFC teams.
No. 10 Seattle Seahawks (5-3)
Last Week: Lost 17-14 to Redskins
Next Week: at Cardinals
Depending on what week you watch the Seahawks, you may want to see the team drastically higher or lower in the rankings. This is a very confusing team with most of the questions surrounding the offense.
Seattle spent a good portion of their matchup against the Redskins with just two points, and those came off a safety. Despite bringing in a revolving door of running backs, the Seahawks have not been the same since the departure of Marshawn Lynch. Pete Carroll loves to rely on a punishing rushing attack, but so far the only ones hurting have been the Seahawks backs who cannot stay healthy. Eddie Lacy is the latest running back to suffer an injury.
The Seahawks have an opportunity to bounce back quickly with their Thursday night matchup against the Cardinals.
NFL Power Rankings: All 32 Teams
|1||Philadelphia Eagles (8-1)||2|
|2||New England Patriots (6-2)||1|
|3||New Orleans Saints (6-2)||6|
|4||Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)||3|
|5||L.A. Rams (6-2)||7|
|6||Dallas Cowboys (5-3)||10|
|7||Minnesota Vikings (6-2)||8|
|8||Kansas City Chiefs (6-3)||4|
|9||Carolina Panthers (6-3)||11|
|10||Seattle Seahawks (5-3)||5|
|11||Tennessee Titans (5-3)||12|
|12||Jacksonville Jaguars (5-3)||13|
|13||Buffalo Bills (5-3)||9|
|14||Washington Redskins (4-4)||20|
|15||Atlanta Falcons (4-4)||14|
|16||Baltimore Ravens (4-5)||18|
|17||Oakland Raiders (4-5)||24|
|18||Detroit Lions (4-4)||22|
|19||Green Bay Packers (4-4)||15|
|20||New York Jets (4-5)||25|
|21||Miami Dolphins (4-4)||16|
|22||Arizona Cardinals (4-4)||26|
|23||Los Angeles Chargers (3-5)||21|
|24||Houston Texans (3-5)||19|
|25||Denver Broncos (3-5)||17|
|26||Chicago Bears (3-5)||27|
|27||Cincinnati Bengals (3-5)||23|
|28||Indianapolis Colts (3-6)||29|
|29||Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-6)||28|
|30||New York Giants (1-7)||30|
|31||San Francisco 49ers (0-9)||31|
|32||Cleveland Browns (0-8)||32|