2020 Week 11 Power Rankings
The Power Rankings are back for the eleventh week and teams are on the rise. The Miami Dolphins continue to climb the rankings and they don’t look like slowing down any time soon. Does an NFC East team actually make a big jump up the rankings and does the only remaining undefeated team in the league stay atop of the rankings? A perfectly balanced top ten with five teams from each division and a closely matched bottom ten with six from one and four from the other makes for an interesting read. The Power Rankings are always difficult but with numerous divisions with at least two teams on winning records and other divisions with teams that started poor now playing better and getting wins, it becomes near impossible.
Anyway enough of that, the rankings await.
32. New York Jets - 0-9
No Sam Darnold again in the Jets Week 11 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers. In Week 10 Joe Flacco will need to get the best out of his wide receivers again if he wants to keep up with the gun slinging young QB over there in LA. New York needs a big offseason if they want to keep up with the rest of their division or risk finding themselves being left behind in a new highly competitive AFC East. The rebuild starts now and the Jets need to get to business.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars - 1-8
Jacksonville went toe to toe with the current number one seed in the NFC and as predicted came out on the losing end. What wasn’t predicted however was just how close the Jaguars would run the Packers. James Robinson continues to be a bright spark in this otherwise struggling franchise. He could have been the game winner if it wasn’t for costly penalties that negated two touchdowns. Jaguars have lost eight in a row and the odds point to that being nine in Week 11.
30. Dallas Cowboys - 2-7
In an NFC East that is still well and truly up for grabs the Dallas Cowboys have an offense capable of tearing the division apart. In Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb the Cowboys still have one of the best wide receivers trio in football and in Andy Dalton they have a QB who is capable of finding them. This is where it comes down to the coaches to scheme up the correct plays to get the results out of these stars. If they can do that then they are more than capable of winning this division. Not to mention a running back by the name of Ezekiel Elliott, who is capable of running over anyone on his day.
29. Washington Football Team - 2-7
Alex Smith is back and he looks like he hasn’t missed a step. Career highs in completions and passing yards for the returning quarterback is just another milestone in this incredible story. Unfortunately he just fell short in completing the comeback and getting the win against the Detroit Lions. Alex Smith and Ron Rivera each have two of the great stories in the NFL and they are well in the mix for the division.
The more games Alex Smith gets the better he will become and the Washington Football Team will be in the hunt for this division to the bitter end.
28. Cincinnati Bengals - 2-6-1
The injury riddled secondary of Cincinnati could do nothing to stop Ben Roethlisberger and his corps of young receivers. Joe Burrow has provided hope to the Bengals organisation but until he can compete in the AFC North the Bengals will always be the team propping up the division. The hard work begins and if the Bengals ever want to get back to the playoffs they need to find a way to beat their divisional rivals.
27. Houston Texans - 2-7
An abysmal game in Cleveland that was dampened by the weather. Deshaun Watson couldn’t get anything going at all and he could only have hoped the weather delay turned into a weather cancellation. The outlook is bleak in Houston and it doesn’t look like getting any better. Looking over at Arizona and seeing former Texan, Deandre Hopkins doing the unbelievable must be a bitter pill to swallow. Roll on 2021, although I fear it may be more of the same.
26. Denver Broncos - 3-6
Drew Lock is young, dynamic, exciting and an interception machine. He now has ten interceptions in seven starts after an abysmal four interception outing against the Las Vegas Raiders. A team that was already torn apart by injuries didn’t need their own quarterback throwing their season away. Unfortunately that is exactly what they have. An already tough division is being made impossible by the Broncos own sloppy play. Denver will hope for a better offseason as they begin to prepare for the 2021 season.
25. Chicago Bears - 5-5
The hot start in Chicago is over and over in a rather unflattering fashion. This offense is simply awful. Against the struggling Vikings they could only muster six points and 149 total yards. If it wasn’t for a kickoff return from Cordarrelle Patterson this would have been even more embarrassing. Tough times for Bears fans but at least they have a strong defense that they can look ro nuil around for next year. Just look at what Pittsburgh did with the same recipe of a strong defense and a terrible offense.
24. Carolina Panthers - 3-7
Just when they thought they were getting their talismanic running back back, the injury bug strikes again and this time his shoulder is keeping him out. They were soundly thrashed by their rivals the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and to add to the troubles quarterback Teddy Bridgewater limped off the field. The losing streak hits five games and up next is the very beatable Detroit Lions.
If the Panthers cant get a few wins in a row then who knows what could happen with the injury woes of the Saints quarterback. A long shot I know but stranger things have happened. In this sport anything is possible and we all love the drama of it.
23. Philadelphia Eagles - 3-5-1
The NFC East is full of teams that are struggling, none more so perhaps than the Eagles offense. Another abysmal display in their 27-17 loss to division rivals the New York Giants. Zero conversions on nine third down attempts and this was with players returning from injury. Long gone are the glory days of Super Bowl LII as this Eagles team is miles away from the 2018 version. Still though, just like the other three struggling teams in this division they could end up with a home playoff game. The offense needs to get better if they have any thoughts of winning this division, well actually it might not need to get that much better. Maybe it’s better just to bin this division and relocate the teams.
22. New York Giants - 3-7
Two wins in a row for Big Blue and more importantly it was two divisional wins. A division where it seems no one actually wants to win now has two teams atop the standings with three wins. Both sides of the ball in New York are beginning to work and maybe this previously dormant team is hitting their stride just at the right moment. A strong push here and playoff football could be back in New York and the blue half of the city is all for it.
21. Atlanta Falcons - 3-6
A bye week in Atlanta and a chance to prepare for the New Orleans Saints. Little did they know things would get better for them as unfortunately Drew Brees looks set to miss some time for the Saints. This gives the Falcons a chance to get a division win and keep their very thin hopes of a late season comeback win alve. A must win for Atlanta if they have any hopes of football in January.
20. Detroit Lions - 4-5
Four wins now for Matt Patricia and his Lions and more importantly they finally have a home win again. They were made to work for it after holding off an inspired Alex Smith comeback and winning the game off the back of a 59 yard field goal. It doesn’t matter how the wins come just that they come. Detroit are now sitting at 4-5 and only three games off the division lead. Catching the Green Bay Packers is probably not possible but at least the Lions have added to the drama of it all and haven’t just disappeared into insignificance.
Tip of the cap to D’Andre Swift who had another stellar outing against the Washington Football Team.
19. San Francisco 49ers - 4-6
Despite all the injuries that Kyle Shanahan has had to deal with, he has still found a way to keep his team competitive. Unfortunately they couldn’t stay competitive for the full 60 minutes. A first quarter of complete football for the 49ers gave them a 10-0 lead against NFC rivals the New Orleans Saints. Then however all the mistakes and injury depletions began to be noticed. Two muffed punts, two interceptions and the lack of star players to get them back in the game cost the 49ers another loss.
A bye-week now and a chance to get some players back in the line-up. Win until the end of the season and who knows what position the 49ers will be in.
18. Los Angeles Chargers - 2-7
Another loss for the Chargers but at least this one wasn’t in gut wrenching fashion. Miami were the better team and their excellent defense kept the young hot shot Justin Herbert in check. The playoffs are nothing more than a dream now for the Chargers but they look ready for next year. The rest of the season to get Justin Herbert more accustomed to life in the NFL and then an offseason to add more weapons on both sides of the ball. The AFC West looks like a highly competitive division for years to come.
17. Minnesota Vikings - 4-5
Kirk Cousins has a win on Monday Night Football. In his tenth outing he finally got that win. 1-9 is nothing to boast about but by his reaction at the end, this was hugely important for Cousins. Three wins in a row and the Vikings are right back in the hunt. Adam Thielen has racked up nine touchdowns and Dalvin Cook is doing godly things in almost every game. If Cousins can continue to play half decent football and hand the ball off to his elite running back then the Vikings can add to this three game win streak and take a run at the playoffs.
16. New England Patriots - 4-5
Are the Patriots back in the hunt? A win against the highly rated Baltimore Ravens and the Patriots were back looking like the PAtriots we have become accustomed to. At 4-5 they are well and truly in the playoff hunt and no matter what is going on in Foxborough they are not a team that anyone will want to play come January. Bill Belichick is the best to ever do it and with him at the helm you can never rule out a run at the Super Bowl.
I was one of the many to count them out, and I’m not saying they will be there come January but I may have been too keen to rule out their chances. As much as it pains me to say this.
15. Tennessee Titans - 6-3
The slide down the rankings continues for the Titans from Tennessee. After AJ Brown dropped a walk in touchdown the game changed. Throughout the first half the Titans were right in the mix and finished the half with a 17-13 lead. Something happened at half time and the Titans team that came out for the third quarter were completely different. Costly special teams mistakes and the inability to score left the Titans in a 34-17 hole. Tennessee surrendered the lead at the top of the division and the rematch in Week 12 now has even more importance.
14. Indianapolis Colts - 6-3
Nyheim Hines put in another monster display as he racked up 115 scrimmage yards and two scores. Despite Jonathan Taylor struggling, Hines has kept the threat of the run game alive in Indianapolis. A Titans implosion on special teams handed the Colts a glorious chance at victory and they duly obliged. Colts take the top spot in the division and if they can sweep their divisional rivals they will be in prime position for the playoffs come January.
13. Los Angeles Rams - 6-3
Sean McVay has Pete Carrolls number. Another win for the Rams against the Seahawks and it was largely down to the excellent performance of the Rams secondary. Jalen Ramsey played DK Metcalf out of the game and Darious Williams had two interceptions, one of which came in his own end zone. Plenty to work on for the Rams but a big win against a divisional rival and the Rams are now joint top of the most competitive season in football.
12. Las Vegas Raiders - 6-3
Las Vegas are dominating their division in the head to head matches, unfortunately they have three losses to other teams and find themselves trailing the Chiefs. Coming off the back of wins against the Broncos and the Chargers, the Chiefs are next in store and if the Raiders want a shot at the division this is a must win. Josh Jacobs continues to shine with another performance of over 100 rushing yards and two scores. Jacobs and the rest of the silver and gold will need to be at their very best if they want to sweep the reigning champions.
11. Cleveland Browns - 6-3
Nick Chubb is back, and how did he repay his fantasy fans all over the world, by stepping out of bounds at the one yard line after a monster touchdown run. A move that will be hated by fantasy owners all over but is a positive sign for Cleveland. A team that is so set on winning is completely not what the Dawg Pound has been used to but is exactly what they need. The AFC North could have three teams in the playoffs and one of them will be the Cleveland Browns.
A huge testament to how they have played this season but this is where it all starts to matter. The business end of the season is upon us and the Browns need to be able to see it out.
10. Seattle Seahawks - 6-3
In a year where Russel Wilson seemed a dead cert to finally win his first MVP award he has done his best in the last two weeks to blow it. Seven turnovers in two weeks and Seattle now find themselves in a three way tie for the NFC West. It’s not normal that you can blame a loss on Russel Wilson but this one was on him. Seattle needs to get back to winning ways or risk finding themselves slipping down the West and possibly out of playoff contention.
9. Miami Dolphins - 6-3
Who would have thought that come Week 11 of the season the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills would be battling for the division. Brain Flores has worked wonders in Florida and it can be largely thanked to the continuing displays from his defense and special teams. A big play every week is putting the Dolphins in great positions to win. On top of that they have a young quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa who is playing at a high and consistent level.
The winning streak now reaches five and Tua is off to a 3-0 start. Maybe he was right when he said he expected it to be harder.
8. Arizona Cardinals - 6-3
DeAndre Hopkins is having a season to remember and with his unbelievable hail mary catch he is showing the NFL world why he might just be the best in the league. Surrounded by three Bills players Hopkins was somehow able to keep a hold off the ball and come down with the game winning score. Hopkins and Kyler Murray are forming a bond similar to Rodgers and Adams, Brady and Edelman and Roethlisberger and Ward. If they can continue this form to the end of the season then we may have yet another new winner in the NFC West.
7. Buffalo Bills - 7-3
Buffalo now finds themselves in a fight for the AFC East and it’s not with the team you would have expected. Miami now finds themselves with the same number of losses as Buffalo and just when you think it’s Buffalo time, another hurdle comes in their way. Buffalo were seconds away (or one swatted ball) from a last minute win against an up and coming team in the NFC only to have their hearts broken by a ridiculous catch.
A loss like that can derail a team’s season and the Bills need to use the bye to forget about the result as quickly as possible.
6. Baltimore Ravens - 6-3
Baltimore now finds themselves three games behind Pittsburgh and in the middle of a dogfight for the wild card slot. A team pipped by many at the start of the season to go undefeated and dominate the AFC North again are a far cry from that. Before a must win matchup against the Steelers in Pittsburgh in Week 12 the Ravens have to negotiate their way by the Tennessee Titans. A difficult time in BAltimore and you can’t help but feel that any loss in the next two games and they will need to hand the AFC North crown back to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 7-3
Another monster display on offense from Tom Brady and his plethora of weapons. 46 points and 544 yards and the Buccaneers completely obliterated the Carolina Panthers. This should be the norm for a team with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, Cameron Brate, Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones and not to mention Antonio Brown. Tom Brady is playing like he is ten years younger and is enjoying throwing the ball over the field. The Buccaneers are dangerous but they have shown that they can be beaten.
A tough stretch of games coming up will either cement this team at the top of their division or leave them looking at the Saints once again. Whatever happens they sure are fun to watch.
4. New Orleans Saints - 7-2
I know, I know Drew Brees is injured and set to miss a couple of weeks so surely the Saints should have slipped. Why? New Orleans have excelled this year with short passes to Alvin Kamara and handing the ball off to Kamara. Give me a week with Sean Payton and I could have a pretty decent stab at that game plan. Instead of giving me the call they have decided to go with Jameis Winston and roll the dice on the interception prone QB. If he avoids the temptation to spray the ball all over the field then the Saints will be just fine.
3. Green Bay Packers - 7-2
Green Bay found themselves in a battle that they were not expecting against the Jacksonville Jaguars. A battle that they would eventually win. Games like this get you ready for the postseason and show the grit of your team. Aaron Rodgers is a magician and with Marquez Valdes-Scantling stepping up to be a real number two he has another weapon at his disposal. Allen Lazard is back from IR to add yet more weapons to this high octane offense and the Packers find themselves in a great place for the second half of the season.
Currently sat in the number one seed and with the stingy Colts up next Rodgers will need all of his weapons.
2. Kansas City Chiefs - 8-1
Despite dropping a game to the Raiders earlier in the season the Chiefs still have the AFC West in control with a two game lead. If the Chiefs can knock off the Raiders in Week 11 its difficult to picture anything other than yet another division title for Big Red. Next up is the race for the number one seed and a tough stretch of games including the Buccaneers, Dolphins and Saints makes it a far from easy task. All hands on deck for the Chiefs in their quest for back to back Super Bowls.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers - 9-0
Pittsburgh remained undefeated and Ben Roethlisberger showed why he is still the best quarterback in the division. A week off no practice and COVID tests and Big Ben came out and tore the Bengals apart to the tune of 333 yards and four touchdowns. A host of weapons at his disposal and his ability at simply drawing up plays in the dirt has this team on the cusp of greatness. It does help when you have one of the best defenses in the league getting you the ball back as well.
Undefeated season, comeback player of the year or maybe even Most Valuable Player, either way Ben Roethlisberger appears to be loving football and that is dangerous for anyone who faces them.