Though the Top 4 in our Power Rankings remain the same this week, our confidence is shaken in the Chiefs, Seahawks, and Colts, who nearly lost to teams under .500. At least the Saints had the decency to lose to a Jets’ squad that has jumped into the PFPod Top 12 for the first time this season.
Think of PFPod’s Power Rankings as the half-breed love-child of traditional “Power Rankings” and the NFL playoff format: from Best to Worst, we rank the 8 divisional leaders and our two favorite wild card teams from each conference. Our Top 12 rankings give you all the fun of a college poll AND a meaningful outlook on the NFL playoff picture!
Top 4: Bye-week bound Divisional Leaders
1. Kansas City Chiefs. (9-0). The Chiefs’ defense scored all of KC’s touchdowns against the Bills. SMH.
2. Seattle Seahawks. (8-1). The winless Buccaneers almost beat the Seahawks in Seattle. Suddenly the 12th Man isn’t looking so invincible…
3. Indianapolis Colts. (6-2). Indy’s come-from-behind victory at Houston on Sunday night was exciting. Unfortunately, the Colts looked ill-prepared against the struggling Texans, who found themselves starting a backup RB and a third string QB, and appointing an interim head coach at halftime. We’re looking forward to this rematch in Week 15, no matter what the Texans’ record is. Get better, Koobs.
4. New Orleans Saints. (6-2). After halftime, the Jets adjusted their defense against Jimmy Graham. Rex Ryan’s defense didn’t just keep Graham out of the endzone in the second half– nary a Saint was to be found scoring a touchdown for the final 30 minutes.
Best of the Rest: NFL Power Rankings 5-12
5. Denver Broncos. (7-1). Interim head coach Jack Del Rio debuts this week. The Broncos should have promoted Mike McCoy instead, and just let Peyton Manning take over officially as offensive coordinator.
6. New England Patriots. (7-2). The Pats eviscerated Dick LeBeau’s vaunted defense last week for an impressive 55 points. Only 14 of those points came off of Roethlisberger turnovers.
7. San Francisco 49ers. (6-2). This week the 49ers have their first real test since September, when Colin Kaepernick will go against Carolina’s top 10 defense.
8. Cincinnati Bengals. (6-3). The Bengals fell in our Power Rankings as hard as Andy Dalton did in his own endzone when Miami dropped him for the game-winning safety last Thursday Night.
9. Detroit Lions. (5-3). Detroit has a tough road matchup against Chicago this week. Sure, the Bears aren’t expecting Jay Cutler to be 100% for this game, but the Lions rarely play well in the cold light of day games at Soldier Field…
10. Chicago Bears. (5-3). Now that Aaron Rodgers is out for several week, the Bears ought to move ahead of the Packers within the NFC North and the Wild Card Race. Even if Josh McCown is Chicago’s QB for the foreseeable future, unlike his counterpart in Green Bay (i.e., Packers’ backup QB Seneca Wallace), McCown got a lot of preseason reps for his current team. Packers fans will be screaming for their GM’s (cheese)head if Green Bay loses out on a playoff spot due to Wallace’s lack of preparation in Mike McCarthy’s offense.
11. Dallas Cowboys. (5-4). Sunday Night’s matchup against the Saints is looking like the kind of shootout that NFL fans prefer these days. Admittedly, a playoff rematch between these two teams in the NFC Divisional Round would even entertain me.
12. New York Jets. (5-4). Geno Smith’s Jets have yet to win back-to-back games in consecutive weeks. Luckily, NYJ is on bye this week. Let’s see if Rex and the Jets can get the second half of their season off to a winning start against the Bills in Week 11.