Updated: Oct. 17
Cleveland Browns (0-6) - Previously: 32.
I'm now 0-6 in Browns picks this year. Amazingly, I've taken Cleveland every week except the one time the team actually covered (Week 1 versus Pittsburgh). Unreal.
By the way, I was asked on Facebook if the Browns should fire Hue Jackson. Yes, but not now. Jackson is the Browns' best chance of finishing 0-16, so the front office should hold on to him to ensure the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Once that's secured, and Jackson has done his job, he can be let go.
Indianapolis Colts (2-4) - Previously: 28.
My condolences if you bet the Colts on Monday night. As someone who lost on the Redskins two weeks ago, I feel your pain.
Let me make things worse for you. Henry may have been out of bounds:
Wow. Was he in? We don't know. The fact that they didn't review it was appalling, and it makes you wonder if that decision-maker bet Tennessee.
New York Jets (3-3) - Previously: 30.
The Jets were absolutely screwed. I don't understand how Austin Seferian-Jenkins' catch wasn't a touchdown. He lost possession, but had it while he was still inbounds, prior to hitting the pylon. Even if that weren't the case, the play was too close to overturn. New York should've had a chance to take the Patriots to overtime to lose in the extra session rather than just regulation.
Despite the Jets nearly beating the Patriots, they remain near the bottom of the NFL Power Rankings. They had to luck into a victory versus the Browns the prior week, so I can't buy into them being legitimate just yet.
San Francisco 49ers (0-6) - Previously: 29. Credit the 49ers for battling teams closely each week. Granted, none of these teams are good, and San Francisco has been down big twice and was able to accumulate garbage points, but still.
Well, the Redskins are good, as you can see in these rankings, but I get the sense that Washington fell asleep and didn't consider some guy named C.J. Beathard they never heard of to be much of a threat. Still, Beathard seemed like he could be an improvement over Brian Hoyer.
New York Giants (1-5) - Previously: 26.
Nothing in the NFL made sense in Week 6, including the Giants' ability to win in Denver despite missing half the roster. OK, well, it wasn't that bad. The Giants' blocking has been improved, and it didn't seem as though the Broncos weren't trying very hard, so that would explain it. Maybe.
Green Bay Packers (4-2) - Previously: 3.
A live look of Aaron Rodgers in the hospital:
I don't know why Rodgers is in a wheel chair because of a broken collarbone, but whatever. It's a shame that Green Bay's season is effectively over. At this point, you have to wonder how many Super Bowls the Packers would've won with Rodgers had he been able to stay healthy.
Baltimore Ravens (3-3) - Previously: 22.
I'm not sure how much Carlos Hyde will help, but I listed the Ravens as one of the teams that could trade for Carlos Hyde. Alex Collins and Buck Allen posted solid numbers against the Bears, so imagine how potent Hyde would be with that sort of blocking. As we saw with Adrian Peterson, a talented running back can really pump some life into an aging quarterback who looks like he's itching to leave the game so he can catch the early-bird special at Old Country Buffet.
Miami Dolphins (3-2) - Previously: 31.
The Dolphins came back from down 17-0, as the Falcons couldn't score a single point after halftime. What happened? Was it improved play? Was it the upgrade over the injured Mike Pouncey at center? Was it Atlanta falling asleep at the wheel? No, no, and no. There's another answer, and I think you know what time it is...
The Adventures of Derek Anderson's Magic Flask!
Matt Ryan: It's halftime, and we're doing great, guys. We're up 17-0, so if we get two more touchdowns, we should be able to win the game and then celebrate by going to Pier Imports afterward.
Matt Ryan: You don't say? It looks like sugar. Mmm... let me taste it. What? I'm supposed to sniff it? That's weird, but OK. I'll share it with my teammates.
*** In the second half... ***
Matt Ryan: OMG OMG OMG WE'RE GOING TO WIN WE'RE GOING TO WIN THIS IS GREAT WE'RE WINNING PIER IMPORTS HERE WE COME YA YA YA YA YA.
Grady Jarrett: GOTTA HIT THE QUARTERBACK NO MATTER WHAT GOTTA HIT THE QUARTERBACK NO MATTER WHAT GOTTA DO IT GOTTA DO IT HERE I COME RAAAWWWRRR!!!
Matt Ryan: PENALTY FOR THAT PENALTY FOR THAT WHAT HAPPENED NOW WE'RE TIED OMG OMG OMG OMG WHAT IF WE DON'T GET TO GO TO PIER IMPORTS LET ME TRY TO FORCE A PASS FOR NO REASON WHILE IN FIELD GOAL RANGE YA YA YA YAA YA.
Austin Hooper: GONNA CATCH BALL GONNA CATCH BALL GONNA CATCH BALL HEY WHAT HAPPENED IT'S INTERCEPTED GONNA CATCH BALL GONNA CATCH BALL GONNA OH WAIT GAME'S OVER OH NO NO NON ONONONOOOO.
Matt Ryan: NOW WE DON'T GET TO GO TO PIER IMPORTS MY LIFE IS RUINED OMG WORST DAY EVER WHY AM I TALKING SO QUICKLY IT'S ONLY SUGAR WHY AM I SO HYPER OMG WE LOST HOW'D THAT HAPPEN YAYAYAYAYAYA.
Chicago Bears (2-4) - Previously: 25.
Underrated NFL Team: The Bears aren't nearly as bad as they looked on national TV against the Packers. They were playing on a short week, and if you take away Mike Glennon's three horrible turnovers, Chicago played almost evenly with Green Bay. The Bears defeated the Steelers and Ravens (the latter, on the road) and almost took down the Falcons and Vikings, and now they have a healthy offensive line.
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3) - Previously: 20.
As I said two weeks ago: "It really is a shame that Bortles is weighing the Jaguars down so much. With a competent quarterback, they'd be 3-1 right now. With a great signal-caller, they'd be 4-0."
Well, make that 4-2/5-1 and 5-1/6-0. Jacksonville crushed the Steelers, but only because the defense picked off a regressing Ben Roethlisberger five times. The team won in spite of Bortles, who was just as bad versus the Rams. He's trash, and it's embarrassing that the Jaguars didn't cut him prior to the start of the season.
Oh, and by the way, Matvei sent me this text during the 4 p.m. games:
"It's too funny to cut from Kansas City, which is just a cauldron of noise, to Jacksonville, where the only noise is seagulls, a pool motor, and the occasional car backing up outside of the stadium."
If you didn't see it, here's a shot of the stands during the game:
The 10 people there aren't even paying attention to what's happening on the field!
Oakland Raiders (2-4) - Previously: 9.
I'd like to personally thank Michael Irvin for saving me some money this week. I was ready to make a big play on the Raiders, but Irvin talked about Derek Carr's injury - something he experienced in his career - and he said that there's no way Carr could come back from that injury in just one week. So, I reduced the unit count on Oakland -3 to one unit instead of three or so. It's a good thing I did because the Raiders lost to the Chargers.
Carr clearly not being 100 percent is why the Raiders have taken such a huge dive in my NFL power rankings this week. They'll move up when Carr gets closer to 100 percent, but I doubt that'll happen by Thursday.
Los Angeles Chargers (2-4) - Previously: 24.
The Chargers are finally finding ways not to lose. All it's taking are four injuries to the Giants' receivers, including Odell Beckham, as well as Derek Carr playing with a broken back.
Still, the Chargers are somehow still alive, despite starting 0-4. If they make the playoffs and eventually find a way to win the Super Bowl, I hope they send a ring to Younghoe Koo, who might be passed out in a gutter somewhere after seeing the Chargers hit a game-winning field goal versus the Raiders.
Arizona Cardinals (3-3) - Previously: 27.
I've had the Cardinals listed as overrated for most of the year, and they made me look good by failing to cover their first five games. Well, not so much in Week 6! I don't know what to make of that victory. Was Adrian Peterson's performance a fluke? Or is he legitimately revitalized on his new team? I suppose we'll find out when the Cardinals battle the Rams in London, which, interestingly enough, is Peterson's second trip to London this year, as Awesome Kelly from Arizona pointed out to me.
Buffalo Bills (3-2) - Previously: 21.
Remember when the Bills were so hyped up about defeating the Falcons, even though Atlanta lost Julio Jones in the second quarter? Perhaps they should've focused more on beating the Bengals. They could've been blown out in that game had Cincinnati not committed some very fluky turnovers. Fortunately for the Bills, they get a chance to redeem themselves against the Buccaneers; they're well rested, while Tampa could be tired after flying back from the West Coast-ish.
Detroit Lions (3-3) - Previously: 12.
If there's a team that desperately needed a bye week, it's the Lions. Matthew Stafford is completely banged up, as he writhed in pain several times when he released the ball against the Saints. Perhaps he, as well as Ziggy Ansah, Golden Tate, T.J. Lang and Travis Swanson, will be 100 percent after the week off.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) - Previously: 13.
Underrated NFL Team: The Buccaneers' lack of effort in Arizona was appalling. Coming off a loss, with extra rest, I figured Tampa would win against the Cardinals, but that wasn't the case. The Buccaneers were extremely aloof. The best explanation I've heard is that they are a young team facing a rotting carcass of an opponent, and the players basically slept through meetings because they assumed they'd easily beat the Cardinals. I can buy that. Let's not forget that Tampa was a couple of missed field goals away from beating the Patriots despite missing three key defenders.
By the way, check out the Ryan Fitzpatrick curse, which needs to be updated for Jameis Winston's injury:
Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) - Previously: 19.
I listed the Bengals as overrated last week, but I was wrong. They easily beat the Bills, considering how many fluky turnovers they had. I don't really know what to make of Cincinnati right now, so I'm glad I have an entire week to reevaluate them. They've been so much better since they fired their offensive coordinator, but I still don't trust them because their offensive line sucks. Meanwhile, their defense is much better with Vontaze Burfict back from suspension, so that's been a major factor for their improvement.
And I still don't know what to make of the Bengals. Their defense is legitimately better with Burfict back, but their blocking is abysmal. Maybe they'll just be inconsistent, making them difficult to bet on or against.
Tennessee Titans (3-3) - Previously: 14.
The Titans and Texans should contend for the AFC South, though that would obviously require Marcus Mariota to regain his mobility. Mariota may have gotten away with being a statue versus the Colts, and it'll work against the Browns as well, but he'll need to actually move against tougher foes.
Houston Texans (3-3) - Previously: 23.
The Texans made a huge jump in my power rankings two weeks ago, then plummeted last week because of the J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus injuries. Now, they moved up several spots again. I feel like I'm some 13-year-old girl trying to decide what to wear to the eighth-grade dance, but I think I'm finally right with the Texans being around this area. I moved Houston down too much because of Watt and Mercilus, but the team should have fallen only a few spots. Deshaun Watson is the real deal, and Houston will have a chance to finish with a winning record because of him.
Minnesota Vikings (4-2) - Previously: 17.
With Aaron Rodgers out, and Matthew Stafford banged up, the Vikings are now the favorites to win the NFC North. Even better is that Teddy Bridgewater is expected back soon. We'll have to see if Bridgewater is his old self again, but if he is, the sky is the limit for this Minnesota squad.
Los Angeles Rams (4-2) - Previously: 16.
The Rams had a nice bounce-back performance after losing to the Seahawks. I thought they could be distracted by an impending trip to London, but they managed to beat the Jaguars by double digits. Sure, they needed the help of two special-teams touchdowns, but they were definitely focused, and Sean McVay needs to be praised for having his team prepared.
Seattle Seahawks (3-2) - Previously: 15.
Overrated NFL Team: I'm hesitant to call the Seahawks overrated because they're fully capable of going on a great winning streak following their bye. However, they have not looked impressive at all this year, save for the second half against the Colts. They can't block whatsoever, they struggle to run the ball, and the defense just doesn't look the same. Jared Goff had way too much success for my liking in Sunday's matchup, and Seattle would have lost had the Rams not killed themselves with numerous careless mistakes.
Dallas Cowboys (2-3) - Previously: 11.
Overrated NFL Team: The Cowboys were definitely legitimate in 2016, but I thought they'd take a step backward this season, and that's exactly what's happening. They lost two members of their fantastic offensive line, while three key players in their secondary have departed as well. Tyron Smith isn't healthy at all, while Sean Lee continues to miss action.
Oh, and Ezekiel Elliott could be suspended for six games. Check out my Disaster Grades for the latest on Elliott's status.
New Orleans Saints (3-2) - Previously: 18.
Overrated NFL Team: I think the Saints are a good team. Their offensive line is better with Terron Armstead back, and the defense has improved. However, their three victories aren't all that impressive, considering two of the quarterbacks they've beaten were playing hurt (Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford), while the third was Jay Cutler in London. I had the urge to put the Saints as high as No. 7 in my power rankings, but after thinking about it, I realized I was overrating them.
Washington Redskins (3-2) - Previously: 10.
Underrated NFL Team: The Redskins are now 3-2, but they easily could be 4-1 had Josh Doctson hung on to a touchdown late versus Kansas City. That means Washington's only legitimate defeat was against the 5-1 Eagles. The Redskins aren't viewed by most as one of the better teams in the NFL, but I think they are. They definitely belong in the top 10 of NFL power rankings. If only Kirk Cousins could develop a better rapport with Terrelle Pryor...
Oh, and speaking of Terrelle Pryor...
Terrelle Pryor's Race for 1,800:
Current Receiving Yards: 209
Currently on Pace for: 668
Yards Per Game Needed for 1,800: 144.6
With 11 games left, there's definitely time for Cousins to build a rapport with Pryor!
Carolina Panthers (4-2) - Previously: 7.
If I bet on the Panthers -3 on Thursday night, I'd be pretty upset about the Luke Kuechly concussion. The Carolina-Philadelphia game changed dramatically once Kuechly left the game. This is obviously a major concern, as Kuechly has a dubious history of concussions. If there's a silver lining, it's that the Panthers get nine days off. However, there's no guarantee that Kuechly will be cleared anytime soon.
Denver Broncos (3-2) - Previously: 5.
Underrated NFL Team: The Broncos lost by 13 to the Giants, but they outgained the Giants and averaged more yards per play. If it weren't for a pick-six, it would've been a six-point game at the very end. I think the Broncos came out of the bye week - which followed a big victory over arch-rival Denver - completely aloof because they were told they were supposed to crush the Giants. New York had a terrific game plan, and won as a result. The Broncos still have a great defense and some talented weapons on offense, and so I think they are still one of the top six teams in the NFL.
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) - Previously: 8.
The Steelers had a nice win in Kansas City, but let's not get carried away here. This Pittsburgh squad still lost to the Bears and got blown out by the Jaguars. Ben Roethlisberger still seems a bit off, and his former self would've hit some throws he missed in Kansas City. Plus, Marcus Gilbert aggravating his hamstring is a big deal.
New England Patriots (4-2) - Previously: 4.
I think it's time to start wondering if the Patriots have the worst pass defense of all time. They surrendered 350 passing yards to Josh McCown. Josh freaking McCown - a guy who couldn't even make the Browns' roster this year!
We still have 11 weeks to go, but Tom Brady needs to be the early MVP favorite. Where would the Patriots be right now if it wasn't for him? Would they even have two victories?
Atlanta Falcons (3-2) - Previously: 2.
The Falcons still have the talent to make a deep playoff run again, but it's pretty clear that they miss Kyle Shanahan. Their offensive play-calling is predictable and lacks any sort of creativity, and it looks like Matt Ryan is out of rhythm most of the time. Besides, blowing a 17-0 lead to Jay Cutler at home is not something a Super Bowl team should ever do. That said, I think the Falcons were caught napping and just assumed they'd prevail. I wouldn't count them out to make a Super Bowl run just yet.
Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) - Previously: 6.
I guess I can't list the Eagles as underrated anymore? Everyone is aware that they are one of the best teams in the NFL, and I'm beginning to think that my 12-4 projection of them might even be short.
By the way, where does everyone think Wentz is in the MVP race? I'd have to think that he's one of the top three candidates. Tom Brady should be the leader, as mentioned, and you'd have to put one of Alex Smith or Kareem Hunt in there as well.
Kansas City Chiefs (5-1) - Previously: 1.
A possible playoff preview? No, I'm not talking about the Steelers versus Chiefs. I'm talking about the Chiefs losing to a top team like the Steelers. For all the accolades Kansas City received in the first five weeks of the season, a defeat to Pittsburgh once again has to be worrying. Alex Smith has struggled to defeat elite opponents throughout the course of his career - hence, his lacking playoff success - and that is exactly why the Chiefs moved up for Patrick Mahomes.
To be fair, the loss wasn't just on Smith. Several other players were to blame, and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif's absence was important. My point is that Kansas City fans can't feel confident in their team's Super Bowl chances until Smith and company actually win multiple games in January.