Updated: Nov. 21
Cleveland Browns (0-10) - Previously: 32.
I'd say the Browns blowing the cover like they did at the end of the Jacksonville game was unreal. Except the Browns do stupid s**t like that every single week! If you lost by betting Cleveland, I'm sorry to say it, but you deserve it. There's no reason to bet on this garbage franchise until they find legitimate NFL personnel to run it.
New York Giants (2-8) - Previously: 31.
The Giants may have cost themselves a top-two pick in the 2018 NFL Draft with a meaningless win. Hope it was worth it! Then again, the Giants may still get a top-two player, considering the Browns will probably draft some bum with the first choice, given that there's no obvious top prospect like there was with Myles Garrett last year.
San Francisco 49ers (1-9) - Previously: 29.
The 49ers are currently favored to have the second-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft over the Giants, so they better not screw it up. New York still has to play the Eagles, so that strength-of-schedule shift should keep San Francisco in front of the Giants in the draft order. Thus, it's imperative for them not to win. Their offense really needs Saquon Barkley, so losing out on him would be disastrous.
Arizona Cardinals (4-6) - Previously: 28.
Anyone get the sense that the Cardinals didn't put forth their best effort against the Texans? They played closely to the Seahawks the week before, but all of a sudden couldn't stop Tom Savage when Savage wasn't committing horrible turnovers? Then again, I can't exactly blame Arizona. The team realized its season was over, and I imagine that most of the players didn't think they had a chance with Blaine Yo Gabbert Gabbert! starting at quarterback.
Houston Texans (4-6) - Previously: 30.
It's nice to talk about a team winning without ruining their draft positioning, as the Texans don't have a first- or second-round pick. I suppose they're wrecking their third-round positioning, but I don't think there's much of a difference between 68 and 72. Could be wrong, though!
It's really a shame that Deshaun Watson got hurt. The AFC has just five legitimate playoff teams right now, and the Watson-led Texans certainly would be the sixth. With Watson, Houston would at least be 5-5 right now, perhaps even 6-4. And 5-5 is good for the sixth seed in the conference at the moment.
Miami Dolphins (4-6) - Previously: 26.
The Dolphins have now played with more energy with Matt Moore in two of his three appearances. That's better than Jay Cutler, whom they've played with energy in zero out of all the appearances. The Dolphins should just go with Moore to close out the year, while Cutler may as well just go to FOX. Sort of like this:
Green Bay Packers (5-5) - Previously: 23.
In hindsight, it was probably a dumb idea to use a Supercontest pick on Brett Hundley going up against Baltimore's defense. Then again, as one NFL Hall of Famer once said, "hindsight is 50-50."
By the way, e-mailer Luis A. asked me if I think the Browns will win a game this year. I looked at the schedule, and told him yes - because the Browns host the Packers in Week 14. If Hundley is still starting, Cleveland could finally get into the win column. That's how bad Hundley is.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-6) - Previously: 27.
Outside of the final drive, the Buccaneers didn't have to do anything to beat the Dolphins. They seriously could've just knelt down every single offensive play because Jay Cutler and DeVante Parker gave the game away with countless, terrible turnovers. Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, they actually had to try because Cutler suffered a concussion.
The Buccaneers said they're going to evaluate Jameis Winston this week, but they might as well keep starting Ryan Fitzpatrick. They've re-inserted Winston into the lineup way too early on a couple of occasions this season, and there's no reason to make the same error a third time.
Indianapolis Colts (3-7) - Previously: 24.
As I wrote last week, the Colts might be 3-7, but except for a shutout loss to the Jaguars, they've been competitive in EVERY single game this year with Jacoby Brissett starting. They have some solid players on defense and a couple of play-makers on offense.
We'll see if Andrew Luck returns next year. If so, I wonder where Brissett will be. According to a nightmare I had, Brissett was quarterbacking the Chargers in an 81-67 deficit to the Jaguars. If Brissett supplants a retired Philip Rivers next year, you heard it here first. And if Brissett plays in an 81-67 game? Feel free to donate all of your money to me as your new cult leader.
New York Jets (4-6) - Previously: 22.
The Jets won't be able to get a blue-chip quarterback prospect, so if they whiff on Kirk Cousins, who will be their quarterback? My best guesses...
3. Josh McCown - McCown hasn't been terrible this season, so it wouldn't surprise me at all if the Jets brought him back to be the starter once again.
2. Case Keenum - Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford and Case Keenum. The Vikings have three quarterbacks who can start for teams. Bradford seems like damaged goods, but I could see the Jets being interested in Keenum.
1. Eli Manning - Eli has to go somewhere. Or, he could remain in New York by switching teams.
Cincinnati Bengals (4-6) - Previously: 25.
Overrated NFL Team: I hope no one is fooled into the illusion that the Bengals are mediocre following their win in Denver. They had no business winning that game. They were legitimately outgained by 151 yards, and they averaged 0.7 fewer yards per play compared to the Brock Osweiler-led Broncos. If it wasn't for an Osweiler red-zone interception and a C.J. Anderson fumble at midfield, the Bengals may have lost by double digits.
Oakland Raiders (4-6) - Previously: 15.
The Raiders need to win out so I can cash my Over 9.5 wins prop. I think it's going to happen. All they need to do is go back in time and figure out what they did last year and why they suck so much this season.
Their defensive effort versus the Patriots, by the way, was pathetic. I know their secondary can't cover. Whatever. But where was the pass rush? The Patriots were missing two starting offensive linemen, and Tom Brady was untouched. Also, how could the Raiders not be prepared for the altitude? They played in Mexico last year!
Chicago Bears (3-7) - Previously: 21.
Underrated NFL Team: The Bears have dropped two in a row, but they were without Danny Trevathan for both contests. Trevathan is not only the heart and soul of Chicago's defense, but he also happens to be the brains of the operation. The Bears frequently blow coverages with Trevathan being out of the lineup, so their defense will see a huge improvement once the star linebacker returns to the field.
Denver Broncos (3-7) - Previously: 19.
Underrated NFL Team: The Broncos have played a brutal schedule since they were 3-3. They played at Kansas City, then took on the two best teams in the NFL, the Eagles and Patriots. They lost to the Bengals, but they legitimately outgained Cincinnati by 151 yards, averaging 0.7 more yards per play. The game was decided by two horrible turnovers; otherwise Denver would have prevailed by at least a touchdown. Brock Osweiler sucks, but the Broncos are definitely better than their 3-7 record indicates.
Buffalo Bills (5-5) - Previously: 18.
Underrated NFL Team: The Bills suffered blowout defeats against the Jets, Saints and Bills, transitioning them from overrated to underrated territory. I think they would've been competitive with the Chargers had they started Tyrod Taylor. Nathan Peterman gave them no shot, but the Bills could bounce back if Taylor is re-inserted into the lineup.
Speaking of Taylor and Peterman, what the hell sparked that idiotic coaching decision? I think you know what it's time for...
The Adventures of Derek Anderson's Magic Flask!
Sean McDermott: I'm so angry! Rawr!
Derek Anderson: Whhahatt hahappepenenedd?
Sean McDermott: I had an episode of Seinfeld saved on my DVR, but Tyrod Taylor watched it and deleted it. What a jerk!
Baltimore Ravens (5-5) - Previously: 20.
Overrated NFL Team: How the hell are the Ravens the sixth seed in the AFC? Well, I guess their schedule has been a big factor. Their five wins have come against the Bengals, Browns, Raiders (no Derek Carr), Dolphins and Packers (no Aaron Rodgers). The quarterbacks they've beaten this year have a combined 7-18 record!
Jacksonville Jaguars (7-3) - Previously: 17.
Overrated NFL Team: The Jaguars prevailed over the Chargers because Los Angeles made so many mistakes. Jacksonville had just one legitimate scoring drive in that contest. The team also had a nice win over a lethargic Cincinnati team that couldn't pressure the quarterback or get off the field on third down. Plus, the result would've likely been 16-7 if it weren't for a punt return, which is obviously less impressive than 23-7. Blake Bortles still sucks, his receivers are pedestrian, and his offensive line is not good. The Jaguars are just an average team, and they remind me of the Giants from 2016. They're overachieving, and they're likely going to make the playoffs, but they'll lose in the postseason right away and will win just 3-4 games next year once things stop going their way.
Tennessee Titans (6-4) - Previously: 16.
Underrated NFL Team: The Titans battled the Steelers closely despite the final score of the game. They were down 16-14 in the third quarter before the Steelers went berserk. I think that was more about Pittsburgh than Tennessee, however, and the Titans could still win a playoff contest. Tennessee just ran into a Steeler buzz saw and couldn't do anything about it.
By the way, did anyone else find it very frustrating how Mike Tirico pronounced Marcus Mariota's last name? If you were lucky enough to miss it, he put an emphasis on the "T" in the name, so it sounded like "Mario-TAH!" every single time he said it. Ugh, I just nearly gagged thinking about it.
Washington Redskins (4-6) - Previously: 14.
Underrated NFL Team: The Redskins have fallen to 4-6, but they have most of their offensive linemen back from injury. They've simply played an absolutely brutal schedule. During the past five weeks, they've battled the Eagles on the road, the Cowboys when they were at full strength, the Seahawks on the road, the now 8-2 Vikings, and the Saints on the road. With an easier slate, Washington could be 6-4 or 7-3 right now.
Oh, and speaking of Terrelle Pryor (or not)...
Terrelle Pryor's Race for 1,800:
Current Receiving Yards: 240
Currently on Pace for: 384
Yards Per Game Needed for 1,800: 260.0
I'm getting the feeling that Pryor is not going to get to 1,800 yards this year...
Kansas City Chiefs (6-4) - Previously: 9.
Andy Reid, coming off a bye, lost outright to this guy:
Oh, and the Giants were missing their best offensive lineman and top (recently healthy) receiver. Yeah, not good.
I don't know what happened, but Alex Smith, who was very aggressive early in the season, has suddenly turned into the skittish quarterback we were used to criticizing last year and beforehand. It's not a good look heading into the stretch run of the regular season!
Dallas Cowboys (5-5) - Previously: 11.
I'm hesitant to move the Cowboys down too much. They were competitive with the Eagles for a half - they led 9-7 at intermission - and they'll be getting Tyron Smith back soon. Smith's return will definitely help matters.
By the way, check out this hate mail I received from a Cowboys fan. Think this guy was wrong about some stuff?
Detroit Lions (6-4) - Previously: 13.
The Lions have improved to 6-4, but in the past two weeks, they've trailed by a touchdown or more against the Browns at home, and the Bears without Danny Trevathan. That's the bad news. The good news is that Matthew Stafford has beaten the Vikings in his past three meetings, as he always seems to do well versus Mike Zimmer's defensive schemes.
Los Angeles Chargers (4-6) - Previously: 12.
It's crazy to think that if the Chargers didn't have kicking woes, or if they could simply run out the clock at Jacksonville, they could be 7-3 right now, with their only losses being to New England, Philadelphia and Kansas City. Instead, they're 4-6. I'd proclaim that the Chargers could have a chance to catch the suddenly struggling Chiefs, but I can't help but think that they'll continue to find new and creative ways to lose.
Seattle Seahawks (6-4) - Previously: 6.
What the hell was Pete Carroll thinking on that fake field goal? Hmm...
Pete Carroll: Mmayayabbeb lllaatterr I'mmm goonnaana trryyr bebesstt ffakkee ffiieldd gooalal eevverr thehenen challelengne llalatter to wassttee titimemouuttss hic!
I'm pretty sure how that went, and it's a shame because the Seahawks outgained the Falcons and averaged more yards per play.
Atlanta Falcons (6-4) - Previously: 10.
Matt Ryan was unstoppable on third down against the Seahawks. He's been hot two weeks in a row now, so perhaps he has finally snapped out of his horrible funk that plagued him early in the season.
Carolina Panthers (7-3) - Previously: 7.
Carolina dominated last week, but I don't know how significant that is, given that the Dolphins didn't bother putting any effort into tackling. The Jets, on the other hand, try hard, and they happen to be Carolina's Week 12 opponent. The Panthers better not take them lightly, and they easily could, given that the Panthers have to battle the Saints and Vikings afterward.
Los Angeles Rams (7-3) - Previously: 4.
The Rams looked so good in their opening drive against the Vikings, and I would've considered anyone crazy had they told me they would be kept off the scoreboard for the rest of the afternoon. That said, you have to wonder how differently that game would've gone had Cooper Kupp not fumbled at the Minnesota 1-yard line in the second quarter. The Rams would've gone up 14-7, and the flow of the game may have gone much differently.
Minnesota Vikings (8-2) - Previously: 8.
Case Keenum continues to be protected by a vastly improved offensive line, helped by three dynamic offensive weapons and aided by a great coaching staff play well, beating the Rams to improve to 8-2.
I still don't believe in Keenum, but I know what's going to happen. I'm going to keep saying that Keenum is going to cost the Vikings every single week, and Keenum will prove me wrong every single week. Then, when the Vikings are 14-2 and heading into the playoffs, I'll finally admit that I was wrong about Keenum, only to watch him score six points in a postseason loss. I guarantee this will happen.
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-2) - Previously: 5.
The Steelers nearly lost to the Colts, yet clobbered the Titans. Yeah, that makes a ton of sense!
Actually, it does. I think this was an indication that the Steelers are waking up. They've been so sluggish offensively in the first 10 weeks of the season, but that wasn't the case versus the Titans. They were very sharp for the first half all year, and if that's a sign of things to come, Pittsburgh could be the team to knock off the Patriots in the AFC.
New Orleans Saints (8-2) - Previously: 3.
The Saints weren't going to win every game by a blowout. No team does that. The important thing was being able to win a close contest, and Drew Brees was absolutely clutch at the end of the fourth quarter to come back from being down 31-16. There's some concern with the team surrendering 31 points at home, but Kirk Cousins can be lethal if he has his entire supporting cast.
New England Patriots (8-2) - Previously: 2.
"I think the Week 11 game versus the Raiders is going to be very telling."
Telling, indeed. The Patriots were expected to throw all over the Raiders, but holding Derek Carr and his receivers to only eight yards was unreal! The Patriots have seemingly figured out the earlier communication issues, and I even considered moving them up to No. 1. They're tied with the Eagles in my power ratings.
Philadelphia Eagles (9-1) - Previously: 1.
The Eagles played sloppily in the opening half against Dallas, dropping passes and missing chip-shot field goals. And yet, they still clobbered the Cowboys by nearly 30 points! The Eagles continued to be undervalued; I can't believe they opened as three-point favorites versus the Cowboys.
The MVP race:
1. Carson Wentz
2. Tom Brady
3. Drew Brees
4. Cam Newton
5. Russell Wilson
No changes this week, though perhaps Tyron Smith should be added, based on how poorly Dallas has been playing without him.