NFL Power Rankings

My current NFL Power Rankings to begin the 2017 NFL offseason.

I’m going to use these rankings as the order for my 2018 NFL Mock Draft. Follow @walterfootball.

I’ve gone from WORST to FIRST, so if you don’t see reverse numbering (via Javascript), don’t worry; the Browns and 49ers aren’t my top teams.

Updated: Nov. 28

  1. Cleveland Browns (0-11) – Previously: 32.
    “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.”

    I feel like I could write this every week. The Browns looked like they’d have the cover against the Bengals, but they surrendered a front-door cover toward the end. It’s really almost like they’re trying their hardest not to beat the spread at this point.

  2. New York Giants (2-9) – Previously: 31.
    This is the best thing that could’ve happened to the Giants. They played hard, which is something they haven’t done in many games, and they entertained their fans, sort of. And yet, they still lost to help preserve their draft positioning. They better get a top-three pick in order to draft their quarterback of the future without having to trade up.

  3. San Francisco 49ers (1-10) – Previously: 30.
    The good news is that the 49er fans may get to see Jimmy Garoppolo in the final five games of the regular season. The bad news is that Garoppolo’s presence might mean that the 49ers will ruin their great draft positioning. So long, Saquon Barkley, it was nice knowing you!

  4. Miami Dolphins (4-7) – Previously: 27.
    Fun fact: My winning pick of the Patriots -17 marked the first time I picked a Dolphins game correctly this year against the spread. They’ve bewildered me, when it’s been so simple the entire time: Just bet against them, especially if Jay Cutler is starting!

  5. Arizona Cardinals (5-6) – Previously: 29.
    I know the Jaguars are very overrated, but it was still odd to see the Cardinals beat them with Blaine Yo! Gabbert Gabbert at the helm. I’d say the five Jaguar fans out there wish Gabbert would be their quarterback over the inept and lethargic Blake Bortles, but not if they recall all of the passes Yo! Gabbert Gabbert threw with his eyes closed. Never forget:

  6. Houston Texans (4-7) – Previously: 28.
    I bet on the Ravens on Monday night, so I was losing my mind when Tom Savage Knuckleblade was converting third downs at a ridiculous rate. Fortunately for my sanity, Savage Knuckleblade gave the game away with two turnovers at the end. It didn’t occur hastily, but he got the job done.

  7. Green Bay Packers (5-6) – Previously: 26.
    Aaron Rodgers was reportedly throwing some impressive passes during pre-game warmups. If the Packers can somehow win their next two games and have Rodgers back for Week 15, they might just sneak into the playoffs and become a sudden, dangerous threat in the NFC. And it could happen, as the Packers take on the Buccaneers and Browns the next couple of weeks.

  8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7) – Previously: 25.
    The Falcons-Buccaneers final score is misleading, as Tampa was down 27-6 at one point in the third quarter, with the Falcons outgaining them by more than 200 yards. It turns out that you can’t stop Matt Ryan and Julio Jones if you’re missing your top edge rusher and a starting cornerback!

  9. Indianapolis Colts (3-8) – Previously: 24.
    As I wrote last week, the Colts might be 3-8, 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.

    That said, their spread loss to the Titans was soul-crushing. They were up 16-6 before the Marlon Mack fumble gifted Tennessee a touchdown. That was painful. So was watching Brissett take eight sacks. Some of that was on a Colt line missing its starting center, but Brissett needs to get rid of the ball much quicker.

  10. Denver Broncos (3-8) – Previously: 19.
    Thoughts and prayers to Aqib Talib, who was punished for stealing jewelry during Sunday’s game:

    Anyway, the Broncos could be 5-6 right now if they never benched Trevor Siemian. I was terrified of him down the stretch of the Oakland game. In fact, I was ready to make a joke about Paxton Lynch shedding a tear for all Raider bettors.

  11. New York Jets (4-7) – Previously: 23.
    The Jets should have beaten the Panthers. They outgained them by 100 yards and averaged 1.3 more yards per play. Some terrible mistakes and horrible officiating cost them, however. I’d rant about it, but e-mailer Kevin J. did it better than I could:

    Haven’t read your site yet this morning, but yesterday, for the first time, the officiating ruined football for me and it left a bad taste in my mouth. It’s cliche to talk about ‘what a catch is’ these days but overturn of the TOUCHDOWN CATCH to Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the beginning for the 4th quarter was the most ridiculous and inexcusable thing I’ve ever seen in an NFL game.

    When you did your ratings survey a few weeks ago, I thought the choice of “poor officiating” was kind of a silly answer to use. It’s not so silly anymore. The outcome of the game really didn’t matter to me, but it was a good game and that got ruined because of complete ineptitude. I’m not going to stop watching football because of this, but it almost makes me feel like ‘what’s the point?’

    It’s the feeling of getting in trouble or being accused of something, but when you know you are completely innocent. ASJ did nothing wrong. He was innocent. He did his job and caught the ball, but this holy judge, Al Riveron (I didn’t look up how to spell his name, he doesn’t deserve it), screwed up the facts and the wrong people got penalized.

    Does Al Riveron have a soul? Or is he a robot? Did the sensors implanted in his brain almost short circuit when the ball moved a fraction of a degree while in the grasp of both of ASJ’s arms against his stomach? HUMANOID #88 ON HOME TEAM FAILED PROTOCOL. DOES NOT COMPUTE, DOES NOT COMPUTE. ELIMINATE COMMON SENSE AND RATIONALITY. MUST OVERTURN!

  12. Cincinnati Bengals (5-6) – Previously: 22.
    Overrated NFL Team: I hope no one is fooled into the illusion that the Bengals are mediocre following their wins against Denver and Cleveland. They had no business beating the Broncos. 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. Meanwhile, everyone has beaten Cleveland, so that’s not a big deal.

  13. Baltimore Ravens (6-5) – Previously: 17.
    Overrated NFL Team: The Ravens are not a good football team, as you can tell by this ranking. They’re 6-5, but check out the quarterbacks they’ve beaten: Tom Savage Knuckleblade, Brett Hundley, Matt Moore, E.J. Manuel, DeShone Kizer and Andy Dalton. Whoop-dee-doo. When Dalton represents your most-impressive victory of the year, you know you’re not very good.

  14. Chicago Bears (3-8) – Previously: 20.
    Underrated NFL Team: The Bears have dropped three in a row, but they were without Danny Trevathan for the trio of 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.

  15. Buffalo Bills (6-5) – Previously: 18.
    The switch to Nathan J. Peterman made very little sense last week, and it’s even more illogical now in the wake of Buffalo’s upset victory over Kansas City. Tyrod Taylor was solid in the win against the Chiefs, and unlike Peterman, he’s good enough to lead a good team into the playoffs. The problem? Buffalo still has to play New England twice!

    By the way, would it surprise anyone that if in 20 years, ESPN did a 30 for 30 story on Sean McDermott betting against his own team in Week 11, and that was the reason why he benched Taylor in favor of Peterman?

    Actually, that would surprise me – because I don’t expect ESPN to be around in 20 years.

  16. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-4) – Previously: 16.
    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, so it’s no surprise they lost at Arizona. 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.

  17. Tennessee Titans (7-4) – Previously: 15.
    The Titans have been so sluggish recently. They were blown out against the Steelers, and they’ve also had trouble putting away the Bengals, Browns and Colts (twice). I had the urge of slotting them below the Jaguars, but then Jacksonville lost to Blaine Yo! Gabbert Gabbert. How the hell are these teams 7-4!?

  18. Kansas City Chiefs (6-5) – Previously: 13.
    The Chiefs have fallen apart. What the hell could have happened? I think you know what it’s time for…

    The Adventures of Derek Anderson’s Magic Flask!

    Derek Anderson: Nooww ththaatt Erriic Berrry’s ggoonnee I’ll tururnnn thtiiiss waatterr inntttoo aa flfowoiingg riiviver ooff allocchool hic!

    Eric Berry: Roger Goodell has ordered me to return to the league office. I don’t want any trouble here!

    Derek Anderson: Youu looosseerr I’lll takkkee ccarree oofof thtiisi ssittuaation iinn nooo titmmmee.

    Eric Berry: Don’t be pompous! And DON’T forget that they are PEOPLE, just like you and me.

    *** Eric Berry departs for New York. ***

    Derek Anderson: Yoooouuuu jjuusst gogoo anndnd beee a goodod liitttlle booyy… hic!

    *** Johnny Manziel approaches. ***

    Derek Anderson: Isss thrhee aallcoccholl reeaddydy?

    Johnny Manziel: Buutut, Eriric Berryry ssiaidid…

    Derek Anderson: Hhee’s’s noo looggngner ehehhre! I”mm iinn chahhrgee noooww. Pooourur it hic!

    Johnny Manziel: Someme off oourur foofrmemr teammamtess arree ooonn thrhe Cheiifss! Ifff weee poourur alcocholl innn thee rriivviver…

    Derek Anderson: Ddododo iititt! Mmaakeke eememem alalll ddururnnkk!

    *** Two men tried to stop Derek Anderson, but were held up by some soldiers. ***

    Derek Anderson: Hhehee heeheh noothting ccanan beeattt thehee muussiic ofofof hunndndreeddss off vooicces drrunnkk innn uniissoon! Uwaaa hahaha hahaahahaha!

    One by one, Chiefs players and coaches became drunk, thanks to Derek Anderson’s evil plans.

  19. Dallas Cowboys (5-6) – Previously: 12.
    Underrated NFL Team: The Cowboys were once 5-3, but they’ve dropped three in a row to a trio of teams in the top 10 of these power rankings. Dallas wasn’t as good as everyone thought the team was at 5-3, but the Cowboys aren’t as bad as everyone thinks they are now – especially if they get Sean Lee back from injury. Once Lee returns, Dallas will be so much better.

    Oh, and by the way, let’s just say if Jerry Jones wasn’t a supporter of Donald Trump already, he certainly is now:

  20. Oakland Raiders (5-6) – Previously: 21.
    One win down, five more to go for me to cash my Raiders over 9.5 bet. Fingers crossed! I’m still pessimistic about it, as I have no faith in the defense. At least the offense is coming around, somewhat.

    Speaking of the offense, I think CBS has gone a bit too far with these ridiculous stats:

  21. Detroit Lions (6-5) – Previously: 11.
    The Lions suck. Not counting the win over Minnesota when Dalvin Cook got hurt, the combined records of the five other teams they’ve beaten is 14-36, and they trailed both the Browns and Bears by double digits in recent weeks.

    It would take a complete imbecile to make a huge bet on them. It would also take a complete imbecile to look up how to spell the word “imbecile” while typing it.

  22. Washington Redskins (5-6) – Previously: 14.
    Underrated NFL Team: The Redskins are 5-6 following an ugly win over the Giants, but they’ll have most of their offensive linemen back from injury in Week 13. They’ve also played an absolutely brutal schedule. During the five weeks prior to the Giants, they battled the Eagles on the road, the Cowboys when they were at full strength, the Seahawks on the road, the now 9-2 Vikings, and the Saints on the road. With an easier slate, Washington could be 7-4 or 8-3 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: 349
    Yards Per Game Needed for 1,800: 312.0

    Still five weeks to go. Come on, Terrelle, you can do it!

  23. Seattle Seahawks (7-4) – Previously: 9.
    I picked the Seahawks to cover against the 49ers, and while I’m thankful for their spread victory, I wasn’t very impressed with this team. Seven of their points came on a weird C.J. Beathard interception where Bobby Wagner ripped the ball out of a receiver’s hands. Take away those seven, and Seattle would’ve won by just 17-13. The Seahawks outgained the 49ers by just 38 yards. San Francisco’s defense has sucked all year, yet Russell Wilson couldn’t do anything against it because of the horrible offensive line and non-existent running game.

  24. Los Angeles Chargers (5-6) – Previously: 10.
    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 8-3 right now, with their only losses being to New England, Philadelphia and Kansas City. They have great talent, but they’re so hard to trust. It looked like they were trying to give away the game in the early going, but the Cowboys wouldn’t oblige.

  25. Atlanta Falcons (7-4) – Previously: 8.
    Overrated NFL Team: The Falcons are suddenly considered one of the top teams in the NFC because they’ve won a couple games in a row. I’m not so sure about that. The two teams they’ve beaten, the Seahawks and Buccaneers, were missing numerous starters. Now, Atlanta has a couple of injuries. I’m not really sold on the Falcons right now.

  26. Carolina Panthers (8-3) – Previously: 7.
    I wrote earlier that the Panthers easily could’ve, and probably should’ve lost to the Jets. However, it was an obvious flat spot for them, and Cam Newton didn’t look like he had any chemistry with Greg Olsen. It seemed like Carolina was a bit too focused on the impending matchup against the Saints, and I think that’s OK because the team found a way to win (and more importantly, cover.)

  27. Los Angeles Rams (8-3) – Previously: 6.
    The Rams will remain at No. 6. I really don’t want to take anything away from their win over the Saints, but I almost feel obligated to. New Orleans was missing its top two cornerbacks and then lost its talented left tackle during the game. I still want to see the Rams win a big game versus a team at full strength.

  28. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2) – Previously: 4.
    The Steelers had a little too much trouble against the Packers. Then again, this all seemed choreographed. Vegas lost a ton of money Sunday afternoon, and it was so bad that it was going to be a historically bad day had Pittsburgh covered. The Packers, as a result, were never whistled for a penalty until late, and the Steelers were victimized by some horrible penalties and no-calls. But, as the Steelers are wont to do in these sorts of games, they managed to prevail by three in a non-cover victory.

  29. New Orleans Saints (8-3) – Previously: 3.
    I’m not going to penalize the Saints very much for losing to the Rams, as they didn’t have their top two corners, and they lost their talented left tackle during the game. I will, however, move them behind Minnesota. They lost to the Vikings, after all, and given that it’s close, I think that should serve as the tie-breaker.

  30. Minnesota Vikings (9-2) – Previously: 5.
    I still don’t believe in Case 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.

    It’s happening. As Keenum was converting countless third downs against the Lions, I began wondering if he could be the next Tom Brady. Honestly. I mean, Brady was a sixth-round pick, and Keenum was undrafted, so maybe he can be the next Brady by leading the Vikings to a Super Bowl victory this year, and then another one two seasons later, and then a third one the following year, and then two more down the road. And then he’ll get stupid haircuts that I’ll make fun of.

    By the way, I can’t wait to see how much Roger Goodell fines Everson Griffen for a “uniform violation” where he asked people what he should name his newborn child.

  31. New England Patriots (9-2) – Previously: 2.
    One of the sideline reporters for the Patriots-Dolphins game said this prior to kickoff:

    “Will the Patriots have the AFC East sown up by Christmas? It’s a valid question!”

    What? Why is this even a question? Of course, the Patriots will have the division sown up. It’s a given. Like, if you were to ask me, “What’s more likely, the Patriots winning the division by Christmas, or the sun rising in the East?” I’d choose the former! .

  32. Philadelphia Eagles (10-1) – Previously: 1.
    During Thanksgiving, one of my cousins, whom I see once or twice per year, asked me if I thought the Eagles had a legitimate chance to win the Super Bowl. It looked like she was expected me to say no, since I’m usually negative concerning the Eagles. She looked shocked when I told her that I think they’ll win the Super Bowl. Philadelphia is the best team in the league right now.

    My only gripe with the Eagles was their Electric Slide celebration late in the game. I don’t mind team celebrations, but did they have to do the Electric Slide? Line dancing is one of the worst things ever invented. In fact, when I met with various DJs this summer while helping my fiancee plan our wedding, I told them that there will be no line dancing, no matter what, or I would have their head on a spike.

    The MVP race:

    1. Carson Wentz
    2. Tom Brady
    3. Russell Wilson
    4. Cam Newton
    5. Drew Brees

    I’ve moved Russell Wilson up to No. 3 this week. Considering all of the injuries the Seahawks have suffered, Wilson has to be considered one of the most valuable players in the league for keeping his team afloat.

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