Road to Super Bowl LIII! Who will finish the season at the top of the power rankings? We’ve officially run into the 2nd half of the NFL season. By this point, teams are generally trending in the direction that they will finish the year in. This week we have a new #1 team, but expect that to fluctuate until the end of the season.
- #1 – Saints (7-1)
Notable Wins: Rams, Vikings, Ravens, Redskins, Falcons
Notable Loses: Tampa Bay
It took everything in me to put the Saints at the top of this week’s power rankings. However, you can’t overlook greatness. Drew Brees has this offense humming. They don’t have the best defense (excluding their run defense), and need their offense to score 35 points a game. However, they have been on an absolute tear ever since they lost week 1 to the Bucs.
- #2 – Rams (8-1)
Notable Wins: Chargers, Vikings, Packers
Notable Loses: Saints
Arguably the best team in football. The Los Angeles Rams have a high-powered offense that features the best RB in football, a dynamic passing attack spearheaded by Jared Goff, and one of the best group of pass rushers we’ve seen in a long time. This team has the potential to be one of the greatest teams ever assembled. However, with not much playoff experience between the bunch, will they be able to overcome HOF qb’s (Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers), on their road to bringing a championship to their new city?
- #3 – Chiefs (8-1)
Notable Wins: Chargers, Steelers, Bengals
Notable Loses: Patriots
Not many critics saw the Chiefs coming into the year and taking the league by storm. They had offensive weapons, but was Patrick Mahomes worth moving up for in the draft? Will Andy Reid win a playoff game? Is their defense good enough to hold up? So far, most of the critic’s questions have been answered. People are already crowning Patrick Mahomes as the next great QB. Their defense has been shaky, but they are taking the bend and don’t break approach. If this offense keeps scoring 32 points a game, not many teams in the league can keep up with their offensive fire power.
- #4 – Patriots (7-2)
Notable Wins: Packers, Bears, Chiefs, Texans
Notable Loses: Jags, Lions
The Patriots could win the Super Bowl EVERY year if Tom Brady is still manning the helm, and Bill Belichick is calling the plays. Even when they aren’t at full health, they find ways to pull out big games. They have a couple of bad losses on their profile, but just like the Saints, those loses came early in the season. Gronk has been borderline nonexistent, Julian Edelman missed the first 4 weeks of the season, and they are still trying to get Brady acclimated with his new WR (Flash Gordon). Even then, they’ve won 6 straight, and seem to be hitting their stride.
- #5 – Panthers (6-2)
Notable Wins: Ravens, Eagles, Bengals
Notable Loses: Falcons, Redskins
The only reason why the Panthers are so high, is because there aren’t many teams better than them. They haven’t beaten the best teams in the league, but they also don’t have terrible losses. They’ve beaten 3 teams on this list, but they’ve also lost to 2 teams on this list. It looks as though Norv Turner is unleashing Cam Newton. He’s not resorting to the run every play, but is learning when to use his feet to his advantage. The team has won 3 straight, and could keep their spot in the power rankings if they can beat the Steelers this week.
- #6 – Chargers (6-2)
Notable Loses: Falcons, Redskins
The Chargers haven’t really beaten anyone of substance, but they are winning the games they are supposed to win. They lost to 2 other teams on this list, but some had them as Super Bowl favorites at the beginning of the season. Their offense has weapons (Melvin Gordon, Phillip Rivers), and their defense gets a boost with Joey Bosa returning. They could be poised to compete with the Chiefs for the Division Title, but it’s the Chiefs division to lose.
- #7 – Steelers (5-2-1)
Notable Wins: Ravens, Bengals, Falcons
Notable Loses: Ravens, Chiefs (Tied w/ Browns)
This team started out VERY slow. Not only did they tie to a team that hadn’t won a game since LeBron returned back to Cleveland, but there has been serious disfunction between the organization and one of their franchise players. However, none of that disfunction seems to be fazing them at this point of the season. They are fighting through adversity, and are usually a lock to win their division. If anyone would’ve told me at the beginning of the season that James Conner would step in for Le’veon Bell, and the Steelers would still be above .500, I would’ve lost it. We will see how they fare against the Panthers this week.
- #8 – Vikings (5-3-1)
Notable Wins: Eagles
Notable Loses: Saints, Rams, Bills (Tied w/ Packers)
A team many thought could be Super Bowl favorites at the beginning of the year isn’t trending in the right direction. Even though they have a favorable record, they don’t have many quality wins on their resume, and their defense looks like a shell of their former self (look how quickly the Jags defense plummeted). However, they are still a competitive team, and they have the pieces to be successful. The only reason I have them ranked higher than their division leader (The Bears), is due to the QB situation. The Bears have an amazing defense, and the Vikings (at least last year) had a top 5 defense. However, the bears have question marks on the offensive side of the ball. (Young QB, no big names at the WR spot, and their RB spot is held down by someone who people probably picked up off of the fantasy football waiver wire.) If the Vikings can finish strong, they will win the division, and could possibly scare some of the favorable teams’ spots ahead of them.
- #9 – Texans (6-3)
- #10 – Redskins (5-3)
- #11 – Eagles (4-4)
- #12 – Packers (3-4-1)
- #13 – Ravens (4-5)
- #14- Falcons (4-4)
- #15 – Bears (5-3)
- #16 – Bengals (5-3)