Week 11 was culminated by a Super Bowl rematch, that had the looks of a legitimate Super Bowl preview at the end of a week that was marred by quarterback injuries around the league, and it shook up the latest NFL power rankings.
The top teams seem to be separating themselves, as Thanksgiving and the stretch run looms, but there are sleeper teams capable of playing spoiler lurking. Contenders beware ...
After 11 weeks, here's where things stand in the latest FanBuzz NFL Power Rankings:
1. Philadelphia Eagles (9-1)
Previous: No. 1
The combination of plays like Jalen Hurts' perfectly placed deep ball to DeVonta Smith to set up the go-ahead touchdown push in the fourth quarter, and a defense that creates big plays and timely takeaways is starting to make the Eagles' look unbeatable. Likewise, D'Andre Swift running behind this offensive line looks like the Eagles' missing ingredient last season. After toppling the Chiefs, the Eagles have now won four straight, including wins over the Dolphins and Cowboys over that span. Philadelphia is battle tested, with some major tests still to come, but are suddenly the team to beat in the entire league.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (7-3)
Previous: No. 2
Never was it more evident that Patrick Mahomes is being undone by the Chiefs' lack of receivers than on Kansas City's final possession of Monday night's 21-17 loss to the Eagles. Mahomes placed a perfectly-thrown ball to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who beat Bradley Roby that would have been a go-ahead touchdown with under 2:00 to go, that instead fell harmlessly to the turf. Mahomes' receiving corps was plagued by drops all night, as it has been all season. The Chiefs lost an opportunity to create some separation in the AFC.
3. Detroit Lions (8-2)
Previous: No. 3
The Lions' frenetic fourth quarter comeback, scoring 16 unanswered points, while overcoming three Jared Goff interceptions and finding a way to win a game they faced significant adversity in underscores Detroit's championship character. This is Detroit's best start since 1962, entering their annual Thanksgiving showdown, when they'll get the chance to slay another division rival, the Packers, on national television.
4. San Francisco 49ers (7-3)
Previous: No. 4
San Francisco held serve against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, by doing what they do best — playing strangling defense — holding the Bucs to 4.3 yards per play, and mixing in Brock Purdy stretching the field by passing for 333 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Granted, the Buccaneers are a fringe playoff contender, but if the 49ers have figured out how to win even when the ground game isn't working, look out ...
5. Baltimore Ravens (8-3)
Previous: No. 6
If there were ever a case for ending Thursday Night Football, it would be the game the Ravens survived over the Bengals. Joe Burrow was lost for the season, for Cincinnati, and Ravens tight end Mark Andrews suffered a significant injury in a pretty sloppy game between division rivals. Nevertheless, Lamar Jackson looks to have made major strides and could be primed to lead Baltimore on a major run.
6. Miami Dolphins (6-3)
Previous: No. 5
Sunday, the Dolphins looked like the Dolphins; fast, explosive, and opportunistic on offense, albeit with running back De'Von Achane and Tyreek Hill both getting injured during a 20-13 win over the Raiders. Miami keeps beating the teams they are supposed to beat, and won't really be tested again until Dallas flies into town for a Christmas Eve showdown. Will that be the game the Dolphins finally knock off an opponent with a winning record? Don't underestimate the difficulty of playing in the Miami humidity in December, combined with keeping up with the Dolphins' weapons ...
7. Houston Texans (6-4)
Previous: No. 8
That the Texans found a way to win, on a day that C.J. Stroud was far from his best — tossing a career-worst three interceptions, just goes to show how far ahead of schedule DeMeco Ryans has his team. Something special is brewing in Houston, and this feels like a team that can walk into any building and ruin a team's day in January, because of Stroud, his playmakers, and an ascending defense.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-3)
Previous: No. 11
Trevor Lawrence looked every bit the part of a franchise quarterback. Jacksonville's defense was in full message-sending mode. The Jaguars made it look way, way too easy against the Tennessee Titans. This looks much more like the team that came back against the Chargers and nearly knocked off the Chiefs, in Arrowhead, last January.
9. Dallas Cowboys (7-3)
Previous: No. 7
Ho hum, the Cowboys got to catch their breath in Carolina against the hapless Panthers. On an afternoon DaRon Bland tied the NFL record for most interceptions returned for a touchdown in a single season, Dallas flexed their muscles against an inferior opponent. The Cowboys get another homecoming game, on Thanksgiving, against the Commanders before a grueling stretch against the Seahawks, Eagles, Bills, Dolphins, and Lions give Dallas a chance to prove their mettle as legitimate contenders, or expose them as regular season pretenders.
10. Buffalo Bills (6-5)
Previous: No. 15
Is Buffalo back? The Bills might be back. It's tough to judge against an offense, led by a quarterback who passed for 81 yards with one touchdown, one interception, and no real rhythm whatsoever. Much like the Cowboys and other top contenders, we'll get a feel for how seriously to take the Bills in coming weeks, beginning next Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia against the Eagles.
11. Cleveland Browns (7-3)
Previous: No. 10
Yes, the Browns beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, who struggled mightily to complete a forward pass, but Cleveland lost Deshaun Watson for the season last week due to a fractured shoulder. Whether it's Dorian Thompson-Robinson or newly signed Joe Flacco, the Browns might be reduced to becoming the Steelers with a slightly better defense. Will it be enough to overtake the Ravens in the AFC North? Time will tell.
12. Denver Broncos (5-5)
Previous: No. 17
Those who had previously written off Sean Payton, Russell Wilson, and the Denver Broncos might have done so at their own peril. Thanks to playing a physical brand of defense, and Wilson connecting on more of the contested passes that were pivotal to his success in Seattle have ignited the Broncos and turned them into a really tough out.
13. Cincinnati Bengals (5-5)
Previous: No. 12
Losing Joe Burrow for the season has catastrophic consequences for the Bengals' championship aspirations this season. The 2023 campaign has been a nightmare for Cincinnati, who never quite built up any sustainable momentum dating back to Burrow's calf injury suffered back in training camp. The receiving corps is still explosive, and the front-seven defensively is still pretty talented. But, this isn't a Super Bowl contender any longer.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4)
Previous: No. 9
This was a bad loss. Yes, Jaylen Warren is a revelation. But, as dominant as the Steelers' pass-rush has been in recent weeks, rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson was more effective than Kenny Pickett, which should inspire some panic in the Iron City. The AFC North is one of the more tightly competitive divisions in football, but the Steelers that showed up in Cleveland on Sunday might be too limited to make a real push.
15. Seattle Seahawks (6-4)
Previous: No. 14
Sunday feels like the type of game the Seahawks might wind up losing twice, because of the quick turnaround on Thanksgiving night against the punishing San Francisco 49ers looming. As if losing to the wildly inconsistent Rams wasn't difficult enough, the Seahawks also saw Kenneth Walker and Geno Smith go down with injuries. This feels like the type of situation that could snowball quickly in the wrong direction for Seattle.
16. Minnesota Vikings (6-5)
Previous: No. 13
Joshua Dobbs came back down to earth a bit, and Minnesota's red-zone defense shattered late, in a loss to the Broncos. Neither of those things inspire much confidence in the Vikings being anything more than a feel-good story who may be able to play spoiler against an NFC contender.
17. Las Vegas Raiders (5-6)
Previous: No. 16
The Raiders took their best shot against Miami, and for the most part, took Miami to the brink. If nothing else, Antonio Pierce is planting the seeds of a player-driven culture, and this team is fired up to not have Josh McDaniels running the show. Even in defeat, Sunday's game has to be encouraging to Vegas' outlook for the rest of this season.
18. Green Bay Packers (4-6)
Previous: No. 26
That was what the Packers hoped to see from Jordan Love this season. Love and Green Bay might have finally driven the death-knell into the Brandon Staley era after Love led the second game-winning drive of his career. If Green Bay wants to send a tangible message that they can make a run in the NFC, it will start with upsetting the Lions, in Detroit, on Thanksgiving. That will be a significantly tougher task than coming back on Staley's defense.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-6)
Previous: No. 19
The bad news for Tampa Bay is the talent gap between the Buccaneers and 49ers is more like a chasm. The worse news for Tampa Bay is Lavonte David's injury completely changed the complexion of the Buccaneers' defense. The good news for Tampa Bay? The NFC South might be the worst division in football, and the Buccaneers face the second-easiest remaining strength of schedule.
20. Indianapolis Colts (5-5)
Previous: No. 20
Shane Steichen has the Colts believing that they can compete. The AFC is a logjam and a bit of a gauntlet, but if Gardner Minshew provides some steady quarterback play, anything is possible for Indianapolis down the stretch.
21. Los Angeles Rams (4-6)
Previous: No. 24
The Rams aren't likely to catch the 49ers in the NFC West race, but winning games like Sunday's against the Seahawks could go a long way towards bullying their way into the postseason race. If Los Angeles' defense is able to replicate Sunday's effort, they're capable of pulling off some upsets the rest of the way.
22. New Orleans Saints (5-5)
Previous: No. 21
The Saints emerge from the bye week atop the NFC South, albeit at .500, but Dennis Allen remains on the hot seat. New Orleans' season has been a bit of an enigma because while they are 5-5, the defensive has been wildly inconsistent and the quarterback play from Derek Carr has been worse. Whether the Saints can hold off the Buccaneers or Falcons and make the postseason could determine Allen's fate.
23. Los Angeles Chargers (4-6)
Previous: No. 18
After the way Sunday's game at Lambeau ended, it's a wonder the Chargers didn't leave Brandon Staley on the tarmac in Appleton. Adding injury to the insult of coughing up a late game-winning drive, Joey Bosa is potentially out for the season. Los Angeles' season has come off the rails, and Staley's days might seriously be numbered as the Chargers' head coach.
24. Atlanta Falcons (4-6)
Previous: No. 27
There's a saying in football that if you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks. In the case of the Falcons, who are turning the reins back over to Desmond Ridder, from Taylor Heinicke, Atlanta just doesn't have a single viable quarterback option. That's a huge problem for Arthur Smith. And for Arthur Blank.
25. Arizona Cardinals (2-9)
Previous: No. 28
With Kyler Murray at quarterback, the Cardinals are capable of punching above their weight, and nearly took down the Texans on Sunday. We might have seen a bit of a mirror image Sunday in Houston as Jonathan Gannon has his team taking baby steps towards the winning culture DeMeco Ryans has crafted with the Texans.
26. New York Jets (4-6)
Previous: No. 23
If the Jets had any delusions of being relevant and in the mix come December, in time for Aaron Rodgers to jog back into the huddle and save the day, those dreams were given a heavy dose of reality in a 32-6 drubbing at the hands of the division-rival Bills that never really felt that close. Robert Saleh demoted Zach Wilson all the way to the No. 3 quarterback job, and it will be Tim Boyle backed up by Trevor Siemian on Black Friday against the Dolphins.
27. New York Giants (3-8)
Previous: No. 32
Tommy DeVito threw three touchdown passes against Washington, something that neither Daniel Jones or Tyrod Taylor had accomplished yet this season. The Giants showed some signs of life against the struggling Commanders. We'll see if that pulse remains down the stretch.
28. Tennessee Titans (3-7)
Previous: No. 25
Sunday felt like the Titans careening off rock bottom. Will Levis is going to take his lumps, as a rookie, but Tennessee has to hope he bounces back from an ambush at the hands of the Jaguars. Mike Vrabel didn't have the Titans ready to play, and this roster isn't anywhere near ready — at any position other than possibly at running back — to compete.
29. Washington Commanders (4-6)
Previous: No. 22
After Washington fell to the skeletal remains of the 2023 New York Giants, it's never felt more likely that Ron Rivera won't last the season. How much longer will a new ownership put up with a product that struggles so mightily to compete?
30. New England Patriots (2-8)
Previous: No. 30
The biggest question facing the Patriots down the stretch of this season is whether Bill Belichick can do enough to save his job, or, if he even wants to. New England has a big decision to make at quarterback, especially after Mac Jones was unceremoniously benched for the final drive last week in Frankfurt, against the Colts.
31. Chicago Bears (3-8)
Previous: No. 29
For about three quarters of Sunday's game in Detroit, Justin Fields looked every bit the quarterback capable of leading the Bears into a brighter future. And then, Matt Eberflus' team coughed up a 26-14 lead over the final 4:20 of action. Now, it looks like Eberflus might not make the season, and the Caleb Williams Watch is alive and well in the Windy City.
32. Carolina Panthers (2-9)
Previous: No. 31
Just a reminder that the Panthers traded a package that includes what will likely be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft to draft Bryce Young No. 1 overall in 2023. Young hasn't progressed. Frank Reich's seat has never been hotter.
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