It has long been said that the NFL season begins in earnest after Thanksgiving, and after a wild week of action, the adage is holding true as the postseason race tightens.
This past weekend featured several marquee matchups that tested the mettle of some of the league's most dominant contenders, to date. Some passed the test with flying colors, while others faltered.
Here's a look at where things stand across the league, in the latest FanBuzz NFL Power Rankings:
1. Philadelphia Eagles (10-1)
Previous: No. 1
The Eagles just keep winning. Philadelphia has overcome four consecutive double-digit second-half deficits to emerge victorious. Over the past five weeks, the Eagles have dispatched the Miami Dolphins, Washington Commanders, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, and Buffalo Bills, who boast a combined record of 34-23. Perhaps the most consequential game on the Eagles' schedule looms Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
2. San Francisco 49ers (8-3)
Previous: No. 4
San Francisco has reprised its role of the NFL's wrecking ball, by dismantling the division-rival Seattle Seahawks on Thanksgiving night amid a three-game winning streak since returning from the bye week. Now, the 49ers get to roll into Philadelphia with a defense that is steamrolling opponents for a rematch against the Eagles of January's NFC Championship Game. If the 49ers can get the best of Philadelphia's dominant offensive line, it will test the meddle of the Eagles' recent cardiac kids reputation.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (8-3)
Previous: No. 4
Call it a post-Thanksgiving hangover, or underestimating the Raiders, but the Chiefs sleep-walked through the better part of half of Sunday's win. But, Patrick Mahomes issued a clear reminder of what makes him one of the game's premier quarterbacks by finishing two yards shy of a 300-yard passing game with two scores as Kansas City also found some balance with Isiah Pacheco finding pay-dirt twice.
4. Baltimore Ravens (9-3)
Previous: No. 5
Zay Flowers emerged as a legitimate game-changer in Lamar Jackson's arsenal, scoring a pair of touchdowns against the Chargers as a driving force in the Ravens' win. Defensively, Baltimore continues to swarm to the quarterback in the game's biggest moments and creates timely turnovers. That could prove a potent combination come playoff time.
5. Dallas Cowboys (8-3)
Previous: No. 9
Sure, it was the skeletal remains of the Washington Commanders, but the Dallas Cowboys exerted complete dominance on Thanksgiving. Dak Prescott entered the MVP chat with a four-touchdown performance, carving up the Commanders like a turkey by completing a pass to 10 different receivers. If the Cowboys can keep this hot streak going, it is going to potentially make the Dec. 10 rematch against the Eagles a colossal one with major NFC East ramifications.
6. Miami Dolphins (8-3)
Previous: No. 6
The Dolphins went up to the Swamps of Jersey and knocked the Jets around, in the kind of game that showcased the talent disparity between the top and bottom of the AFC East. Miami's problem is replicating its explosiveness against team like the Jets when they play other layoff caliber competition.
7. Detroit Lions (8-3)
Previous: No. 3
Death, taxes, and the Lions laying an egg on Thanksgiving. If you thought that Dan Campbell would have his team ready to play, and make a statement, against the division rival Packers on the Lions' annual national showcase you were in for a bigger surprise than accidentally biting into the wishbone as part of your turkey dinner. Jordan Love carved up the Lions' defense and Jared Goff seems to be teetering on the brink of a late-season regression.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-3)
Previous: No. 8
Trevor Lawrence went down to Houston and outplayed upstart C.J. Stroud while the Jaguars picked up some breathing room in the division race. While Travis Etienne and Calvin Ridley were the driving forces on offense, Lawrence showed the breadth and balance of his weapons with all seven Jaguars who he targeted catching at least one pass. Jacksonville is picking up steam at the right time and belong in the AFC conversation.
9. Denver Broncos (6-5)
Previous: No. 12
Sean Payton has orchestrated one of the most impressive in-season turnarounds that we have seen in the NFL in recent memory, and the Denver Broncos suddenly are putting all the pieces together to potentially make a legitimate playoff run. Suddenly the hottest team in the NFL, Denver has won five straight, and the Broncos' confidence seems to be building each week. There might not be an end in sight to the Broncos' run, as Denver faces the fifth-easiest road home of any team in the league.
10. Buffalo Bills (6-6)
Previous: No. 10
The Bills' offense is moving the football rather effortlessly, despite some questionable in-game decisions and play-calling, while the defense has been punching above its weight despite some significant injuries. Buffalo may need to win the AFC Wild Card just to make the postseason, and will still need to face the Chiefs, Cowboys, and Dolphins just to pull that off. Losing in Philadelphia was a missed opportunity, for sure, but Josh Allen is good enough to keep the Bills in any game, as he showed against the Eagles.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4)
All it seemed to take in order to ignite the Steelers' offense was firing former offensive coordinator Matt Canada. Against the Bengals, Kenny Pickett and Co. surpassed 400 yards for the first time since the 2020 campaign, and Pat Freiermuth emerged as a dangerous weapon over the middle in the passing game. If the Steelers' offense keeps doing its part, Pittsburgh's defense is good enough to lead the charge as an upset machine down the stretch.
12. Houston Texans (6-5)
Previous: No. 7
Trevor Lawrence might have exposed the Texans' secondary, passing for 364 yards including big gains of 57, 45, and 42 yards, which likely won't be good enough in the playoff games Houston hopes to be in against the likes of Kansas City, Baltimore, and Jacksonville down the line. But, C.J. Stroud continues to look the part of an MVP, as a rookie, which underscores how bright Houston's future — and present, have the potential to be.
13. Indianapolis Colts (6-5)
Previous: No. 20
Don't look now, but if the season ended today, the Colts would be in the AFC Playoffs, even without rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson having taken a snap since early October. First-year head coach Shane Steichen has quietly gotten his team bought in and beating the teams that they are supposed to beat.
14. Seattle Seahawks (6-5)
Previous: No. 15
It's starting to become painfully obvious, although he is playing through pain, that Geno Smith is regressing to the mean and the Seahawks' offense isn't built to withstand a down-tick in quarterback play. The defense, once a hallmark, is in the midst of an inconsistent stretch and even grounding and pounding the ball with Kenneth Walker hasn't been enough of an offensive identity.
15. Green Bay Packers (5-6)
Previously: No. 18
Jordan Love took some major steps, against a stout Lions defense, especially when it comes to deep passes and showing an improved command of the Packers' offense. Love's chemistry with young wide receiver Christian Watson in Thursday's game could be an encouraging harbinger of what Green Bay's offense looks like the rest of the way.
16. Atlanta Falcons (5-6)
Previously: No. 24
Arthur Smith seems to have found the winning formula when it comes to maximizing rookie running back Bijan Robinson's impact, and by extension a potentially prolific identity for the Falcons' offense. Robinson accounted for 123 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns against the Saints, powering the Falcons to the top of the NFC South with Sunday's win. If this is who the Falcons are the rest of the way, look out.
17. Minnesota Vikings (6-6)
Previous: No. 17
The bloom sure withered off the Josh Dobbs rose pretty quickly, didn't it? Dobbs looked every bit the part of a journeyman backup against the Bears defense, throwing four interceptions. The best offenses can't overcome that kind of quarterback disaster, and the Vikings are far from a competent offense right now.
18. Cincinnati Bengals (5-6)
Previous: No. 13
It was always going to be a slog for the Bengals' offense without Joe Burrow, but, when the Steelers put up their most explosive output since the Trump administration, that's a worrisome sign for the Bengals' defense. Much like the Jets, Cincinnati's defense is going to need to keep them afloat, and they simply weren't good enough over the middle of the field against Pittsburgh.
19. Los Angeles Rams (5-6)
Previous: No. 21
Sunday's game was about what the Rams expected the offense to look like. Kyren Williams returned to the field and returned to form with 143 rushing yards against the Cardinals as Matthew Stafford threw four rushing touchdowns while Los Angeles made it look easy against Arizona's overmatched defense. Don't count the Rams postseason chances out just yet.
20. Las Vegas Raiders (5-7)
Previous: No. 17
If nothing else, interim head coach Antonio Pierce has the Raiders playing inspired and competitive football, thanks in large part to empowering his players. It's difficult to beat the Chiefs, but Vegas took its best shot, especially early. The Raiders won't be making the playoffs, but still have plenty to play for in terms of putting quality film out there for Pierce or whoever the next coach is to evaluate.
21. Tampa Bay buccaneers (4-7)
Previous: No. 19
The Buccaneers are fading fast. Baker Mayfield was briefly knocked from Sunday's game following a failed Tush-Push along the goal line, but it's Tampa's defense that is barely surviving its onslaught of injuries. It's all about playing out the string for the Buccaneers, and maybe for head coach Todd Bowles' job.
22. Cleveland Browns (7-4)
Previous: No. 11
The Browns weren't exactly competitive against the surging Broncos, and adding injury to insult, quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson was knocked out of the game with a concussion. There's a real possibility that the Browns will start Joe Flacco next week. Desperate times in Cleveland.
23. Los Angeles Chargers (4-7)
Previous: No. 23
Justin Herbert's career to date has been about the tantalizing potential of his arm-talent, yet the Chargers consistently come up short late, as they did Sunday night in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Despite some decent talent around Herbert, Los Angeles' offense only managed 10 points. Maybe Herbert's career is destined to be defined by unrealized potential.
24. New Orleans Saints (5-6)
Previous: No. 22
New Orleans may just need to admit that Derek Carr was a mistake. Carr was fine against the Falcons, on paper, with 300 yards and an interception, but the Saints' offense isn't elevated by his skill-set and the running game never really gets going around Carr, even with Alvin Kamara. Not great.
25. Tennessee Titans (4-7)
Previously: No. 28
Tennessee ended the Frank Reich era in Carolina, but didn't do anything exceptionally well in Sunday's win. Derrick Henry ran violently, as he tends to, while scoring a pair of touchdowns. However, Will Levis left much to be desired in a wildly inconsistent and largely inaccurate performance. The Titans will need more from Levis and the passing game if Tennessee is going to be relevant down the stretch.
26. New York Jets (4-7)
Previous: No. 26
The Jets are letting an elite defense wither on the vine, thanks to investing every possible quarterback resource in Aaron Rodgers without a contingency plan at the most important position in sports, and are now paying the price. Rodgers seems to be talking about a potential December comeback from an Achilles injury, but at this stage, everyone involved should be asking themselves; "What's the point?"
27. New York Giants (4-8)
Previous: No. 27
There's winning ugly, and then there's whatever that was that the Giants did against the Patriots. Tommy Devito passed for 191 yards with a touchdown but the Giants only rushed for 58 yards and managed just 10 first downs on offense. Throw in strife on the coaching staff alongside Sunday's mess, and the stretch run for the Giants could come careening off the rails quickly.
28. Chicago Bears (4-8)
Previous: No. 31
Chicago went into Minnesota and won a game, without scoring an offensive touchdown. On a night that the defense pulled down four interceptions, the only offense the Bears could muster were four field goals. Undoubtedly, the Bears will have a new quarterback and an organizational refresh next season with the only question being whether it will be Caleb Williams or Drake Maye behind center.
29. Washington Commanders (4-8)
Previous: No. 29
If the Commanders weren't going to fire Ron Rivera after a listless and lackluster showing on Thanksgiving against the Cowboys, the embattled head coach just might make it to season's end. Sam Howell was fine against the Cowboys, passing for 300 yards with an interception, but Dallas completely blitzkrieged Washington's defense as Dak Prescott led a 45-point barrage with four passing touchdowns. The Commanders are fading as fast as you'd expect, after trading their top two pass-rushers at the deadline.
30. Arizona Cardinals (2-10)
Previous: No. 25
Arizona wasn't exactly competitive in Sunday's 37-14 loss to the Rams that saw the Cardinals rush for only 73 yards while averaging 4.6 yards per offensive snap. Not what the Cardinals had become accustomed to since Kyler Murray's return, but probably an indication of how far this team is away from playing meaningful games.
31. New England Patriots (2-9)
Previous: No. 30
It is becoming painfully obvious that "The Patriot Way" was merely Tom Brady playing quarterback at a historically efficient level. New England is getting anything but that, from Mac Jones and Baily Zappe. What once seemed unfathomable, the question now must be asked whether Bill Belichick will last the season.
32. Carolina Panthers (2-10)
Previous: No. 32
The Panthers fired head coach Frank Reich after just 12 games. Owner David Tepper has now burned through four head coaches since firing Ron Rivera in 2019. Carolina better get this next hire right, for Bryce Young's sake, because the Panthers don't even own their first-round pick to build around their young quarterback next spring.
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