Here we go again. Just when we thought Week 10 of the 2019 NFL season was crazy, Week 11 got a little more nuts. A couple of huge favorites fell, and some other milder favorites lost in frustrating fashion.
When that happens, that leads to another shakeup in the league’s power structure. Things might be getting a little tighter at the top and bottom, but everything in between is subject to total chaos.
Here’s how Sporting News sees all 32 teams stacking up against each other with seven weeks left until only 12 will still be standing in the playoffs:
NFL power rankings
1. San Francisco 49ers, 8-0 (previous ranking: 1)
The 49ers go into Monday night’s game against the Seahawks looking for a signature win to begin the second half of their schedule. Between their defense, running game and now Jimmy Garoppolo, they are for real as a threat to win it all.
2. New England Patriots, 8-1 (3)
The Patriots needed their bye to recover from the Ravens game, and you can bet Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will have them laser-focused for a tough stretch against the Eagles, Cowboys, Texans and Chiefs. The defense will be defined more by those games than what happened before Baltimore.
3. Baltimore Ravens, 7-2 (4)
The Ravens didn’t have any kind of letdown after their takedown of the Patriots, ripping the Bengals to pieces with plenty more of Lamar Jackon and the defense making big plays. They are working to AFC favorite status, but things will be tough in the short term against the Texans, Rams and 49ers.
4. Green Bay Packers, 8-2 (6)
The Packers let it snow in Lambeau, and their running game and defense went back to being a little more frightful to support Aaron Rodgers. The QB is right when he says this team wouldn’t be where it is, in prime NFC contention, without running back Aaron Jones.
5. New Orleans Saints, 7-2 (2)
The Saints got manhandled by the Falcons because they came out of their bye sloppy, namely in pass protection and penalty problems. Perhaps things were a little too easy coaching-wise for Sean Payton with the talent on defense lifting the team. Now he has some extra motivation to right the offense.
6. Seattle Seahawks, 7-2 (5)
The Seahawks know what a win over the 49ers would mean Monday night. Not only would they get much closer in the division race, but they would show everyone they are still in the conference title conversation even after losing to the Saints and Ravens at home.
7. Minnesota Vikings, 7-3 (8)
The Vikings got a massive road win over the Cowboys on Sunday night to secure their current wild-card position and keep putting heat on the Packers as the weather turns cold. Kirk Cousins and the run defense are doing their big parts, but their clear MVP is Dalvin Cook.
8. Houston Texans, 6-3 (10)
The Texans stayed in first place during the bye thanks to the Colts laying an egg at home against the Dolphins. They should return to action with great confidence that Deshaun Watson won’t let them down for a repeat division crown.
9. Kansas City Chiefs, 6-4 (7)
The Chiefs forgot to set up good end-game coverage and remembered how bad Andy Reid is with clock management in that last-gasp collapse against the Titans. Their defense is still bad all-around, meaning there’s zero margin for error with Patrick Mahomes.
10. Dallas Cowboys, 5-4 (9)
The Cowboys paid Ezekiel Elliott and unfortunately are too compelled to force-feed him the ball, even when Dak Prescott should be doing most of their ball-moving in tougher games. The problem is they think their defense is good enough to just run complementary to it. (It’s not.) They need Prescott like the Chiefs need Mahomes.
11. Philadelphia Eagles, 5-4 (12)
The Eagles had to be thrilled to see the Cowboys fall to the Vikings to put them back in a virtual tie in the division despite their ugly loss in Dallas. Philadelphia needs to have something special prepared to take down New England in Week 11.
12. Oakland Raiders, 5-4 (16)
The Raiders put together an impressive, complete victory against the Chargers with Josh Jacobs, Derek Carr and the defense. Turns out Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock have terrific analysis brains, too, when getting a team to play and just win their way, baby.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers, 5-4 (17)
The Steelers would like to see Gruden’s coach of the year candidacy and raise it with Mike Tomlin. Their offense has become a total mess without Ben Roethlisberger, James Conner and, yes, Antonio Brown, but their defense has become the dominant backbone the coach loves to see, led by new coach’s favorite Minkah Fitzpatrick.
14. Los Angeles Rams, 5-4 (11)
What’s up with Sean McVay’s team? The defense is doing more than its part, but offensive line woes have made the running game turn into a weakness. That has broken down highly dependent quarterback Jared Goff in the system, especially with no deep threat in Brandin Cooks to open up the passing game.
15. Buffalo Bills, 6-3 (13)
The Bills have been good at winning battles of attrition, but you knew they were due for that method to fail on the road against a desperate Browns team that tried to give away the game several times. Josh Allen is simply not playing well enough for them to feel comfortable about their wild-card status.
16. Carolina Panthers, 5-4 (15)
The Panthers have to like the fearless quarterback play of Kyle Allen to compliment their high offensive floor with Christian McCaffrey. But as we’ve seen, the QB can get overwhelmed at the wrong times by good defenses such as the Packers. This looks more like 8-8 than the playoffs now.
17. Indianapolis Colts, 5-4 (14)
The Colts looked like they would be in control of the AFC South until Jacoby Brissett went down against the Steelers. Since then, Brian Hoyer has cost them two games with his turnovers. Frank Reich and Nick Sirianni have a great system, but it doesn’t work when they’re not dominating on the ground and the QB is coughing up the ball.
18. Tennessee Titans, 5-5 (21)
The Titans are still getting an incredible spark from Ryan Tannehill, and his play during his 3-1 stint gives him a real opportunity to be a QB option for Tennessee in 2020. And it’s November, so Derrick Henry must be trucking.
19. Chicago Bears, 4-5 (23)
The Bears got what they needed from Mitchell Trubisky against a bad Lions defense to stay in the playoff hunt and help Matt Nagy with his job security. The hard part is keeping that up against better teams. The Rams, Cowboys, Packers and Chiefs are all ahead in the second half of the season.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars, 4-5 (20)
The Jaguars will come out of their bye with Nick Foles back at QB. We’ll see if they can find some of the offensive ceiling they had with Gardner Minshew, or whether Foles will prove to be a bigger bust of a big signing.
21. Los Angeles Chargers, 4-6 (19)
Philip Rivers isn’t having the season we thought he would have, especially considering he was in a super-efficient groove with Anthony Lynn going into the season. With the running game and defense starting to play better, the spotlight is on the QB.
22. Detroit Lions, 3-5-1 (18)
The Lions did their best to hang with the Bears, with Jeff Driskel doing his best Matthew Stafford impression at times. But the injury-related uncertainty of their usually durable leader during his best NFL season has to be a big emotional blow.
23. Denver Broncos, 3-6 (24)
The Broncos will have Brandon Allen give it another go after the bye, but the degree of difficulty is raised with the Vikings and Bills on the road in consecutive weeks. Expect Drew Lock to get his shot before the season is done.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 3-6 (25)
The Buccaneers don’t always make it pretty with Jameis Winston, but their passing offense remains impressive thanks to the emergence of Ronald Jones and the sudden relevance of O.J. Howard. Bruce Arians and Jason Licht need to get Todd Bowles a lot more pass defense for 2020.
25. Cleveland Browns, 3-6 (26)
The Browns got a home win against a good team to save some face in the Lake Erie Bowl. They now have a bigger opportunity to prove they can salvage something of the season by taking down the hot Steelers in Cleveland on Thursday night.
26. Arizona Cardinals, 3-6-1 (22)
The Cardinals may have been robbed by the officials late in comeback mode against the Buccaneers, but the bottom line is their future looks bright with Kyler Murray and Christian Kirk as the principals for Kliff Kingsbury’s offense.
27. Atlanta Falcons, 2-7 (28)
The Falcons did more than play hard for Dan Quinn after the bye to shock the Saints. They played up to their defensive capacity with better communication, discipline and effort. What could have been now has to start creeping into their heads, as Quinn isn’t out of the woods yet.
28. Miami Dolphins, 2-7 (30)
Break up the Dolphins, who now have an actual winning streak after finding a little more Fitzmagic in Indianapolis. The funny thing is they can still get Tua Tagovailoa without tanking.
29. New York Jets, 2-7 (31)
The Jets are the kings of New York, and Adam Gase is no longer the court jester, at least for one week. It’s funny what happens when your best players, such as Le’Veon Bell and Jamal Adams, are put in positions to make big plays.
30. New York Giants, 2-8 (27)
The Giants will get more heat about the Saquon Barkley vs. Sam Darnold thing based on the result of Sunday’s game, but lost in that is how the Giants have to feel great about the upside of Daniel Jones vs. that of Darnold.
31. Washington Redskins, 1-8 (29)
The Redskins dropped because other bad teams won. They might be the new ones in the market for another high first-round QB should Dwayne Haskins melt down and the new coach wants to attach himself to another QB.
32. Cincinnati Bengals, 0-9 (32)
This is getting out of control. So much for the benching of Andy Dalton magically solving all of the problems for Zac Taylor’s team. Instead, it exposed how bad they are all-around when there’s not even decent QB play on which to rely. They are hands-down the worst team in the NFL.