Check out our new rankings below, but first: some thoughts on the numbers:
- We had some rearranging at the top, with the Philadelphia Eagles returning to the top spot after having the Los Angeles Rams supplant them for a week.
- The New Orleans Saints sit at #2, something I don’t think anyone would have thought possible at the start of the season. They are truly a force to be reckoned with, showing 4 road wins and 4 victories against teams with a record better than .500
- The New England Patriots climb a spot, and the remainder of their schedule is ridiculously easy: 2 games against the Buffalo Bills (19th and falling fast) and Miami Dolphins (27th) each and one against the New York Jets (20th) in Foxboro. Sure, the Bills and Dolphins road games are division rivalry games, but those two franchise are absolute rudderless ships at this point. The only real test left on the Pats’ schedule is a week 15 trip to Pittsburgh.
- The Minnesota Vikings dropped a spot to #7 which surprised me but is buoyed by the Pittsburgh Steelers, who leapfrogged them, having 2 more road wins and 2 more wins against teams with records better than .600.
- The Buffalo Bills drop to #19 thanks to sporting the biggest negative point differential in the top 20. Rookie QB Nathan Peterman’s abysmal performance last Sunday after Bills head coach Sean McDermott promoted him in place of Tyrod Taylor didn’t help. Don’t kid yourself, McDermott making this move when he did runs the white flag on this season. Three weeks ago, the Bills were 5-2, ranked 10th, had just spanked the Oakland Raiders at home and sported a +38 point differential. Then they went on the road to a division rival (Jets) on a short-week for Thursday Night Football and lost. They then followed that up with suffering a royal beat down at home by the New Orleans Saints, who according to us are the 2nd best team in the entire league. In both those losses, poor tackling and an utter refusal to stop the opponent’s running games were bigger issues than anything Taylor did. Re-read that for a second- the Saints’ running game was unstoppable. Yet Taylor was made the scapegoat and benched at a point in the season where the Bills still mathematically qualified for the playoffs. McDermott gave up, plain and simple.
- 25-32 stayed the same, and rightfully so. The Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, and Denver Broncos all lost close games. The Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers had byes. The New York Giants victory over the Kansas City Chiefs was a bright spot, but said more about the Chiefs than it did the Giants. And the Cleveland Browns are the Browns.