San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne (left) celebrates his touchdown next to 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (right) during the first half against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL power rankings: Saints fall from No. 2, but how far?

Kristian Garic
November 14, 2019 - 12:02 pm
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1. San Francisco 49ers (8-1): Even though the 49ers lost in overtime to the Seahawks in overtime, I still have them as the top team (for now) in my power rankings.  As the Seahawks showed us, QB Jimmy Garapollo is the potential fatal flaw for San Francisco. The 49ers had a weak first half schedule and will be tested with games against Seattle, Los Angeles Rams, Saints and Packers.  We’ll know soon enough if they are legit. Last week #1.

2. Baltimore Ravens (7-2):  After throttling the hapless Cincinnati Bengals last week, the Ravens are quickly becoming a major force in the AFC and the entire NFL.  QB Lamar Jackson is changing how teams have to play on defense.  He’s not just doing it with his feet; Jackson’s also playing great in the passing game.  This team is extremely potent.  The Ravens lead the NFL in scoring and their defense is pretty solid too.  Last week #3

3. New England Patriots (8-1):  The Patriots spent their bye week watching the Ravens closely. The Ravens handed Belichick& Brady their first and only loss of the season two weeks ago and I’m sure that’s not tasting too good on the open date.  I’ve never been keen on dropping a team during their bye week.  Last week #4

4. Green Bay Packers (7-2):  In typical Aaron Rodgers fashion the Packers bounced back from a beating the week prior from the Los Angeles Rams.  At home in frigid Green Bay the Packers tuned up the Carolina Panthers 28-16.  Right now I’m not completely sold on the Packers defense and head coach Matt LaFluer.  The rookie coach has never been in this situation before. The big question - how will he handled the pressure of winning down the stretch in a tight NFC? We’ll see.  Last week #5

5. New Orleans Saints (7-2):  Yikes!  What a...dud? The Saints played their worst game of the year losing to the Atlanta Falcons, and took a tumble in the power rankings.  I said last week that I could make the argument to make the Black & Gold number 1 in the rankings, but when you have a stub your toe moment like this, I can’t make that argument.  Now, the Saints are still a really strong team despite losing to the Falcons 26-9.  Every championship team has games like that.  It’s part of life in the NFL.  The Patriots lost to the lifeless Miami Dolphins before winning it all last year.  The worst thing that happened was actually to Tampa Bay.  The Bucs are going to host a very angry and dialed in Saints team this week.  Last week #2

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) runs the ball against the San Francisco 49ers in the third quarter at Levi's Stadium.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

6. Seattle Seahawks (7-2):  QB Russell Wilson should win the NFL MVP award at season’s end.  The Hawks went into San Francisco and took out the previously unbeaten 49ers.  I can’t rank them higher than the Saints, because Seattle lost to the Saints in week 3, but I have to say the Seahawks are a team on the rise in the NFC.  Last week #6

7. Houston Texans (6-3):  The Texans had their bye this week and have a huge clash with the Baltimore Ravens.  That will be a fun game to watch!  Houston is capable of beating the Ravens, although I don’t think it will happen.  Last week #7. 

8. Minnesota Vikings (7-3):  I want to move the Vikings higher up badly, after beating the Cowboys 28-24, but Dallas simply can’t beat teams with winning records.  A win is a win in the NFL, but the Cowboys resume’ wasn’t that good headed into this game, therefore, I can’t improve the Vikings rankings too much.  Last week #9

9. Kansas City Chiefs (6-4):  Let’s face it, the Chiefs aren’t winning anything this year with that defense. Kansas City lost to the Tennessee Titans 35-32 with Ryan Tannehill at QB for Tennessee.  Yikes! Pat Mahomes II is great and it was good to get him back from injury, but the defense is awful.  The Chiefs aren’t anywhere close to threatening the Patriots as the top team in the AFC. Last week #7

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4):  Last week I didn’t think that highly of the Steelers, this week I’m much higher on them and it’s because of their defense.  This isn’t the Steel Curtain, but it’s good enough to win games with a young QB finding his way in Mason Rudolph.  Last week #17

Cleveland Browns free safety Damarious Randall (23) tackles Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary (26) during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

11.  Buffalo Bills (6-3):  Last week is exactly why I don’t think very highly of the Bills.  Buffalo lost to the dysfunctional Cleveland Browns 19-16.  The Bills did climb two spots from last week, but that’s because of the teams in front of them losing games they had no business losing.  The Bills defense is awesome, but the offense is nothing to write home about.   Last week #13

12.  Oakland Raiders (5-4):  I’m perplexed as to how the Raiders have managed to win 5 games, but they have.  Chucky is getting it done.  If you don’t know who Chucky is, you probably shouldn’t be reading this article.  Jon Gruden has the Raiders respectable and inspired.  Last week #16

13.  Indianapolis Colts (5-4):  I know, I know...they just lost to the Miami Dolphins!  The Colts also played without their starting QB, Jacoby Brissette.  I’m not sure what else I can say after losing to the Dolphins, but I’m judging the total body of work, not just one game. Last week #10

14.  Philadelphia Eagles (5-4):  The Eagles can beat the best and lose to the worst any given week. That makes them nothing but frustrating to size up for me...and I’m sure for Philadelphia fans. Last week #15

15.  Dallas Cowboys (5-4):  If I could use the crying face emoji, I would use it here.  America’s team, huh?  Put a sorry team against the Cowboys and they will assuredly beat them.  Put a team with a pulse against Dallas and that’s almost a sure fire loss.  Wait! That’s not entirely true about the sorry team.  The lowly New York Jets beat the Cowboys a few weeks back.  New Orleans, Green Bay and Minnesota account for the rest of Dallas’ losses.  Get the point?  Stop Ezekiel Elliot and you stop the Boys.  Have fun,Jerry Jones! Last week #11

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) forces Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Cory Littleton (58) out of bounds after Littleton recovered a fumble during the second quarter at Heinz Field.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY

16.  Los Angeles Rams (5-4):  So suddenly Sean McVay is not the offensive wizard he was thought to be.  Dig deeper, it’s not really Jones...it’s execution.  QB Jarred Goff isn’t a franchise guy.  He’s good, but can’t put a team on his back and carry them to wins.  The Rams can’t run the ball, and their play action passing game isn’t the same without the threat of the run.  The Rams are looking up at the 49ers and Seahawks in the NFC West.  Saints fans are smiling about the Rams demise, even though they just lost to the Falcons.  Last week #12

17.  Tennessee Titans (5-5):  Did Ryan Tannehill really just outduel Pat Mohomes II in a shootout with the Chiefs?  Not really!  I mean the Titans shredded the Chiefs on the ground.   Running back Derek Henry rushed for 188 yards on 23 attempts in the win over Kansas City.  Shameless plug; Henry also helped me win my fantasy football matchup with his big day.  I’m still not buying the Titans, though.  Last week #21

18.  Carolina Panthers (5-4):  The Cats lost on the road against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay gashed the Panthers on the ground, rushing for 163 yards.  Carolina also gave up two turnovers in the loss.  The Panthers are good, but if you stop running back Christian McCafferey, chances are you will get the win. Last week #15

19.  Los Angeles Chargers (4-6):  So go the Chargers.  They beat Green Bay in impressive fashion the week prior and lose to the Raiders the next.  I thought that win over the Packers would springboard the Chargers to a lengthy winning streak.  Then they did this.  So disappointing.  Interestingly enough...they stay put in the rankings.  Last week #19.

20.  Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5): The Jags took their bye week...so hard to move them up or down in the rankings.  Last week #20.

21.  Cleveland Browns (3-6):  Last week I buried the Browns, and while I’m not digging them up, I will have to give them credit for beating a Bills team with a winning record.  Like I said last week, I want the Browns to win, the fans deserve that.  Until they do so on a consistent basis, I’m out on the Browns.   Last week #24.

22.  Denver Broncos (3-6):  I moved them up one spot during the bye week.  Denver can flat out play on defense, but offensively they are pretty bad.  In fact, the Broncos are a QB away from being legit.  Last week #23

23.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6):  So Tampa beat the Cardinals last week.  Yawn!  QB Jameis Winston threw two interceptions and still won the game.  That just shows you how bad the Cardinals are.  The Bucs have some weapons on offense, but the defensive secondary is a problem.  Tampa has an angry Saints football team to deal with this week at home.  Good luck! Last week #25

24.  Atlanta Falcons (2-7):  Like it or not Saints fans, the Dirty Birds beat the Saints up and did so in the trenches.  Atlanta sacked QB Drew Brees a whopping six times. Give credit where credit is due, even if it’s Atlanta.  Now, with that said, the Falcons aren’t going anywhere this year.  9 and 7 won’t get you in the post-season in a top heavy NFC.  Last week #27

25.  Chicago Bears (4-5):  The Bears beat a Detroit Lions team that was without QB Mathew Stafford.  Am I supposed to change my opinion of the Bears based off that win? Not a chance.  QB Mitchell Trubisky threw three touchdowns.  Prior to feasting on an awful Lions secondary, Trubisky went two straight games without a touchdown pass.  I’ll take my disbelief in Trubisky a step further.  He’s the only starting QB in the league with two...two game stretches without a touchdown pass.  Wow!  Mitchell Trubisky started 8 games this year and didn’t throw a TD pass in 4 of those games.   Last week #25

26.  Arizona Cardinals (3-6-1):  The Cardinals couldn’t win with two gifts from Bucs QB Jameis Winston.  As we know, the Arizona defense is terrible, and while rookie QB Kyler Murray is fun to watch, he’s not there yet.  When he arrives we’ll know for sure.  Murray’s going to be a stud ,if he lasts. Last week #22.

Detroit Lions wide receiver Danny Amendola (80) attempts to make a game tying touchdown on the last play of the game during the second half at Soldier Field.
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

27.  Detroit Lions (3-5-1):  QB Mathew Stafford sat out of Sunday’s loss to the Bears with an injury. I’ll keep saying this until it happens.  If the Lions ever get a defense and a running game, look out!  Until then, they’ll continue to waste Mathew Stafford at QB. Last week #18.

28. New York Jets (2-7):  So they lost to the Dolphins the week prior and it was bad for coach Adam Gase and company.  What do the Jets do to redeem themselves?  Beat the other bad team in New York (Giants).  So there is that.  Last week……Really?

29.  New York Giants (2-8):  So I thought the Giants were the best of the worst in New York.  I was wrong. The G-Men lost to their crosstown rival New York Jets 34-27.   Hey New York...you’ve got bigger issues with the Knicks and you can always divert your attention to hockey.  Last week…does it matter?

30.  Miami Dolphins (2-7):  Tanking for Tua is still a real thing, but don’t look now...the Dolphins won two games in a row.  Pump the breaks here...it was against the Colts without their starting QB.  Last week….whatever.

31. Washington Redskins (1-8):  Life is about to get worse before it gets better for the Redskins.  The team announced this week they will go with rookie Dwayne Haskins under center for the remainder of the year.  As an aside; how did he beat out LSU QB Joe Burrow at Ohio State?  Either he’s that good or Joe Burrow made that kind of improvement.  Last week….please! 

32.  Cincinnati Bengals (0-9):  Bombing for Burrow?  How does that sound?  That’s about the only thing positive about the Bengals.  They could be in line to get LSU QB Joe Burrow with the number one overall pick.  Burrow could be going home, but man, I wouldn’t want to go to that franchise even if it was my hometown team.  Last week….seriously?

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