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NFL Power Rankings Week 12: Eagles, Chiefs on top, but who else is actually good?



The NFL season is starting down the stretch, and there’s still a lot up in the air. Who will make the playoffs? Who will get into “Drafting Caleb Williams or Drake Maye?” territory? Who will win MVP?

There is enough data, though, for the Power Rankings to answer one important question this week — Who’s good and who’s not? A “good” distinction doesn’t guarantee a playoff spot (at least in the AFC) and a “not” distinction doesn’t mean the season is over (looking at you, NFC), but putting the teams into these two buckets should help us handicap the remainder of the season. You’ll notice, or at least Cleveland fans will, that some teams get a “not” despite being ranked ahead of some “good” teams. The explanation: the rankings are weighted toward what has happened while the designations are a projection of what’s to come.

(Last week: 1)

Monday: Beat Kansas City Chiefs 21-17

Are they good? Yes

A thought experiment: How many teams in the league could the Eagles beat running only the “tush push” on every offensive play? The answer is not zero. Philadelphia scored the go-ahead touchdown with its signature play Monday night in a Super Bowl rematch (and perhaps preview?). D’Andre Swift continues to look like one of this year’s best offseason pickups. He had 76 rushing yards and 31 receiving yards Monday night and is now fifth among running backs in scrimmage yards (887).

Up next: vs. Buffalo Bills, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

(Last week: 2)

Monday: Lost to Philadelphia Eagles 21-17

Are they good? Yes

We know this because they are the Chiefs, and they have the best quarterback on the planet. Still, it’s worth noting this team is not at peak form despite having Patrick Mahomes at the helm. Kansas City is 14th in the league in scoring (22.5 ppg) and have scored an NFL-low 53 points in the second half this season. They were outscored 14-0 in the final two quarters Monday night, the third straight game they have been shut out in the second half. Mahomes hasn’t been the problem, of course. Marquez Valdez-Scantling dropped what probably would have been the game-winner late Monday and now has an NFL-worst six drops on targets of 30 or more yards downfield.

Up next: at Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday. 4:25 p.m. ET

(Last week: 3)

Sunday: Beat Chicago Bears 31-26

Are they good? Yes

The Lions scored 17 points in the final 2:59 Sunday, and it’s that offense that makes them so dangerous. They are second in the league in yards per game (399.6) and fifth in scoring (27.2) but only 17th in red-zone touchdown efficiency (52.9 percent) so there’s still room for growth. The Lions, who are 16-4 in their last 20, haven’t started a season this well since 1962.

Up next: vs. Green Bay Packers, Thursday, 12:30 p.m. ET


Pressing questions for Chiefs, Eagles, 49ers and six more NFL contenders: Sando’s Pick Six

(Last week: 6)

Thursday: Beat Cincinnati Bengals 34-20

Are they good? Yes

The Ravens are tied for first in the league in point differential (plus-127). They are second in points allowed per drive (1.29) and seventh in points scored per drive (2.34). Losing Mark Andrews, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the win over Cincinnati, hurts, but Baltimore’s receiving corps looks better than it has in years. Rookie Zay Flowers is dynamic. Odell Beckham Jr. has 10 catches in the last three weeks. And Nelson Agholor has three touchdowns this season after the beauty below.

Up next: at Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET

(Last week: 4)

Sunday: Beat Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-14

Are they good? Yes

The 17 streak is over. The 49ers lost three straight games in October, scoring 17 points in each. They have scored at least 27 in every other game and are third in the league in scoring margin (22). Brock Purdy was Brock Purdy again Sunday, completing 21 of 25 passes for 333 yards, three touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 passer rating. He has had four of the top 15 passer rating games in the league this season.

Up next: at Seattle Seahawks, Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET

(Last week: 7)

Sunday: Beat Las Vegas Raiders 20-13

Are they good? Yes

Miami still doesn’t have a win over a team with a winning record, but save the paper-tiger talk. The Dolphins are averaging 7.0 yards per play, which is tied with the 2000 St. Louis Rams for most by any team since at least 2000. Their 30.5 points per game is on pace to be the 25th most in the last 23 years, and Tyreek Hill (1,222 yards) is on pace to be the first receiver in NFL history to top 2,000 yards in a regular season.

Up next: at New York Jets, Friday, 3 p.m. ET



‘Never a doubt’: Broncos build more belief in winning drive vs. Vikings

(Last week: 12)

Sunday: Beat Carolina Panthers 33-10

Are they good? Yes

Yes, they have feasted on lesser opponents. Like the Dolphins, the Cowboys haven’t beaten a team with a winning record, but there aren’t many teams scarier than Dallas when it’s hitting on all cylinders. Sunday brought two unlikely milestones. First, owner Jerry Jones and former coach Jimmy Johnson officially buried the hatchet as Johnson was welcomed to the Cowboys Ring of Honor. Then cornerback DaRon Bland tied the NFL single-season record with his fourth interception return for a touchdown.

Up next: vs. Washington Commanders, Thursday, 4:20 p.m. ET

8. Cleveland Browns (7-3)

(Last week: 5)

Sunday: Beat Pittsburgh Steelers 13-10

Are they good? No

Remember, the question is, “Are they a good team?” not “Are they a good defense?” Cleveland has won five of its last six games and right now Browns fans are setting fire to the comments section of this story, but it’s hard to believe even this defense can support the kind of quarterback play the Browns are getting right now. Dorian Thompson-Robinson has started two games and has a passer rating of 42.4. He averaged 3.8 yards per attempt Sunday. In the last five years, only six starting quarterbacks with more than 10 attempts in a game have won a game with a number that low or worse, according to TruMedia. It’s not a winning formula, which is why the Browns signed veteran Joe Flacco after the game.

Up next: at Denver Broncos, Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET



NFL Week 11 takeaways: Browns defense is ‘special’; 49ers appear to be back

(Last week: 11)

Sunday: Beat Tennessee Titans 34-14

Are they good? Yes

Jacksonville’s only losses have come to Kansas City, Houston and San Francisco. The Jaguars have won six of their last seven after rolling out to a 27-0 lead Sunday, and it’s not the offense that is powering this run. Trevor Lawrence is 25th in the league in passing EPA per dropback (minus-.06), and the Jaguars are 27th in yards per rush (3.7). Meanwhile, Jacksonville is second in the league in special teams EPA (20.76)

Up next: at Houston Texans, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Running back Devin Singletary helped the Texans get a win on Sunday when quarterback C.J. Stroud wasn’t at his best. (Logan Riely / Getty Images)

(Last week: 10)

Sunday: Beat Arizona Cardinals 21-16

Are they good? Yes

Four teams in the league have a positive EPA (expected points added) in all three phases of the game — the Cowboys, the Eagles, the Lions … and the Texans, who have a rookie quarterback and head coach. C.J. Stroud threw three interceptions Sunday (more than he had in the first nine games combined), but Devin Singletary topped 100 rushing yards for the second straight week to take the pressure off the passing game.

Up next: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

(Last week: 9)

Sunday: Lost to Los Angeles Rams 17-16

Are they good? Yes

Seattle is a missed Jason Myers field goal with two seconds left from being 7-3 after losing Geno Smith for a section of Sunday’s game with an elbow injury. If Smith is back, the Seahawks will get a chance to prove whether they’re true contenders in the next month when they play the 49ers twice, the Cowboys and Eagles.

Up next: vs. San Francisco 49ers, Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET

(Last week: 16)

Sunday: Beat New York Jets 32-6

Are they good? Yes

When they don’t turn the ball over. Buffalo is fifth in the league in turnovers (19) but fourth in the league in scoring margin (104) and third in yards per play (6). Here’s the problem: Buffalo’s next three games are against Philadelphia, Kansas City and Dallas. This might be a good team that’s watching the playoffs on TV.

Up next: vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

(Last week: 8)

Thursday: Lost to Baltimore Ravens 34-20

Are they good? No

Joe Burrow’s season-ending wrist injury is the decisive factor. We know what this team looks like with a less-than-superpowered Burrow, and it’s going to be a lot worse without Burrow at all. But there’s more to it than that. The defense ranks 31st in yards per play allowed (6.1), 31st in success rate (54.7 percent) and 29th in defensive rush EPA per snap (.5).

Up next: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

(Last week: 13)

Sunday: Lost to Denver Broncos 21-20

Are they good? Yes

Without Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson, the Vikings are 4-1, and that one loss came Sunday on a late score by the Broncos. Minnesota is within two games of division leader Detroit and still gets to play the Lions twice. We’re not suggesting the Vikings are that level of good, but this team continues to surprise.

Up next: vs. Chicago Bears, Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET

Kenny Pickett and the Steelers have managed six wins this season, but they couldn’t get past Myles Garrett and the Browns on Sunday. (Jason Miller / Getty Images)

(Last week: 14)

Sunday: Lost to Cleveland Browns 13-10

Are they good? No

Pittsburgh has been outgained by every opponent this season. On Sunday, a Cleveland team starting fifth-round rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson beat and outgained the Steelers. Thompson-Robinson was not good, but the Steelers and 2022 first-round quarterback Kenny Pickett were worse, punting on seven of their first eight possessions (not counting an end-of-half kneel-down). Pickett is 30th in yards per attempt (6.1) and 28th in rating (79.2) in the NFL, and the Steelers still might make the playoffs.

Up next: at Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

16. Denver Broncos (5-5)

(Last week: 22)

Sunday: Beat Minnesota Vikings 21-20

Are they good? Yes

And no one is more surprised than us. After a 1-5 start, the Broncos have won four in a row. During that stretch, Russell Wilson has completed 74.1 percent of his passes and is eighth in the league in EPA per attempt (.19), and the defense is 15th in yards per game allowed (339.8). That doesn’t sound great, but that same defense gave 440.3 yards per game in Weeks 1 through 6.

Up next: vs. Cleveland Browns, Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET

(Last week: 15)

Sunday: Bye

Are they good? No

The Saints have had the league’s easiest schedule so far and have managed only .500 football. Their wins have come against the Titans, Panthers, Patriots, Colts and Bears, none of whom have a winning record. Despite giving Derek Carr a big free-agency deal in the offseason, New Orleans is being held back by an offense that is 18th in the league in points per game (21.4).

Up next: at Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

(Last week: 17)

Sunday: Lost to Green Bay Packers 23-20

Are they good? No

They should be, but alas … Los Angeles gave quarterback Justin Herbert a $262 million contract in the offseason. but the bill for that doesn’t really kick in until 2025. This should be the season the Chargers benefit from a cheap Herbert ($8.4 million the salary cap). Instead, the defense led by coach Brandon Staley is 31st in the league in EPA (minus-38.44).

Up next: vs. Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET

(Last week: 18)

Sunday: Lost to Miami Dolphins 20-13

Are they good? No

After firing Josh McDaniels and beating the Giants and Jets, the Raiders started feeling pretty good about themselves, but the streak stopped Sunday against the Dolphins as rookie Adian O’Connell threw three interceptions and Josh Jacobs had only 39 rushing yards. Las Vegas’ 79 yards per game on the ground ranks 31st in the league.

Up next: vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

20. Indianapolis Colts (5-5)

(Last week: 19)

Sunday: Bye

Are they good? No

It’s not all their fault. Promising rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson was lost for the season with a shoulder injury. Since Richardson went down, the Colts’ only wins have come against the Titans, Patriots and Panthers. Indianapolis fans can take heart, though. First-year head coach Shane Steichen has the Colts 10th in the league in scoring (24.2 ppg) despite the personnel challenges.

Up next: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET



NFL Week 11 takeaways: Browns defense is ‘special’; 49ers appear to be back

(Last week: 20)

Sunday: Lost to New York Giants 31-19

Are they good? No

Sam Howell leads the NFL in passing yards (3,038), but that’s the silver lining in what remains a dark cloud. Washington hasn’t beaten a team with a winning record, and it is 28th in the league in scoring margin (minus-69). Howell is on track to be sacked a single-season record 80 times, and what remains to be seen is if he can cut down on that number while also maintaining his production.

Up next: at Dallas Cowboys, Thursday, 4:30 p.m. ET

(Last week: 21)

Sunday: Lost to San Francisco 49ers 27-14

Are they good? No

The Bucs have won one game since Oct. 1, and that was against the Titans. In that time, Tampa Bay is 21st in the league in scoring (18 ppg) and 18th in points allowed (22 per game). The Buccaneers had 66 rushing yards against the 49ers, and their 3.1 yards per carry for the season are the lowest in the NFL.

Up next: at Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

(Last week: 25)

Sunday: Beat Los Angeles Chargers 23-20

Are they good? No

Jordan Love, who passed for a career-high 322 yards against the Chargers, is 32nd in the NFL in completion percentage (59.7), but he has completed more than 67 percent of his passes in two of the last three weeks. He might be turning the corner too late for this season because Aaron Jones, who powers the run game, left the game with a knee injury that might cost him more time.

Up next: at Detroit Lions, Thursday, 12:30 p.m. ET

(Last week: 24)

Sunday: Bye

Are they good? No

The Falcons tried to shake up their luck by replacing second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder with veteran Taylor Heinicke. It didn’t work and now Atlanta is going back to Ridder as its starter. The Falcons still can win the NFC South, but it’s hard to imagine for a team that has lost four of its last five and has given up 28 points per game in its last three outings.

Up next: vs. New Orleans Saints, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

(Last week: 26)

Sunday: Beat Seattle Seahawks 17-16

Are they good? No

The Rams won Sunday with a 22-yard field goal in the final two minutes, but that’s about the only special teams highlight this season. Los Angeles is last in the league in special teams EPA (minus-28.54), and this is becoming a trend for Sean McVay’s teams. There have been 160 individual seasons played by NFL teams in the last five years. The Rams have ranked 74th (2022), 100th (2019), 143rd (2021), 146th (2023) and 159th (2020) in special teams EPA in that time.

Up next: at Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET

26. New York Jets (4-6)

(Last week: 27)

Sunday: Lost to Buffalo Bills 32-6

Are they good? No

Robert Saleh finally benched Zach Wilson on Sunday, but it didn’t make any difference. Wilson was 7-for-15 for 81 yards. Tim Boyle was even worse in relief — 7-for-14 for 33 yards. Punter Thomas Morstead completed his only pass of the day and might be the best option at quarterback, but Saleh said Monday that Boyle will start Friday’s game. He’s got his work cut out for him. The Jets’ offensive EPA per game (minus-13.91) is the worst of any NFL team in the last 10 years.

Up next: vs. Miami Dolphins, Friday, 3 p.m. ET

27. Chicago Bears (3-8)

(Last week: 29)

Sunday: Lost to Detroit Lions 31-26

Are they good? No

But Justin Fields might be. Fields recorded his fifth career game of 100-plus rushing yards Sunday. Only Lamar Jackson and Michael Vick have more. In his first game since Week 6, Fields had a passer rating of 105.2. It was the third time in his last four games that he’s been above 105. As his place in Chicago gets more firm, though, coach Matt Eberflus’ gets more shaky.

Up next: at Minnesota Vikings, Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET

28. Tennessee Titans (3-7)

(Last week: 23)

Sunday: Lost to Jacksonville Jaguars 34-14

Are they good? No

After winning his NFL debut in Week 8, rookie Will Levis is 0-3. A fast start and then a fade has been something of a trend for the Titans this season. After a 2-2 start that included wins over the Chargers and Bengals, they have lost five of six. Tennessee is 27th in the league in scoring (16.8 ppg).

Up next: vs. Carolina Panthers, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

29. New York Giants (3-8)

(Last week: 30)

Sunday: Beat Washington Commanders 31-19

Are they good? No

New York is on track to have the fourth-worst offense in the NFL (based on EPA per game) in the last 20 years and somehow won a game Sunday. That moves them up in these rankings but down in the 2024 draft order, where they now sit fifth. The Giants’ scoring margin (minus-136) is the worst in the NFL.

Up next: vs. New England Patriots, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

(Last week: 28)

Sunday: Lost 21-16 to Houston Texans

Are they good? No

But, honestly, they didn’t really want to be. With a stockpile of draft choices, the Cardinals are incentivized to tank this year, and it doesn’t look like even Kyler Murray’s talents are going to stop that. After winning his season debut last week against Atlanta, Murray had an 84.6 passer rating against Houston.

Up next: vs. Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET

31. New England Patriots (2-8)

(Last week: 31)

Sunday: Bye

Are they good? No

New England is beyond not good. The Patriots’ offense and special teams are the worst they have been in at least 20 years based on EPA. Mac Jones is 32nd in the league in EPA per attempt (minus-.08), but the good news is the Giants’ win Sunday put the Patriots one step closer to being able to draft Jones’ replacement.

Up next: at New York Giants, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

32. Carolina Panthers (1-9)

(Last week: 32)

Sunday: Lost to Dallas Cowboys 33-10

Are they good? No

In the last 10 years, only five quarterbacks have had a lower yards per attempt than Bryce Young’s 5.3 this season. None of those players got more than seven games in those seasons. Throw in eight interceptions and an off-target percentage (14.4 percent) that ranks 32nd in the league, and it’s been a rough year for the rookie and the team that traded a bounty for the No. 1 pick to draft him.

Up next: at Tennessee Titans, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

(Photo of D’Andre Swift: Scott Winters / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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