NFL Power Rankings: Welcome to Raider Nation

The Miami Dolphins are consistent. Every time they do something right, and I go and try to give them credit, they show how awful a football team they truly are. They started a six-game win streak with an impressive win over the Steelers, and then reeled off five in a row against some pretty bad football teams. Dunton and I put them in our Power Rankings as the Honorable Mention and lo and behold, they don’t even show up.

I’m done trying to believe in these guys. You won’t hear any more positive from me on the Phins, I promise.

Remember, our Power Rankings break down the best five teams per conference until the playoffs start, in which it becomes a comprehensive NFL Power Rankings.

Who made the cut this week?

AFC Top Five:

Honorable Mention: Denver Broncos (Last week: No. 4).  Yes they won. But it was Jacksonville. Yes their defense is amazing. But there is something I just don’t trust about Sieman and Lynch here. They are clearly the third best team in their division, which says a lot about the AFC West.

No. 5. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last week No. 5 – tie). The Steelers don’t advance a spot despite ending the Giants six-game winning streak, but while they have one of the most exciting offenses, the Ravens defense is what separates the two. Still, the Steelers should be playoff bound come January and there is not many more teams to watch as exciting.

No. 4. Baltimore Ravens (Last week No. 5 – tie). See above. The Ravens defense has allowed the second least amount of points this season while allowing the fewest yards per game. While their offense isn’t pretty, we’ve seen Harbaugh (and Billick) make that formula work with them before.

No. 3. Kansas City Chiefs (Last week No. 3). Did you watch what Eric Berry and company did to the best offense in the NFL? Yes, they allowed their share of points, but when they needed to make the play, the certainly did. The offense is just good enough to keep them in it and Travis Kelce is becoming a superstar.

No. 2 New England Patriots (Last week No. 1). The mighty has fallen. Not really. They are more like 1B than No. 2. There’s no reason for them really to fall, but the Raiders are rolling, and they have on thing the Patriots don’t.

No. 1 Oakland Raiders (Last week No. 2). Khalil Mack. The difference between the Patriots and the Raiders is him. Derek Carr is amazing as well.

NFC Top Five:

Honorable Mention: New York Giants (Last week 5). They saw their winning streak come to an end, but even worse, Eli Manning looked terrible. There was a long stretch of the game that it seemed like all he did was zone in on OBJ. I know he is good, but you need to develop some more of the offense there, pal.

No. 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last week Honorable Mention): They won again. They did it on the road again, and they did against the best worst team in football.  They are also tied with the Falcons atop the AFC South. Want me to keep going?

No. 4. Detroit Lions (Last week No. 4).  They won again. I’m not sure how this wasn’t a shootout, but Matthew Stafford held up his end of the bargain in yet another solid performance.  He will certainly hear his name come up in MVP conversations come January.

No. 3. Atlanta Falcons (Last week No. 2). The Falcons have now played two games against two of the NFL’s elite teams that they should have won, the Seahawks being the first. The difference between a contender and a pretender is the ability to win those close games. The Falcons find themselves on the wrong side of those too many times for me to be 100 percent convinced just yet.

No. 2 Seattle Seahawks (Last week No. 3).  The Panthers were trying to creep back in the playoffs. The Seahawks looked healthy again, though, didn’t they? The loss of Earl Thomas will hurt, but there is still a lot of fire power on this team.

No. 1. Dallas Cowboys (Last week No. 1).  Dak did what he needed to do yet again against a very tough defense. This week will be a big matchup for them on Sunday night with the opportunity to avenge their lone loss of the season. It will be interesting to see how they respond.

So… did we get it right? Let us know and come back next Tuesday for our next power rankings of 2016.

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