A wave of COVID-19 positive tests was the biggest story in the NFL this week, throwing the schedule out of whack and forcing some teams to either play shorthanded or on unusual days. Postponements forced an extra game on Monday and two games to be played on Tuesday. The ever-present shadow of the pandemic looms over the league as it looks to finish its season and crown a champion.
1. Green Bay Packers 11-3
Previous ranking- 3
The Packers barely eked out a win over the depleted Ravens at home, with a failed last second two-point conversion being the difference in a 31-30 win. However, they occupy the top spot here thanks to the huge upsets suffered by the previous top seeded teams and the fact that this win clinched the NFC North as well as put them into the number one seed. The best news however is that Aaron Rodgers is playing well (23/31, 268 YDS, 3 TDs) heading into the final weeks of the season.
2. Kansas City Chiefs 10-4
Previous ranking- 4
Travis Kelce’s 34-yard touchdown reception from Patrick Mahomes on the first drive of overtime gave the Chiefs a 34-28 win over the rival Chargers. Kelce finished with 10 receptions for 191 yards and two scores. He and Tyreek Hill both had double digits in receptions as part of a 410, 3 TD day from Patrick Mahomes.
3. Dallas Cowboys 10-4
Previous ranking- 6
The Cowboy defense once again carried their sluggish offense to a win, this time a 21-6 win over the Giants. Dallas forced four turnovers and scored 9 points off of them, 16 total including after a turnover on downs. Their dramatic defensive turnaround from their historically bad performance last year is what is allowing Dallas to continue to win while their offense has seemingly hit a wall.
4. Los Angeles Rams 10-4
Previous ranking- 5
Cooper Kupp continued his incredible season on Tuesday night in the Rams 20-10 win over the Seahawks. Kupp hauled in 9 catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns. His first score tied the game at 10-10 and his second half the Rams a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The fifth year wideout now leads all NFL receivers in receptions, yards, and touchdowns.
5. New England Patriots 9-5
Previous ranking- 2
The Patriots were handed a little bit of their own game plan as the Colts ran all over them in a 27-17 loss. Indianapolis elected to pass just 12 times but racked up 226 total yards rushing, including 170 yards and a score from MVP candidate Jonathan Taylor. Conversely, the New England rushing attack netted just 81 yards and QB Mac Jones threw two interceptions.
6. Buffalo Bills 8-6
Previous ranking- Unranked
The Bills easily handled the nosediving Panthers 31-14 behind Josh Allen’s three touchdowns. Allen finished with 210 yards and an interception along with the three scores on 19/34 passing. The Buffalo defense collected four sacks and held Cam Newton to 156 yards on 18/38 passing with a touchdown and an interception.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-4
Previous ranking- 1
The Bucs suffered arguably their worst loss of the season, dropping a miserable 9-0 contest to the Saints at home. It was the first time Tom Brady has been shutout at home since 2006. The defeat threw a wrench into Tampa’s playoff positioning, dropping them to the three seed and putting them a full game behind Green Bay for home field advantage and a first-round bye.
8. Tennessee Titans 9-5
Previous ranking- 8
Turnovers plagued the Titans in their 19-13 loss at the hands of the Steelers. Tennessee committed four actual turnovers but fumbled the ball a total of five times. They outgained Pittsburgh a staggering 318-168 in total yardage but allowed 9 points off of those turnovers.
9. Los Angeles Chargers 8-6
Previous Ranking- 9
The Chargers kept pace with the Chiefs in an offensive fireworks display, but ultimately their defense failed them on the first drive of overtime in a 34-28 win. Overall, their defense surrendered a whopping 496 yards to Kansas City for an average of over seven yards per play.
10. Arizona Cardinals 10-4
Previous ranking- 7
It’s officially time to start worrying about the Cardinals’ true contender status. They suffered a humiliating 30-12 loss to the now 2-11-1 Lions in a game Arizona was trailing 17-0 at halftime. Kyler Murray had an ugly game, finishing 23/41 for 257 yards with a TD and an interception. Their defense allowed Jared Goff his best game of the season with 216 yards and 3 TDs on 21/26 passing.
Fell off- Baltimore Ravens
Honorable mentions- Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals, New Orleans Saints