Thanksgiving has come and went, and with it, so has another week of NFL action. It’s hard to remember a more jumbled and unpredictable playoff picture in recent memory as we head into December. Clear contenders seem to change by the week and front runners are few and far between. Nevertheless, let’s try to rank them. 

1. Arizona Cardinals 9-2

Previous ranking- 1

The Cardinals has their bye this week and will go on the road to Chicago next week and possibly have a healthy Kyler Murray. 

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8-3

Previous ranking- 2

The Buccaneers were on the ropes against the Colts, but four touchdowns from Leonard Fournette powered them to a 38-31 win. Fournette’s final score came was a 28-yard game winner with 20 seconds left in the game. The Tampa defense forced five turnovers despite surrendering 31 points and 392 yards. 

3. New England Patriots 8-4

Previous ranking- 4

The Patriots kept rolling, this time taking apart the Titans at home by a final of 36-13. Mac Jones had one of his best games of his rookie campaign, throwing for 310 yards and two scores. The New England defense collected four turnovers, including a forced fumble and an interception from J.C. Jackson. 

4. Green Bay Packers 9-3

Previous ranking- 5

The Packers rode a strong second half to victory over the Rams in what could be considered a litmus test for both teams. Aaron Rodgers threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns while the Green Bay defense forced three turnovers. Rasul Douglas had one of them, a pick-six that all but put the game out of reach late in the third quarter. 

5. Baltimore Ravens 8-3

Previous ranking- 3

The Ravens won an ugly game Sunday night against the Browns despite Lamar Jackson’s four interceptions. Despite the four picks, Jackson was able to throw a touchdown pass midway through the third that gave Baltimore a ten-point lead. The Browns had turnovers of their own, a fumble from Baker Mayfield and a strip-sack Of Jarvis Landry on a quick play. 

6. Cincinnati Bengals 7-4

Previous ranking- Honorable Mention 

The Bengals steamrolled the Steelers at home 41-10 for their third divisional win of the season. Cincinnati’s running game and defense took control of this game. Joe Mixon and the Bengals rushing attack totaled 198 yards and three scores while their defense held the Steelers to just three points until the game was well decided and pitched in with a score themselves. Mike Hilton ran back one of Ben Roethlisberger’s two interceptions for a 34-yard pick-six. 

7. Kansas City Chiefs 7-4

Previous ranking- 7

The Chiefs had a Bye this week and will host the Broncos on Sunday night football next week. 

8. Buffalo Bills 7-4

Previous ranking- Unranked

The Bills closed out the Thanksgiving slate of games with a 31-6 win over the Saints. Josh Allen threw for four touchdowns and the Buffalo defense held Trevor Siemian to just 190 total yards and 3.3 yards per play. In fact, New Orleans was held off th board until the fourth quarter when it was already a 24-0 ballgame. 

9. Los Angeles Rams 7-4

Previous ranking- 6

Matthew Stafford’s third straight game with a pick-six wracked any chances of a Rams comeback at Lambeau. Stafford has now thrown five interceptions over the last three games after throwing just four in the previous eight. It’s no coincidence that the rams are 0-3 in those games. 

10. Dallas Cowboys 7-4

Previous ranking- 8

The Cowboys were close to completing a comeback but ultimately couldn’t get out of their own way, as their 14th penalty of the game put the raiders in field position for a game winning field goal in overtime. Dak Prescott threw for 375 yards and 2 TDs without his top two targets in Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, but the Dallas defense couldn’t stop the raiders and gave up a whopping 509 total yards. 

 

Fell off- Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers

Honorable mentions- Las Vegas Raiders, San Francisco 49ers