Having football on our TVs from early Sunday morning until Sunday night was a great way to end the weekend, and that slot of games produced plenty of surprising outcomes that impact the Week 11 NFL Power Rankings.
Thursday night’s divisional matchup between the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons produced some fireworks, both the Detroit Lions (Chicago Bears) and Green Packers (Dallas Cowboys) were able to earn tough wins against better opponents, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just needed a trip over to Germany to right the ship, at least for the time being. The Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings extended their long winning streaks even further, while the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, and New Orleans Saints all struggled in losses. Jeff Saturday earned his first career NFL head coaching win with the Indianapolis Colts.
Four AFC teams made up the bye week recipients this week, as the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets, New England Patriots, and Baltimore Ravens all took a seat. Here are the Week 11 NFL Power Rankings, with a familiar face still holding down the top spot.
1. Philadelphia Eagles
It was only a matter of time before the undefeated streak for the Philadelphia Eagles ended, but in a Monday Night Football matchup with the struggling Washington Commanders was not on a lot of people’s bingo cards. Jalen Hurts was wildly inefficient, AJ Brown disappeared after an early injury scare, and the offense looked like a shell of itself on national TV.
Certainly was not a vote of confidence for their championship aspirations, but they will continue to hold onto the top spot. If this trend continues, a change at the top will soon follow.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
Now filling the top spot in the AFC for the second consecutive week, the Chiefs had their hands full with a pesky Jaguars team that just did not want to go away. Patrick Mahomes and his four TDs helped overcome any thoughts of a late-game comeback from their opponent, and they look to continue their progress into Week 11 against the Chargers.
3. Minnesota Vikings
In an early candidate for the game of the year, the Vikings marched into Orchard Park, overcame a sizable deficit, pushed the game into overtime, and pulled out a miraculous three-point win over the Bills. Justin Jefferson had the catch of the year, Dalvin Cook had an 81-yard TD run, and the defense picked Josh Allen off multiple times.
4. Miami Dolphins
No real issues for the Dolphins in Week 10, as they hung a 22-point victory on the Browns. Their seventh win of the season puts them on top of the AFC East alone for the time being, and they are in the driver’s seat to win the division at the end of the year.
5. Baltimore Ravens
Even with being on a bye this week, the Ravens held down a top-five spot in the NFL Week 11 Power Rankings. Lamar Jackson looks to be hitting his stride, and with Mark Andrews hopefully ready to return from his injury next week, things are looking up for Baltimore.
6. Buffalo Bills
What a hard loss that was for the Bills against the Vikings, in a game where Josh Allen wasn’t really expected to play. Not only did he play, but he looked like himself, albeit with a few turnovers mixed in. The Bills will be fine, but they drop a few spots because of a few bad mistakes they made Sunday.
7. New York Giants
Not really an outstanding win, but the Giants quietly took care of business over the Texans to earn their seventh win on the season. Combined with a loss by Dallas, the Giants are now by themselves in second place in the NFC East, a great spot to be in through the first 10 weeks.
8. Dallas Cowboys
Their loss to the Packers was bad and there really is no way to sugarcoat it. In Mike McCarthy’s first return to Lambeau Field since he was fired, a few of his costly decisions put this team behind the eight-ball, ultimately leading to the loss.
9. New York Jets
The bye week allowed the Jets to rest up, while still holding their spot in the top 10. Robert Saleh has this team heading in the right direction, and even with Zach Wilson’s limited passing acumen, the offense looks to be improving as well.
10. Seattle Seahawks
Some of their struggles can be blamed on the jet lag, but the Seahawks came out incredibly slow in their Germany matchup with the Buccaneers. While Geno Smith did eventually get this team back into the game, it was just a bit too late. Their loss evidently means that the NFC West is more wide-open than expected.
11. Cincinnati Bengals
Fresh off their blowout win over the Panthers, the Bengals were able to watch all NFL action on TV this weekend. Joe Burrow and Joe Mixon look to have things moving in the right direction, even as they await the return of Ja’Marr Chase from injury.
12. San Francisco 49ers
Even with questionable decision-making for the usage of Christian McCaffrey, the 49ers won a surprisingly low-scoring affair for Sunday Night Football. Not much was asked, yet again, of Jimmy Garoppolo, and with the defense playing up to their usual levels, this team is destined for a top-10 spot in the NFL Power Rankings next week.
13. Los Angeles Chargers
Needing a win to remain only one game behind the Chiefs for the division lead, the Chargers instead decided to struggle on offense and fall to the Niners on SNF. In what was expected to be a high-scoring game, only one team scored more than 20 points, a testament to the work that the Chargers still need to do. Even with Austin Ekeler doing Austin Ekeler things, this offense certainly is showing signs of missing both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.
14. Tennessee Titans
It may not have been pretty, but the Titans got the job done over the Broncos, earning their sixth win on the year. Ryan Tannehill made his return from injury and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine hauled in two TDs, all the while Derrick Henry was held under 60 rushing yards. The Titans are probably one of the toughest teams to predict every week for the NFL Power Rankings, just based on how inconsistent they are, even though they are one of eight division leaders.
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Congratulations Tampa Bay: all it took to find your next win was a trip across the pond. With Rachaad White earning a lot more playing time yet again this week (and Leonard Fournette getting hurt in the second half), it will be interesting to see the breakdown for the backfield moving forward.
16. Arizona Cardinals
In the battle of the backup QBs, it was the Cardinals and Colt McCoy who came out on top. The usual suspects, like DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore, were there to help McCoy, but an injury to Zach Ertz may have derailed any sort of hope this team had in getting back into postseason contention. If Murray misses more time, expect the Cardinals to drop in our NFL Power Rankings.
17. New England Patriots
The final of the four teams on bye this week, the Patriots have to figure some things out. Even as they sit at 5-4, they are last in their division, a division that is incredibly top-heavy. Plus, the Wild Card hunt is going to be littered with good teams, something that the Patriots are on the precipice of being called but have not reached that yet.
18. Chicago Bears
An incredibly tough loss to the Lions still produced another monumental Justin Fields performance, something that has all of a sudden become a weekly thing for the Bears. Struggling to slow down teams on defense, the Bears are playing with high energy and are having fun, two elements that are important for a struggling team to have.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars
They clawed their way back into the game against the Chiefs, but the Jaguars were just too far behind the eight-ball to make up the entire difference. Trevor Lawrence looked like a solid QB again (259 yards, 2 TDs), Travis Etienne struggled but was helpful through the air, and Christian Kirk finally got back to his elite workload (2 TDs) from earlier in the year.
20. Los Angeles Rams
It wasn’t just the fact that Matthew Stafford was a no-go, it also was that Cooper Kupp suffered an ankle injury that could force him to miss time. John Wolford looked fine as Stafford’s stand-in, but this team has plenty of holes that will continue to sink any thoughts of being a postseason-bound squad this season.
21. Green Bay Packers
Somehow, some way, the Packers found a way to win, and this time it came over the Cowboys. With rookie WR Christian Watson breaking out with 100+ receiving yards and a trio of TDs, he was able to help slow down the Cowboys and finally earn their first win in over a month. While just a small jump in the Week 11 NFL Power Rankings, maybe this Packers team finally found something.
22. Washington Commanders
Teams like the Commanders are easy to doubt, especially when their seasons have more ups and downs than a roller coaster. But their stunning MNF performance and win over the Eagles shows that this team may have more fight in them than originally thought. Fighting an uphill battle with no real postseason aspirations to be realized, the Commanders were at least able to have some fun and ruin yet another undefeated streak.
23. Denver Broncos
The struggle bus looks destined to not run out of fuel anytime soon for the Broncos, and their putrid showing against the Titans was another example of that. Even with Russell Wilson throwing for almost 300 yards, Denver struggled to put any points up on the board Sunday.
24. Atlanta Falcons
The rain was a struggle down in Carolina for both the Panthers and Falcons on Thursday night, but Marcus Mariota looked like a shell of himself from earlier in the year. Consistently making poor decisions, throwing into multiple double-covered situations, and failing to take the easy reads bogged this team down from the start. Could a QB change be in the works soon? If so, that likely would lower them even further in our NFL Power Rankings.
25. Detroit Lions
The Lions are one of those teams easy to root for — as much as everyone knows they prefer to struggle this year for a high draft pick, they still compete each and every week, and their win over the Bears shows that. A high-scoring affair is the only way they are able to even have a shot at winning a game, and their 21-point fourth quarter was a great come-from-behind way to win.
26. Indianapolis Colts
Apparently hiring Jeff Saturday was what this team needed to win, as the Colts held off the embarrassingly bad Raiders for Saturday’s first win as an NFL head coach. With Matt Ryan back at the helm and Jonathan Taylor looking like his 2021 self, this offense actually showed some signs of life, but they likely are short-lived.
27. New Orleans Saints
Not much good can be said about New Orleans’ loss to the Steelers, a team that, on paper, is worse than them. By only producing 10 measly points in the second quarter, this team was unable to muster any sort of offensive attack all day, with most of that responsibility resting on the shoulders of Andy Dalton.
28. Carolina Panthers
Whether they wanted the win on Thursday or not, the Panthers earned a divisional win over the Falcons in the rain storm at home. PJ Walker was yet again not trusted to run a competent NFL offense, but D’Onta Foreman helped bail his QB out, which likely will be the trend for the rest of the year.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers
Kenny Pickett looked fine, Najee Harris was okay, and their group of receivers was nothing special — and yet, this offensive attack was all that the Steelers needed to beat the Saints. An ugly win is still a win, and Pittsburgh at least has something to build on moving forward.
30. Las Vegas Raiders
Will Josh McDaniels finish out his first year as head coach for the Raiders, or will he be let go early? This team has been a walking nightmare across practically every part of the season, and there are definitely no signs of that improving. The only reason they are not lower in these Week 11 NFL Power Rankings is because both of the following teams are worse.
31. Cleveland Browns
Mediocrity would be a perfect word for a billboard outside of Cleveland’s stadium, and even that description may be a bit too generous. The Browns truly do not put up much of a fight on most weeks, and their Week 10 showing was more of the same. Deshaun Watson will be back soon, but the end of the season cannot get here soon enough for this team.
32. Houston Texans
And here we have a team that is at the bottom of the Week 11 NFL Power Rankings and likely will be there for the rest of the season. Davis Mills is a fine QB, especially for a team that likely is already planning for his replacement. Even with Dameon Pierce wreaking havoc again, this offense has no real identity.
Also, and if things cannot get more Texan-y, they decided that, since Brandin Cooks voiced his displeasure with not being traded before the deadline, he was no longer deserving of being a team captain. So that’s a perfect cherry on top of the disaster that the Texans are in 2022.