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Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Little movement among those pushing for divisions

All NFL teams ranked from best to worst

New England are still at the top of our rankings
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Each week, we will rank the 32 NFL teams from the best to worst based on their prospects for the rest of the season, so we can see who is looking stronger as the campaign progresses and who is falling down the ladder.


Last week's rankings


1 New England Patriots (=)
Record: 6-2
Last week: Won 21-13 at home to LA Chargers
This week: Bye

The Pats will be content with their first half as they put their feet up this week. A return to the playoffs should be a matter of routine, although two remaining games against Buffalo will be key.


2 Pittsburgh Steelers (=)
Record: 6-2
Last week: Won 20-15 at Detroit
This week: Bye

Their slump against Jacksonville seems a distant memory after three straight wins and that’s the only time they have conceded more than 20 points. They’re going along swimmingly.


3 Kansas City Chiefs (=)
Record: 6-2
Last week: Won 29-19 at home to Denver
This week: Pick game at Dallas

After two defeats, they were back to winning ways with a key divisional success. Their opposition in the AFC West seems to be falling away so they need to keep grinding.


4 Seattle Seahawks (=)
Record: 5-2
Last week: Won 41-38 at home to Houston
This week: Seven-point favourites at home to Washington

It was unusual to see the Seahawks involved in a shootout but the nature of their win over the Texans should boost their confidence. The addition of left tackle Duane Brown is a timely boost to their offensive line.


5 Philadelphia Eagles (=)
Record: 7-1
Last week: 33-10 at home to San Francisco
This week: Eight-point favourites at home to Denver

A victory over San Francisco was expected but they are still looking strong. Bringing in Jay Ajayi is interesting but he needs to step up after a poor campaign.


6 Minnesota Vikings (=)
Record: 6-2
Last week: Won 33-16 v Cleveland at Twickenham
This week: Bye

The Vikings have taken charge of the NFC North and their defensive quality has the potential to make them a real force in the second half of the campaign.


7 Dallas Cowboys (up one)
Record: 4-3
Last week: Won 33-19 at Washington
This week: Pick game at home to Kansas City

Ezekiel Elliott scored two touchdowns against Washington but they should cope if his long-awaited suspension does kick in. They still have the potential to push the Eagles all the way.


8 Atlanta Falcons (down one)
Record: 4-3
Last week: Won 25-20 at New York Jets
This week: One-point underdogs at Carolina

The Falcons just got over the line against the Jets but at least it was a win after a poor show against New England. They have enough talent to kick on.


9 New Orleans Saints (up two)
Record: 5-2
Last week: Won 20-12 at home to Chicago
This week: Seven-point favourites at home to Tampa Bay

The Saints have won their last five matches and finally the defence are getting the job done. The NFC South is up for grabs and they can take it.


10 Green Bay Packers (down one)
Record: 4-3
Last week: Bye
This week: 2.5-point underdogs at home to Detroit

The Packers have had a week off to come to terms with the loss of Aaron Rodgers, but the situation can’t look any rosier and their slide is likely to continue.


11 Tennessee Titans (down one)
Record: 4-3
Last week: Bye
This week: 3.5-point favourites at home to Baltimore

A week off to strengthen Marcus Mariota’s hamstring was ideal. Their offence needs to get going, especially their running game, which failed to ignite in their last outing against the Browns.


12 Carolina Panthers (up one)
Record: 5-3
Last week: Won 17-3 at Tampa Bay
This week: One-point favourites at home to Atlanta

Another offence that is struggling to shine and Cam Newton no longer has that deep outlet after Kelvin Benjamin’s departure to Buffalo. Their defensive quality is a big plus though.


13 Denver Broncos (down one)
Record: 3-4
Last week: Lost 29-19 at Kansas City
This week: Eight-point underdogs at Philadelphia

Brock Osweiler is back in at quarterback and he needs to initiate a spark. History suggests that may be a struggle and the pressure on their defence is immense.


14 Oakland Raiders (=)
Record: 3-5
Last week: Lost 34-14 at Buffalo
This week: Three-point favourites at Miami

The joy at beating the Chiefs last week did not last long and their offence is struggling. Five defeats in six games have left them with a mountain to climb.


15 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (=)
Record: 2-5
Last week: Lost 17-3 at home to Carolina
This week: Seven-point underdogs at New Orleans

The Bucs just haven’t been able to get going all season and Jameis Winston has been struggling. They are in danger of being left behind in an open race for the NFC South.


16 Detroit Lions (=)
Record: 3-4
Last week: Lost 20-15 at home to Pittsburgh
This week: 2.5-point favourites at Green Bay

The Lions have really looked the part at times this season but they are struggling to be consistent. There is still potential for them to be a factor in the NFC North though.


17 Buffalo Bills (up five)
Record: 5-2
Last week: Won 34-14 at home to Oakland
This week: Three-point favourites at New York Jets

The big movers this week. The Bills are looking strong on both sides of the ball and they now have a new target in Kelvin Benjamin. The long playoff wait could come to an end.


18 Jacksonville Jaguars (down one)
Record: 4-3
Last week: Bye
This week: 5.5-point favourites at home to Cincinnati

The Jags defence can be fierce and they are making big strides. If Quarterback Blake Bortles can step up, they have good potential.


19 Los Angeles Rams (=)
Record: 5-2
Last week: Bye
This week: 3.5-point favourites at New York Giants

The Rams we’re entitled to look back during their bye week on a fine first half of the season. You can’t really go up the list when you don’t play but expect their stock to continue rising.


20 Washington Redskins (down two)
Record: 3-4
Last week: Lost 33-19 at home to Dallas
This week: Seven-point underdogs at Seattle 

The Redskins are not a bad team, they have just got themselves in a bit of a pickle. They probably have to rely on the Eagles and Cowboys slipping as their divisional record is so poor.


21 Baltimore Ravens (up two)
Record: 4-4
Last week: Won 40-0 at home to Miami
This week: 3.5-point underdogs at Tennessee

A 40-0 win cannot do anything but raise confidence, but is was against a woeful Dolphins offence. Joe Flacco was injured and they still have much to do to show they can threaten the Steelers in the AFC North.


22 Arizona Cardinals (down two)
Record: 3-4
Last week: Bye
This week: Two-point favourites at San Francisco

Drew Stanton takes over from injured quarterback Carson Palmer and they will still be smarting after their thumping by the Rams at Twickenham. Will require snookers if they lose to the 49ers this week.


23 Miami Dolphins (down two)
Record: 4-3
Last week: Lost 40-0 at Baltimore
This week: Three-point underdogs at home to Oakland

The Dolphins offence looks all over the place and it is interesting to see them trade Jay Ajayi after he failed to hit the heights of last season. Plenty to prove after their mauling In Baltimore.


24 Houston Texans (up one)
Record: 3-4
Last week: Lost 41-38 at Seattle
This week: 12.5-point favourites at home to Indianapolis

A case could have been made to move the Texans up further despite their defeat in Seattle. Quarterback DeShaun Watson looks the real deal and they are definitely factor in the AFC South.


25 Los Angeles Chargers (down one)
Record: 3-5
Last week: Lost 21-13 at New England
This week: Bye

Their three-game winning streak came to an end against New England on a disappointing afternoon for Philip Rivers. The season is turning into a real slog but they should still pick up a few more wins.


26 Cincinnati Bengals (up one)
Record: 3-4 
Last week: Won 24-23 at home to Indianapolis
This week: 5.5-point underdogs at Jacksonville

A hard-fought wins as big favourites over Indianapolis may not be much to crow about but at least they put a few points on the board. There’s still a long way to go though.


27 Chicago Bears (down one)
Record: 3-5
Last week: Lost 20-12 at New Orleans
This week: Bye

Mitchell Trubisky looks exciting at times but there doesn’t seem much confidence in the rookie quarterback’s passing ability. They would be a factor in the NFC North if they could score a few more points.


28 New York Giants (=)
Record: 1-6
Last week: Bye
This week: 3.5-point underdogs at home to LA Rams

The Giants have plenty to work on now their campaign is effectively over. The defence is not performing that badly but the offensive line need to give Eli Manning a chance.


29 Indianapolis Colts (=)
Record: 2-6 
Last week: Lost 24-23 at Cincinnati
This week: 12.5-point underdogs at Houston

Stand-in quarterback Jacoby Brissett is not performing that badly but the Colts are not giving themselves a chance. That their two victories have come against the Browns and the 49ers speaks volumes.


30 New York Jets (=)
Record: 3-5
Last week: Lost 25-20 at home to Atlanta
This week: Three-point underdogs at home to Buffalo

At least the Jets are being competitive, which is more than many people predicted. It would be a surprise if they were still in the bottom three at the end of the regular season.


31 San Francisco 49ers (=)
Record: 0-8
Last week: Lost 33-10 at Philadelphia
This week: Two-point underdogs at home to Arizona

Jimmy Garoppolo has joined the quarterback ranks but is not sure to feature this season and the Niners have nothing to lose for the rest of the campaign. It’s proving the transitional season that many anticipated.


32 Cleveland Browns (=)
Record: 0-8
Last week: Lost 33-16 v Minnesota at Twickenham
This week: Bye

The Browns started well in London but we’re unable to see the job through, admittedly against a good team. At least they can’t lose this week.


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Bringing in Jay Ajayi is interesting but he needs to step up after a poor campaign
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