Unbeaten Chiefs are still in charge
All NFL teams ranked from best to worst
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.
Here is this week's list:
1 Kansas City Chiefs (=)
Last week: Won 42-34 at Houston
This week: 4.5-point favourites at home to Pittsburgh
The only unbeaten team in the league faced no serious challenge to their top ranking. Their high-scoring win in Houston was more clear-cut than the final score suggests but there's another tough test on the horizon as they travel to offensive powerhouses Pittsburgh.
2 Green Bay Packers (up two)
Last week: Won 35-31 at Dallas
This week: Three-point underdogs at Minnesota
Another rise for the Packers after a sound road victory over the Cowboys. Running back Aaron Jones did a great job in his first start with 125 rushing yards and they won't be too upset if Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford is still struggling heading into this week's NFC North derby.
3 Atlanta Falcons (up two)
Last week: Bye
This week: 11-point favourites at home to Miami
Sometimes just standing still is enough to move forward. The Falcons rise up the table thanks to the misfortune of others. They had no game last week and will have been delighted to see star receiver Julio Jones back at practice on Monday. Teams don't usually like early bye weeks but this one may have been perfectly timed for the Falcons.
4 New England Patriots (down two)
Last week: Won 19-14 at at Tampa Bay
This week: 9.5-point favourites at home to NY Jets
The Patriots won at Tampa Bay but weren't convincing and they could have suffered a third defeat but for Bucs kicker Nick Folk missing three field goals. Tampa Bay bashed QB Tom Brady so much that he missed practice time this week and with Rob Gronkowski having missed the game in Florida, some of the Patriots' biggest stars are not in the shape they would like.
5 Pittsburgh Steelers (down two)
Last week: Lost 30-9 at home to Jacksonville
This week: 4.5-point underdogs at Kansas City
You can't stay in the top three when you are dominated by Jacksonville on your own field. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger may only have been half-joking when he glumly told reporters: "Maybe I don’t have it any more," after the game. There is no respite, though, with a trip to top dogs KC this week.
6 Seattle Seahawks (up one)
Last week: Won 16-10 at Los Angeles Rams
This week: Bye
Seattle's much maligned offensive line managed to do enough to see off the Rams and their defence will have been happy to limit the home side to ten points. It was workmanlike more than anything but the bye week gives defensive star Michael Bennett a chance to rehab his foot injury.
7 Dallas Cowboys (down one)
Last week: Lost 35-31 at home to Green Bay
This week: Bye
The Cowboys slip after a second straight home defeat and although there is no disgrace in losing at home to the Packers, the 70 points they have conceded in the last fortnight is a concern. The form of their two wins looks shaky and if they don't return after their bye with a convincing win over the 49ers a big drop could be in order.
8 Denver Broncos (=)
Last week: Bye
This week: 12-point favourites at home to New York Giants
The Broncos won't have minded seeing AFC West rivals Oakland lose during their bye week, nor will they be upset about a gentle return to action at home to the Odell Beckham-less New York Giants.
9 Carolina Panthers (up one)
Last week: Won 27-24 at Detroit
This week: 3.5-point favourites at home to Philadelphia
Quarterback Cam Newton looks much more like his old self which can only be good news for the Panthers after their back-to-back road wins over New England and Detroit.
10 Minnesota Vikings (down one)
Last week: Won 20-17 at Chicago
This week: Three-point underdogs at home to Green Bay
Quarterback Sam Bradford was clearly not right in the first half at Chicago and even after back-up Case Keenum had steadied the ship, they were set back again by conceding a touchdown on a fake punt by the Bears. They will need to be sharper against the Packers.
11 Philadelphia Eagles (=)
Last week: Won 34-7 at home to Arizona
This week: 3.5-point underdogs at Carolina
The Eagles' offensive line and receivers are helping quarterback Carson Wentz to look good but they will surely crack the top ten if they come up trumps in this week's tougher test at Carolina.
12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (up two)
Last week: Lost 19-15 at home to New England
This week: 2.5-point favourites at Arizona
The Buccaneers covered the handicap against the Super Bowl champions despite missing three field goals and kicker Nick Folk has since been replaced by Patrick Murray. They go from home underdogs to road favourites this week.
13 Tennessee Titans (=)
Last week: Lost 16-10 at Miami
This week: n/a at Indianapolis
Monday Night Football could be a battle of backup QBs with Indianapolis's Andrew Luck already ruled out while the Titans are expecting to make a game-time decision on whether Marcus Mariota plays. Matt Cassel struggled against Miami and the Titans need their main man back if their promising season is not to be derailed.
14 Oakland Raiders (=)
Last week: Lost 30-17 at home to Baltimore
This week: Three-point favourites at home to LA Chargers
The Raiders should not be punished too harshly for their defeat to the Ravens as it came with backup QB EJ Manuel at the helm. Top man Derek Carr is expecting to be back this week but the Raiders' supporting cast need to step up too.
15 Detroit Lions (=)
Last week: Lost 27-24 at home to Carolina
This week: Five-point underdogs at New Orleans
The Lions gave a decent account of themselves against a strong Carolina side and their unfortunate habit of suffering narrow losses might make them popular getting a decent start in New Orleans.
16 New Orleans Saints (=)
Last week: Bye
This week: Five-point favourites at home to Detroit
The Saints have everything to play for as they return to action after their London trip and their mid-season schedule eases off a little after they face the Lions and Packers in the next two weeks.
17 Baltimore Ravens (up two)
Last week: Won 30-17 at Oakland
This week: 6.5-point favourites at home to Chicago
The Ravens continue to have a season of highs and lows. Getting to face Oakland missing QB Derek Carr was a handy break for them and a home game against Chicago gives them a chance to solidify their winning record.
18 Jacksonville Jaguars (up six)
Last week: Won 30-9 at Pittsburgh
This week: 2.5-point favourites at home to Los Angeles Rams
The Jaguars deserve the biggest jump of the week after their defence sunk their claws into the famed Pittsburgh offence. The turnover-hungry Jags can look a force at times but consistency has been an issue. A home game against the Rams gives them a chance to earn a further climb up the rankings.
19 Washington Redskins (up one)
Last week: Bye
This week: 9.5-point favourites at home to San Francisco
Washington can set their sights on moving into the top half of the rankings with the 49ers up next. They can't afford to miss out on their return with Philadelphia, Dallas and Seattle next on the schedule.
20 Buffalo Bills (down two)
Last week: Lost 20-16 at Cincinnati
This week: Bye
The Bills wasted some of the good work of their wins over Denver and Atlanta with a let-down in Cincinnati. Their defence looks strong but their offence could not get the job done.
21 Arizona Cardinals (down four)
Last week: Lost 34-7 at Philadelphia
This week: 6.5-point underdogs at Philadelphia
The Cardinals appear to be building a team to win the 2008 Super Bowl after trading for Adrian Peterson, who joins Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald in the NFL's old folks' home. With both their wins having come in overtime after struggles against weak teams, there might be further drops to come.
22 Miami Dolphins (=)
Last week: Won 16-10 at home to Tennessee
This week: 11-point underdogs at Atlanta
We'll hold fire on a large rise for Miami after they beat a Tennessee team missing QB Marcus Mariota. Bookmakers are also waiting to see more, having made them double-digit underdogs in Atlanta.
23 Los Angeles Rams (up two)
Last week: Lost 16-10 at home to Seattle
This week: 2.5-point underdogs at Jacksonville
The Rams couldn't justify favouritism against the Seahawks but they made a reasonable fight of it. Their offence gets another tough challenge this week against the red-hot Jaguars defence.
24 Houston Texans (down three)
Last week: Lost 34-42 at home to Kansas City
This week: 9.5-point favourites at home to Cleveland
The excitement of their 57-14 trouncing of Tennessee soon faded in Houston as star defensive end JJ Watt suffered a serious knee injury in their defeat to Kansas City. Quarterback Deshaun Watson gets a chance to show Cleveland why they shouldn't have passed on him in the draft.
25 Cincinnati Bengals (up one)
Last week: Won 20-16 at home to Buffalo
This week: Bye
The Bengals made it back-to-back wins thanks to AJ Green's 189 receiving yards but they face a tougher test on their return from their bye with Pittsburgh next on the schedule.
26 Los Angeles Chargers (up two)
Last week: Won 27-22 at New York Giants
This week: Three-point underdogs at Oakland
The Chargers looked the most unfortunate team to still be winless last week but they were able to leave that group while leaving the Giants down with the dead men. Whether they can make it two depends to a great extent on the recovery of Oakland quarterback Derek Carr.
27 New York Giants (down four)
Last week: Lost 27-22 home to Los Angeles Chargers
This week: 12-point underdogs at Denver
Things get worse for the Giants who remain winless and must try to change that without their best player, wide receiver Odell Beckham, for the rest of the season. OBJ's horrible injury will have been even harder to take than losing to the Chargers. A trip to Denver is not what they would have wanted next.
28 Indianapolis Colts (down one)
Last week: Won 26-23 at home to San Francisco
This week: n/a at home to Tennessee
QB Andrew Luck seem to be getting ruled out earlier each week - he won't play against Tennessee either. The good news is that backup Jacoby Brissett has been good enough to win two games, although they were both by small margins against fellow strugglers.
29 Chicago Bears (=)
Last week: Lost 20-17 at home to Minnesota
This week: 6.5-point underdogs at Baltimore
The margin of their defeat to the Vikings was made to look better by a specials teams touchdown but when you factor in that the Vikings didn't really have a quarterback in the first half as Sam Bradford battled injury, it looks worse. Mitchell Trubisky showed flashes of promise, but also made the rookie error that handed the Vikings victory. Expect more of the same.
30 New York Jets (=)
Last week: Won 17-14 at Cleveland
This week: 9.5-point underdogs at home to New England
The Jets are staying right where they are despite winning their third game in a row. It looks harsh but this was another mystifying win over a self-harming Browns side who gave the ball away three times within five yards of the end zone and missed two field goals. The Browns outgained them 419 yards to 212 and managed to lose.
31 San Francisco 49ers (=)
Last week: Lost 26-23 at Indianapolis
This week: Ten-point underdogs at Washington
It's four narrow defeats in a row for the 49ers as they prepare to embark on a tough stretch against NFC East trio Washington, Dallas and Philadelphia. They may be down here for some time.
32 Cleveland Browns (=)
Last week: Lost 17-14 at home to New York Jets
This week: 9.5-point underdogs at Houston
After losing two games as favourites, the Browns have decided to shelve the development of rookie QB DeShone Kizer for the time being. Kizer got the hook at half-time in the defeat to the Jets and Kevin Hogan, who has impressed in limited action, has been named this week's starter. The two-sack debut of number-one pick Myles Garrett after injury was a highlight for the Browns, but they need a lot more of those.
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