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NFL Week 11 Power Rankings: blowouts and upsets lead to big changes


Blowouts and upsets were the order of Week 11 in the NFL, and that’s had some big effects on the RealSport power rankings this week. The Eagles were demolished at home by the Bucs, and as a result plunged seven spots in our rankings, while their opponents rose six spots. The biggest risers of the week, however, were the Houston Texans, whose upset of the Jets led to them rising seven places, at the same time dropping Gang Green four spots. The Panthers’ blowout of the Redskins wasn’t enough to overtake New England, but for the first time in weeks, the Patriots’ place at the top is no longer unanimous. Check out the full rankings below!

Panel: Gur Samuel, David Venables, Edd Hodsdon, Remy Cabache, Toby Durant, Pete Hallifax, Brandon Hamme, Alex Perry

1. New England Patriots (10-0)

Last week: #1 GS = 2, DV = 1, EH = 1, RC = 1, TD = 3, PH = 1, BH = 1, AP = 1

The Patriots remain unbeaten for another week. Tom Brady has handled injuries to his offensive line and play-makers with stellar play, and is the firm favorite in the MVP race. Bill Belichick’s defense continues to play lights out as the Patriots inch closer to 16-0. (EH)

2. Carolina Panthers (10-0)

Last week: #2 GS = 1, DV = 2, EH = 2, RC = 2, TD = 1, PH = 2, BH = 2, AP = 2

The Panthers barely allowed the Redskins to draw breath on Sunday, with Cam Newton yet again proving why he his a strong candidate for MVP of the season, throwing for a career high five touchdown passes. With the defense continually getting healthier, no mean feat at this state of the season, Newton may have to do less each week to win the Panthers games. He may not want to though. (DV)

3. Arizona Cardinals (8-2)

Last week: #4 GS = 3, DV = 3, EH = 3, RC = 3, TD = 2, PH = 3, BH = 4, AP = 3

The Cardinals overcame the Bengals in one of the better games of the week. Carson Palmer was able to overcome 2 early interceptions and led a game winning drive with 1 minute left and no timeouts. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this matchup again come February. (RC)

4. Cincinnati Bengals (8-2)

Last week: #3 GS = 4, DV = 4, EH = 4, RC = 4, TD = 4, PH = 4, BH = 5, AP = 4

Bengals have lost two in a row, despite playing well against the Cardinals. They remain one of the favorites for a top-two seed in the AFC and are the conference’s most balanced team. Andy Dalton played well on Sunday night, but the Bengals need to manage the clock better if they want to beat fellow playoff teams. (EH)

5. Green Bay Packers (7-3)

Last week: #7 GS = 7, DV = 5, EH = 6, RC = 6, TD = 5, PH = 6, BH = 3, AP = 7

That was some way to stop the rot. Kudos the Packers defense, lambasted by many, for proving too much for the Vikings to handle. Six sacks?! Yikes! The hustle on the forced fumble of Adrian Peterson, who was held for 42 yards, by the way, defined why the Packers will be in the hunt the rest of the way. (DV)

6. Denver Broncos (8-2)

Last week:#6 GS = 5, DV = 7, EH = 7, RC = 5, TD = 6, PH = 5, BH = 6, AP = 5

The Broncos eked out a win against the Bears in Brock Osweiler’s first career start. The Broncos defense looked much better again and the offense looks a lot more like a Gary Kubiak offense, but the Broncos will have to hope for more output from this unit if they want to capitalize on a quickly closing Super Bowl window. (RC)

7. Minnesota Vikings (7-3)

Last week: #5 GS = 8, DV = 6, EH = 8, RC = 7, TD = 8, PH = 7, BH = 7, AP = 6

The Vikings may have dropped the game against Green Bay, but they are still in the driving seat for a wild card spot. The defense is strong most weeks and Adrian Peterson will demolish lesser teams. But the Vikes have a tough schedule ahead, and could fall out of contention if they can’t beat fellow playoff contenders. (EH)

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4)

Last week: #8 GS = 6, DV = 8, EH = 5, RC = 9, TD = 7, PH = 9, BH = 10, AP = 8

They must be targeting the AFC North as an entirely winnable division now after the consecutive losses for the Bengals. Imagine how good this team would be if Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell had started every game. (DV)

9. Buffalo Bills (5-5)

Last week: #9 GS = 9, DV = 10, EH = 13, RC = 10, TD = 10, PH = 11, BH = 12, AP = 9

The Bills might have lost to the Patriots but they made Gronkowski and Brady look very human. The offense wasn’t as good as it needed to be but the defense did a good job. This team seems to be second best in the AFC East. (RC)

10. Seattle Seahawks (5-5)

Last week: #13 GS = 11, DV = 12, EH = 10, RC = 8, TD = 12, PH = 14, BH = 8, AP = 10

The Seahawks started their usual late-season surge by embarrassing San Francisco for the second time this year. The offense seems to be coming together, and the defense is still one of the league’s best. They still have a lot of catching up to do, and likely won’t wrestle the division away from Arizona, but the Seahawks are back in the mix. (EH)

11. Kansas City Chiefs (5-5)

Last week: #15 GS = 10, DV = 9, EH = 9, RC = 11, TD = 11, PH = 15, BH = 11, AP = 12

The Chiefs have muscled their way into playoff contention off the back of four straight wins. The method to the madness has always been this simple for the Chiefs: Don’t turn the ball over, wear the opposition out with the ground game, and have the defense control the scoreboard. Well, it’s coming to fruition unlike many of us thought when Jamaal Charles went down. With the weakest strength of schedule remaining, the Chiefs are prime candidates for a playoff spot. (DV)

12. New York Giants (5-5)

Last week: #12 GS = 13, DV = 13, EH = 12, RC = 15, TD = 14, PH = 12, BH = 9, AP = 13

The Giants had their bye week but they still managed to have a good week. Both the Redskins and Eagles lost to leave the Giants in lone ownership of the 4th seed in the NFC. (RC)

=13. Atlanta Falcons (6-4)

Last week: #10 GS = 14, DV = 11, EH = 15, RC = 14, TD = 9, PH = 8, BH = 15, AP = 17

The Falcons have now lost every game since Week 5 except for one, and are falling out of contention in the NFC wild card race. After blowing a lead over Indianapolis, the Falcons need to reset and find some rhythm to make the playoffs. (EH)

=13. Indianapolis Colts (5-5)

Last week: #16 GS = 12, DV = 15, EH = 14, RC = 12, TD = 13, PH = 13, BH = 13, AP = 11

Matt Hasselbeck is now 3-0 in the stead of Andrew Luck, and at this point in time, is the better option at quarterback for the Colts. In a division where every game is going to count, Hasselbeck, for the most part, looks after the ball, doesn’t force throws, and consistently moves the chains. Plus, being undefeated as a starter has to count for something, right?! (DV)

15. New York Jets (5-5)

Last week: #11 GS = 15, DV = 14, EH = 16, RC = 13, TD = 15, PH = 10, BH = 14, AP = 14

The Jets have now lost 4 of their last 5 and have lost any chance to catch up with the Patriots. They are also now right in the middle of a race for the playoffs rather than in the driving seat. (RC)

=16. Oakland Raiders (4-6)

Last week: #14 GS = 19, DV = 17, EH = 11, RC = 19, TD = 16, PH = 16, BH = 16, AP = 22

The loss to Pittsburgh seems to have knocked the wind out of Oakland. They have now lost two straight games and are slipping out of playoff contention. Derek Carr leads one of the AFC’s best offenses, but the defense is struggling to keep up. The Raiders need to stack some wins fast. (EH)

=16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5)

Last week: #22 GS = 16, DV = 18, EH = 18, RC = 16, TD = 17, PH = 18, BH = 17, AP = 16

Famous Jameis and the Muscle Hamster have this team rolling. The Buccaneers have won 3 of their last 4 games and they’ve shown they can blow teams out or grind out close wins. Jameis Winston is showing exactly why he was the number 1 pick and Doug Martin is playing like he was in his rookie year. Defense is playing well too. (RC)

18. Houston Texans (5-5)

Last week: #25 GS = 18, DV = 19, EH = 17, RC = 17, TD = 25, PH = 21, BH = 21, AP = 19

Suddenly, two T.J Yates victories has propelled the Texans back to relevance. Although Brian Hoyer has been cleared for their next game, it is worth wondering whether the Texans should entertain starting the only other backup quarterback to be undefeated all season. (DV)

19. Chicago Bears (4-6)

Last week: #21 GS = 23, DV = 16, EH = 22, RC = 18, TD = 18, PH = 22, BH = 24, AP = 15

The Bears may have lost to the Broncos, but they played well. Jay Cutler hauled them to within two points of the Broncos while the defense sacked Brock Osweiler five times. In a transitional year, the Bears have exceeded expectations, and could be one good offseason away from contending once again next season. (EH)

20. Washington Redskins (4-6)

Last week: #17 GS = 17, DV = 20, EH = 23, RC = 24, TD = 26, PH = 17, BH = 25, AP = 18

On alternate weeks, the Redskins will lose to a great team and then beat a bad team. Another 40+ point humbling serves a potent reminder that in the NFL, you’re only as good as your last performance. After raving about Kirk Cousins last week, he had a game to forget against the Panthers. (DV)

21. Miami Dolphins (4-6)

Last week: =#18 GS = 26, DV = 24, EH = 26, RC = 23, TD = 20, PH = 19, BH = 19, AP = 21

The Dolphins lost again to the Cowboys. Though they forced 2 turnovers, they gave up lots of yards and let the Cowboys burn 5 minutes off the clock late to kill the game. The offense didn’t get going either against a generally poor Cowboys defense. (RC)

22. Dallas Cowboys (3-7)

Last week: #28 GS = 21, DV = 22, EH = 20, RC = 26, TD = 21, PH = 25, BH = 18, AP = 26

The Cowboys are back, snapping a seven game losing streak thanks to the return of Tony Romo. Romo has made the whole team more confident, even the defense. The running game will get stronger as more attention must now be placed on the passing game, and the Cowboys could make a surge for the weak NFC East. (EH)

23. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-6)

Last week: #24 GS = 25, DV = 21, EH = 21, RC = 22, TD = 23, PH = 26, BH = 20, AP = 24

It was a damn shame that for the Jaguars, who won back-to-back games for the first time in what seems like forever, this was one of the only weeks where the rest of the AFC South won out. Has their luck turned though, having won two close games that they would normally lose? (DV)

24. St. Louis Rams (4-6)

Last week: =#18 GS = 22, DV = 27, EH = 19, RC = 20, TD = 19, PH = 23, BH = 28, AP = 25

The Rams can be trusted to play to the level of their opponent and lose the games they should win. They did that this week. They should’ve beaten the Ravens who were shooting themselves in the foot and missed 2 field goals but the Rams couldn’t find a way to win. They have definitely put their chances of finishing above the Seahawks in a bad position. (RC)

25. Philadelphia Eagles (4-6)

Last week: =#18 GS = 24, DV = 28, EH = 24, RC = 21, TD = 24, PH = 20, BH = 22, AP = 23

The Eagles are a mess. Jameis Winston and the Bucs laid six touchdowns and 521 yards on a Philly defense that has played well for most of the season. Mark Sanchez is not an upgrade on Sam Bradford, and the running game can’t find any consistency on a weekly basis. Chip Kelly’s grand experiment lies in tatters as the rest of the division surges ahead. (EH)

26. New Orleans Saints (4-6)

Last week: #23 GS = 20, DV = 25, EH = 28, RC = 25, TD = 22, PH = 24, BH = 26, AP = 20

Ex-Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan told NFL Gameday Morning that ‘they had the 33rd ranked defense in a league of only 32 teams’. The firing of Ryan and promoting of Dennis Allen will patch that up someway during their bye. (DV)

27. Detroit Lions (3-7)

Last week: #30 GS = 27, DV = 29, EH = 27, RC = 28, TD = 27, PH = 27, BH = 23, AP = 27

The Lions got their second win in as many weeks with a win over the Raiders to give them a 3-7 record and placing them just one game behind the Bears. The playoffs are long out of sight but some of this teams quality is starting to show. (RC)

28. Baltimore Ravens (3-7)

Last week: #27 GS = 29, DV = 23, EH = 32, RC = 31, TD = 29, PH = 30, BH = 27, AP = 28

With quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Justin Forsett both lost for the year, the Ravens season is virtually over. A mass exodus of players in contract years looms as Baltimore’s core of veteran stars lies in tatters on the sideline. (EH)

29. San Francisco 49ers (3-7)

Last week: #29 GS = 28, DV = 26, EH = 31, RC = 30, TD = 31, PH = 28, BH = 29, AP = 29

Blaine Gabbert is starting to show signs that maybe, just maybe, he is a salvageable NFL quarterback. Playing against a pretty much full strength Seahawks defense, he was wisely athletic and took care of the ball, combining some nice downfield passes with smart decision making. He earned the 49ers trust for the rest of season, that may extend into 2016 too. (DV)

30. San Diego Chargers (2-8)

Last week: #26 GS = 32, DV = 31, EH = 30, RC = 27, TD = 28, PH = 29, BH = 30, AP = 32

The Chargers lost another game to cement their position in the basement of the AFC West. The Chargers have a lot of problems to fix if they want to avoid the 1st overall pick. (RC)

31. Tennessee Titans (2-8)

Last week: #31 GS = 30, DV = 30, EH = 25, RC = 32, TD = 30, PH = 32, BH = 31, AP = 32

The improved Titans haven’t been able to hang with the rest of the AFC South. Despite a good defense and a promising rookie quarterback in Marcus Mariota, Tennessee is slipping back into the shadows of the AFC. (EH)

32. Cleveland Browns (2-8)

Last week: #32 GS = 31, DV = 32, EH = 29, RC = 29, TD = 32, PH = 31, BH = 32, AP = 31

A quiet bye week that will allow Johnny Manziel a chance to prepare for what could be a defining few weeks in his career. Is he going to be the Browns long-term answer at quarterback? It’s in the hands of Johnny Football now. (DV)

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Gur Samuel

Hi! I'm Gur and I'm RealSport's Editor-in-Chief. I'm also currently the site's tennis editor, and contribute to our NFL, wrestling and Formula 1 coverage as well. I'm also an NFL analyst for CNN International and contributor to SB Nation, and have contributed to, or been interviewed by, various print, broadcast and online media, including Sky News, the BBC, Al Jazeera, Mail Online, ABC, NBC, CBS, USA Today, the Boston Globe, and Yahoo! Sports.

NFL Week 11 Power Rankings: blowouts and upsets lead to big changes

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