Updated: Dec 30, 2022
Four other teams could have been in this spot. Four other 6-4 teams, but I chose the 49ers because they feel like Super Bowl contenders. The Bengals feel like a team that may not make the playoffs. The Patriots feel like a team that can't go far because of a lack of talent. The Jets lost twice to a Patriots team they shouldn't have lost to and they are unsure about their QB. The Seahawks are close to getting this spot, but they are not nearly as talented as the 49ers and the 49ers crushed them.
The 49ers did just what I thought they would. I knew that as long as Jimmy Garoppolo was in that building by hook or by crook, he would be the 49ers QB. That would be the best thing for them. They dropped a game because he wasn't their QB. They dropped another game because Jimmy G hadn't been able to practice with the team. Then, there were losses to the Falcons and Chiefs because the defense was compromised. This is the first time the 49ers have made the Power Rankings since Week 5. Now that this team is at full strength and with Christian McCaffrey, this is the team that nobody wants to play.
The Titans are moving on up. Last week, they were in the tenth spot. Now that they have knocked off the Packers, they are ninth. The Titans had a powerful run game and running back blackhole on defense. However, now the Titans are starting to develop some passing production as well. On his best days, Ryan Tannehill is one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the league. Treylon Burks coming back into the lineup gives the Titans an explosive element they were missing. The Titans started out as questionable winners, but as the weeks go on, they look more and more like contenders.
The Cowboys have defended their spot at number eight, and they will be staying right here. The embarrassing Packers loss might have just taught the Cowboys their lesson. I'm sure Mike McCarthy took it personally, and he made sure his team did too. The Cowboys decimated the Vikings. They beat them so badly that the TV networks screamed, "Stop, they are already dead!" and then switched the game to avoid the traumatization of millions of young Vikings fans.
The Cowboys have made the changes they needed to make. They let Dak Prescott game manage, ran the ball well, and the defense buried the Vikings. This is the best version of the Cowboys. This is their identity.
The Ravens found a way to win again, but I'm concerned about them. The Panthers shouldn't have been a team the Ravens found a way to win against. The Panthers have a great defense, but the Ravens should have been able to fight through that. I hope the offense only struggled because Lamar Jackson has been sick. However, the Ravens haven't really invested in the offense so we will see how that goes. The Ravens defense was stellar. They were as advertised. The Ravens defense is the reason the Ravens won. If they can keep playing like that, the Ravens will have a chance in every game.
The Giants are down two spots after their loss to the Lions. This loss was inexcusable. The Bears, who don't have as good of a defense and also depend on the running game, went blow for blow with the Lions. However, the Giants let the Lions score 21 unanswered points. The Giants have been playing smart football all year, but getting run over by the Lions is worrisome.
The Bills are not only back in the win column, but they are back in the top five. The Bills are up one spot from last week. The Bills answered a lot of the questions swirling around their team. I questioned if they could have a consistent run game and they did that. I questioned if Josh Allen could make better decisions and he did that. Plus, the defense is coming back. They got gouged through the air, but that's not how the Browns win. They win with Nick Chubb, and the Bills totally shut him down and won by eight points. The next question the Bills have to answer is whether it can be consistent or not. The Bills can't just show improvement one week and then regress. If the Bills can, they will continue to rise up the Power Rankings.
Thanks to some movement in the Power Rankings, the Dolphins are actually up a spot from last week without even playing. That's because they are the best 7-3 team in the league. They beat the Bills and Ravens. Plus, they haven't lost a single game with Tua Tagovailoa starting and ending the game. The Dolphins are not just a top four team in the Power Rankings, but they have the potential to be the number one team when all is said and done.
The Vikings are down one spot after getting completely embarrassed. I'm sure you are wondering why I haven't dropped them down even further. Well, you are what your record says you are, and the season is longer than just one game. So, the Vikings are still a top three team. I will say they lost the benefit of the doubt. They will be facing questions about their legitimacy all season, and they deserve it after losing 40-3.
All season, the Vikings have been criticized for not having an identity, and it has reared its head in these ugly two losses. The Vikings need to decide whether they are going to hang their hat on the passing game or the running game, and then dedicate themselves to it.
The Chiefs are up one spot to the number two spot. They are now challenging for the best team in football. The Chiefs just swept their division rival, the Chargers, and now they have owned the AFC West at a historically high rate. The most impressive part of the Chiefs is that they keep finding ways to win. They have lost Juju Smith-Schuster, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and Kadarius Toney, but it hasn't mattered. As long as they have Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce out there, they have a chance. Even the two losses the Chiefs have taken were close games. It seems like, once again, the AFC will go through the Chiefs.
It's lonely at the top. A lot of people out there were praying for the Eagles downfall. People are ready to say they fell down to Earth. However, what happened the very next week when they ran into the rejuvenated Colts? They won again and maintained the best record in the NFL. The Eagles have been compared to the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts have been debated as the top candidates for the MVP. Well, not only does Jalen Hurts have a better record than Mahomes and the Chiefs, but the Eagles have now beaten one of the teams that put the Chiefs behind the Eagles. Put some respect on the Eagles name!