After picking up their eighth win of the season, the Chiefs remain the top team in the power rankings. The Broncos looked shaky again in their win over Washington, and dropped to the number 3 spot behind the Colts. Those three teams look like they will compete for the top playoff seed in the AFC, but there is still plenty of time for a dark horse to overtake them.
There are also contenders in the NFC that can take a spot in the top 3. As we get into the second half of the season, we’ll find out which teams are rolling at the right time, and which teams get left behind.
Tell us where you think your team should be ranked in the comments!
1. Kansas City Chiefs (8-0, Last Week: 1)
Last season, the Chiefs finished 2-14. This season, the worst they can do is 8-8. Their schedule so far has included several weak teams, but winning eight in a row is impressive no matter what. Kansas City has to play Denver twice and also must face Indianapolis, so the second half of the season will give us a better idea of how good the Chiefs really are. So far, they’re playing the most consistent football of any team in the league.
2. Indianapolis Colts (5-2, Last Week: 3)
At the halfway point of the season, no team is more dangerous than the Colts. They may not be the most consistent, but the Colts have what it takes to beat any team. They have the league’s newest superstar quarterback in Andrew Luck, and a defense that allows less than 19 points per game. Anything can happen in the season’s remaining weeks, but right now, the Colts are the team no one wants to play.
3. Denver Broncos (7-1, Last Week: 2)
The Broncos win over Washington was strange. They scored 45 points, but their offense didn’t look as efficient as it did earlier this season. Peyton Manning threw four touchdowns, but also had three interceptions. Ankle injuries might be affecting his play, but the Broncos still have the league’s best offense. Their defense, which gives up 27.2 points per game, must improve, though.
4. New Orleans Saints (6-1, Last Week: 4)
In their win over the Bills, the Saints showed how good they can be. Drew Brees threw five touchdowns, and New Orleans put up 35 points. If the Broncos have the best offense in the league, the Saints are number two in that category. They’re even better than Denver in one big category: defense. New Orleans is fourth in the league in points allowed.
5. Cincinnati Bengals (6-2, Last Week: 7)
When the Bengals are good, they’re extremely tough to beat. They were really good against the Jets. Cincinnati won 49-9 and Andy Dalton threw five touchdown passes. He got his weapons involved, as wide receiver Marvin Jones caught four touchdown passes, and elite receiver A.J. Green had 115 yards. If Dalton and his offense can play at a similar level more often, Cincinnati could challenge the AFC’s elite teams in the playoffs.
6. San Francisco 49ers (6-2, Last Week: 5)
San Francisco continued its winning streak against Jacksonville, recording its fifth straight victory. Once again, the running game carried the 49ers. Both Frank Gore and Colin Kaepernick rushed for two touchdowns in San Francisco’s 42-10 win over the Jaguars. A team with a strong running game and a great defense always has a chance to win, and right now, the 49ers have both.
7. Detroit Lions (5-3, Last Week: 10)
Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford both had epic performances in the Lions’ win against the Cowboys. Johnson had an astounding 329 receiving yards, the second-highest total for a single game in NFL history. Stafford threw for 488 yards and led a late touchdown drive to get Detroit a 31-30 win. Obviously, Johnson and Stafford won’t be able to put up those stats every week, but they showed that Detroit has a great mix of talent and grit.
8. Seattle Seahawks (7-1, Last Week: 6)
The Seahawks are 7-1 but almost lost to St. Louis on Monday. If not for a fourth-down stop at the goal line, Seattle would be tied with San Francisco for the top spot in the NFC West. The Rams pressured Russell Wilson, ran the ball well against the Seattle defense, and almost got the upset. The Seahawks must be more productive on offense and figure out how to get their dominant defense back. Otherwise, they’ll be in for some trouble.
9. Green Bay Packers (5-2, Last Week: 9)
As long as Aaron Rodgers is their quarterback, the Packers will have a chance to win. His accuracy allows him to hit receivers even if they’re covered, and as a result, he makes his teammates better. Rodgers doesn’t have to do it alone, though, as rookie running back Eddie Lacy leads a strong running game.
10. New England Patriots (6-2, Last Week: 8)
The Patriots aren’t the invincible team they once were, but they’re still in the top 10. New England didn’t look great in its win over Miami, and benefitted from a controversial illegal batting call that prevented a Brady turnover. New England is a good team because it’s led by Brady and Bill Belichick, but the Pats will have to play perfect football to compete for the Super Bowl.
11. San Diego Chargers (4-3, Last Week: 12)
The Chargers are stuck behind Kansas City and Denver in the AFC West, but they’re a talented team.
12. Dallas Cowboys (4-4, Last week: 11)
The Cowboys once again let a game slip away in their loss to the Lions.
13. Arizona Cardinals (4-4, Last week: 19)
Arizona is good enough to be one the league’s better teams and challenge division rivals San Francisco and Seattle.
14. Carolina Panthers (5-3, Last week: 23)
The Panthers are now a very respectable 5-3.
15. Miami Dolphins (3-4, Last week: 14)
Miami can beat the league’s best teams, but so far, its season has been mostly a disappointment.
16. New York Jets (4-4, Last week: 13)
The Jets are the league’s most inconsistent team. They must figure out how to avoid bad games.
17. Tennessee Titans (3-4, Last week: 18)
The Titans can make a statement on Sunday by beating a Rams team coming off of an encouraging loss to the Seahawks.
18. Chicago Bears (4-3, Last week: 15)
– The Bears could drop to .500 against the Packers on Sunday.
19. Baltimore Ravens (3-4, Last week: 17)
Baltimore can end a disappointing first half of the season on a good note by beating Cleveland.
20. Buffalo Bills (3-5, Last week: 16)
It’s tough to envision the Bills beating the Chiefs, but they could make it a tough game for Kansas City.
21. Cleveland Browns (3-5, Last week: 22)
Cleveland is a tough team to defeat, and could be a playoff contender in future seasons.
22. St. Louis Rams (3-5, Last week: 27)
The Rams almost beat the Seahawks in a game which should make them confident going into this weekend’s contest against the Titans.
23. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5, Last week: 21)
The Eagles have scored only 10 points the past two weeks.
24. Washington Redskins (2-5, Last week: 24)
Washington can show how accurate its 2-5 record is against the Chargers on Sunday.
25. Oakland Raiders (3-4, Last week: 25)
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who set the record for longest touchdown run by a quarterback with a 93-yard score last weekend, brings excitement to Oakland.
26. Houston Texans (2-5, Last week: 20)
It’s hard to believe the Texans were considered AFC contenders before this season.
27. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5, Last week: 26)
After two straight victories, Pittsburgh dropped a winnable game against the Raiders.
28. New York Giants (2-6, Last week: 29)
The Giants could be at the beginning of a turnaround after winning two games in a row.
29. Atlanta Falcons (2-5, Last week: 28)
This might be a lost season for the Falcons.
30. Minnesota Vikings(1-6, Last week: 30)
The Vikings need to figure out who their quarterback will be.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-7, Last week: 32)
Tampa Bay has some tough games remaining, including contests against New Orleans and San Francisco. That means this season will continue to be a horrible one for the Bucs.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-8, Last week: 31)
Jacksonville took its losing streak out of the country, losing to San Francisco in London last weekend.
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