Moorhead’s NFL Power Rankings – Week 12


Cincinnati Bengals (0-10)

Previous Rank: 32


Why They Stayed The Same:

They are still the only winless team in the NFL after their loss to the Raiders.

Key Players Last Week:

Joe Mixon (86 Rushing Yards, One Rushing Touchdown)

What’s Next?:

The Pittsburgh Steelers

The second meeting of the Steelers and the Bengals happens this Sunday. The Bengals poor defense has cost them on a number of occasions and Joe Mixon’s resurgence means that the offense will try to rely on the run. If that is the game plan they are going with, it won’t be a pretty ending as Pittsburgh, despite their loss to the Browns last Thursday, has a great defense. They will handle Mixon and force Ryan Finley to throw, which won’t be great.


Washington Redskins (1-9)

Previous Rank: 31


Why They Stayed The Same:

For most of this contest, Dwayne Haskins was held in check. It wasn’t until the end of the game when the Jets were up big that the defense became lazy and gave up some points to Washington. This was the first game that Haskins played decent in, but again it was against the Jets and they didn’t get going until the end of the game.

Key Players Last Week:

Dwayne Haskins (214 Passing Yards, Two Passing TD’s, One INT)

Derrius Guice (24 Rushing Yards, 45 Yard Touchdown Reception)

What’s Next?:

The Detroit Lions

The Redskins need to protect Haskins with him being the future. Somehow it just seems like the Washington players don’t care to be on the team at this point. There needs to be some confidence going forward if they are going to get anything done this weekend against the Lions who played a really good game against the Cowboys last weekend.


New York Giants (2-8)

Previous Rank: 30

New York Jets v New York Giants

Why They Stayed The Same:

They are 2-8 and coming off a bye week.

Key Players Last Week:


What’s Next?:

The Chicago Bears

The Giants need a win and they need one badly and the Bears have been a complete dumpster fire compared to last season. They need to rush Barkley here as the rushing defense with Chicago hasn’t been the best. The Giants defense has to step up here as they will contend with either an injured Mitch Trubisky or backup Chase Daniels.


Miami Dolphins (2-8)

Previous Rank: 28


Why They Dropped:

Miami’s two game winning streak came to an end when they faced Buffalo last weekend. The offense and defense were just not clicking in this one and they drop a spot because of it.

Key Players Last Week:

DeVante Parker (135 Receiving Yards)

Jakeem Grant (101 Yard Kickoff Return TD, 7-yard Rushing TD)

What’s Next?:

The Cleveland Browns

The Browns are the talk of the world after their big win over Pittsburgh last Thursday, but they lost Miles Garrett for the season who was their best defensive player. If the Dolphins have any shot of winning this weekend against the Browns, they have to pressure Mayfield and expose the defense without Garrett.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7)

Previous Rank: 27


Why They Dropped:

The Bucs just can’t get anything going with Winston at quarterback. I had confidence for the kid going in, but then he throws four interceptions. The offense is suffering because of it and when you have a defense that is last in pass defense it makes it hard to do anything.

Key Players Last Week:

Chris Godwin (47 Receiving Yards, One Receiving TD)

What’s Next?:

The Atlanta Falcons

The Bucs have been on a downward spiral while the Falcons have been on a revival as of late. It is going to be a tough one for Winston to get through as the Falcons defense has shown signs of life the last two weeks. Now they go up against a quarterback who is leading the NFL in interceptions (18). Don’t expect a lot out of the Bucs this weekend. The matchup looks favorable for Winston, but I see him getting his clock cleaned in this one as the Bucs continue to struggle.


Denver Broncos (3-7)

Previous Rank: 26


Why They Dropped:

Conservative Play Calling. That is about all I can say for the world of suck here. At halftime, the Broncos were up 20-0. Then they blew the game when the defense started getting overcome by Kirk Cousins. The play calling has killed them on multiple occasions now and I have never been one to agree with Joe Flacco, but maybe he was onto something when he said that the play calling has been terrible and that they need to take risks.

Key Players Last Week:

Courtland Sutton (113 Receiving Yards)

What’s Next?:

The Buffalo Bills

The Broncos won’t get out of their funk going against the Bills this week. Josh Allen put on a clinic against the Dolphins with four total touchdowns. The defense has to pressure Allen here. If they do that they might have a shot, but it is very unlikely for the world of suck.


New York Jets (3-7)

Previous Rank: 29

NFL: New York Jets at Washington Redskins

Why They Moved Up:

The entire Jets offense did great against the Redskins, but Darnold stood out with having an incredible game despite his interception. The defense did well until the end as they let Haskins get two touchdowns. They were up by so many points that they just started getting lazy against a bad team. They did well nonetheless and rise three spots because of it.

Key Players Last Week:

Sam Darnold (293 Passing Yards, 4 TD’s, One INT)

Le’Veon Bell (59 Rushing Yards, One Rushing TD)

Jamison Crowder (76 Receiving Yards, One Receiving TD)

Ryan Griffin (109 Receiving Yards, One Receiving TD)

What’s Next?:

The Oakland Raiders

The key to stopping the Raiders will be to stop Josh Jacobs. If they can do that and pressure Derek Carr throughout the game, then the Jets might actually pull it off. But, it will be a hard one to win for the Jets as the Raiders have been on a roll this year trying to prove people wrong about their team last season.


Chicago Bears (4-6)

Previous Rank: 21


Why They Dropped:

The Bears have been an absolute joke compared to their performance last season. Trubisky was pulled for a “hip injury” and the offense couldn’t get going and the defense couldn’t stop Todd Gurley in the run game.

Key Players Last Week:

Tarik Cohen (39 Rushing Yards, 35 Receiving Yards, One Receiving TD)

What’s Next?:

The New York Giants

The Bears need a win in a desperate crap shoot of a season. If they are going to get anything going, they have to run the ball. It seems to be the only thing going for the Bears. rookie David Montgomery should hopefully shine in this one with Tarik Cohen getting his licks in as well. The question is who will be quarterback? Mitch Trubisky or Chase Daniels?


Los Angeles Chargers (4-7)

Previous Rank: 19

Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers

Why They Dropped:

The Chargers had this game. They held Mahomes hard. Tyreek Hill got injured. Damien Williams got injured. LeSean McCoy got injured. They still didn’t win. At this point, Philip Rivers is a liability for the team. They have so much talent, but Rivers continues to make bad decisions and throw costly interceptions.

Key Players Last Week:

Keenan Allen (71 Receiving Yards, One Receiving TD)

Austin Ekeler (24 Rushing Yards, 108 Receiving Yards)

What’s Next?:

Bye Week


Arizona Cardinals (3-7-1)

Previous Rank: 23


Why They Stayed The Same:

Despite the loss, the Cardinals took it to the 49ers yet again in this explosive matchup. For the record I think the score should have been 30-26. The touchdown that happened at the end was a bunch of garbage and was fixed so the spread wouldn’t have been cleared. Regardless, Murray played another phenomenal game against a tough defense and I think it is clear to say this kid is gonna be something special down the road.

Key Players Last Week:

Kyler Murray (150 Passing Yards, Two Passing TD’s, 67 Rushing Yards, One Rushing TD)

What’s Next?:

Bye Week


Detroit Lions (3-6-1)

Previous Rank: 22


Why They Stayed The Same:

Call it what you want, but the Lions played a hard fought match against the Cowboys so I’ll leave them at the number 22 spot. Jeff Driskel played really well considering the odds coming in and did all he could for his team. The defense is what stunk here as they let Prescott throw for over 400 yards in this game.

Key Players Last Week:

Jeff Driskel (209 Passing Yards, Two Passing Touchdowns, 51 Rushing Yards, One Rushing TD)

Bo Scarbrough (55 Rushing Yards, One Rushing TD)

What’s Next?:

The Washington Redskins

Not much to say here. As long as Driskel doesn’t make any mistakes he will be fine. The defense should step up against the Redskins who really don’t have any threats that I am concerned with. If they pressure Haskins and don’t let off the gas like the Jets did, then they should win this game no problem.


Cleveland Browns (4-6)

Previous Rank: 24


Why They Moved Up:

They beat the Steelers for the first time in five years. Congrats to them for that. However, if they wouldn’t have won they wouldn’t be moving up at all. In fact they would be moving downwards. Myles Garrett is gone for the season because he attempted murder on Mason Rudolph. That was their best defensive player. Plus Burnett just landed on IR so their team is in trouble to say the least.

Key Players Last Week:

Baker Mayfield (193 Passing Yards, Two Passing TD’s, One Rushing TD)

Browns Defense (Four Sacks, Four INT’s, One Fumble Force)

What’s Next?:

The Miami Dolphins

The Browns couldn’t get an easier matchup now as they face the Miami Dolphins this week. However, with Fitzpatrick being the magician that he is there could be a wrinkle in the Cleveland system now with Garrett, Burnett and Ogunjobi not playing. Cleveland needs to stick to the ground game with Chubb and Hunt however if they want to win this game.


Atlanta Falcons (3-7)

Previous Rank: 25


Why They Moved Up:

The Falcons look to be back in business baby. Their defense has come alive in the last two weeks especially last week against Kyle Allen. With the offense clicking as well, I am certain this team is ready to finish out the season in strong style.

Key Players Last Week:

Matt Ryan (311 Passing Yards, One TD)

Calvin Ridley (143 Receiving Yards, One Receiving TD)

Falcons Defense (Five Sacks, Four INT’s)

What’s Next?:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs are coming off a big loss against the Saints last week and I expect them to take another loss this time to the Falcons if the defense can play just like it did last weekend against the Panthers. Winston is leading the league in turnovers and if the Falcons play their cards right both sides of the ball should do some major damage.


Jacksonville Jaguars (4-6)

Previous Rank: 18


Why They Moved Down:

A loss to a divisional rival in the Colts is never a good thing especially with the Colts now leading the division. Foles’ return was all for nothing, but we saw that he developed a special connection with wide receiver D.J. Chark as all of Foles’ touchdowns including the one from Week One all have went to Chark. Look for those two to have great duo moments down the road of the season.

Key Players Last Week:

Nick Foles (296 Passing Yards, Two TD’s, One INT)

D.J. Chark (104 Receiving Yards, Two Receiving TD’s)

What’s Next?:

The Tennessee Titans

The Titans are coming off a bye, but I feel very confident in the Jaguars ability to get this job done this week. Foles needed a game to get back into the swing of things and I think if Foles plays well and connects with Chark, Fournette runs better and the defense plays up to standards then this should be a win for the Jaguars.


Carolina Panthers (5-5)

Previous Rank: 14

Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers

Why They Moved Down:

They had a poor performance against the Falcons. Kyle Allen was terrible and needs to play better. It was shocking because the Falcons defense was almost laughable aside from two weeks ago and for Allen to throw four interceptions was just mind boggling.

Key Players Last Week:

Christian McCaffrey (70 Rushing Yards, 121 Receiving Yards)

What’s Next?:

The New Orleans Saints

The Saints are no joke. This will be a big win for the Panthers if they can pull this off, but to me it will be unlikely. Kyle Allen will have another rough showing and the defense will try to have an answer for Christian McCaffrey. Whether they stop him or not will be the key to this game, but even with his production being incredible his team is still struggling.


Tennessee Titans (5-5)

Previous Rank: 16

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans

Why They Stayed The Same:

They are coming off a bye week and have a big match ahead against the Jaguars this weekend.

Key Players Last Week:

None (Bye Week)

What’s Next?:

The Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars struggled last against the run last weekend against the Colts and if the Titans have any hope of winning this game, then they need to run the ball with Derrick Henry. Feed the beast and run the ball and this team should do just fine with Tannehill passing when he needs to. Plus Henry scored in his first meeting with this Jaguars team so prepare for another one.


Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)

Previous Rank: 13


Why They Dropped:

This team has the talent and just doesn’t know how to use it. Wentz has struggled to throw for more than 300 yards in his last three games and continues to struggle getting his receivers the ball. It might be attributed to the fact that the Eagles don’t have a vertical threat anymore thanks to DeSean Jackson getting hurt so Wentz has to rely on short throws to get the job done. They also lost to the Patriots which doesn’t help either.

Key Players Last Week:

Zach Ertz (94 Receiving Yards)

What’s Next?:

The Seattle Seahawks

The meeting between the green and blue birds doesn’t strike me as a big game for the Eagles this weekend. If the Eagles have any hope of winning you have to ride with the tight ends as they are the only ones in the passing game that seem to do anything. The receivers are struggling and it is showing.


Indianapolis Colts (6-4)

Previous Rank: 20

Jaguars Colts Football

Why They Moved Up:

Though they lost Marlon Mack for some time with a broken wrist, the Colts played good smart football last weekend against the Jaguars which also included a keg stand touchdown celebration with the players lifting up Quenton Nelson in the end zone. Craziness I tell you.

Key Players Last Week:

Marlon Mack (109 Rushing Yards, One Rushing TD)

Jonathan Williams (116 Rushing Yards)

What’s Next?:

The Houston Texans

In a huge Thursday night matchup, the Texans and the Colts collide for the number one spot in the division. You can expect the Colts to take advantage of the Texans offensive and defensive struggles. It will be a tightly contested game though so it is really up in the air.


Los Angeles Rams (6-4)

Previous Rank: 15


Why They Moved Up:

The Rams were in a pickle and needed to do something against the Bears. Enter a man who hasn’t been a major factor; Todd Gurley. Somehow Gurley became sensational in this week’s game against the Bears. Goff was still trash and the defense is still in disarray which is why they only move up one spot.

Key Players Last Week:

Todd Gurley (97 Rushing Yards, One Rushing TD, 36 Receiving Yards)

What’s Next?:

The Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are proving to be an unstoppable force in the NFL this season, so the Rams are going to have to pull all the stops in order to beat them and honestly they need to do by running the ball. Contrary to what some people believe the ravens run defense is not that great. If they utilize Gurley they will be fine.


Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5)

Previous Rank: 9

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

Why Did They Drop:

The Steelers took a brutal loss on the road to the Browns; a team who hasn’t beaten them in five years. That is why they dropped five spots. Mason Rudolph played like trash and all our important position players got hurt. It was a tough one to say the least.

Key Players Last Week:


What’s Next?:

The Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are the worst team in the NFL. Without some of the Steelers’ key pieces on offense, this team will have to rely on the defense to achieve victory. Pressure Finley and Mixon and they will be fine.


Oakland Raiders (6-4)

Previous Rank: 17

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders

Why They Moved Up:

The Raiders have been a really solid team to watch this year and they are proving all of their haters wrong. They are in a spot at the moment to take a Wild Card spot in the AFC. To think this team was terrible last year and now they are doing well means that Gruden was right.

Key Players Last Week:

Derek Carr (292 Passing Yards, One Passing TD, One INT, One Rushing TD)

Josh Jacobs (112 Rushing Yards, 12 Receiving Yards)

Tyrell Williams (82 Receiving Yards)

What’s Next?:

The New York Jets

The Jets are coming off a really strong performance against the Redskins, but now they deal with the Raiders. I say the Raiders win here with Carr and Jacobs working their motions in and out and back and forth in this game. They have to get Jacobs more involved in the pass game as well. I say that both of those two plus Tyrell Williams will do just fine in this game.


Houston Texans (6-4)

Previous Rank: 8

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans

Why They Dropped:

The Houston Texans got destroyed and essentially blown out against the Ravens. Deshaun Watson had the worst game of his entire career of playing football including his time at Clemson. The defense was trash, the offense was trash and overall they just looked silly against this Ravens team.

Key Players Last Week:

Carlos Hyde (65 Rushing yards, One Rushing TD)

DeAndre Hopkins (80 Receiving Yards)

What’s Next?:

The Indianapolis Colts

The Colts and Texans game is super important because it will decide who essentially has control over the AFC South division. In order for the Texans to win they have to protect Watson so plays can be made and for the defense to step up against Brissett and the offense.


Kansas City Chiefs (7-3)

Previous Rank: 10


Why They Stayed The Same:

Say what you want, but the Chargers should have won this game. Mahomes wasn’t passing well, Tyreek Hill, Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy all got injured and despite their interceptions, the defense didn’t play that well. They still got the win though so that is good enough to not drop.

Key Players Last Week:

Patrick Mahomes (182 Passing Yards, One TD, One INT, 59 Rushing Yards)

Travis Kelce (92 Receiving Yards, One Receiving TD)

Chiefs Defense (Two Sacks, Four Interceptions, One forced fumble)

What’s Next?:

Bye Week


Dallas Cowboys (6-4)

Previous Rank: 12

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions

Why They Moved Up:

Dak Prescott has been a phenomenal quarterback this year. Last Sunday was no different as he put the team on his back and passed my expectations of him against the Lions. The Cowboys lead the division and now will look to keeping that spot to themselves.

Key Players Last Week:

Dak Prescott (444 Passing Yards, Three TD’s, 18 Rushing Yards)

Ezekiel Elliott (45 Rushing Yards, One Rushing TD, 28 Receiving Yards, One Receiving TD)

Michael Gallup (148 Receiving Yards)

Randall Cobb (115 Receiving Yards, One Receiving TD)

What’s Next?:

The New England Patriots

The Cowboys get their biggest challenge yet when they take on the Pats this weekend. If Dak continues throwing it like he is doing now then the Cowboys should honestly beat the Patriots. The defense needs to pressure Brady as they do not have many ways to get the ball downfield if you watched the Eagles game with them last weekend.


Buffalo Bills (7-3)

Previous Rank: 11

Josh Allen, John Brown

Why They Moved Up:

While the Bills beating the Dolphins isn’t exactly crazy, Josh Allen had an incredible game (honestly probably the best he has had in the NFL so far) with four total touchdowns on the day. He seems to be doing better at handling the ball and if he can continue to play at this level the Bills are going to make the playoffs via Wild Card.

Key Players Last Week:

Josh Allen (256 Passing Yards, Three Passing TD’s, 56 Rushing Yards, One Rushing TD)

John Brown (137 Receiving Yards, Two Receiving TD’s)

What’s Next?:

The Denver Broncos

The Broncos are a hot mess and the Bills should have no problem whatsoever taking them down with the running and passing game that Josh Allen brings.


Minnesota Vikings (8-3)

Previous Rank: 7


Why They Stayed The Same:

They won this game, but they let the Broncos go up 20-0 at halftime. It wasn’t until the second half that they came back. As much as the Broncos suck, the Vikings should have never let them get that far.

Key Players Last Week:

Kirk Cousins (319 Passing Yards, Three Touchdowns)

Stefon Diggs (121 Receiving Yards, One Receiving Touchdown)

What’s Next?:

Bye Week


Green Bay Packers (8-2)

Previous Rank: 5


Why They Dropped:

The Packers are coming off a bye week and have a tough matchup with the 49ers Sunday night.

Key Players Last Week:

None (Bye Week)

What’s Next?:

The San Francisco 49ers

This is going to be a good game. As far as deciding what the Packers need to do to win that is a whole other argument to make. The 49ers defense is no joke and Rodgers is going to have to get some players involved that he normally doesn’t throw to. In any essence you can make sure that Jones, Williams and Adams all get their looks as well.


New Orleans Saints (8-2)

Previous Rank: 6


Why They Moved Up:

The Saints dominated the ball whether it was on offense or defense against the Buccaneers last weekend. They move up one spot although I wanted to move them up two, but didn’t want to get too greedy with it. Brees led the offense while Cameron Jordan and the rest of the defense lit up Winston.

Key Players Last Week:

Drew Brees (228 Passing Yards, Three Touchdowns)

Alvin Kamara (75 Rushing Yards, 47 Receiving Yards)

Michael Thomas (114 Receiving Yards, One Receiving Touchdown)

Saints Defense (One Defensive TD, Two Sacks, Four INT’s)

What’s Next?:

The Carolina Panthers

All they have to be concerned with is stopping Christian McCaffrey. If they can do that then they will be fine.


New England Patriots (9-1)

Previous Rank: 4

Patriots Eagles Football

Why they Stayed The Same:

Brady and the Pats did not play well against the Eagles, but they still got the win because the Eagles are trash and should have beaten them. The only touchdown that was thrown was by Edelman on a trick play.

Key Players Last Week:

Julian Edelman (53 Receiving Yards, One Passing TD)

What’s Next?:

The Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys have been great this year with Prescott and company. In order for the Pats to take them down they will have to target their best player and make them work without him since that is what they normally do anyway. However, that part is always a challenge. It could be Cooper one week, then the next one Gallup and after that Elliot. It is going to be a hard guessing game for the Pat this weekend.


Seattle Seahawks (8-2)

Previous Rank: 4


Why They Moved Up:

They are coming off a bye and have a good matchup this weekend.

Key Players Last Week:

None (Bye Week)

What’s Next?:

The Philadelphia Eagles

The Seahawks have a date with the Eagles this weekend and honestly Seattle should win no problem. They just have to cover Wentz hard because that Seattle defense obviously is not what it used to be. The team will be relying on Russ for most of the game and rightfully so. The Eagles pass defense is complete garbage.


Baltimore Ravens (8-2)

Previous Rank: 3


Why They Moved Up:

The Ravens put on a massacre last weekend against the Texans. They caused Watson to have his worst game of his entire career. That is both college and professional. They did this also by stopping them on defense and pounding the ball on the ground hard. Lamar is now starting to enter the MVP category for the offense this season.

Key Players Last Week:

Lamar Jackson (222 Passing Yards, Four TD’s, 86 Rushing Yards)

Mark Ingram (48 Rushing Yards, 37 Receiving Yards, Two Receiving TD’s)

Gus Edwards (112 Rushing Yards, One Rushing TD)

Mark Andrews (75 Receiving Yards, One Receiving TD)

What’s Next?:

The Los Angeles Rams

The main move to stop the Rams will be to stop Gurley. If they can do that pressuring Goff will be easy and they can take that win no problem.


San Francisco 49ers (9-1)

Previous Rank: 1

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers

Why They Stayed The Same:

The 49ers overcame the Cardinals once again, but they had trouble containing Kyler Murray yet again. Nevertheless, the team won 36-26 off an interesting call near the end with the defense. Overall though, the 49ers did very well in this game and in my mind are the team to beat right now besides the Ravens. Jimmy G got better and they did it without Emmanuel Sanders and George Kittle more importantly. Well done for this team.

Key Players Last Week:

Jimmy Garoppolo (424 Passing Yards, Four TD’s, Two INT’s)

Deebo Samuel (134 Receiving Yards)

49ers Defense (One Defensive TD, Four Sacks, Two Fumble Forces, Two Fumble Recoveries)

What’s Next?:

The Green Bay Packers

The Packers are not to be taken lightly. This game will be intense as the Packers come off a bye week to challenge the hard hitting 49ers. My advice is to pressure Rodgers and cover his running backs. True that might leave Adams open for striking, but the secondary is too good for anything incredibly bad to happen. Jimmy G also has to go out there and do some damage and not make costly interceptions.

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