By Bryan Dietzler
It’s time to face the facts folks. The 2017 NFL season is slowly starting to near its conclusion. With just six weeks left in the season, things are starting to get interesting. The playoff picture is starting to look a little clearer, and it’s a little bit easier to see who some of the front-runners are. But the NFL is typically full of surprises and nothing is set in stone now.
Things will change by the time the season ends in when the final game is played in Week 17.
This week, we saw some moving around in the middle of the poll as some of the teams we thought would win didn’t. The top team in this poll, Philadelphia, stays the same as they were on a bye week. The middle teams move around a little bit as did see some life out of the 49ers this Sunday. The Falcons finally woke up and looked like the Falcons from 2016. Will they be able to push the Saints out of the top spot in the NFC South?
There is so much going on and we won’t go over it here. Things will be interesting to watch over the course of the next few weeks.
So, without further delay, here is a look at the Week Eleven power poll. See where your team ranks.
- Philadelphia Eagles-(LW 1, 8-1) The Eagles were on a bye this week and did not move up or down in this poll.
- New England Patriots-(LW 2, 7-2) The Patriots rolled all over the Broncos on Sunday night. But are they the class of the AFC? Can someone else sneak up on them and take them out of the hunt for the Super Bowl?
- Pittsburgh Steelers-(LW 3, 7-2) The Steelers, once again, played down to their competition and were close to losing their game against the Colts. They are going to have to play a lot better if they reach the playoffs.
- New Orleans Saints-(LW 4, 7-2) The Saints blasted the Buffalo Bills this week and proved that they are for real. This team not only has an offense now but a defense to match. They are a real contender, finally.
- Kansas City Chiefs-(LW 5, 6-3) The Chiefs were on a bye this week and did not move up or down in this poll.
- Minnesota Vikings-(LW 6, 7-2) The Vikings are the class of the NFC North and its most dominant team. It’s likely that no one is going to knock them from their top spot.
- Los Angeles Rams-(LW 9, 7-2) I am moving the Rams up a couple of spots here because of the talent and ability this team has. Going from one of the worst teams in the NFL to one of its best, all in a matter of one season is great. Now, will they make the playoffs?
- Seattle Seahawks-(LW 7, 6-3) Yes, I moved Seattle down one because of the talent that the LA Rams have. If the Seahawks can beat the Rams then that will open the door for Seattle to take the NFC West.
- Carolina Panthers-(LW 8, 7-3) Despite a nice win on Monday night football, the Panthers do move down a notch due to the talent ahead of them. They are part of what may be the toughest division in football when it’s all said and done.
- Atlanta Falcons-(LW 11, 5-4) The Falcons looked like 2016’s version against Dallas and proved that they aren’t going to roll over and die yet. Things will get very hot in the NFC South and it will be the NFL’s most contended division.
- Tennessee Titans-(LW 12, 6-3) The Titans are in a race with Jacksonville for the lead in their division. Will they keep playing like they have been and earn a playoff spot? If so, it’s about time they did.
- Detroit Lions-(LW 14, 5-4) Still one of the best offenses in the NFL even if their defense almost let Cleveland beat them on Sunday. They have an outside shot at contending with the Vikings for the NFC North but they need some work.
- Dallas Cowboys-(LW 10, 5-4) I think that Dallas could be ranked a little lower but there is still a lot of talent here they just need to play better. Will Ezekiel Elliot’s absence hurt them even more than we think it will?
- Jacksonville Jaguars-(LW 17, 6-3) The Jaguars are no joke and they are winning games. Just how far will they go? Can they get all the way into the playoffs?
- Green Bay Packers-(LW 15, 5-4) Even without Aaron Rodgers this team finds a way to win even if it was against Chicago. Let’s see how they do this week.
- Buffalo Bills-(LW 13, 5-4) What happened to the Buffalo Bills? Wow! They got pasted by the New Orleans Saints. Those were the Bills we remembered from before. Are the bad Bills back?
- Washington Redskins-(LW 16, 4-5) Washington put up a fight versus the Vikings on Sunday but fell short proving their defense has a lot of work to do. It’s getting more and more likely they won’t be able to complete with the Eagles this season.
- Oakland Raiders-(LW 18, 4-5) The Raiders were on a bye last week and did not move up or down in this poll.
- Houston Texans-(LW 19, 3-6) The Texans were pounded by the Rams. This team won’t be the same until the stars they have on offense and defense get back to good health. That won’t be until next year.
- Arizona Cardinals-(LW 21, 4-5) Despite the loss the Cardinals move up a little because of the talent behind them. Even without Carson Palmer, they are putting up a fight. Perhaps things will be better next season. That’s if Palmer comes back which is up in the air.
- Denver Broncos-(LW 20, 3-6) This team is ugly and is losing ugly. What happened to their defense? Things are not looking good won’t the rest of the year.
- New York Jets-(LW 23, 4-6) The Jets are starting to look like the old Jets. This team lost to one of the NFL’s worst teams. Are we now going to classify the Jets as in the same category?
- Miami Dolphins-(LW 22, 4-5) The Dolphins struggled again and proved they have some work to do. This team will get better with some adjustments especially at quarterback. Jay Cutler is not the long-term answer.
- Baltimore Ravens-(LW 24, 4-5) The Ravens were on a bye last week and did not move up or down in this poll.
- Cincinnati Bengals-(LW 25, 3-6) The Bengals are bad just like so many of the other teams in this part of the poll. It’s another miss getting into the playoffs for this team and possibly the last year for Marvin Lewis as an NFL head coach.
- Los Angeles Chargers-(LW 26, 3-6) The Chargers lost a close one last week and haven’t been that terrible despite their record. Possibly the biggest question for this team heading into towards the end of the season is whether Phillip Rivers will be back or not.
- Chicago Bears-(LW 27, 3-6) Chicago should have beaten Green Bay but couldn’t overcome the mistakes to do it. Now they are poised for another losing season. Will they ever be able to get it right?
- Indianapolis Colts-(LW 28, 3-7) It’s next year for these guys. Too many problems all the way around.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers-(LW 29, 3-6) The Bucs finally managed to earn another win making it three for the season. Can they earn a few more and at least look somewhat respectable?
- San Francisco 49ers-(LW 31, 1-9) The 49ers finally got their first win of the year over a terrible team. The 49ers might have a bit of a quarterback controversy ahead should C.J. Bethard be able to play like he did on Sunday. Not a bad performance at all.
- New York Giants-(LW 30, 1-8) Now the worst team in the NFC. Their head coach must be heading out of town soon. It appears as if the team has given up on him.
- Cleveland Browns-(LW 32, 0-9) Kudos for hanging in with the Lions last week. It was close but not close enough to earn their first win of the season. They will win at least one before the end of the season. At least they should.