What are we thankful for? Well, there’s football all day Thursday so that’s one thing. Especially if you can use watching it as an excuse to dodge all the bloody Black Friday Braveheart battles. You could get a Playstation 5 and lose an eye at the same time.
This NFL season has been weird, fun and lucrative if you’ve picked the right upsets. Teams we expected to be standing at the end are already tiptoeing at the precipice and good football is played in New York, at least on most weeks.
We have a little bit of reshuffling at the top of the rankings, but No. 1 remains the same. As does No. 32, and a quarterback change is probably going to keep that spot etched in stone. The good news is, not only are some teams playing for postseason positioning at this point. Others are playing for draft spots, and that bottom of the rankings can get very competitive once December hits.
Unlike our last Rankings, we don’t have any big movers this week. While the oddness of the season remains, it’s finally settling in and making sense. We can count on stuff now and all it took was 11 weeks of football insanity to get here.
While no team has officially been eliminated from playoff contention yet, it’s about to happen. Only one team has secured a losing record on the season, which is frankly pretty late for that. This week will see multiple squads join them.
We’ve got fun facts, we’ve got stats, we’ve got win-loss records and we’ve got jokes. Let’s rank some teams arbitrarily based on whatever criteria we make up and read it while we stuff our faces with overcooked bird meat.
- KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (8-2)
While Travis Kelce continues to carve out the greatest Gold Jacket career of any tight end in NFL history, the Chiefs did take a hit this week when it was announced Clyde Edwards-Helaire was put on injured reserve. It would have been a bigger blow if he hadn’t already been overtaken on the depth chart by rookie Isaih Pacheco.
Last week: No. 1
- PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (9-1)
Nick Siriani was so angry at the Indianapolis Colts for firing his old boss Frank Reich last Sunday, he nearly let them hand his team its second defeat of the season. I can’t imagine a world where Jeff Saturday starts 2-0 after beating an Eagles team that opened 8-0, but it was a fun thought while it lasted.
Last week: No. 3
- SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (6-4)
As the 49ers put forth what looks to be a potential Super Bowl season, it’s important to note that they traded three first round picks for a quarterback to replace their current quarterback, who has gotten them to this point…again. And if that replacement QB, Trey Lance, hadn’t gotten hurt, they would be, at best, 3-7 right now. Oh, and if the New York Jets had taken Lance in the 2021 draft, the Niners would have selected Zach Wilson. All fun things to think about.
Last week: No. 4
- BALTIMORE RAVENS (7-3)
Well, after making it too interesting against the Panthers last week, now it looks as if Lamar Jackson is a gametime decision for the Ravens when they lock horns with the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. Tyler Huntley should do well enough in his stead, but an upset there would not shock me.
Last week: No. 6
- MIAMI DOLPHINS (7-3)
For everyone who wanted to run Tua Tagovailoa out of town, call him a draft bust and trade for Deshaun Watson (I’m talking specifically to you, Brian Flores), he’s got the Dolphins in first place in the AFC East and is No. 1 in the league in passer rating, touchdown to interception ratio, pass touchdowns per attempt, yards per attempt and yards per completion. The 2020 QB draft class might turn out to be better than the 1983 group.
Preseason: No. 7
- DALLAS COWBOYS (7-3)
After a thorough dismantling of the Minnesota Vikings last week, the Cowboys get another shot at an NFC East rival (and potential playoff opponent) in the New York Giants on Thanksgiving. Word broke that both Demarcus Lawrence and Micah Parson should suit up Thursday, but the biggest obstacle in this game will be keeping Mike McCarthy focused on the contest on the field and not the steaming turducken so tantalizingly out of reach until the final whistle. And speaking of turduckens, here’s a fun fact — no player received more turkey legs from John Madden in NFL history than Cowboys great and Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Emmett Smith.
Last week: No. 8
- MINNESOTA VIKINGS (8-2)
Alright, Kirk Cousins. It’s time to either prove your prime time (and featured game) faceplants are all a coincidence or the defining problem with your career. Knock the Patriots out Thanksgiving night. There is simply no excuse. Minny should win it by 50.
Last week: No. 2
- BUFFALO BILLS (7-3)
The Bills won last week in Detroit, dodging “Thunder Snow” in Buffalo. Now they’ll just have to dodge Dan Campbell’s teeth as he views all kneecaps as Thanksgiving Turduckens.
Last week: No. 9
- NEW YORK GIANTS (7-3)
A blow out home loss to the Detroit Lions doesn’t make anyone feel great, but you can fix that pretty easy by knocking off the Cowboys while everyone takes their turkey naps.
Last week: No. 5
- TENNESSEE TITANS (7-3)
The Titans slammed the door on the Green Bay Packers’ season last week. Now, they get a revenge game against the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last season. As much as they tried to screw up their team this offseason by trading AJ Brown, Tennessee could be one of the best three teams in the AFC.
Last week: No. 13
- CINCINNATI BENGALS (6-4)
Without Ja’Marr Chase in the line up, Joe Burrow threw for 355 yards and four touchdowns last week in a win over the Steelers. Now, Chase should be back for a key showdown against the Titans to remain in the playoff bracket. It also happens to be a rematch from last year’s AFC Divisional Round.
Last week: No. 15
- SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (6-5)
Regardless of how great the Seahawks opened the season and the remaining teams and games on their schedule, I feel that reality might turn out to be their toughest opponent down the stretch.
Last week: No. 12
- TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (5-5)
Tom Brady opened his post divorce life at 2-0 and is playing a Browns team trying to sim to Week 14. That deal with the devil is ironclad.
Last week: No. 14
- LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (5-5)
The Chargers are a team that seems to look best when it loses, putting up 27 points against the Chiefs last week to no avail. It should be considerably easier sledding Sunday when they travel to Arizona to stick a knife in the Cardinals’ season..
Last week: No. 10
- NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (6-4)
If wishing the Patriots would just go away worked, this team would have gone 0-and 21 years since 2001. Apparently, they are NFL HPV now. You just can’t get rid of them and all they do is infect others. Two weeks ago they got Frank Reich fired by the Indianapolis Colts. Last week they got Zach Wilson benched. What will they do to the Vikings Thanksgiving night?
Last week: No. 17
- WASHINGTON COMMANDERS (6-5)
The Commanders are the worst team in the NFC East, but are tied for the sixth best record in the NFC. It’s a weird year. Carson Wentz is back off injured reserve, which just means he’ll get to play fruit ninja on his Microsoft Surface tablet in pads instead of street clothes.
Last week: No. 16
- NEW YORK JETS (6-4)
Zach Wilson has been benched after delivering one of the worst offensive performances in recent NFL history and publicly taking no responsibility for his garbage play. Mike White gets the keys this week with Joe Flacco in the bullpen. Wilson will be in street clothes on the sideline so you know what to do — hide your mom’s cellphone.
Last week: No. 11
- ATLANTA FALCONS (5-6)
Here’s an absolutely incredible stat for you. Cordarelle Patterson returned a kick 103 yards for a touchdown last week in the Falcons’ 27-24 win over the Chicago Bears. He now has nine kickoff returns for touchdowns in his career, which is an NFL record. He’s the best to ever do it and there can be no argument.
Last week: No. 18
- DETROIT LIONS (4-6)
We were all writing Dan Campbell’s obituary and then the Lions won three in a row, including a road victory last week over the (probably) playoff bound Giants. All that will just create so much more emotional drama and impact when he’s fired in January.
Last week: No. 22
- ARIZONA CARDINALS (4-7)
The Cardinals are in free fall after their QB, head coach and general manager all got new contracts. They couldn’t even get out of Mexico City without losing an offensive line coach ,who was fired for groping a woman. The former best division in football has taken a might fall this season. Oh, and it’s probably a coincidence that Kyler Murray has been injured since the new Call of Duty came out.
Last week: No. 20
- NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (4-7)
The Saints are going to keep screwing around and lose any shot at selecting a top quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft. If you’re not a playoff team, and New Orleans isn’t, better to just lean into the tank at this point.
Last week: No. 27
- GREEN BAY PACKERS (3-8)
Aaron Rodgers finally spilled the hallucinogenic tea this week when he revealed he’d been dealing with a broken right thumb since Week 5. Since then, he’s gone 1-5 and is 28th in total QB, 26th in completion percentage and 22nd in yard per attempt. No word on how it affected his Halloween Party costume. But, hey, at least he doesn’t have Covid toe.
Last week: No. 19
- LOS ANGELES RAMS (3-7)
A brand new all time low ranking for a Sean McVay coached Rams team and the footing here isn’t that great. First off, the good news. The team on the schedule this week, the Chiefs, is not only the best in the league, but the best Los Angeles will face the rest of the season. Now, the bad news, Matthew Stafford is out thanks to a neck strain and Bryce Perkins will make his first NFL start. Also, the Rams cut their most productive running back in Darrell Henderson Jr. to clear some salary cap. This all looks pretty “whit flag-ish” to me.
Last week: No. 21
- INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (4-6-1)
The Colts went up 13-3 on the Eagles last Sunday before falling in the final minutes, 17-16. It was another fantastic showing for new head coach Jeff Saturday. As such, I would like every NFL owner to know I am now available to coach your NFL team. Like Saturday, I have no pro experience, but I’ve won multiple championships on Madden, the old NCAA football games and killed tons of Dragons in Skyrim and Dragon Age. My DMs are open and I will listen to any offer in the seven figure range.
Last week: No. 23
- LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (3-7)
Here’s how great things are going for Josh McDaniels and the Raiders. They just came off their biggest win of the season, and, yes, that was a joke, only to lose linebacker Blake Martinez to retirement because, and I kid you not, he just sold an expensive Pokemon card.
Last week: No. 31
- PITTSBURGH STEELERS (3-7)
We are now two more losses away from Mike Tomlin’s first losing season as a head coach. He has some things going for him. First, that he’s Mike Tomlin and that’s never happened and he’s facing off against a Jeff Saturday led Colts team Sunday. And to take a loss for Saturday, in his third game as a head coach, is something I just can’t see happening.
Last week: 25
- JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (3-7)
Six of the Jaguars’ seven losses have been by one score and the only one that wasn’t was a 10 point loss to the Chiefs. I feel like good things are ahead for Jacksonville. Hopefully, somewhere out there, Jason Mendoza is shouting, “Lawrence!” in the Good Place.
Last week: No. 26
- CLEVELAND BROWNS (3-7)
Can Jacoby Brissett make one more bit of magic when he faces his old teammate Tom Brady Sunday? Probably not. The good news for Cleveland is, they just have two more losses with Brissett ahead before they can start losing games with Deshaun Watson.
Last week: No. 28
- CHICAGO BEARS (3-8)
The Bears are at the bottom of the standings, yet all of Chicago seems pretty chill about the whole thing. Maybe because there’s a chance they have the best quarterback in the NFC North right now. Just one problem, Justin Fields probably isn’t playing Sunday due to injury. Here’s more good news (I guess), the Bears are the first team in the NFL’s 103 year history to score 28 or more points in three straight games and lose all three. So the offense is pretty good.
Last week: No. 30
- DENVER BRONCOS (3-7)
Here’s how bad the Broncos are. A guy on TikTok decided to post videos until Russell Wilson threw as many touchdowns as he has bathrooms in his house. Wilson has 12 bathrooms in his home. He’s thrown seven touchdown passes in 2022. This guy is doing God’s work for all of us and makes all the Chinese spyware on our phones worth it. And a last little fun fact — The Raiders have won six straight over the Broncos and Denver is 2-13 against the AFC West since 2020. Let’s ride!
Last week: No. 29
- CAROLINA PANTHERS (3-8)
Yes, that is Sam Darnold’s music as he makes his triumphant return behind center for the Panthers. And it’s probably just a coincidence that it sounds like a tuba played with farts.
Last week: No. 24
- HOUSTON TEXANS (1-8-1)
For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, the Texans have benched Davis Mills for Kyle Allen for their game at the Dolphins. They’ve won one game, tied another. It’s certainly more victories and non-losses than their roster deserves. No reason to not ride Mills right into that No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The guy replacing you as head coach will thank you, Lovie Smith. But the change is warranted. Last week at halftime the Texans were averaging, and this is not a joke (but it’s still funny), 7.2 inches per play.
Last week: No. 32
Follow Adam Greene on Twitter @TheFirstMan.