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  • Our panel of nine voters rank all 32 teams from the Rams to the Raiders.
By The MMQB Staff
October 16, 2018

We have a bit of a shake-up in the Top 5, thanks to the Patriots' thrilling win over the Chiefs on Sunday night. The Rams remain in the top spot, but this week it's unanimous, and the Chiefs have fallen to No. 4. The Eagles made the biggest jump this week, as both they and the Steelers climbed into the Top 10. And the Panthers suffered the biggest drop, though the Jaguars weren't far behind.

This week's voters:

Ben Baskin, Staff Writer
Andy BenoitStaff Writer
Andrew BrandtBusiness of Football Columnist
Mitch GoldichProducer/Writer
Gary Gramling, Senior Editor
Jonathan JonesStaff Writer
Bette MarstonSenior Producer
Mark MravicExecutive Editor
Jenny VrentasSenior Writer

Blurbs by Mitch Goldich

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1. Los Angeles Rams (6-0)

Last Week’s rank: 1
Points in poll: 288
Highest-place vote: 1 (9)
Lowest-place vote: 1 (9)
Last week’s result: Win 23-20 at Denver
Next game: at San Francisco

The Rams are now the only perfect team left, so a no-brainer to stay on top of the rankings. They remain No. 1, and this week it’s unanimous.

2. New England Patriots (4-2)

Last Week’s rank: 3
Points in poll: 274
Highest-place vote: 2 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 3 (5)
Last week’s result: Win 43-40 vs. Kansas City
Next game: at Chicago

Perhaps the Patriots’ three-week climb back toward the top is proof that we shouldn’t be so quick to move teams up or down. But they can’t reclaim their preseason spot at No. 1 until the Rams lose.

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3. New Orleans Saints (4-1)

Last Week’s rank: 4
Points in poll: 267
Highest-place vote: 2 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 7 (1)
Last week’s result: Bye
Next game: at Baltimore

The Saints had a good bye week, as the Panthers’ loss puts them a game up in the NFC South.

4. Kansas City Chiefs (5-1)

Last Week’s rank: 2
Points in poll: 266
Highest-place vote: 2 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 4 (5)
Last week’s result: Loss 43-40 at New England
Next game: vs. Cincinnati

It’s understandable that the Chiefs would fall behind the Patriots in these rankings, but we also shouldn’t kill them for a 3-point loss in New England. It looks like our voters didn't.

5. Minnesota Vikings (3-2-1)

Last Week’s rank: 7
Points in poll: 242
Highest-place vote: 5 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 10 (1)
Last week’s result: Win 27-17 vs. Arizona
Next game: at New York Jets

It took six games to see any semblance of a rushing attack, and if that keeps up it could be an enormous complement to a potent passing game.

6. Philadelphia Eagles (3-3)

Last Week’s rank: 12
Points in poll: 238
Highest-place vote: 4 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 9 (1)
Last week’s result: Win 34-13 at New York Giants
Next game: vs. Carolina

Regardless of how bad the Giants might be, it still had to be comforting for Eagles fans to see their team play like the 2017 version for a night. Our voters seem to agree the game said more about the Eagles.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2-1)

Last Week’s rank: 11
Points in poll: 235
Highest-place vote: 5 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 8 (3)
Last week’s result: Win 28-21 at Cincinnati
Next game: Bye

Is Le’Veon Bell actually going to show up and play after the bye week? Who knows. But sitting at 3-2-1 when he returns doesn’t look too bad.

T-8. Green Bay Packers (3-2-1)

Last Week’s rank: T-8
Points in poll: 221
Highest-place vote: 5 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (1)
Last week’s result: Win 33-30 vs. San Francisco
Next game: Bye

The Packers pulled one out as few other teams could on Monday night. Now they have a week to try to get healthy before road dates with the Rams and Patriots.

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T-8. Los Angeles Chargers (4-2)

Last Week’s rank: 10
Points in poll: 221
Highest-place vote: 6 (3)
Lowest-place vote: 11 (1)
Last week’s result: Win 38-14 at Cleveland
Next game: vs. Tennessee (London)

That’s three straight wins, and the Chargers look well on their way to a first playoff berth since 2013.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2)

Last Week’s rank: T-8
Points in poll: 201
Highest-place vote: 8 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (4)
Last week’s result: Loss 28-21 vs. Pittsburgh
Next game: at Kansas City

The Bengals had a chance for a real statement win, but instead the AFC North is wide open with another tough game on the way.

11. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3)

Last Week’s rank: 5
Points in poll: 199
Highest-place vote: 8 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 16 (1)
Last week’s result: Loss 40-7 at Dallas
Next game: vs. Houston

It’s not just that they lost the last two weeks, it’s how.

12. Baltimore Ravens (4-2)

Last Week’s rank: 14
Points in poll: 192
Highest-place vote: 7 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 13 (5)
Last week’s result: Win 21-0 at Tennessee
Next game: vs. New Orleans

The Ravens have allowed just 77 points, 19 fewer than any other team in the league—including teams that have played only five games.

13. Carolina Panthers (3-2)

Last Week’s rank: 6
Points in poll: 191
Highest-place vote: 9 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 15 (1)
Last week’s result: Loss 23-17 at Washington
Next game: at Philadelphia

Carolina’s tour of the NFC East could be going better. After needing a last-second field goal to top the Giants, and then falling behind early against the Redskins, they now have to go to Philadelphia.

14. Miami Dolphins (4-2)

Last Week’s rank: 17
Points in poll: 153
Highest-place vote: 13 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 18 (2)
Last week’s result: Win 31-28 (OT) vs. Chicago
Next game: vs. Detroit

So many Brock puns.

T-15. Atlanta Falcons (2-4)

Last Week’s rank: 16
Points in poll: 148
Highest-place vote: 14 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (2)
Last week’s result: Win 34-29 vs. Tampa Bay
Next game: vs. New York Giants

“The Falcons are still good enough to reel off a few wins and get back into the playoff picture, but now they have basically no margin for error the rest of the season.” – Last week’s blurb.

T-15. Dallas Cowboys (3-3)

Last Week’s rank: 20
Points in poll: 148
Highest-place vote: 12 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (2)
Last week’s result: Win 40-7 vs. Jacksonville
Next game: at Washington

The Cowboys have alternated road losses and home wins all season. Next week at Washington would be an important time to break that cycle.

17. Houston Texans (3-3)

Last Week’s rank: 15
Points in poll: 143
Highest-place vote: 14 (3)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (1)
Last week’s result: Win 20-13 vs. Buffalo
Next game: at Jacksonville

From 0-3 to 3-3. The Texans have not made it easy during this winning streak, but there’s now a three-way tie atop the AFC South.

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18. Chicago Bears (3-2)

Last Week’s rank: 13
Points in poll: 137
Highest-place vote: 14 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (1)
Last week’s result: Loss 31-28 (OT) at Miami
Next game: vs. New England

The Bears had as disappointing a loss as anybody in Week 6, in a surprise Brock Osweiler start after the bye. That will continue to sting all year.

19. Washington Redskins (3-2)

Last Week’s rank: 19
Points in poll: 132
Highest-place vote: 13 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (2)
Last week’s result: Win 23-17 vs. Carolina
Next game: vs. Dallas

The Redskins have alternated impressive wins and dispiriting losses. Next week hosting Dallas would be an important time to break that cycle.

20. Detroit Lions (2-3)

Last Week’s rank: 18
Points in poll: 129
Highest-place vote: 16 (3)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (1)
Last week’s result: Bye
Next game: at Miami

All four teams in the NFC North are within a game of each other. The Lions return from the bye week looking at up at everyone, but with a winnable game in Miami.

21. Seattle Seahawks (3-3)

Last Week’s rank: 21
Points in poll: 121
Highest-place vote: 15 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 23 (1)
Last week’s result: Win 27-3 vs. Oakland (in London)
Next game: Bye

The Seahawks’ flight home from London had to be much better than the Raiders’.

22. Tennessee Titans (3-3)

Last Week’s rank: 22
Points in poll: 96
Highest-place vote: 19 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (2)
Last week’s result: Loss 21-0 vs. Baltimore
Next game: vs. Los Angeles Chargers (London)

It’s been two weeks since the Titans flooded our mentions because they were upset about their team’s ranking. Since then:

Bills 13 – Titans 12
Ravens 21 – Titans 0

23. New York Jets (3-3)

Last Week’s rank: 26
Points in poll: 90
Highest-place vote: 18 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (2)
Last week’s result: Win 42-34 vs. Indianapolis
Next game: vs. Minnesota

The Jets are 3-3 with the fifth-best point differential in the AFC, but our panel is not quite ready to treat them like a real playoff contender.

24. Cleveland Browns (2-3-1)

Last Week’s rank: 23
Points in poll: 81
Highest-place vote: 23 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (1)
Last week’s result: Loss 38-14 vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Next game: at Tampa Bay

This was the first game of the season that the Browns were never really in. But that happens from time-to-time during the season. They’re still a much-improved team.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3)

Last Week’s rank: 25
Points in poll: 65
Highest-place vote: 25 (3)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (1)
Last week’s result: Loss 34-29 at Atlanta
Next game: vs. Cleveland

Now 0-1 with Jameis Winston as the starter, and the 2-0 start feels much further in the rearview mirror.

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26. Denver Broncos (2-4)

Last Week’s rank: 27
Points in poll: 64
Highest-place vote: 22 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 28 (2)
Last week’s result: Loss 23-20 vs. Los Angeles Rams
Next game: at Arizona

The Broncos have now lost four straight, and have to get right back after it on the road on Thursday night.

27. New York Giants (1-5)

Last Week’s rank: 24
Points in poll: 61
Highest-place vote: 21 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (1)
Last week’s result: Loss 34-13 vs. Philadelphia
Next game: at Atlanta

The Giants are in total disarray. You’ve probably already seen a million thinkpieces about them since Thursday, so we can just move on for now.

28. Indianapolis Colts (1-5)

Last Week’s rank: 28
Points in poll: 43
Highest-place vote: 27 (3)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (1)
Last week’s result: Loss 42-34 at New York Jets
Next game: vs. Buffalo

Remember when the Colts nearly beat the Eagles and then lost in overtime to the Texans? Two more losses since those, and the season is quickly getting away from them.

29. San Francisco 49ers (1-5)

Last Week’s rank: 31
Points in poll: 41
Highest-place vote: 25 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (1)
Last week’s result: Loss 33-30 at Green Bay
Next game: vs. Los Angeles Rams

The 49ers gave the Packers everything they had, and then Aaron Rodgers happened. But in a season that was lost as soon as Jimmy G went down, a moral victory and a loss in the standings isn’t the worst result.

30. Buffalo Bills (2-4)

Last Week’s rank: 29
Points in poll: 37
Highest-place vote: 25 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (4)
Last week’s result: Loss 20-13 at Houston
Next game: at Indianapolis

With Josh Allen hurting, we may see Nathan Peterman or Derek Anderson starting on Sunday. I still don't understand why this team traded A.J. McCarron in September.

31. Arizona Cardinals (1-5)

Last Week’s rank: 32
Points in poll: 16
Highest-place vote: 30 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (3)
Last week’s result: Loss 27-17 at Minnesota
Next game: vs. Denver

Thursday Night Football is back! Oh, it's Cardinals-Broncos this week?

32. Oakland Raiders (1-5)

Last Week’s rank: 30
Points in poll: 12
Highest-place vote: 31 (3)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (6)
Last week’s result: Loss 27-3 vs. Seattle (in London)
Next game: Bye

The Raiders are a disaster in just about every way, but at least they get a week off.

• Question or comment? Email us at talkback@themmqb.com.

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