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  • Our panel of eight voters ranks all 32 teams from the Rams to the Cardinals.
By The MMQB Staff
October 23, 2018

Two teams currently in the NFC playoff picture made the biggest jumps this week, with the Panthers surging to a tie for eighth and the Redskins jumping from 19 to 12. Two Florida teams had the biggest drops, with the Jaguars plummeting eight spots to 19 and the Dolphins falling from 14 to 21.

Meanwhile, the Rams maintained their unanimous claim to the top spot, but we do have a new team bringing up the rear.

This week's voters:

Andy BenoitStaff Writer
Andrew BrandtBusiness of Football Columnist
Mitch GoldichProducer/Writer
Gary Gramling, Senior Editor
Jonathan JonesStaff Writer
Kalyn Kahler, Writer/Producer
Bette MarstonSenior Producer
Mark MravicExecutive Editor

Blurbs by Mitch Goldich


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1. LOS ANGELES RAMS (7-0)

Last Week’s rank: 1
Points in poll: 224
Highest-place vote: 1 (8)
Lowest-place vote: 1 (8)
Last week: Win 39-10 at San Francisco
Next week: vs. Green Bay

The Rams aren’t moving from the top spot until somebody takes them down. But with a stretch of Packers, at Saints, Seahawks, Chiefs, it could easily happen in the next four weeks.

2. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5-1)

Last Week’s rank: 3
Points in poll: 212
Highest-place vote: 2 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 4 (3)
Last week: Win 24-23 at Baltimore
Next week: at Minnesota

Saints at Vikings followed by Saints vs. Rams will give us two great games that will also go a long way in determining the NFC playoff seeding.

3. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (6-1)

Last Week’s rank: 4
Points in poll: 209
Highest-place vote: 2 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 4 (3)
Last week: Win 45-10 vs. Cincinnati
Next week: vs. Denver

The Chiefs rebounded from their loss to the Patriots in a big way. They’re going to be around all year. So big our voters put the Chiefs back ahead of those Patriots.

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4. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (5-2)

Last Week’s rank: 2
Points in poll: 208
Highest-place vote: 2 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 5 (1)
Last week: Win 38-31 at Chicago
Next week: at Buffalo

Four straight wins, and suddenly the Patriots are in the driver’s seat in the AFC East with an inside track to a first round bye, like nothing ever happened at all. But the Pats did drop two spots after their close call against Chicago.

5. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (4-2-1)

Last Week’s rank: 5
Points in poll: 192
Highest-place vote: 4 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 9 (1)
Last week: Win 37-17 at New York Jets
Next week: vs. New Orleans

The Vikings won their NFC title game blowout rematch with Philly earlier this season. Now the Saints are going to be amped for the Minneapolis Miracle rematch next week.

6. GREEN BAY PACKERS (3-2-1)

Last Week’s rank: T-8
Points in poll: 180
Highest-place vote: 5 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 11 (1)
Last week: Bye
Next week: at Los Angeles Rams

Let’s see how healthy Aaron Rodgers looks after the bye week. And hey, let’s give Green Bay the toughest possible test.

7. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (5-2)

Last Week’s rank: T-8
Points in poll: 179
Highest-place vote: 5 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 9 (1)
Last week: Win 20-19 vs. Tennessee (London)
Next week: Bye

The Chargers still haven’t lost to anyone but the Chiefs and Rams, but our panel still wants to see them beat somebody better than the sputtering Titans.

T-8. CAROLINA PANTHERS (4-2)

Last Week’s rank: 13
Points in poll: 176
Highest-place vote: 6 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 10 (2)
Last week: Win 21-17 at Philadelphia
Next week: vs. Baltimore

The Panthers did not get enough love when we spent all preseason talking about how deep the NFC is. After pulling a comeback win out of their hat in Philly, they are right in the mix.

T-8. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (3-2-1)

Last Week’s rank: 7
Points in poll: 176
Highest-place vote: 5 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 9 (2)
Last week: Bye
Next week: vs. Cleveland

The Steelers had a great bye week with the Ravens, Bengals and Browns all going down.

10. BALTIMORE RAVENS (4-3)

Last Week’s rank: 12
Points in poll: 159
Highest-place vote: 6 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 13 (1)
Last week: Loss 24-23 vs. New Orleans
Next week: at Carolina

It’s hard to drop the Ravens too much after a 1-point loss to our No. 2 team. And, uh, they actually went up two spots.

11. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (3-4)

Last Week’s rank: 6
Points in poll: 149
Highest-place vote: 7 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 14 (1)
Last week: Loss 21-17 vs. Carolina
Next week: vs. Jacksonville (in London)

Just when it looked like the Eagles had turned their season around, they go and blow a 17-point fourth quarter lead to the Panthers.

12. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (4-2)

Last Week’s rank: 19
Points in poll: 146
Highest-place vote: 9 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 18 (1)
Last week: Win 20-17 vs. Dallas
Next week: at New York Giants

The Redskins snapped their streak of alternating wins and losses. They are simultaneously the team that made the biggest jump in our rankings this week, and the fan base that’s most likely to be upset by their ranking, given the team they’re immediately behind. They’re up two games in the loss column on the Eagles and Cowboys, even though their +5 point differential is third in the division.

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13. HOUSTON TEXANS (4-3)

Last Week’s rank: 17
Points in poll: 137
Highest-place vote: 11 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (1)
Last week: Win 20-7 at Jacksonville
Next week: vs. Miami

The Texans have come all the way back from 0-3 and now have to be the AFC South favorites.

14. CINCINNATI BENGALS (4-3)

Last Week’s rank: 10
Points in poll: 129
Highest-place vote: 12 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 18 (1)
Last week: Loss 45-10 at Kansas City
Next week: vs. Tampa Bay

Blowouts happen sometimes, and the Chiefs are great, but 45-10 is really discouraging for a team that will ultimately be judged on whether or not it can win a game like this in January.

15. ATLANTA FALCONS (3-4)

Last Week’s rank: T-15
Points in poll: 123
Highest-place vote: 12 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (2)
Last week: Win 23-20 vs. New York Giants
Next week: Bye

After the bye week, the Falcons go on the road for three out of four, but they can still claw their way back into the race. Some might say they already have.

16. DETROIT LIONS (3-3)

Last Week’s rank: 20
Points in poll: 119
Highest-place vote: 12 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 18 (2)
Last week: Win 32-21 at Miami
Next week: vs. Seattle

It’s tough to figure out how good the Lions are every week, but three wins in four weeks is a nice stretch for Matt Patricia’s squad.

17. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (3-3)

Last Week’s rank: 21
Points in poll: 114
Highest-place vote: 10 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (1)
Last week: Bye
Next week: at Detroit

The Seahawks are the only thing preventing the Rams from clinching the division in Week 10.

18. CHICAGO BEARS (3-3)

Last Week’s rank: 18
Points in poll: 113
Highest-place vote: 16 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (1)
Last week: Loss 38-31 vs. New England
Next week: vs. New York Jets

The Bears were 3-1 before starting a four-game tour of the AFC East. They need to take care of business against the Jets and Bills to keep pace in a tough NFC North.

19. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (3-4)

Last Week’s rank: 11
Points in poll: 103
Highest-place vote: 15 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (1)
Last week: Loss 20-7 vs. Houston
Next week: vs. Philadelphia (in London)

The Jags have had a disaster stretch since beating New England, going 1-4 with 6, 14, 7 and 7 points in the four losses. They dropped more than any other team in our poll this week, and now take on what should be an angry Eagles team Sunday in London.

20. DALLAS COWBOYS (3-4)

Last Week’s rank: T-15
Points in poll: 95
Highest-place vote: 14 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (2)
Last week: Loss 20-17 at Washington
Next week: Bye

The Cowboys are 3-0 at home and 0-4 on the road. Their next two road games are in Philly and Atlanta.

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21. MIAMI DOLPHINS (4-3)

Last Week’s rank: 14
Points in poll: 85
Highest-place vote: 19 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (1)
Last week: Loss 32-21 vs. Detroit
Next week: at Houston

Brock Osweiler battles his former team on Thursday Night Football and the winner will be 5-3.

22. DENVER BRONCOS (3-4)

Last Week’s rank: 26
Points in poll: 74
Highest-place vote: 22 (6)
Lowest-place vote: 24 (1)
Last week: Win 45-10 at Arizona
Next week: at Kansas City

The Broncos destroyed Arizona on Thursday, giving them extra time prepare for one of their most important games of the season.

23. TENNESSEE TITANS (3-4)

Last Week’s rank: 22
Points in poll: 67
Highest-place vote: 20 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (1)
Last week: Loss 20-19 vs. Los Angeles Chargers (London)
Next week: Bye

For what it’s worth: I was fine with the Titans going for two, I just didn’t like the play call.

24. CLEVELAND BROWNS (2-4-1)

Last Week’s rank: 24
Points in poll: 61
Highest-place vote: 21 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (2)
Last week: Loss 26-23 (OT) at Tampa Bay
Next week: at Pittsburgh

Netflix should by the entire 2018 Browns season.

25. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (3-3)

Last Week’s rank: 25
Points in poll: 59
Highest-place vote: 23 (3)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (2)
Last week: Win 26-23 (OT) vs. Cleveland
Next week: at Cincinnati

It took overtime against the Browns, but Week 7 finally brought us the Bucs’ first win with Jameis Winston starting.

26. NEW YORK JETS (3-4)

Last Week’s rank: 23
Points in poll: 52
Highest-place vote: 23 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (1)
Last week: Loss 37-17 vs. Minnesota
Next week: at Chicago

The Jets are an up-and-down team, as was to be expected for any team coming off a 5-11 season and taking a QB third overall. Now going at Chicago, at Miami, then home against the Bills, it’s possible the Jets could get back to .500 before their bye week.

27. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (2-5)

Last Week’s rank: 28
Points in poll: 42
Highest-place vote: 24 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 28 (2)
Last week: Win 37-5 vs. Buffalo
Next week: at Oakland

Could 8-8 win the division? The Colts’ second-half schedule is not as daunting as it once looked thanks to those two Jaguars matchups, plus three other division games. It would be hard for a team ranked 27th to have a better shot of getting back in the division race than the Colts have right now.

28. NEW YORK GIANTS (1-6)

Last Week’s rank: 27
Points in poll: 35
Highest-place vote: 22 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (2)
Last week: Loss 23-20 at Atlanta
Next week: vs. Washington

The Giants are a circus, and the voices are only going to get louder as the season goes along.

29. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (1-6)

Last Week’s rank: 29
Points in poll: 33
Highest-place vote: 26 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (1)
Last week: Loss 39-10 vs. Los Angeles Rams
Next week: at Arizona

The 49ers and Cardinals meet in a game that could have significant ramifications come April, if you know what I mean.

30. BUFFALO BILLS (2-5)

Last Week’s rank: 30
Points in poll: 23
Highest-place vote: 28 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (1)
Last week: Loss 37-5 at Indianapolis
Next week: vs. New England

I’ll tell you a secret about the Bills deciding between Nathan Peterman and Derek Anderson for: It doesn’t really matter.

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31. OAKLAND RAIDERS (1-5)

Last Week’s rank: 32
Points in poll: 14
Highest-place vote: 30 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (1)
Last week: Bye
Next week: vs. Indianapolis

Congrats to Amari Cooper, who moved up 12 spots in the Power Poll.

32. ARIZONA CARDINALS (1-6)

Last Week’s rank: 31
Points in poll: 8
Highest-place vote: 31 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (7)
Last week: Loss 45-10 vs. Denver
Next week: vs. San Francisco

The Cardinals should trade everyone they can get back value for while they still can.

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

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