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  • Our panel of 10 voters ranks all 32 teams from the Rams to the Raiders.
By The MMQB Staff
October 30, 2018

We had no change in our top four this week, and it was actually a relatively quiet week up and down the rankings. The Seahawks, Bears, Colts and Cardinals led the way by jumping up four spots each. But losses by the Vikings, Ravens and Packers did open the door for the Panthers and Steelers to climb up to that second tier behind the top four teams. The biggest drop came from those Ravens, who fell from 10th last week into a tie for 16th.

This week's voters:

Ben Baskin, Staff Writer
Andrew Brandt, Business of Football Columnist
Mitch Goldich, Producer/Writer
Gary Gramling, Senior Editor
Jonathan Jones, Staff Writer
Kalyn Kahler, Writer/Producer
Robert Klemko, Staff Writer
Bette Marston, Senior Producer
Mark Mravic, Executive Editor
Jenny Vrentas, Senior Writer

Blurbs by Mitch Goldich


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1. LOS ANGELES RAMS (8-0)

Last Week’s rank: 1
Points in poll: 319
Highest-place vote: 1 (9)
Lowest-place vote: 2 (1)
Last week: Win 29-27 vs. Green Bay
Next week: at New Orleans

The Rams are the consensus best team in the NFL, but they are currently posted as underdogs in New Orleans next week. Should be a great test for both teams. We had no change in the top four this week, but there could be a shake-up next week.

2. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (6-1)

Last Week’s rank: 2
Points in poll: 303
Highest-place vote: 2 (6)
Lowest-place vote: 4 (3)
Last week: Win 30-20 at Minnesota
Next week: vs. Los Angeles Rams

After six straight wins, the Saints now have a chance to show us if they’re the the best team in the NFC.

3. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (7-1)

Last Week’s rank: 3
Points in poll: 300
Highest-place vote: 1 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 4 (2)
Last week: Win 30-23 vs. Denver
Next week: at Cleveland

Halfway through the season, the Chiefs have 290 points. They’re on pace to edge out the 2007 Patriots (589 points) and finish behind just the 2013 Broncos (606). Kansas City is the most fun show in the NFL since…?

4. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (6-2)

Last Week’s rank: 4
Points in poll: 298
Highest-place vote: 2 (3)
Lowest-place vote: 4 (5)
Last week: Win 25-6 at Buffalo
Next week: vs. Green Bay

It took the Pats a little longer than you’d expect to pull away from the Bills. Now they have to get ready for the Packers on a short week.

BREER: Redskins Rising, Rams Relentless, Vinatieri on Top: Week 8 in the NFL

5. CAROLINA PANTHERS (5-2)

Last Week’s rank: T-8
Points in poll: 270
Highest-place vote: 5 (6)
Lowest-place vote: 10 (1)
Last week: Win 36-21 vs. Baltimore
Next week: vs. Tampa Bay

The Panthers are on a roll, and they are legit contenders in the NFC.

6. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (4-2-1)

Last Week’s rank: T-8
Points in poll: 263
Highest-place vote: 5 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 10 (1)
Last week: Win 33-18 vs. Cleveland
Next week: at Baltimore

The Steelers’ rough start feels well behind them, but they have an important game in Baltimore and a difficult schedule the rest of the way.

7. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (5-2)

Last Week’s rank: 7
Points in poll: 247
Highest-place vote: 6 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 9 (6)
Last week: Bye
Next week: at Seattle

The Chargers had a good bye week, gaining a little cushion in the playoff race with some of the AFC’s middling teams losing.

8. GREEN BAY PACKERS (3-3-1)

Last Week’s rank: 6
Points in poll: 245
Highest-place vote: 6 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 13 (1)
Last week: Loss 29-27 at Los Angeles Rams
Next week: at New England

Our panel wasn’t too hard on the Packers for losing a close one to the Rams. But now Green Bay is 0-3 on the road and has to win in Foxboro to avoid falling below .500 at their midway point.

9. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (4-3-1)

Last Week’s rank: 5
Points in poll: 244
Highest-place vote: 5 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 13 (1)
Last week: Loss 30-20 vs. New Orleans
Next week: vs. Detroit

The NFC North is there for the taking, and the Vikings now face all three division foes in consecutive games.

10. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (4-4)

Last Week’s rank: 11
Points in poll: 243
Highest-place vote: 7 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (1)
Last week: Win 24-18 vs. Jacksonville (in London)
Next week: Bye

The Eagles won their must-win date with the Chargers, and with five division games left on the schedule they are more than capable of going on a second-half run to the playoffs.

BENOIT: Carson Wentz Is Why the Eagles Have a Chance to Repeat

11. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (5-2)

Last Week’s rank: 12
Points in poll: 215
Highest-place vote: 6 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 18 (2)
Last week: Win 20-13 at New York Giants
Next week: vs. Atlanta

The Redskins win again, and they trail the Eagles in these rankings again too. Which means we’re going to hear from some of their fans again this week too. But a win over Atlanta might be enough to finally flip the NFC East hierarchy in our poll next week.

12. HOUSTON TEXANS (5-3)

Last Week’s rank: 13
Points in poll: 213
Highest-place vote: 11 (6)
Lowest-place vote: 13 (3)
Last week: Win 42-23 vs. Miami
Next week: at Denver

The Texans are back, in the driver’s seat in the AFC South.

13. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (4-3)

Last Week’s rank: 17
Points in poll: 200
Highest-place vote: 10 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (1)
Last week: Win 28-14 at Detroit
Next week: vs. Los Angeles Chargers

The Seahawks have won four out of five games to stay in the NFC playoff picture, but now they run into a tough stretch that could make or break their season: Chargers, at Rams, Packers, at Panthers.

14. CHICAGO BEARS (4-3)

Last Week’s rank: 18
Points in poll: 176
Highest-place vote: 14 (5)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (2)
Last week: Win 24-10 vs. New York Jets
Next week: at Buffalo

OK, who had the Bears in first place as we enter November?

15. ATLANTA FALCONS (3-4)

Last Week’s rank: 15
Points in poll: 175
Highest-place vote: 14 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (2)
Last week: Bye
Next week: at Washington

The Falcons started rolling before the bye week and could still be dangerous in the second half.

T-16. BALTIMORE RAVENS (4-4)

Last Week’s rank: 10
Points in poll: 170
Highest-place vote: 12 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (1)
Last week: Loss 36-21 at Carolina
Next week: vs. Pittsburgh

Our panel took it easy on the Ravens when they lost to the Saints last week, but a second straight loss made them the biggest fallers in the poll this week.

T-16. CINCINNATI BENGALS (5-3)

Last Week’s rank: 14
Points in poll: 170
Highest-place vote: 12 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (2)
Last week: Win 37-34 vs. Tampa Bay
Next week: Bye

The Bengals survived a spell of FitzMagic to win an important rebound game. But they won’t go very far if they don’t fix that leaky defense.

ORR: NFL Trade Deadline 2018 Primer: Who’s Going to Make Moves?

T-18. DALLAS COWBOYS (3-4)

Last Week’s rank: 20
Points in poll: 150
Highest-place vote: 13 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (5)
Last week: Bye
Next week: vs. Tennessee

The Cowboys have alternated losses and wins all season, but does the bye week screw that pattern up? We’ll find out in prime time. The Cowboys get the Titans on Monday night, then the Eagles on short rest the following Sunday night.

T-18. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (3-5)

Last Week’s rank: 19
Points in poll: 150
Highest-place vote: 16 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (1)
Last week: Loss 24-18 vs. Philadelphia (in London)
Next week: Bye

Not even London Bortles could get the Jags back on track. They’ll need the Texans to cool off to get back into the race. Our panel must have some faith though, as the Jags are tied with a Cowboys team that beat them 40-7 in Week 6.

20. DETROIT LIONS (3-4)

Last Week’s rank: 16
Points in poll: 138
Highest-place vote: 15 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (4)
Last week: Loss 28-14 vs. Seattle
Next week: at Minnesota

The Lions are one of the hardest teams in the NFL to figure out. It’s hard to know what they’re going to look like from week to week.

21. TENNESSEE TITANS (3-4)

Last Week’s rank: 23
Points in poll: 121
Highest-place vote: 19 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 24 (1)
Last week: Bye
Next week: at Dallas

The Titans have scored 21 points only once this season. That just won’t do it in 2018.

22. MIAMI DOLPHINS (4-4)

Last Week’s rank: 21
Points in poll: 109
Highest-place vote: 21 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 24 (1)
Last week: Loss 42-23 at Houston
Next week: vs. New York Jets

Brocktober was a fun story for one week, but the Dolphins can’t seriously entertain a playoff run with him under center.

23. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (3-5)

Last Week’s rank: 27
Points in poll: 107
Highest-place vote: 18 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 24 (2)
Last week: Win 42-28 at Oakland
Next week: Bye

It’s just the Bills and Raiders, but getting a couple wins on the scoreboard may help the Colts right the ship a bit.

24. DENVER BRONCOS (3-5)

Last Week’s rank: 22
Points in poll: 90
Highest-place vote: 23 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (2)
Last week: Loss 30-23 at Kansas City
Next week: vs. Houston

Broncos fans won’t read this, they’re too busy checking out the trade deadline rumors today.

25. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (3-4)

Last Week’s rank: 25
Points in poll: 79
Highest-place vote: 23 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (1)
Last week: Loss 37-34 at Cincinnati
Next week: at Carolina

At least the Bucs know they have to move on from Jameis Winston. That honestly might be a better outcome from this season than if he was playing just barely well enough to prolong this.

26. NEW YORK JETS (3-5)

Last Week’s rank: 26
Points in poll: 71
Highest-place vote: 25 (3)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (2)
Last week: Loss 24-10 at Chicago
Next week: at Miami

The Jets have scored 48, 34 and 42 in their three wins. And 12, 17, 12, 17 and 10 in their five losses.

27. CLEVELAND BROWNS (2-5-1)

Last Week’s rank: 24
Points in poll: 51
Highest-place vote: 25 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (1)
Last week: Loss 33-18 at Pittsburgh
Next week: vs. Kansas City

Is this week rock bottom for Cleveland, after firing both Hue Jackson and Todd Haley? No, it’s going to get worse after this week against the Chiefs.

BREER: Dysfunction in Cleveland That Preceded Jackson and Haley Firings​

28. ARIZONA CARDINALS (2-6)

Last Week’s rank: 32
Points in poll: 48
Highest-place vote: 27 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 29 (3)
Last week: Win 18-15 vs. San Francisco
Next week: Bye

The Cardinals are out of the bottom spot thanks to a win in Byron Leftwich’s first game as offensive coordinator. Unlike some of the other teams at the bottom of this list, they do have plenty to play for this year.

29. NEW YORK GIANTS (1-7)

Last Week’s rank: 28
Points in poll: 42
Highest-place vote: 27 (3)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (2)
Last week: Loss 20-13 vs. Washington
Next week: Bye

Enjoy the week off, Giants. There’s not much we can say right now.

30. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (1-7)

Last Week’s rank: 29
Points in poll: 38
Highest-place vote: 28 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (4)
Last week: Loss 18-15 at Arizona
Next week: vs. Oakland

It’s a lost season for the 49ers, and in the long run they are probably better off taking an L against Arizona. The same is true next week against Oakland.

31. BUFFALO BILLS (2-6)

Last Week’s rank: 30
Points in poll: 23
Highest-place vote: 29 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (2)
Last week: Loss 25-6 vs. New England
Next week: vs. Chicago

The Bills showed up to play against New England, the talent discrepancy was just too great. That’s better than I can say about a few other games they’ve played this year.

32. OAKLAND RAIDERS (1-6)

Last Week’s rank: 31
Points in poll: 12
Highest-place vote: 31 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (8)
Last week: Loss 42-28 vs. Indianapolis
Next week: at San Francisco

Make plans for Thursday night. You don’t have to watch Raiders-49ers. It’s fine.

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

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