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NFL Power Rankings Poll: Saints Still No. 1, Bears Leap to No. 6

Our panel of eight voters ranks all 32 teams from the Saints to the new team at the bottom.

A dramatic Monday Night Football game has led to a bit of an anti-clamactic Tuesday Power Poll. Our top five teams remain the same, and in virtually the same order except for the Rams breaking last week's deadlock with the Chiefs at the No. 2 spot. But just below our top five, the Chicago Bears made the biggest jump in the poll, from 13th up to sixth. 

The Seahawks and Colts made big jumps as well. On the other side of the coin, the Titans suffered the biggest drop, followed closely by the Eagles.

Thanksgiving week is upon us, and it should now be harder for teams to swing too wildly from week to week. But there's a whole pack of teams in the middle that still have six more weeks to sort themselves out, and the season could still go many ways from here.

This week's voters:

Ben Baskin, Staff Writer
Andy Benoit, Staff Writer
Andrew Brandt, Business of Football Columnist
Mitch Goldich, Producer/Writer
Gary Gramling, Senior Editor
Jonathan Jones, Staff Writer
Kalyn Kahler, Writer/Producer
Mark Mravic, Executive Editor

If you want the latest episode of The Monday Morning NFL Podcast in your feed when you wake up Monday morning, then subscribe to The MMQB Podcasts. (For non-subscribers, there is typically a lag.)

Blurbs by Mitch Goldich


Last Week’s rank: 1
Points in poll: 224
Highest-place vote: 1 (8)
Lowest-place vote: 1 (8)
Last week: Win 48-7 vs. Philadelphia
Next week: vs. Atlanta

The Saints had the No. 1 spot locked up on Sunday no matter what happened in the Monday night game. They are rolling.


Last Week’s rank: T-2
Points in poll: 217
Highest-place vote: 2 (8)
Lowest-place vote: 2 (8)
Last week: Win 54-51 vs. Kansas City
Next week: Bye

We would love to see a rematch of that Rams-Chiefs game in February. (Disclaimer: We would also be thrilled to see Saints-Chiefs. Or Rams-Saints two weeks before. There are three really fun teams is what we’re trying to say.)

MCKNIGHT: In a City Hurting After Tragedy, Rams-Chiefs Brought Something Extraordinary


Last Week’s rank: T-2
Points in poll: 210
Highest-place vote: 3 (7)
Lowest-place vote: 5 (1)
Last week: Loss 54-51 vs. Los Angeles Rams
Next week: Bye

The Chiefs put on a show in their 54-51 loss to the Rams, but ultimately fell short. We’ll see if that experience is any help to them the next time they play on a stage that big.


Last Week’s rank: 4
Points in poll: 202
Highest-place vote: 3 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 5 (1)
Last week: Win 20-16 at Jacksonville
Next week: at Denver

The Steelers were fortunate to escape Jacksonville with a win, but a win is a win and in this case it’s six straight. The Steelers are now running away with the AFC North, but upcoming dates with the Chargers, Patriots and Saints will tell us a lot about this team heading into the playoffs.


Last Week’s rank: 5
Points in poll: 197
Highest-place vote: 4 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 5 (6)
Last week: Bye
Next week: at New York Jets

The Patriots have now slipped below the Steelers in the standings, and have the same record as the Texans. Which remarkable streak is more in jeopardy: eight straight years with at least 12 wins or eight straight years with a first round bye?


Last Week’s rank: 13
Points in poll: 183
Highest-place vote: 6 (7)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (1)
Last week: Win 25-20 at Minnesota
Next week: at Detroit

The Bears told us they were going for it when they traded for Khalil Mack so soon before the season. They have more than backed up any expectations to this point.


Last Week’s rank: 6
Points in poll: 174
Highest-place vote: 6 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 11 (2)
Last week: Loss 25-20 at Chicago
Next week: vs. Green Bay

The Vikings are currently clinging to the No. 6 seed, which would likely mean a rematch in Chicago. But that would be a tough route to go for a team that learned the value of home field advantage in the playoffs as well as any team last year.


Last Week’s rank: 7
Points in poll: 174
Highest-place vote: 7 (3)
Lowest-place vote: 10 (1)
Last week: Loss 23-22 vs. Denver
Next week: vs. Arizona

That one-point loss to Denver stings even more after seeing Kansas City drop their game Monday night. But circle Week 15 for the game of the year in the AFC West.


Last Week’s rank: 12
Points in poll: 168
Highest-place vote: 7 (3)
Lowest-place vote: 13 (1)
Last week: Win 23-21 at Washington
Next week: vs. Tennessee

D’Onta Foreman’s return to practice is an underrated storyline in the AFC. The Texans have won seven straight games, and I’m bullish on Foreman as a potential X-factor in the AFC playoffs.


Last Week’s rank: 8
Points in poll: 156
Highest-place vote: 8 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 14 (1)
Last week: Loss 27-24 at Seattle
Next week: at Minnesota

The Packers have now lost three out of four, two of them in prime time. This Sunday they go into Minnesota with a chance to either save their season or drop a third straight night game.


Last Week’s rank: 9
Points in poll: 152
Highest-place vote: 9 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 16 (1)
Last week: Loss 20-19 at Detroit
Next week: vs. Seattle

That is not how you rebound with a few extra days rest after a blowout loss. Suddenly those two remaining dates with the Saints look less like a chance to fight for the division and more like potential landmines on the way to the playoffs.


Last Week’s rank: 17
Points in poll: 149
Highest-place vote: 9 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 15 (2)
Last week: Win 27-24 vs. Green Bay
Next week: at Carolina

Not a single MMQB staffer picked the Seahawks to make the playoffs in our preseason predictions. A win in Carolina this week would put them in playoff position as we enter December.


Last Week’s rank: T-15
Points in poll: 140
Highest-place vote: 7 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 16 (1)
Last week: Win 22-19 at Atlanta
Next week: vs. Washington

The Cowboys are now favorites to win the NFC East, and Jason Garrett is probably going to coach them forever.

JONES: Cowboys Closing in on NFC East Lead After Win Against Falcons


Last Week’s rank: 19
Points in poll: 137
Highest-place vote: 11 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 15 (1)
Last week: Win 38-10 vs. Tennessee
Next week: vs. Miami

Here come the Colts. Winners of four straight, and now with a better point differential (+49) than the Patriots. They are one of five AFC teams sitting at 5-5.


Last Week’s rank: 10
Points in poll: 128
Highest-place vote: 11 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 18 (2)
Last week: Loss 48-7 at New Orleans
Next week: vs. New York Giants

The Eagles suffered the biggest beatdown of any defending Super Bowl champion ever. Is Week 11 too late to be considered a hangover?


Last Week’s rank: 18
Points in poll: 126
Highest-place vote: 12 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (2)
Last week: Win 24-21 vs. Cincinnati
Next week: vs. Oakland

The Lamar Jackson experience is here, and I agree with Conor Orr that Baltimore has to ride it for the rest of the season. There are enough AFC teams better than them that they have nothing to lose.


Last Week’s rank: 14
Points in poll: 107
Highest-place vote: 16 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (1)
Last week: Loss 22-19 vs. Dallas
Next week: at New Orleans

The Falcons’ 1-4 start basically eliminated any margin for error. You can’t lose in Cleveland and then at home against the Cowboys after digging that kind of hole.


Last Week’s rank: 11
Points in poll: 103
Highest-place vote: 17 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (4)
Last week: Loss 38-10 at Indianapolis
Next week: at Houston

A week ago the Titans were feeling great after a romp over the Patriots. Then they got dangerously close to foisting Blaine Gabbert on us for a Monday night game.

ORR: NFL Teams We Can’t Quite Figure Out


Last Week’s rank: T-15
Points in poll: 99
Highest-place vote: 14 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (3)
Last week: Loss 23-21 vs. Houston
Next week: at Dallas

Colt McCoy on Thanksgiving Day feels like it’s going to memorable. The reason why could go either way.


Last Week’s rank: 22
Points in poll: 89
Highest-place vote: 19 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 23 (1)
Last week: Win 20-19 vs. Carolina
Next week: vs. Chicago

It’s been a wildly up-and-down season in Detroit, but the ups have been pretty good.


Last Week’s rank: 20
Points in poll: 87
Highest-place vote: 18 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 24 (1)
Last week: Loss 20-16 vs. Pittsburgh
Next week: at Buffalo

The Jaguars’ defense played well enough to win, but that’ still another loss. It’s possible that four or five of their opponents during this six-game losing streak will be playoff teams, but a season that started with so much promise has totally gotten away from them.

KLEMKO: In Jacksonville, Scenes From a Lost Season


Last Week’s rank: 21
Points in poll: 77
Highest-place vote: 17 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 24 (3)
Last week: Loss 24-21 at Baltimore
Next week: vs. Cleveland

The Bengals have now dropped two straight and will need to [use Hue Jackson’s insider secrets to] beat Cleveland, or risk falling behind that glut of teams in the AFC’s middle.


Last Week’s rank: 23
Points in poll: 72
Highest-place vote: 20 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 24 (3)
Last week: Bye
Next week: at Indianapolis

The Dolphins had a good bye week with the Bengals and Titans losing.


Last Week’s rank: 24
Points in poll: 72
Highest-place vote: 22 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (1)
Last week: Win 23-22 at Los Angeles Chargers
Next week: vs. Pittsburgh

The Broncos haven’t really felt like a playoff team for much of this year. But suddenly they are just a game back of that 5-5 glut and after the Steelers game they play the Bengals, 49ers, Browns and then Raiders.


Last Week’s rank: 27
Points in poll: 55
Highest-place vote: 24 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (2)
Last week: Win 38-35 vs. Tampa Bay
Next week: at Philadelphia

The Giants are not back in the playoff race, but it really says something about the NFC East that so many people seem to think they are.


Last Week’s rank: 26
Points in poll: 48
Highest-place vote: 25 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (4)
Last week: Loss 38-35 at New York Giants
Next week: vs. San Francisco

The Bucs must be nearing a record for most QB changes back and forth between the same two guys.


Last Week’s rank: 25
Points in poll: 45
Highest-place vote: 26 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (4)
Last week: Bye
Next week: at Cincinnati

A stray thought I’ve had the last two weeks: Seeing all of these bad teams pick up their second and third wins of the year reinforces just how bad the Browns had to be to go 0-16 last year. Is that a rude thing to say to Cleveland fans on the bye week?


Last Week’s rank: 30
Points in poll: 32
Highest-place vote: 28 (5)
Lowest-place vote: 29 (3)
Last week: Bye
Next week: vs. Jacksonville

Not much to say about the Bills after the bye week.


Last Week’s rank: 29
Points in poll: 24
Highest-place vote: 28 (3)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (3)
Last week: Bye
Next week: at Tampa Bay

Not much to say about the 49ers after the bye week either, but that’s an odd split with most of our voters putting them either 28th or dead last.

30. NEW YORK JETS (3-7)

Last Week’s rank: 31
Points in poll: 20
Highest-place vote: 29 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (2)
Last week: Bye
Next week: vs. New England

Not much to say about the Jets after the bye week either, but they got a couple last-place votes too.

BREER: The Saints Are Looking Like the 2007 Patriots


Last Week’s rank: 32
Points in poll: 18
Highest-place vote: 30 (5)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (3)
Last week: Win 23-21 at Arizona
Next week: at Baltimore

The Raiders were our unanimous last place team last week, but nobody wanted to rank them 32nd coming off of a win. So three other teams got last-place votes, but not the Raiders.


Last Week’s rank: 28
Points in poll: 11
Highest-place vote: 31 (5)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (3)
Last week: Loss 23-21 vs. Oakland
Next week: at Los Angeles Chargers

That loss to Oakland may prove to be beneficial this spring. Could have moved up in the power rankings, in my opinion.

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