Editor's note: Rick Gosselin is in his 48th season reporting on the NFL in 2020. He has covered the Lions, Giants, Chiefs and Cowboys in his career plus 38 Super Bowls. He has served on the Hall of Fame selection committee for 25 years and is a member of both the senior and contributor sub-committees. Gosselin also is one of the 12 voters for the AP 32, the weekly ranking of NFL teams conducted by the Associated Press. Here is his ballot for Week 11:
1. Pittsburgh Steelers. (Previous week: 1) The Steelers have won a record six Super Bowls. None of those championship teams started a season 9-0 like this edition of the Steelers has. If the Steelers beat the Jaguars this weekend, they will become the first team to open a season with 10 consecutive victories since the 2015 Carolina Panthers, who finished 15-1 and reached the Super Bowl.
2. Kansas City Chiefs. (2). No one utilizes the bye week like KC coach Andy Reid. He has been a head coach for 21 NFL seasons, which translates into 21 bye weeks. Reid’s team have posted an 18-3 record in games following byes. He once won 13 consecutive games coming off byes as head coach of the Eagles. The Chiefs return from their bye this week to face the Raiders. KC also played the Raiders coming off byes in 2019, 2018 and 2017 and won each time.
3. Green Bay Packers. (6) For the first time this season, the Packers rank in the Top 10 in both offense and defense. Green Bay joins the Los Angeles Rams as the only two teams to rank in the Top 10 this week on both sides of the ball. The Packers rank sixth in offense and 10th in defense. They also rank fourth in points scored and 12th in points allowed. Matt LaFleur is building a complete team.
4. New Orleans Saints. (5) There’s a reason Sean Payton signed Jameis Winston as a free agent. The reason is now – Drew Brees is expected to miss a few weeks with broken ribs suffered last weekend in the victory over the 49ers. Winston took over at the start of the second half with the Saints up 17-10 and closed out a 27-13 victory. Winston, the first overall pick of the 2015 NFL draft by Tampa Bay, completed 6-of-10 passes for 63 yards and no touchdowns. But, more importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over, which is why the Buccaneers parted ways with him.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (9) The Buccaneers will find out how legit a contender they are in the next two weeks when they face two potential post-season opponents – the Rams in the NFC playoffs in January and the Chiefs in the Super Bowl in February. The Rams used a victory over the Seahawks to vault into a first-place tie with Arizona and Seattle at 6-3. The defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs sit atop the AFC West with an 8-1 mark. The Buccaneers are in second place of the NFC South at 7-3. The next two games are both Tampa home dates.
6. Buffalo Bills. (3) The cold-weather Bills liked warm-weather kicker Tyler Bass so much they used a sixth-round draft pick on him last April. He was nearly automatic in college at Georgia Southern, converting 80 percent of his field-goal tries. But Buffalo features some of most miserable weather conditions for kickers – wet, windy, snowy – as Scott Norwood can attest. Give Bass perfect conditions, though, and he shines. Kicking indoors last weekend at Arizona, Bass had the best day ever for a Bills kicker, booting field goals of 54, 55 and 58 yards, converting all three extra-point kicks and launching four kickoffs for touchbacks.
7. Arizona Cardinals. (14) Not only has Kyler Murray thrown a touchdown pass in all nine of Arizona’s games this season, he has rushed for a touchdown in all but one of them. He’s accounted for 27 Arizona touchdowns (17 passing, 10 rushing) this season. That’s as many touchdowns as Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers have accounted for and more than Tom Brady (26). Only Russell Wilson has accounted for more with 29.
8. Los Angeles Rams. (10) Pro Bowl CB Jalen Ramsey gets all the attention in the secondary of the Rams but it’s Darious Williams getting all the interceptions. He shares the NFC lead with four picks – thanks in large part to LA’s game with Seattle last weekend. Williams intercepted Russell Wilson twice and had a third interception nullified by a penalty.
9. Indianapolis Colts. (12) The Colts host Green Bay this weekend with a chance to sweep the NFC North. Indianapolis has already beaten Chicago, Detroit and Minnesota and a victory over the Packers would give the Colts their first 4-0 regular-season mark against the NFC since 2009. Those Colts went 14-2 on the way to the Super Bowl where, ironically, they lost to an NFC team (New Orleans).
10. Baltimore Ravens. (4) Passing quarterbacks have always been a staple of championship teams – Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers and, more recently, Patrick Mahomes. Can you still win a Super Bowl on the ground? The Ravens hope so. They continue to rely heavier on the legs of NFL MVP Lamar Jackson than his arm. Baltimore has thrown the fewest passes in the AFC this season (250). The Ravens have run the ball 44 more times than they have passed it. Baltimore ranks second in the NFL in rushing and Jackson leads the way with his 524 yards.
11. Las Vegas Raiders. (11) Derek Carr failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time in nine games this season. That ended a personal streak of 14 consecutive games with at least one TD pass. Russell Wilson also failed to throw a touchdown pass last weekend for the first time this season, leaving only six QBs who have thrown a TD pass in every one of their team’s games this season: Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes, Kyler Murray, Ben Roethlisberger, Matthew Stafford and DeShaun Watson.
12. Seattle Seahawks (8). In 2013, the Seahawks led the NFL in pass defense on the way to their only Lombardi Trophy. Those days are long gone, my friend. If the Seahawks can’t figure out how to defend the pass better, they won’t see February. They may not see January. The Seahawks rank last in the NFL in passing D, allowing seven of the nine quarterbacks they have faced to throw for at least 300 yards. There have been eight 400-yard passing games in the NFL this season and the Seahawks have been victimized for three of them. Jared Goff passed for 302 yards last week in sending the Seahawks down to their third defeat.
13. Tennessee Titans. (7) Derrick Henry has been the best back in the NFL this season with a 200-yard game and four 100-yard games in his nine outings. But don’t look for him to rush for 100 yards this week against Baltimore – and it has nothing to do with the Ravens’ defense. Henry has rushed for 100 yards in all the odd numbered games this season – Tennessee’s first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth games. He has not hit 85 yards rushing in any of the even-numbered games – Tennessee’s second, fourth, sixth or eighth games. The Ravens are Game No. 10.
14. Miami Dolphins. (13) When the Dolphins drafted Tua Tagovailoa in the first round last April, they drafted more than just a quarterback. They drafted a mentality. A winning mentality. Tagovailoa appeared in 32 games in his three seasons at Alabama and the Crimson Tide won 30 of them. He now has appeared in four games with the Dolphins and Miami has won all four. His last three appearances have all been starts and he has engineered victories over NFC West co-leaders the Rams and Cardinals plus the Chargers last weekend. He has tossed five TD passes with no interceptions for the 6-3 Dolphins.
15. Cleveland Browns. (15) Nick Chubb has only played five games this season, having spent four weeks on injured reserve with a knee injury. In his first game back last weekend, he rushed for 126 yards on 19 carries in a victory over the Texans. Chubb has rushed for 100 yards in each of his three home games this season. He also has scored all five of his touchdowns at home. The Browns are home again Sunday hosting the Philadelphia Eagles.
16. Minnesota Vikings. (18) Special teams have been a disaster of late. Two weeks ago the Vikings had two punts blocked in the same game for the first time in franchise history. Then last week Cordarrelle Patterson returned a kickoff 104 yards for a touchdown for the Bears. Minnesota also allowed a 32-yard punt return by Anthony Miller and missed an extra point on a botched snap. Incredibly, the Vikings won both games against Detroit and Chicago.
17. New England Patriots. (22) Bill Belichick has transformed the identity of the Patriots out of necessity. When you have one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game, you throw the ball. Now that Tom Brady is gone, the Patriots run the ball. New England ranks third in the NFL in rushing with an average of 161 yards per game. Damien Harris, a third-round draft pick in 2019, has three 100-yard rushing games this season and Sony Michel one. The Pats, in fact, are the only team in the AFC East with an individual 100-yard rusher this season.
18. Chicago Bears. (16) In 1985, Walter Payton rushed for 100 yards in a franchise-record 10 consecutive games. His legs – and Buddy Ryan’s defense – powered the Bears to their only Lombardi Trophy that season. Well, the 5-5 Bears still play slam the door shut defense. They rank in the Top 10 again this season. But they sure do miss Payton. The current stable of runners ranks last in the NFL in rushing and has yet to have an individual 100-yard rushing game this season.
19. Detroit Lions. (25) Marvin Hall is a tribute to perseverance. Undrafted coming out of Washington in 2016, Hall signed as a college free agent with the Raiders. They cut him that August. He then spent time on the practice squads of Arizona, Atlanta and Chicago before signing with the Lions in 2019. He suited up for only nine games last season and caught seven passes – but averaged 37.3 yards per catch with receptions of 58, 49, 47 and 39 yards. This season he posted his first career 100-yard game against Indianapolis and caught a 55-yard TD passes last weekend against Washington.
20. Atlanta Falcons. (19) The Falcons have a two-game winning streak to improve their record to 3-6 under interim coach Raheem Morris. But the road to .500 becomes considerably more difficult when the Falcons return from their bye this week. Over their final seven weeks of the season, Atlanta will play New Orleans twice and Tampa Bay twice plus a December road trip to Kansas City. Those three opponents have a combined 22-6 record.
21. New York Giants. (27) The Giants lost their Pro Bowl running back and offensive catalyst Saquon Barkley in the second week of the season with a torn ACL. But when you have QB Daniel Jones, who needs Barkley? Jones leads the Giants in rushing with 366 yards with an average of 7.5 yards per carry. He’s had runs of 80 (Philadelphia), 48 (Washington), 34 (Philly) and 23 yards (San Francisco).
22. Philadelphia Eagles. (17) There were eight wide receivers selected in the first 34 picks of the 2020 NFL draft and all have a 100-yard receiving game this season except one, Jalen Reagor of the Eagles. But Reagor has only played four games, having missed five games with torn ligaments in his thumb. He has caught only eight passes but one was a 55-yarder against Washington and another was a two-yard TD against Dallas.
23. Carolina Panthers. (20) The best trio of wide receivers isn’t playing in Tampa with Tom Brady, in Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes or in New Orleans with Drew Brees. The best trio is playing in Carolina with Teddy Bridgewater. His three-receiver set has caught more passes (144) for more yards (1,883) than any trio in the NFL. Robby Anderson has 64 catches for 772 yards, D.J. Moore 39 catches for 736 yards and Curtis Samuel 41 for 375 yards. The Panthers also have Mike Davis, who ranks second among all NFL running backs with 47 receptions.
24. San Francisco 49ers. (21) At 4-6, the defending NFC champions find themselves in last place of the NFC West, three games back of tri-leaders Arizona, Seattle and the Los Angeles Rams in the loss column. The last team to plunge from first to worst – from conference champion in one season to a last-place finisher in its own division the next -- was the 2016 Panthers. Carolina reached the Super Bowl in 2015 with a 15-1 record but finished at the bottom of the NFC South the following year with a 6-10 mark.
25. Denver Broncos. (23) The Broncos capitalized on a bye week for Dallas to surge past the Cowboys in offensive turnovers. QB Drew Lock threw four interceptions against Las Vegas last weekend and Denver also lost a fumble, pushing its number of giveaways this season to 21, one more than the Cowboys. The Broncos have started three quarterbacks and they have combined for a league-leading 16 interceptions. The team Denver is chasing in the AFC West – Kansas City – has thrown only one interception all season.
26. Cincinnati Bengals. (24) The Bengals play three of their next four games against the NFC East to close out their inter-conference schedule. Cincinnati tied Philadelphia in Week 3 and still has Washington, New York and Dallas coming up. Getting out of the AFC North will be a welcome respite for the Bengals. The three teams ahead of them in the standings have a combined 21-6 record. The three NFC East teams coming up on the Cincinnati schedule have a combined 7-21 mark.
27. Houston Texans. (26) The Texans host the New England Patriots this weekend. Look for the Patriots to run the football. Why not? Houston is terrible against the run, ranking last in the league with an average yield of 167 yards per game, The Texans have allowed a league-high six individual 100-yard rushers in their nine games, including the a 212-yard game by Tennessee’s Derrick Henry.
28. Los Angeles Chargers. (28) QB Justin Herbert may be a rookie but he’s a quick learner – put the ball in the hands of your best playmaker. Since taking the field in Week 2, Herbert has been targeting his Pro Bowl WR Keenan Allen 11 times per game. Keenan Allen has caught a touchdown pass in each of the last three games, four of the last six games and five of the last seven games. Herbert threw him 19 passes against Cleveland, 13 against Jacksonville and 12 against Tampa Bay.
29. Dallas Cowboys. (29) The Cowboys entered the season expecting Dak Prescott to compete for NFL MVP honors and Ezekiel Elliott to challenge for another rushing title. But by the end of the season, the team’s offensive MVP likely will be kicker Greg Zuerlein. Prescott’s season ended in the fifth week with a dislocated ankle and Elliott has disappeared from the offense in his QB’s absence. Zuerlein, on the other hand, has been automatic inside the 50, converting all 16 of his field-goal attempts for the 2-7 Cowboys. His only three misses on the season have been from 52, 53 and 58 yards and he has hit a 59-yarder.
30. Washington. (30) Washington signed cornerbacks Kendall Fuller and Ronald Darby in free agency last offseason, then used a seventh-round draft pick on safety Kamren Curl of Arkansas. All moved into the starting lineup along with holdover safety Deshazor Everett and the result has been a surprisingly stout secondary. Washington leads the NFL in pass defense this week, allowing an average of only 194.7 yards per game.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars. (31) The Jaguars rank 29th in the NFL in pass defense and there’s a simple explanation. They don’t put any heat on the quarterbacks. The Jaguars have only nine sacks in nine games. Jacksonville has five sacks from its ends, 1 ½ sacks from its tackles, 1 ½ from its linebackers and one from its defensive backs. T.J. Watt and Aaron Donald have as many sacks as the Jaguars this season and Myles Garrett (9 ½) and Yannick Ngakoue (10) have more.
32. New York Jets. (32) For the sake of their suffering fan base, let’s hope the winless Jets spent their bye week working on their pass rush. New York has gone without a sack in four of its nine games this season, including the last two in a row against Kansas City and New England. The last sack by the Jets came in the fourth quarter of the Buffalo game Oct. 25 – 85 enemy pass attempts ago. The Jets have only 11 sacks on the season – and six of them came in the first two weeks.