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Mason's Power Rankings: Broncos drop; AFC West rising as a whole

Posted Nov 8, 2016

The Broncos are in third place in the AFC West ... but still ahead of most of the NFL. The Power Rankings reflect that.

32. CLEVELAND BROWNS (0-9)

Last week: 32
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 24 - Defense: 30

The Browns weren't sloppy against Dallas; they committed just five penalties and didn't turn over the football. They just got crushed, allowing Dallas to run 70 plays to their 44 and gain 423 yards to their 222.

31. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (1-7)

Last week: 31
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 31 - Defense: 23

On a day where its struggling offense racked up 8.5 yards per play and 486 yards for the game, San Francisco's defense decided to take the day off.

30. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-6)

Last week: 27
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 14 - Defense: 16

Jacksonville's defense showed long-dormant signs of life, holding Kansas City to just 10 first downs and 231 yards from scrimmage. But three fumbles and one awful throw by Blake Bortles undid it all.

29. LOS ANGELES RAMS (3-5)

Last week: 27
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 30 - Defense: 14

Fifty of the Rams' 67 plays Sunday were pass plays; that will not work.

28. NEW YORK JETS (3-6)

Last week: 28
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 20 - Defense: 25

They only have two games left against winning teams -- both against the Patriots. But a 2-3 record against losing teams doesn't inspire any confidence.

27. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (3-5)

Last week: 24
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 18 - Defense: 22

Giving up more than 1,000 yards of offense in a five-day span isn't how you establish yourself as a division contender. The Bucs look likely to extend their eight-season streak of missing the playoffs.

26. CHICAGO BEARS (2-6)

Last week: 26
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 16 - Defense: 21

The Bears are on a perfect lose-three-then-win-one pattern so far this year ... and that gets you to 4-12.

25. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (4-5)

Last week: 29
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 10 - Defense: 31

Three home games in the next four weeks and three consecutive games against teams with records at .500 worse coming off their Week 10 bye week mean that the Colts' window is about to open.

24. MIAMI DOLPHINS (4-4)

Last week: 25
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 27 - Defense: 15

They went 3-1 in a rare four-game homestead. But five of their next seven games are at home.

23. TENNESSEE TITANS (4-5)

Last week: 26
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 15 - Defense: 19

The Titans' formula is to play mistake-free offense and limit explosive plays on defense. They did neither in San Diego.

22. CAROLINA PANTHERS (3-5)

Last week: 22
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 13 - Defense: 9

Is the Panthers' revival for real? We'll know Sunday after they face the Chiefs.

21. BUFFALO BILLS (4-5)

Last week: 19
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 12 - Defense: 18

Seems like a bit of hard luck considering that they should have been driving for a game-tying field goal at the end of regulation of not for an officiating gaffe, but the teams in the middle are tightly packed.

20. CINCINNATI BENGALS (3-4-1)

Last week: 18
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 8 - Defense: 26

Interesting stat: The Bengals have the league's worst average drive-start position on non-kneeldown possessions, at their 24-yard line.

19. DETROIT LIONS (5-4)

Last week: 20
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 5 - Defense: 32

Another week, another one-score game: The Lions are a perfect 9-for-9 in playing close games.

18. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (4-4)

Last week: 12
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 17 - Defense: 13

Forty-five points in the last three games and a duel with Dallas on Sunday does not augur well, but the AFC North is so mediocre that the Steelers can tread water.

17. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (4-4)

Last week: 9
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 19 - Defense: 5

Pressure -- and the mere look and threat of pressure -- has caused problems for Carson Wentz in recent weeks. This is a typical rookie experience. He will adjust, but can he and the Eagles adapt in time to get a wild-card spot?

16. GREEN BAY PACKERS (4-4)

Last week: 10
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 6 - Defense: 24

Now it's time for a three-game road swing for a team that appears to be painfully average.

15. ARIZONA CARDINALS (3-4-1)

Last week: 16
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 23 - Defense: 1

A Minnesota-Atlanta swing in Weeks 11 and 12 could determine the fate of their season.

14. NEW YORK GIANTS (5-3)

Last week: 17
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 26 - Defense: 11

The Giants have had least one turnover in 17 consecutive games.

13. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (4-4)

Last week: 15
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 3 - Defense: 29

New Orleans' dangerous offense is in the league's top five in points, yards and first downs per possession.

12. HOUSTON TEXANS (5-3)

Last week: 13
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 29 - Defense: 4

A big key will be improving their points per possession: with just 1.43 points per series, the Texans rank 30th.

11. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (4-3-1)

Last week: 11
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 4 - Defense: 27

Returning from a bye, Washington will catch the Vikings at the right time.

10. BALTIMORE RAVENS (4-4)

Last week: 21
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 32 - Defense: 2

Baltimore is the only team that has not allowed an opponent to amass at least 20 first downs in any game this year; the rest of the league averages 4.8 such games.

9. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (4-5)

Last week: 14
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 14 - Defense: 8

The numbers have been better than the record for the Chargers all season long. Their key remains turnovers; a plus-3 margin Sunday was the difference in a tight game with Tennessee.

8. DENVER BRONCOS (6-3)

Last week: 3
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 25 - Defense: 6

Twenty-five of the Broncos' 51 non-kneeldown possessions (49 percent) in their last four games have ended without a first down. Even with a lockdown defense, this isn't sustainable for success, and the Broncos' 2-2 record in those games reflects that.

7. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (5-3)

Last week: 4
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 28 - Defense: 3

Just 1.6 offensive touchdowns per game all season, and only 12.0 points per game the last three weeks. Average offense would be enough for the Vikings, but what they have now isn't close.

6. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (5-2-1)

Last week: 8
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 21 - Defense: 7

Their game in New England this Sunday night will see two of the league's three best scoring defenses dueling.

5. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (6-2)

Last week: 6
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 22 - Defense: 10

Teams have mustered 11 or fewer first downs in a game nine times this season. Kansas City is the only one to win, beating the Jaguars despite moving the chains just 10 times.

4. OAKLAND RAIDERS (7-2)

Last week: 7
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 9 - Defense: 17

There was no question about the Raiders' physical and emotional ability to play -- and dominate for long stretches -- against the Broncos. Can they sustain that energy going forward?

3. ATLANTA FALCONS (6-3)

Last week: 5
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 2 - Defense: 28

They're movers: No team averages more net yardage per possession than the Falcons, picking up 41.5 yards per series.

2. DALLAS COWBOYS (7-1)

Last week: 2
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 1 - Defense: 20

Their 35-10 win at Cleveland was an example of killing a flea with a sledgehammer.

1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (7-1)

Last week: 1
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 7 - Defense: 12

Three of their next four games are against the NFC West, and after this week's game against Seattle, their next four opponents all have current records of .500 or worse.

Power Rankings

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