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Mason's Week 11 Power Rankings: Saints move into top three


1. PHILADELPHIA (8-1) Last week: 1

With the weakened Cowboys and the Bears up next, Philadelphia has an excellent chance of soaring into Seattle in Week 13 with a 10-1 record.

2. NEW ENGLAND (7-2) Last week: 2

The Patriots have now held five consecutive teams to 17 or fewer points.

3. NEW ORLEANS (7-2) Last week: 4

New Orleans has held six of its last seven opponents to 17 or fewer points, meaning the Saints defense has as many sub-20-point games in their last seven outings as it did in its previous 48.

4. L.A. RAMS (7-2) Last week: 5

Let's see what they do against the league's second-toughest remaining schedule.


  1. MINNESOTA (7-2) Last week: 6 **

The Vikings defense allowed 30-plus points for the first time all season, but Case Keenum's passing was more than enough to make up for it.

6. PITTSBURGH (7-2) Last week: 3

Their two closest wins are over the Browns and Colts, teams that are a combined 3-16, and one of their two losses was to the 3-6 Bears. Their numbers took a hit because of the narrow margin of their win in Indianapolis and a below-average strength of schedule so far. But they also have wins over the Vikings and Chiefs on their ledger.

7. CAROLINA (7-3) Last week: 9

Their offense could be a pick-your-poison nightmare once tight end Greg Olsen returns from injured reserve.

8. JACKSONVILLE (6-3) Last week: 7

At last, the Jaguars figured out how to win in an even-numbered week, although it was a struggle.

9. KANSAS CITY (6-3) Last week: 10

After averaging 3.4 offensive touchdowns per game in their first five contests, the Chiefs have averaged 1.75 per game in their last four.


  1. SEATTLE (6-3) Last week: 11 **

Russell Wilson is averaging 5.7 yards per carry. The rest of the Seahawks are averaging 3.3 yards per attempt.

11. DETROIT (5-4) Last week: 12

Detroit's offense has accounted for 30 or more points in each of their last two games after averaging 20.1 points per game in their first seven games.

12. ATLANTA (5-4) Last week: 15

The league's toughest remaining schedule (opponents' combined record: 40-22) makes a playoff run a tough task, even with a three-game homestead that starts Nov. 26.

13. TENNESSEE (6-3) Last week: 16

Their last three wins have been combined by a combined 10 points against clubs that are a collective 7-20, but wins are wins. Their schedule is favorable after a Thursday-night trip to Pittsburgh, and that gives them a chance to set up a potential division-title showdown with the Jaguars in Week 17.

14. WASHINGTON (4-5) Last week: 13

At one point last week, the Redskins allowed the Vikings to score touchdowns on four consecutive drives, three of which covered more than 70 yards.

15. DALLAS (5-4) Last week: 8

Without running back Ezekiel Elliott and left tackle Tyron Smith, they didn't have a chance in Atlanta and will be hard-pressed to do much better against the Eagles this Sunday.


  1. BALTIMORE (4-5) Last week: 17 **

The long-term trend is in the wrong direction as the Ravens return from their bye; they're 2-5 since a 2-0 start and 1-3 since a win at Oakland.

17. GREEN BAY (5-4) Last week: 20

Injuries continue to mount, but Brett Hundley looked comfortable for the first time since he was forced into the starting lineup in the Packers' win at Soldier Field.

18. BUFFALO (5-4) Last week: 14

The Bills still have two games with the Patriots and a trip to Kansas City looming on their schedule, and LeSean McCoy is averaging just 3.8 yards per carry.

19. L.A. CHARGERS (3-6) Last week: 18

With a four-game stretch against the slumping Bills, Elliott-less Cowboys, winless Browns and inconsistent Redskins on the horizon, the Chargers have a chance to get back into the race, but like the Broncos, they have exhausted their supply of mulligans. Close games continue to be their bugaboo; they are 2-6 in games decided by one score this season.

20. OAKLAND (4-5) Last week: 19

Like the Broncos, the Raiders must limit their giveaways. They are 3-0 when they don't turn over the football and 1-5 when they do.

21. TAMPA BAY (3-6) Last week: 28

The Bucs' hopes of repeating their late-season revival of 2016 -- when they won five in a row -- are likely tied to their defense, which has held two of their last three opponents below 300 total yards.


  1. N.Y. JETS (4-6) Last week: 20 **

The Jets have averaged 146.8 rushing yards per game in their wins and 71.5 in their losses. They mustered just 56 rushing yards at Tampa Bay last Sunday.

23. DENVER (3-6) Last week: 21

Denver's remaining opponents have a collective winning percentage of .431, but in order to capitalize, the Broncos will have to do better than their 1-2 record against teams that are currently below .500.

24. CINCINNATI (3-6) Last week: 25

If you remove the first two weeks of offensive numbers from the calculation -- which were the two weeks before the Bengals fired then-offensive coordinator Ken Zampese -- Cincinnati would improve from 31st to 24th in overall per-possession offensive efficiency.

Cincinnati also has a 3-4 record and a minus-9 point differential since making the change; they were 0-2 with a minus-24 differential before it.

25. CHICAGO (3-6) Last week: 22

Turning first-and-goal at the 1-yard line into a giveaway for your offense because of an instant-replay challenge sums up the last five seasons of Bears football.

26. ARIZONA (4-5) Last week: 27

Drew Stanton showed some spark, but the Cardinals generally aren't going to win when they average 1.4 yards per carry.

27. MIAMI (4-5) Last week: 26

The dam appears to have burst for the Dolphins' defense, which has dropped from 14th to 22nd in per-possession efficiency over the last three weeks.


  1. HOUSTON (3-6) Last week: 24 **

The Texans' offense averaged 2.21 net points per possession with Deshaun Watson at quarterback. With Tom Savage, its average is 0.07.

29. INDIANAPOLIS (3-7) Last week: 29

Quarterback Jacoby Brissett is in the league-mandated post-concussion protocol, but the Colts are on a bye this week, so he has time to recover. His passer rating of 101.7 in the last three games makes him one of 10 quarterbacks (minimum 30 attempts) with a rating of 100.0 or better.

30. SAN FRANCISCO (1-9) Last week: 32

The 49ers no longer have to worry about a winless season, and now their spotlight turns squarely to the quarterback position, where Jimmy Garoppolo continues to learn the offense and wait in the wings.

31. N.Y. GIANTS (1-8) Last week: 30

Tight end Evan Engram has a touchdown in every game since the Giants' wide receiving corps was virtually wiped out by injuries. If he maintains his 5.25-catch, 60.75-yard per-game pace from the last four games, he will come within four catches of an NFL rookie record for tight ends (Keith Jackson, 81, 1988) and will have the fourth-most receiving yards for a rookie tight end in NFL history.

32. CLEVELAND (0-9) Last week: 31

Cleveland actually has more first downs than its opponents, boasting a 180-171 advantage in that statistic. However, a league-leading 23 turnovers renders it moot.

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