Brad Biggs' NFL power rankings

Last week's ranking in parentheses.

1. Cowboys 9-1 (1). Dallas has started 9-1 three other times in its history. The Cowboys didn't win a single playoff game any of those seasons.

2. Seahawks 7-2-1 (2). Russell Wilson averaging 9.6 yards per pass attempt over the previous three games and Seattle is rolling.

3. Patriots 8-2 (3). Defense took another hit with tackle Alan Branch suspended four games for a positive drug test after Jabal Sheard was mysteriously benched.

4. Raiders 8-2 (4). If the playoffs started this week, the Silver and Black would be the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

5. Broncos 7-3 (6). Late open date has defending Super Bowl champions primed for a run to the postseason.

6. Giants 7-3 (7). Far from perfect, but with defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul returning to pre-fireworks accident form, they're interesting to watch.

7. Chiefs 7-3 (5). They need to get back on track Sunday night at Broncos or they'll be far behind in AFC West race.

8. Falcons 6-4 (8). They're refreshed after a week off and five of their final six games come against teams with losing records.

9. Steelers 5-5 (10). They've got rookies playing key roles on defense now and they'll need to grow up in a hurry

10. Redskins 6-3-1 (14). Mettle of this team will be tested with three-game road trip that starts Thursday in Dallas.

11. Dolphins 6-4 (15). Quite a story how Dolphins have become competitive. How many teams interviewed Adam Gase and didn't hire him?

12. Lions 6-4 (12). All Matthew Stafford does is find ways to win in the fourth quarter.

13. Vikings 6-4 (19). With worst rushing offense in the league, holding out hope Adrian Peterson could be back before December is over.

14. Eagles 5-5 (13). Wide receiver Nelson Agholor, after rough outing at Seattle, said, "I've got to get out of my own head." He might need to get out of Philly's depth chart.

15. Cardinals 4-5-1 (9). They don't look like a chic Super Bowl pick anymore. If you've been waiting for the Cardinals to turn it on, it might be time to reconsider.

16. Texans 6-4 (11). Green laser and bad officiating calls only added to Brock Osweiler's issues.

17. Ravens 5-5 (16). Gave tough effort at Cowboys but wound up being outclassed and need to beat Bengals to remain in thick of AFC North action.

18. Bills 5-5 (20). Ended three-game losing streak by toppling Bengals and wide receiver Sammy Watkins could be back in action soon.

19. Panthers 4-6 (22). Will make a two-week trip to West Coast to face Raiders and Seahawks and try to save the season.

20. Colts 5-5 (25). With Andrew Luck in concussion protocol, Thursday meeting with Steelers could be problematic.

21. Titans 5-6 (17). Young team looks to bounce back at Soldier Field after falling flat in Indianapolis.

22. Saints 4-6 (21). New Orleans has been so bad on special teams it now employs three coaches for that phase after hiring former Bears assistant Kevin O'Dea.

23. Buccaneers 5-5 (27). They're only two games behind Falcons but have Seahawks this week and Cowboys in the near future.

24. Bengals 3-6-1 (18). Loss of wide receiver A.J. Green and running back Giovani Bernard crippling to struggling team.

25. Chargers 4-6 (24). The schedule sets up nicely for them, but they've created quite a hole to climb out of.

26. Packers 4-6 (23). The offensive struggles have been well-documented, but they also have allowed 89 points the last two weeks.

27. Rams 4-6 (26). Change to Jared Goff didn't spark the offense.

28. Jets 3-7 (28). Todd Bowles stubbornly waiting for Fitzmagic to return instead of turning to Bryce Petty. That sums up Petty's chances in New York.

29. Jaguars 2-8 (29). The next coach of the Jaguars is going to have to make a thorough evaluation of Blake Bortles.

30. Bears 2-8 (30). Keep the focus on the young players through the final six games. There's not much else to lean on.

31. 49ers 1-9 (31). They're sixth in the NFL in rushing and dead last in time of possession and Colin Kaepernick is completing only 53.1 percent of his passes.

32. Browns 0-11 (32). Can the folks who figure Browns will win two games explain where those victories are coming from? Kent State? Bowling Green?

bmbiggs@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @BradBiggs

Copyright © 2018, The Virginia Gazette
48°