NFL power rankings entering Week 11 of 2022 season (previous rank in parentheses):
1. Eagles (1): Unsurprisingly, they’re mortal and will pose no threat to the 1972 Dolphins. But amid a season that feels high on drama but low on greatness, they retain top spot almost by default – especially since the University of Georgia is ineligible for these rankings. And Monday’s setback to Washington did seem a touch fluky, Philadelphia turning the ball over four times after entering Week 10 with three giveaways on the season while also trailing at the half for the first time. And a keepaway strategy and domination of time of possession almost always works … even when you average 4.1 yards per play, as the Commanders did while holding the ball for more than 40 minutes.
2. Vikings (7): The average margin of victory during their seven-game win streak is 5.1 points, all of those triumphs coming by one score. But when you’ve got a clean-up hitter like WR Justin Jefferson and a closer like CB Patrick Peterson, who cares about style points?
3. Bills (2): It’s not every week that you’ll get torched by a receiver of Jefferson’s caliber. But Buffalo’s secondary has to be a concern given the uncertainty that remains around injured CB Tre’Davious White and the ongoing injury issues at a safety position that had been the unit’s strength.
4. Chiefs (3): The rich may be getting filthy rich as newly acquired WR Kadarius Toney’s role in the offense expands. A first-round pick of the Giants last year, he notched his first NFL TD on Sunday while racking up 90 yards from scrimmage.
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5. Dolphins (5): Look who’s suddenly atop the AFC East. Miami is undefeated in contests started and finished by QB Tua Tagovailoa. The run game is also gaining steam behind recently obtained RB Jeff Wilson and fellow former 49er Raheem Mostert – the duo combining for 184 yards Sunday.
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6. Cowboys (4): A defense that’s supposedly elite was dismembered by a Green Bay offense that hadn’t done much this year – before handing Dallas its first-ever loss (in 196 games) after leading by 14+ points entering the fourth quarter. Next up, a trip to Minnesota, where the Vikes average nearly 30 points and 400 yards.
7. Ravens (6): With at least 150 rushing yards this Sunday against Carolina, Baltimore will match the 1985 Bears – yes, Walter Payton’s champs – for the longest string of 150-yard ground outputs in the last 38 seasons.
8. 49ers (8): Interesting distribution of touches Sunday, just-activated RB Elijah Mitchell getting one more (19 overall) than RB Christian McCaffrey.
9. Bengals (9): Crucial stretch coming out of the bye, Cincinnati playing against AFC foes in seven of the next eight weeks. The reigning conference champs are currently outside the playoff field, an 0-3 division record and 2-3 AFC record doing them no good.
10. Patriots (11): Currently the AFC’s projected seventh seed, New England would elevate by sweeping up the Jets on Sunday. The NYJ haven’t won at Gillette Stadium since shocking the Pats in the 2010 playoffs.
11. Giants (13): RB Saquon Barkley had a career-high 35 carries Sunday after he and New York failed to reach a contract extension during the bye. Here’s hoping the workload doesn’t burn out league’s leading rusher.
12. Jets (12): As they look for elusive solutions to solve their Patriots problem, maybe WR Elijah Moore’s shift into the slot will weaponize him once again.
13. Buccaneers (16): We had to go to Germany to learn a few things about a previously underachieving running back room – Rachaad White could be a real difference maker, and Leonard Fournette is a real hindrance … as a passer.
14. Seahawks (10): CB Tariq Woolen has to be the favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. He’s the third freshman in the past 13 seasons with at least five INTs in his first 10 games.
15. Titans (14): They’re averaging 18.4 points per game. In the last 20 years, two clubs of 140 (1.4%) have scored at such a low clip yet still made postseason.
16. Chargers (15): No one’s chucking it more times per game (42.9) than QB Justin Herbert. But the efficiency and production just aren’t there when your O-line is in constant flux and your top two wideouts are in street clothes.
17. Packers (19): Before Christian Watson managed it Sunday, who was the last Green Bay rookie with 100 receiving yards and three TD catches in a game? How about Hall of Famer James Lofton in 1978.
18. Commanders (23): They improved to 3-1 under QB Taylor Heinicke after Monday’s upset of the previously unbeaten Eagles and are just a half-game out of the NFC’s final playoff spot. Washington’s lineup will certainly improve with the return of DE Chase Young, but maybe not so much with QB Carson Wentz.
19. Rams (17): Hard to imagine what this passing attack will look like without injured All-Pro WR Cooper Kupp, who commands 31% of the target share, has 38% of the receiving yardage and six of LA’s nine TDs through the air this season.
20. Falcons (18): Props to LT Jake Matthews for extending his league-best active streak of 137 consecutive starts and still attending the birth of his child in Georgia last Thursday … when he had a game in Charlotte that night.
21. Cardinals (20): Since start of the 2021 season, their 11-3 regular-season road record is league’s best. Not sure what that means for next Monday night, when the Cards will serve as the “home” team in Mexico City against the Niners.
22. Lions (26): For the first time in 29 years, they won a game they trailed by at least 14 points after three quarters. For the first time under head coach Dan Campbell, they won on the road.
23. Bears (24): Their top-ranked ground attack is producing a lot of records … if not many wins. Chicago just became the first team to rush for 225+ yards in five consecutive games, just one a victory. In that same stretch, QB Justin Fields has 555 yards with his legs, 82 more than any other quarterback over a five-game stretch in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).
24. Jaguars (25): Sunday, they pulled off the first successful onside kick to start a game in six years. It was downhill from there.
25. Browns (22): The next few weeks should be awkward. Suspended QB Deshaun Watson will return to practice Wednesday, yet QB2 Jacoby Brissett really needs to win the next two games (at Bills, vs. Bucs) for Cleveland to have any crack at the playoffs. Good luck managing this, Coach Stefanski.
26. Colts (32): Despite the sideshow they’d become over the last week, Jeff Saturday and Co. are just one back in the win column when it comes to scrapping for an AFC wild-card berth. Replicate Saturday’s Sunday formula, and Indianapolis could even find its way back to the top of the AFC South.
27. Steelers (29): They’re undefeated with OLB T.J. Watt in the lineup. Here we come 11-6?
28. Panthers (30): Should have known the all-black Panthers would prevail the day before “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” debuted.
29. Saints (21): Seems like an overdue quarterback change is coming for a team that’s lost four of five.
30. Raiders (27): Does it get much worse than QB Derek Carr in post-game tears while wearing Fresno State gear instead of his signature black?
31. Broncos (28): Defense wins championships? Denver has allowed the fewest points in the NFL … but also scored the fewest. That means 3-6 in the modern NFL.
32. Texans (31): Disgruntled WR Brandin Cooks returned to the lineup Sunday … less his captaincy but providing all of 42 yards. (Another) net loss.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.
Story Credit: usatoday.com