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As the NFL season begins to enter the home stretch, the league is a tale of two conferences.
Of our top five teams in this week’s Power Ranking, four come from the NFC, where the playoff picture is packed tight and bound to leave a few teams disappointed at the end of the season.
On the other side of the spectrum sits this AFC, where aside from the Patriots and Steelers, it appears any team can beat any other on Sundays. There’s still time for teams like the Raiders and Ravens to make a run at the postseason, and still plenty of games left for the Chiefs to fall short after their hot start.
Check out where each teams stands heading into Week 11.
32. Cleveland Browns
- Gregory Shamus/Getty
Last week: Lost to the Lions, 38-24
This week: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
One thing to know: DeShone Kizer was playing one the best games of his career when he got hurt in the 4th quarter with the score tied. Cody Kessler replaced him for three drives, all of which ended in punts, and then Kizer returned for a final drive that ended in an interception. Such is life for the Browns.
31. New York Giants
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Last week: Lost to the 49ers, 31-21
This week: vs. Kansas City Chiefs
One thing to know: The Giants defense has let up 82 points over the past two weeks – not a great vote of confidence for head coach Ben McAdoo, who appears on his way out the door.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last week: Beat the Jets, 15-10
This week: at Miami Dolphins
One thing to know: The 15 points the Bucs scored in Week 10 against the Jets marked their most potent offensive game in three games.
29. San Francisco 49ers
Last week: Beat the Giants, 31-21
This week: Bye
One thing to know: The Niners secured their first win of the season against the Giants last week, but San Francisco fans are still waiting for the debut of newly acquired quarterback Jimmy Garropolo. The extra week of practice could pave the way for it to happen next Sunday.
28. Houston Texans
Last week: Lost to the Rams, 33-7
This week: vs. Arizona Cardinals
One thing to know: The Texans have scored 21 total points since Deshaun Watson went down with a torn ACL. Tom Savage will remain the starter, though Colin Kaepernick’s lawyer thinks Kaepernick would be a better option for the flailing team.
27. Cincinnati Bengals
Last week: Lost to the Titans, 24-20
This week: at Denver Broncos
One thing to know: After his temper got the best of him in Week 9, A.J. Green came back last week with a vintage performance, hauling in 115 yards and a touchdown it what turned out to be a losing effort for the Bengals.
26. Indianapolis Colts
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Last week: Lost to the Steelers, 20-17
This week: Bye
One thing to know: The heat is growing under Chuck Pagano’s seat, as ESPN’s Mike Wells wonders if Pagano’s days are limited in Indianapolis.
25. Los Angeles Chargers
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Last week: Lost to the Jaguars, 20-17
This week: vs. Buffalo Bills
One thing to know: With the Chargers already facing issues with drawing a crowd in Los Angeles, and facing a Bills team whose fanbase might not travel as well as Philadelphia’s, this week’s game might be one of the lowest attended of the NFL season.
24. Chicago Bears
- Joe Robbins/Getty
Last week: Lost to the Packers, 23-16
This week: vs. Detroit Lions
One thing to know: John Fox may have made the most crucial coaching blunder of Week 10 when he challenged that Bears running back scored a touchdown instead of being stopped at the one-yard line. Instead, referees ruled the Bears fumbled out of the end zone, resulting in a turnover to the Packers. The Bears lost by a touchdown.
23. Denver Broncos
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Last week: Lost to the Patriots, 41-16
This week: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
One thing to know: Despite leading the Broncos to consecutive blowout losses in his two starts at quarterback, Brock Osweiler will make his third start of the season over Trevor Siemian on Sunday. Paxton Lynch can’t get healthy soon enough.
22. Miami Dolphins
- Mike Ehrmann/Getty
Last week: Lost to the Panthers, 45-21
This week: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
One thing to know: The Dolphins, one of the league’s best defenses to begin the season, have allowed 140 points over the past four weeks.
21. New York Jets
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Last week: Lost to the Buccaneers, 15-10
This week: Bye
One thing to know: After a better-than-expected start to the season, it might be time for New York to consider their draft position for next year. Three of the Jets final six games come against opponents who have already reached seven wins – the Patriots, Saints, and Panthers.
20. Arizona Cardinals
Last week: Lost to the Seahawks, 22-16
This week: at Houston Texans
One thing to know: Drew Stanton hurt his knee, which means the Cardinals will be turning to third-string quarterback Blaine Gabbert for at least a game or two.
19. Baltimore Ravens
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Last week: Bye
This week: at Green Bay Packers
One thing to know: In addition to their matchup with the Rodgers-less Packers this week, the Ravens still have games remaining against the Texans, Browns, Colts, and Bengals. Baltimore could be a team to keep an eye on in a wide open race for the final AFC Wild Card slot.
18. Washington Redskins
Last week: Lost to the Vikings, 38-30
This week: at New Orleans Saints
One thing to know: Washington has played the league’s most difficult schedule so far, and it may have caught up to them. At 4-5, ESPN’s FPI gives Washington less than a 5% chance of making the playoffs.
17. Green Bay Packers
- Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Last week: Beat the Bears, 23-16
This week: vs. Baltimore Ravens
One thing to know: The Packers upset win over the Bears in Chicago last weekend was one of the most surprising results of Week 1o. Should Green Bay be able to stay alive in the NFC playoff hunt, one might wonder if Aaron Rodgers’ return from injury could potentially come sooner than expected.
16. Oakland Raiders
Last week: Bye
This week: vs. New England Patriots (Mexico City)
One thing to know: The Raiders held a lavish, star-studded ceremony at their future Las Vegas home on Monday, featuring George Lopez and Carlos Santana. In the meantime, Oakland is hoping their team can make a playoff push in the weak AFC.
15. Detroit Lions
- Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Last week: Beat the Browns, 38-24
This week: at Chicago Bears
One thing to know: The Lions have scored 30 or more points in three of their last four games. If they can keep up that breakneck pace, they’ll be a tough matchup for any opponent.
14. Buffalo Bills
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Last week: Lost to the Saints, 47-10
This week: at Los Angeles Chargers
One thing to know: Since trading defensive tackle Marcell Dareus to the Jaguars two weeks ago, the Bills have given up 492 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns.
13. Dallas Cowboys
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Last week: Lost to the Falcons, 27-7
This week: vs. Philadelphia Eagles
One thing to know: While Jerry Jones continues his war against the NFL and Roger Goodell, his team is fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive. This week they host the Eagles in what might be a do-or-die game if they wish to have a shot at the postseason.
12. Atlanta Falcons
- Kevin C. Cox/Getty
Last week: Beat the Cowboys, 27-7
This week: at Seattle Seahawks
One thing to know: Adrian Clayborne had the game of his life in Week 10, recording six sacks and two forced fumbles, earning him a $750,000 bonus!
11. Jacksonville Jaguars
- Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Last week: Beat the Chargers, 20-17
This week: at Cleveland Browns
One thing to know: The Jaguars defense is one of the best in the league, but they might need to settle down a bit, as taunting and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties have threatened to spoil their victories in back to back weeks.
10. Tennessee Titans
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Last week: Beat the Bengals, 24-20
This week: at Pittsburgh Steelers
One thing to know: The Titans are on a quiet four-game win streak, and if they can beat the Steelers on Thursday night, they could keep it going against three sub-.500 teams in a row.
9. Seattle Seahawks
- Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Last week: Beat the Cardinals, 22-16
This week: vs. Atlanta Falcons
One thing to know: The Seahawks still are if a good position to make the playoffs, but with the loss of Richard Sherman and an extremely crowded NFC Wild Card field, the path won’t be easy.
8. Kansas City Chiefs
- Jamie Squire/Getty
Last week: Bye
This week: at New York Giants
One thing to know: The Chiefs have fallen from 14th in defensive DVOA last year to 26th this year. Games against the Giants, Bills, and Jets could help them get back to their usual defensive ways.
7. Carolina Panthers
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Last week: Beat the Dolphins, 45-21
This week: Bye
One thing to know: Cam Newton was looking like his old self on Monday night, throwing for 254 yards, rushing for another 95, and tossing four touchdowns throughout the game. When he’s firing, the Panthers look like one of the most dangerous teams in football.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
Last week: Beat the Colts, 20-17
This week: vs. Tennessee Titans
One thing to know: Despite owning dynamic offensive talents and a stingy defense, the Steelers still have some uninspiring starts to games. It took them three quarters to wake up against the Colts in Week 10 before they escaped with the last-minute win. They’ll need better starts as they head into the second half of the season.
5. Minnesota Vikings
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Last week: Beat the Redskins, 38-30
This week: vs. Los Angeles Rams
One thing to know: Case Keenum played another solid game for the Vikings, throwing for 304 yards and four touchdowns. But with Teddy Bridgewater returning after being sidelined for 15 months, a potential quarterback controversy looms.
4. Los Angeles Rams
Last week: Beat the Texans, 33-7
This week: at Minnesota Vikings
One thing to know: The Rams’ offense has been the talking point around the team, but their defense has rounded into form of late, allowing 50 points over its past five games. Legendary defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is working his magic.
3. New England Patriots
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Last week: Beat the Broncos, 41-16
This week: vs. Oakland Raiders (Mexico City)
One thing to know: While the story surrounding Martellus Bennett’s release and subsequent waiver claim by the Patriots remains murky, the results are clear – Bennett came down with three catches for 38 yards and gave the Tom Brady yet another weapon on the field.
2. New Orleans Saints
Last week: Beat the Bills, 47-10
This week: vs. Washington Redskins
One thing to know: The Saints have turned into a true ground-and-pound team – and they look scaring doing it. Winners of seven straight, the Saints own the NFL’s best rushing attack after they laid 298 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the Bills. And the defense, annually one of the league’s worst, hasn’t allowed more than 20 points to an opponent in four weeks.
1. Philadelphia Eagles
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Last week: Bye
This week: at Dallas Cowboys
One thing to know: With the best record in football, the Eagles are still atop the NFC playoff picture, but will be facing a desperate Cowboys team in Dallas this week. An extra week for tight end Zach Ertz to get healthy and newly acquired running back Jay Ajayi to learn the Eagles offense should help them keep pace with Dak and company.
Now, check out how many star players have been lost for the season…
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