Every Tuesday during the NFL season, Colin puts out his Herd Hierarchy Top 10 NFL power rankings, and the contenders are separating after Week 9. This week, the Chiefs keep dropping, the Redskins are back in, the Texans are out after losing Deshaun Watson, and there’s a new #1.
Here are his Top 10 teams after Week 9:
10. Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs keep falling after a loss against Dallas that wasn’t as close as the score. Offensively, they’ve gone 4 straight games without rushing for 100 yards (1-3 in those games), and if you take away the Tyreek Hill Hail Mary screen pass, they weren’t explosive against the Cowboys.
The biggest problem is they can’t stop anybody, ranking 30th in yards per play allowed. The Chiefs don’t resemble the threat they were earlier in the year. Alex Smith still can’t carry a team.
9. Washington Redskins – Colin has liked the Redskins all year, and moves them back into the Top 10 after an impressive win in Seattle. In his last 6 games, Kirk Cousins is completing 70% of his passes with 11 TD’s, 3 INT’s, and a 108.4 passer rating.
Running back Chris Thompson has been a nice find, and is the only player in the league leading his team in rushing and receiving yards. Colin also likes their defensive front and pass rush. He may have them ranked a little low.
8. New Orleans Saints – The Saints just destroyed the Bucs and have shocked everyone by running the ball and playing actual defense. During their 6-game win streak, New Orleans is averaging 140.2 Rush YPG with 8 touchdowns, and running back Alvin Kamara is averaging 103.6 scrimmage YPG over his last 5 with 4 total touchdowns (2 Rush, 2 Rec).
Defensively, they’re only allowing 4.49 yards per play and 12 takeaways during the win streak.
7. Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings would be higher if they had a quarterback, but they’re still winning games because they have one of the best defenses in the NFL and are running the ball. Minnesota is only defense in the NFC ranked in the Top 5 in yards per play, points per drive allowed, 3rd Down defense, and Red Zone defense.
They’re also 6-0 when running the ball at least 23 times (0-2 otherwise). Case Keenum is a liability, but defense and running the ball is getting it done.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers – Pittsburgh has hit their stride heading into the second half of the season because they’ve rediscovered Le’Veon Bell, who’s averaging 140.2 Scrimmage YPG and has all 5 of his touchdowns over the last 6 games. The Steelers defense ranks 5th in yards per play allowed, and 2nd in points per drive allowed.
Big Ben has also been better since his implosion against the Jags and has discovered a new explosive target in JuJu Smith-Schuster who has a team high 4 TD grabs. Steelers are clearly the best in the AFC North and headed for the playoffs.
5. Seattle Seahawks – Seattle moves down after holding the top spot for a week, because they’re asking too much from Russell Wilson. He’s the only QB leading his team in rushing, and has 45 more yards than Seattle’s top 2 running backs, combined. The acquisition of All-Pro left tackle will eventually help establish a ground game and stop Wilson from running for his life. Something has to change.
4. Los Angeles Rams – The Rams dismantled the struggling Giants and Jared Goff had his best game of his career. He became the first Ram with 300 passing yards and 4 touchdowns since Marc Bulger in 2006. Todd Gurley leads the NFL with 128 scrimmage yards per game, and they’re the only team in the NFC that hasn’t allowed an opposing passer rating over 100.
Sean McVay has the Rams rolling and Colin likes them more every week.
3. Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys have re-established their dominant o-line play and are averaging 33:08 time of possession in their last 4 games. They’re also averaging 37 rushes per game, 182.0 rushing yards per game, with 8 rushing TD’s in that stretch.
The Dallas pass rush ranks 3rd in the NFL with 27 sacks, with David Irving and DeMarcus Lawrence accounting for 16.5 of them. Colin likes the Cowboys ability to impose their will on opponents come playoff time and their newfound ability to get to the quarterback..
2. New England Patriots – After getting torched for 32.0 PPG in their first 4 games, the Patriots have only allowed 12.8 PPG in their last four. They still rank last in the NFL in total defense, pass defense, and yards per rush allowed, but at least they’re trending in the right direction.
All Belichick and Brady need is a defense that can give them a chance, and Colin thinks by the time the playoffs start, New England’s D will be good enough.
- Philadelphia Eagles – What can you say about Carson Wentz? He leads the NFL in 3rd Down passer rating (125.1), 3rd Down yards per pass (9.28), 3rd Down pass TD (10), and 3rd Down completions for 1st Down (43). His 10 passing TD’s on 3rd Down are as much or more than 12 NFL teams have overall.
They’re 2nd in the NFL in time of possession, and are only team in the league ranked in the Top 5 in rush offense and defense. The loss of tackle Jason Peters hurts, but in his first game without Peters, Wentz faced a career low 3 pressures against the Broncos. Philly and Wentz back at #1 again. They’re good enough to get to the Super Bowl right now.