Every Tuesday during the NFL season, Colin puts out his Herd Hierarchy Top 10 NFL power rankings, and for the first time this year, the same 10 teams are in for two weeks in a row.
There’s movement within the rankings, however, with the Seahawks holding on for dear life; the Steelers and Vikings move up, and the Saints drop down.
Here are his Top 10 teams after Week 12:
10. Seattle Seahawks – Colin is leaving Seattle in his Top 10 out of respect for Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson, but the Seahawks are struggling. Russell Wilson accounts for an absurd 85.9% of the Seahawks offense (Leads NFL), they’re the most penalized team in the league, and Earl Thomas is the only Legion of Boomer left in the secondary. Seattle at 10, but maybe not for long.
9. Atlanta Falcons – Atlanta has fought past their early season Super Bowl hangover by winning 4 of their last 5. Matt Ryan has 9 TD’s, 2 INT’s, and a Passer Rating of 107.4. Ryan only had 7 passing TD’s in his first six games. With Devonta Freeman out, Tevin Coleman has rushed for 74.3 YPG and 3 touchdowns in his last 3 with 4 scores. Atlanta has the toughest remaining schedule in the NFL, so they’ll be tested heading down the stretch.
- L.A. Chargers – The Chargers have won 5 of their last 7, and Colin thinks they’re the best team in the AFC West. In his last 2 games, Philip Rivers is completing 72.3% of his passes at 10.54 Yds/Pass with 5 TD, 0 INT, and a Passer rating of 131.9. Keenan Allen has also stormed back to his pre-injury form with 23 Rec, 331 Yds, and 3 TD’s in the last 2. Colin loves L.A.’s violent pass rush tandem of Bosa and Ingram and thinks they’ll win the division.
- Carolina Panthers – The Panthers are 8-3, and doing it while getting below average production from Cam Newton. Sunday was Cam’s 4th game this year with a Passer Rating below 60 (only DeShone Kizer has more). Cam’s inefficiency and inability to convert 3rd Downs is already wearing down the defense, which has given up 100 yards rushing in back-to-back weeks for the first time this season. Carolina can be dangerous, but Newton needs to play better.
6. New Orleans Saints – The Saints dropped one to the Rams, but Colin is still buying them. In the last 5 games, Drew Brees has a Passer Rating of 109.8, and breakout rookie Alvin Kamara is averaging 134.0 total scrimmage yards, and 7 TD’s. Kamara leads the NFL with an explosive 8.4 Yds/Touch. Injuries to rookie DPOY candidate Marshon Lattimore and sack leader Alex Okafor (out for the year – Achilles) are a concern. The Saints can still win the division, but Colin likes Carolina’s personnel better.
5. L.A. Rams – The Rams are coming off another impressive win against the Saints, and continue the most impressive turnaround in the league. Todd Gurley leads the NFL with 11 Touchdowns, and Sammy Watkins has 3 scores in his last 4. L.A. is undefeated when scoring over 20 points. Jared Goff has been sacked 9 times over his last 3 games, which is a concern.
4. Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings just took care of the Redskins and Case Keenum is looking better each week. In his last 3 games, Keenum is completing over 70% of his passes at 8.93 Yds per pass with 7 TD’s, 2 INT’s and a Passer Rating of 114.0. Also, in his last 5 games, Latavius Murray is averaging 17.8 rushes per game for nearly 80 yards per game with 5 TD. The defense is the best in the league and this offense can score enough points to win most weeks. Minnesota is dangerous.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers are built on stars, and their stars have been making plays, During their 6-game winning streak, Big Ben has a passer rating of 103.6, and has thrown 14 TD and just 5 interceptions after throwing 7 picks over his first 5. Antonio Brown is the 4th player in NFL history to have consecutive games with at least 10 Rec, 100 Yds, and multiple TD (Wk 11 vs TEN: 10 Rec, 144 Yds, 3 TD; Wk 12 vs GB: 10 Rec, 169 Yds, 2 TD), and they’re 6-0 when Le’Veon Bell reaches 100 yards from scrimmage.
One concern heading into the playoffs: The Pittsburgh defense has allowed 5 pass TD of 50+ yards over their last 3 games since Joe Haden went down for the year. Pittsburgh is clearly the second-best team in the AFC, but Colin still thinks they get beat by the Patriots.
2. New England Patriots – The Patriots clinched their 17th straight winning season, which is the longest streak in the NFL since the Merger in 1970, and over his last 3 games, Tom Brady is completing almost 74% of his passes with 10 TD’s, 1 INT, and a Passer Rating of 128.1.
Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis have formed this year’s 2-headed running back monster in the backfield for the Patriots – on Sunday they combined for 31 Touches, 116 Yds from Scrimmage, & 2 TD. Over their last 7 games, the Pats defense is only allowing an opposing quarterback passer rating of Passer Rating of 79.7 (allowed 116.5 over first 4), after getting torched to start the season. New England is still the favorite in the AFC.
1. Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles keep the top spot again, and are off to their 4th 10-1 start in franchise history. They’ve won 4 straight games by at least 23 points, and are the only team in the NFL ranked in the Top 5 in Rush Offense, Rush D, 3rd Down Defense, and 3rd Down Offense. Carson Wentz has a remarkable 9 TD’s and 0 interceptions when facing the blitz.
The Eagles pass defense was a weakness early in the year, but since Week 8, they’ve been the best unit in the league, allowing NFL lows in Comp % (51.1), Yards per Pass (4.80), Passer Rating (42.5), and Pass Plays of 20+ yards (2). The Eagles continue to roll and are still the best team in the league.