Every Tuesday during the NFL season, Colin puts out his Herd Hierarchy Top 10 NFL power rankings, and this week it’s most of the usual teams, with a couple surprise additions.
This week, the Jags make their first Hierarchy appearance ever; the Ravens sneak back in; the Falcons drop out; and there’s a new #1.
Here are his Top 10 teams after Week 13:
10. Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jags sneak into the Hierarchy for the first time ever thanks to their dominant Sacksonville D. They rank 1st in Points per Game, Points per Drive, Yards per Game, Yards per Play, Passing Yards per Game, Red Zone, Sacks, and have allowed fewer than 10 points, 6 times. When Blake Bortles doesn’t throw an interception, they’re 6-0. If the Jags get a real quarterback, they could be scary. Tom Coughlin has changed the culture.
9. L.A. Chargers – Colin thinks the Chargers are the best team in the AFC West, and they’re getting hot at the right time. They’ve won 6 of their last 8 after starting 0-4, and in their last 8 games have only allowed an opposing quarterback passer rating of 67.3 while forcing 14 Interceptions. Led by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, L.A. has 4 different players with at least 4 Sacks (no team in the AFC has more). Nobody wants to play the Chargers right now. They could go higher in weeks to come.
8. Baltimore Ravens – Colin slots the Ravens in at 8 because he likes their D that has only allowed more than 400 yards of offense once this year. They’re 7-1 this year when Joe Flacco throws one or fewer interceptions (0-4 otherwise), and running back Alex Collins has 4 rushing TD’s in his last 3 games. The Ravens could be a problem if they can find a way into the playoffs.
7. Seattle Seahawks – Colin loves Russell Wilson, but right now he’s carrying too much of the load for Seattle. He’s accounted for 29 of the Seahawks 30 offensive TD’s this year, and is accounting for an absurd 82.2% of his team’s total offense.
Colin believes in Wilson Pete Carroll, the organization, but they can’t win the Super Bowl unless they get Wilson some help.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers – Pittsburgh kept it rolling with a win over division rival Cincinnati on Monday night, and are the only team in the NFL with multiple sacks in every game this year. Le’Veon Bell had his 5th game with 180+ Yards from scrimmage Monday – only 2 players in NFL history have had more such games in a single season (1999 Marshall Faulk, 2003 LaDainian Tomlinson), and Antonio Brown has 100 receiving yards in 3 straight games with a total of 6 Touchdowns.
The Steelers have the weapons, but Colin still questions their attention to detail and consistency, especially against New England in the playoffs.
5. L.A. Rams – Colin likes the Rams because they show consistent effort and offensive explosiveness every week. Todd Gurley ranks 2nd in the NFL with 125.2 Yards from scrimmage per game and is tied for the NFL lead in Total Touchdowns with 11. Sammy Watkins is averaging 20 yards a catch in his last five games with 4 touchdowns, and the defense leads the NFC in sacks with 37, including 9 in their last 2.
The Rams were a nice comeback story to start the season, but now they’re a real threat in the NFC.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles take a small drop from the top spot, but there’s no need to panic. Even in a loss, they racked up 425 Yards of offense Sunday (2nd highest of the season), but only managed 3-points in 2 Red Zone trips. They also failed to rush for 100 Yards for the 1st time since Week 1.
Colin still thinks Philly can make a Super Bowl run.
3. New Orleans Saints – The Saints just handled Carolina at home, and rookie running back Alvin Kamara continues to be the story. Kamara is the only running back averaging 50 Yards Rushing and Receiving per game, and is averaging 8.4 Yards per Touch overall, including 10 Yards per touch in his last 5. Since Week 8, Drew Brees has the league’s 3rd best Passer Rating (109.2).
The Saints have the pieces to make it out of the NFC.
2. Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings and Case Keenum continue to impress Colin to the point where he’s now convinced they have a legit chance to make it to the Super Bowl. Last Sunday, they held the Falcons to season lows in Yards, Pass Yards, and 3rd Down Conversion %.
QB Case Keenum is just the 3rd player in Vikings History to have a Passer Rating of 100 in 4 straight games, and in the 2nd half Sunday, he completed all 13 of his passes. Minnesota has the best defense in the NFL and the offense is better than good enough right now. The Vikings don’t look anything like the team that collapsed down the stretch last season.
- New England Patriots – The Patriots defense was a liability to start the season, but is only allowing 10.7 yards per game in their last 6 games. The running back tandem Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis has become a nightmare for opposing defenses, on Sunday the two combined for 195 Yards from Scrimmage and 2 TD on 6.5 Yds per Touch, Sunday.
The Patriots are loaded offensively and the defense is good enough for Belichick and Brady to win it all again.
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) December 5, 2017