Every Tuesday, with all the NFL games in the book, it’s time for The Herd Hierarchy, Colin’s power rankings of his Top 10 NFL teams.
This week, Miami and Adam Gase ride a six-game winning streak into the hierarchy, while Carson Wentz and the Eagles finally drop out of the Top 10 after a strong start to the year. The weekly battle for the top spot in the rankings continues between the Cowboys, Seahawks and the Patriots.
Here’s the Herd Hierarchy through 12 weeks of the 2016 NFL season.
10. Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins have been the biggest surprise in the NFL season. They ride a 6-game winning streak into week 13 with Ryan Tannehill playing the best football of his career under Adam Gase. Since Week 6, Tannehill is completing 67.6% of his passes, with 9 touchdowns and 1 interception and a 104.7 passer rating. Miami’s 2 giveaways since Week 6 is the fewest in the NFL, and their 152.3 rushing yards per game during that span is 3rd best in the NFL. They’ve benefitted from the 3rd easiest schedule in the league, but have a real defense, decent receivers and a solid coach in Gase.
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) November 28, 2016
9. Washington Redskins – Washington is another underrated team that Colin is high on. Washington, led by Kirk Cousins, is 2nd in total offense, 2nd in yards per play, They’ve played Dallas tough twice, including a competitive Thanksgiving Day loss. Washington is flying under the radar in the crowded NFC East. They can move the ball on anybody, and should be in a solid position to make the playoffs, and win games once they’re in.
8. Kansas City Chiefs – Ho, hum, another win. Andy Reid’s boring Chiefs are now 18-3 in their last 21 games after pulling out a win in Denver on Sunday night in overtime. They lead the league with 24 takeaways and a +14 turnover differential. The win against Denver made it 8-straight in the division. They don’t ask how, they just ask how many.
— The Extra Points (@TheExtraPoints1) November 13, 2016
7. Atlanta Falcons – Atlanta just smoked the Cardinals at home, and have the most explosive offense in the NFL, ranking 1st in the league in yards per play (6.60), 1st in scoring offense (32.5 ppg), 3rd in total offense (411.5 net ypg), and have the most big plays (20+ yards) with 56. Defense is still a massive liability, especially in the passing game, where the Falcons rank dead last, allowing 282.2 yards per game.
The Sky is the limit!
— NFL Deutschland (@NFLDeutschland) November 27, 2016
6. Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens hit a rough streak after a 3-0 start. Colin was critical of Baltimore during their hot start, but has been more impressed recently. The biggest reason is the Ravens defense. They’re 2nd in total defense (297.8 ypg), 1st in rush defense (74.9 ypg). They’re not flashy, but are 4-0 in the division, with 3 of their last 4 games coming within the AFC North. Solid head coach, winning quarterback, top defense, and good at home. Colin likes the Ravens.
— Scott Schmelzle (@Schmelzle_Chem) November 28, 2016
5. Pittsburgh Steelers – Big Ben is finally back from his mid-season injury break, and looks to ride another dominant December into the playoffs. He’s 34-14 in his career in December, including 10-1 in his last 11. Pittsburgh is on a 2-game winning streak, which follows a 4-game losing streak. The Steeler defense is still shaky, but with Big Ben, LeVeon Bell, and Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh is built to win late.
— Jimmy Norkewicz (@dorkewicz) November 14, 2016
4. Oakland Raiders – Colin predicted the Raiders would win the AFC West before the season, and has been their earliest, most vocal supporter. The 9-2 Raiders have won 5 in a row, and 8 of their last 9, mostly fueled by weekly Derek Carr 4th quarter comebacks. Last week, he shoved his mangled pinky into a glove to lead Oakland to a comeback win. The Raiders are undefeated on the road, which could be huge heading into the playoffs. Oakland with Carr look like they can beat anyone on a given week.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) November 27, 2016
3. Seattle Seahawks – Colin isn’t reading too much into Seattle’s stinker in Tampa Bay last week. A week after looking like the best player in the NFL against the Patriots, Wilson regressed for a game. It happens with Wilson. The Seattle defense is allowing the fewest points (17 ppg). They’re unbeaten at home. And, Russell Wilson will show up when it matters most. Seattle is still solid.
— Ciara (@ciara) November 21, 2016
2. New England Patriots – Brady and Belichick will be primed and ready for the playoff push. For as much discussion about how awful the Patriot defense has been this year, they’re allowing the 3rd fewest points per game in the league (17.9). If they have to hold Gronk back until the postseason, it could be a rough couple of weeks offensively, especially in the red zone. New England, with a healthy Gronk, will win in the playoffs. Can they secure home-field advantage?
— Joe Giza (@JoeGiza) November 28, 2016
- Dallas Cowboys – The 10-1 Cowboys are the most consistent team in the NFL. Their 10-straight wins is the longest single season winning streak in franchise history. The Dallas running game and their punishing offensive line look like they’re built for a deep postseason run. The Cowboys rank 2nd in the NFL in rushing, and lead the league in time of possession (32:50) and scoring differential (+103). Dak Prescott is completing 67.9% of his passes, and has 18 touchdowns with only 2 interceptions. Colin loves what’s happening in Big D. Jerra gets the top spot.
Ezekiel Elliott’s 32-Yard Touchdown Wins Game Of The Year For Cowboys pic.twitter.com/dvrxInmHUg
— SportsCast (@SportsCast_THN) November 14, 2016
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) November 29, 2016