NFL Power Rankings Week 11

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Let me paint you a picture. It's Monday afternoon, and you're still feeling the effects from a series of poor weekend decisions. The Whopper and fries you wrecked for lunch hasn't lifted your spirits like you had imagined, and you are sitting aimlessly in your too-small cubicle spending more time worrying about deadlines than actually working. Ed won't shut the hell up about his planned trip to the Adirondack's next week when your stomach starts to rumble. It takes a brief intermission, then rumbles again. This isn't immediate danger, but it is more than the valid excuse necessary to leave Ed's rambling and head for the bathroom. This is the work dump.

We get it, Ed. You're in good shape for your age. You like hiking and getting bitten by bugs and shit. How about you extend that five-day trip into a two-week excursion so I don't have to look at you and your gross bologna sandwich you bring everyday until mid-March.

The work dump is legendary for so many reasons. First, it feels great and accomplishes the goal of removing waste and toxins from your body, though that can be said about most dumps. But the work dump is just so much sweeter. You spend over 40 hours a week in an office, essentially turning your desk chair into a second home. You see the same people every day, have the same idle conversations, and scroll through basically the same exact pictures of Brenda's kids. Oh, bunny ears again, nice.

The work dump allows you to escape all of that, if only for a moment. Locked in the stall and away from the world, you are finally alone with just your thoughts. And maybe a magazine or some unread texts. No boss, no co-workers, no computer screen. And you have a routine that you follow to a T. Personally, I try to hold off until around 2:00 and disappear to the roomy handicapped-stall in the far corner. That decision may come back to bite me if anyone ever wheels in while I'm going at it, but for now the reward is worth the risk. That seat knows me. It recognizes my cheeks. It understands my struggles.

There's nothing better than a 45-minute sit session to slash the dragging afternoon in half. Rising from the ashes after ridding yourself of the demons inside of you not only rejuvenates you, but you come back ready to actually be productive. And anyone would could pull off a morning-afternoon doubleheader deserves even more respect.

Your employer is actually paying you to take a shit. Now I know how Rob Schneider feels. So relax, sit back, and enjoy that work dump. Here is this week's power rankings.

1. New Orleans Saints (8-1) — Welcome to the 1 spot, New Orleans. The Saints were clicking on all cylinders, scoring touchdowns on all five of their first half possessions and pimp slapping the Bengals like Rick James did to Charlie Murphy in that Chappelle Show episode. That show needs to make a return, even if Dave Chappelle was funnier before he started lifting weights.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) — Patrick Mahomes is putting up video game numbers when you play against your non-gamer friend without telling him the controls. 31 touchdown passes through 10 games is ridiculous, and he didn't even need the remaining six games to set the Chief's franchise mark. And an Elvis Grbac reference is almost guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

3. Los Angeles Rams (9-1) — The Rams got into another shootout and walked away with a victory. Though, they may be limping a bit with Cooper Kupp going down. We should all thank FOX for the slow motion zoom in of Sean McVay after the fourth down stop to seal the game. Tony Dungy just said a prayer.

4. New England Patriots (7-3) — Tom Brady made up for his Super Bowl butter fingers with a trick-play reception on third down, though he tripped over the Ghost of Nick Foles and came up a yard short of the first down. The offensive jumped on 4th-and-1, and then Brady didn't see a wide-open James White, which resulted in a turnover on downs. It was that kind of day for New England, who needs Rob Gronkowski in pads instead of trying to come up with clever dick jokes on the sideline.

5. Los Angeles Chargers (7-2) — The Chargers started slower than Ruben Studdard's 40 time, though luckily they were playing the Raiders. Los Angeles hasn't had their staple win yet, and likely won't get that shot until an early December game against the Steelers. Nonetheless, at 7-2, they have cemented themselves into the top AFC wild card position and are a Chiefs slip up away from a potential division title.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers- (6-2-1) — The atmosphere at the Steelers game on Thursday night was worth running around for an hour trying to find my Uber after the game and nearly falling asleep at work the next day. Big Ben was in top form, but the key to this team beating New England or Kansas City is going to be their defense. They really got after Cam Newton.

7. Chicago Bears (6-3) — That does it, I'm lacing up the cleats and trying out for an NFL placekicker opening. This is getting ridiculous, as Cody Parkey missed 2 field goals and 2 extra points in the Bears win. I like Matt Nagy defending his guy, though, and this team's division lead was less predictable than an M. Night feature film. I see dead quarterbacks.

8. Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1) — An off week for Minnesota saw Chicago extend their lead in the division, and Green Bay get back on the right track. They play the Bears, Packers, and Patriots the next three weeks, so we're going to see if this Minnesota team is a legit Super Bowl contender.

9. Houston Texans (6-3) — Let's hope the bye week doesn't throw off the flow this Texans team has found. They seem to be getting better every week, and if they're looking for another playmaker nearby, it looks like Carmelo Anthony may be in need of a job soon.

10. Carolina Panthers (6-3) — The Panthers suffered a Pauly D-esque blowout in Pittsburgh on Thursday. After marching down the field for a touchdown on the first series of the game, the Panthers offensive line fell apart, and their defense couldn't stop a Wal-Mart shoplifter.

11. Green Bay Packers (4-4-1) — The Packers haven't lost at home this year, and with a resurgent run game, maybe they'll actually be able to grab one on the road one of these weeks. The Packers are far from out of it in the NFC, and are a team you don't want to run into in the playoffs. Get ready for Mike McCarthy's rosy red cheeks on the sideline for the remainder of the year.

12. Washington Redskins (6-3) — It's nice they got the win, but the Redskins were the first team that didn't absolutely eat against the Buccaneers awful defense. Josh Norman finally looked like the Pro Bowl corner he touts himself as, even if he did talk shit on the Redskins fans after the win.

13. Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) — The Bengals defense had two weeks to prepare for the prolific New Orleans offense. I don't think they could have stopped them if they had two years. Cincinnati just didn't show up on Sunday, sort of like my parents to the school play where I only had two lines. Killed those lines, though.

14. Tennessee Titans (5-4) — In the surprise of the weekend, a Titans team made up of former Patriots absolutely dismantled the reigning AFC champions. Other teams are going to want to emulate Mike Vrabel's blueprint. Marcus Mariotta's mustache could be the spark this team needs.

15. Dallas Cowboys (4-5) — The Cowboys picked the perfect time to grab their first road win of the season. Ezekiel Elliot had his best game of the season, mixing in SportsCenter worthy highlights, and Jerry Jones's plastic face will be programmed on "happy" for the week.

16. Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) — At least the Jimmy Butler trade brought some life into the city this weekend. I expected more from the Birds on Sunday night.

17. Atlanta Falcons (4-5) — The Falcons red zone woes came back with a vengeance like Derek Jeter's herpes after a road series in Baltimore. The Falcons had three chances to punch the ball in from the one, and weren't able to do it. That may have cost them their season.

18. Miami Dolphins (5-5) — This offense couldn't buy a touchdown from the guy on the corner who's got "anything you need." Combine that with perhaps the worst run defense in the league, and you have the recipe for a team playing their way out of any playoff hope.

19. Baltimore Ravens (4-5) — It looks like John Harbaugh has seven games left as the Ravens head coach. Though, if there's one thing we've learned from Marvin Lewis, is you can't trust everything you read. I actually think Harbaugh is a good coach, and probably wouldn't be unemployed for very long if he does get the ax. Do the Ravens throw in the towel?

20. Seattle Seahawks (4-5) — The Seahawks almost beat the Rams twice, but almost doesn't count unless it's horseshoes or hand grenades. I've slowly been incorporating dad lines into my daily vernacular, and we're all sort of upset about it.

21. Indianapolis Colts (4-5) — A last minute forced fumble sealed the game for Indianapolis, who somehow still have a shot in the division. A win against Tennessee next week would make it four straight for the Colts. However, Blake Bortles with over 300 yards and a 111 quarterback rating isn't a strong endorsement for this pass defense.

22. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6) — Leonard Fournette looking healthy in his return was a nice touch, though the Jaguars may have already given up on this season. This was a former shutdown defense who's now giving up three scores to freakin' Eric Ebron. Doug Marrone looks like a guy who watches Food Network while eating Ramen noodles.

23. Cleveland Browns (3-6-1) — Nick Chubb just gave his fantasy owners a semi, exposing the Falcons' run defense in the process. Baker Mayfield probably played the most complete game of his career, and the Browns got over the hump, if only for a week. They're a team on the rise in the coming years if they get their coaching situation figured out.

24. Denver Broncos (3-6) — There's a feeling of dysfunction in Denver, and I'm wondering if the Broncos are going to continue to fight for Vance Joseph. The goal now should be developing young players and determining if Case Keenum is the future.

25. Detroit Lions (3-6)- That loss was worse than the final score. I don't think they will, but the Lions better not get rid of Jim Bob Cooter so we can keep saying Jim Bob Cooter.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) - Accounting for over 500 yards and only scoring 3 points is astonishing in itself, but things are going downhill for the Buccaneers faster than a sled on a frozen hill. I'm out here roller-skating on the street in sneakers, yet the district still only gives us a two-hour delay. Absolutely ridiculous. Do the Bucs go back to Jameis Winston at some point this season?

27. Buffalo Bills (3-7) — I was wondering why Mat Barkley hadn't gotten a shot again. I know it was only the Jets, but this was a good win for Buffalo. They've been playing better. They should ride it out with Barkley for another game or two to see what he's made of.

28. New York Giants (1-7) — Eli Manning took the hot tub time machine and flashed back to his old self in leading the game-winning touchdown drive. He's still a shell of his former self.

29. Arizona Cardinals (2-7) — They competed against the Chiefs, even if the final outcome was never in doubt. David Johnson has looked much better with Byron Leftwich. Leftwich being carried down the field is still one of the best highlights of all-time.

30. San Francisco 49ers (2-7) — Nick Mullens had a case of bad luck in his second start, and the Niners weren't able to hold on. The fight for the first pick in the draft is underway.

31 New York Jets (3-7) — I actually thought this team would look better with Josh McCown for a week. I was wrong in that assessment. MetLife Stadium may be rather empty the rest of the way.

32. Oakland Raiders (1-8) — Sometimes to win, you have to lose first. I like Mark Davis taking the blame.

Comments and Conversation

November 15, 2018

Anthony Brancato:

Someone who is more stat-obsessed might have pointed out that the 2018 Eagles are the only team in NFL history to have been favored in all of their first nine games and have a losing record in them - and might have further mentioned that they are staring down the barrel of doing either, or both, of two pretty infamous things: Only one Super Bowl champion - Super Bowl XVI-winning 49ers - had losing seasons both the year before and the year after the Super Bowl championship season, and the year after was a strike-shortened nine-game season, attaching a Roger Maris-like “asterisk” to the “accomplishment;” and similarly, only two Super Bowl champions suffered a last-place division finish the following year - and in one of those cases, a strike-shortened season was involved as well, as the Giants finished 6-9 and last in the NFC East the year after winning Super Bowl XXI, with three of the losses coming in scab games which, had they not counted, the Giants would not have finished last. Only the 1999 Broncos, last in the AFC West at 6-10 after winning the Super Bowl in both of the previous two seasons, did it legitimately.

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