Let the debates begin.... There's been some movement near the top of the rankings. Enjoy!
(1) NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (No change)
As a whole, they've surrendered only 34 points this season. For those of you scoring at home, that's less than 7 PPG. A case can be made yet again for the lack of any serious competition, particularly after another submission-like beatdown over the Redskins this weekend. We'll find out a little more about this team on Thursday night when they face the challenge of a motivated, if not totally frustrated Giants team as well as the effects of a short week. This defense ranks atop the NFL in opposing yards per game
(2) NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (Up one spot)
In a season during which we've seen more than a few backup quarterbacks fill in admirably, there may be no better story than that of Teddy Bridgewater, who had his best game in years during a 34-21 beatdown over the Buccaneers. The narrative going into this part of the season after Drew Brees went down was "survival". Now it's dominance with the Saints owning the top spot in the NFC South in preparation for a Sunday showdown on the road at Jacksonville.
(3) SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (Up two spots)
The stories here are plentiful, with Nick Bosa leading the defense, which ranks just behind the Patriots in total opposing yards, as well as a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo, who has led this offense to a balanced attack which relies on a strong running game. The 275 yards they churned out in a beatdown over the Browns on Monday night was a sign of how solid this team is going forward. They can validate themselves in a big way this weekend with a trip to Los Angeles to face their division rival Rams.
(4) KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (Down two spots)
The mobility of Patrick Mahomes will come under some scrutiny this weekend when they face the Texans, particularly after seeing the star QB get chased around a lot when the team suffered their first loss of the season at Indianapolis. The lack of a strong run defense may come into play as well, facing a team that ranks in the top 10 in total rushing yards. Way too soon to put a red alert on this team, but if anyone was paying attention (and trust me, everyone was), you'd have a good idea how to find weaknesses in a team that had been seen as impenetrable two weeks ago.
(5) GREEN BAY PACKERS (Up four spots)
No team has bounced around more in the power rankings, which could very well be the case again after an upcoming Monday night showdown vs. the Lions. That said, for an offense that still appears to be a work in progress, they positively smashed Dallas last weekend, taking advantage of mistakes, which they've done all season long owning a +7 turnover ratio. They have an unblemished record (2-0) in the NFC North and can take a stranglehold atop the division under the lights.
(6) DALLAS COWBOYS (Down two spots)
(7) SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (New)
(8) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (Up one spot)
(9) LOS ANGELES RAMS (Down three spots)
TIE (10) MINNESOTA VIKINGS (No change) and INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (New)