NFL Top-10: Week 14

Story posted December 9, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Matthew Gelhard

This year has been one of the hardest years to rank teams as there have so many variables that have affected them.

What are the Titans without Derrick Henry? Did the Patriots really break the Bills, or was it the weather? With all these reinforcements in Los Angeles,  why do the Rams struggle to be in the top 10? Here are the rankings as of the conclusion of Week 13.

Honorable Mentions: Washington Football Team, Buffalo Bills

10. Los Angeles Rams

Following the loss of Robert Woods, the Rams had to reconfigure their offense with their new toy Odell Beckham Jr. This could not come at a worse time as they went through a gauntlet of top-10 teams in that time span. The team has been able overcome injuries and create a new identity in an offense that can win them games alone.

9. Dallas Cowboys

The NFC East’s leader contains a potent offense with a next man up mentality with key pieces on defense such as Trevon Diggs and Micah Parsons. The team would be higher in the ranks if it could find consistency.

In a big game, which Dallas Cowboys team shows up? The good one you’ll have to show up to play or get rolled over but the bad one will show you why they haven’t reached a conference championship since 1995.

8. Tennessee Titans

The Titans are still a good football team and with a surprise they can still run the ball. Although Dontrell Hillard and D’Onta Foreman are not Derrick Henry, which drops them in the rankings due to the Titans’ weekly game plan against opposing teams. It has been tough for them to pass the ball without AJ Brown and Julio Jones.

7. Baltimore Ravens

This team has been able to grind out wins down to the final minute and with playmakers Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown they survive. They move down the rankings because the margins of victory are so close, and they are susceptible to the wheels falling off the bus just like in losses to Miami, Cincinnati and even this past weekend in Pittsburgh.

6. Indianapolis Colts

The Colts’ record does not show the potential of this squad.

Jonathan Taylor each week keeps adding to his MVP resume. With the best turnover ratio in the NFL, the defense changes the momentum of the game, and the offense has the means to capitalize with Taylor and sophomore stud receiver Michael Pittman Jr.

5. Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs aren’t the team that can drop 40 on your favorite team at the moment, but they are spreading the responsibility out wide and that is what is winning ball games.

Patrick Mahomes does not need to throw for 500 yards to keep the team in games as they are going back to the run and the usually poor Kansas City defense is playing well. No team has scored more than 20 points against the Chiefs for an entire month and with a flip of a switch this team can score more than that.

4. New England Patriots

New England’s offensive line and backfield play right now is the epitome of Belichick’s running back by committee approach that historically has been successful. Game strategy for the Patriots is what made this team hot as the defense gives up the least number of points per game and Mac Jones can run an offense that is focused on winning games.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Leonard Fournette is showing that versatility that made him so successful in the playoffs. Rob Gronkowski’s health is crucial in making the gears of the Tom Brady led offense turn.

2. Green Bay Packers

This team sports two solid runners in the backfield in Aaron Jones and AJ Dillion. Aaron Rodgers following the COVID-19 situation is trending towards his MVP self.

The high-powered offense is complemented by a top-5 defense that is now just getting fully healthy. Scary.

1. Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray’s absence has proved that the Cardinals can stay afloat in more ways than one but when Murray is back, they are even more dangerous.

 

Matthew Gelhard is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at mgg5264@psu.edu.