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Can a team be 10-2, yet still be flying under the radar? The Minnesota Vikings are doing just that, having won eight straight games while garnering little fanfare.
Part of the lack of buzz has to do with the skepticism of quarterback Case Keenum, who does not put up gawdy numbers. Keenum has been a model of efficiency as his most recent outing in Atlanta shows, going 25-of-30 for 227 yards and two touchdowns. Keenum has thrown for 2,476 yards, 14 touchdowns and has just five interceptions while completing 66 percent of his passes.
In addition to their recent win against the Falcons, the Vikings’ wins this season include the Lions, Rams, Ravens and Saints. Minnesota will be favored in their remaining four matchups, and are within striking distance of the top seed in the NFC. The Vikings just keep winning, whether or not we are paying attention.
Here’s a look at our latest NFL power rankings. We will continue to update these rankings as the remaining primetime matchups go final.
No. 1 Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: at Seahawks (Sunday Night Football)
This Week: at Rams
The Eagles play the first of three straight road games tonight against the Seahawks. You have to look back to the middle of September to find an Eagles loss as Philly has rattled off nine straight wins. Philly has two big road tests in Seattle and Los Angeles (Rams) for them to continue to prove they are one of the few NFL elite teams this season.
No. 2 New England Patriots
Last Week: Defeated Bills 23-3
This Week: at Dolphins (Monday Night Football)
This week, it was the Patriots defense and rushing attack that kept New England’s win streak going. Dion Lewis had 15 carries for 92 yards, while Rex Burkhead rushed 12 times for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Tom Brady threw for 258 yards, but did not throw a touchdown pass against the Bills.
New England will continue through the road-heavy part of their schedule with upcoming matchups against the Dolphins and Steelers. The Patriots have won eight straight games.
No. 3 Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: Defeated Falcons 14-9
This Week: at Panthers
The Vikings continue to impress with their latest victory coming on the road against a solid Falcons team. It’s been over two months since Minnesota has lost as the Vikings have won eight straight games. Case Keenum continues to be one of the most overlooked players for his play this season. Keenum passed for 2,476 yards, 14 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
No. 4 Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: at Bengals (Monday Night Football)
This Week: vs Ravens
Pittsburgh should be able to capitalize on playing lesser opponents the rest of the way, as the Steelers are likely going to be favored in four of their final five games. This starts with a road game on Monday night against their rivals in Cincinnati, who are having a down year. The Steelers have an opportunity to win their seventh straight game.
The Steelers have been led by their passing attack as Pittsburgh’s 263 passing yards per game puts them No. 6 in the country. JuJu Smith-Schuster’s emergence during his rookie season has given the Steelers an added threat to an already potent offense.
No. 5 Los Angeles Rams
Last Week: Defeated Cardinals 32-16
This Week: vs. Eagles
Jared Goff has already thrown for 2,964 yards and 18 touchdowns this seasons, just a season removed from a disappointing rookie campaign. Sean McVay has the Rams offense rolling, as the Rams rank second in the league in points per game with 29.9. The Rams have a number of quality wins including the Cowboys, Jaguars and Saints.
No. 6 New Orleans Saints
Last Week: Defeated Panthers 31-21
This Week: at Falcons
After suffering their first loss in eight games, the Saints bounced back with a quality win against the Panthers. Two of the Saints next three games are against the Falcons, with next week’s game on the road and the Week 16 matchup at home. New Orleans was able to come away with a victory over the Panthers, a major victory given the closeness of the NFC South race.
No. 7 Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: vs. Eagles (Sunday Night Football)
Next Week: at Jaguars
Seattle has managed to remain competitive despite a number of deficiencies. Their offensive line continues to be a work in the progress, and Russell Wilson is their best running back given their backfield is decimated by injuries. This is the part of the season where the Seahawks normally begin hitting their stride, but will have to continue overcoming some of their own shortcomings.
No. 8 Tennessee Titans
Last Week: Defeated Texans 24-13
This Week: at Cardinals
Tennessee has won six of their last seven matchups, and have two more winable road games against the Cardinals and 49ers. The Titans need these next two wins to stay in the race for the AFC South, as their final two games pits them against the Rams and Jaguars. Derrick Henry averaged a whopping 9.9 yards per carry on Sunday as he rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown against the Texans.
No. 9 Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: Defeated Colts 30-10
This Week: vs. Seahawks
Blake Bortles has become the favorite target of football fans looking for a laugh, but Bortles has had some surprisingly solid outings this season. Bortles threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns against the Colts. Bortles still has his faults, but the defense has allowed him to not have to try to win the game each week for the Jaguars. Their latest win puts them neck-and-neck with the Titans for the AFC South.
No. 10 Carolina Panthers
Last Week: Lost to Saints 31-21
Next Week: vs. Vikings
Carolina ended their four-game win streak with a loss against the Saints. Things do not get any easier for Carolina as they take on the Vikings next week. Newton has had an up and down season for the Panthers. He has thrown for 2,400 yards, but already has thrown 11 interceptions compared to his 14 touchdown passes. One bright spot is Newton continues to be a threat with his legs, rushing for 464 yards and five touchdowns.
NFL Power Rankings: All 32 Teams
|1||Philadelphia Eagles (10-1)|
|2||New England Patriots (10-2)|
|3||Minnesota Vikings (10-2)|
|4||Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2)|
|5||Los Angeles Rams (9-3)|
|6||New Orleans Saints (9-3)|
|7||Seattle Seahawks (7-4)|
|8||Tennessee Titans (8-4)|
|9||Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4)|
|10||Carolina Panthers (8-4)|
|11||Atlanta Falcons (7-5)|
|12||Baltimore Ravens (7-5)|
|13||L.A. Chargers (6-6)|
|14||Dallas Cowboys (6-6)|
|15||Oakland Raiders (6-6)|
|16||Green Bay Packers (6-6)|
|17||Detroit Lions (6-6)|
|18||Buffalo Bills (6-6)|
|19||Kansas City Chiefs (6-6)|
|20||Washington Redskins (5-7)|
|21||Cincinnati Bengals (5-6)|
|22||New York Jets (5-7)|
|23||Miami Dolphins (5-7)|
|24||Arizona Cardinals (5-7)|
|25||Houston Texans (4-8)|
|26||Tampa Bay Bucs (4-8)|
|27||Chicago Bears (3-9)|
|28||Indianapolis Colts (3-9)|
|29||Denver Broncos (3-9)|
|30||San Francisco 49ers (2-10)|
|31||New York Giants (2-10)|
|32||Cleveland Browns (0-12)|