The Patriots have won five straight and are establishing themselves as one of the better AFC squads.
The greatest reality show on earth continued in Week 11.
There aren’t many teams that can remain consistent in this current 2021 campaign. For example, the Bills and Titans lost this past weekend and so did the Packers and Cowboys.
But if there is a squad that’s on a roll right now, it’s Bill Belichick‘s Patriots.
With Mac Jones under center, New England has won five straight and now sits atop the AFC East.
This looks like a playoff team — can the Pats keep stacking victories as the regular season progresses?
32. Detroit Lions ( → )
I feel like I say it every week — as long as the Lions don’t win a game, they’ll remain in the bottom spot of our power rankings.
Following their Week 11 loss to Cleveland, they’re now 0-9-1. Disastrous.
31. New York Jets ( ↓ 1 )
The Jets have been putrid in recent weeks, and while the defense was a tad bit better in Week 11, New York still allowed Tua Tagovailoa to throw for 273 yards and two touchdowns.
Miami defeated the Jets 24-17 at MetLife Stadium.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars ( ↓ 1 )
This was a standard loss for Jacksonville; one many expected.
While I’m not high on San Francisco, the 49ers defeating the Jaguars 30-10 wasn’t exactly surprising.
Jacksonville remains one of the worst teams in the NFL.
29. Houston Texans ( ↑ 2 )
The Texans move up a couple of spots following their improbable win over the Titans this past Sunday.
However, No. 29 is still appropriate given Houston’s 2-8 record.
Again, this season has always been a lost cause given the dysfunction in and around the organization along with the Deshaun Watson situation.
28. New York Giants ( ↓ 2 )
New York scored just 10 points against Tampa Bay on Monday while its defense allowed the Bucs to put up 30 points and gain over 400 total yards.
27. Chicago Bears ( → )
The Bears remain at No. 27 following a three-point loss to the Ravens.
It felt inappropriate to improve their ranking after a loss but also to lower it after they showed some competitiveness against Baltimore, one of the better squads in the AFC.
26. Atlanta Falcons ( ↓ 2 )
The Falcons are so strange.
Just a short time ago, they were in the NFC’s final Wild Card spot.
Now, they’ve lost two straight with an average margin of defeat of 32.5 points.
Atlanta needs a new direction and must make big moves in the offseason (including drafting a quarterback early and not using a No. 4 overall pick on a tight end).
25. Miami Dolphins ( ↑ 3 )
Somehow, someway, the Dolphins have won three straight.
Tua Tagovailoa threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns against the Jets this past Sunday afternoon.
I still don’t think this is a playoff team though, and many would agree with me on that.
24. Seattle Seahawks ( ↓ 1 )
This season is basically a wash for the Seahawks, at least in my opinion. They’ve now lost five of their last six games and are 0-2 following Russell Wilson’s return from injury.
23. Washington Football Team ( ↑ 2 )
Ron Rivera getting his revenge on Carolina.
The veteran head coach and the Football Team defeated Cam Newton and the Panthers (I still can’t believe he’s back in Charlotte). Thus, we move Washington up two spots on our rankings.
22. Carolina Panthers ( ↓ 1 )
While Washington ascends the rankings, we move the Panthers down one spot following their loss. Carolina could be a playoff team at the conclusion of the regular season but must emerge victorious in these winnable games.
21. Denver Broncos ( ↑ 1 )
Denver didn’t even need to do anything in Week 11 to move up one spot.
This team isn’t horrible, but it’s tough to have much confidence in the Broncos when they sit in the same division as the Raiders, Chargers, and red-hot Chiefs.
20. Cleveland Browns ( ↓ 1 )
The Browns need to be defeating the Lions by more than three points.
That and Baker Mayfield’s two interceptions against Detroit were inexcusable.
Cleveland now finds itself near the bottom third of the league.
19. Pittsburgh Steelers ( ↓ 1 )
The Steelers drop one spot following a loss to the Chargers on Sunday Night Football.
Pittsburgh is simply inconsistent, which is not the reputation you want in what’s an above-average AFC North division.
It’s definitely possible this Mike Tomlin-led squad could experience a slump down the stretch and miss out on the postseason.
18. Philadelphia Eagles ( ↑ 2 )
The Eagles defeated Trevor Siemian and the Saints in Week 11.
No, it’s not that luxurious of an accomplishment, but the Eagles are honestly a lot better than many initially believed.
Philly is now 5-6 and a half-game back of the final NFC Wild Card spot.
17. New Orleans Saints ( ↓ 1 )
The Saints are in trouble right now.
They’re 5-5 and have lost three straight.
It’s not looking good in the Big Easy.
16. Las Vegas Raiders ( ↓ 3 )
The Raiders are also in a slump right now.
They looked to potentially be the best team in the AFC West at one point, but their recent struggles have coincided with the Chiefs’ emergence.
Vegas has now lost three straight and has failed to score at least 20 points since Week 7.
15. Indianapolis Colts ( ↑ 2 )
The Colts could certainly begin to make noise in the AFC and reach the postseason. They’re not bad whatsoever and employ a superstar running back in Jonathan Taylor.
The second-year player rushed for a whopping 185 yards with five total touchdowns (four rushing, one receiving) in the big win over Buffalo Sunday afternoon.
14. San Francisco 49ers ( ↑ 1 )
Are the Niners on the right track?
San Francisco has won two straight and three of its last four, and now sits at 5-5.
Kyle Shanahan’s squad is right on the bubble of the NFC playoff picture — could the 49ers return to the postseason for the first time since the 2019 campaign?
13. Minnesota Vikings ( ↑ 1 )
Don’t sleep on the Vikings!
I keep saying this — Minnesota is a good team and proved it this past Sunday by defeating the Packers 34-31.
Kirk Cousins is putting together a great season and could lead the Vikings back to the playoffs.
12. Cincinnati Bengals ( → )
I would’ve moved the Bengals up at least one spot but there’s just too much traffic in this portion of the rankings.
Nonetheless, Cincinnati could be back on the correct path after defeating the Raiders by 19 on the road.
The Bengals are currently the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoff picture.
11. Baltimore Ravens ( ↓ 2 )
The Ravens need to be defeating the Bears by more than three points.
That’s why we’re not giving them credit for any sort of big win here.
The Ravens currently sit as the second seed in the AFC. However, they’re out of our top 10 until they can bounce back from their underwhelming Week 11 performance.
10. Los Angeles Chargers ( ↑ 1 )
The Chargers find themselves back in the top 10 after a big win over Pittsburgh on Sunday Night Football.
Justin Herbert continues to solidify himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the league. The second-year signal-caller threw for 382 yards and three touchdowns and additionally racked up 90 yards on the ground.
9. Dallas Cowboys ( ↓ 3 )
The Cowboys have lost two of three and their offense looked stagnant against Kansas City.
Dak Prescott and co. could only put up nine points against a Chiefs defense that has struggled at times in 2021.
8. Green Bay Packers ( ↓ 3 )
The Packers drop out of the top five following a loss to the Vikings.
Green Bay’s defense could not step up in the defeat and allowed Kirk Cousins to throw for 341 yards and three scores.
7. Kansas City Chiefs ( ↑ 3 )
It’s official…the Chiefs are back.
Kansas City has now won four straight games, with the most recent victory coming over the Cowboys by a score of 19-9 in Week 11.
The Chiefs are atop the AFC West at 7-4 and could really run away with the division over the next few weeks (they play the division-rival Broncos, Raiders, and Chargers in back-to-back-to-back games).
6. New England Patriots ( ↑ 2 )
Don’t ever doubt Bill Belichick.
Some thought New England wouldn’t be a playoff team in the AFC especially after how the Patriots fared in their first year of the post-Tom Brady era.
But now, just 20 months following Brady’s departure, the Pats are atop the AFC East with rookie Mac Jones under center. They’ve won five straight, including a 25-0 victory over Atlanta last Thursday night.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ( ↑ 2 )
The Buccaneers avoided a third straight loss Monday night when they defeated the Giants 30-10.
Tom Brady was fantastic and threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns.
Tampa Bay is back to being a top-five ballclub on our rankings.
4. Buffalo Bills ( ↓ 3 )
Is Buffalo in danger of a slump?
The Bills dropped their Week 11 matchup by a wide margin, losing to the Colts 41-15.
This is still a great team that will reach the postseason, but regardless, the Bills must begin stacking wins down the stretch.
3. Tennessee Titans ( ↓ 1 )
Like the Bills, the Titans suffered a tough loss in Week 11 but remain in the top five.
Tennessee came up short against Houston — yes, Houston — by a score of 22-13. Ryan Tannehill was awful and threw four interceptions.
2. Los Angeles Rams ( ↑ 2 )
The Rams moved up two spots despite their bye coming in Week 11 (they did so to make room for the Bills’ and Titans’ aforementioned drop-offs.
Los Angeles must figure it out though — Matthew Stafford and co. have lost two straight.
1. Arizona Cardinals ( ↑ 2 )
The Cardinals are back on top following a 23-13 win over the division-rival Seahawks.
They didn’t even need Kyler Murray to win a tough NFC West battle — Colt McCoy threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns in his third consecutive start.
Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY