The New England Patriots finally are turning into the team everyone thought they’d be when the season began. The Patriots won their fifth straight game Sunday by shredding the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field — a place that had been their personal house of horrors — to move to 7-2 on the year.
New England and the 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles are head and shoulders above the rest of the NFL and appear to be on a collision course for Super Bowl LII — at least for now.
Here?s a look at where each team stands in NESN.com?s NFL power rankings as we head into Week 11. (To see our Week 10 power rankings, click here.)
1. Philadelphia Eagles (8-1; last week’s rank: 1): The Eagles exit their bye as the NFL’s best team, and can all but lock up the NFC East with a win over the Dallas Cowboys on “Sunday Night Football.”
2. New England Patriots (7-2; 2): New England dismantled the scuffling Broncos in Week 10 and now have won five games in a row. The Patriots’ defense still has some kinks to work out, but has shown major improvement since Week 4.
3. New Orleans Saints (7-2; 6): Drew Brees has thrown just two touchdown passes in the last three weeks, but that hasn’t stopped the Saints from dominating their opponents. New Orleans rushed for six touchdowns in Sunday’s 47-10 beatdown of the Buffalo Bills and continues to look like one of the top teams in the NFL.
4. Los Angeles Rams (7-2; 4): Jared Goff has thrived under new head coach Sean McVay. The second-year signal-caller notched his second straight game with 300-plus passing yards and three or more touchdowns in Sunday’s 33-7 stomping of the Houston Texans. The Rams will face a tough test in Week 11 against the Minnesota Vikings.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2; 3): Pittsburgh didn’t take the lead on the Indianapolis Colts until the clock hit zero Sunday, as Chris Boswell’s game-winning field goal rescued the Steelers from what would have been a disappointing post-bye week loss. The Steelers’ passing game needs to find consistency if they hope to challenge the Patriots in the AFC.
6. Minnesota Vikings (7-2; 10): How far can Case Keenum take Minnesota? We’ll find out when the Vikings host the Rams in Week 11. Of course, head coach Mike Zimmer always could flip the script and give the ball to Teddy Bridgewater.
7. Kansas City Chiefs (6-3; 7): Kansas City comes off its bye week to face a New York Giants team that has completely packed it in, which is just the kind of opponent the Chiefs need to face to bust out of their slump.
8. Seattle Seahawks (6-3; 8): The Seahawks survived a grueling Thursday night game against the Arizona Cardinals, but lost cornerback Richard Sherman to a ruptured Achilles in the process. Seattle faces the toughest schedule of any contender to end the season, as five of its final seven games come against potential playoff teams.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-3; 9): Jacksonville leads the NFL in fewest points against (14.9) and rushing yards per game (163) which is a recipe for success as the calendar heads toward December. The Jags have games against the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Colts coming up, so the AFC South crown is very much in play.
10. Carolina Panthers (7-3; 11): Cam Newton and Co. remain one game back of the Saints in the NFC South after thrashing the Miami Dolphins on “Monday Night Football.” Christian McCaffrey finally appears to be living up the hype, as the Stanford product has found the end zone three times in the past two games.
11. Tennessee Titans (6-3; 12): Marcus Mariota engineered a game-winning drive against the Cincinnati Bengals to give the Titans their fourth straight win. Tennessee will face the Steelers in a possible playoff preview on “Thursday Night Football” in Week 11.
12. Atlanta Falcons (5-4; 17): The Falcons rose from the dead Sunday to whoop the Dallas Cowboys 27-7, moving back above .500 thanks to six sacks from Adrian Clayborn. A Week 11 win over the Seahawks would prove we might have written the Falcons off too soon.
13. Dallas Cowboys (5-4; 5): Without Ezekiel Elliott and Sean Lee, the Cowboys struggled on both sides of the ball in the loss to the Falcons. It doesn’t get any easier for Dallas in Week 11, as the Eagles come to town for a “Sunday Night Football” showdown.
14. Detroit Lions (5-4; 15): The remaining schedule sets up well for the Lions, as they play just two teams (Vikings, Green Bay Packers) with current records above .500 the rest of the way. If they can get to 10-6, they might be able to grab a wild-card spot.
15. Oakland Raiders (4-5; 16): Oakland hasn’t lived up to its preseason billing and is a long shot to make the AFC playoffs with games against the Patriots, Chiefs, Eagles and Cowboys remaining.
16. Buffalo Bills (5-4; 14): After a blazing 5-2 start, the Bills turned back into the Bills and once again are knocking on the door of mediocrity following a 47-10 shellacking from the Saints. Buffalo will look to avoid its third straight loss Sunday when it heads to Los Angeles to face the Chargers.
17. Washington Redskins (4-5; 13): Washington now has lost three of its last four games and will face the red-hot Saints in Week 11. The playoffs seem like a long shot for D.C.’s favored sons at this point.
18. Baltimore Ravens (4-5; 19): With games against the Packers and Texans approaching, the Ravens should be in the thick of the race for sixth and final AFC playoff spot.
19. Green Bay Packers (5-4; 24): Brett Hundley got his first win as the Packers’ starting quarterback in Week 10, and a win over the Ravens in Week 11 could have Green Bay wondering about a possible late-season return for Aaron Rodgers.
20. Arizona Cardinals (4-5; 21): Quarterback Drew Stanton suffered a sprained knee during the Cardinals’ loss to the Seahawks, forcing Arizona to turn to Blaine Gabbert or Matt Barkley in his absence. It’s pretty much a wrap for the Cardinals.
21. Los Angeles Chargers (3-6; 18): L.A.’s Week 11 loss to the Jaguars perfectly summed up the Chargers’ season. Numerous late-game mistakes allowed Jacksonville to tie the game, and a Philip Rivers interception in overtime sealed L.A.’s fate.
22. New York Jets (4-6; 22): Sooner or later Todd Bowles is going to turn to Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg. Wow, the Jets really need a QB.
23. Houston Texans (3-6; 20): Deshaun Watson should get a few first-place MVP votes after the way the Texans have fared since his injury.
24. Denver Broncos (3-6; 23): The once-feared Broncos defense has surrendered 92 points in the past two games, as Tom Brady and the Patriots put up 41 points Sunday night to send Denver to its fifth straight loss.
25. Chicago Bears (3-6; 25): Chicago squandered any momentum it had coming off the bye week in a sloppy 23-16 loss to the Packers. Oh, and head coach John Fox cost his team points with this boneheaded challenge.
Miami Dolphins (4-5; 26): Miami continues to look like one of the league’s worst teams despite somehow having four wins. But the Dolphins could move back to .500 in Week 11 when they face the equally atrocious Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
27. Cincinnati Bengals (3-6; 27): The Bengals are one sideshow after another. One week after A.J. Green did his best Conor McGregor impression on Jalen Ramsey, Vontaze Burfict got ejected for making contact with an official and then taunted Titans fans during his exit.
28. Indianapolis Colts (3-6; 28): Things are going from bad to worse for the Colts. Owner Jim Irsay potentially could be sued by season ticket holders and the team appeared to improperly handle quarterback Jacoby Brissett’s concussion Sunday.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6; 29): Tampa Bay’s defense sacked Jets QB Josh McCown six times as the Bucs ended their five-game losing streak.
30, San Francisco 49ers (1-9; 31): The 49ers enter their bye with a win under their belt and the possibility that Jimmy Garoppolo will make his debut in Week 12 against the Seahawks. 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin showed tremendous strength by suiting up in San Francisco’s win over the New Yor Giants just hours after the death of his infant son.
31. New York Giants (1-9; 30): Ben McAdoo isn’t interested in motivating his players, and his players don’t seem interested in playing for him. At least the New York Knicks are entertaining the fans in the Big Apple.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-9; 32): This play about sums up the Browns’ season: