Week 11 in the NFL saw the Houston Texans and Pittsburgh Steelers eke out wins to extend their lengthy winning streaks, while the Los Angeles Chargers lost for the first time since Week 3.
Houston now has won seven straight games to take control of the AFC South, while the Steelers’ six-game streak has them atop the AFC North and currently holding the No. 2 seed in the conference.
Elsewhere, the Chicago Bears made a statement with a 25-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints’ demolition tour continued with a 48-7 torching of the Philadelphia Eagles.
With 11 weeks of action now in the books, here’s how we’re ranking every NFL team from No. 1 to No. 32. (For our Week 11 power rankings, click here.)
1. New Orleans Saints (9-1; Last week’s rank: 1): Can anyone slow down Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense? The Eagles didn’t have the answers Sunday, as New Orleans racked up 546 yards in a 48-7 beatdown at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
2. Los Angeles Rams (10-1; 3): In a potential Super Bowl preview, Jared Goff and the Rams outlasted the Kansas City Chiefs 54-51 at the Los Angeles Collesium to become the NFL’s first 10-win team.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-2; 2): Patrick Mahomes’ six-touchdown performance wasn’t enough to overcome a leaky secondary against the Rams. The Chiefs’ defense might be an issue come playoff time, but it’s hard to see anyone finding a way to stop them consistently.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2-1; 4): Pittsburgh continues to struggle against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Steelers fell into a 16-0 hole before rallying to grab a 20-16 win on the back of Ben Roethlisberger’s 1-yard touchdown run with 5 seconds remaining. The Steelers have won six games in a row and sit 2 1/2 games clear of the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals atop the AFC North.
5. New England Patriots (7-3; 6): The Patriots reportedly expect to get Rob Gronkowski back next Sunday when they travel to the Meadowlands to face the New York Jets. A healthy Gronk should help a Patriots’ offense that has been struggling in recent weeks, as Tom Brady has thrown just one touchdown pass in his last three games.
6. Chicago Bears (7-3; 8): The Bears officially are back after handling the Vikings 25-20 to take control of the NFC North.
7. Los Angeles Chargers (7-3; 5): LA got Joey Bosa back in Week 11, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Chargers’ winning streak alive. After jumping out to a 19-7 lead over Denver, the Broncos rallied to stun LA on a game-winning 34-yard field goal from Brandon McManus. Philip Rivers and Co. appear destined for a wild-card spot.
8. Houston Texans (7-3; 9): Make it seven wins in a row for the Texans. Houston survived a furious Redskins rally to beat Washington 23-21. Houston can bury the Tennessee Titans in the AFC South race with a win on “Monday Night Football” in Week 12.
9. Minnesota Vikings (5-4-1; 7): Are we sure $90 million for Kirk Cousins was a good investment?
10. Carolina Panthers (6-4; 10): Cam Newton and Co. continue to struggle on the road, falling to 1-4 away from Charlotte after a 20-19 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Ron Rivera’s decision to go for the two-point conversion and the win felt like a desperation move that could send the Panthers’ season down the tube if the team doesn’t respond in Week 12 against the Seattle Seahawks.
11. Indianapolis Colts (5-5; 17): Andrew Luck’s ownership of the Titans continued in Week 11 as the Colts quarterback moved to 10-0 in his career against Tennessee with the 38-10 win.
12. Seattle Seahawks (5-5; 18): Russell Wilson improved Seattle’s playoffs chances with a 27-24 win over the Green Bay Packers on “Thursday Night Football.” The Seahawks face another important game Sunday when they travel to Carolina to face the 6-4 Panthers.
13. Dallas Cowboys (5-5; 15): The Cowboys have reeled off two straight wins to steady the ship and now sit just one game back of the Redskins atop the division. The NFC East appears to be up for grabs following Alex Smith’s gruesome injury, and Dallas can jump to the top of the division with a win over Washington on Thanksgiving.
14. Washington Redskins (6-4; 11): With Smith suffering a fractured fibula and tibia, the Redskins’ playoff hopes now rest on the right arm of 32-year-old Colt McCoy. Good luck.
15. Tennessee Titans (5-5; 13): Fresh off the 34-10 drubbing of the Patriots, the Titans laid an egg in Indianapolis. Tennessee fell behind 24-0 before Marcus Mariota was knocked out of the game with a right elbow injury. All in all, it was an ugly day for Nashville’s favorite sons.
16. Baltimore Ravens (5-5; 22): Lamar Jackson rushed for 117 yards and threw for 150 as the Ravens earned a 24-21 win over the Bengals in his first career start. Will John Harbaugh stick with Jackson in Week 12 or go back to the hobbled and ineffective Joe Flacco?
17. Green Bay Packers (4-5-1; 12): Mike McCarthy’s putrid clock management cost his team a chance to beat the Seahawks and might cost him his job as the Packers continue to struggle during the tough part of their schedule. However, the Packers still have a chance to make the playoffs thanks to the number of mediocre teams that reside in the NFC.
18. Cincinnati Bengals (5-5; 14): The Bengals let one slip through their fingers Sunday when their defense couldn’t slow down a one-dimensional Ravens attack. Cincinnati’s season could rest on what it does the next two weeks against the Cleveland Browns and Broncos, as a loss to either team likely would be detrimental to the Bengals’ playoff hopes.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (4-6; 16): The defending champs looked lost and frustrated during the 48-7 thrashing the Saints delivered Sunday. It looks like the Eagles will join a long list of teams to miss the playoffs after undergoing the post-Super Bowl “brain drain.”
20. Miami Dolphins (5-5; 20): Ryan Tannehill might return in Week 12, but we aren’t sure that makes Miami that much better.
21. Detroit Lions (4-6; 23): Matt Patricia’s club showed a little grit Sunday in a win over the Panthers. Maybe practicing in the snow toughened them up?
22. Atlanta Falcons (4-6; 19): Atlanta’s season continues to fade after a 22-19 loss to the Cowboys. New Orleans can put Dan Quinn’s team out of their misery on Thanksgiving.
23. Cleveland Browns (3-6-1; 21): Hiring Condoleezza Rice wouldn’t be the worst thing the Browns have ever done, right?
24. Denver Broncos (4-6; 25): Will Case Keenum’s game-winning drive against the Chargers spark a late-season run for Denver? They’ll have to snap the Steelers’ six-game winning streak in Week 12 to keep their faint playoff hopes alive.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7; 24): The Jags couldn’t hold a 16-0 lead against the Steelers and now it’s time to focus on 2019.
26. New York Giants (3-7; 28): New York has won two games in a row and has its sights set on contending for an NFC East that currently is in disarray. A win over the sliding Eagles in Week 12 is a must.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7; 26): Time to close up shop for the season in Tampa.
28. San Francisco 49ers (2-8; 29): By virtue of the Oakland Raiders’ win over the Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers now have the inside track to get the No. 1 overall pick, which is reason enough to move them up in the rankings.
29. Buffalo Bills (3-7; 30): We’re done talking about the Bills.
30. Oakland Raiders (2-8; 32): Oakland has climbed out of the basement for the first time in half a season after they beat the Cardinals to earn their second win. Perhaps Jon Gruden getting after Derek Carr on the sideline was the spark Oakland was looking for. Or perhaps, the Cardinals just stink.
31. New York Jets (3-7; 31): The Jets used their bye week to lick their wounds following the 41-10 thrashing at the hands of the Bills. New York exits its bye to face a pissed off Patriots team which will be looking to get rolling as the calendar turns to December.
32. Arizona Cardinals (2-8; 27): If you lose to the Raiders, you go in the hole.
Thumbnail photo via Matt Cashore/USA TODAY Sports Images