17. New York Jets (4-4)
Last Week: 15 (-2)
That defense is legit. That offense isn't. I don't believe in the Jets because we have seen this song and dance before—including last year. The team looked almost exactly like this and they ended up on the outside of the playoffs, looking in.
18. Indianapolis Colts (4-5)
Last Week: 19 (+1)
Indianapolis defeated the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon. While their offense looked as it normally did, the defense stepped up and found a way to completely lock down the Panthers. After several weeks of awful defense, it had to have been gratifying to hold down the hapless Panthers.
19. Tennessee Titans (3-5)
Last Week: 17 (-2)
Will Levis has been pretty decent to start his career. Although the Titans came up short this week against the Steelers, they have shown different capabilities with Levis at the helm. I don't think it's their year, but I like Mike Vrabel to lead a new group of stars back to the top of their division in the coming years.
20. New Orleans Saints (5-4)
Last Week: 20 (-)
In a close one, the Saints held on to victory over the Chicago Bears. The Saints do not seem to do any one thing extremely well. At this point, I see them as the team that wins 7-9 games and falls short of the playoffs. They need a new identity.
21. Minnesota Vikings (5-4)
Last Week: 22 (+1)
Miraculously, the Vikings are finding ways to win games, even with injuries. This week, the Vikings were forced to throw newcomer Josh Dobbs into the game. It somehow paid off and the Vikings held on to best the Falcons. With the Packers and Bears in the division, it is not impossible for the Vikings to be in the conversation for a spot in the Wild Card match.
22. Washington Commanders (4-5)
Last Week: 23 (+1)
The Commanders held on to defeat the New England Patriots. In a low-scoring and somewhat boring affair, the Commanders managed to have 365 passing yards and only two offensive touchdowns. I'm thinking that this is a retooling/rebuilding offseason. The Commanders aren't there yet and it will take some time.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5)
Last Week: 24 (+1)
In my very first power rankings of the year, I had the Buccaneers at the very bottom of the NFL. After a stretch of wins, I quickly changed tune and made them climb. Now, all of a sudden, I am believing my initial instinct and saying, this is a bottom-tier unit. Baker Mayfield will never be what his fans wanted and the Bucs are not returning to what they were in their first season with Tom Brady. It's probably time to hit the "Reset" button.
24. Las Vegas Raiders (4-4)
Last Week: 29 (+5)
The Raiders are working to change the culture in the middle of a season. Las Vegas is likely not a playoff team this year. With that in mind, the Raiders could be a tougher team than expected down the stretch. If Antonio Pierce is able to get the most out of the team, they do have some upward mobility.