Matt Tabeek's Wildly Important NFL Power Rankings: Make way for Chargers, Texans and Colts

Tabeek_Power_1218

Well, that didn't last long.

I handed the Chiefs the top spot and two days later, they squander a late lead and lose in the final seconds to their rivals, the Chargers. So, naturally, Kansas City drops this week.

MORE POWER RANKINGS

But let's talk about those Chargers, the new No. 1 team in the Wildly Important NFL Power Rankings. After losing their season opener to those same Chiefs and falling on the road to a then-hot Rams team, the Chargers have slipped only once – a one-point loss to the Broncos. And they've beaten a bunch of good teams in the process.

The Chargers have a veteran quarterback surrounded with weapons and nasty a defense with more-than-capable pass rushers. Trust me, no one wants to face this team in the playoffs.

As far as the rest of the rankings go, there's a huge gap between the top eight or nine teams and, well, the rest of the league.

You can check out the rest of my rankings below:

Table inside Article
RANK TEAM TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS (Dec. 11)
1 Chargers (11-3) They’ve won 10 of their last 11 games and just beat the Chiefs in their backyard. Look out. 4
2 Saints (12-2) After getting punched in the mouth by Dallas they’ve won two straight but look off to me. 2
3 Chiefs (11-3) Can they bounce back and knock off a desperate Seahawks team on the road? Huge test. 1
4 Rams (11-3) What’s going on with Jared Goff? Last time I checked Sean McVay was his coach, not Jeff Fisher. 3
5 Bears (10-4) Bears keep getting it done with great defense and a balanced offense. That’s a winning formula. 5
6 Texans (10-4) The Jets nearly upset them, but what counts is they won and stay in the AFC South driver’s seat. 7
7 Patriots (9-5) Losing three of their last five in December is not the Patriot Way. The AFC playoff picture is getting interesting. 6
8 Steelers (8-5-1) They snapped a three-game skid and stay in the hunt. Big one against the Saints is coming up. 12
9 Colts (8-6) Are they the hottest team in the NFL right now? They’re certainly making a case – and a run at the playoffs. 10
10 Seahawks (8-6) Brutal loss to the woeful 49ers for a team clinging to a wild-card spot. Chiefs up next. Good luck. 8
11 Ravens (8-6) The defense is legit and Lamar Jackson gets more comfortable with each passing week. 11
12 Cowboys (8-6) Their five-game winning streak ended with a thud and the NFC East is still up for grabs. 9
13 Vikings (7-6-1) They fired their OC and the offense exploded for 41 points and picked up a much-needed win. 15
14 Eagles (7-7) Their starting quarterback goes down and they look galvanized. Have we seen this before? 16
15 Titans (8-6) They’ve won three and just pitched a shutout. Even better, they’re still in the hunt for a playoff spot. 14
16 Browns (6-7-1) It’s late December and the Browns are still alive in the AFC playoff race. A winning record is still possible, too. 19
17 Dolphins (7-7) They’re still alive with games against the Jags and Bills up next. They need help, but there’s hope. 13
18 Panthers (6-8) From 6-2 to losing six straight? Wow. I had them too low at 22 last week, but this feels about right. 22
19 Redskins (7-7) Didn’t think I’d ever type this but … Josh Johnson leads them to a crucial win and keeps their playoff hopes alive. 23
20 Packers (5-8-1) They’ve been officially eliminated and now they must find a coach who can deal with Aaron Rodgers. 17
21 Broncos (6-8) Just when you think Vance Joseph has done enough to save his job, the Browns game happens. 18
22 Bengals (6-8) The Bengals snap a five-game skid, their third-worst slump during Marvin Lewis' 16 seasons. 24
23 Falcons (5-9) Speaking of snapping five-game skids, the Falcons got back into the win column and the defense looked like its old self again. 26
24 Giants (5-9) After winning four of five and feeling somewhat optimistic, they were shut out and officially eliminated from the playoff race. 20
25 Bills (5-9) They struggled all season long, but it looks like they have found a quarterback in Josh Allen. 29
26 Buccaneers (5-9) If you’re looking for a bright spot, Vita Vea, their top pick from a year ago, is coming off the best game of his young career. 21
27 Lions (5-9) If Matt Patricia has learned anything in his first year it’s that he should find Matt Stafford some weapons. 25
28 49ers (4-10) I write this like every other week here, but the 49ers keep battling for Kyle Shanahan. Huge win over the Seahawks, too. 32
29 Jets (4-10) Jets fans should be excited about the Sam Darnold, who nearly led New York to an upset win over the Texans. 28
30 Jaguars (4-10) Without a doubt the most disappointing team this year. I can’t believe they’ve only won four games. 27
31 Raiders (3-11) From the minute Jon Gruden traded Khalil Mack Raiders fans have been waiting for the draft and 2019 to get here. 30
32 Cardinals (3-11) Not a whole lot has gone right for the Cards but they can mess things up with the Rams and Seahawks up next. 31

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