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Matt Tabeek's Wildly Important NFL Power Rankings: Top five remain same; Falcons eye rising Redskins


The second half of the 2018 season is here and the gap between the contenders and pretenders is widening. For the most part.

There are still some logjams in a few divisions, namely the AFC North, AFC South and NFC North. I suppose you could include the NFC East in there, too – aside from the 1-7 Giants.


The Falcons, who entered their bye week on a two-game win streak, stayed put at No. 18 this week. Atlanta (3-4) will square off against the Redskins (5-2) this week up in the D.C. area. The Falcons are eyeing their first win on the road this season, and that would be a big one.

Check out the rest of my Wildly Important NFL Power Rankings below:

Table inside Article
1 Rams (8-0) They got punched, were down, fought back and managed to avoid one of those trademark Aaron Rodgers comebacks for an impressive win. 1
2 Saints (6-1) They returned to the scene of the Minneapolis Miracle and came out on the winning end this time. 2
3 Patriots (6-2) The desperate Bills pulled out all the stops and gimmick plays on a cold night in Buffalo, but it didn’t matter. The better team rolled in the end. 3
4 Chiefs (7-1) Patrick Mahomes is putting up historic numbers and KC should continue to roll with the Browns and Cardinals up next. 4
5 Chargers (5-2) BYE WEEK. Up next: Road game vs. Seahawks. 5
6 Steelers (4-2-1) Le’Veon who? Another impressive performance from James Conner as the Steelers finish off the Hue Jackson era and the Browns. 7
7 Redskins (5-2) It’s a pretty simple formula in D.C.: Feed Adrian Peterson the ball and shut down the opposing team’s running game. When they do that, they win. 9
8 Panthers (5-2) The Panthers are starting to click and rookie D.J. Moore is developing into a downfield threat for them. Dominant win over the Ravens. 10
9 Vikings (4-3-1) They put up a ton of yards against the Saints but fell short. They’ve got to address the offensive line – Kirk Cousins is under pressure too much. 6
10 Packers (3-3-1) They came out swinging and had the Rams down but a late fumble thwarted any hope of Aaron Rodgers leading a game-winning drive in the final minutes. 8
11 Texans (5-3) Don’t look now but the Texans have reeled off five straight wins and are quietly running away with the AFC South. 13
12 Bengals (5-3) They ended a two-game skid and survived some last-minute FitzMagic in the process. Ugly wins are always better than pretty losses. 12
13 Ravens (4-4) The one word that keeps coming to mind with these 2018 Ravens is … inconsistent. Just when you want to go all-in on them, they lay an egg. 11
14 Bears (4-3) They took care of the Jets at home, a game you’d expect them to win. Next three games are all division games, two against the Lions. 15
15 Seahawks (4-3) If it weren’t for a two-point loss to the Rams, they’d be 5-2 and all the talk right now as a team no one wants to play. Big test vs. the Bolts up next. 16
16 Eagles (4-4) They’re back on track and head into their bye on a high note. They now have two weeks to prepare for a showdown vs. the Cowboys. 17
17 Dolphins (4-4) Remember that 3-0 start? I wasn’t buying it then and was right. They’ve gone 1-4 since. An important division game next vs. Jets next. 14
18 Falcons (3-4) BYE WEEK. Up next: Road game vs. Redskins. Huge block of games coming up as three of their next four games are on the road. 18
19 Cowboys (3-4) BYE WEEK. Up next: Home game vs. the Titans. It’s also Amari Cooper’s debut as a Cowboy. 21
20 Titans (3-4) BYE WEEK. Up next: Road game vs. the Cowboys. 23
21 Lions (3-4) They fell at home and have a critical stretch of games coming up: Three of their next four games are division games, two vs. the Bears. 22
22 Jaguars (3-5) After a 3-1 start, they head into their bye on a four-game losing streak and their season spiraling out of control. Can they turn it around? 19
23 Buccaneers (3-4) They pulled the plug on Jameis Winston and you’ve got to wonder if this is the end of his run in Tampa. FitzMagic is fun to watch but not the long-term answer. 20
24 Jets (3-5) They’ve got two winnable games against the Bills and Dolphins coming up before their bye week. A .500 record after 10 games would be huge with the rookie. 24
25 Broncos (3-5) They’ve gone 1-5 since that 2-0 start and face the red-hot Texans next. Things aren’t looking so good in the Mile High City these days. 25
26 Colts (3-5) Andrew Luck looks like his old self again as they crushed a bad Raiders team. They head into their bye on a two-game win streak. 27
27 Browns (2-5-1) The Hue Jackson Era officially ends after a 3-36-1 run. It was the worst record in a 40-game span by a head coach in the Super Bowl era. 26
28 Bills (2-6) They hung tough with the Patriots longer than I expected with Derek Anderson behind center. 28
29 Cardinals (2-6) They won the battle between two 1-6 teams for their second win of the year. 32
30 Giants (1-7) Their disappointing season continues, this time with a division loss to the Redskins. Ex-coach Ben McAdoo’s overall regular-season record was 13-15. Just sayin’. 29
31 Raiders (1-6) It’s pretty clear after the Amari Cooper trade that the Raiders are in full rebuild mode. And they're playing like it. 31
32 49ers (1-7) Should 49ers fans be concerned about what’s going on in Frisco yet? It’s more than just Jimmy G’s absence that’s hurting them. 30

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