NFL Power Rankings Week 11: Teams in Tailspins

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SLR’s Week 11 NFL Power Rankings: 24-17

Nov 10, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Robert Meachem (17) carries up the field against Dallas Cowboys inside linebacker Ernie Sims (59) during the third quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

24. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-6) ▲2

The defense bounced back and held the Buffalo Bills to just 229 yards of offense, and they did something few teams have this season: beat the Bills comfortably. Like the Giants, they can’t be counted out if the Bengals keep losing, but they AFC North is far more competitive than the NFC East.

23. New York Giants (3-6) ▲5

They’ve followed up six losses to open the season with three straight wins. Everybody is playing better, and while in most cases a 3-6 record makes playoff talk sounds ridiculous, the Giants are actually only two games back. That, plus they get to face a Green Bay team missing its leader and half its skill players. They’re not dead yet.

22. Miami Dolphins (4-5) ▼8

If you’re a Dolphins fan, you were really hoping the Incognito/Martin fallout didn’t affect the team on the field, and that they could get things together against a weak opponent. That does not appear to have worked out. Now they get to look forward to a week of questions about whether the Incognito/Martin fallout is affecting the team on the field. People will call it a “distraction,” and the last seven games of the season will be a chaotic toilet swirl ending in somebody getting fired. That, or maybe they win next week and everyone’s fine. We’ll see how the storylines go.

21. San Diego Chargers (4-5) ▼2

It’s not often that losing by eight feels like a moral victory, but that was the Broncos. Also, this is not a team that was supposed to be clinging to moral victories, but here they are. They’re under .500 and in a division with the two best teams in football. Fans, start thinking about draft prospects in the mid-teens.

20. Tennessee Titans (4-5) ▼5

Having Jake Locker go down in the second quarter and then losing to the Jaguars is what one might deem “insult to injury.” They could have come within a game of the Colts, who were also embarrassed this week, but the Jaguars were just too much. Apparently.

19. Dallas Cowboys (5-5) ▼5

Recipe for losing a bunch of football games: 1. Give up the most yards in franchise history. 2. Break that record two weeks later. Whoever earns the No. 5 seed in the playoffs is going absolutely love playing against the winner of the NFC East.

18. Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) ▲2

That may have only been a third of the Packers they just beat, but a win is a win. Suddenly they’re tied for the lead in the NFC East, and the schedule looks pretty soft for the rest of the season. Is Nick Foles the future, or is he just the rest of the season? And where will Michael Vick be backing up next season?

17. Baltimore Ravens (4-5) ▲4

A big win over the Bengals makes the AFC North interesting again, but only just. The Ravens and Browns (!) are now within two games of the division leader, and the Ravens looked dominant for a good portion of the game. Now if they can just keep it up consistently, the defending champs might not be stuck playing spoiler all December.