Ken's Note: These rankings are the views of the author, and may/do not reflect the views of any other Windy City Gridiron contributor.
Welcome to the Week 11 Power Rankings.
Power rankings are kind of silly and entirely meaningless, and they are also completely subjective... what one person sees as a strength another might see as a weakness. I get that. My reason for doing this feature isn't "I think I know better," but rather to entertain, hopefully amuse and also to generate friendly discussion and debate (within the site rules, of course).
My feature comes out later in the week than pretty much everybody else's on the web because I actually watch every single game I talk about BEFORE posted my rankings (as far as I know, I am the ONLY person doing this in the online media). Gamepass condensed games are the greatest tool ever made for the NFL football junkie. By doing this instead of just watching the highlights (if that) or browsing the box score, I suspect my list looks significantly different than most.
My rankings include an occasional "Anointed Factor" (or AF) reference. The AF is the amount of "BS" or "out of the blue" calls that a team receives in their favor, and the amount of "yeah they did it but I won't call it because they are the Chosen Ones" they get. These factors are combined into a secret mathematical formula known only to Vince and myself. An example of what increases or decreases a team's AF? Clay Mathews spears Brian Hoyer with his helmet and clearly in front of everybody breaks the quarterback's arm. Was penalty called? No. Was Play recognized by the league as illegal later, when nothing can be done about it? Yes. This adds to the Green Bay AF and reduces Chicago's AF. The AF scale reads from 1-10, with 5 being league average. Some teams, however, are even more anointed than 10, so the scale can go into AF-Spinal Tap readings, up to 11. Most teams can't, though, because... well, they are not so anointed.
Although it may seem unfair to some fans, I include how anointed a team is in my Power Rankings because, frankly, if they are going to get a majority of the calls, it will help them win games.
Here's how I have the league shaking out after Week 11:
1) Cowboys - (Last week's rating #2 ) Tony who? Nuff said.
2) Chiefs - (Last week's rating #5 ) On the one hand, Kansas City won, at Carolina. On the other hand, they beat a team with a losing record thanks only to a spectacular defensive play (Kelvin Benjamin was stripped on an amazing play by Marcus Peters to set up the game-winning Cairo Santos field goal). On the other other hand, they beat one of last year's Super Bowl teams on the road. That's pretty good no matter how you count it.
3) Raiders - (Last week's rating #4 ) Bye week, but up 1 because that division is tough and the Raiders are playing as well as anybody.
4) Seahawks - (Last week's rating #8 ) The Seahawks AR rating is now over 10, having hit 10.1 after the outrageous favoritism (or stunning incompetence) of the reffing crew from this week's Monday night game. I still think this team's OL will end up costing them in the playoffs.
5) Patriots - (Last week's rating #1 ) Yeah, well, they got beat, at home, despite having an off-the-charts AF going on. Brady was mortal, their defense was entirely unable to exploit a horrid Seattle OL, I could go on and on.
6) Giants - (Last week's rating #6 ) They didn't move the needle at all for me up or down. They played good D but not great, they ran some but not lots, Eli got picked a couple of times and they almost gave up a special teams TD (they did give up 3 points following a huge return) against a 3 win team, in Jersey. Meh.
7) Broncos - (Last week's rating #7 ) I don't care if Denver took the AF off the scale to an as yet unheard of 13.1, I'm not moving them up the chart because the ref's can't see a foot that was clearly out. Period. I'm not going to penalize them either (even though the Bronco offense was horrid against a bad Saint's D and Denver's D saved their bacon with forcing turnovers). I defy anybody to tell me why they can't mount cameras down the sidelines and the goal line.
8) Ravens - (Last week's rating #9 ) The Ravens game with Cleveland showed a Ravens team much better than Cleveland. It also showed our old buddy Josh McCown should probably hang em up and get on with his coaching career. It's hard to move the needle up by beating Cleveland, but Baltimore at least announced their presence with authority.
9) Eagles - (Last week's rating #17 )The Eagles won to keep pace with Dallas, Washington and the Giants, and even though they did so without Carson Wentz tearing the place up, their defense did manage to hold a very, very explosive Atlanta Falcons team to 15 points. That will get you moved up the ladder.
10) Lions - (Last week's rating #10 ) Bye week push.
11) Falcons - (Last week's rating #3) Here's a hard truth. Teams don't win championships by having an offense that scores 40 points every week. Sooner or later, they run into a defense that can shut them down. This week, the Eagles shut the Falcons down.
12) Redskins - (Last week's rating #15 ) Washington was able to beat a very good defense in a lower scoring game. Washington should beat teams like Minnesota at home. Credit to the pass rush of the Skins for beating a path to Sam Bradford's door.
13) Bills - (Last week's rating #13 ) Bye week push
14) Texans - (Last week's rating #16 ) I guess I could expound on this, but 1) the game was boring & 2) the game was boring and 3) the beat the Jaguars in a game that wasn't nearly as close as the score due to garbage times points. Jacksonville is terrible. The only plus here is that it is a road win for Houston & Brock Oesweiler had two TD's with no picks. On the other hand, Oesweiler didn't have 100 yards worth of passing, so... umm...
15) Cardinals - (Last week's rating #14 ) Carson Palmer had a ton of yards, a TD and two INT. He also lead a drive to win the game at the end. Let me rephrase, the Cardinals needed a last second field goal to beat the dreadful San Francisco 49er's in Arizona. The only thing fun about this game is watching my guy, Larry Fitzgerald, gather in his 133 yards. Beating San Fran at home on a last second FG drops you a spot.
16) Dolphins - (Last week's rating #24 ) The Dolphins are surging, and this probably is just a stopping off point to a much higher ranking by season's end. They beat an improving San Diego team at what currently counts as the Charger's home by winning the turnover battle.
17) Chargers - (Last week's rating #11 ) Phillip Rivers threw 4 picks. Phillip Rivers threw 3 touchdowns. Phillip Rivers threw 4 picks. Phillip Rivers threw 4 picks. Phillip Rivers threw 4 picks. See which one was the difference in the game?
18) Titans - (Last week's rating #23 ) Is there any better way to kill time at the gym while on the exercise bike than watching a mediocre but rising team beat the ever-loving snot out of Green Bay? No, there's not. This I know.
19) Steelers - (Last week's rating #12 ) Pittsburgh really isn't THAT bad, right? They scored 30 on the Cowboys, right? They almost beat them, right? Yes, but... 4-5 and looking up at the "Meh" Ravens. The Steelers kind of fell "under a level" here and could have been anywhere up to 5 spots above this... just the way it fell this week.
20) Panthers - (Last week's rating #20 ) Push (see Denver entry).
21) Bengals - (Last week's rating #19 ) On the one hand, Cincy had to go into a tough place to play, against a team fighting for a division championship blah blah blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda yadda. Same song, different verse for perhaps the most underachieving squad on the list.
22) Vikings - (Last week's rating #22 ) Close only counts in... well... you know the saying. I'm not sure if it will hurt or help Minnesota's pass defense that Jake Long got knocked out of the game. Bottom line. Zero running game and bad pass protection does not a winning combination make. Yes, that defense is still very, very good... but...
23) Packers - (Last week's rating #18 ) I will illustrate with a picture:
Live look-in to the Green Bay Packers pic.twitter.com/0tKs05yWaQ— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) November 13, 2016
24) Saints - (Last week's rating #21 ) When Drew Brees is not perfect and New Orleans depends on their defense to win the game, this is what's known in "The Big Easy" as a "bad thing".
25) Colts - (Last week's rating #25 ) Bye week push
26) Buccaneers - (Last week's rating #28 ) I have zero interest in talking about or thinking about the Buccaneers last game. So... next...
27) Rams - (Last week's rating #27 ) Three field goals. That's it. Todd Gurley had 67 yards. Blech. How much worse can Jared Goff be than Case Keenum? I guess we are about to find out.
28) Bears - (Last week's rating #26 ) See Buccaneers entry.
29) Jaguars - (Last week's rating #29 ) Well, a garbage time TD made the score look close. SO... there's that. Jacksonville is a mess. Still.
30) Jets - (Last week's rating #30 ) Matt Forte got 98 yards on 21 attempts. Brandon Marshall got 15 yards on 4 receptions. Who cares about everybody else, the Jets had 6 points after a missed extra point kick. At home. Wow. Trust me, unless you like seeing the occasional Matt Forte run, do not watch this game on Gamepass.
31) 49ers -(Last week's rating #32 ) Yes, they almost beat Arizona in Arizona. That moves them above Cleveland. Just.
32) Browns - (Last week's rating #31 )
Cleveland city of light city of magic
Cleveland city of light you're calling me
Cleveland, even now I can remember
Cause the Cuyahoga River
Goes smokin' through my dreams
Burn on, big river, burn on
Burn on, big river, burn on
So what do you think? Am I close? Am I entirely wrong? Spill the beans, let us know what you think.