Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Some of the NFL’s worst teams earned rare wins.
1. Baltimore Ravens (10-2; Won 20-17 vs SF) (-)
Baltimore came out on top in what might be a preview of this year’s Super Bowl . Horrible weather played a part in this defensive slugfest, but the Ravens managed to eke out a victory on the back of 101 rushing yards by quarterback Lamar Jackson and a game-winning field goal by Justin Tucker. If there was any doubt before about this team’s Super Bowl chops, it should be put to rest now.
2. San Francisco 49ers (10-2; Lost 20-17 vs BAL) (-)
The 49ers dropped their second game of the season in dramatic fashion, losing on a last-second field goal after the teams traded fourth down stops. Running back Raheem Mostert had a stand-out day with 146 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Despite the loss, San Francisco took an amazing team to the brink playing across the country from home. Do not count this team out.
3. New Orleans Saints (10-2; 26-18 vs ATL) (+1)
It was another rough outing from Drew Brees against New Orleans’ bitter rivals, but the Saints managed to win a Thanksgiving tilt that was not as close as the scoreboard would indicate. No one in particular managed to stand out but they escaped with a win that should be crucial to playoff seeding.
4. Seattle Seahawks (10-2; Lost 37-30 vs MIN) (+1)
The Seahawks looked like they were in some trouble when they entered halftime trailing the Vikings by seven, but they came storming back with a 17-point third quarter and took a lead they would never lose. The defense did their part, generating three late turnovers that secured the game, while Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny combined for 176 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
5. New England Patriots (10-2; Lost 28-22 vs HOU) (-2)
Tom Brady was so bad on Sunday night that I almost published a “The End of an Era” column despite being a Lions blogger. The quarterback looked puzzled and the defense could not hold up against the Texans talented offense. New England falls out of the top spot in the AFC, meaning their path to the Super Bowl will probably include a trip back to Baltimore.
6. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4; Won 40-9 vs OAK) (+2)
Kansas City flexed their muscles in a game that was billed as a battle between AFC West heavyweights. They dominated the Raiders in every phase of the game, and their defense managed to hold a shutout until the latter half of the fourth quarter. With the division essentially in the bag, their sights are set on a first-round bye.
7. Green Bay Packers (9-3; Won 31-13 vs NYG) (-)
Aaron Rodgers had a “get right” day against the Giants terrible secondary. The future Hall of Famer threw for 243 yards and four touchdowns on a day where the result felt inevitable.
8. Houston Texans (8-4; Won 28-22 vs NE) (+1)
The Texans earned a statement victory on Sunday night, bouncing back from an embarrassing outing against another AFC contender only a few weeks ago. Deshaun Watson threw for 234 yards and three touchdowns on 25 attempts and the defense had no issue dealing with Tom Brady during one of the legendary quarterback’s worst career outings. The playoffs seem inevitable, but they still need to hold off the Titans in the AFC South race.
9. Minnesota Vikings (8-4; Lost 37-30 vs SEA) (-3)
Kirk Cousins lost yet another game on “Monday Night Football,” but it’s hard to blame this game on him. Xavier Rhodes was awful and late turnovers from Dalvin Cook and Stefon Diggs (the interception was the receiver’s fault) doomed Minnesota. The Vikes lost a last-gasp effort to tie the game when the kick returner fumbled with 20 seconds left to play. Minnesota will still probably make the playoffs, and can even steal the NFC North, but this game is going to feel like a missed opportunity.
10. Buffalo Bills (9-3; Won 26-15 vs DAL) (+4)
I might have to start respecting this team. Josh Allen was efficient with his 24 pass attempts, posting 231 yards and a touchdown, and the defense did their thing to shut down the Cowboys offense. With a playoff spot all but locked up and the Patriots sliding, the Bills have a real chance at stealing the AFC East.
11. Tennessee Titans (7-5; Won 31-17 vs IND) (-)
A blocked field goal returned for a touchdown and another big day from Derrick Henry led the Titans to another crucial victory in the race for the AFC South and AFC Wild Card races. Henry ran for 149 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries, continuing his All-Pro level season.
12. Los Angeles Rams (7-5; Won 34-7 vs ARI) (+1)
Jared Goff and the Rams offense bulldozed the Cardinals in a game that was never really competitive. The young quarterback put together a performance that could get him back on track as his season was slowly derailing. Los Angeles is still in the NFC playoff hunt, but they will need Goff to keep this level of play up if they want to steal a Wild Card spot.
13. Dallas Cowboys (6-6; Lost 26-15 vs BUF) (-3)
The most inconsistent and underperforming team in the NFL laid another stinker, falling to 1-3 against the AFC East on the season. Dak Prescott had more trouble than the box score would indicate, as he had trouble cracking an elite defense for the second straight week. The team is much less than the sum of its parts at the moment, but they should still be able to win the NFC East and stumble into the playoffs.
14. Indianapolis Colts (6-6; Lost 31-17 vs TEN) (-2)
The Colts suffered a crucial loss in the playoff race as they let their division rival beat them at home. A non-existent run game and a shaky day from Jacoby Brissett hurt them, and a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown felt like a dagger blow to the team’s confidence. The playoffs are still within reach, but the Colts will need some help.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5; Won 20-13 vs CLE) (+5)
The Steelers got revenge on the Browns only a few weeks after their primetime brawl that caught the attention of the world. Devlin Hodges got the start this week after he replaced Mason Rudolph due to performance last week. While he was not perfect in a 212-yard, one-touchdown effort, he did enough to keep the Steelers at the forefront of the AFC Wild Card race.
16. Chicago Bears (6-6; Won 24-20 vs DET) (+3)
Mitch Trubisky’s great run of games against his division rival continued this week as he threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns in a Thanksgiving victory. It may have been a little too close for comfort, but the Bears managed to cling onto their dwindling playoff hopes with another win.
17. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7; Lost 37-31 vs MIA) (-1)
Oh, how the mighty fall. The Eagles may have hit their lowest point since 2016, falling to a team that looked destined for 0-16 only a few months ago. Bad quarterback play, injuries and a lackluster secondary have all come back to bite them, and they may miss the postseason despite a weak NFC East.
18. Oakland Raiders (6-6; Lost 40-9 vs KC) (-1)
A Raiders team that looked destined to crash into the AFC playoffs has now lost their last two games by a combine score of 74-12. That is not good!
19. Carolina Panthers (5-7; Lost 29-21 vs WAS) (-4)
Disaster. The Panthers’ chances to make the NFC playoffs were already slim, but games against teams like Washington still being on the schedule gave them hope. Kyle Allen was awful though, and the Panthers crashed out of the playoff race in dramatic fashion, at home, against one of the worst teams in the league.
20. Cleveland Browns (5-7; Lost 20-13 vs PIT) (-2)
Baker Mayfield ’s disaster sophomore campaign continued in a loss that effectively ends the Browns’ season. The quarterback only threw for 196 yards on 32 attempts, and threw a horrible interception on the team’s final drive to end the game.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7; Won 28-11 vs JAX) (+2)
Tampa Bay took advantage of a disaster day from the Jaguars offense, and rookie Devin Bush even scored a defensive touchdown in an in-state beat down. The team did not even play particularly well, they just befitted from catching the Jags on a bad day.
22. Denver Broncos (4-8; Won 23-20 vs LAC) (+5)
The Broncos almost collapsed and blew a late lead to the Chargers, but no one can collapse harder than the Chargers, as they slipped away with a win after a late pass interference call and last-second field goal to seal a win in Drew Lock ’s first career start.
23. Los Angeles Chargers (4-8; Lost 23-20 vs DEN) (-1)
The Chargers found a new way to lose this week, but at least Melvin Gordon is starting to show signs of life once again!
24. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8; Lost 28-11 vs TB) (+2)
Nick Foles has been a disaster since returning from injury, and the veteran quarterback ended up being benched for rookie Gardner Minshew midway through this contest after a horrible start. Minshew will be the starter going forward, and will have a chance to show what he’s got to earn a role for himself as the team’s long-term starter.
25. Atlanta Falcons (3-9; Lost 26-18 vs NO) (-1)
Lightning did not strike twice for the Falcons, as they were dominated by their division rivals on Thanksgiving. Kicker Younghoe Koo proved that he can complete onside kicks, at least, even if he cannot kick field goals all that well.
26. Washington (3-9; Won 29-21 vs CAR) (+4)
Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson combined for 128 yards and three touchdowns as they carried Washington on the ground to an impressive victory. While it may hurt their draft stock, getting to play spoiler for a Wild Card team is always great.
27. Detroit Lions (3-8-1; Lost 24-20 vs CHI) (+1)
The Lions fell just short on Thanksgiving despite an impressive NFL debut from rookie quarterback David Blough. The undrafted free agent threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Bo Scarbrough had the best day of his young career as well with 83 yards on 21 carries. A lack of offensive firepower led to them finishing just short, though.
28. Arizona Cardinals (3-8-1; Lost 34-7 vs LAR) (-7)
Arizona had a chance to play spoiler against a struggling Rams team this week, but the defense did not show up, and they were dead before halftime. A rough season continues as they look towards the draft.
29. Miami Dolphins (3-9; Won 37-31 vs PHI) (+2)
A Dolphins team that was supposed to go 0-16 this season has now won their third game of the season and defeated a popular preseason Super Bowl pick in the Philadelphia Eagles. Ryan Fitzpatrick carried the offense despite little help from the running game, and punter Matt Haack got in on the action with a touchdown pass as well.
30. New York Jets (4-8; Lost 22-6 vs CIN) (-5)
The most confusing team in the NFL laid a stinker and lost to the winless Bengals this week —only a week after destroying the Raiders. Sam Darnold only managed 239 passing yards on 48 attempts, and no one on offense outside of Robby Anderson (seven catches for 101 yards) contributed in a disastrous effort.
31. New York Giants (2-10; Lost 31-13 vs GB) (-2)
Pat Shurmur pointed out that while Daniel Jones committed three turnovers, they were all interceptions, not fumbles …..
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) December 1, 2019
32. Cincinnati Bengals (1-11; Won 22-6 vs NYJ) (-)
They did it! Andy Dalton returned to the lineup this week and earned the Bengals their first win of the season. While his tenure as the team’s franchise quarterback is most likely over, the team looking to him when they desperately needed to avoid 0-16 must feel good.