This Thanksgiving, the Dallas Cowboys are thankful for being ranked number one in the Predominantly Orange Power Rankings. See where everyone else ranks:
The Cowboys are officially the best team in the NFL according to these Power Rankings, and Dak Prescott should be atop the MVP voting if the season were to end today. New England bounced back after their first (real) loss of the season, and the Broncos re-joined the top-5 after the Chiefs were knocked off at home. What will happen on Thanksgiving? Is it time for the Cowboys to be bounced out of the number one seed by Captain Kirk and the Skins? Stay tuned and find out.
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Nov 20, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates his third quarter touchdown pass with receiver Dez Bryant (88) against the Baltimore Ravens at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
1. Dallas Cowboys (1)
It’s truly remarkable what is going on down in Dallas. Dak Prescott has taken over as the alpha on this team, and Ezekiel Elliott is leading the NFL in rushing by over 100 yards over former Cowboy Demarco Murray. Both rookies should be in contention for both rookie of the year, and should be in the top-10 for MVP voting as well. Prescott has thrown 17 touchdowns to only 2 INT’s. To put his season into perspective, his total QBR for the year is 84.5, trailing only Tom Brady this year. Peyton Manning’s QBR in 2013, the year in which he threw for 55 touchdowns, was 82.2. Dak Prescott should be the MVP of the NFL as a rookie, and it’s really not particularly close.
November 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) passes the football against San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks (55) during the third quarter at Levi
2. New England Patriots (3)
The Patriots bounced back after a tough loss with a win in Northern California. It wasn’t as easy as the final score looked. This was a one score game in the second half, and the Patriots were struggling to move the ball against a terrible Niners defense without Gronk. There was never really a doubt though that the Pats would pull it out—it just took longer than expected for them to pull away.
Nov 21, 2016; Mexico City, MEX; Oakland Raiders tight end Clive Walford (88) catches a pass against the Houston Texans at Estadio Azteca. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
3. Oakland Raiders (4)
The Raiders got the win with some great plays, and with some very dicey officiating. The Texans had a clear touchdown waived off on their first possession, and also had back-to-back first downs that were given horrible spots in near sure field goal range. The Texans had 7 points taken off the board, the same 7 points they lost by. It helps to be lucky in this league, and the Raiders have been just that on their way to an 8-2 record.
Nov 20, 2016; Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
4. Seattle Seahawks (5)
For the first time all year, Carson Wentz looked like a rookie. This was thanks to that dominant Seahawks defense that has been very good all season long. The Seahawks have really hit their stride now that Russell Wilson appears to be the Russell Wilson we all know. The Seahawks and the Cowboys are now the clear class of the NFC.
Nov 13, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Denver Broncos strong safety T.J. Ward (43) celebrates a recovered fumble against the New Orleans Saints in the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Broncos won, 25-23. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
5. Denver Broncos (6)
Last we saw the Broncos, their defense had looked far more like the defense that won a Super Bowl this past February, not the one getting smacked around by the Raiders. Add in a healthy Aqib Talib and bring back Derek Wolfe should return them to the form they were at early on. The Chiefs come to town for a huge battle of 7-3 teams on Sunday Night Football. The rested, healthy Broncos will have a chance to flex their defensive muscles in front of the entire country. Should be a fun game to say the least.
Nov 20, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Albert Wilson (12) catches a pass for a touchdown as Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Chris Conte (23) defends during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Tampa Bay won 19-17. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
6. Kansas City Chiefs (6)
The Chiefs did not have a good day Sunday, losing at home to the sub .500 Bucs. This was a bad loss, at a bad time as the Chiefs were trying to keep pace with the Raiders, and now have to travel to Denver to take on a rested Broncos team that is healthier than they’ve been in weeks. The Chiefs could very well be a turning point in the Cheifs season. Win and it could propel them towards a division title; lose and it could send them into a season ending tailspin.
Nov 13, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham (55) sacks Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) during the first half at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
7. Atlanta Falcons (8)
The Falcons went in to their bye with a shaky performance against the Eagles. Perhaps some R&R was needed to get themselves back on track. The Bucs are now only a game back, so a fast start out of the bye is going to be needed for the Falcons.
Nov 20, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates on the sidelines against the Green Bay Packers in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 42-24. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
8. Washington Redskins (11)
How you like me now? The weekly soundbite from Kirk Cousins is becoming must-see TV. If Cousins has done one thing this year, he has earned himself a lot of money. Cousins will get a very rich contract this offseason, whether it’s from the Redskins, or from someone else.
Nov 20, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants safety Landon Collins (21) reacts after making a game-ending interception against the Chicago Bears during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
9. New York Giants (10)
The Giants are now winners of five straight games, and would currently be in the first wildcard spot. New York also happens to be the only team to defeat the Cowboys this season. The only concern would be, despite a 7-3 record, the Giants have only outscored their opponents by 4 points total for the entire season. If the close wins turn to close losses, they could find themselves on the outside looking in.
Nov 20, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) celebrates after scoring on a 9-yard touchdown pass with 36 seconds left against the Los Angeles Rams during a NFL football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Dolphins defeated the Rams 14-10. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
10.Miami Dolphins (15)
The Dolphins have crawled from the depths of the Atlantic, all the way to 6-4. Early in the year, Miami looked like the worst team in the NFL. Now, they are right in the thick of the playoff race, sitting only a game behind Denver and Kansas City. Five straight wins, and the 1-9 Niners team coming to town, could this be the year they do better than 8-8?
Nov 20, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) runs with the ball after a catch during the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (14)
There is nothing like a match up against the Browns to get back on track. Ben still doesn’t look quite like himself, but LeVeon Bell is doing a fine job picking up the slack. When he is healthy, there is not a more dynamic, all-around back in the league. The Steelers are fortunate to be facing a red hot Colts team on Thanksgiving sans Andrew Luck. They are also fortunate to be sitting at 5-5 through 10 games, and tied for the lead in the division.
Nov 20, 2016; Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
12. Philadelphia Eagles (7)
We all knew it was coming at some point—that game that made the rookie quarterback look like a rookie quarterback. Carson Wentz looked like a deer in the headlights in front of the hostile 12th man. Fear not Eagles fans—the future is still bright. I seem to remember a one, Peyton Manning looking like a deer in the headlights against a very familiar defense. This was the same Peyton Manning who had already thrown for 55 regular season touchdowns and another two playoff victories. Carson Wentz can get a pass for this one.
Nov 20, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes (29) returns an interception 100 yards for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
13. Minnesota Vikings (10)
After a four week run of mostly close losses, the Vikings avoided being the first team ever to start 5-0 and then drop five in a row. Their defense and special teams stepped up to the challenge in a big way, scoring two touchdowns in the winning effort. The offensive woes continue however, and will make it difficult for this team to make any sort of deep run without increased offensive production.
Nov 20, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) carries the ball past Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Cardinals 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
14. Arizona Cardinals (9)
Five weeks ago, the Cardinals losing a road game to the Vikings would have seemed like a given. However, after four straight Viking losses, this game just proved to be another head scratching loss for the Cardinals. What seems more and more apparent each week is that Carson Palmer is on the decline—not throwing with nearly the velocity that he was even a season ago. His goal line pick six was an absolutely despicable play but has summed up much of his play this season. It was enough to send his head coach to the hospital with chest pains—we can only pray the Bruce Arians is going to be okay.
Nov 20, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron (85) runs after a catch during the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Ford Field. Lions won 26-19. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
15. Detroit Lions (17)
Yes, the Lions are still hold the division lead up North. The Lions are a dangerous team on the offensive side of the ball, but are the poster-child for inconsistent play. They should have handled the Jaguars with ease in front of their home crowd. Had they not blown games against the Titans and Bears—games that they should have won—the Lions would be sitting at 8-2. However the inexcusable losses will be the ones that prevent this team from playing up to their true potential. The Lions would easily benefit from a new head coach this offseason to maximize the talent they have.
Nov 21, 2016; Mexico City, MEX; Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) passes against the Oakland Raiders at Estadio Azteca. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
16. Houston Texans (12)
Houston has to be one of the worst 6-4 teams in the history of the league, statistically speaking. They now sport a -34 scoring margin on the season. They squeak out close wins against bad teams, and get handled by good teams. However, Monday Night, the officials took at least seven points off the board for the Texans with horrific calls. This team perhaps should be the worst 7-3 team of all time, but they are forced to settle on 6-4. The Colts are now right on their tail, with a lot of momentum on their side. Houston may have caught a break as the Colts will be without Andrew Luck for their bout with the Steelers on Thanksgiving Night due to a concussion.
Nov 20, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) runs the ball while Indianapolis Colts defensive end Arthur Jones (97) tries to tackle him in the second half of the game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis Colts beat the Tennessee Titans 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
17. Tennessee Titans (13)
The Titans are a young bunch, so week to week inconsistency is to be expected. Just a week after going up 21-0 on the Packers, they got down 21-0 to the Colts. The worst part about this loss is that they are now 0-3 against the teams ahead of them in the division. This means they will likely have to finish a game ahead of both the Texans and the Colts in order to win the division. Winning the division would be the only likely path to the playoffs.
Nov 17, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) runs the ball in the third quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers defeated the Saints 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
18. Carolina Panthers (21)
The Panthers recent trend of giving up big leads is actually a not-so-new thing. The Panthers were very poor with the lead a year ago as well, they just happened to win all of the games in which they surrendered large comebacks. This season they have not been so lucky, but they did get away with one on Thursday Night Football. The best part about playing on Thursday Night was that the Panthers got an extra few days rest for their superstar linebacker Luke Kuechly who is currently in the NFL’s concussion protocol.
Nov 20, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Andrew Luck (12) in the first half of the game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
19. Indianapolis Colts (25)
The Colts have put together their two best games of the season in back-to-back games. What they didn’t need, especially on a short week was for their star quarterback to suffer a concussion. The most troubling question asked shouldn’t be is Andrew Luck going to play Thursday? But why did Andrew Luck finish the game a week ago with a concussion?
Nov 20, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Terrance West (28) runs the ball in the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
20. Baltimore Ravens (18)
The Ravens hung in for awhile with the Cowboys, but at the end of the day the best team in the NFL prevailed. The Ravens need to look ahead, because if they plan to hold their lead in the AFC North, they are going to have to win win win moving forward.
Nov 13, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) is pressured by Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Earl Mitchell (90) as offensive guard Orlando Franklin (74) blocks during the fourth quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
21. San Diego Chargers (19)
The Chargers enjoyed their bye week to recharge the batteries, but the damage is most likely done. They are currently three games out of the wildcard with six to play, and have lots of teams in front of them. Their point differential shows them as a team that should be at or over .500. Unfortunately late meltdowns has been the doom of this team all year, and will likely cost them an opportunity to compete for a playoff spot.
Nov 20, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) throws a pass during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Tampa Bay won 19-17. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (26)
The Bucs took notice of Atlanta’s pre-bye struggle and brought their A-game into Arrowhead to defeat a white-hot Chiefs team. They will need an even better performance this week if they’d like to keep pace as they welcome the scorching hot Seattle Seahawks to town. Best of luck.
Nov 20, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive end Adolphus Washington (92) tackles Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
23. Buffalo Bills (24)
The Bills snapped their losing streak with a great road win against a Bengals team fighting for their playoff lives. This was perhaps the best defensive performance of the year, as they limited the Bengals to 12 points. Then again, that shutout against the Patriots was pretty good too.
Nov 17, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) prepares to throw the ball in the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
24. New Orleans Saints (22)
After a devastating loss to the Broncos, the Saints had a quick turnaround and nearly had a remarkable comeback win. However, it was the decision to choose coverage over pressure on third down that cost them the opportunity to close the deal. The Saints are only two games back in the division, but this doesn’t help.
Nov 20, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) dives into the end zone for a first quarter touchdown against the Buffalo Bills at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
25. Cincinnati Bengals (23)
Cincinnati is struggling. Losing A.J. Green for a few weeks, and Gio Bernard for the year will not help matters. If there is one bright light, it is that the rest of their division is struggling. However, given the way things have gone, it would be a stretch to think that they could make up the game and a half they are back in six weeks.
Nov 20, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) avoids the tackle by Washington Redskins defensive end Trent Murphy (93) during the first half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
26. Green Bay Packers (20)
P-A-N-I-C. After being told to relax relax relax, now would be the time to panic. The Packers have lost four straight, and simply aren’t a good football team right now. It is weird seeing the Packers 2 games below .500 this late in the year. P-A-N-I-C.
Nov 20, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) is sacked by New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
27. Chicago Bears (27)
Jay Cutler may have very well thrown his last pass for the Bears after being ruled out for the rest of the season. The question is: Does this make Bears fans happy or sad?
Nov 13, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Los Angeles Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree (52) intercepts a pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) in the fourth quarter during a NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. The Rams defeated the Jets 9-6. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
28. New York Jets (29)
And the QB carousel continues as Ryan Fitzpatrick will again be the starter for the Jets. This is reminiscent of the 2015 Texans QB situation, minus the division title of course.
Nov 20, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) scrambles against the Miami Dolphins during the second half of a NFL football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
29. Los Angeles Rams (28)
Jared Goff looked mostly like a quarterback making his first ever NFL start. He was uneven, but put on a decent showing and had his team in position to win. The defense, that was stellar for 54 minutes were the ones that dropped the ball in the final six.
November 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde (28) dives after being tackled by New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty (32) during the fourth quarter at Levi
30. San Francisco 49ers (30)
For a quick moment, it appeared that the 49ers may upset the Patriots. Then reality hit and the Niners continued their second half woes. After a shutout win to start the season, the Niners have dropped nine straight, and now will be playing for draft positioning.
Nov 20, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Ivory (33) runs the ball against Detroit Lions defensive tackle Stefan Charles (96) and defensive end Kerry Hyder (61) during the fourth quarter at Ford Field. Lions won 26-19. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (31)
4th and 1, and everyone in the building knows the Lions are going to use the hard count to try and draw the Jags offsides—everyone except the Jaguars that is. That’s bad coaching. The weekly cries to fire Gus Bradley get louder by the week.
Nov 20, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13) is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt (91) during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Steelers won 24-9. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
32. Cleveland Browns (32)
Mark these words—the Browns will go 0-16. They are just that bad. That is all.