After calling it a career after 45 years of sports writing — including 36 Super Bowls covered — former Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Paul Domowitch is bringing his weekly power rankings to the 33rd Team. Here he gives us the skinny on the good news and bad news that each NFL team is dealing with.
1) Cardinals (7-1) Previous: 4
Last week: W31-17@SF
This week: v. 4-5 Panthers
Good news: The Cardinals are just the fourth team in NFL history to score 30 points in each of their first five road games.
Bad news: RB Chase Edmonds, who is averaging 5.7 yards per carry, suffered a high ankle sprain against the 49ers and likely will miss multiple games..
2) Bucs (6-2) Previous: 5
Last week: Bye
This week: at 2-6 Washington
Good news: TE Rob Gronkowski is expected to be a full-go for the Washington game. Not that the Bucs need him this week.
Bad news: The defense has given up 4.9 yards per carry on the ground in the last three games.
3) Titans (7-2) Previous: 7
Last week: W28-16@LAR
This week: v. 5-3 Saints
Good news: The combined record of the Titans’ eight remaining opponents is 23-44.
Bad news: Without Derrick Henry, they averaged just 2.7 yards per carry Sunday against the Rams.
4) Packers (7-2) Previous: 3
Last week: L7-13@KC
This week: v. 3-5 Seahawks
Good news: The defense held Patrick Mahomes to 166 passing yards and one TD.
Bad news: Without Aaron Rodgers, the Packers lost a winnable game that could cost them a chance at homefield advantage in the playoffs.
5) Cowboys (6-2) Previous: 1
Last week: L16-30DEN
This week: v. 4-4 Falcons
Good news: Even with Sunday’s loss, the Cowboys still have a gigantic four-game lead in the NFC East.
Bad news: They gave up 190 rushing yards to the Broncos and let them control the clock for 41 minutes. Future opponents noticed.
6) Bills (5-3) Previous: 2
Last week: L6-9@JAX
This week: at 2-6 Jets
Good news: The Bills defense has given up just one touchdown in the last two games.
Bad news: Legitimate Super Bowl contenders don’t lose to 1-6 teams.
7) Rams (7-2) Previous: 6
Last week: L16-28TEN
This week: at 3-5 49ers
Good news: Rams defense has given up the second fewest TD passes (10) and has the second most interceptions (12).
Bad news: The new Matt Stafford turned into the old Matt Stafford. He had his worst performance of the season against the Titans, throwing two interceptions, including a pick-6 and another that gave the Titans the ball at the Rams’ 2-yard line.
8) Ravens (6-2) Previous: 11
Last week: W34-31MIN
This week: at 2-7 Dolphins
Good news: Lamar Jackson had the 10th 100-yard rushing game of his career, tying Michael Vick for the most ever by an NFL quarterback.
Bad news: Just 12 points are the difference between the Ravens being 6-2 and 2-6.
9) Patriots (5-4) Previous: 12
Last week: W24-6@CAR
This week: v. 5-4 Browns
Good news: Defense has an NFL-best 13 interceptions.
Bad news: Patriots wide receivers have a total of five touchdown catches.
10) Chargers (5-3) Previous: 13
Last week: W27-24@PHI
This week: v. 3-5 Vikings
Good news: Justin Herbert rebounded from two sub-par performances, completing 84.2 percent of his attempts against the Eagles and throwing two TD passes.
Bad news: The Chargers defense has been a sieve lately, giving up 31.7 points per game in the last four games.
11) Chiefs (5-4) Previous: 14
Last week: W13-7GB
This week: at 5-3 Raiders
Good news: For the first time since Week 1, Patrick Mahomes didn’t have an interception.
Bad news: The Chiefs have scored a total of 36 points in their last three games.
12) Raiders (5-3) Previous: 8
Last week: L16-23@NYG
This week: v. 5-4 Chiefs
Good news: TE Darren Waller had his best game since Week 1, catching seven passes for 92 yards against the Giants.
Bad news: GM Mike Mayock’s Month From Hell continued as he had to release yet another first-round pick for reasons other than football.
13) Saints (5-3) Previous: 9
Last week: L25-27ATL
This week: at 7-2 Titans
Good news: The Titans don’t have Derrick Henry.
Bad news: The Saints defense gave up four 30-plus yard completions to the Falcons’ Matt Ryan Sunday, which was as many as he had in the previous seven games.
14) Browns (5-4) Previous: 17
Last week: W41-16@CIN
This week: at 5-4 Patriots
Good news: Baker Mayfield is coming off his best overall performance of the season.
Bad news: Sunday was just the second time in the last six games that the Browns have scored more than 17 points.
15) Broncos (5-4) Previous: 24
Last week: W30-16@DAL
This week: v. 3-6 Eagles
Good news: Broncos can make it a sweep of the NFC East with a win over the Eagles.
Bad news: That and $20 will get Vic Fangio a grande frappuccino at Starbucks.
17) Steelers (4-3) Previous: 16
Last week: W29-27CHI
This week: v. 0-8 Lions
Good news: The Steelers have won four in a row after a 1-3 start.
Bad news: After the winless Lions, the Steelers have a tough three-game stretch, including road games against the Chargers and Bengals and the first of two division games against the 6-2 Ravens.
17) Bengals (5-3) Previous: 10
Last week: L16-41CLE
This week: Bye
Good news: Having lost three of their last five games, the bye week is coming just in the nick of time.
Bad news: Joe Burrow threw two more interceptions Sunday, tying him with Sam Darnold for the league lead.
18) Colts (4-5) Previous: 18
Last week: W45-30NYJ
This week: v. 2-6 Jaguars
Good news: Carson Wentz has a 108.3 passer rating over his last six starts, including 14 TDs and just two interceptions. He’s been sacked just nine times in those six games.
Bad news: The Bills and the Bucs are waiting for them after they play the Jags.
19) Vikings (3-5) Previous: 15
Last week: L31-34@BAL
This week: at 5-3 Chargers
Good news: They’re the best sub-.500 team in the league, for what that’s worth. Their five losses have been by a total of 18 points.
Bad news: They’re still 3-5.
20) Falcons (4-4) Previous: 23
Last week: W27-25@NO
This week: at 6-2 Cowboys
Good news: The Falcons are 3-1 on the road this season.
Bad news: A defense that has given up 17 TD passes and has just three interceptions is going to have their hands full with the Cowboys’ passing game.
21) 49ers (3-5) Previous: 19
Last week: L17-31ARI
This week: v. 7-2 Rams
Good news: TE George Kittle had his first 100-yard receiving game of the season.
Bad news: When the Niners went to the Super Bowl two years ago, they had the league’s fifth highest third-down conversion rate. This season, they have the league’s third worst.
22) Bears (3-6) Previous: 21
Last week: L27-29@PIT
This week: Bye
Good news: Justin Fields averaged 10.0 yards per pass attempt and rushed for 45 yards against the Steelers.
Bad news: After the bye, they’ve got a four-game block that includes the 6-2 Ravens, 8-1 Cardinals and 7-2 Packers.
23) Seahawks (3-5) Previous: 22
Last week: Bye
This week: at 7-2 Packers
Good news: Russell Wilson has been cleared to play Sunday.
Bad news: It’s not like they were unbeaten before Wilson injured his finger (they were 2-3).
24) Giants (3-6) Previous: 26
Last week: W23-16LVR
This week: Bye
Good news: Don’t look now, but the Giants are starting to get their sh*t together.
Bad news: The Giants have the worst red-zone offense in the league. They’ve converted just 11 of 24 red-zone opportunities (44.0%) into touchdowns.
25) Eagles (3-6) Previous: 25
Last week: L24-27LAC
This week: at 5-4 Broncos
Good news: The Eagles have averaged 206 rushing yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry the last two games.
Bad news: Throwing the football against the Eagles defense has been like shooting fish in a barrel. Five of the last seven QBs to face them have completed 80 percent of their passes.
26) Panthers (4-5) Previous: 20
Last week: L6-24NE
This week: at 8-1 Cardinals
Good news: Christian McCaffrey returned after missing five games and had 106 yards from scrimmage.
Bad news: Sam Darnold’s three interceptions made everything else, including McCaffrey’s return, moot.
27) Jaguars (2-6) Previous: 29
Last week: W9-6BUF
This week: at 4-5 Colts
Good news: A week after Geno Smith completed 20 of 24 passes against them, the Jaguars intercepted early league MVP candidate Josh Allen twice and held him without a touchdown pass for the first time this season. Go figure.
Bad news: Rookie QB Trevor Lawrence has just eight TD passes and nine interceptions this season.
28) Washington (2-6) Previous: 28
Last week: Bye
This week: v. 6-2 Bucs
Good news: The offense is tied for eighth in rush average (4.6).
Bad news: Washington has scored just 55 points in four straight losses since a 34-30 Week 4 win over Atlanta.
29) Jets (2-6) Previous: 27
Last week: L30-45@IND
This week: v 5-3 Bills
Good news: No more of the Jets’ games are scheduled for prime time.
Bad news: Their bad-awful defense has given up 130 points in the last three games. Oh, and the highest scoring offense in the NFL is dropping by the Meadowlands on Sunday.
30) Dolphins (2-7) Previous: 29
Last week: W17-9HOU
This week: v. 6-2 Ravens
Good news: The Dolphins hit paydirt with first-round WR Jaylen Waddle. He’s sixth in receptions (56), 12th in receiving first downs (21) and seventh in third-down receptions (17).
Bad news: Their 18 turnovers, including nine lost fumbles, are the second most in the league.
31) Lions (0-8) Previous: 31
Last week: Bye
This week: at 5-3 Steelers
Good news: To borrow an old cliche, they’re better than their record indicates. Not much better, but a little.
Bad news: Since scoring 33 points in a Week 1 loss to the 49ers, the Lions have averaged just 14.4 points in their last seven games.
32) Texans (1-8) Previous: 32
Last week: L9-17@MIA
This week: Bye
Good news: See line above.
Bad news: Their offense is pathetic. The Texans have scored nine points or less in five of their last seven games.