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 (10-2) Previous: 1
Last week: W33-22@CHI
This week: v. 7-4 Rams
Good news: Kyler Murray returned after missing three games and picked up where he left off, throwing for two TDs and running for two more.
Bad news: Bears converted four of four fourth-down attempts v. Cardinals.
2) Bucs (9-3) Previous: 2
Last week: W30-17@ATL
This week: v. 7-5 Bills
Good news: Ho, hum. The Old Guy recorded his sixth game with at least four touchdown passes.
Bad news: Leonard Fournette was held to 3.4 yards per carry by a soft Falcons run defense.
3) Packers (9-3) Previous: 3
Last week: Bye
This week: v. 4-8 Bears
Good news: In the last four seasons, Aaron Rodgers has averaged an interception every 137.7 attempts.
Bad news: Opponents have converted 48.8% of their third-down opportunities v. Packers in the last three games.
4) Patriots (9-4) Previous: 4
Last week: W14-10@BUF
This week: Bye
Good news: Seized first place in the AFC East with their seventh straight win.
Bad news: The bye week. When you’re as hot as the Patriots are right now, you want to keep the dice in your hand.
5) Chiefs (8-4) Previous: 5
Last week: W22-9DEN
This week: v. 6-6 Raiders
Good news: Steve Spagnuolo’s defense has given up just 56 points in the Chiefs’ five-game winning streak.
Bad news: For the first time in his career, Patrick Mahomes has gone back-to-back games without throwing a touchdown pass.
6) Cowboys (8-4) Previous: 11
Last week: W27-17@NO
This week: at 6-6 Washington
Good news: The Cowboys rushed for 146 yards against the Saints, their most since Week 5.
Bad news: Dak Prescott has averaged less than six yards per attempt in two of his last three starts.
7) Bills (7-5) Previous: 6
Last week: L10-14NE
This week: at 9-3 Bucs
Good news: They won’t have to worry about 50 mile-an-hour wind gusts affecting Josh Allen’s throws this week.
Bad news: Since their impressive 38-20 win over the Chiefs in Week 5, Bills are 3-4.
8) Rams (8-4) Previous: 12
Last week: W37-7JAX
This week: at 10-2 Cardinals
Good news: Cooper Kupp has been next to unstoppable. He has seven or more receptions and 90-plus receiving yards in 11 of the Rams’ 12 games.
Bad news: Rams’ last five wins have been against teams with a combined record of 13-45-1.
9) Ravens (8-4) Previous: 7
Last week: L19-20@PIT
This week: at 6-6 Browns
Good news: The defense has given up just 65 points in the last four games.
Bad news: The offense has scored just 61 points in those same four games.
10) Titans (8-4) Previous: 10
Last week: Bye
This week: v. 2-10 Jaguars
Good news: It’s Jaguar Week!!
Bad news: Ryan Tannehill has thrown eight interceptions in the last six games.
11) Colts (7-6) Previous: 14
Last week: W31-0@HOU
This week: Bye
Good news: Jonathan Taylor continues to be on fire. He’s on pace to rush for 1,763 yards and 21 TDs.
Bad news: After the bye, the Colts have to play the red-hot Patriots and Cardinals.
12) 49ers (6-6) Previous: 8
Last week: L23-30@SEA
This week: at 7-5 Bengals
Good news: Niners’ offensive catalyst Deebo Samuel, who missed the Seattle game with a groin injury, should be available this week.
Bad news: Two of the Niners’ six losses have been to the 4-8 Seahawks.
13) Bengals (7-5) Previous: 9
Last week: L22-41LAC
This week: v. 6-6 49ers
Good news: Joe Mixon has nine rushing touchdowns in the last six games.
Bad news: Bengals have eight giveaways in its last three losses, including five interceptions by Joe Burrow.
14) Chargers (7-5) Previous: 17
Last week: W41-22@CIN
This week: v. 4-8 Giants
Good news: Justin Herbert has a plus-37 touchdowns-to-interceptions differential in his first 26 NFL starts.
Bad news: Chargers haven’t had back-to-back wins since Weeks 4-5.
15) Washington (6-6) Previous: 18
Last week: W17-15@LVR
This week: v. 8-4 Cowboys
Good news: Washington has won four in a row, including a 10-point street-cred victory over the Bucs.
Bad news: Their offense has to work for every point they get. They’ve averaged just 17.6 points in their last seven games.
16) Raiders (6-6) Previous: 15
Last week: L15-17WAS
This week: at 8-4 Chiefs
Good news: Despite losing three of their last four games, Raiders still are kinda, sorta in the playoff hunt.
Bad news: The last time the Raiders faced Patrick Mahomes, he threw for 406 yards and five touchdowns.
17) Broncos (6-6) Previous: 16
Last week: L9-22@KC
This week: v. 1-10-1 Lions
Good news: Rookie Javonte Williams notched his second 100-yard rushing performance in four games Sunday.
Bad news: With Teddy Bridgewater, Broncos are not a quick-strike offense. They are 26th in 20-plus yard pass plays (31).
18) Vikings (5-7) Previous: 13
Last week: L27-29@DET
This week: v. 6-5-1 Steelers
Good news: Kirk Cousins has 15 touchdown passes and one interception in the last seven games.
Bad news: The Vikings are 3-4 in those seven games.
19) Dolphins (6-7) Previous: 19
Last week: W20-9NYG
This week: Bye
Good news: After a 1-7 start, the Dolphins have won five in a row.
Bad news: Just one of those five teams has a winning record.
20) Eagles (6-7) Previous: 20
Last week: W33-18@NYJ
Next week: Bye
Good news: Eagles’ ground game continues to roll. They’ve averaged an NFL-best 210.5 rushing yards per game in the last six games.
Bad news: The defense gave up three straight game-opening touchdown drives to the Jets. The Jets!!!
21) Steelers (6-5-1) Previous: 25
Last week: W20-19BAL
This week: at 5-7 Vikings
Good news: T.J. Watt had 3 ½ of the Steelers’ seven sacks of Lamar Jackson. He has an NFL-high 16 in 10 games played.
Bad news: Steelers have averaged just 3.3 yards per carry in the last three games
22) Saints (5-7) Previous: 21
Last week: L17-27DAL
This week: at 3-9 Jets
Good news: Saints are hoping to get RB Alvin Kamara and one, or maybe both, of their injured starting tackles back this week.
Bad news: Taysom Hill threw four interceptions in the loss to the Cowboys.
23) Browns (6-6) Previous: 22
Last week: Bye
This week: v. 8-4 Ravens
Good news: The bye week gave Baker Mayfield’s battered body some time to recover.
Bad news: Even though they’re third in the league in rushing, the Browns have scored more than 17 points in just two of their last nine games.
24) Bears (4-8) Previous: 23
Last week: L22-33ARI
This week: at 9-3 Packers
Good news: Even without Khalil Mack, the Bears are second in the league in sacks (33).
Bad news: Bears are 30th in turnover differential (minus-8).
25) Giants (4-8) Previous: 24
Last week: L9-20@MIA
This week: at 7-5 Chargers
Good news: The defense has held five of its last six opponents to 20 points or less.
Bad news: Daniel Jones has started 37 games and the Giants still don’t know whether he can play.
26) Seahawks (4-8) Previous: 29
Last week: W30-23SF
This week: at 2-10 Texans
Good news: It’s Texans Week!!
Bad news: Seahawks have converted just 32.6% of their third downs. Only the Lions have been more inept on third down.
27) Falcons (5-7) Previous: 26
Last week: L17-30TB
This week: at 5-7 Panthers
Good news: Cordarrelle Patterson has averaged 6.4 yards per carry in the last two games.
Bad news: Falcons have yet to beat a team with a winning record.
28) Panthers (5-7) Previous: 27
Last week: Bye
This week: v. 5-7 Falcons
Good news: Cam Newton has nowhere to go but up after a 5.8 passer rating v. Dolphins.
Bad news: We’re at the need-to-find-a-scapegoat portion of the Panthers’ season. Matt Rhule fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady this week for not turning Sam Darnold into Joe Burrow.
29) Lions (1-10-1) Previous: 31
Last week: W29-27MIN
This week: at 6-6 Broncos
Good news: They won’t be the sixth winless team in NFL history.
Bad news: Six of the Lions’ game have been decided by three points or less, but they’ve lost five of them.
30) Jets (3-9) Previous: 28
Last week: L18-33PHI
This week: v. 5-7 Saints
Good news: Jets remain on track to get the fourth (their own) and fifth (Seattle’s for Jamal Adams) picks in the 2022 draft. The pressure’s on GM Joe Douglas to do something with those picks.
Bad news: The Jets defense is 32nd in opponent passer rating (108.9) and 30th against the run (133.4 yards per game).
31) Jaguars (2-10) Previous: 32
Last week: L7-37@LAR
This week: at 8-4 Titans
Good news: Trevor Lawrence hasn’t thrown an interception in four of the last five games.
Bad news: Lawrence hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in four of the last five games.
32) Texans (2-10) Previous: 30
Last week: L0-31IND
This week: v. 4-8 Seahawks
Good news: The NFL doesn’t have a relegation rule.
Bad news: Texans have been outscored 323-164 this season.