1) Packers (11-3) Previous: 2
Last week: W31-30@BAL
This week: v. 7-7 Browns
Good news: Aaron Rodgers is in MVP mode. He’s thrown 13 touchdown passes and no interceptions in the last four games.
Bad news: Packers’ special teams problems continued against the Ravens. The unit committed three penalties in the one-point win.
2) Chiefs (10-4) Previous: 5
Last week: W34-28@LAC
This week: v. 7-6-1 Steelers
Good news: Chiefs have an NFL-best seven-game win streak and have allowed 17 or fewer points in six of those games.
Bad news: COVID is running rampant in KC’s locker room and there’s no telling right now who Andy Reid is going to have available for the game.
3) Cowboys (10-4) Previous: 6
Last week: W21-6@NYG
This week: v. 7-7 Washington
Good news: With three more interceptions Sunday, Cowboys now have a league-high 23.
Bad news: Cowboys’ red-zone production has been abysmal lately. They’ve converted just three of 11 trips inside the 20 into touchdowns in the last two games.
4) Bucs (10-4) Previous: 1
Last week: L0-9NO
This week: at 5-9 Panthers
Good news: Bucs need just one more win in their last three games to clinch their first division title since ’07.
Bad news: Bucs lost three key offensive weapons – WRs Mike Evans (hamstring) and Chris Godwin (knee) and RB Leonard Fournette (hamstring) – in the loss to the Saints. Godwin (torn ACL), the Bucs’ leading receiver (98 catches, 1,103 yards), is out for the year.
5) Rams (10-4) Previous: 7
Last week: W20-10SEA
This week: at 7-7 Vikings
Good news: Matthew Stafford’s plus-25 touchdowns-to-interceptions differential equals his career-high. And he still has three more games to build on it.
Bad news: Three tough games left against the Vikings, Ravens and 49ers. Only the Niners, in Week 18, are at home.
6) Cardinals (10-4) Previous: 3
Last week: L12-30@DET
This week: v. 8-6 Colts
Good news: With the Colts and Cowboys up next, they’ll have a chance to get their act together before the playoffs.
Bad news: Nobody needs to get his act together right now more than Kyler Murray, who has had a sub-75.0 passer rating in three of his last four starts.
7) Colts (8-6) Previous: 10
Last week: W 27-17NE
This week: at 10-4 Cardinals
Good news: Jonathan Taylor is a legitimate MVP candidate. He’s put up seven 100-yard rushing performances in the last nine games and has 17 rushing TDs,
Bad news: It remains to be seen whether Carson Wentz can carry the Colts on his back if a defense shuts down Taylor. He has a 60.2 completion percentage in the Colts’ last four games and has averaged just 6.4 yards per attempt.
8) Patriots (9-5) Previous: 4
Last week: L17-27@IND
This week: v. 8-6 Bills
Good news: Already have beaten the Bills once, rushing for a season-high 222 yards against them.
Bad news: Punter Jake Bailey has had three punts blocked this season, including one in the loss to the Colts which resulted in a touchdown.
9) Bills (8-6) Previous: 9
Last week: W31-14CAR
This week: at 9-5 Patriots
Good news: The defense has given up just 11 touchdown passes, the fewest in the league
Bad news: Bills have struggled against the run lately. They’ve given up 170 yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry in their last three games.
10) 49ers (8-6) Previous: 11
Last week: W31-13ATL
This week: at 9-5 Titans
Good news: Versatile WR Deebo Samuel has a team-high seven rushing touchdowns to go with 1,088 receiving yards and five receiving TDs.
Bad news: Niners defense has just six interceptions.
11) Titans (9-5) Previous: 8
Last week: L13-19@PIT
This week: v. 8-6 49ers
Good news: Titans defense held Steelers to 168 total yards and 12 first downs.
Bad news: Offense isn’t the same or even close to the same without Derrick Henry. Titans have lost three of their last four and have scored just 59 points in those four games.
12) Bengals (8-6) Previous: 14
Last week: W15-10@DEN
This week: v. 8-6 Ravens
Good news: Joe Burrow threw for 416 yards and three TDs in the Bengals’ Week 7 win over the Ravens.
Bad news: RB Joe Mixon has averaged just 3.1 yards per carry in the Bengals’ last three games.
13) Chargers (8-6) Previous: 12
Last week: L28-34KC
This week: at 3-11 Texans
Good news: Justin Herbert has thrown two or more TD passes in 10 of the last 12 games.
Bad news: Chargers have the worst third-down defense in the league (49.7%). They’re giving up 8.4 yards per pass attempt and 4.5 yards per rush attempt on third down.
14) Ravens (8-6) Previous: 13
Last week: L30-31GB
This week: at 8-6 Bengals
Good news: They’ve lost three in a row, but those three losses have been by a total of four points. That said, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
Bad news: Ravens defense has given up a league-high 61 completions of 20 yards or more, including a league-high 14 twenty-plus-yard touchdown passes.
15) Vikings (7-7) Previous: 16
Last week: W17-9@CHI
This week: v. 10-4 Rams
Good news: Vikings’ seven losses have been by a total of 28 points.
Bad news: Kirk Cousins had a career-low 87 passing yards against a COVID-riddled Bears defense that was missing its entire starting secondary.
16) Eagles (7-7) Previous: 21
Last week: W27-17WAS
This week: v. 4-10 Giants
Good news: Eagles’ ground game continues to be a juggernaut. They are averaging 214.1 rushing yards per game in their last seven games.
Bad news: They’re probably going to have to run the table to make the playoffs, including a Week 18 rematch with the 10-4 Cowboys.
17) Saints (7-7) Previous: 22
Last week: W9-0@TB
This week: v. 7-7 Dolphins
Good news: None of the Saints’ three remaining opponents has a winning record.
Bad news: Two of the Saints’ last three games are at home (v. 7-7 Dolphins and 5-9 Panthers). But they’re 2-4 at the Caesar’s Superdome this season.
18) Broncos (7-7) Previous: 15
Last week: L10-15CIN
This week: at 7-7 Raiders
Good news: The defense has held six of its last eight opponents to 17 points or less.
Bad news: The offense has scored more than 17 points in just three of the last eight games.
19) Steelers (7-6-1) Previous: 23
Last week: W19-13TEN
This week: at 10-4 Chiefs
Good news: Roethlisberger has thrown just three interceptions in his last nine starts.
Bad news: Steelers had just 168 total yards and 12 first downs against the Titans.
20) Raiders (7-7) Previous: 18
Last week: W16-14@CLE
This week: v. 7-7 Broncos
Good news: Kept their slim playoff hopes alive thanks to a walkoff field goal by Daniel Carlson.
Bad news: Managed to score just 16 points and one touchdown against a team that had everybody but the clock operator on the COVID list.
21) Washington (6-8) Previous: 17
Last week: L17-27@PHI
This week: at 10-4 Cowboys
Good news: They should be getting most of their remaining COVID captives back this week, including quarterback Taylor Heinicke.
Bad news: They have to play the division-leading Cowboys on four days rest. Good luck with that.
22) Browns (7-7) Previous: 19
Last week: L14-16LVR
This week: at 11-3 Packers
Good news: They’re just a game out of first in the NFC North and should be getting everyone back this week from the COVID list, including QB Baker Mayfield.
Bad news: They have to play Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on four days rest. At Lambeau.
23) Dolphins (7-7) Previous: 20
Last week: W31-24NYJ
This week: at 7-7 Saints
Good news: Dolphins have won six in a row after a 1-7 start.
Bad news: Just one of those six wins came against a team that has lost fewer than nine games.
24) Seahawks (5-9) Previous: 24
Last week: L10-20@LAR
This week: v. 4-10 Bears
Good news: The Seahawks’ 11 giveaways – six interceptions and five fumbles — are the second fewest in the league.
Bad news: They are headed for their first losing season since 2011 and don’t even have a high first-round pick, or any first-round pick, to show for it. They traded theirs away to the Jets for safety Jamal Adams.
25) Falcons (6-8) Previous: 25
Last week: L13-31@SF
This week: v. 2-11-1 Lions
Good news: I’m sure there is some, but I’m not exactly sure what it might be right now.
Bad news: Falcons have been outscored 129-56 in the fourth quarter.
26) Lions (2-11-1) Previous: 29
Last week: W30-12ARI
This week: at 6-8 Falcons
Good news: Jared Goff has thrown nine touchdown passes and two interceptions in the last four games.
Bad news: Just when the Lions are starting to play really well, the season is almost over.
27) Bears (4-10) Previous: 26
Last week: L9-17MIN
This week: at 5-9 Seahawks
Good news: Once the game slows down for him, Justin Fields has a chance to be a very good quarterback.
Bad news: Bears have 25 giveaways, including three more Monday night.
28) Panthers (5-9) Previous: 27
Last week: L14-31BUF
This week: v. 10-4 Bucs
Good news: Matt Rhule should be able to get one of the draft’s top quarterbacks with the Panthers’ high first-round pick.
Bad news: It’s never a good thing to be going up against a pissed-off Tom Brady, regardless of how many of his best wide receivers are hurt.
29) Giants (4-10) Previous: 28
Last week: L6-21DAL
This week: at 7-7 Eagles
Good news: They’re facing an Eagles team this week that they’ve already beaten once and that will be playing on four days rest.
Bad news: Saquon Barkley has averaged just 3.8 yards per carry in the five games since returning from an ankle injury.
30) Jets (3-11) Previous: 30
Last week: L24-31@MIA
This week: v. 2-12 Jaguars
Good news: It’s Jaguar Week!
Bad news: Zach Wilson has thrown just six touchdown passes in 308 pass attempts.
31) Texans (3-11) Previous: 32
Last week: W30-16JAX
This week: v. 8-6 Chargers
Good news: Their 30 points against the Jaguars was the most the Texans have scored since putting up 37 in Week 1 against, uh, also the Jaguars.
Bad news: The win over the Jags may cost the Texans the first pick in the draft.
32) Jaguars (2-12) Previous: 31
Last week: L16-30HOU
This week: at 3-11 Jets
Good news: The loss to the Texans moved the Jags into the pole position in the 2022 draft.
Bad news: Trevor Lawrence has just one touchdown pass in the Jags’ last seven games.