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) Bucs (5-1) Previous: 1
Last week: W28-22PHI
This week: v. 3-3 Bears
Good news: Leonard Fournette has averaged 125.3 yards from scrimmage in the Bucs’ last 3 games.
Bad News: GM Jason Licht was spotted at Costco shopping for cornerbacks after Richard Sherman became the latest Bucs DB to go down.
2) Cowboys (5-1) Previous: 3
Last week: W35-29@NE (ot)
This week: Bye
Good news: The Cowboys have averaged 39 points and 474 yards in their last four games.
Bad news: Their scoring average could’ve been even higher, but they converted just 4 of 10 red-zone opportunities into touchdowns over the last 2 games.
3) Cardinals (6-0) Previous: 4
Last week: W37-14@CLE
This week: v. 1-5 Texans
Good news: The rich get richer. The Cardinals traded for three-time Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz last week, giving Kyler Murray yet another pass-catching weapon..
Bad news: Murray has a 116.2 passer rating, but has had problems with ball security. He’s fumbled an NFL-high 6 times already (lost none).
4) Bills (4-2) Previous: 2
Last week: L31-34@TEN
This week: bye
Good news: Josh Allen and the Bills offense put up 30-plus points for the fifth straight week.
Bad news: It wasn’t enough. Derrick Henry and a failed fourth-and-a-foot try did them in.
5) Packers (5-1) Previous: 6
Last week: W24-14@CHI
This week: v. 2-4 Washington
Good news: Aaron Rodgers has thrown 12 touchdown passes and just one interception in the last 5 games.
Bad news: Center Josh Myers suffered a knee injury early in the Bears game and is expected to miss time.
6) Rams (5-1) Previous: 7
Last week: W38-11@NYG
This week: v. 0-6 Lions
Good news: The Rams’ next 2 games are against the 0-6 Lions and the 1-5 Texans.
Bad news: Their run game needs to improve. They’re 21st in rushing and 24th in rush average.
7) Ravens (5-1) Previous: 8
Last week: W34-6LAC
This week: v. 4-2 Bengals
Good news: The Ravens have won 5 in a row since a season-opening 33-27 road loss to the Raiders.
Bad news: Lamar Jackson has just one game with multiple touchdown passes. His TD (pass) percentage is the lowest since his rookie season.
8) Chiefs (3-3) Previous: 9
Last week: W31-13@WAS
This week: at 3-2 Titans
Good news: The Washington game was the first time this season that they held an opponent under 29 points.
Bad news: They’ve been outscored in the first half this season, 103-78, and have led at the half just twice.
9) Chargers (4-2) Previous: 5
Last week: L6-34@BAL
This week: Bye
Good news: Justin Herbert has a plus-31 touchdown-to-interception differential in his first 21 career starts.
Bad news: Chargers have given up 180-plus rushing yards in 4 of the last 5 games.
10) Raiders (4-2) Previous: 11
Last week: W34-24@DEN
This week: v. 2-4 Eagles
Good news: Jon who? The Raiders scored a season-high 34 points for interim coach Rich Bisaccia.
Bad news: Derek Carr needs help from the run game. Raiders are averaging a league-worst 3.3 yards per rush attempt.
11) Browns (3-3) Previous: 10
Last week: L14-37ARI
This week: v. 3-3 Broncos
Good news: Baker Mayfield is not having a very good season, but seems to play his best when his back is up against the wall. And after Sunday’s blowout loss to the Cardinals, it is.
Bad news: Mayfield will have to step up, because the Browns likely will face the Broncos Thursday without their top 2 backs, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
12) Bengals (4-2) Previous: 14
Last week: W34-11@DET
This week: at 5-1 Ravens
Good news: Bengals’ 2 losses have been by a total of 6 points.
Bad news: Bengals have lost 5 in a row to the Ravens, the last three by a combined score of 114-19.
13) 49ers (2-3) Previous: 13
Last week: Bye
This week: v. 2-4 Colts
Good news: The Niners defense held unbeaten Cardinals to a season-low 17 points in their last game.
Bad news: The Niners have a league-low 2 takeaways in 5 games.
14) Titans (4-2) Previous: 19
Last week: LBUF
This week: v. 3-3 KC
Good news: Nearly a third of Derrick Henry’s runs this season have gained five yards or more.
Bad news: Patrick Mahomes is up next. The Chiefs QB has a 119.7 passer rating with 6 TDs and no interceptions in 2 career games v. Titans.
15) Vikings (3-3) Previous: 16
Last week: W34-28@CAR
This week: Bye
Good news: Dalvin Cook’s ankle held up well against the Panthers. He rushed for a season-high 140 yards and one touchdown.
Bad news: Read the Vikings’ post-bye dance card and weep: v. 5-1 Cowboys, at 5-1 Ravens, at 4-2 Chargers, v. 5-1 Packers.
16) Panthers (3-3) Previous: 12
Last week: L28-34MIN
This week: at 1-5 Giants
Good news: The Panthers have two very winnable games coming up against the 1-5 Giants and 2-3 Falcons.
Bad news: The Panthers are 0-3 since Christian McCaffrey injured his hamstring. He was put on IR last week and will miss at least two more games.
17) Patriots (2-4) Previous: 18
Last week: L29-35DAL (ot)
This week: v. 1-4 Jets
Good news: So, Mac Jones can’t run as well as Trevor Lawrence, Trey Lance and Justin Fields? So what? Jones has completed 74.5 percent of his passes in the Pats’ last 2 games.
Bad news: The Patriots are 0-4 at home this season. But they haven’t lost to the Jets in Foxboro since 2011.
18) Bears (3-3) Previous: 15
Last week: L14-24GB
This week: at 5-1 Bucs
Good news: The Bears’ pass rush has generated a league-high 21 sacks.
Bad news: The only teams with a lower scoring average than the Bears (16.3) are the Texans and Jets. Not the kind of company you want to keep.
19) Saints (3-2) Previous: 17
Last week: Bye
This week: v. 2-4 Seahawks
Good news: So far, the post-Drew Brees era hasn’t been the apocalyptical nightmare many, including myself, had expected it to be.
Bad news: It’s still early.
20) Steelers (3-3) Previous: 22
Last week: W23-20SEA (ot)
This week: Bye
Good news: First-round rookie RB Najee Harris has quickly developed into a valuable rushing and receiving weapon for the Steelers.
Bad news: Ben Roethlisberger, who threw 33 touchdown passes last season, has just seven in six games this year.
21) Eagles (2-4) Previous: 20
Last week: L22-28TB
This week: at 4-2 Raiders
Good news: Jalen Hurts has five rushing TDs, 21 rushing first downs and is averaging 5.7 yards per carry.
Bad news: The second-year QB has a 59.8 passer rating in the Eagles’ last 2 games, completing just 53.9 of his attempts and throwing one TD pass.
22) Colts (2-4) Previous: 25
Last week: W32-3HOU
This week: at 2-3 49ers
Good News: The Deerhunter has his groove back. Carson Wentz has a 123.4 passer rating in the Colts’ last 3 games.
Bad News: Colts defense has given up 15 touchdown passes already and owns the second worst opponent passer rating in the NFL (111.2).
23) Seahawks (2-4) Previous: 21
Last week: L20-23@PIT (ot)
This week: v. 3-2 Saints
Good news: Alex Collins, subbing for injured Chris Carson, rushed for 101 yards against a Steeler defense that is ranked 10th against the run.
Bad news: Since putting up back-to-back 100-yard receiving games with 3 TDs in Weeks 1 and 2, WR Tyler Lockett has been a non-factor the last four games, catching 15 passes for 147 yards and no TDs.
24) Broncos (3-2) Previous: 23
Last week: L24-34LVR
This week: at 3-3 Browns
Good news: Broncos have allowed just seven TD passes in their first six games.
Bad news: Broncos have the worst third-down offense in the league, with a 29.9 conversion rate. Only 16 of Teddy Bridgewater’s 55 third-down passes have produced first downs.
25) Washington (2-4) Previous: 24
Last week: L13-31KC
This week: at 5-1 Packers
Good news: They intercepted Patrick Mahomes twice Sunday, which isn’t the impressive accomplishment it once was, but still.
Bad news: They’ve lost 3 of their last 4 games and were outscored 107-56 in those 3 losses.
26) Falcons (2-3) Previous: 26
Last week: Bye
This week: at 1-5 Dolphins
Good news: Since throwing 3 interceptions in a Week 2 loss to the Bucs, Matty Ice has 8 TDs and no INTs in the last 3 games.
Bad news: After the Dolphins, Atlanta’s next best chance for a win won’t be until Week 12 against Jacksonville.
27) Giants (1-5) Previous: 27
Last week: L11-38LAR
This week: v. 3-3 Panthers
Good news: They’re not the worst team in New York. But check back next week.
Bad news: Injuries to RB Saquon Barkley and WR Kenny Golladay have crippled the Giants’ offense. They had a season-low 11 first downs and 261 total yards v. the Rams.
28) Jets (1-4) Previous: 28
Last week: Bye
This week: at 2-4 Patriots
Good news: Jets are third in red zone defense (42.9%) and have given up just 4 TD passes.
Bad news: Rookie QB Zach Wilson has 2 TD passes and 8 interceptions in his last 4 starts.
29) Jaguars (1-5) Previous: 32
Last week: W23-20MIA (London)
This week: bye
Good news: RB James Robinson is averaging 5.7 yards per carry in the last 4 games. His 21 rushing first downs in those games are the fourth most in the league.
Bad news: Pass rush continues to be invisible. Jaguars have just 8 sacks in 6 games.
30) Dolphins (1-5) Previous: 29
Last week: L20-23JAX (London)
This week: v. 2-3 Falcons
Good news: Tua Tagovailoa played pretty well in his first game back from broken ribs. He threw for 329 yards and 2 TDs.
Bad news: The Dolphins have been outscored in the second quarter, 51-9.
31) Texans (1-5) Previous: 30
Last week: L3-31@IND
This week: at 6-0 Cardinals
Good news: Good news? Good news? They’re coming off a 28-point beatdown and have to play the unbeaten Cardinals and the 5-1 Rams the next 2 weeks. There is no good news.
Bad news: See above.
32) Lions (0-6) Previous: 31
Last week: L11-34CIN
This week: at 5-1 Rams
Good news: Kicker Austin Seibert has only missed once. And that was a 51-yarder in Week 1.
Bad news: When your kicker is the good news, everything else is bad news. The Lions haven’t scored more than 17 points in a game since Week 1.