It's going to be a wild race for the last wild card spots this season, with little separating most teams and a lot of win trading going around. Only 9 teams are currently above .500 on the year, with 17 teams sitting between 3 to 5 wins. With a packed middle and no team truly out of it, we could be in for one crazy finish to the 2015 NFL Season.
32. Tennessee Titans (2-7, Previously #31) - A week after pulling off the "upset" in New Orleans, the Titans are back to losing football games. Fun Fact: It's a lot harder to score points when you're going up against a team that fields a defense.
31. Cleveland Browns (2-7, Previously #28) - The Browns went out and got thoroughly beaten by a much better team, something that might happen a bit from here on out. Johnny Manziel is getting his chance to show what he can do, and he has looked serviceable at times. The thing that might help him the most, the Browns just might have too good of a draft pick to reach on a QB in this year's class.
30. Detroit Lions (2-7, Previously #32) - That was an ugly win, it's really hard to give them too much credit. You can throw out the "level of opposition," because the Packers didn't play like a top team in this one, and the Lions did all they could to try to give them the W. Still, a win is a win.
29. Baltimore Ravens (2-7, Previously #23) - The first quarter of the season made it look like the Ravens were just on the wrong side of a tough schedule... losses to Cleveland, San Francisco, and Jacksonville have shown that it was actually lack of talent that was the main cause for the rough start.
28. San Diego Chargers (2-7, Previously #27) - The Chargers went limping into their bye, and find a suddenly red-hot Kansas City Chiefs team waiting for them on the other side. From here on out, every game is a "must win" game.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6, Previously #30) - I think that win says more about Baltimore being worse than I thought, than the Jaguars being better. Still, at 3-6 they are just one game out of a playoff spot. Their next game against Tennessee will probably be big in determining the 2016 draft order with the loser being done for this season.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5, Previously #26) - They managed to beat the futile Romo-less Cowboys in a bad game. The Buccanneers have definitely improved upon last season's team and are still in the playoff hunt, though I find it hard to see them completing that task. Lovie has done enough to stay comfortably off the hot seat.
25. Dallas Cowboys (2-7, Previously #22) - They sure didn't make it easy for themselves, going 0-7 without Tony Romo. He's eligible for return this week against the Dolphins, but he's going to have to get back to top form immediately AND stay there the rest of the season, if this team is hoping to dig themselves out.
24. San Francisco 49ers (3-6, Previously #21) - Fresh off a bye week, the 49ers travel to Seattle for a divisional match up, and a chance to turn their season around.
23. New Orleans Saints (4-6, Previously #16) - The offense got off to a good start, but was shot in the foot by
the defense those guys on the field when Washington was scoring touchdowns. You can't blame all the defensive woes on Rob Ryan, but you can't give him a pass either. Trying something new at least gives this defense some hope, which is better than the nothing they've had so far. Let's see if Dennis Allen can at least have the defense not looking totally lost out there.
22. Houston Texans (4-5, Previously #29) - They made the most of their bye and handed the Bengals their first defeat, on the other side of it. The Texans are getting healthier on defense and currently find themselves tied for first with the highly inconsistent Indianapolis Colts.
21. Philadelphia Eagles (4-5, Previously #14) - They've been an up and down team, with the slight emphasis on down. Up next they have a big match up against Bucs which would find the winner in the middle of the Wild Card chase, and the loser having a lot of work to do.
20. Miami Dolphins (4-5, Previously #25) - The one thing we've seen so far, the Dolphins can't hang with their division. Against the AFC East, the Dolphins are 0-4, compared to 4-1 against the rest of the NFL. They get the first crack at the returning Tony Romo in week 11.
19. Chicago Bears (4-5, Previously #24) - The Bears are a surprising 4-2 in their last 6 games, with the two losses coming by a combined 6 points. They play host to the Broncos in week 11, in a game between two teams trending in opposite directions.
18. Indianapolis Colts (4-5, Previously #18) - The Colts went into their bye with a losing-streak-breaking win over the Broncos. Currently sitting tied for fist in their division, the Colts have a tough match up this week in Atlanta.
17. Washington Potatoes (4-5, Previously #20) - The offense did a good job of exploiting the Saints defense and getting out to an early lead, which really helped the defense. The Saints got off to a hot start running the ball (against a defense that has had struggles stopping it), but were forced to abandon it early and become one-dimensional. Good game for the Taters, bad game for the Saints.
16. Atlanta Falcons (6-3, Previously #17) - The Falcons welcomed their bye week with open arms, after dropping 3 of their last 4 games. Still sitting pretty in the wildcard picture, the Falcons look to get back in the win column, when they play host to the Colts this Sunday.
15. St Louis Rams (4-5, Previously #8) - They have a couple of quality and a couple of head scratching losses. After their latest head scratcher, the Rams decided to bench QB Foles in favor of Case Keenum. With how good the defense (and Todd Gurley) has been, the Rams don't need too much out of the QB position to be competitive.
14. Seattle Seahawks (4-5, Previously #15) - After a close loss to the division leading Arizona Cardinals, the Seahawks will likely be competing for a Wild Card bid this year. A home win against the 49ers in week 11 will go a long way in helping their chances.
13. New York Jets (5-4, Previously #11) - With hobbled play at the QB and WR position (as well as o-line), the Jets couldn't get it done against Rex Ryan's Bills. With a couple extra days to rest after the Thursday night game, I expect the Jets to come out and handle the Texans this Sunday.
12. Oakland Raiders (4-5, Previously #10) - The wins over Baltimore and San Diego don't look as impressive now, but the loss to the Bears doesn't look as bad. Following the loss to the Vikings, the Raiders find themselves on a two game losing skid, but have a great chance to stop it before it gets rolling, with back to back games against the Lions and Titans.
11. Buffalo Bills (5-4, Previously #13) - That was a very good road win against a division rival, that keeps the Bills firmly planted in the playoff picture. They have some really nice pieces and are a very dangerous team when playing to their ability. Up next they get the next crack at trying to hand New England their first loss of the season.
10. Kansas City Chiefs (4-5, Previously #19) - If you want a chance to turn around your season, you have to come out hot off your bye week. That's exactly what the Chiefs did when they went to Denver and beat up on the Broncos. They have a bit of a hole to get out of if they want to win the division, but the Chiefs find themselves right in the thick of the Wild Card hunt.
9. New York Giants (5-5, Previously #12) - Played very well, but fell in the final seconds to the top dog in the NFL, the New England Patriots. The Giants have put together an OK season, which has been good enough for 1st in the NFC East. The Giants now head into their bye week, but also just received the bad news that Victor Cruz will be having season ending surgery (is it still season ending, if his season never started?).
8. Green Bay Packers (6-3, Previously #5) - That's three straight losses for the Packers. The first two (on the road against Denver and Carolina, respectively) weren't anything too alarming, but a loss at home to the Lions, in a game that they were seemingly trying to lose? That hurts. They have a tough obstacle to hurdle in week 11, when they visit the NFC North leading Minnesota Vikings.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4, Previously #9) - The Steelers picked up a lopsided home win against Cleveland to have them sitting in a good position, heading into the bye week. The Steelers have played many games without at least one of their top contributors on offense, which makes their record look even more impressive (especially when you see what injury did to the Cowboys).
6. Denver Broncos (7-2, Previously #3) - Two straight losses and an injury to Peyton Manning has this team's outlook drastically changing. Brock Osweiler might get a chance to try to turn things around, starting in Manning's stead against the Bears.
5. Arizona Cardinals (7-2, Previously #6) - With that road win over the Seahawks, the Cardinals have a pretty firm grip on 1st place in the NFC West and a great chance at a 1st round bye in the playoffs. They play their toughest opponent to date this week, playing host to Cincinnati on Sunday night.
4. Minnesota Vikings (7-2, Previously #7) - The Vikings have hit full stride with their latest road win over the Raiders. They have now won 5 straight and have passed the Green Bay Packers for 1st place in the NFC North. They have a huge game against the Packers in Green Bay on Sunday.
3. Carolina Panthers (9-0, Previously #4) - Did what they were supposed to do when they traveled to Tennessee and picked up the win. I don't think this is the best team in the NFC, but it's getting harder to argue against it.
2. Cincinnati Bengals (8-1, Previously #2) - They played an ugly game and lost to a (increasingly healthier) team fresh off their bye. Andy Dalton and the Bengals failed to get it done on the big stage, but their body of work earns them the benefit of the doubt. We will get a nice little NFC vs AFC flex-off match up, when the Bengals travel to Arizona on Sunday.
1. New England Patriots (9-0, Previously #1) - Another week, another win. Traveled to New York and did just enough to keep the undefeated train going.