New NFL Power Rankings: Who’s rising and falling, plus biggest underachievers for all 32 teams

NFL

Welcome to Week 12 of the NFL regular season. We have updated our Power Rankings!

Our power panel — a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities — have evaluated how teams are stacking up through 11 weeks.

After suffering losses this weekend, where do the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants and New York Jets land? And how far do the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Commanders rise after notching wins?

In addition to our updated rankings, we checked in with NFL Nation reporters across the league and asked them to name one person or aspect of their team that is underachieving this season. Whether it is a player, coach, position group or specific on-field play, we identify where there is a need for improvement on every squad.

Let’s take a look at the updated rankings.

Jump to a team:
ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN
CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND
JAX | KC | LV | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF
SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

Week 11 ranking: 1

What/who is underachieving? Special teams

The Chiefs are among the best in the kicking game year in and year out — but not so much this season. They’ve struggled with returns, in particular, with a fumbled punt return being the biggest play in one of their two losses. Harrison Butker also has been inconsistent with a field goal rate of 72.7%, which would be the lowest of his six-year career if the season ended today. — Adam Teicher


Week 11 ranking: 2

What/who is underachieving? Special teams

Entering Week 11, the Eagles ranked third on offense, fourth on defense and fourth overall, according to Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) metrics. Everything is top-notch — with the exception of special teams, which is ranked 22nd. There have been mishaps in almost every game, ranging from roughing the kicker infractions to getting beat on fake punts. It’s been a bit of a high-wire act that seems destined to hurt Philadelphia in one of these games. — Tim McManus


Week 11 ranking: 5

What/who is underachieving? Ball security

The Bills’ offense started the season looking unstoppable, and while Josh Allen‘s overall performance has been down over the past four weeks since the bye, the unit has been hurting itself by turning the ball over. The Bills have the third-most turnovers in the league (18) — eight in the past four games — and Allen is second in the NFL in interceptions (10). The Bills also lead the league in turnovers per drive (17%). Protecting the ball consistently with four AFC East games to go will be key down the stretch. — Alaina Getzenberg


Week 11 ranking: 4

What/who is underachieving? Special teams

Yes, the Dolphins’ defense hasn’t met its lofty expectations entering the season, but outside of punter Thomas Morstead, Miami’s special teams have been one of the worst units in the NFL. Jason Sanders has hit just 76.5% of his field goals this season, leaving Miami with the fifth-worst field goal rate in the league. The Dolphins also are averaging a league-worst five yards per punt return and allowing a league-high 30.15 yards per kick return. There have been highlights, like a blocked punt returned for a touchdown in Week 9, but there are plenty of areas for improvement as the season enters its final stretch. — Marcel Louis-Jacques


Week 11 ranking: 9

What/who is underachieving? Run defense

After allowing more than 200 yards rushing in back-to-back games against the Lions and Packers, the Cowboys were much better against Minnesota, giving up just 73 yards. But for the season, the run defense has been lacking. The Cowboys have allowed at least 117 yards in seven games and have given up 43 runs of 10 yards or more. With Saquon Barkley, Jonathan Taylor, Derrick Henry, Travis Etienne Jr., Miles Sanders and Dameon Pierce remaining on the schedule, the run defense will be tested. If the defense truly wants to be elite, it will have to stand up to the test. — Todd Archer


Week 11 ranking: 3

What/who is underachieving? Pass defense

Some well-timed interceptions and sacks have minimized the damage of what has been one of the NFL’s most porous pass defenses. Opponents are completing 69% of their passes, the second-worst defensive mark in the league. It’s not as if those throws are particularly short. At an average of 7.8 air yards, they are higher than the league average. The Vikings’ soft coverage leaves them vulnerable, unless one of their playmakers can compensate. — Kevin Seifert

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1:18

Ryan Clark, Rex Ryan and Dan Orlovsky question whether the Vikings are worthy of sitting near the top of the NFC.


Week 11 ranking: 6

What/who is underachieving? Deep passing game

Lamar Jackson has struggled to stretch the field, connecting on just 24.2% of his passes (8-of-23) that have traveled at least 20 yards in the air. That’s the second-worst completion rate in the NFL (ahead of only Zach Wilson). It’s not a surprise that Baltimore has struggled to stretch the field since Marquise Brown was traded this offseason and Rashod Bateman went on injured reserve after six games this season because of a foot injury. Defenses are going to stack the box against the Ravens until Jackson can make them pay for doing so. — Jamison Hensley


Week 11 ranking: 8

What/who is underachieving? Special teams

The 49ers invested heavily in this group in hopes of improving what was the 26th ranked unit in the league in 2021, as measured by expected points added (EPA). The return work of Ray-Ray McCloud III, in particular, has been noticeable as of late and looks to be a strong addition. But the kicking game remains a question mark, as Robbie Gould has an 81.3% field goal rate and has had two kicks blocked, while punter Mitch Wishnowsky has had an attempt deflected, as well. — Nick Wagoner


Week 11 ranking: 11

What/who is underachieving? Passing game

The Titans’ passing game has shown signs of life over the past two weeks. But Tennessee’s 1,830 passing yards are good for just 31st in the league. No one player has emerged as a dominant, go-to pass-catcher for the Titans. Only two players have posted a 100-yard receiving game this season. Rookie Treylon Burks was a strong candidate to emerge as a top receiver for the Titans, but a turf toe injury clipped Burks for four games when he was getting close to having a breakout performance. Burks returned to action in Week 10 with three catches, and in Week 11, he posted five receptions for 111 yards. — Turron Davenport


Week 11 ranking: 7

What/who is underachieving? Wide receivers

Get Daniel Jones some help; it has been four years. This year’s group has flopped again. Kadarius Toney was traded; Kenny Golladay has been nonexistent (four catches, 51 yards … this season); Sterling Shepard is out for the rest of the campaign following surgery on his left ACL; and rookie Wan’Dale Robinson finished his rookie season with six games after suffering a right ACL injury on Sunday. The Giants have started in-season additions Marcus Johnson and Isaiah Hodgins already this season, and Darius Slayton is their leading receiver. No wonder their receivers have produced the 26th-most yards (1,323) and just five touchdowns. — Jordan Raanan


Week 11 ranking: 13

What/who is underachieving? Run defense

One of Cincinnati’s strengths from last season has quietly gotten significantly worse. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Bengals allow their opponents to convert on third-down rushes 69.6% of the time, which is worst in the league. Getting defensive tackle DJ Reader back in the fold should boost the unit, but Cincinnati has been gashed on the ground far too often this season. — Ben Baby


Week 11 ranking: 12

What/who is underachieving? WR Dee Eskridge

There aren’t a lot of choices on the Seahawks because, as a team, they’ve overachieved based on outside expectations. But they haven’t gotten much from Eskridge, their 2021 second-round pick. He produced sparingly during an injury-shortened rookie season, and he hasn’t done much this year, either, with seven catches for 58 yards. Eskridge’s explosiveness should make him a big play waiting to happen, but as Seattle’s fourth receiver, his best chance might be on special teams now that he has taken over kickoff return duties. — Brady Henderson


Week 11 ranking: 17

What/who is underachieving? Passing game

Washington invested in a new quarterback (Carson Wentz) and drafted a wide receiver in the first round (Jahan Dotson) to pair with Terry McLaurin and a healthy Curtis Samuel. Yet the passing attack has struggled, ranking 21st in yards per game, 25th in yards per attempt and 28th in completion percentage. The reasons vary: Wentz needed time to fully acclimate in the offense, but the protection didn’t give it to him, and the run game left the Commanders in bad third-down situations. Injuries have played a role, to Wentz, Dotson and tight end Logan Thomas. And while they’re 4-1 with quarterback Taylor Heinicke, it’s more a function of the run game and defense — and some timely throws by him. But with the protection improving and players getting healthy, the passing game could improve down the stretch. — John Keim


Week 11 ranking: 14

What/who is underachieving? Passing offense

The Patriots are the only team in the NFL without a first-quarter touchdown, and Mac Jones has taken at least four sacks in three straight games. Prior to this stretch, he only had one game in which he took at least four sacks. The goal in the offseason was to simplify the offense and hopefully allow the Patriots to play faster, but it hasn’t produced the desired results. — Mike Reiss


Week 11 ranking: 10

What/who is underachieving? QB Zach Wilson

Look, no one expected Wilson to be Josh Allen in year two, but the 2021 No. 2 overall pick hasn’t improved as much as hoped. His completion rate (55.6%) is the exact same as last season — and that’s not good. Yes, Wilson has cut down on his interceptions. And, yes, his QBR is up (from 28.2 to 45.2), but his overall command of the position and his fundamentals have regressed in some respects. The Jets would be 8-2 if Wilson had been merely average in his two losses. — Rich Cimini

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2:05

Rex Ryan calls out Zach Wilson for not taking the blame for his lousy performance against the Patriots.


Week 11 ranking: 15

What/who is underachieving? Offense

It’s no secret that Tom Brady has a completely rebuilt interior offensive line and that Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown are no longer on the team. But this group’s scoring production has almost been cut in half this year, and it has way too much talent for that to happen. The Buccaneers are starting to tap into their potential, but they’re still having to rely way too much on the defense — Jenna Laine


Week 11 ranking: 16

What/who is underachieving? Run defense

The Chargers are allowing an average of 5.5 yards per carry, which is worst in the league. Yes, they’re thin up front, with injuries to edge rusher Joey Bosa and linemen Austin Johnson, Otito Ogbonnia and Christian Covington, but it’s inexplicable how poorly they have stopped the run. Coach Brandon Staley has often blamed their inability to stop explosive runs, which is true. The Chargers have allowed among the most runs of more than 40 yards and 50 yards this season, but now entering Week 12, it is a problem they must correct. — Lindsey Thiry


Week 11 ranking: 20

What/who is underachieving? TE Kyle Pitts

The expectations on Pitts might have been unfair to start the season. While he put up a 1,000-yard campaign as a rookie, the tight end essentially moved into a new offense with a new quarterback, Marcus Mariota. And he is being asked to do different things in a run-heavy offense, like block more — something he takes immense pride in. But the receiving production is not even close to a season ago, with 28 catches for 356 yards and two touchdowns. Pitts left Sunday’s game against the Bears with an MCL injury in his right knee and was placed on injured reserve on Monday, meaning he will be out at least four games. — Michael Rothstein


Week 11 ranking: 18

What/who is underachieving? Defensive coaching staff

General manager Brian Gutekunst gave defensive coordinator Joe Barry and his staff a unit with seven first-round picks plus four veteran free agents who were supposed to help offset what everyone knew would be a transition year for the Packers’ offense. The defensive staff has been slow to adjust in games and from week to week. Coverage breakdowns and an inability to stop the run (the Pack rank 24th in rushing yards allowed per game) have helped ruin this season. — Rob Demovsky


Week 11 ranking: 19

What/who is underachieving? Outside pass rush

The Cardinals’ pass rush hasn’t been heavily dependent on the edge rushers like it has been in the past. Of Arizona’s 19 sacks this season, only 5.5 have been from edge rushers. Last season, at least 15 of the Cardinals’ 24 sacks through 10 games were from the edge. Losing Chandler Jones has been a major factor in the edge rush’s struggles. This season, the Cardinals have relied heavily on an interior push, namely from J.J. Watt and Zach Allen, who account for nine of the 19 sacks. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said those two are, essentially, the Cardinals’ pass rush at this point. — Josh Weinfuss


Week 11 ranking: 24

What/who is underachieving? Defensive backs

Defensive back was considered one of the Saints’ deepest positions in the offseason. But with the trade of C.J. Gardner-Johnson (now leading the league in interceptions), injuries to Marshon Lattimore (six missed games) and Bradley Roby (on IR), and disappointing results from free agent additions Marcus Maye and Tyrann Mathieu, this group hasn’t lived up to expectations. There are bright spots, such as the emergence of rookie Alontae Taylor. But this group — with just two team interceptions — and the defense as a whole haven’t performed as hoped. — Katherine Terrell


Week 11 ranking: 21

What/who is underachieving? Offensive line

The Colts relied too heavily on the theory that having three solid players on the offensive line could make up for weaknesses at left tackle and right guard. It turns out they were not only wrong about that, but they also overestimated the performance they’d get from their returning veterans. The Colts have had a revolving door at left tackle, which is a recipe for disaster, as well as right guard. Add to that the stunning regression of Pro Bowl center Ryan Kelly and one of this team’s perceived weaknesses has become a detriment to the entire offense. The cascading effect can be seen in the drop in production by the Colts’ top skill players, with running back Jonathan Taylor and wideout Michael Pittman Jr. experiencing respective career lows in yards per rush and yards per catch. — Stephen Holder


Week 11 ranking: 29

What/who is underachieving? Run defense

With the Lions winning three straight games for the first time since 2017 and fresh off limiting Giants running back Saquon Barkley to just 22 yards off 15 carries, it’s not an ideal time to point this out. But overall, defending the run is still a weak point. Detroit is allowing 153.7 rushing yards per game (second most in the league) and 5.18 yards per rushing attempt (third most). — Eric Woodyard

play

2:35

Liz Loza and Daniel Dopp break down the fantasy productions of Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift.


Week 11 ranking: 22

What/who is underachieving? Offense

Even before quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Cooper Kupp were injured, this Rams’ offense didn’t look like the unit that won the Super Bowl last season. A lot of that has to do with the unbelievable number of injuries they have dealt with on the offensive line. The Rams have used a different starting offensive line in all 10 games this season. According to Elias Sports Bureau, they are the only team in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) to use a different starting five-man offensive line combination in each of their first 10 games of a season. Los Angeles hasn’t been able to move the ball consistently all season, and that continued Sunday in the Rams’ loss to the Saints. — Sarah Barshop


Week 11 ranking: 25

What/who is underachieving? Pass rush

The Bears’ inability to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks is a serious problem. Not a single defensive lineman has more than 2.0 sacks this season. As a team, the Bears rank 31st with 15 sacks through 11 games, and the uptick of blitz packages to manufacture more pressure isn’t enough to right the ship. Chicago walked away without sacking Marcus Mariota in Week 11 and only got pressure on four of the Atlanta quarterback’s 20 dropbacks. A combination of skill and scheme has the Bears ranked 27th in sack rate (4.82%), 24th in tackles for loss (43) and last in quarterback hits (31). — Courtney Cronin


Week 11 ranking: 26

What/who is underachieving? Pass rush

The Jaguars have just 16 sacks (tied for 29th in the NFL), which is a huge disappointment considering they have a pair of first-round picks on the edges. Travon Walker, who was the 2022 No. 1 overall pick, has 2.5 sacks and six QB hits. Josh Allen, the 2019 No. 7 overall pick, has three sacks and a team-high 13 QB hits. Allen is among the league leaders in QB pressures (34, tied for 14th), but the Jaguars were expecting more from him. The team’s best rusher is reserve Dawuane Smoot with five sacks. — Michael DiRocco


Week 11 ranking: 31

What/who is underachieving? Pass rush

Sure, defensive end Maxx Crosby is tied for fifth in the NFL with nine sacks, but no other Raiders player has more than one. Chandler Jones, the free-agent pickup who signed a three-year, $51 million deal to join Las Vegas, is credited with half a sack; that is less than practice squad call-up Tyler Hall, a cornerback. And as a team, the Raiders have a league-low 13 sacks. — Paul Gutierrez


Week 11 ranking: 27

What/who is underachieving? Red zone offense

The Steelers have underachieved in more than one area this season, but the most glaring is the red zone offense. They are scoring touchdowns on about 48% of red zone trips. Even though they managed to score TDs on three of five such trips in Sunday’s loss, the Steelers haven’t scored enough points overall, averaging just 17 points per game. Sunday’s performance might be a sign things are close to turning around, but the offense won’t have proved anything until it is consistent. — Brooke Pryor


Week 11 ranking: 23

What/who is underachieving? Entire defense

On paper, the Browns boast one of the most talented defenses in the league. In reality, it has inexplicably been among the worst. The defensive backfield continues to suffer busts in coverage at inopportune moments, and the defensive front has been thoroughly porous against the run. The Browns haven’t been able to force many turnovers, either (only eight all season). The result is a unit that ranks next to last in actual points allowed (26.9) and expected points allowed (minus-66.84). Cleveland is now on the verge of being eliminated from the postseason before December, and an underachieving defense is the biggest reason. — Jake Trotter


Week 11 ranking: 28

What/who is underachieving? OFFENSE

That’s right, it’s in all caps. Everybody from the coaches to quarterback Russell Wilson to each player across the formation bears some responsibility. Coach Nathaniel Hackett and Wilson should get most of the heat, but the Broncos have had too many mistakes, too many curious calls, too many what-was-that decisions by Wilson, too many fumbles and far too few touchdowns. The league-leading list of players on injured reserve, including running back Javonte Williams, has not helped, but the recap of this season will be topped with this offense’s failings. — Jeff Legwold


Week 11 ranking: 30

What/who is underachieving? Quarterback

There’s a simple reason the Panthers are 3-8: poor play at quarterback. Baker Mayfield is 1-5 as the starter with a league-worst 17.8 Total QBR. PJ Walker is 2-3 as the starter with a Total QBR of 23.8, which would be next to last if he had enough playing time to qualify. It hasn’t been pretty, and there’s a chance Sam Darnold could be named the starter this week. Darnold’s Total QBR last season (38.6) was better than only two qualified quarterbacks. — David Newton


Week 11 ranking: 32

What/who is underachieving? QB Davis Mills

Mills had an opportunity this season to prove he could be the signal-caller of the future. But he has regressed in a few important categories from his rookie campaign. Mills’ completion rate was 66% then, and it is 61.9% now. His passer rating is 10 points lower this year, and he has already thrown 11 interceptions, which has surpassed his rookie total of 10. — DJ Bien-Aime

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