2018 NFL Power Rankings Summary - Week 11
|Average ranking (# of rankings)||2.57|
|Average change from last week||+0.14|
|Highest ranking (source)||2nd (multiple sources)|
|Lowest ranking (source)||3rd (multiple sources)|
|Biggest positive change (source)||+1 (multiple sources)|
|Biggest negative change (source)||-1 (SB Nation)|
The NFL’s top teams continue to dominate and have the same thing in common: They average more than 33 points per game. That’s the Saints (36.7 ppg), Chiefs (35.5 ppg), and Rams (33.5 ppg), who rank one to three respectively in that category. Defense in 2018 has become far less important than offense as the NFL’s top defenses in terms of points allowed per game are the Titans, Ravens, and Cowboys — none of which would make the playoffs if the season ended today.
It should come as no surprise that the top three teams in this week’s power rankings are the Saints, Chiefs, and Rams. Each of these teams has one loss, they’ve all been dominating opponents week after week, and their offenses are proving that they can almost always win. The exception is when they play each other, as the Saints and Rams did in Week 9 and as the Chiefs and Rams will do in Week 11.
Defining stat: 122. That’s the average number of rushing yards the Rams have allowed this season, which ranks 24th in the NFL. The Rams vowed to play better against the run after a Week 5 victory at Seattle in which the Seahawks rushed for 190 yards. But the Rams allowed the Saints to rush for 141 yards in Week 9, and then gave up a whopping 273 yards to the Seahawks on Sunday. It begs the question how a front that features Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh and Michael Brockers has been unable to slow the run.
An exciting win came with the proverbial rain cloud, as Cooper Kupp was lost for the season. The sophomore wideout made more strides this season, and had just returned from a knee problem a few weeks ago. His loss will be felt. Sunday felt too close for comfort against the rival Seahawks ( again), but ultimately, two timely defensive plays made the difference: Ndamukong Suh’s and Aaron Donald’s split sack on third-and-5 near the Rams’ goal line, forcing a Seattle field goal; and Dante Fowler Jr.’s strip-sack/recovery to set up Brandin Cooks’ score late in the fourth quarter. Of course, other than those two stanzas, Wade Phillips’ defense got ripped again.
The defense still has issues, but they continue to roll up a lot of points. They will need to against the Chiefs this week.
Cooper Kupp’s ACL injury is a big blow. The Rams average 124 fewer passing yards per game without Kupp this season. Los Angeles has a lot of good players but they’ll miss Kupp. It’s hard to replace what he can do.
Sean McVay should get coach of the year votes simply for emerging with a win after one of the toughest weeks any team will face.
USA Today: 2nd (2nd)
O-line unfairly overshadowed amid pyrotechnics. Let’s hope LT Andrew Whitworth’s donation to Borderline Bar and Grill victims gets just due.