The Seattle Seahawks improved to 5-2-1 on Monday night with a win over the 4-5 Buffalo Bills. It was an impressive game for the offense albeit a tough one for a defense down three starters. The Seahawks are second in the NFC but perhaps still a step below the “elite” teams according to many power rankings on Tuesday morning.
While the New England Patriots rightfully hold the top spot in just about every list on the internet right now -- and happen to be Seattle’s Week 10 opponent, setting up a showdown in Foxborough for the first match between the teams since Super Bowl 49 -- the following group of teams become somewhat muddy. Depending on what you want to believe.
Everyone also has the 7-1 Dallas Cowboys at two behind the Patriots. The Cowboys have perhaps their most complete team since the mid-90s despite the fact that they’ve got a rookie at QB and RB and that Dez Bryant has done very little to help the cause. We’ll know a lot more about Dallas in the coming weeks than we could ever learn in them beating up the 0-9 Cleveland Browns on Sunday; the Cowboys travel to Pittsburgh, host the Ravens, host the Redskins, travel to Minnesota, and then go to New York to face the Giants. A 12-1 Dallas team would be very frightening. A 11-2 team would obviously be very good. A 10-3 record starts to show some of the faults and inexperience. And so on.
The 6-3 Atlanta Falcons are behind the Seahawks in the standings (much like they were on the scoreboard a few weeks ago) but average a ranking of third in Power Rankings. I think the Falcons number two passing offense (number one in efficiency) is much scarier than the Cowboys’ number one rushing offense, especially vs Seattle in a playoff scenario. Atlanta travels to Philly, gets a bye, then hosts the Cardinals and Chiefs.
Number four, on average, is those Kansas City Chiefs. I’ll say it: The Chiefs are not better than Seattle. SBNation, USAToday, ESPN, and FOX agree, the others do not.
And coming in fifth place is the surprising 7-2 Oakland Raiders. I don’t think the Raiders have the defense to get to the Super Bowl but in a one-game scenario vs New England in the playoffs, anything could happen. That’s as true for Oakland as it is for anyone else that makes it that far. The defense is probably only “better” recently because of the competition they’ve been facing; the Raiders faced Drew Brees and Matt Ryan to open the year and have faced Blake Bortles, Jameis Winston, and Trevor Siemian over their current three-game win streak.
And then you have Seattle, who are one spot ahead of the Broncos. My power ranking? I’d definitely put the Patriots first, I’d put the Cowboys second with the caveat that they’ve done everything asked of them and more but haven’t been tested enough to make me feel comfortable that they’ll still be top five in January, and I’d put the Seahawks in third. Call me biased, you wouldn’t be a liar, but New England and Seattle have earned the right to get the benefit of the doubt when the teams are so evenly spread out in the NFL right now. The Seahawks are very close to 8-0 and not even the Patriots could say that. (Because Seattle had a chance to win every game, New England lost 16-0 to the Bills, though it was with Jacoby Brissett.) The Seahawks will also be getting more players back (Kam Chancellor next week, Thomas Rawls and Michael Bennett soon after) while hopefully not sending any more way.
Next Sunday’s game should be a fascinating one.