Reasons, Why, Eagles, Best, NFL
Carson Wentz signals for a first down against the Redskins Monday night. Getty Images

1. Philadelphia Eagles (10-1) Def. Chicago 31-3. Last Week: 1


The Eagles could clinch the division as early as Thursday night if the Cowboys lose or tie against Washington. Regardless, a win against Seattle Sunday will do the job. Finishing the job is something the Eagles have been all about this season, regardless of the quality of their opponents. They’ve won their last three games by 28 points each and, while the going is about to get tougher, they’ve shown no sign of weakness thus far.


2. New England Patriots (9-2) Def. Miami 35-17. Last Week: 2


A pair of Tom Brady turnovers let the Dolphins get back in the game early, but New England pulled away behind four touchdown passes from the same. Dion Lewis had his first 100-yard rushing game while Rex Burkhart found paydirt twice. Following New Orleans’ loss to the Rams, the Patriots are tied with the Vikings as the NFL’s second hottest teams, winners of seven in a row.


3. Minnesota Vikings (9-2) Def. Detroit 30-23.  Last Week: 3


The road to the division title got a lot clearer for the Vikings after they avoided a sweep at the hands of Detroit. Doubting the Vikings seems mostly tied to their quarterback, but Case Keenum is playing football more akin to his contemporaries at the top of this list than his previous efforts in the NFL. After a three score game against Detroit, he has a career high 14 touchdown passes and a newly developed scrambling threat after 20 yards apiece in his last two games.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2) Def. Green Bay 31-28. Last Week: 5

Le’Veon Bell missed a 100-yard rushing day by five yards and a 100-yard receiving day by 10. Turnovers aside, the Pittsburgh offense had one of its best games this season, which was necessary as blown coverages lent the appearance the Steelers were once again taking a win against a struggling opponent for granted.

5. Los Angeles Rams (8-3) Def. New Orleans 26-20. Last Week: 7

The Rams answered all the questions about their ability to compete against quality opponents when they subjected the Saints to the kind of complete game dismantling the Vikings put Los Angeles through a week ago. Even without Robert Woods in the lineup the offense was back to normal.

6. Carolina Panthers (8-3) Def. NY Jets 35-27. Last Week: 6

The Panthers snatched victory from the jaws of defeat Sunday. Trailing 18-20, Luke Kuechly returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown, and Kaelin Clay had a punt return score of his own to put the Jets firmly behind. Keep an eye on the status of Greg Olsen, who played for the first time in eight weeks in this one, but left after recording just one catch for 10 yards.

7. New Orleans Saints (8-3) Lost to LA Rams 26-20. Last Week: 4

The Saints missed Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley desperately Sunday while losing for the first time in eight games. They fought their way out of a 15 point hole a week ago against Washington and tried to do the same with two fourth quarter touchdowns against the Rams. It wasn't enough.

8. Atlanta Falcons (7-4) Def. Tampa Bay 34-20. Last Week: 8

The Falcons may want to audition Mohamed Sanu for backup quarterback duties after the receiver heaved a 51-yard bomb to Julio Jones for one of Jones’ two scores during a monster 253 yard game. More importantly, they kept pace with the Panthers and picked up a game on the Saints ahead of a monster stretch of games that will determine their season: Vikings, Saints, @ Buccaneers, @ Saints, Panthers.

9. Seattle Seahawks (7-4) Def. San Francisco 24-13. Last Week: 11

Seattle beat the 49ers for the ninth straight game. The first of those nine wins came in the NFC Championship game following the 2013 season. The 49ers were 12-4 and defending NFC Champions and Seattle was on their way to a Super Bowl victory. A lot has changed, but the Seahawks could make a statement that they aren’t too far removed from their glory days with a win over the visiting Eagles in primetime Sunday.

10. Los Angeles Chargers (5-6) Def. Dallas 28-6. Last Week: 16

The Chargers made up for lost time in their first Thanksgiving Day game in almost 50 years. They’re doing the same on the season with five wins in seven games and now directly in the rear-view of the skidding Chiefs. Keenan Allen somehow topped his 159 yard effort a week ago with 172 yards on turkey day. Surely the Cleveland Browns will put a stop to these hot streaks.

11. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-4) Lost to Arizona 27-24. Last Week: 9

The Jaguars are banged up on the offensive line, and the absences were felt against the Cardinals, where Leonard Fournette was held to 25 yards rushing and Blake Bortles was sacked three times. Jacksonville had it’s most success on offense with Bortles scrambling - gaining 28 yards on one run and going 17 yards for the game tying touchdown on another.

12. Baltimore Ravens (6-5) Def. Houston 23-16. Last Week: 14

The Ravens added two more interceptions to bring their league leading total to 18 and on this Monday night that was enough to overcome 155 passing yards and a 3-for-14 conversion rate on third down. It was also enough to drag the Ravens above .500 for the first time in almost two months and bring them into a tie for the final wild card spot.

13. Detroit Lions (6-5) Lost to Minnesota 30-23. Last Week: 10

The Lions may have to turn from rooting against their division rivals to rooting for them, as the Vikings upcoming schedule includes the Falcons this week and Panthers the following one. Each team sits above Detroit in the wildcard race, meaning the Lions will have to mirror one of their games and launch a comeback to enter the playoff spots.

14. Washington (5-6) Def. NY Giants 20-10. Last Week: 13

Samaje Perine may have been Washington’s last option at tailback, but through two games as the lead back, he isn’t their worst. The rookie ran for exactly 100 yards after a slow first half against New York for his second 100-yard day in as many weeks. Kirk Cousins bounced back from a pick-six for the game winning touchdown, and Washington started to bounce back from their torturous first half schedule.

15. Tennessee Titans (7-4) Def. Indianapolis 20-16. Last Week: 15

The Titan’s dug their way out of a hole against the Colts for a second time this season and got back to their winning ways. Their record stands in stark contrast to their point differential: they’ve allowed 27 more points than they’ve scored in 2017. But it’s the record that matters, and after this week, they’re in first place in the AFC South.

16. New York Jets (4-7) Lost to Carolina 35-27. Last Week: 19

Another crushing loss for the Jets, who thought they had an upset on their hands Sunday. One positive: 38-year old quarterback Josh McCown had 307 passing yards, giving him a career best 2,549 this season. He also threw three more touchdowns, increasing his career-high mark on the season to 17. Qb was supposed to be a big problem for the Jets this season, and that hasn’t been the case.

17. Arizona Cardinals (5-6) Def. Jacksonville 27-24. Last Week: 23

Facing Jacksonville’s formidable secondary, Larry Fitzgerald had just 12 receiving yards. He hasn’t had less since December 2012, when he caught just one of 11 targets for two yards against the Legion of Boom. The Cardinals lost that game 58-0, but this time the better result came thanks to Ricky Seals-Jones and Jaron Brown stepping up with touchdowns.

18  Buffalo Bills (6-5) Def. Kansas City 16-10. Last Week: 27

The bar for a successful week by the Bills offense and defense was set pretty low. Let’s say: less than five turnovers and holding an opponent under 40 points. They hit both these marks and then some in holding the Chiefs to 236 yards and winning the turnover battle one-nil.

19. Oakland Raiders (5-6) Def. Denver 21-14. Last Week: 21

The chain-fighting incident between Aqib Talib and Michael Crabtree is one of this season’s stranger things, as it appears Crabtree had taped his chain on before Talib stole it. Why are we talking about this, and not the fact that the Raiders are just as close to catching Kansas City as the Chargers are?

20. Green Bay Packers (5-6) Lost to Pittsburgh 31-28. Last Week: 22

Brett Hundley can't be blamed in this loss. Aaron Rodgers backup had his best game, throwing three touchdown passes while the Packers kept the Steelers in fear of another let down throughout. Credit Green Bay for bouncing back from their worst loss of the season and giving fans a primetime game that lived up to what might have been expected when the season kicked off.

21. Kansas City Chiefs (6-5) Lost to Buffalo 16-10. Last Week: 12

The Bills had allowed 101 points over their last two games, so Kansas City couldn’t have asked for a more inviting matchup to fix their funk. The same was true a week ago when they faced the Giants. The same remains true this week as they finish a tour of New York against the Jets. Will the result remain the same too?

22. Dallas Cowboys (5-6) Lost to LA Chargers 28-6. Last Week: 17

The Cowboys are moving in the exact opposite direction of their Thanksgiving Day opposition. They returned left tackle Tyron Smith against Los Angeles, but that did nothing to spark an offense that has just 22 points in their three game losing streak.

23. Cincinnati Bengals (5-6) Def. Cleveland 30-16. Last Week: 24

For some reason the Bengals offense has their best days against the Browns. They hit 30 points for the second time this season and the second time against Cleveland. Cleveland also proved a tonic to the Bengals bottom-of-the-barrel rushing attack, and rookie Joe Mixon had a career best 111 rushing yards.

24. Houston Texans (4-7) Lost to Baltimore 23-16. Last Week: 20

This game was there for Houston late, but they were unable to close out in more ways than one, allowing fourth down conversions that led to Baltimore scored and ending their own final driver prematurely with turnovers.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7) Lost to Atlanta 34-20. Last Week: 18

The Buccaneers modest two game win streak was snapped as they fell to 0-3 in the division. Cameron Brate has completely disappeared from the offense. He finishes November with four catches on 12 targets for 37 yards and no scores. His final game before this poor period? Four catches for 64 yards.

26. Indianapolis Colts (3-8) Lost to Tennessee 20-16.  Last Week: 26

Chuck Pagano’s first losing season at the helm in Indy seems inevitable. Frank Gore found the endzone for the third time this season, a total that if not improved upon would mark his lowest scoring output since his rookie season, 2005.

27. Miami Dolphins (4-7) Lost to New England 35-17. Last Week: 28

While the win was the seventh straight for New England, it was the fifth straight loss for Miami. Already without Jay Ajayi, traded away mid-season, the Dolphins lost running back Damian Williams to injury in this one. That said, they’ll have one of their best opportunities to end their skid against Denver this weekend.

28. Chicago Bears (3-8) Lost to Philadelphia 31-3. Last Week: 25

The Bears lose a lot, sure, but not often like that. More than the score was unusual Sunday afternoon as Jordan Howard, the NFL’s fourth leading rusher, was held to six yards on seven carries and the Bears running backs in total finished with negative six yards on the ground. Chicago became the first team since 2012 to finish the first half without a first down.

29. San Francisco 49ers (1-10) Lost to Seattle 24-13. Last Week: 30

49ers fans got their first look at Jimmy Garoppolo after C.J. Beathard was injured. Some San Francisco fans were a little over eager for Garoppolo’s debut - cheering Beathard’s injury - and were rightfully chastised by Reuben Foster and Eric Reid.

30. Denver Broncos (3-8) Lost to Oakland 21-14. Last Week: 31

Paxton Lynch saw his first action of the season before leaving with an ankle injury, but didn’t look like the savior of Broncos football. Denver’s 14 points came after Lynch exited, on touchdown throws from Trevor Siemian.

31. New York Giants (2-9) Lost to Washington 20-10. Last Week: 29

The Giants passing game reached a new low Thursday night, as the offense failed to post 100 yards passing or rushing. They were outscored on the night by their own defense, and outgained in the second half by Janoris Jenkins, who returned an interception 53 yards for New York’s only touchdown. Eli Manning was benched Tuesday for Geno Smith — marking an even new low.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-11) Lost to Cincinnati 30-16. Last Week: 32

The Browns had their first game without a turnover Sunday against the Bengals, and DeShone Kizer had his second. Continuing to evaluate Kizer has to be the main priority now other than winning a game this season, as the Browns figure to once again have some decisions to make at the top of the draft board.