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Come one, come all, it's the winter time of fall! The beautiful orange and red hues that signal the beginnings of football season have now faded into brown tones as leaf-bare trees coldly await the return of spring. Many football teams too have seen the promise of the season wear off; weathering the brutal winds of sub-.250 winning percentages hoping that maybe
Tua Joe Burrow is the life-restoring warmth they need. Which evergreens are best equipped for the season? Which deciduous trunks are frostbitten beyond repair? Our team of 32 foresters weigh in with their cold weather prognostications. Have we given them enough whiskey to thaw their brains? Let's find out! 28/32 reporting.
|1.||Ravens||+1||8-2||The Ravens continue to roll, bullying a team that was supposed to be a serious challenger for the AFC title. They haven't won by fewer than 14 points since Week 6, and they have beaten three teams by five scores. They top these rankings as the clear best team in the NFL right now.|
|2.||Patriots||-1||9-1||The annual fascination with 'what's wrong with the Patriots' has reached a higher pitch after Sunday's dull 17-10 win against the Eagles, but anyone who has paid attention to football over the last two decades would be foolish to assume New England won't have this issue figured out come January.|
|3.||49ers||--||9-1||It was a stressful affair, as divisional games often are, but the Niners eked out a win. Jimmy G posted career-bests in basically every category, and Deebo is becoming his go-to target in tight spots. The team looks ahead to a Sunday night matchup against the Packers, the beginning of the toughest part of their schedule.|
|4.||Seahawks||--||8-2||The bye paid off as Tyler Lockett appears to be recovering well and is considered probable for Sunday's game in Philadelphia. If Seattle is going to make the playoffs, they're going to earn it. 5 of their final 6 games are against opponents who are currently .500 or better. Another defensive performance like they had last week would help a whole lot.|
|5.||Saints||--||8-2||It was back to business as usual with the Saints resuming their winning ways in a divisional tilt against the Bucs. This game could have been much closer if only Jameis would learn to stop throwing so many INTs.|
|6.||Packers||--||8-2||The Packers' 53-man roster appeared healthy for practice on Monday after the bye week. With the Vikings hot on their heels, Green Bay's health is critical as they prepare for a game against the fully operational 49ers next week. Packers head coach Matt LaFleur will be put to the test when he faces off against Mike LaFleur, his brother and the 49ers' passing game coordinator, and longtime associate Kyle Shanahan.|
|7.||Vikings||--||8-3||They nearly slipped into the bye on the back of an embarrassing loss to the Broncos, but the Vikings erased a 20-point halftime deficit and go into their off week with a victory. Kirk Cousins has massively stepped his game up after some early season criticism, and this improvement merits mention.|
|8.||Chiefs||--||7-4||Have yourself a game, Frank Clark! After looking slow all year, possibly due to a pinched nerve in his neck that left him without feeling in his fingers, Clark looked healthy against the Chargers while he was causing havoc all game. Clark led a Chiefs defense that actively won the game against LA after KC's offense looked anemic all game. If this team is going to make a Super Bowl run, Andy Reid has to look long and hard at them over the bye because they currently look like pretenders.|
|9.||Cowboys||+1||6-4||Dak is currently on pace to throw for over 5,100 yards this season - a milestone which would be the most in Cowboys history and seventh best in NFL history. Unfortunately, that may not be enough to compensate for the deficit that the defense and Zeke are creating on their respective sides of the ball. Insert a healthy Matt Stafford, and the result of this game would be considerably different. For Week 11, it will be unlikely that Tom Brady and company will be as forgiving.|
|10.||Texans||-1||6-4||Don't let the Texans getting soundly beaten in all phases of the game by the Ravens distract you from the fact that Al Riveron said this isn't pass interference.|
|11.||Bills||+2||7-3||Josh “Lamar ‘Michael Vick’ Jackson” Allen put up possibly the best performance of his career this week, comfortably dropping the Dolphins. It’s hard not to be impressed with the progress he’s made throughout the course of this season and his short career so far. From his rookie season to now, his completion percentage is up an entire seven points. There’s still a lot to work on, but it’s good to see him trending in the right direction. In other news, the Bills lead the AFC Wild Card race at 7-3, their schedule is about to get tough, their fate is in their own hands, and BillsMafia is simultaneously optimistic and entirely ready to be let down again. No matter what, this should be fun.|
|12.||Rams||--||6-4||Whether a page has turned in the Rams’ struggles or whether they just played a bad team, there is renewed optimism about the remainder of the season. That optimism is inordinately matched by a mere 1.5% playoff chance increase after Sunday’s win, as the Rams are still overly reliant on good teams losing to bad teams down the stretch in order to sneak into a Wild Card spot.|
|13.||Colts||+3||6-4||This ranker wrote 'the wheels are off' after a loss to the Dolphins last week. But Brisset's return (along with a renewed team focus) was like a restorative trip to the local auto shop. Hopefully, these new rims and tires will last through the season.|
|14.||Raiders||--||6-4||A 17-10 win against the hapless Bengals isn't flashy, but it gets the job done. The Raiders could really use a dominant A-list wideout to open up their offense and keep defenses from keying on Josh Jacobs. One wonders if any happen to be lying around on a couch somewhere...|
|15.||Eagles||-4||5-5||A brutal night for the Eagles offense saw them take a 10-0 lead and then proceed to accomplish nothing of note. The conditions didn't help, but the Eagles badly need playmakers to help Carson Wentz out.|
|16.||Titans||+2||5-5||The Titans had a bye in week 11. The Titans community is ready to honor r/tennesseetitans legend /u/MattNeely50 by welcoming his family as the 12th Titan against the Jaguars on Sunday. RIP Neely!|
During the Monday night game between the Cowboys and Giants, fans were treated to a cat becoming the feature running-back of the contest.
He showed excellent mobility and even better change of direction. He was just acquired by the Carolina Panthers to become the complement to feature back Christian McCaffrey, but more production like his debut could see him push for greater playing time.