Scroll through the gallery above to see Wayne's latest power poll, and if you're on a desktop or laptop computer, click "show caption" to see his thoughts on each team.
Mid-November is a good time to assess who is getting better and who is not in the National Football League. Things continue to evolve as the season goes along, but at this stage of the game we have a body of evidence to assess who looks like a potential playoff team and who does not.
Call this the mid-term exam.
The arrow is pointing up for:
- Arizona Cardinals
- Minnesota Vikings
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Buffalo Bills
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Chicago Bears
- Washington Redskins
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Yes, I said the Bears, Buccaneers, and Washington Redskins, each of whom have won four games.
Not sure about:
- New England: Injuries are taking a toll.
- Cincinnati Bengals: Coming off their first loss, let’s see where they go from here.
- The Carolina Panthers are not pretty. All they do is win.
- New York Giants: They win some, they lose some and so far, none have been tied.
- Oakland Raiders; Getting better, but the resounding loss at home to the Vikings indicates they have a long way to go.
The arrow is pointing down for these clubs:
- Seattle Seahawks
- Denver Broncos
- Atlanta Falcons
- Green Bay Packers
- Philadelphia Eagles
- St. Louis Rams
- Dallas Cowboys
- Baltimore Ravens
In doing the Power Poll each week, it is amazing to me how few truly good teams there are this year in the NFL! It is hard to fill a top ten with teams you truly feel good about.
I still think the best of the best in the AFC: New England and Cincinnati, plus the Pittsburgh Steelers who are on the come up. In the NFC, Carolina and Arizona are head and shoulders above the rest while Minnesota is on the move up.
Remember, there is still almost half a season to go and much can happen down the stretch.
I am pretty sure of one thing, two or three teams not on this above list will evolve by January into playoff caliber teams, but it will be hard to fill all the playoff spots with teams you feel really good about.