It’s no surprise the Cowboys are at the top of everyone’s power rankings — at 9-1, no team in the league has a better record. The unpredictable part is how they got there.
A pair of rookies have developed into bona fide MVP candidates to give Dallas one of the NFL’s most dynamic offenses. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have teamed up with veterans Dez Bryant and Jason Witten to make the Cowboys an unstoppable force after a Week 1 defeat.
But behind them, a New York Giants team responsible for the only blemish on their record is surging in pursuit. The Giants have established themselves as an upper-tier NFL team behind a five-game winning streak. They look like the only team that can catch Prescott in the East — although New York won’t have the benefit of facing two rookies in their professional debuts the next time these teams meet.
Sandwiched between the Cowboys and Giants are the perpetually scary Seahawks. Seattle has won three straight games, dispatching quality opponents Buffalo, New England, and Philadelphia in the process. Russell Wilson looks to be back to 100 percent after an early-season leg injury, and now he’s doing crazy things like this.
So while the Cowboys are on top, the NFC has the horses to chase them down if they stumble.
The pecking order in the AFC is a bit less settled. Kansas City relinquished its claim on the conference’s top spot after being upset 19-17 by Tampa Bay at home. That left New England, who dispatched hopeless San Francisco, and Oakland at the top. The Raiders struggled to put away a frisky Texans offense, but some questionable calls helped them return to the top of the AFC West in Week 11.
The Chiefs and Broncos, each at 7-3, have a solid grip on the conference’s two wild card slots, but they’ll have to withstand a charge from a suddenly surging Miami team. The Dolphins have won five straight to crawl out of a 1-4 hole, thanks to the competent play of Ryan Tannehill and aggressive running of Jay Ajayi. They’ll need to finish strong in a tough conference where 10 wins may not be enough to lock down a playoff spot in 2016.
The bottom of the rankings remained unchanged. The Browns lost to the Steelers in Ben Roethlisberger’s 10th win in Cleveland. Only one Browns quarterback since 2000, Derek Anderson, can claim the same. The 49ers suffered their ninth straight defeat, and the Bears put in work to make sure their Week 9 win over the Vikings was merely a fluke by losing to the Giants.
|1||Dallas Cowboys||Dallas Cowboys||Dallas Cowboys||Dallas Cowboys||Dallas Cowboys|
|2||Seattle Seahawks||New England Patriots||Seattle Seahawks||Seattle Seahawks||New England Patriots|
|3||New England Patriots||Seattle Seahawks||New England Patriots||New England Patriots||Oakland Raiders|
|4||Oakland Raiders||Oakland Raiders||Oakland Raiders||Oakland Raiders||Denver Broncos|
|5||New York Giants||Denver Broncos||New York Giants||Denver Broncos||Seattle Seahawks|
|6||Atlanta Falcons||Kansas City Chiefs||Denver Broncos||New York Giants||New York Giants|
|7||Washington||Washington||Kansas City Chiefs||Kansas City Chiefs||Atlanta Falcons|
|8||Denver Broncos||Atlanta Falcons||Detroit Lions||Atlanta Falcons||Kansas City Chiefs|
|9||Miami Dolphins||Detroit Lions||Washington||Washington||Detroit Lions|
|10||Kansas City Chiefs||New York Giants||Miami Dolphins||Detroit Lions||Washington|
|11||Pittsburgh Steelers||Minnesota Vikings||Atlanta Falcons||Miami Dolphins||Miami Dolphins|
|12||Philadelphia Eagles||Buffalo Bills||Minnesota Vikings||Minnesota Vikings||Houston Texans|
|13||Baltimore Ravens||Pittsburgh Steelers||Buffalo Bills||Pittsburgh Steelers||Minnesota Vikings|
|14||Buffalo Bills||Miami Dolphins||Philadelphia Eagles||Baltimore Ravens||Baltimore Ravens|
|15||Detroit Lions||Philadelphia Eagles||Houston Texans||Philadelphia Eagles||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|16||Minnesota Vikings||Baltimore Ravens||Baltimore Ravens||Houston Texans||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|17||Cincinnati Bengals||Houston Texans||Pittsburgh Steelers||Buffalo Bills||Philadelphia Eagles|
|18||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Arizona Cardinals||Arizona Cardinals||Indianapolis Colts||Indianapolis Colts|
|19||Arizona Cardinals||Green Bay Packers||Indianapolis Colts||Tennessee Titans||Tennessee Titans|
|20||New Orleans Saints||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||San Diego Chargers||Carolina Panthers||San Diego Chargers|
|21||Carolina Panthers||New Orleans Saints||Tennessee Titans||Arizona Cardinals||Buffalo Bills|
|22||Houston Texans||San Diego Chargers||Green Bay Packers||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Green Bay Packers|
|23||Indianapolis Colts||Indianapolis Colts||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||New Orleans Saints||Carolina Panthers|
|24||San Diego Chargers||Tennessee Titans||Carolina Panthers||Green Bay Packers||Cincinnati Bengals|
|25||Tennessee Titans||Carolina Panthers||New Orleans Saints||San Diego Chargers||New Orleans Saints|
|26||Green Bay Packers||Cincinnati Bengals||Los Angeles Rams||Cincinnati Bengals||Arizona Cardinals|
|27||Los Angeles Rams||Los Angeles Rams||Cincinnati Bengals||Los Angeles Rams||Los Angeles Rams|
|28||New York Jets||New York Jets||Chicago Bears||New York Jets||New York Jets|
|29||Chicago Bears||Jacksonville Jaguars||New York Jets||Chicago Bears||Chicago Bears|
|30||Jacksonville Jaguars||Chicago Bears||Jacksonville Jaguars||Jacksonville Jaguars||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|31||San Francisco 49ers||San Francisco 49ers||San Francisco 49ers||San Francisco 49ers||San Francisco 49ers|
|32||Cleveland Browns||Cleveland Browns||Cleveland Browns||Cleveland Browns||Cleveland Browns|