NFL Midseason Report: Teams Ranked 17-32 (Part 2)

NFL Nov 01, 2021

Houston, Detroit, and Jacksonville Pluge Below the Jets as NFL's Worst Teams on Power Rankings

We're approaching the middle of the 2021 regular season.  Technically speaking, with 17 games on each teams' schedule, that means halftime of Week 9 is the true middle of the season.  But let's jump the gun and list our mid-season rankings now.

This is Part 2 of a two-part series, which ranks the bottom half of the league.  To read Part 1 which lists the better teams, CLICK HERE.

(17)  Cleveland Browns

Cleveland is 4-4 and coming off a devastating home loss to division rival Pittsburgh.  Yes, the AFC North is perhaps the NFL's best division.  However, this is now a last-place team.  The Browns have become impossible to predict – a great offense that way too often gets shut down, and a terrible defense that steps it up and can play with any opponent.  That .500 record and inconsistency is perfect justification for ranking them smack-bad in the middle of the Power Rankings – at #17.

(18)  Indianapolis Colts

2021 has been the season of two very different Colts' teams.  The Colts that began the season 0-3 were terrible.  But since then, Indianapolis has been competitive in every game, even playing great football at times.  We think the Colts 5 losses don't tell the whole story.  This 3-5 team would probably beat most of the 4-4 teams in the conversation.  Also, credit QB Carson Wentz for surprising many of us after a few bad years and rising to the expectations that he's a valid top draft pick.

(19)  Denver Broncos

This is a yucky 4-4 team that beats bad teams (Jets, Giants, Jaguars, Washington) and loses to winning teams (Ravens, Steelers, Raiders, Browns).  The offense is painful to watch, and the defense has underperformed.  Denver might be the worst coached team in the NFL.  This record is deceiving – watch Denver fall apart in the second half of the season and finish behind the Raiders, Chargers, and Chiefs.

(20)  Seattle Seahawks

Where exactly do we place Seattle in the Power Rankings – with QB Russell Wilson or without him?  With Wilson healthy, the Seahawks might be a top-ten team.  Without him, they're far worse. However, credit Seattle's defense for showing some improvement after an awful start to the season.  Let's grade Seattle as slightly below average but also capable of surprises once their starting QB returns healthy.

(21)  San Francisco 49ers

There's no excuse for how poorly the 49ers have performed this season.  At 3-5, San Francisco appears headed for a last-place finish.  Some thought they might win the NFC West.  The 49ers offense is painful to watch and a quagmire for offensive guru Kyle Shanahan.  Losing defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to the Jets (now their coach) might have been more impactful than we realized.

(22)  Philadelphia Eagles

Too bad the Eagles can't play Detroit and Atlanta every week, as they'd probably go undefeated.  We look for signs the Eagles are improving but then they go into Las Vegas and get destroyed.  Conclusion:  The Eagles will beat teams below them and lose to teams ranked above them.  They're not going to surprise anyone.

(23)  Minnesota Vikings

Critics may say the Vikings are ranked too low on our Power Rankings.  But they're coming off a home loss to the Cowboys who started a QB that had previously taken exactly one NFL snap for his entire career.  Minnesota is going nowhere and is lucky the Bears and Lions are in the same division or else they'd be a last-place team.  QB Kirk Cousins is an embarrassment and should be benched.

(24)  Chicago Bears

The Bears are 3-5 and pulled off a few surprising upsets.  But they're often lost on offense, badly coached, and simply don't have the skill players to overcome mediocrity.  Chicago should be thankful they get to play the Lions twice a year.

(25)  Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons are cringeworthy, far more deserving of being kicked while they're down because unlike so many teams ranked below them, Atlanta does have talent.  So, the fact is -- they are gutless underperformers.  Week 8's loss at home to Carolina as a favourite was a humiliation and disaster.  It sure looked like Atlanta might make some noise as a darkhorse given how they'd performed in recent weeks, but that embarrassing loss exposes the Falcons as a complete fraud.

(26)  New York Giants

The Giants are a broken record....injuries, injuries, injuries.  If New York could stay healthy they might win....umm....7 games.  Fortunately for them, they get the Beagles and Deadskins four times on the schedule.  So, they'll win a few games and stretch out the misery for Giants fans.

(27)  Washington Football Team

A few seasons ago, Washington changed the name of the team because "Redskins" was deemed to be offensive.  But what's offensive is calling this a "football team." Head coach Ron Rivera deserves better.  The defense is trash.

(28)  New York Jets

Many observers thought the Jets were the NFL's worst team.  Certainly, when New York plays bad, they look awful.  At the same time, this team is expected to be underdogs and is showing the occasional sign of progress.  Beating Cincinnati and Tennessee must count for something.  At 2-5, the NY Jets might be a team that's undervalued.  Let's see how they fare the next few weeks.

(29)  Miami Dolphins

What the hell happened to the Dolphins?  1-7?  Seriously?  There's no excuse for how badly them team has performed.  Miami is the NFL's most disappointing team in 2021.

(30)  Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars are who we thought they were – garbage.  With two weeks to prepare for their next opponent coming off a bye, Geno Smith and the Seahawks who were off a short week, the gutless Jaguars failed to show up.  Jacksonville fell behind 17-0 at the half and lost by 24 points.  Trevor Lawrence, who was so highly touted heading into the season, has been a bust.  Urban Oscar Meyer might not survive until the end of the season.

(31)  Detroit Lions

Even though Detroit is winless, at least the Lions have been competitive in multiple games this season.  They nearly beat the Ravens and the Rams.  That counts for something.  So, we'll make the 0-8 Lions as the NFL's second worst team even though it's possible they could go winless this season (0-17).

(32)  Houston Texans

Let's leave this right here: