NFL Power Rankings: Jaguars, Jets rolling; Giants, Raiders reeling in odd 2017

The Jacksonville Jaguars are in first place in the AFC South, and have the biggest scoring margin in the league behind one of the NFL's fiercest defenses.

The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills are tied with the New England Patriots atop the AFC East. Yes, the same Jets team I picked to go 0-16 has ripped off three consecutive victories.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith is the leader in the MVP race.

The New York Giants season is over. The Oakland Raiders are reeling.

Odell Beckham Jr. and J.J. Watt are done for the year with major injuries.

Quarterback play for a lot of teams has been putrid, and formerly elite passer Ben Roethlisberger has even questioned his own abilities after a five-interception game against the Jaguars Sunday.

What the hell is going on in the NFL?

Some will say this madness is what makes the league great. But don't we want the elite teams to be the villains? The Chiefs are the only undefeated team -- and top my Power Rankings again this week -- but does anybody see them as the big, bad villain? They just don't play that role.

Is it better to have this unpredictably rather than seeing the power teams off and running?

I tend to like how we go into Sunday every week and by 3:30 in the afternoon we're shaking our heads wondering what the heck we are seeing.

Having said that, don't you get the idea as we move through October that things will start to crystallize more? Won't the Patriots, who have a big game at the Jets this week -- yes, big -- take over the AFC East like they usually do?

Seattle won at Los Angeles against the Rams Sunday to serve notice that their usual spot atop the NFC West is theirs for now – and probably will be the same come December.

We've enjoyed the early-season uncertainty, but I get the idea that will change by the end of October. The really good teams will emerge.

Until then, get amped up about Rams at Jaguars and Patriots at Jets this week. Who knew they would be such important games? 

Biggest Movers
9 Jaguars
11 Titans
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Chiefs They just continue to win, impressing at Houston by blowing out the Texans. Alex Smith is playing at the best level of his career. -- 5-2-0
2 Packers Aaron Rodgers proved his mastery last week against the Cowboys, but the defense needs to play better moving forward. -- 4-3-0
3 Eagles They've won three straight heading to a big NFC battle with the hot Panthers in Carolina Thursday night. They still need more consistency from Carson Wentz, despite his good start. -- 6-1-0
4 Falcons They come off their bye needing to get the offense playing like it did last season. Injuries could be an issue at receiver. -- 3-3-0
5 Broncos Coming off their bye, they face a Giants team that is depleted by injuries. They have to be careful of letting down. -- 3-3-0
6 Panthers Cam Newton is back playing like he did in 2015 when he was the MVP. He faces a good Eagles front this week. 1 4-3-0
7 Patriots They face a big division game this week at the Jets. The defense took steps against the Bucs last week, which it needed to do. 2 5-2-0
8 Redskins They come off their bye with a home game against the 49ers. They need to keep winning to keep pace with the Eagles. 3 3-3-0
9 Seahawks They reminded the Rams last week that they are still the class of the division. At some point, they will need to score more points. They are banged up heading to the bye. 7 4-2-0
10 Lions At 3-2, they head to New Orleans this week to play the Saints. The defense will be tested in that one. 4 3-3-0
11 Bills They need to start getting more out of their offense. Even so, they are still tied for the division lead. 3 4-2-0
12 Rams That was a tough loss against Seattle and now they have a long trip to face the Jaguars. That won't be easy. -- 5-2-0
13 Cowboys They've had defensive issues the past two weeks that need fixing. The bye this week will help. 2 3-3-0
14 Jaguars Their defense and running game has them atop the AFC South. Maybe that formula can get them to the playoffs. 9 4-3-0
15 Steelers Ben Roethlisberger has to pick up his play. It won't be easy this week at Arrowhead against the Chiefs. 5 5-2-0
16 Vikings Case Keenum played well in relief of Sam Bradford Monday night. You have to wonder if Bradford might be sitting for a while with that knee injury. Now comes the Packers. 2 5-2-0
17 Saints They come off their bye with a tough one at home against the Lions. The defense seemed to improve in the last two games. 3 4-2-0
18 Jets At 3-2, they are tied for first in the AFC East. Did I just write that? 4 3-4-0
19 Buccaneers They come off a tough loss to the Patriots facing a long trip to play the Cardinals. The offense hasn't clicked yet. 2 2-4-0
20 Ravens They are 3-2 and impressed winning at Oakland Sunday. The offense seemed to find something against the Raiders. 5 3-4-0
21 Raiders Their defense is bad, and it has to be better or they will not be a playoff team. They also need Derek Carr back soon. 2 3-4-0
22 Texans Losing J.J. Watt is a major blow to this team. He is the heart and soul of the Texans. They also lost valuable pass rusher Whitney Mercilus. 9 3-3-0
23 Bengals They have won their last two games to get to 2-3 and vault into the thick of the division race. The defense has improved the past two weeks. 1 2-4-0
24 Dolphins They found a way against the Titans, but the offense is still abysmal. That won't work against Atlanta this week. 2 4-2-0
25 Titans Their season has turned in a bad way the past two weeks. They need Marcus Mariota back healthy. 11 4-3-0
26 Colts Jacoby Brissett is 2-2 and has done a nice job as the starting quarterback. They have kept themselves alive without Andrew Luck. 1 2-5-0
27 Cardinals That was not a good showing at Philadelphia. The offensive line is bad, but the defense had issues against the Eagles. 6 3-4-0
28 Bears Mitchell Trubisky did some good things in his first start, but he threw a late interception. He flashed talent, which gives them hope for the future. -- 3-4-0
29 Chargers They found a way to pull out a tight one against the Giants, but now face a big division road game against the Raiders. It's a must-have for the Chargers. 1 3-4-0
30 Giants They are 0-5, and their best player, Odell Beckham Jr. is lost for the year with a leg injury. Now they go to Denver to play a good defense. Changes are coming after the season, right? 1 1-6-0
31 49ers They fought at Indianapolis, but dropped to 0-5. They lost consecutive overtime games, which can take a lot out of a team. -- 0-7-0
32 Browns They benched rookie quarterback DeShone KIzer against the Jets and this thing is really coming unraveled. Are changes coming after the season in the front office and coaching staff? -- 0-7-0
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an... Full Bio

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