With nine weeks in the books and nine still to play, we are officially at the halfway point of the 2023 NFL season.
There’s still plenty to play for over the back half of the campaign, even for those teams in contention for the No. 1 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft.
Here are my latest NFL power rankings as we head into the season’s second half.
2023 NFL Power Rankings
32. New York Giants (2-7)
After a fantastic first season under Brian Daboll, the encore has been a disaster for the Giants.
Quarterback Daniel Jones (torn ACL) going down last week doesn’t help matters, especially since New York paid him big money last offseason.
A few weeks of Tommy DeVito could put the Giants in the mix for Caleb Williams or Drake Maye.
31. Carolina Panthers (1-7)
The pressure is mounting on head coach Frank Reich, who could be one and done in Carolina.
No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young has averaged 196.4 passing yards per game and has an 8:7 TD:INT ratio through his first seven starts. That’s not good.
30. Arizona Cardinals (1-8)
It’s too late for Kyler Murray to save the Cardinals’ season, but can the former No. 1 pick revive his career?
He’s got eight games to prove himself, assuming he returns from his torn ACL in Week 10.
29. Chicago Bears (2-7)
It’s looking like another wasted season for Chicago, especially with Justin Fields (thumb) missing precious time for his development.
Bears fans are already gearing up for the 2024 NFL Draft, where they could have two top-five picks.
28. New England Patriots (2-7)
Bill Belichick is legitimately on the hot seat.
If that doesn’t tell you all you need to know about how this season is going in New England, I’m not sure what will.
27. Las Vegas Raiders (4-5)
The Raiders were the first team to fire their coach this season, parting ways with Josh McDaniels and benching Jimmy Garoppolo in the process.
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While the vibes are better under interim HC Antonio Pierce, this team isn’t as good as its record would indicate.
26. Denver Broncos (3-5)
Denver has won two straight, including a home victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, since starting 1-5.
Sean Payton still has a lot of work to do, but things are starting to come together.
25. Los Angeles Rams (3-6)
Injuries continue to plague the Rams, who have been without key offensive players (Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, and Kyren Williams) at various points over the first half of the season.
This defense isn’t good enough to overcome those absences.
24. Green Bay Packers (3-5)
Green Bay hasn’t scored more than 20 points in a game since Week 2.
While Aaron Jones and Christian Watson have missed time this season, this offense needs more out of Jordan Love.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5)
After a surprising 3-1 start, the Buccaneers have fallen back down to earth.
Still, Baker Mayfield has been better than advertised, and the NFC South title isn’t out of reach.
22. Atlanta Falcons (4-5)
Arthur Smith made a quarterback change two weeks ago, swapping Desmond Ridder for Taylor Heinicke.
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Atlanta is 0-2 since, so maybe his coaching is the problem. #FreeBijan
21. Indianapolis Colts (4-5)
The Colts have outperformed expectations despite having one of the worst scoring defenses in the NFL (26.9 points per game allowed).
Addressing that side of the ball in the offseason will be crucial, especially since 2023 first-rounder Anthony Richardson (shoulder) looked promising when healthy.
20. Minnesota Vikings (5-4)
Brian Flores deserves a ton of credit for turning this defense into a respectable unit, especially since there isn’t much talent to work with.
The Vikings have hung in there, but it’s hard to expect that to continue without Kirk Cousins (torn Achilles).
19. Tennessee Titans (3-5)
The Titans have been a bit of a mess, but Will Levis has passed the eye test thus far.
Let’s see if the rookie can lead Tennessee on a second-half charge.
18. New York Jets (4-4)
This season has felt like déjà vu for the Jets, who again have one of the league’s best defenses and one of the league’s worst quarterbacks.
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I’m not sure who among Woody Johnson, Joe Douglas, and Robert Saleh can’t see it, but Zach Wilson isn’t it.
17. Washington Commanders (4-5)
You never know what you’re going to get with Sam Howell and the Commanders, who have played the Eagles close twice and also lost by 20 to the Bears at home.
Washington was a seller at the trade deadline, so building for the future remains its priority.
16. New Orleans Saints (5-4)
The Saints sit atop the NFC South, but they can thank an unbelievably easy schedule for that.
New Orleans has beaten the following quarterbacks this season: Ryan Tannehill, Bryce Young, Mac Jones, Gardner Minshew, and Tyson Bagent.
That’s not exactly a murderer’s row of opponents. Luckily for the Saints, the schedule doesn’t get much more difficult down the stretch.
15. Houston Texans (4-4)
Hello, C.J. Stroud.
The favorite in the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds led his team to an impressive comeback win over the Buccaneers in Week 9, throwing for 470 yards (a rookie record) and five touchdowns.
The Texans are suddenly a competitive football team and will be for years to come if the No. 2 pick plays like this.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3)
The Steelers are 5-3 but have the fourth-worst point differential (-30) in the AFC, falling behind teams like the Jets, Titans, and Colts.
Mike Tomlin’s squad has found ways to win. However, it’s hard to have confidence in Kenny Pickett and this offense moving forward.
13. Los Angeles Chargers (4-4)
Back-to-back wins have brought the Chargers back to .500 and into the playoff hunt.
Los Angeles has the league’s worst pass defense (286 yards per game allowed), but Justin Herbert and the offense will give the Bolts a chance in every game they play.
12. Seattle Seahawks (5-3)
Seattle currently sits in a tie with San Francisco atop the NFC West standings, but it’s hard to see Pete Carroll’s squad pushing the Niners to the end of the season.
Geno Smith hasn’t played up to the standards he set last season, and this defense has struggled to stop the run.
11. Cleveland Browns (5-3)
The Browns arguably have the best defense in the league. Cleveland has held opponents to a league-low 234.8 yards per game and has surrendered just 17.4 points per contest (third-best).
Unfortunately, injuries have struck one of the league’s best offensive lines, and the absence of Nick Chubb (knee) was already significant.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-2)
The Jaguars enter the second half of the season with the longest active winning streak in football (five games).
Upcoming showdowns against the 49ers, Texans, and Bengals will tell us a lot about where Trevor Lawrence and Co. sit in the AFC hierarchy.
9. Buffalo Bills (5-4)
If the season ended today, the Bills wouldn’t qualify for the playoffs.
Injuries have ravaged the defense at every level, putting the pressure on Josh Allen and this offense to get going.
They haven’t fired on all cylinders of late, but there’s still time to turn things around.
8. Miami Dolphins (6-3)
There’s no denying that Miami’s offense is dynamic.
The Dolphins lead the NFL in total yards (435.3) and points (31.7) per game. They’ve been able to run the ball efficiently and create big plays in the passing game.
However, Miami’s six wins have come against sub-par competition. Its three losses have come at the hands of the Chiefs, Bills, and Eagles.
Next time the opportunity arises, Mike McDaniel’s squad needs to prove it can take down the league’s elite.
7. Dallas Cowboys (5-3)
The Cowboys are 5-3 but have a better point differential than the Eagles, who they probably should’ve beaten in Philadelphia last week.
Dallas’ defense, led by NFL DPOY odds favorite Micah Parsons, remains one of the league’s most dominant units, and the offense is making more explosive plays.
I’d love to see a bit more out of Tony Pollard, but otherwise, the Cowboys look like they’re heading in the right direction.
6. Detroit Lions (6-2)
Detroit has handled preseason expectations well and looks set to win its first-ever NFC North title.
Still, the Lions have plenty of room for improvement if they want to contend beyond their sub-par division.
Red-zone efficiency is one area of concern for OC Ben Johnson as his unit is scoring touchdowns on just 48.15% of its trips inside the 20 (24th in the NFL).
5. San Francisco 49ers (5-3)
Is this three-game losing streak a blip or something to be concerned about?
Injuries, especially on offense, have played their part, and it’s clear that Brock Purdy can’t carry this team on his own. He’ll need Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle to be at their best come January.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (5-3)
After four games, Joe Burrow had a passer rating of 69.1. After eight games, it’s up to 90.6.
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It’s safe to say that Cincy’s quarterback is back at 100% after dealing with an early-season calf injury. That’s good news for Bengals fans.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (8-1)
The Eagles opened up a 2.5-game lead in the NFC East with their win over the Cowboys, giving Philadelphia a clear path to another division title and the top seed in the conference once again.
The connection between Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown has been nearly as unstoppable as the brotherly shove, but something still isn’t quite clicking defensively. That unit hasn’t been as dominant as it was last season.
2. Baltimore Ravens (7-2)
What can’t the Ravens do?
Baltimore has the league’s best scoring defense (13.8 points allowed per game) and has put up 30-plus points in three straight games.
Lamar Jackson is playing at an MVP level in his first season under OC Todd Monken, which should be a scary thought for the rest of the league.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (7-2)
The Chiefs have a legitimate defense? Ruh roh.
Steve Spagnuolo’s unit allows 15.9 points (second-fewest in the NFL) and 288.2 yards (fourth-fewest) per game. Having the ability to play complimentary football is almost unfair when you have Patrick Mahomes on the other side of the ball.
As has been the case for the last half-decade, Kansas City will be in the mix come January.