Thursday, March 23 2023

As the NFL season reaches its halfway point, several teams are looking to prove themselves as legitimate Super Bowl contenders.

FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd ranked which teams he believes are the best among the contenders. Here is Cowherd’s “Herd Hierarchy” heading into Week 9, with insights from FOX Bet

Herd Hierarchy: Seahawks, 49ers make big leap in Colin’s Top 10 of Week 9

Colin Cowherd ranked which teams are the top 10 in the NFL as the season reaches the halfway mark.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 4)

Overall record: 4-4 | Last week: Bengals lost 32-13 vs. Cleveland Browns

Colin’s thoughts: “Listen, the Chiefs lost to the Colts. It’s OK on the road to have a bad game. Three of their four losses have come on the road. They struggled to block Myles Garrett. Ja’Marr Chase has been out. Joe Burrow‘s been sacked 99 times over the last two years. They’ve got to get that O-line fixed on the edges, they’ve helped it on the interior. They’ve got the Panthers, the bye, and the Steelers coming up, so they’re going to be fine, but the Browns own them.”

Championship odds: +3000

Up next: Bengals vs. Panthers (1 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)

9. Seattle Seahawks (Last week: Unranked)

Overall record: 5-3 | Last week: Seahawks won 27-13 vs. New York Giants

Colin’s thoughts: “Are the Seahawks a good story or a good team? I don’t know, but they’re No. 4 in the league in scoring, they’ve had the best draft I can recall in years: two tackles, star running back, star corner, star pass-rusher. They have 14 sacks over the last three weeks. They lead the NFL. Their defense has seven games with multiple takeaways. They hit it out of the park. Pete Carroll has always done very well with young players who buy into his relentless energy.”

Championship odds: +6600

Up next: Seahawks @ Cardinals (4:05 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)

8. Baltimore Ravens (Last week: 10)

Overall record: 5-3 | Last week: Ravens won 27-22 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Colin’s thoughts: “I love the Ravens. They drive me nuts, but they’ve got the easiest remaining schedule, the No. 2 rushing offense in the league, the highest rushing average, they can control the clock. And by the way, Lamar Jackson has won 75% of his games and yes, he can win it in the fourth quarter too, like he did last week. He’s had back-to-back games without a turnover. There are so many things I like about this franchise.”

Championship odds: +1400

Up next: Ravens @ Saints (8:15 p.m. ET Monday, ESPN)

7. Miami Dolphins (Last week: 6)

Overall record: 5-3 | Last week: Dolphins won 31-27 vs. Detroit Lions

Colin’s thoughts: “Right now, the Dolphins are good. I think post-Thanksgiving, when there’s cold and windy weather, it’ll be a different-looking offense. But they’re 5-0 this year in games Tua Tagovailoa starts and finishes. They’re terrific on third down. Did you know that the only offense that throws the ball better, in terms of numbers, are the Bills and the Chiefs? So, between the coach, the tight end, Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle – this is explosive.”

Championship odds: +2200

Up next: Dolphins @ Bears (1 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS)

6. Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 8)

Overall record: 6-2 | Last week: Cowboys won 49-29 vs. Chicago Bears

Colin’s thoughts: “The only losses for this team this year were in Game 1, when Dak Prescott was injured, and at Philadelphia, and Philadelphia is really good. Their defense is fantastic. They lead the NFL with 33 sacks. Sometimes they get them without bringing that much pressure. They take the ball away. Now, can they come to terms with Tony Pollard as their running back? He’s their star running back, not [Ezekiel Elliott].”

Championship odds: +1600

Up next: Bye week

5. Minnesota Vikings (Last week 5)

Overall record: 6-1 | Last week: Vikings won 34-26 vs. Arizona Cardinals

Colin’s thoughts: “The Vikings added T.J. Hockenson, another added weapon for this offense. They’re one of two teams in the league with 10 touchdown passes and 10 rushing touchdowns, the Eagles are the other. Yes, they’re winning close games, but that’s why they got T.J. Hockenson, so you can’t double up on Justin Jefferson and take him out of game plans. I like them. Do I love them? I’ll give you this: You add a great tight end to Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, and Justin Jefferson … they’ve got a lot of the elements.”

Championship odds: +1400

Up next: Vikings @ Commanders (1 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)

4. San Francisco 49ers (Last week: 9)

Overall record: 4-4 | Last week: 49ers won 31-14 vs. Los Angeles Rams

Colin’s thoughts: “If you don’t get the 49ers, I can’t help you. OK, they lost to Kansas City after Kansas City came off a loss to Buffalo, who’s a buzzsaw. But Jimmy Garoppolo, hate to break it to you, had his fourth straight game with multiple touchdown passes. He’s got four games with a 100-plus passer rating. This week, they crushed the Rams without Deebo Samuel, without their great fullback. Every week they get another healthy player back. Eighth straight wins over the Rams.”

Championship odds: +1200

Up next: Bye week

3. Buffalo Bills (Last Week: 1)

Overall record: 6-1 | Last week: Bills won 27-17 vs. Green Bay Packers

Colin’s thoughts: “I know they won and everybody loved it, but does anyone bail on their running game faster than the Buffalo Bills? They’re getting too cocky, too much chatter. You don’t have any wins. Where are your Super Bowls? You couldn’t get them with Jim Kelly, and you’re not getting them now. I like the team, but they bail on their run game and they’re overly Josh Allen-centric. Sometimes you’ve got to take the ball out of your best player’s hands to protect him from himself. They’ve got the No. 1 offense and the best yardage differential. Josh Allen’s accounted for 21 of their 23 touchdowns this year. Stop bailing on your run game.”

Championship odds: +260

Up next: Bills at Jets (1 p.m. Sunday, CBS)

2. Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 2)

Overall record: 5-2 | Last week: Bye (Chiefs won 44-23 vs. San Francisco 49ers in Week 7)

Colin’s thoughts: “What do you want me to say? They’re 19-3 off a bye with Andy Reid, so you know they’re winning this week. They’ve got the best third-down offense. Why did I put them at No. 2? They’re susceptible on the backend of their defense. They’ve allowed the most passing touchdowns in the league. Some of that is because they lead late, some of that is because they gave up a really good corner to the Niners. I really do worry in the AFC that they’re vulnerable on the backend of that defense.”

Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs offense dismantle 49ers in Week 7

“First Things First” discusses the Chiefs dominant win over the 49ers.

Championship odds: +650

Up next: Chiefs vs. Titans (8:20 p.m. Sunday, NBC)

1. Philadelphia Eagles (Last week: 3)

Overall record: 7-0 | Last week: Eagles won 35-13 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Colin’s thoughts: “Philadelphia played and won by a rout. They no longer appear to be just a great story, they appear to be a great team. They take the ball away and don’t give it up. When you give a young quarterback a star receiver … A.J. Brown stretches that field. What a get by Howie Roseman, the GM. I’ll put them at No. 1, they played and won in a rout.”

Championship odds: +500

Up next: Eagles @ Texans (8:15 p.m. Thursday, Amazon Prime)

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Source: FOX Sports


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