Each week, we look through the Sunday NFL results to find one team that’s rising, one team that’s sinking, and one team that stays at the same level. You’ll see these changes reflected in our weekly Football Relativity comparison of all 32 teams.
Rise – Houston Texans – The Texans keep losing quarterbacks, but they keep on winning. They moved to 9-3 behind T.J. Yates and a strong running game with a 17-10 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Houston’s run game and defense will allow it to win more traditionally down the stretch, and with just another couple of wins they should be safe to make the playoffs. No matter what happens in January, that would be a huge step forward for the franchise.
Sink – Oakland Raiders – The Raiders lost 34-14 in Miami to a surging Dolphins team, and while the loss in itself isn’t terrible, getting blown out like they did is. Now the Raiders are in a dogfight with the Broncos for the AFC West title. Both teams are 7-5, and Oakland’s trip to Green Bay this week means that he Raiders have the worst of the schedule draw. That means the Raiders need to bounce back in a big way, and quick, if they want to finally make it back to the playoffs.
Float – Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys lost 19-13 in overtime in Arizona, which isn’t a terrible loss. But it is a missed opportunity to seize control of the NFC East. Dallas still has a one-game lead, in large part because everyone else in the division lost as well. But if the Cowboys are going to be serious contenders, they will need to take care of business in games like the one they just lost. Instead, Dallas must now be very careful about its two matchups against the New York Giants, the first of which happens this week in JerryWorld.