11. Denver Broncos (5-5)
Sue me. I don’t care. The Denver Broncos are the hottest team in the NFL right now and have figured out a winning formula. This team has forced a whopping 12 turnovers over last three games. Their scoring defense has allowed just 17.4 points per game over the last five games. The defense is legitimate now and QB Russell Wilson is playing very well. He’s not lighting it up through the air, but he’s got 19 touchdowns against just four interceptions and has orchestrated two-straight game-winning drives in the fourth quarter.
10. Houston Texans (6-4)
I think a mark of a good team is if they’re able to win ugly. CJ Stroud threw three interceptions in Week 11, and the Texans were still able to get the win. Obviously the Arizona Cardinals are not at all good, but it’s abundantly clear that the Texans are a very well-coached, frisky team that already feels like a shoe-in to make the postseason this year.
9. Cleveland Browns (7-3)
Now that Deshaun Watson is out for the year, I’m really curious to see if the Browns can keep up in the AFC playoff race with a backup QB in Dorian Thompson-Robinson and a stout defense. They have given themselves a bit of a cusion with their record, but it’s clear that the Browns are not going to go toe to toe with the elites of the AFC.