NFL power rankings, no. 22: Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers started the season on a great note and with a fairly easy schedule to start the year there was a legitimate chance that the Panthers would start the season with a record around 5-3 or 6-2.
However, Christian McCaffrey got hurt and Sam Darnold started showing his true colors, playing like he did previously with the New York Jets. McCaffrey coming back in Week 9 was not enough as the Patriots blew out the Panthers.
The Panthers very well could sneak into the playoffs because of the playoff picture that we already mentioned and as a bettor, I hope they do so I can bet against Sam Darnold.
NFL power rankings, no. 21: Minnesota Vikings
The LA Chargers are taking on the Minnesota Vikings in Week 10 and the Vikings should not be considered a push-over. Sure, Minnesota ranks in the bottom dozen in the league but every game they have played has been close and Dalvin Cook against the Chargers' run defense is a scary thought.
The Vikings are a very weird football team. Literally every single game has been decided by one possession and in many ways they too look like the Chargers from 2020. They have a 3-5 record and could very easily be 5-3 and be in control of the sixth playoff spot in the NFC.
But they aren't and while you can play what-ifs all day the fact is that they have really struggled to win close games, hence why they are ranked as low as they are.