NFL Power Rankings | Week 10 - Packers, Titans, Cardinals
The Packers are the new leaders of the NFL Power Rankings after shutting out the Seahawks, while Detroit's tie wasn't enough to lift them from the bottom.
We are well into the second half of the NFL regular season, and we continue to have plenty of movement at the top of the AS.com Power Rankings. The Packers are on top for the first time after Aaron Rodgers came back from COVID to help Green Bay blank the Seahawks, while the Patriots and the Chiefs roll into the Top 10.
1) Green Bay Packers 8-2 (up from 2nd)
Who would have guessed that Aaron Rodgers returning for Green Bay would spell good news for the Packers? Uhhh, probably everyone. His absence was more than obvious last week when the Pack almost posted a donut against the Chiefs in the 13-7 loss at Arrowhead. Like last week, the defense held up their end of the deal, blanking the Seattle Seahawks in a flurry filled day at Lambeau. They have allowed just 13 points over the course of the last two weeks and have given up over 20 points just three times this year. It may have taken Rodgers and the Pack a bit to get going, scoring just three points through three quarters, but with a defense like theirs, and the reigning MVP under center you wouldn’t bet against them in the fourth quarter or any other time.
2) Tennessee Titans 8-2 (up from 3rd)
Remember a few weeks ago when Derrick Henry was terrorizing NFL defenses on his way to building a MVP caliber resumè, and it seemed that the Titans were a one trick pony that would just let King Henry carry them to victory? Well, gone are those days and so too are the days of people doubting Mike Vrable and the Titans defense that was at one point in the season was one of the most fragile in the league. The Tennessee offense did not look great, and if the Saints don’t make one of the handful of self inflicted mistakes committed at pivotal times of the game, then the Titans may not win their sixth straight. The AFC South looks just about a lock for the Titans, but the name of the game right now for Tennessee is surviving until the King (who was ruled out 6-10 weeks) comes back. They have the Texans and the Patriots in the next two weeks before their bye in Week 13.
3) Arizona Cardinals 8-2 (down from 1st)
Their loss to the new look Carolina Panthers makes it two losses in their last three. This was a concern even when the Cardinals were rolling through opponents early in the season. When the going got tough and they face adversity, how would this young side that is new to winning handle the bumps in the road? It’s true that they are with one of the MVP candidates of this season, Kyler Murray, but it wasn’t a problem last week when Colt McCoy stepped in and threw for 250 yards and a touchdown. Arizona had just 169 yards of offense and their defense gave up a season high 34 points to the Panthers. Murray looks to be on a week to week basis with an ankle injury, and the Cardinals hope that he comes back sooner rather than later to turn the page on this rough chapter of their season.
4) Dallas Cowboys 7-2 (up from 7th)
Dak and Dallas got back on track after their shocking defeat to the Denver last week. A 43-3 win over the Falcons was just what the doctor ordered following Prescott’s unsuccessful return from injury. Before the hiccup against the Broncos the Cowboys had lost a tight season opener to the Bucs before rattling off six straight wins including the Vikings game with Cooper Rush as their starting quarterback. Dak put the Denver game in the rear view by going 24/31 with 296 yards and two touchdowns against Atlanta. Dallas’ offense is the undisputed heavyweight in the NFL at the moment averaging a league high 433 yards and 31.6 points per game, but the Cowboys have a meat grinder of a schedule over the next three weeks, and that will tell us if Dallas are contenders or pretenders.
5) Los Angeles Rams 7-3 (fifth last week)
The Rams are hanging tight in the Top-5, but just barely. They have been seriously exposed over the last few weeks as their physicality has been called into question after games against the Titans last week and the 49ers on Monday. The new additions to the teams certainly look promising for the Rams future, but Odell Beckham and Von Miller had debuts to forget as the Rams got dominated physically. Matt Stafford had thrown just two interceptions going in to the game against the Titans last week, but he has thrown four in the last two weeks. He is not the only one coming under scrutiny, the star studded defensive unit has been gashed over the last few weeks. Can coach Sean McVay inject that mean, nasty mentality that seems to be alluding the Rams at the moment?
6) Buffalo Bills 6-3 (up from 8th)
There’s nothing like beating up on a division rival to unleash some pent up frustration brought on by a loss to one of the bottom teams in the league. It’s easy to imagine that Josh Allen and the Bills were desperate to take the field against the Jets in the Meadowlands after losing 9-6 to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 9. The Bills still tote the best defensive side in the league, allowing just 15 points and 274 yards of offense per game, and despite a little bump in the road against the Jags their offense is still a top three unit. Allen passed for 366 yards and a couple touchdowns, while the defense forced Mike White into four interceptions. They look like they have righted the ship, but things aren’t as easy as they once looking in the AFC East with the Patriots putting pressure on the Bills
7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-3 (down from 4th)
The Washington Football Team stunned the Bucs over the weekend to hand Tampa Bay their second straight loss. It was one of those games that make you question everything you think you know about the NFL. Tampa Bay was coming off of a bye week after a loss to Trevor Siemian and the Saints in Week 8. Tom Brady is usually automatic coming off a bye, especially if the bye came right after a loss. But Brady threw two interceptions in a game in which Washington had 40 minutes of possession compared to the Bucs 20 minutes. This is the NFL, losses will come and go, like they did when the Bucs lost to the Rams in Week 3 and when they lost to the Saints in Week 8, but there are some losses that simply can’t be explained. The defending Super Bowl champs just suffered one of those inexplicable losses, and will now have to show their maturity and mental fortitude before losing a third straight game and going into crisis mode in western Florida.
8) Kansas City Chiefs 6-4 (weren’t in Top 10)
Well, well, well. Would you look at what we have here? It’s the Kansas City Chiefs. The same team that couldn’t stop a nose bleed on the defensive end. The same team led by Patrick Mahomes who looked just a shadow of himself as of a few weeks ago. While the nature of the NFL is to instill panic at the first sign of trouble, but it seems like the Chiefs absorbed the early season blow and shaken it off like a championship caliber team. Since getting stomped by the Titans in Week 7, Kansas City has won three straight. I don’t think we need to stop the season and crown the Chiefs champs just yet seeing as they beat the Giants, the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers and the quickly sinking Las Vegas Raiders, but if the defense can sort itself out, like they have over the last three weeks (allowing less that 13 points a game) the Chiefs are going to make it awfully difficult for the rest of the AFC come playoff time.
9) Baltimore Ravens 6-3 (down from 6th)
Blame the short week if you want, but the Baltimore Ravens came out flat and uninspired against the Dolphins on Thursday night. They made the Dolphins defense look like the ’85 Bears defensive unit, and they did so against the league’s most explosive player. Before Week 10 the Ravens had made a habit of winning tight games, but they had no answer for the Miami defense. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, the Ravens are a couple plays that don’t go there way away from hovering around .500.
10) New England Patriots 6-4 (weren’t in Top 10)
Don’t look now, but Mac Jones and the Patriots are making a serious run for the division title in the AFC East. It may be too early to know if Bill Belichick and the Foxborough faithful have their second coming of Tom Brady in New England, but Jones is having by far the best season of any of the rookie QBs with 2,333 yards, 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions with completing nearly 70% of his passes. In the Patriots’ last seven games they have won five, including four straight. Their only losses in that time came to the Cowboys in overtime and a last minute. Things are finally looking up for the Pats fans in the post Brady era.
28) Miami Dolphins 3-7 (up from 29th)
The Dolphins defense came to play against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night. They have won their last two an had a chance to beat the Falcons at the end of last month. Things are starting to look up in the South of Florida and getting Tua Tagovailoa will only help the Dolphins win games in the near future. Miami had to look for other ways of winning games without Tua, and now that they get their starter back for the final stretch of the regular season.
29) New York Jets 2-7 (down from 28th)
The New York Jets miraculously have two wins over quality opponents, but that doesn’t mask the fact that they are a team lacking in nearly every facet of the game. That was evident in their game against Buffalo on Sunday. The Bills used New York as their punching bag after losing to the Jags two weekends ago. The Jets will be eager to get Zach Wilson back from injury to finish the season and get some more experience under his belt in his rookie year.
30) Jacksonville Jaguars 2-7 (weren’t in bottom 5)
The Jaguars have started to look more competitive in recent weeks, but they still sit at two wins and they still have some very evident deficiencies on the offensive side of the ball. Trevor Lawerence is still figuring out NFL defenses in his rookie year. He struggled against the Colts, going 16/35 for 162 yards. The run game came alive, combining for a total of 180 yards. The best way to win games with a struggling rookie QB is to run the ball and play good defense. If the defense can play like they have in the last couple games and the run game comes to life the Jags could win a few more games before the year is up.
31) Houston Texans (31st last week)
No team in the league needed a bye week more than the Houston Texans. They won their season opener against the Jaguars, but have been getting battered since then. They haven’t scored more than 22 points in a game since Week 1 and the defense isn’t doing them any favors. They have some winnable games ahead, but that certainly doesn’t guarantee that they will win those games and climb out of the bottom five.
32) Detroit Lions 0-8-1 (32nd last week)
Quick question, what’s worse going 0-16 or 0-15-1? I’m not saying the Lions are going to go 0-16, but if they do end up winless at the end of the year they will look back at the game against the Steelers as one of the most painful defeats, and one of the games that they had the best chance of winning.