NFL Power Rankings Week 10: Philly and KC stay on top after BYE, Ravens clipped, Niners rebound
The two top teams in the league enjoyed a well deserved week off while the rest of the NFL was turned on it’s head with a handful of one possession games.
There were 10 one possession games at the end of Week 10 and five of those games ended with walkoff field goals. The Chiefs and the Eagles both had BYEs which means they stay at the top of the table, while the Niners finally got back on track, and the Cowboys gave another rousing performance in a second straight blowout win.
Here are our Power Rankings after Week 10:
1. Philadelphia Eagles 8-1, last week 1
2. Kansas City Chiefs 7-2, last week 2
3. San Francisco 49ers 6-3, last week 7
Think there was a little pent up frustration that the Niners were itching to release after three straight losses and a BYE week? San Fran looked like the team we had got used to seeing for the first five weeks of the season, and all of the sudden all is well again in the Bay Area. All it took was a little time off, bringing in an all pro EDGE rusher for the D-Line, and recapturing that swagger that Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams provide for the offense.
4. Baltimore Ravens 7-3, last week 4
For as well as they have been playing, we all knew the Ravens were eventually going to lose a game. I doubt many of us thought that they would lose a game up two touchdowns in the fourth quarter against the Browns, but a late game collapse was enough to snap Baltimore’s four game win streak, and throw a shade of doubt into the aura of invincibility the surrounded this group. They have played 600 minutes and have trailed for less than 30 of those minutes and have lost three games. That would indicate this team’s difficulties closing out tight games late in the fourth quarter.
5. Detroit Lions 7-2, last week 6
After the Lions got blown out in Baltimore a few weeks ago, Dan Campbell came out and said it maybe the best thing that happened to his team. They have responded with two straight wins, doing it in very different ways. The Lions can win with defense, and they can win by lighting up the scoreboard. That versatility makes them a tough team to match up with, and if David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs are running rampant on opposing defenses, that is only going to make Jared Goff’s life that much easier.
6. Dallas Cowboys 6-3, last week 8
I could sit here and drool over Dallas’ blowout of the Giants, but everyone knew that was coming. Instead I’ll spend the next few lines raining praise on CeeDee Lamb, who should be the only WR in the same conversation as Tyreek Hill. What he has been doing over the last few games has never been seen in the NFL. No one in the Super Bowl era has had three straight games with 10+ catches and three straight games with 150+ yards. He came out and said it in his post game interview, " I’m the top receiver in this game. There’s no question about it. If there is, I’ll see you again next week.” That’s exactly the kind of swag Lamb should have, and the Cowboys need. Can’t wait to see what he has in store for next week against… the Panthers, L…O…L.
7. Cincinnati Bengals 5-4, last week 5
Let’s not get carried away with the Bengals loss to the Texans. Sure Joe Burrow threw two INTs in the fourth quarter, and couldn’t punch the Bengals into the end zone on a goal to go situation with under 2:00 to go in the fourth. But he did throw for 350 yards, he did throw 2 TDs, and the early season problems that seemed to plague the Bengals, plague them no more. Cincy had won four straight including the last two against the Niners and the Bills. This was a classic let down situation, and the Bengals almost beat the Texans in spite of that.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars 6-3, last week 3
Losses like the one the Jags suffered after their BYE week at the hands of the Niners can be awfully damaging. In the blink of an eye, the five game win streak was forgotten about as alarm bells, and boo birds alike started to ring around TIAA Bank Field. We had seen this team make mistakes, but not get punished for them over the last month. That wasn’t the case on Sunday against San Fran. Getting their streak snapped stings, but getting beaten like that can have a lasting effect on this young team.
9. Cleveland Browns 6-3, last week 9
After missing four games with a shoulder injury, and letting the defense do the dirty work to stay in the race in the AFC North Deshaun Watson came back last week and led the Browns in a demolition of the Cardinals in his return. That was a good win, but we needed to see Cleveland tested to get an actual barometer of just how good this team can be. We got that in Baltimore this week, and all the Browns did was put an end to one of the hottest teams in the league’s four game win streak. Coming back from 14 down in the fourth quarter isn’t a way you want to win all your games, but if it means a win over the Ravens you sign on sight.
10. Miami Dolphins 6-3, last week 10
11. Seattle Seahawks 6-3, last week 12
It probably wasn’t exactly what Pete Carroll and the Seahawks had in mind, but they needed to rebound after getting waxed by the Ravens in Week 9. Their game with the Commanders went down to the wire, but Geno Smith came to the rescue with under a minute left in the game leading his side into field goal range and setting up the game winner from Jason Meyers. They have the same record as the Niners who are both 6-3 in the NFC West, but the Seahawks don’t give you that same sort of sensation of a serious contender once the playoffs come around.
12. Minnesota Vikings 6-4, last week 15
It’s impossible not to like Josh Dobbs. He’s risen like a Phoenix from the obscurity of a career back up to a starter on two different teams this season. His first win with the Vikings might have gone down as a fluke, but that second game is so much harder to win once opposing teams have seen what to expect and how to prepare. That didn’t matter in the slightest as Dobbs jumped the Vikes out to a 27-3 lead thanks to his patented blend of his arm and his legs. He tipped his cap to injured QB Kirk Cousins, and his affinity for Creed, with his Tiktok of his TD run with Take Me Higher as the background music. He has bought into the Vikes, and the state of Minnesota has returned the favor.
13. Houston Texans 5-4, last week
The only reason I don’t want to put C.J. Stroud in the MVP conversation, is because I don’t want to jinx him. Can we really say anyone in the league is playing better than him? Aside from his stats, he is leading what might rank among the best turnaround seasons in the history of the league. He went toe to toe with Joe Burrow and for the second straight week landed the KO blow with a game winning drive in the final minute of the game.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers 6-3, last week 17
A warning to the rest of the league. Don’t keep the Steelers in games. They have won nine straight one possession games, and you can attribute that to their incredible defense. In fairness, the Packers were the ones trying to battle back in Pittsburgh on Sunday, and that’s because Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris jumped the Steelers out to an early lead and led TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith carry them to victory. The Steelers have got to 6-3 without the offense hitting stride, but if Warren and Harris can keep up this rhythm up the Steelers might actually have a chance to win the best division in football, the AFC North.
15. Buffalo Bills 5-5, last week 11
The misery continues in Western New York, and as unfair as it sounds to blame one person for their midseason slide, I have to point the finger at Josh Allen. He has the most interceptions (11) and the most turnovers (13) in the league. I can’t imagine what the locker room, specifically Stefon Diggs, was like after Allen was responsible for three of the four Bills turnovers. Despite everything, the Bills had the game won, but Buffalo’s 12 man penalty on the field goal attempt after three straight kneel downs by the Broncos was just as inexcusable as the four turnovers. This team is sinking fast, and if you look at their schedule there may not be an end in sight. Could the Super Bowl door already be closed in Orchard Park?
16. Los Angeles Chargers 4-5, last week 13
If we are being nice, we could say that the Chargers deserve some credit for going blow for blow with the Lions who are looking more and more like one of the league’s best teams. If we are being honest, then we can say that this is a mediocre team that can beat a good team. Of their four wins, the only one that came against a team above .500 was against the Vikings in the beginning of the season, when they stunk too.
17. Denver Broncos 4-5, last week 19
Who would have thought that the biggest asset for the Broncos over their three game win streak would be the same defensive unit that gave up 70 points against the Miami Dolphins. Denver did everything to blow the game, despite forcing four turnovers. They couldn’t get the ball in the end zone even though their average starting field position around their own 40 yard line. Two squandered PATs almost cost them the victory, and Wil Lutz had his butt saved with Buffalo’s 12 men on the field penalty on his failed first attempt at a game winning field goal.
18, New Orleans Saints 5-5, last week 14
Just as we started to believe in the Saints, and Derek Carr, and Alvin Kamara and Tysom Hill they get flattened by the Minnesota Vikings. It’s not easy to prepare for a team who has just made a change at the QB position, and the defense showed that at U.S. Bank Stadium. Meanwhile Derek Carr and the offense couldn’t do anything, even before he took a hit that sidelined him for the rest of the game. Jameis Winston came in and made things interesting in the most Jameis Winston way possible, throwing a couple incredible passes for touchdowns and then throwing a couple of unbelievable passes for interceptions.
19. Indianapolis Colts 5-5, last week 16
Garner Minshew’s first three starts in relief of Anthony Richardson were entertaining, but the Colts lost all three of those shootouts. I know, they played the Panthers and the Pats in the last two weeks, but they have given up a total of 19 points in those games, and rattled off back to back victories. It’s never an easy thing to do, going overseas and coming back with a win, but the Colts did just enough and somehow, this team is .500 going into their BYE week.
20. Las Vegas Raiders 5-5, last week 22
It seems like a rather simple formula, and when interim coach Antonio Pierce spelled it out for us after the Raiders win over the Jets it seems even more obvious, “I’m not stupid. I know who to get the ball to.” Said Pierce. Josh Jacobs who had his first 100 yard game of the season is finally starting to look like the RB he was last year when he led the league in rushing yards, and Davante Adams accounted for more than half of the yards that Aidan O’Connell passed for against the Jets.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-5, last week 25
The Bucs got back in the win column after a four game losing skid and they did so doing what they do best. Getting the ball to Mike Evans and letting the defense do the rest. Todd Bowles defense allowed just over 200 yards and just two field goals to the Titans just a week after giving up 500 yards to the Texans. Evans had six catches for 143 yards an a TD as the Bucs snuck to within a half game of the lead in the NFC South.
22. Washington Commanders 4-6, last week 20
Three straight games of over 300 yards passing for Sam Howell, but that hasn’t translated into wins. The Commanders won just one of those three games, because they are averaging 28 ppg allowed over that stretch. The team that won their first two games of the year have now won just two in their last eight, and are quickly falling out of the playoff picture.
23. Atlanta Falcons 4-6, last week 21
Taylor Heinicke didn’t have a particularly good game, but he has a way of winning games even if it doesn’t look pretty. Unfortunately for the Falcons, he couldn’t take them to the finish line after suffering a hamstring injury late in the game against the Falcons. Desmond Ridder had to come on and tripped over his own feet on a 4th and 1. He did put them in the end zone to take the lead with 2:33 to play, but that was too much time to leave Kyler Murray and the Cards.
24. New York Jets 4-5, last week 18
There has been a sense that the Jets are hanging on by a thread, trying to survive in the off chance that Aaron Rodgers does come back for the final few weeks of the season. Now that they are below .500 things are going to get a little more nervy for Zach Wilson and the Jets who haven’t scored TD since the first quarter of their Week 8 win over the Giants. That’s almost three hours of game time without a touchdown.
25. Green Bay Packers 3-6, last week 23
Jordan Love set a career high in passing yards against the Steelers stingy defense, and had the Packers in position to take the lead late in the fourth quarter. His first interception of the day that came in the red zone with 3:30 left in the game was just a great play from the Steelers. His second one came on the final play of the game, with a throw he probably wouldn’t have made if it wasn’t a desperation situation. The Packers continue to lose, but the good news is Love’s regression seems to have reversed which will give a glimmer of hope for those in the Frozen Tundra.
26. Los Angeles Rams 3-6, last week 24
27. Tennessee Titans 3-6, last week 26
I say it every week, and every week it gets tougher to understand how Derrick Henry isn’t a bigger part of the Titans offense. The Titans ran the ball 16 times, and just 11 of those rushes went to The King. The game wasn’t so out of hand where the Titans needed to air it out with their rookie quarterback, but somehow Tennessee got caught trying to get back into the game with one big play that never came.
28. Chicago Bears 3-7, last week 29
It didn’t take much to beat the Panthers on Thursday night, and Tyson Bagent did the bare minimum to ensure the Bears won their third game of the season. He didn’t do anything to lose the game either, which is all the underrated Bears defense needed to win the game. It was a double win for the Bears, who got a rare victory and kept the Panthers in prime position for the No. 1 pick in this years draft, which of course will be Chicago’s after the trade that went down last year.
29. New England Patriots 2-8, last week 28
The interception that cost the Patriots the game in Frankfurt was maybe the worst throw in the history of the NFL. Even the best players in the game are human, and are prone to the occasional mistake, but that throw Mac Jones left 10 yards short of Mike Gesicki was no ordinary mistake. That’s the kind of throw that costs you your job. It’s the kind of thrown that might assure he is never becomes a starter in the NFL again. Bill Belichick finally pulled the trigger and announced he was benching Jones next game. I’m shocked Jones made it this long as the Pats starter, and I’d be flabbergasted to see him as the starter in Foxborough ever again.
30. Arizona Cardinals 2-8, last week 32
I will admit, I was skeptical of Kyler Murray’s return. More for his safety than anything else. This is a guy who came back from a serious knee injury after almost a calendar year, and returned to a 1-7 team that was not doing a particularly good job protecting their QB. Murray passed for 250 yards, ran for another 33 looking like the guy who was an MVP Candidate not too long ago. It also didn’t hurt that he returned on the same day that the Cardinals got their RB1, James Connor, back.
31. Carolina Panthers 1-8, last week 31
I’m guessing the NFL schedule makers put the Panthers in primetime to put the No. 1 pick in the spotlight, but Bryce Young and the Panthers failed to impress. They got into the red zone just once against the Bears, and their only TD came from a punt return in the first quarter. This isn’t a team ready for a national audience, and hopefully that will be the last time the Panthers on primetime for a while.
32. New York Giants 2-8, last week 30
Yikes. Not sure what else to say about a team that has no offense and no defense. The Giants got steam rolled by the Cowboys, who are playing well, but I can’t see them competing with any team the way things are going in New York.