NFL Power Rankings Week 10: Where Each Team Stands After Roller-Coaster Week 9
The last couple of weeks have caused some major shakeups in the NFL power rankings.
Some teams have redeemed themselves after terrible starts, while others dropped like bricks.
It is also getting to the point in the season where the records—good or bad—are no longer flukes. There are some exceptions, but in most cases Bill Parcells is right when he says, "You are what you're record says you are."
Here are the full power rankings for Week 10 in the NFL season, highlighted by the biggest movers after Week 9.
1. Atlanta Falcons
Another week, another win for the Atlanta Falcons. The close games only give the team more confidence for the remainder of the season and the playoffs.
2. Houston Texans
Once again, the Texans proved they are the most complete team in the NFL. Matt Schaub showed that he can produce when defenses try to stop the run game, and Houston's defense showed that it is hard to do anything against them.
3. Chicago Bears
It does not matter how good the offense is if the defense does all the scoring for the team. Still, the Bears offense is pretty good as well. Jay Cutler finally has someone to throw to in Brandon Marshall.
4. San Francisco 49ers
A bye week only slows down the momentum of the defense, which has held opponents to six points or less in four of the last five games. On the other hand, the rest makes this unit downright scary for the rest of the league.
5. Green Bay Packers
Those concerned with a couple of early-season losses now have their mouths shut. The Packers are just as good as last year and will be one of the top Super Bowl contenders when the postseason begins.
6. New England Patriots
The second-half schedule is tougher than originally anticipated, but the Patriots should have little problem getting into the playoffs.
At that point, however, the success will come down to how much the young defense can improve by then.
7. Baltimore Ravens
Despite the 6-2 record, there are concerns on both sides of the football. The defense needs to be able to survive without Ray Lewis, and Joe Flacco needs to be able to lead an offense efficiently before the Ravens can be considered real contenders.
8. Denver Broncos
The Broncos do not have any bad losses and they are taking care of business when facing inferior teams.
Peyton Manning also looks as good as he ever has, despite his two interceptions in the win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers
Three weeks ago, the Steelers looked old and overmatched in a loss to the Tennessee Titans. They could not run the ball and it seemed like they could not overcome a few key injuries.
Although Pittsburgh is still dealing with injury problems, the replacements have started to step up and play up to a higher level. Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer have each had solid games at running back in the last few weeks, and the team once again looks like a Super Bowl contender.
In the win over the New York Giants, the Steelers overcame difficult travel arrangements due to Hurricane Sandy, as well as a few questionable calls on the field, to defeat one of the better teams in the NFL on the road.
The defense was dominant and held the opponent to only 182 yards of total offense. The team seized the opportunity to announce to the league that it is back on top.
10. New York Giants
There was no fourth-quarter magic for Eli Manning against the Steelers. In fact, there was no magic of any kind.
Manning had a 41.1 quarterback rating in the loss. This team is not good enough to afford that kind of production and escape with a win.
11. Detroit Lions
First the Lions figure out that there are other receivers on the roster besides Calvin Johnson. Then, they discover a running game with Mikel Leshoure.
With these extra weapons, Detroit can be a dangerous team for the rest of the year.
12. Indianapolis Colts
Few could have predicted that the Colts would be in a position for a playoff spot at the midway point of the season, but here they are.
Considering this team won only two games last year, Andrew Luck should be in consideration for the MVP award in addition to Rookie of the Year.
The quarterback has lived up to the hype instilled upon him before the NFL draft. He shows great poise in the pocket and makes accurate throws. He also seems to learn from mistakes instead of getting down on himself.
Indianapolis has a few tough games remaining, including a pair against the Texans, but this young team has a chance to surprise everyone and sneak into the playoffs.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This Doug Martin fellow is pretty good. In the last two games, the rookie running back has 386 rushing yards, 100 receiving yards and six touchdowns. That is a good season for many players.
There are still issues on defense, but this offense has the ability to carry the team into the playoffs.
14. Seattle Seahawks
The young team had a stretch of four tough games and ended with a respectable 2-2 record, including a win over the New England Patriots. They have arguably the best home-field advantage in the NFL and are only getting better over the course of the season.
15. Miami Dolphins
Miami should be satisfied with a 4-4 record after coming into the season with lowered expectations, but this squad is not done winning. Joe Philbin should be one of the top contenders for Coach of the Year based on the job he has done so far.
16. Minnesota Vikings
The loss to the Seahawks is not as bad as the potential loss of Percy Harvin for an extended period of time. At least Adrian Peterson is just as good as he was before his injury.
17. San Diego Chargers
Since Week 2, the only team the Chargers have been able to beat is the Kansas City Chiefs. It will take more than that to be considered playoff contenders.
18. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys' last three losses have all been by less than a touchdown. While this might be considered bad luck, it is also indicative of poor game management. Something needs to change in Dallas for the team to be successful.
19. Philadelphia Eagles
Andy Reid cannot afford too many more losses if he wants to keep his job. The record does not match the talent and the head coach will be the first person to blame.
20. Oakland Raiders
Over the last few weeks, the Raiders proved that they are better than the bottom feeders in the NFL, but not yet ready to compete with the best. At least they are heading in the right direction after a bad start.
21. Arizona Cardinals
Arizona's 4-0 start was no fluke. The team had four impressive wins over the Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles.
However, things went downhill when Kevin Kolb got hurt and John Skelton once again took over the starting job. Unlike last year, the replacement has been unable to lead his team to victory.
The offensive line has been atrocious, allowing by far the most sacks in the NFL. This alone makes it nearly impossible to succeed in a league built upon controlling the line of scrimmage.
At this point, it does not matter which player is at quarterback. The season has fallen apart quicker than anyone could have imagined.
22. Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati is better than it has performed during its four-game losing streak. Unfortunately, it will not matter if the team is eliminated from the playoffs in the next few weeks.
23. Washington Redskins
Robert Griffin III is human after all. More importantly, we learned that this team is still more than just a couple of players away from becoming contenders.
24. Buffalo Bills
Allowing only 118 rushing yards by the Texans should be considered a huge accomplishment after the way the Bills have played this year. Now imagine what could happen if the offense and defense play well in the same game.
25. New York Jets
With the No. 27 total offense in the NFL and still no Tim Tebow, the Jets coaching staff is losing a lot of fans in New York.
However, there are more problems on this roster to believe that a glorified fullback will make too much of a difference.
26. St. Louis Rams
Two games against the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots are followed by a road game against the San Francisco 49ers after the bye.
There is no shame in losing, but they must respond positively after this tough stretch to keep confidence.
27. Tennessee Titans
The Titans finally seemed to turn things around with consecutive wins to get to 3-4 on the year. A few better bounces in an overtime loss to the Indianapolis Colts could have helped the team get to .500.
However, the two losses give the team a 3-6 record on the season. That is enough to put a fork in this promising squad.
Against the Bears, Tennessee never had a chance with five turnovers and a blocked punt. It was an embarrassing performance from start to finish. The Titans looked more like a middle school team running around in circles.
Matt Hasselbeck's best years are behind him and the team will not be able to win with veteran quarterback under center.
28. Carolina Panthers
Finally, some life out of Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Unlike last year, the defense has performed well, but the quarterback needs to improve his play in order to put more marks in the "W" column.
29. New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees is playing as well as ever, but it does not matter if the defense cannot stop anyone. Every opponent has topped 24 points against the Saints, making it difficult to improve upon the miserable start to the season.
30. Cleveland Browns
At least the Browns are staying competitive in losses. Trent Richardson looks like the top prospect that was drafted in the first round, but there are still too many holes on both sides of the football.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars
The team cannot pass or run on offense, and it cannot defend the pass or run on defense. This is not a very good recipe for success in the NFL.
32. Kansas City Chiefs
With a turnover differential of minus-20, the Chiefs are twice as bad as the next worse team in the AFC. Even the best teams cannot score if they do not hold onto the football.
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