The Sunday and Monday night games in Week 10 really were a let down compared to all the other games. Prior to the Sunday night affair, 17 teams scored 24 or more points, including 10 teams scoring 30 or more.
The real story of the week, though, was injuries to quarterbacks. Four starting quarterbacks left due to injury. Michael Vick, Alex Smith and Jay Cutler all left with concussions, while Ben Roethlisberger left with a shoulder injury. Three of those injuries have major playoff implications, and the Vick injury pretty much solidifies the Eagles’ fate.
As far as the rankings go, the Houston Texans regain the top spot with their impressive road victory over Chicago. The Giants slide more than anyone, falling five spots to No. 10 and the Titans move up the most, gaining nine spots up to the No. 20 spot.
Teams’ previous ranking in ( ).
1. Houston Texans (2): Houston went on the road in nasty weather and came away with a win. It’s starting to get that feel that this is truly the year for the Texans.
2. Atlanta Falcons (1): The Falcons are in no trouble of losing their lead in the division, and still look good for a first round bye.
3. Chicago Bears (3): All that matters in Chicago is Jay Cutler’s health. If he misses a significant amount of time, their playoff seed is likely to drop and they will have to open up on the road.
4. Baltimore Ravens (6): The Ravens absolutely dismantled the Raiders. They face their biggest game of the season this week as they play the division rival Steelers.
5. San Francisco 49ers (4): The 49ers struggled against the Rams, but the Rams have proven to be fairly competitive this year. Colin Kaepernick appears to be a decent option if Alex Smith misses time due to a concussion.
6. New England Patriots (8): The Patriots defense is still a big liability. However, with their schedule the rest of the year, I expect they may just finish No. 2 in the AFC which would be good enough for a first round bye.
7. Green Bay Packers (7): Green Bay had the week off and will have to find a way to slow down Megatron as they travel to Detroit in Week 11.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (9): The Steelers got the win but at a significant cost. They will be in serious trouble if Big Ben misses more than a week or two.
9. Denver Broncos (10): Peyton Manning has completed at least 70 percent of his passes for six straight games. Just another ho-hum record for possibly the greatest of all-time.
10. New York Giants (5): The Giants got absolutely shredded against the Bengals. More importantly, where is the offense? Eli Manning has not thrown a touchdown pass in his last three games.
11. Seattle Seahawks (11): Seattle has as many wins as the division leading 49ers, but are two games back in the loss column. Nonetheless, Seattle is looking like a huge sleeper and like a team that could be very dangerous in the next few years.
12. Indianapolis Colts (12): The Colts took care of business against the Jags and even though they are two games behind the Texans, they still have both of their matchups against Houston ahead of them. And if the playoffs started today, they would face Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Hmmm.
13. Minnesota Vikings (13): The Vikings have now doubled my predicted win total for them, and they still have six games to play. However, five of those games will come against Chicago, Green Bay and Houston.
14. New Orleans Saints (14): The Saints remain at 14 despite beating the Falcons. However, this team is starting to click and if they reel off a bunch of wins in a row and sneak into the playoffs, nobody is going to want to play them.
15. Dallas Cowboys (15): The Cowboys got a huge win and gained a game on the Giants and can get within one game next week if they can take care of the Browns.
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (16): The Bucs couldn’t do anything on defense in the first half, allowing more than 250 yards passing and three touchdowns. In the second half though, they allowed just three points total to get the win. They move to 5-4 and right in the thick of the wildcard race.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (20): Cincinnati did everything right on Sunday and if they can keep that up over the next month, they could find themselves right back in the division race in the AFC North.
18. Detroit lions (18): The Lions defense let them down again. They better figure something out quickly as they face Aaron Rodgers and company in Week 11.
19. Philadelphia Eagles (17): The Nick Foles era is under way. It looks like he might be a pretty good quarterback if he gets some more seasoning. I’d start him the rest of the season and get a better look at him for next year.
20. Tennessee Titans (29): Chris Johnson is finally running with consistency and as a result, the Titans are playing much better football.
21. Arizona Cardinals (21): The Cardinals started the season 4-0 and they could finish 4-12. I’m not saying they will lose 12 straight, but looking at their schedule, it is conceivable. And I’d be downright shocked if they finished better than 6-10.
22. Miami Dolphins (19): Miami had a nice run going but now they sit at 4-5, two games behind the Patriots. They have some tough games left and it appears as if their surprising season has come to an end.
23. San Diego Chargers (23): The Chargers have taken the Jekyll and Hyde moniker away from the Cowboys. The Chargers can look like the best team in football for a series, a quarter, a half or a game, and then turn around and look like the worst team. How do you figure this team out?
24. Washington Redskins (24): The Redskins appear to be in a battle for third place in the NFC East. And hey, I suppose that is some sort of improvement over recent years, right?
25. St. Louis Rams (27): The Rams successfully ran two fake punts inside their own 30-yard line on Sunday. It’s probably safe to say they won’t be able to do that again. Then on second thought, you’d think they’d only be able to get away with it once in any given game.
26. Buffalo Bills (26): The Bills continue to give the Patriots a great game, but they just can’t seem to finish. That defense continues to give up major points on a weekly basis.
27. New York Jets (22): The Jets’ season is dangerously close to being on life support. It’s time for Tebow. He can’t make things much worse, can he
28. Oakland Raiders (25): The Raiders got absolutely crushed by the Ravens. It’s getting to the point where it’s hard to even think the Raiders will ever become relevant again.
29. Carolina Panthers (28): For probably the first time in his life, Cam Newton can’t lead his team to wins. He just seems like a completely different player this year.
30. Cleveland Browns (30): I expect the Browns to give Dallas a good game but they just don’t have the weapons to be able to come away with the win.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (31): The Jags will likely be underdogs in all of their remaining games. They will be in a dogfight with the Chiefs for that No. 1 overall pick.
32. Kansas City Chiefs (32): On paper the Chiefs have some pretty good talent. On the field, well, let’s just say it’s a different story. They put up a good fight against a far superior team on Monday Night though.