Week 10 of the 2013 NFL regular season is set to commence on Thursday, Nov. 7, when the Minnesota Vikings host the Washington Redskins. This will be the first of many games that will have a significant impact on the postseason picture.
The question is, how do the standings look entering Week 10? More importantly, how realistic are every team's postseason aspirations?
Let's find out.
|New York Giants||2||6||0||.250|
|Green Bay Packers||5||3||0||.625|
|New Orleans Saints||6||2||0||.750|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0||8||0||.000|
|San Francisco 49ers||6||2||0||.750|
|St. Louis Rams||3||6||0||.333|
|New England Patriots||7||2||0||.778|
|New York Jets||5||4||0||.556|
|Kansas City Chiefs||9||0||0||1.000|
|San Diego Chargers||4||4||0||.500|
32. Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 9: Bye
Week 10: at Tennessee Titans
The Jacksonville Jaguars were on bye during Week 9 but will return to face the Tennessee Titans in Week 10. Jacksonville is currently 0-8 with every loss coming by at least 10 points.
The only question at this point is, do the Jaguars favor defensive end Jadeveon Clowney or quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in the 2014 NFL draft?
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 9: 27-24 OT loss at Seattle Seahawks
Week 10: vs. Miami Dolphins
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost a heart-breaker during Week 9, blowing a fourth-quarter lead en route to a 27-24 defeat against the Seattle Seahawks. It was yet another display of poor play calling and a lack of discipline, as Tampa committed eight costly penalties for 99 yards.
Now, Tampa Bay will host the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football in hopes of winning its first game of the year.
The Bucs currently have 65 offensive penalties and 51 defensive penalties, creating an average of 14.5 per game. Those offensive penalties have resulted in 636 yards lost, which is just 224 yards less than Tampa Bay has picked up on the ground.
It's been a rough season for the Bucs, and the source of those struggles can be found in a lack of discipline.
30. Minnesota Vikings
Week 9: 23-27 loss at Dallas Cowboys
Week 10: vs. Washington Redskins
The Minnesota Vikings may not have a franchise quarterback, but they move closer to being in position to draft one with every passing week.
In Week 9, it was a heart-breaking 27-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys that continued a rough season.
Minnesota is now 1-7.
Adrian Peterson ran for 140 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries, and Christian Ponder had both a passing and rushing score. Unfortunately, Ponder's very strong performance was hindered by his inability to make deep throws downfield.
Fair or foul, Ponder's days are numbered if Minnesota can't begin winning games to close out the season.
29. Atlanta Falcons
Week 9: 10-34 loss at Carolina Panthers
Week 10: vs. Seattle Seahawks
In Week 9, it all boiled over as Atlanta fell to 2-6 with a 34-10 loss against the Carolina Panthers.
Matt Ryan was 20-of-27 for 219 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw three interceptions. It was the embodiment of this season for Atlanta, as even its world-class quarterback could not overcome the number of injuries that the Falcons have sustained.
It won't get any easier in Week 10 when Atlanta faces the Seattle Seahawks.
28. St. Louis Rams
Week 9: 21-28 vs. Tennessee Titans
Week 10: at Indianapolis Colts
The St. Louis Rams lost franchise quarterback Sam Bradford, and it's been all downhill from there.
St. Louis continues to keep games close against high-quality teams, but it's becoming more and more evident that the team cannot make plays in the clutch.
With a Week 10 road game against the Indianapolis Colts, the Rams' season won't get any easier.
Zac Stacy ran the ball for 127 yards and two touchdowns during Week 9, and quarterback Kellen Clemens threw a touchdown. Unfortunately, the Rams were 5-of-13 on third-down conversions and allowed a game-winning 19-yard touchdown run by Chris Johnson.
This season could be going in a different direction if Bradford was healthy, but he isn't.
27. Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 9: 31-55 loss at New England Patriots
Week 10: vs. Buffalo Bills
When the Pittsburgh Steelers play elite defense, the offense fails to put forth the necessary production. When the Steelers explode with dominant displays on offense, the defense seems to collapse.
In Week 9, it was yet another display of a season of imbalance.
Ben Roethlisberger was 28-of-48 for 400 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions, but not even that was enough as Pittsburgh fell 55-31 to the New England Patriots.
Jerricho Cotchery secured three receiving touchdowns, but the defense was unable to make the necessary stops—or any stops.
Pittsburgh will look for a last-ditch victory during Week 10 against the Buffalo Bills.
26. Houston Texans
Week 9: 24-27 loss vs. Indianapolis Colts
Week 10: at Arizona Cardinals
The Houston Texans won their first two games of the season in unconvincing fashion and have since lost six in a row.
During the course of the season, Houston has lost 17-16 to the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, 23-20 to the 8-1 Seattle Seahawks and 27-24 to the 6-2 Indianapolis Colts.
The Texans still have elite talent, but they can't seem to close games out.
The Texans received 350 passing yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions from Case Keenum against the Colts.
Andre Johnson exploded with nine receptions for 228 yards and three touchdowns, but again, Houston fell apart in the second half.
The difference between 2-6 and 5-3 with wins over Indianapolis, Kansas City and Seattle has been a combined seven points. That's a rough season.
25. Buffalo Bills
Week 9: 13-23 loss vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Week 10: at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Buffalo Bills have one of the most promising young cores in the entire NFL.
Rookies EJ Manuel and Kiko Alonso are candidates for end-of-the-year awards, Mario Williams is back as an elite pass rusher and there are dynamic skill players at running back and wide receiver.
Unfortunately, injuries have struck Manuel, and the Bills are thus suffering growing pains.
C.J. Spiller had 116 rushing yards and Fred Jackson picked up 77 against the Kansas City Chiefs during Week 9.
Marquise Goodwin added another long receiving touchdown, and both Robert Woods and Steve Johnson continued to prove capable of leading a strong passing attack.
This Bills team will be a Super Bowl contender in future seasons, but until it gets healthy and more experienced at quarterback, the process will be lengthy.
24. Oakland Raiders
Week 9: 20-49 loss vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Week 10: at New York Giants
The Oakland Raiders may be 3-5, but up until Week 9, they'd managed to keep every game competitive.
During Week 9, the Raiders fell 49-20 to the Philadelphia Eagles in a game in which Nick Foles tied an NFL record with seven touchdowns.
In Week 10, the Raiders will look to turn things around against the New York Giants.
Terrelle Pryor was 22-of-41 for 288 yards, with no touchdowns and two interceptions, running for 94 yards on 10 attempts.
Rashad Jennings added 102 yards on 15 carries, but it just wasn't enough against the high-octane Eagles.
Hope remains in Oakland, but a 29-point loss is a devastating setback.
23. New York Giants
Week 9: Bye
Week 10: vs. Oakland Raiders
The New York Giants were on bye during Week 9 of the regular season. New York now enters Week 10 at 2-6 but has won two consecutive games leading up to its showdown with the Oakland Raiders.
It hasn't been perfect, but New York has the opportunity to move to 3-6 with a win over a team that it's favored against. If that is to happen, the race for the NFC East will tighten up.
Somehow, the season isn't lost for the Giants of New York.
22. Baltimore Ravens
Week 9: 18-24 loss at Cleveland Browns
Week 10: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Baltimore Ravens have done quite a poor job of following up their Super Bowl winning season. The defense has played well, but Baltimore hasn't been able to replace Anquan Boldin on its injury-plagued offense.
Now, the Ravens head into Week 10 at 3-5.
Baltimore lost to the Browns 24-18 during Week 9, and it was as ugly as the score seems. The running game combined for 55 yards on 21 carries, and Joe Flacco's two touchdowns were offset by an interception and five sacks taken.
Baltimore is in serious danger of missing the postseason.
21. Washington Redskins
Week 9: 30-24 OT win vs. San Diego Chargers
Week 10: at Minnesota Vikings
The Washington Redskins have gone 3-2 during their past five games, including a 30-24 overtime victory over the San Diego Chargers in Week 9. The Redskins are now 3-5 with a Week 10 clash against the 1-7 Minnesota Vikings looming.
There's never been a better time than now for Washington to re-enter the race for the NFC East.
Robert Griffin III was an efficient 23-of-32 for 291 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception. Alfred Morris had 121 yards and a touchdown, and fullback Darrel Young ran for three scores to lead Washington to the win.
If Washington continues running the football, it can turn around what appeared to be a lost season.
20. Cleveland Browns
Week 9: 24-18 win vs. Baltimore Ravens
Week 10: Bye
During Week 9, the Cleveland Browns secured a victory that shouldn't be undervalued, defeating the Baltimore Ravens 24-18. It was a rare example of the Browns winning without Brian Hoyer, and it sheds a light of hope on the Browns' season.
At 4-5, Cleveland will have a Week 10 bye before facing the Cincinnati Bengals during Week 11.
The Browns' savior in this game has been quarterback Jason Campbell, who was 23-of-36 for 265 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. The Browns had five sacks, and Joe Haden tallied an interception as the defense came up with a monster performance.
Cleveland is a team to watch during the second half of the regular season.
19. Philadelphia Eagles
Week 9: 49-20 win at Oakland Raiders
Week 10: at Green Bay Packers
The Philadelphia Eagles erupted with a 49-20 win over the Oakland Raiders during Week 9. It was yet another display of Nick Foles' potential, and it should quiet the critics of his Week 7 meltdown.
The Eagles will now face a banged up Packers squad with a chance at .500 on the line.
Foles was 22-of-28 for 406 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions against Oakland. He now has 13 touchdowns to zero interceptions in 2013, which should prove just how underrated he's been.
There are holes on this roster, but with Foles under center, Philadelphia is a dangerous offensive unit.
18. Miami Dolphins
Week 9: 22-20 OT win vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Week 10: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Miami Dolphins earned a major victory during Week 9, securing a 22-20 overtime victory against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Dolphins are now 4-4 and have a long lay-off going from Thursday Night Football to Monday Night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Miami is in turmoil right now, but that doesn't make its skill level any less significant.
Ryan Tannehill was efficient in Week 9, going 20-of-28 for 208 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions and a rushing score. Lamar Miller added 105 rushing yards, and the defense forced four turnovers and a game-winning safety.
Cameron Wake had three sacks, and Miami has enough balance to take down any force.
17. Arizona Cardinals
Week 9: Bye
Week 10: vs. Houston Texans
The Arizona Cardinals were on bye during Week 9. Entering Week 10, the Cardinals are 4-4 and fresh off of a 27-13 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Arizona ranks No. 4 in run defense, but there hasn't been a strong enough balance to build sustainable success. Carson Palmer has displayed flashes of brilliance, but turnovers have been an issue.
Look for Larry Fitzgerald and company to attempt a strong rebound against the Houston Texans in Week 10.
16. San Diego Chargers
Week 9: 30-24 OT loss at Washington Redskins
Week 10: vs. Denver Broncos
The San Diego Chargers are one of the teams that has been trading wins and losses throughout the season. At some point, the Chargers will either bend and fall to below .500 or break out and move to above .500.
Week 10 paints a bleak picture, as the Chargers prepare to face the Denver Broncos.
The Chargers' play-calling was the biggest issue in Week 9, as the coaching staff made a series of questionable decisions during the final minute of regulation. Instead of running it in with Ryan Mathews, who topped 100 yards in consecutive games, San Diego attempted just 16 carries and none in the final goal line set.
San Diego now enters a meeting with Denver without momentum. That's a dangerous place to be.
15. Tennessee Titans
Week 9: 28-21 at St. Louis Rams
Week 10: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Tennessee Titans are reaching full health, and the results are displaying just how dangerous this team can be. During Week 9, the Titans survived a tough test on the road against former coach Jeff Fisher and the St. Louis Rams.
The emotions are now behind them, and the Titans enter Week 10 at 4-4.
Jake Locker was 13-of-22 for 185 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions, but he did run for a five-yard score. Chris Johnson erupted for 150 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, Shonn Greene tallied another score and Jurrell Casey had two sacks.
The Titans play the Jaguars in Week 10, and that's the perfect opportunity for Tennessee to move above .500.
14. New York Jets
Week 9: 26-20 win vs. New Orleans Saints
Week 10: Bye
The New York Jets continue to trade impressive wins and upsetting losses. During Week 9, New York took its success to a new level with a 26-20 victory over the New Orleans Saints.
New York now goes into a Week 10 bye at 5-4.
Chris Ivory continued to tear opposing defenses apart, carrying the ball 18 times for 139 yards and a touchdown against his former team. Geno Smith struggled, but did run for a score and Nick Folk kicked four field goals.
It's been inconsistent, but New York is in position to reach the playoffs.
13. Dallas Cowboys
Week 9: 27-23 win vs. Minnesota Vikings
Week 10: at New Orleans Saints
The Dallas Cowboys weren't very convincing in Week 9, but the 27-23 win over the Minnesota Vikings may be the best result they'll find all season. The Vikings may be 1-7, but the Cowboys' biggest weakness has been closing out games.
Pretty or not, a 27-23 escape of Minnesota is just what Dallas needed to right those wrongs.
Tony Romo was 34-of-51 for 337 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, finding Jason Witten eight times for 102 yards and a score. The concerning number, however, is that Dallas attempted nine total carries.
A Week 10 meeting with the New Orleans Saints will gauge how ready Dallas is for the postseason push.
12. Carolina Panthers
Week 9: 34-10 win vs. Atlanta Falcons
Week 10: at San Francisco 49ers
The Carolina Panthers have a legitimate force on defense, with a front seven that can compete with anyone in the NFL. Offensively, Cam Newton has cut down on turnovers and is taking over games by making the smart throws.
Paired with an explosive rushing attack, the Panthers have the perfect balance to dominate.
The Panthers ran for 131 yards during a 34-10 win over the Atlanta Falcons during Week 9. Brandon LaFell is emerging into a reliable No. 2 wide receiver, DeAngelo Williams continues to put forth strong efforts and Mike Tolbert is an unstoppable force in goal line sets.
Carolina isn't your conventional contender, but its a true postseason team.
11. Green Bay Packers
Week 9: 20-27 loss vs. Chicago Bears
Week 10: vs. Philadelphia Eagles
During Week 9, the Green Bay Packers lost their first home game since Week 1 of the 2012 regular season. Green Bay fell 27-20 to its rival Chicago Bears, thus falling into a three-way tie for the division lead in the NFC North.
Unfortunately, the game wasn't the biggest thing that Green Bay lost. Aaron Rodgers was.
No. 11 is a generous spot with Rodgers' future in doubt, but Mike McCarthy gets the benefit of the doubt.
The Packers still have an elite rushing attack with Eddie Lacy, James Starks and Johnathan Franklin in the backfield. Unfortunately, at least a small portion of those young running backs' success can be accredited to Rodgers opening up the field with his arm.
The first offensive test without Rodgers will be a rough one against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 10.
10. Chicago Bears
Week 9: 27-20 win at Green Bay Packers
Week 10: vs. Detroit Lions
The Chicago Bears are 5-3 after picking up an unforeseen victory over the Green Bay Packers in Week 9. Aaron Rodgers went down with a game-ending injury on the Packers' first possession, but that doesn't make Chicago's win any less significant.
It's difficult to go on the road and win at Green Bay, and that's exactly what Chicago did.
Matt Forte had 179 yards of total offense and a rushing score, Brandon Marshall had 107 receiving yards and a touchdown, and Josh McCown went without a turnover. Shea McLellin added three sacks, Julius Peppers had an interception and Chicago went back to what works.
Get excited, Chicago.
9. Detroit Lions
Week 9: Bye
Week 10: at Chicago Bears
The Detroit Lions are currently in first place in the NFC North after defeating the Dallas Cowboys in Week 8 to move to 5-3. The two teams that are tied atop the division at 5-3 are the Packers and Bears—two teams with injured starting quarterbacks.
If Jim Schwartz can't cash in on this opportunity to win the NFC North, it's hard to imagine he ever will.
8. Cincinnati Bengals
Week 9: 20-22 OT loss at Miami Dolphins
Week 10: at Baltimore Ravens
The Cincinnati Bengals suffered a devastating loss during Week 9, losing 22-20 in overtime to the Dolphins. The game was decided when Andy Dalton was sacked in the end zone for a game-ending safety.
Unfortunately, that wasn't the loss Cincinnati should be worried about.
According to Josh Alper of NBC Sports, superstar defensive tackle Geno Atkins suffered a season-ending torn ACL. Atkins is, arguably, the most important player on the entire roster, holding together Cincinnati's pass rush and run defense.
The Bengals will need to recover fast with a Week 10 road game against the Baltimore Ravens looming.
7. New Orleans Saints
Week 9: 20-26 at New York Jets
Week 10: vs. Dallas Cowboys
The New Orleans Saints ran into a tough Jets squad during Week 9, and the end result was a 26-20 loss. It was a disappointing result, but the Saints aren't any less of a contender after suffering this defeat.
Keep in mind, this loss included Drew Brees nearly hitting 400 yards passing and the defense maintaining its strong level of play.
Brees was 30-of-51 for 382 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Jimmy Graham had nine receptions for 116 yards and two scores, the defense limited the Jets to 45.0 percent passing and turnovers were the deciding factor.
If New Orleans can take care of the ball, and re-establish both its run defense and rushing attack, it'll be just fine.
6. New England Patriots
Week 9: 55-31 win vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 10: Bye
In a game that many expected to be a defensive battle, the New England Patriots came out firing with a 55-31 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was a performance that should silence every critic of the Patriots' slow offensive start.
At 7-2, the Patriots are right back in the Super Bowl hunt. You know, if they ever weren't.
Tom Brady was 23-of-33 for 432 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, linking up with three separate receivers for more than 100 yards. Stevan Ridley added 115 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, and LeGarrette Blount ran for 47 yards and a score on five carries.
With five sacks and three turnovers forced, New England finally put it all together and reminded the NFL community that it's a championship contender.
5. San Francisco 49ers
Week 9: Bye
Week 10: vs. Carolina Panthers
The San Francisco 49ers were on bye during Week 9. Prior to that point, San Francisco had won five consecutive games since starting at 1-2 to reach 6-2 on the season.
The Niners will receive a tough task in Week 10 when it hosts the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are dominant on defense and explosive offensively.
San Francisco needs to continue winning to maintain the pace with the Seahawks.
4. Indianapolis Colts
Week 9: 27-24 win at Houston Texans
Week 10: vs. St. Louis Rams
The Indianapolis Colts continue to defy the odds, pulling out comeback-after-comeback against teams that are superior on paper. During Week 9, the Colts rallied from 18 points down in the third quarter to defeated the Houston Texans 27-24.
Losing Reggie Wayne will be a devastating blow in the long-term, but right now, Indianapolis deserves respect.
3. Seattle Seahawks
Week 9: 27-24 OT win vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 10: at Atlanta Falcons
The Seattle Seahawks haven't been earning many style points this season, but 8-1 is still 8-1. It took a comeback that shouldn't have been necessary, but Seattle reached that record with 27-24 overtime victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Fortunately, the standings don't care about the way games are won. Neither should you.
Seattle ranks No. 2 against the pass and No. 5 in rushing offense, which has been the source of their success. Unknown running backs Zac Stacy and Mike James have torched the Seahawks in consecutive weeks, but the only thing that matters is that Seattle can close out.
These close wins build character, and its better that they're happening Week 9 than in the playoffs. Seattle can only get stronger from here.
2. Denver Broncos
Week 9: Bye
Week 10: at San Diego Chargers
The Denver Broncos were on bye during Week 9, but enter Week 10 with an impressive record of 7-1. Somehow, that has the Broncos as the No. 5 seed in the AFC.
In Week 10, the Broncos will travel to face the 4-4 San Diego Chargers. Denver defeated San Diego by a combined 18 points in two games during the 2012 regular season.
Keep an eye on this high-stakes meeting between Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Week 9: 23-13 win at Buffalo Bills
Week 10: Bye
The Kansas City Chiefs enter a Week 10 bye at 9-0. Kansas City is the only undefeated team in the NFL, has already won seven more games than it did in 2012, and has secured the franchise's first winning season since 2010.
This all sets up a monumental clash during Week 11, when the Chiefs travel to play the Denver Broncos.
Offensively, Alex Smith continues to take care of the football and make big plays when they're needed. Jamaal Charles had yet another 90-yard rushing performance, Dwayne Bowe came to life with seven receptions for 67 yards and Kansas City continued to play smothering defense.
The Chiefs forced three turnovers and two defensive touchdowns, and still haven't allowed more than 17 points in a single game. You can't penalize a team for winning.