NFL Power Rankings: Knee-Jerk Reactions After Week 10 Action

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NFL Power Rankings: Knee-Jerk Reactions After Week 10 Action
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Week 10 is mostly in the books, and once again the league has turned any and all rankings from the previous week upside down thanks to a shocking slate of results.

While there is no change at the top because the NFL's last undefeated team was lucky enough to kick back on a bye, there is a major shakeup at the bottom as a winless team finally notched a victory. 

Outside of that, the middle of the league continues to be as perplexing as ever. We'll tackle a full list of rankings here based on each team's overall body of work with a focus on Week 10 results. Enjoy.

 

1. Kansas City Chiefs (9-0)

Despite a bye, Kansas City remains on top of the power rankings. Denver won a tight game, and while New Orleans waxed the competition, it was not the most credible opposition in the world.

The Chiefs are the NFL's last undefeated team this season thanks to a balanced offense, great defense and plain luck.

Until any combination of those falters and the Chiefs finally lose, they will stay in the No. 1 slot.

 

2. Denver Broncos (8-1)

The Denver Broncos took care of business in an AFC West showdown with the San Diego Chargers with a 28-20 victory.

Peyton Manning was once again sharp with 330 yards and four touchdowns. His favorite target was once again Demaryius Thomas, who had three scores.

Manning did not get much help elsewhere, but he doesn't need it when playing at this level.

 

3. New Orleans Saints (7-2)

After a loss to the New York Jets in Week 9, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints took out their aggression on poor little Dallas in a 49-17 win.

Brees went for 392 yards and four scores, back Mark Ingram piled on 145 yards and a score, and the offense as a whole set an NFL record with 40 first downs.

New Orleans won't get to play Dallas every week, but the Saints are tough to beat when firing on all cylinders.

 

4. Seattle Seahawks (9-1)

Seattle has now won five straight, but it is hard to move it up or down after a victory over a mediocre Atlanta team.

Russell Wilson is patiently awaiting the arrival of Percy Harvin. Luckily, Marshawn Lynch continues to run wild. He rumbled for 145 yards and a touchdown as the Seahawks bullied the Falcons all over the field en route to a 23-point victory. As always this year, Seattle is a legit contender.

 

5. New England Patriots (7-2)

It was bye time in New England, which was actually a bad thing because it could kill the momentum for a team coming off more than 600 yards of total offense in Week 9. 

Alas, Tom Brady and the offense appear to be back on track, and that's bad news for the rest of the league, especially considering the team now has a solid defense that garners little recognition. 

That's probably just fine with Bill Belichick

 

6. Carolina Panthers (6-3)

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The Carolina Panthers have arrived as an elite team.

Carolina was a cautionary tale at best on a four-game win streak with victories over teams with a combined win total of fewer than 10 at the time.

All of that goes out the window now that Cam Newton and the Panthers knocked off San Francisco in Week 10.

In a defensive battle with a 10-9 finish, the Panthers defense shined the brightest, allowing just 151 total yards.

 

7. Detroit Lions (6-3)

Detroit continues to have an elite passing attack, but the defense is a cause for concern.

Yes, the Lions moved past NFC North foe Chicago, but receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery went for more than 100 yards, with the latter pulling in two touchdowns as well.

Alas, good teams pull out the close games, and Detroit continues to stay in a good position in the division.

 

8. Indianapolis Colts (6-3)

Indianapolis proved on Sunday it might not have what it takes to be taken seriously come playoff time.

Once again Andrew Luck and the Colts played down to the competition and managed just eight points, while the hapless St. Louis Rams doused Indianapolis for 38.

Coming off the worst game of his career with three interceptions, Luck has some work to do to get the Colts back on track. At least the rest of the AFC South isn't a threat.

 

9. New York Jets (5-4)

Rex Ryan's New York Jets are the model of inconsistency this season as they have failed to put together any kind of streak, but they finally broke that in Week 10 thanks to a bye.

Coming out of the bye, the Jets will have to deal with Buffalo in an AFC East matchup where the two teams will fight for position.

With Ryan's defense playing at such a high level, good things are ahead in New York.

 

10. San Francisco 49ers (6-3)

With an extra bye week to prepare, one would think the San Francisco 49ers would have had a better outing against Carolina.

Alas, Colin Kaepernick continues to be a liability. He only threw for 91 yards and the interception that sealed the game.

Bottom line—we knew the 49ers were facing an elite defense that would make Kaepernick beat them with his arm, and he could not rise to the occasion. Until that changes, it's hard to take the 49ers seriously.

 

11. Cincinnati Bengals (6-4)

What a fall from grace for Cincinnati.

Two weeks ago, the Bengals lost on national television via a safety, and Week 10 saw the team lose once again in overtime. The young team could not get out of its own way by surrendering 134 yards in penalties.

Baltimore is by no means a good team, but the slumping Bengals aren't much better at this point. Something has to change in Cincinnati—and fast.

 

12. Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)

The Philadelphia Eagles are back to .500 after the team discovered Nick Foles can play quarterback.

While Foles did not throw for seven touchdowns like he did in Week 9, he still tallied 228 and three scores. In addition, he has yet to throw an interception all season. 

So much for the notion that Chip Kelly needs a mobile quarterback. Philadelphia has now taken care of lowly Oakland and an Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay in recent weeks. 

 

13. Cleveland Browns (4-5)

Believe it or not, the Cleveland Browns have a chance to win the AFC North.

Cleveland had a bye in Week 10, but in the prior week, it had knocked off Baltimore, which just defeated division-leading Cincinnati.

With veteran Jason Campbell under center, the Browns are a competitive team that can play with anyone. The AFC North better be on notice.

 

14. Green Bay Packers (5-4)

Obvious statement of the year—the Green Bay Packers need Aaron Rodgers. 

Scott Tolzien was forced into action after a Seneca Wallace injury, and the results were a mixed bag. He went for 280 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Eddie Lacy continues to impress on the ground, as does receiver Jarrett Boykin, but Green Bay does not have enough firepower without Rodgers under center.

 

15. Miami Dolphins (4-4)

Miami will continue its stay in the national spotlight in more ways than one when the Dolphins hit the road to take on Tampa Bay on Monday Night Football.

The Dolphins are coming off a major overtime win against Cincinnati and need to keep thing moving in a positive manner, but that won't prove too difficult against a winless Tampa Bay team.

 

16. Chicago Bears (5-4)

Jay Cutler returned for the Chicago Bears on Sunday and attempted 40 passes, but his 250 yards with a touchdown and interception were not enough, as the Bears were overmatched against Detroit.

Once again, the Chicago defense looked anything but the units of old that used to strike fear into the opposition.

Marc Trestman has an efficient offense, and while it was probably smart to attack a weak secondary, Matt Forte's 1.9 yards-per-carry average sunk the team. Chicago needs to get healthy in a hurry.

 

17. San Diego Chargers (4-5)

The San Diego Chargers managed a late 14-point rally in the second half, but it was not enough to overcome Denver.

Philip Rivers continues his outstanding year and played well against a horrible secondary with his 218 yards and a touchdown, and back Ryan Mathews was a nice surprise as well with 59 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.

San Diego had a good strategy and held onto the ball for 38:03 in the hopes of keeping an elite offense off the field, but the defense needed to get stops consistently for it to work.

 

18. Dallas Cowboys (5-5)

Dallas was on the wrong end of a 49-17 beatdown in Week 10, as the defense allowed an NFL record 40 first downs and 625 yards of total offense.

It does not matter what Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and the rest of the offense do when the defense lies down like that.

Dallas has some soul searching to do on a bye next week.

 

19. St. Louis Rams (4-6)

Hats off to the St. Louis Rams for competing hard despite the absence of quarterback Sam Bradford.

On Sunday, the Rams pulled off a blowout victory over the playoff-bound Indianapolis Colts.

St. Louis' defensive line remains one of the best in football, but it was rookie receiver Tavon Austin finally breaking onto the scene with his 138 yards and two scores that should give Rams faithful hope for the future.

 

20. Baltimore Ravens (4-5)

The Baltimore Ravens saved their season in Week 10 with a win over Cincinnati, but serious problems abound.

Quarterback Joe Flacco was once again average at best with his 140 yards and a pair of touchdowns and interceptions. Moreover, Ray Rice continues to disappoint as he was only able to muster 1.7 yards per carry. 

Baltimore took the victory despite gaining only 189 total yards, but not all opponents will be so forgiving. Offensively, the Ravens have work to do.

 

21. Arizona Cardinals (5-4)

Arizona continues to find a way to remain competitive in the elite NFC West, and that was helped with a matchup against Houston.

Quarterback Carson Palmer managed to throw more touchdowns than interceptions, and rookie Andre Ellington continues to prove he is a special talent with his 11 carries for 55 yards.

It'd be nice if the Cardinals used him even more, but a win is a win. That's two in a row for Arizona.

 

22. Buffalo Bills (3-7)

The return of rookie quarterback EJ Manuel did little to help the Buffalo Bills against Pittsburgh in Week 10. He appeared rusty with his 155 yards, one touchdown and interception.

C.J. Spiller and the sound ground attack also disappeared in the face of a strong defensive front, but the Bills defense that gave up 4.5 yards per play doomed Buffalo.

The Bills are a scrappy team but not the kind that make the postseason—their postseason is playing spoiler at the end of the year.

 

23. Tennessee Titans (4-5)

So much for the Tennessee Titans being a major team on the rise. Stout defense, star running back in November and a promising offense—what wasn't to like?

Apparently a lot, because Tennessee gave Jacksonville its first win of the season.

Forget the two-point loss where the Titans gave up an early lead and could never recover—ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Jake Locker suffered a season-ending injury:

When it rains, it pours.

 

24. Houston Texans (2-7)

In what is becoming a recurring theme, it's at least refreshing to know the Houston Texans have not quit on the season.

Houston made the trip to the desert in Week 10, and despite three touchdowns from the emerging Case Keenum, the Texans found a way to lose by three.

Much of the issue is the lack of a running game, and things won't get much better with Arian Foster lost for the season per ESPN:

 

25. New York Giants (3-6)

It's official—the New York Giants are on a classic roll. 

We're not saying Eli Manning and the Giants will make the playoffs, but the team has won three straight, has a history for that sort of thing and plays in the horrible NFC East.

The return of Andre Brown at running back was the biggest difference in a win over Oakland. Brown gained 115 yards and a touchdown. Manning looks as horrible as ever, but backed with a legit ground game, the Giants could make some noise.

 

26. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-6)

The season is a war of attrition at this point, but Pittsburgh put together a scrappy win against Buffalo.

Perhaps the best news of all is the defense got back to its normal self and kept Buffalo to less than 300 total yards, which is much better than the 600-plus it surrendered a week ago.

Ben Roethlisberger was only sacked four times (that's an accomplishment) and Le'Veon Bell continues to impress on the ground. For one week, positive vibes abound in the steel city.

 

27. Oakland Raiders (3-6)

That will do it for the Oakland Raiders in the AFC West.

At one point, Terrelle Pryor and Co. looked as if they could make a run, but a loss to the lowly New York Giants put an end to that notion quickly.

Pryor continues to be a liability through the air and only managed 122 yards and an interception. The offense will continue to hold the team back in 2013, but it's not as if the defense is playing much better.

 

28. Atlanta Falcons (2-7)

We've known for quite some time that the 2013 season for the Atlanta Falcons is over, and while injuries are partially to blame, the team is just bad.

Fans received another reminder on Sunday with a major loss to Seattle at home. The Falcons defense had no answers for the Seahawks offense, although it was nice to see Matt Ryan not throw an interception.

The 2014 draft, and more importantly health, can't get here soon enough.

 

29. Minnesota Vikings (2-7)

As expected, Thursday Night Football between the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins turned out to be a complete dud.

The Vikings managed to get their second win of the season behind 75 yards and two scores from Adrian Peterson, which was nice to see considering the coaching staff had hardly used him in recent weeks.

With Peterson running hard, the Vikings can at least be competitive the rest of the way.

 

30. Washington Redskins (3-6) 

Even in the weak NFC East, the season appears to be over for Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins.

He has looked better in recent weeks and put up 281 yards and three scores against Minnesota, but he didn't do enough to make up for the mediocre defense.

At this point, RGIII needs to focus on staying healthy with an important draft for Washington on the horizon.

 

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8)

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Well, look at that.

That's a mark in the win column for Jacksonville, which was outgained overall on Sunday but eked out a two-point victory over AFC South rival Tennessee.

Without Justin Blackmon, Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for just two yards a carry, and Chad Henne failed to throw for 200 yards, but a win is a win.

 

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-8)

Tampa Bay now sits alone at the bottom of the NFL thanks to a winless record mostly caused by the strange musings of head coach Greg Schiano.

The Buccaneers get a shot on Monday Night Football at the Miami Dolphins, but don't expect much to come of it. Tampa Bay is awful despite plenty of defensive talent.

 

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