NFL Power Rankings Week 10: Steelers Back On Top After Beating Bengals?

Elliott Pohnl@@ElliottPohnl_BRFeatured ColumnistNovember 9, 2010

NFL Power Rankings Week 10: Steelers Back On Top After Beating Bengals?

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    NFL Power Rankings Week 10 nearly had a very different look after the Steelers came close to blowing a big fourth-quarter lead to the Bengals Monday night.

    After struggling throughout the first three quarters, Carson Palmer finally got things going in the fourth quarter.

    Palmer looked to rookie Jordan Shipley on fourth-and-five in the closing seconds with Cincinnati driving for a go-ahead touchdown.

    Shipley was unable to haul in a catchable ball, sending the bumbling Bengals to a fifth straight loss.

    Meanwhile, three NFC teams are rising up the power rankings.

    New Orleans has won two straight games and are expecting both Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas to return following the bye. Atlanta hung on in Week 9 to take sole possession of the NFC South lead.

    Clay Matthews is stampeding closer to the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award.

    Thanks to Matthews and an improving secondary, Green Bay has surged to a 6-3 record heading into the bye.

    Here's a look at NFL Power Rankings Week 10.

The Bottom 12

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    No. 32 Dallas Cowboys

    Jerry Jones finally put Wade Phillips out of his misery, but there's no reason to expect better things from Jason Garrett.

    No. 31 Carolina Panthers

    John Fox is down to his third-string quarterback and third-string running back.

    No. 30 Buffalo Bills

    Sure, the Bills still haven't won a game.

    But they have been much better than either the Cowboys or Panthers in the last month.

    No. 29 Detroit Lions

    Sunday's loss to the Jets was painful in more ways than one. 

    Matthew Stafford's separated shoulder likely will end his season, leaving the offense in Drew Stanton's hands.

    No. 28 Denver Broncos

    Kyle Orton needs a strong performance Sunday against Kansas City, and Josh McDaniels really needs a win.

    No. 27 San Francisco 49ers

    Will Mike Singletary stick with Troy Smith down the stretch?

    No. 26 Arizona Cardinals

    Beanie Wells can't stay healthy, and Arizona can't win without a running game.

    No. 25 Seattle Seahawks

    The early enthusiasm has faded in the wake of two dreadful losses.

    No. 24 Cincinnati Bengals

    Terrell Owens says the Bengals are the best 2-6 team he has ever played for.

    No. 23 Jacksonville Jaguars

    Don't be surprised if David Garrard has another career day, this time against the Texans.

    No. 22 Cleveland Browns

    Peyton Hillis is a great story, but his Browns are still one win away from sliding into the top 20.

    No. 21: Minnesota Vikings

    One thrilling win over a bad team isn't enough to propel the Vikings up the rankings.

No. 20: St. Louis Rams

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    Why They Are Here

    Sam Bradford has brought hope back to St. Louis, and could even bring a division title to town in his rookie season.

    Staying Power

    Arizona and Seattle are crumbling, so the Rams appear to have an excellent chance to capture the NFC West.


No. 19: Washington Redskins

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    Why They Are Here

    Despite all the turmoil surrounding Donovan McNabb, the Redskins aren't completely dead yet.

    Staying Power

    McNabb could play with more urgency after his demotion. Coming off the bye, he should be healthy enough to run the offense.

    If only he had more help at receiver.

No. 18: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Why They Are Here

    The Bucs aren't the best team in the NFL, but they are certainly the most surprising. 

    Even if they fall on hard times in the coming weeks, the season will go down as a success for Raheem Morris.

    Staying Power

    Tampa Bay played poorly against the Falcons, but still nearly managed to pull off a victory in Atlanta.

    The Young Bucs have a good chance to finish the year with eight wins.

No. 17: Oakland Raiders

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    Why They Are Here

    Darren McFadden is putting together a great season, and Jason Campbell just keeps winning games as the starting quarterback.

    Staying Power

    Oakland's run defense has been a problem, but the Raiders are improving on a weekly basis.

    Tom Cable's team will be in the mix in the AFC West for the remainder of the season.

No. 16: Houston Texans

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    Why They Are Here

    After a brilliant start to the season, Houston is falling on hard times and still can't stop opponents from throwing at will.

    Staying Power

    Tennessee and Indianapolis have plenty of questions, but both look like better bets to win the the AFC South.

    At the moment, the Texans look like a mediocre team that will barely miss out on the postseason.

    Some things never change.

No. 15: San Diego Chargers

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    Why They Are Here

    He probably won't win it, but Philip Rivers is playing like the Most Valuable Player this season. 

    The Chargers keep piling up yards and points, regardless of who is in the lineup.

    Staying Power

    San Diego's defense is getting better, and the offense has been dynamic without even bothering to run the ball.

    It's shaping up to be another late-season push for Norv Turner.

No. 14: Chicago Bears

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    Why They Are Here

    The Bears aren't a pretty team to watch, but they are right in the mix in the NFC North and boast one of the NFL's best defenses.

    Staying Power

    The schedule gets much tougher down the stretch, which places a premium on beating the Vikings in Chicago in Week 10.

No. 13: Kansas City Chiefs

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    Why They Are Here

    Romeo Crennel deserves a ton of credit for helping Kansas City's young defense improve. 

    San Diego and Oakland are coming, but the Chiefs still look like the most complete team in the AFC West.

    Staying Power

    Matt Cassel's ability to beat defenses geared to stop the run holds the key to the Chiefs' chances of making the postseason.

No. 12: Miami Dolphins

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    Why They Are Here

    Sooner or later, the Dolphins were bound to lose a game on the road. 

    Now, if only they can get a win at home.

    Staying Power

    Miami absolutely needs to start running the football.

    If Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams can't compliment Chad Henne, the Dolphins have no chance to make the postseason in the crowded AFC.

No. 11: Indianapolis Colts

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    Why They Are Here

    Peyton Manning is still getting the job done, even with special-teamer Jacob Tamme as his top target.

    Staying Power

    The wounded Colts will need Joesph Addai to get healthy and Donald Brown to stay healthy down the stretch.

    Don't count on either player to remain on the field.

No. 10: Tennessee Titans

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    Why They Are Here

    Tennessee has a solid defense, decent receivers and a running back ready to explode.

    Staying Power

    It gets awfully old to hear pundits remind us how Randy Moss "commands the attention of the defense."

    While Moss' skills aren't worth paying attention to, the overused statement still has some truth.

    If Chris Johnson can break free, the Titans should be able to win the AFC South.

No. 9: Philadelphia Eagles

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    Why They Are Here

    Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson are back and looked great in Sunday's win over the Colts.

    Staying Power

    Vick needs to limit his scrambling and stay healthy. 

    With No. 7 on the field, the Eagles' potent offense is good enough to carry the mediocre defense down the stretch.

No. 8: Green Bay Packers

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    Why They Are Here

    Three straight wins have Green Bay in a great position in the NFC North.

    Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams are playing as well as any cornerback tandem in the NFL right now.

    Staying Power

    The Packers' offense has been far from perfect this season, but things are looking up thanks to the improvement of the offensive line.

    For the moment at least, Green Bay looks like one of the more complete teams in the NFC.

No. 7: New Orleans Saints

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    Why They Are Here

    The Saints' defense has been a big surprise this season.

    With Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush slated to return in Week 11, things are looking up for the Super Bowl champs.

    Staying Power

    New Orleans hasn't played its best football yet.

    If Thomas and Bush contribute, the Saints should have no problem returning to the postseason, either by winning the NFC South outright or by securing a Wild Card spot.

No. 6: Atlanta Falcons

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    Why They Are Here

    The NFL's most underrated 6-2 team in recent memory, Atlanta is solid on both sides of the ball and has a strong running game to boot.

    Staying Power

    The Falcons' breathed a sigh of relief after Roddy White's knee injury wasn't as serious as originally expected.

    With White in the lineup, Atlanta should have no problem rolling closer to the NFC South title.

    Keep in mind the Falcons already have wins over the Saints and Bucs in the division.

No. 5: New York Jets

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    Why They Are Here

    New York pulled it out in Week 9 against the Lions, but the Jets aren't playing real well right now.

    Staying Power

    The Jets need to avoid giving LaDainian Tomlinson too many carries in the weeks ahead and let Shonn Greene carry the load.

    Ultimately, New York's Super Bowl chances will hinge on the play of Mark Sanchez.

No. 4: New England Patriots

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    Why They Are Here

    New England's defense has been a surprise, but the offense continues to struggle and needs someone to start making plays down the field.

    That means you, Brandon Tate.

    Staying Power

    The Patriots remain a sexy Super Bowl pick despite having plenty of potential problems.

    There are simply too many young players filling key roles to expect the Pats to remain in the top five down the stretch.

    Tom Brady needs help.

No. 3: New York Giants

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    Why They Are Here

    Suddenly, the Giants' dreams of a thunder-and-lightning combination are coming true now that Brandon Jacobs has contributed in recent weeks.

    Throw in three solid receivers, and Eli Manning has a great chance to get back to a Super Bowl.

    Tom Coughlin's defense is overachieving, thanks in part to a deadly pass rush.

    Staying Power

    Barring an epic collapse, the Giants should remain the favorite to win the NFC.

No. 2: Baltimore Ravens

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    Why They Are Here

    Baltimore has a great offense and an improving defense, thanks to a healthy Ed Reed saving the secondary.

    Staying Power

    Cam Cameron's offense is good enough to beat any team in the AFC, so don't expect the Ravens to encounter many bumps during the remainder of the season.

No. 1: Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Why They Are Here

    The NFL's best defense and a dangerous passing attack with Mike Wallace providing a legitimate deep threat for Ben Roethlisberger.

    Staying Power

    Pittsburgh has already survived a brutal schedule, and the offense hasn't even hit its stride quite yet.

    The offensive line could hold the key to the Steelers' Super Bowl hopes.