NFL Power Rankings: Week 10

To say that it was a rough week to be a quarterback would be an understatement. Week 10 saw four starting quarterbacks leave games because of injury. Michael Vick, Alex Smith and Jay Cutler all suffered concussions. Ben Roethlisberger left with a shoulder injury and was unable to return Monday night.

Although the Eagles are essentially out of the playoff race, the 49ers, Bears and Steelers all figure to be contenders for the Lombardi trophy. All eyes will be on the status of these quarterbacks this week as their absence could have significant implications for their teams moving forward.

The matchup of the week between Chicago and Houston, last week’s #2 and #3 teams respectively, predictably resulted in a defensive battle at rainy Soldier Field. Houston emerged with a hard-fought 13-6 victory, which, combined with Atlanta’s first loss, vaulted the Texans to the top spot in this week’s rankings. Losses by the aforementioned Bears and Falcons as well as the struggling New York Giants caused further turmoil in the top ten.

The strangest result of the weekend was surely the San Francisco vs. St. Louis game, which produced the first tie in the NFL since 2008.

 

Photo courtesy of elviskennedy/Flickr

Houston Texans

1

3

8-1

 Houston’s second ranked defense continues to impress, albeit without the challenge of facing Jay Cutler for half of the game.

 

Team Rank Previous Rank Record Thoughts

 

Atlanta Falcons

2

1

8-1

I’m not sure anyone outside of the Atlanta locker room expected them to run the table. Now that the first loss is out of the way, the Falcons need to focus on improving their run defense, which gave up 148 rushing yards to the Saints.

 

 

 

San Francisco 49ers

3

4

6-2-1

The loss of Alex Smith isn’t disastrous, as the offense has and will continue to be focused on its NFL best rushing attack. But, with Seattle looming, the NFC West is far from over.

 

 Chicago Bears

4

2

7-2

The wet, muddy conditions in Chicago Sunday night, as well as the loss of Jay Cutler were not conducive to offensive success. Regardless, it’s troubling that the Bears rank 30th in passing offense.

Green Bay Packers

5

5

6-3

Stumbles by the Bears, 49ers, and Giants opened the door for the red-hot Packers to steal home field in the NFC despite their shaky start.

New England Patriots

6

7

6-3

It’s not often that you see an entire fanbase so frustrated after a win. But a six point victory over lowly Buffalo has driven spoiled New England fans into a frenzy.

 

 

 

 Denver Broncos

7

8

6-3

Denver looks to have fully hit their stride on both sides of the ball. Over the past four weeks they’ve outscored opponents 136-75.

 

Baltimore Ravens

8

9

7-2

It’s still hard to believe that Baltimore has officially become an offensive-minded team. But after 10 years of defensive dominance, their 55 outburst against Oakland reaffirmed their newfound identity.

 

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

9

10

6-3

 Roethlisberger’s injury is potentially more devastating than Cutler’s or Smith’s. Pittsburgh has heavily relied on their MVP-contender’s right arm to lead their ninth ranked passing attack.

Seattle Seahawks

10

11

6-4

Two straight wins and Seattle sits just two games back of San Francisco heading into their bye week. The feisty Seahawks refuse to quit.

 

 

 

 New York Giants

11

6

6-4

After a 31-13 beatdown at the hands of the Bengals, we are officially in the midst of another Giants’ November swoon. Still, will anyone be surprised if New York is playing for yet another championship come February?

 

 

 Indianapolis Colts

12

12

6-3

Who would have thought that this year’s annual Patriots-Colts matchup would carry the significance that it has in the past. Andrew Luck will replace Peyton Manning in what has traditionally been a quarterback duel with Tom Brady.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

13

14

5-4

Four wins in their past five games has lifted a confident Tampa Bay squad from a 1-3 start. Their plus-11 turnover differential is among the best in the league.

 

 

Minnesota Vikings

14

16

6-4

The Vikings pulled out a much needed win in a divisional matchup with Detroit. Adrian Peterson is averaging 5.8 yards per carry; the best of his career.

 

New Orleans Saints

15

18

4-5

Can Drew Brees and the offense continue to sustain New Orleans’ recent success despite a defense that continues to be one the worst in the league? Handing Atlanta its first loss was a positive sign.

 

Dallas Cowboys

16

19

4-5

When Dallas wins, I really like this team. The defense has been impressive in their four wins.

 

 Detroit Lions

17

13

4-5

0-3 in the division certainly isn’t a good sign for the Lions. Their remaining schedule is brutal, with games against Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and two against Green Bay.

 

Cincinnati Bengals

18

24

4-5

The Bengals have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the NFL this season. An impressive win over the Giants snapped their four game losing streak.

Miami Dolphins

19

15

4-5

Miami forgot to show up to their game on Sunday. The 34 point blowout was their worst loss of the season.

 

 

 

St. Louis Rams

20

23

3-5-1

Grinding out an upset win at Candlestick would’ve been huge for the Rams. Settling for a tie doesn’t help their playoff chances much.

 

 

 

 San Diego Chargers

21

17

4-5

The Chargers blew a lead yet again, in large part due to some bone-headed mistakes by Phillip Rivers. Next week’s game at Denver is a must-win.

 

Arizona Cardinals

22

20

4-5

We’ll see if the bye helped a reeling Arizona squad. Unfortunately, they now travel to Atlanta to play the 8-1 Falcons.

 

 

 

Tennessee Titans

23

28

4-6

Chris Johnson continued his recent resurgence with 126 yards against a very good Miami run defense.

 

 

Washington Redskins

24

22

3-6

Five of Washington’s remaining seven games are within their division; they could ruin Dallas’ or New York’s playoff aspirations.

 

Philadelphia Eagles

25

21

3-6

 Nothing can salvage Andy Reid’s job at this point. Teams will definitely be lining up to hire him during the offseason though.

 

New York Jets

26

25

3-6

It’s sad how terrible the Jets’ offense is. They’ve scored ten points or fewer in five of nine games this season.

Carolina Panthers

27

26

2-7

Cam Newton and the Panthers didn’t give Denver much of a challenge in John Fox’s return to Bank of America Stadium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buffalo Bills

28

29

3-6

Ryan Fitzpatrick played well against a mediocre Patriots’ defense. But his final throw of the game was an awful mistake.

 

 

 

Oakland Raiders

29

27

3-6

Oakland has given up almost 100 points over their last two games. Carson Palmers bounce-back season hasn’t produced wins.

 

 

Cleveland Browns

30

30

2-7

Perhaps Cleveland can steal a win in Dallas in what will be a “trap-game” for the playoff-hopeful Cowboys.

 

 

 

 

 Kansas City Chiefs

31

32

1-8

It took nine games but Kansas City finally held an in-game lead! Unfortunately Matt Cassel loves throwing interceptions.

 

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

32

31

1-8

And the beat goes on for the Jaguars. They’ve given up an average of 27 points per game through Week 9.

 

 

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