Power Rankings: Week 10
The New York Giants went into the week sharing the top spot. They proceeded to get pushed about by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Naturally they’ve taken something of a fall as that victory over the 49ers seems an age ago. They’ve been somewhat unconvincing since which begs the question — are they saving themselves for later in the season?
As ever, our five analysts have some widely differing views on what constitutes a good team and it shows up in the following power rankings.
Rank Khaled Neil Sam Ben Nathan 1 ATL NE HST ATL SF 2 SF DEN ATL SF DEN 3 GB GB SF GB HST 4 PIT SF CHI HST NE 5 NYG NYG NYG NE CHI 6 NE HST NE CHI GB 7 HST ATL DEN NYG ATL 8 DEN PIT BLT DEN NYG 9 CHI CHI SEA BLT SEA 10 TB SEA GB PIT PIT 11 SEA BLT PIT SEA BLT 12 BLT DET MIA DAL MIA 13 MIA TB TB NO DAL 14 IND NO DET MIA TB 15 DAL MIA MIN TB IND 16 DET WAS WAS MIN NO 17 WAS MIN NO SD MIN 18 MIN DAL PHI DET SD 19 NO SL DAL IND WAS 20 SD CIN IND PHI DET 21 PHI NYJ ARZ WAS PHI 22 CIN IND SD CIN NYJ 23 ARZ CLV SL SL BUF 24 SL PHI CIN CLV SL 25 NYJ OAK CAR NYJ CIN 26 CAR CAR OAK ARZ CAR 27 CLV SD CLV TEN ARZ 28 OAK BUF NYJ BUF CLV 29 TEN ARZ BUF OAK OAK 30 BUF TEN TEN CAR TEN 31 JAX JAX JAX JAX KC 32 KC KC KC KC JAX
But what about when you put all those scores together? Let’s see shall we…
1. San Francisco 49ers (1st)
They let the Giants knock themselves off top spot. Their defense is suffocating and their offense super efficient, but they still have questions to answer and chief among them is what happens when they need Alex Smith to start challenging teams down the field?
2. Atlanta Falcons (3rd)
Two big wins over two NFC East teams and that three-game funk where the Falcons were making winning look ugly is over. They’re not blowing teams away for the most part, but they have a useful knack for making plays at the right time.
3. Houston Texans (4th)
They look like they’re in cruise control in the AFC South with a favorable schedule. Will that prepare them for what is seeming like an inevitable postseason run? Our team has their doubts.
4. New England Patriots (5th)
It’s often the case where the team with the most reliable quarterback tends to come out on top in the long run. That explains why the three-loss Patriots continue to be a PFF darling.
5. Green Bay Packers (7th)
It has to concern them that Aaron Rodgers has been so streaky this year. He’ll need to fix that later in the year. A bigger worry is how much time Clay Matthews might miss and if it slows him down when he returns. He’s vital to that defense.
6. Denver Broncos (6th)
If they were as good in every quarter as they were in the fourth they’d probably be a lot higher. But they’re not. They’ll be hoping their season mirrors some of the games with a strong and ultimately successful finish to the year.
7. New York Giants (1st)
It wasn’t just the act of losing to the Steelers but how they lost. Thoroughly outplayed and unable to make the most of some generous officiating, the Giants seem to be out of sync at the moment. The woes of the NFC East gives them some breathing space but they’ll need to fix it soon.
8. Chicago Bears (8th)
Only eighth? The Bears aren’t doing anything wrong but we keep punishing them because they haven’t beaten any team of note. In fact, the only decent team they came up against were the Packers and we all know what happened there. Let’s see them tested and crown them afterward.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (9th)
You go to the reigning Super Bowl Champions and defeat them handily and don’t move up a spot? Seriously, I can only apologize for the voting of my fellow staffers, three of whom had them at 10th or worse.
10. Seattle Seahawks (9th)
They win at home and then lose on the road. It’s the Seattle way. That may change if Russell Wilson keeps playing the way he has been. His development is pretty hard to miss right now.
11. Baltimore Ravens (9th)
A win against Cleveland was expected, so performance was key. Unfortunately, they failed in that regard, looking out of sync for most of the game and far from impressive. That sums them up recently.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (16th)
Not many teams are as hot as the Bucs right now and a large part of that is the running of Doug Martin. With the way the defense is playing, that could be a recipe for a surprise run at a playoff appearance.
13. Miami Dolphins (12th)
They came crashing back to earth in Indianapolis as we reminded ourselves this is a team still building for a better future. Dolphins fans shouldn’t linger on defeats but instead realize just how giant a step forward they’ve taken recently.
14. Dallas Cowboys (14th)
Classic Cowboys. They got themselves in good position against Atlanta and failed to take the opportunities they had. That’s why their head coach needs a vote of confidence every week and why they’ll miss out on the postseason again if they’re not careful.
15. New Orleans Saints (18th)
Our team just can’t help but falling for the Saints every time the offense puts up some points and the team picks up a win. It’s like we can’t get over the fact this team isn’t as good offensively as it was last year, while the defense has actually got worse.
16. Detroit Lions (19th)
They’re stringing together some wins and with a Stafford-Johnson combination getting going that should frighten more than a few teams. Have they left themselves too much to do in a competitive NFC North?
17. Minnesota Vikings (13th)
There comes a time when you just lose faith in a quarterback. Right now, as well as Adrian Peterson is playing, the play of Christian Ponder is holding back a potentially very good offense. It doesn’t help that the defense needs some tackling practice.
18. Washington Redskins (15th)
The honeymoon period over, it’s becoming clear that RG3 is a lot of things but one of them isn’t a guy able to overcome the lack of talent around him. They’re not making enough plays on defense to boot.
19. Indianapolis Colts (20th)
This does feel a bit low with many still unconvinced that the Colts can keep up their current good form. That’s a reasonable concern to have given some of their previous performances this year.
20. Philadelphia Eagles (17th)
And then there was one. So now only Evan Mathis remains of what the projected starting offensive line was meant to be. It doesn’t matter, the line isn’t the problem for this team. The quarterback doesn’t look after the ball and the defense is failing to produce.
21. San Diego Chargers (23rd)
You’d be hard pressed to find a less interesting game than the Chargers victory over a limp Chiefs outfit. That was brutal to watch at times. San Diego looks like a team that could be prone to a major rebuild.
22. St Louis Rams (21st)
No action this week for the Rams as they examined what went wrong against New England. Essentially, they don’t have the talent to compete with some of the big boys yet, but they’re getting there.
23. Cincinnati Bengals (21st)
They, and Andy Dalton especially, looked better this week than they have recently. That’s small comfort, though, and Cincinnati continues to be a team that just can’t beat good opposition.
24. New York Jets (25th)
They should take a bye week more often. They move up one spot by virtue of not embarrassing themselves as they did a week before.
25. Arizona Cardinals (23rd)
We don’t get quite as many Cardinals fans chirping about on here now, do we? Blame how your team has gone about trying to assemble an offensive line. It’s one of the biggest and most continual failures in football.
26. Cleveland Browns (26th)
They had the Ravens there for the beating and Brandon Weeden fluffed his lines. They don’t make plays at the right time and make too many mistakes. Competitive but losing more games than they should.
27. Carolina Panthers (30th)
Enough talent on defense and playmakers on offense that if they could finish games off they might find themselves fighting for a playoff spot. Instead, they’re not, and they’re fighting for their coach’s future.
28. Oakland Raiders (26th)
Sometimes good, sometimes bad, always puzzling. You can watch drives, quarters, and halves of football and think this Raiders team gets it. Then you see them 20 minutes later and they look bush league. Will the real Raiders please stand up?
29. Buffalo Bills (29th)
They might want to give their running backs more than 12 carries in a game. Not only are they their most explosive players, but it prevents Ryan Fitzpatrick doing something stupid. He actually played okay against the Texans, but how long will that last?
30. Tennessee Titans (26th)
They helped the Bears to over 50 points despite some strong defensive performances, not least of which from Derrick Morgan. Kudos to the Titans for fumbling the ball that many times, it’s always nice to see new levels of ineptness.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (31st)
The ‘Bad Jags’ turned up against Detroit. Some of the displays on the defense were verging on shameful. They need to execute better.
32. Kansas City Chiefs (32nd)
There comes a time when you just throw Ricki Stanzi on the field and see what happens. Cutting Stanford Routt smacks of desperation. He wasn’t even one of the Chiefs biggest 10 problems.
Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled