Power Rankings, Week 10
Highlighting the action in the Top 10, the Panthers made a statement while the Colts took a dive and the Saints pushed back into the Top 3.
The Eagles and Dolphins passed each other in the middle, each moving five spots, but in opposite directions, while the Texans and Falcons continue their race down the ranks. Tampa Bay and Jacksonville held steady at the rough end, but are both looking up after notching their first wins.
Here’s how our analysts see the league after 10 weeks, and the cumulative rank (below) that comes of their ballots.
With the votes tallied, here’s how the list looks after Week 10: (last week’s rank and change in rank in parentheses)
The Top 10
1. Denver Broncos (1, 0)
A familiar recipe in the most recent Denver win: Von Miller on D and lots of YAC on O. The Broncos host the Chiefs for the AFC West – and playoff seeding – lead in Week 11 and will get to test their high-flying offense against the shutdown defense that has Kansas City coming in at 9-0.
2. Seattle Seahawks (2, 0)
Behind another powerful display by Marshawn Lynch, Seattle kicked the Falcons while they were down and now could get a Harvin-Okung infusion against Minnesota, a week before their bye. They stay at No. 2 here and have big games with New Orleans and San Francisco on the horizon.
3. New Orleans Saints (5, +2)
Dominating a depleted Dallas defense, the Saints rolled to a 49-17 win to rebound from their painful loss at New York the week before. They’ll get a better test in Week 11 against the 49er front, but if they maintain form there aren’t many teams that can keep up. They get back the two spots lost last time out.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (3, -1)
Watching and waiting, the Chiefs sat out Week 10 with all eyes on their Sunday Night matchup with Denver, the first of a home-and-home in a three-week span. A win in this one would go a long way toward silencing the critics of the league’s only undefeated team.
5. New England Patriots (7, +2)
Also on bye in Week 10, the Patriots will travel to Charlotte and face the rising Panthers in their return to the field. Should be fun as Brady gets more and more comfortable with Gronk back in the fold, and the Panthers believe more and more as they pile up the wins.
6. Carolina Panthers (11, +5)
A statement win in San Francisco propels the Panthers up the ranks and they’ll get another chance this week as they host New England. Winners of five straight, Carolina has moved up 17 spots since Week 5.
7. San Francisco 49ers (6, -1)
Fresh from their bye, the 49ers faced Carolina’s formidable front and, in stark contrast to their London thrashing of the Jaguars their last time out, fell flat. No time to lick wounds as they’ve got to hop on a plane to New Orleans and try to slow the Saints.
8. Detroit Lions (9, +1)
With their destructive D-line and an outstanding effort from Stephen Tulloch fueling another tight win, the Lions now hold the North lead alone and their incremental march up the ranks continues – they’ve gained a single spot in each of the past five weeks.
9. Indianapolis Colts (4, -5)
The St. Louis Rams jumped up and bit the Colts in Week 10, sending Indianapolis tumbling five spots from their tenuous hold on No. 4 in the last rankings. While wins over Denver, Seattle, and San Francisco point to their upside, losses like this make it tough to see them as a true threat.
10. Cincinnati Bengals (8, -2)
Consecutive overtime losses, this one at the hands of the Ravens, take the Bengals into their Week 11 matchup with the Browns and drive them from the comfort of the 8 spot, down two notches in the ranks to the edge of the Top 10.
11t. Chicago Bears (13, +2)
Dropping the second half of their showdowns with division mates bunched atop the NFC North, the Bears came up a two-point conversion short in this loss to Detroit. With others moving down to meet them, they actually gain ground in the rankings, but are on the outside looking in for the final wild card.
11t. Green Bay Packers (10, -1)
Down to Scott Tolzien to run the offense, the Packers have fallen in consecutive games and must be checking X-rays every hour, hoping their leader’s collar bone has healed. Now a game out in the North and falling in the wild card race, they’ve gone from No. 4 to out of the Top 10 in two weeks.
13t. Dallas Cowboys (11, -2)
Stomped by the Saints, the confusing Cowboys have fallen small steps in the rankings in three of the past four weeks — not quite a free fall, more like bouncing down a flight of stairs. The upcoming bye week will hopefully help put a halt to it.
13t. San Diego Chargers (15, +2)
Falling short in their comeback attempt, the Chargers couldn’t catch Denver in Week 10 as their suspect secondary was abused by Manning & Co.. Now at the bottom of a five-team group just outside the final wild card spot, San Diego will try to get right against a disheveled Miami squad next week.
15. Baltimore Ravens (18, +3)
An overtime win in Week 10 keeps the Bengals close in the standings and ends a three-game slide for the Ravens. Despite the recent downward run that included division losses to Pittsburgh and Cleveland, Baltimore is hanging around.
16. New York Jets (17, +1)
Two games behind the Patriots in the East but currently holding the final AFC Wild Card spot, the Jets hope the bye week absorbed the ‘L’ they were due in their W-L-W-L season pattern. They get the Bills, losers of three straight, next.
17. Philadelphia Eagles (22, +5)
The Eagles look like they might be the team to finally take hold of the NFC East and they’ll get the Redskins in a rematch of the season-opener shootout for a chance to cement that claim. Back up five spots for a team that seems to make only big moves in the ranks.
18. Arizona Cardinals (20, +2)
Suddenly pushing the 49ers (and due to see them in the season’s final week), the Cardinals are thinking playoffs despite an offense that has yet to find its footing. Consecutive wins over faltering teams have the Cardinals headed to Jacksonville in search of a third, and they’ve gone up in rank eight spots in three weeks.
19. Miami Dolphins (14, -5)
Off-field issues were trumped by on-field disappointment as the Dolphins dropped their all-Florida Monday Night matchup to the lowly Bucs. After rising as high as No. 12 early in the year, Miami now seems poised to settle into the 20’s.
20. Cleveland Browns (19, -1)
The bye-week Browns got to watch as the Bengals suffered their second overtime loss in as many weeks. The two will go head-to-head in Week 11 with Cleveland just a game and a half back and a win in the earlier meeting already under their belts.
21. Tennessee Titans (16, -5)
Handing Jacksonville their first win of the year will not be good for your standing in the ranks, and Tennessee saw that result in a five-spot drop. Losing Locker again doesn’t bode well for their chances of catching the Colts, a team they play twice in the next three weeks.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers (23, +1)
Refusing to go away, the Steelers kept their second losing streak of the season to a minimum, ending it with their Week 10 win over Buffalo. The Steelers are quietly hoping to make more noise in the North with four division games left.
The Bottom 10
23. New York Giants (26, +3)
Rediscovering a run game, the Giants found their third win in as many games – not quite balancing the six losses that opened the season, but as good as they could do in the stretch. Their climb up from No. 30 continues…
24. Washington Redskins (24, 0)
Carrying a strong lead into the game’s final 20 minutes, Washington gave up four Viking scores and failed in their third bid to collect consecutive wins. They’ll hold steady at 24 for now, but the coming weeks should provide movement in one direction or the other with games against Philly, SF, and KC among their next four.
25. Houston Texans (21, -4)
That’s seven straight for Houston as they chase Atlanta down the rankings as the high-ranked preseason pair have found the 2013 season more than difficult. A visit from Oakland is next in a game that could spell the end of their streak.
26t. Atlanta Falcons (24, -2)
Unable to keep up with Seattle in Week 10, Atlanta loses their third straight and drops two more spots to add to the league’s biggest fall from preseason rank; now down 21 spots from their initial No. 5.
26t. St. Louis Rams (29, +3)
The Rams put it together in Week 10 and surprised the Colts in Indy, moving up three spots as a result – a rare jump in a season of backward steps. They’ll enjoy the bye week and come back to welcome Chicago.
28. Buffalo Bills (26, -2)
Following losses at the hands of New Orleans and Kansas City, the Bills stumbled against the Steelers and made it three in a row. It won’t get easier this week with the Jets coming to town, but a four-game Georgia-Florida tour after the bye holds opportunity for better days.
29t. Minnesota Vikings (30, +1)
With long-time Viking Kevin Williams offering a standout performance, Minnesota snapped a four-game skid on Thursday Night against Washington. They get the No. 30 rank off their back, moving up to meet Oakland for a tie at 29.
29t. Oakland Raiders (28, -1)
Threatening to duplicate last season’s second-half slide, the Raiders moved to 3-6 as the briefly dangerous Terrelle Pryor was limited on the ground and through the air. Down to No. 29, their lowest rank since Week 4.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (31, 0)
Holding on this time to secure their first win, the Buccaneers took down Miami largely behind the outstanding play of their linebackers, Mason Foster and Lavonte David.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (32, 0)
Not to be outdone by the Bucs above them, Jacksonville kept pace and got into the win column for the first time in 2013. Not enough to move them from No. 32, but a positive nonetheless.