NFL Week 10 Power Rankings

By Geoff Ratliff

What a week! Week 9 revealed some questionable teams as true contenders while exposing others as potential frauds. The chase for the Lombardi Trophy sure got a whole lot more interesting.

  1. Green Bay Packers (8-0) – The Chargers continued to expose holes in Green Bays defense, but this team is starting to remind me a lot of the 2009 Saints: The defense makes enough timely plays to keep them in the win column.
  2. San Francisco 49ers (7-1) – Sure the Redskins are reeling, but San Fran took care of a down team the way that a true contender should.
  3. Baltimore Ravens (6-2) – Great match up as usual but the Ravens showed some true grit in delivering that late game comeback.
  4. New York Giants (6-2) – I guess Eli Manning was right about being in Brady’s class after out Brady-ing Brady in his own house. Either Eli’s really elevated his game, or Brady has come back to earth a bit. Probably a bit of both.
  5. Detroit Lions (6-2) – Interested to see how this young team starts the second half after a bye week as they prepare for the Turkey Day tilt against Green Bay.
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) – I wouldn’t exactly classify this loss as one that puts their Super Bowl chances in jeopardy, but it looks like they are going to have to pull a 2008 repeat and make this run on the road.
  7. New England Patriots (5-3) – Did I say that the Giants weren’t quite ready? Looks like three straight opponents have now figured out the secret to slowing the Pats down: Man up!
  8. Houston Texans (6-3) – It’ll be tempting to balance the offense out a little more when Andre Johnson returns after the bye, but even he has to be excited about the dominant Foster/Tate combo opening things up for him for more one-on-one coverage.
  9. Cincinnati Bengals (6-2) – Question the relatively easy – read no match ups against the Ravens or Steelers – schedule thus far if you want. Even a   .500 second half will leave these Cats squarely in the wild card hunt.
  10. New Orleans Saints (6-3) – I’m through trying to figure this team out. They control their destiny in the NFC South which should lead to at least one home playoff game.
  11. New York Jets (5-3) – The defense is definitely starting to settle in and Plaxico is finding his way into the offense more and more each week. The AFC East title and a first-round bye are now realistic goals for this squad.
  12. Atlanta Falcons (5-3) – Coach Smith has to be pleased with the fact that his team didn’t take Indy lightly. Seeing an explosive Julio Jones was exciting too.
  13. Chicago Bears (5-3) – The uncharacteristic fumbles by Forte slightly overshadowed another solid outing from the star running back, but the real story has to be the increasingly steady play of Jay Cutler. The Bears are a legitimate threat in the NFC if his maturation process continues.
  14. Buffalo Bills (5-3) – The AFC East title is still a three team race, but that was a crucial home loss for a young team still trying to prove it belongs.
  15. Dallas Cowboys (4-4) – Sort of a lackluster performance against the Seahawks but a 10-point win nonetheless. The Austin injury is a definite blow, but the Cowboys need to find a way to go into their first match up with the Giants at 8-4 or 7-5 to even think about the NFC East title, let alone a Wild Card spot.
  16. San Diego Chargers (4-4) – Rivers started to find his rhythm in this game but the pick 6s hurt tremendously. Luckily for the Chargers they are still the best looking team in the mediocre AFC West and are locked in a three-way tie for first.
  17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4) – Like their division rivals the Saints, I still don’t know what to make of this team. I do know that the McCoy injury is a big blow though.
  18. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) – Just when the Eagles were starting to pick up some steam, a home loss to the Bears effectively killed this team’s playoff chances. They are going to need a Dream Team-type 7-1 finish to even have a shot at a wild card. The NFC East title will have to wait till 2012.
  19. Kansas City Chiefs (4-4) – And Chiefs’ fans wonder why people were skeptical of that four game win streak. No excuse for getting rolled by the Dolphins like that at home. None!
  20. Oakland Raiders (4-4) – The Carson Palmer era is off to a disastrous start, but the faltering defense has to be of greater concern.
  21. Tennessee Titans (4-4) – The Titans have to be encouraged that Chris Johnson started to look a little like himself this week but that offense still looks a little lost without Kenny Britt balancing things out.
  22. Denver Broncos (3-5) – Tebow is finding ways to get it done which is buying him extra time to develop. No matter which side of the Tebow fence you’re on – and everybody has a side – there is no question that substantial game action is the only way this kid can get better, and he’s now 4-2 as a starter over two seasons.
  23. Cleveland Browns (3-5) – The Browns should just put Peyton Hillis on IR and end the circus. There’s nothing to gain by bringing him back this season and he’s clearly a cancer in the locker room.
  24. Washington Redskins (3-5) – Not sure that much more could have been expected against the 49ers. This team has to just hope they don’t fade into the NFC East cellar which is looking more and more likely at this point.
  25. Minnesota Vikings (2-6) – Hopefully the bye week will help Christian Ponder get a little more comfortable in the starters seat, but his first two starts were encouraging.
  26. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6) – The Jags hope that the bye week will help get some consistency going on the offensive side of the ball.
  27. Carolina Panthers (2-6) – I said this before, but a 5-3 finish and some upsets over playoff hopefuls would not shock me. The Cam Newton experience is here to stay!
  28. Arizona Cardinals (2-7) – Wisenhunt might have lost his team if they suffered a home loss to the Rams. Sort of ironic – or fitting if you’re a cynic – that an ill-advised punt return led to the OT victory.
  29. Seattle Seahawks (2-6) – Seriously, their quarterback situation is a mess! Bet Carroll is trying to figure out a way to get Barkley this year since USC isn’t bowl eligible.
  30. Miami Dolphins (1-7) – Luck? We don’t need no stinkin’ Luck! For a team on the verge of falling apart, that was an impressive road performance, even if many suspected the Chiefs weren’t quite for real.
  31. St. Louis Rams (1-7) – Bradford comes back and the Rams blow a late game lead against the equally lowly Cardinals. Go figure.
  32. Indianapolis Colts (0-9) – I can’t dump on this team anymore. It just isn’t fair. The play speaks for itself.

Follow Geoff on Twitter @snglemarriedguy

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