2017 NFL Power Rankings: Week 10
With Week 10 coming up, every team has officially played at least half of their games. Teams are starting to really separate themselves from the competition, but in reality, it is still hard to know where these teams will end up by the end of the season. As we have seen far too often, a promising season can quickly be derailed by an unfortunate and untimely injury. But for now, we can see where each team stands moving into the new week. So with that, here are my weekly NFL Power Rankings for Week 10.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-8, Previous Ranking: 32)
Last Week: Bye
Next Week: at Lions (4-4)
The good thing about bye weeks is that you don’t add a loss to the “L” column. The bad thing is that you don’t add a win either. But after the botched A.J. McCarron trade, the Browns might as well have lost another game.
31. San Francisco 49ers (0-9, Previous Ranking: 31)
Last Week: L, 20-10, vs. Cardinals
Next Week: vs. Giants (1-7)
The 49ers said last week that they were potentially planning on sitting newly-acquired quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, which in theory wouldn’t be the worst idea, since it would mean almost certainly a guaranteed top-3 pick in the 2018 draft without risking an injury to your future franchise quarterback. But fans will want to see Jimmy G on the field sooner rather than later and with a favorable matchup with the Giants, things could shake up quickly.
30. New York Giants (1-7, Previous Ranking: 30)
Last Week: L, 51-17, vs. Rams
Next Week: at 49ers (0-9)
This is the worst Giants football team during the Eli Manning era. Potentially even longer than that. Blame the injuries all you want, but even without OBJ, this is a team that still gave up 51 points at home. Pathetic.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-6, Previous Ranking: 28)
Last Week: L, 30-10, at Saints
Next Week: vs. Jets (4-5)
This team has talent all over the place. The main issue? That talent hasn’t translated onto the football field. At all. Sure, Jameis Winston hasn’t been playing at 100%, which is why he is being shut down for the next few weeks. But at this point, things aren’t looking good in Tampa, especially Mike Evans’ extracurriculars.
28. Indianapolis Colts (3-6, Previous Ranking: 30)
Last Week: W, 20-14, at Texans
Next Week: vs. Steelers (6-2)
Finally, after waiting all season the Colts finally got news about Andrew Luck… except it wasn’t the news they wanted to hear. Without Luck under center this season, the Colts will try to limp to the finish line. Congrats on snagging a win on the road against the physically and emotionally depleted Texans. But really, all of the congrats should go to T.Y. Hilton.
27. Houston Texans (3-5, Previous Ranking: 12)
Last Week: L, 20-14, vs. Colts
Next Week: at Rams (6-2)
I genuinely feel awful for the Texans. Losing Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, and Whitney Mercilus has been absolutely brutal for what was otherwise an extremely promising 2017 season. With Tom Savage under center, it will be hard for this team to grab many more wins this season, as Watson was the primary catalyst of this team. 2018 and beyond, though… look out, NFL.
26. Cincinnati Bengals (3-5, Previous Ranking: 23)
Last Week: L, 23-7, at Jaguars
Next Week: at Titans (5-3)
It’s crazy to think that not that long ago, the Bengals were considered one of the elite, well-rounded teams in the NFL. Oh, how quickly the times change. The emotional explosion of A.J. Green against Jalen Ramsey perfectly sums up how the past two seasons have gone for Marvin Lewis and the Bengals (hint: it’s not very well).
25. Miami Dolphins (4-4, Previous Ranking: 24)
Last Week: L, 27-24, vs. Raiders
Next Week: at Panthers (6-3)
The last two weeks are two weeks that all Dolphins fans will want to forget. Outscored 67-24 in two games and traded away arguably your best offensive player. Woof. The reason this game was even close was because of Jay Cutler’s solid game (yes, you read that correctly).
24. Green Bay Packers (4-4, Previous Ranking: 22)
Last Week: L, 30-17, vs. Lions
Next Week: at Bears (3-5)
Just like the Texans, the Packers have watched a strong season quickly disappear after losing Aaron Rodgers for potentially the rest of the season. Since Rodgers injury, the Packers have lost three straight. To add insult to injury, right tackle Bryan Bulaga went down with a torn ACL on Monday night against the Lions. If Rodgers was still healthy, the Packers would be a major Super Bowl contender in the NFC. Instead, they’ll be lucky if they’re even in playoff consideration in a few weeks.
23. Arizona Cardinals (4-4, Previous Ranking: 27)
Last Week: W, 20-10, at 49ers
Next Week: vs. Seahawks (5-3)
Adrian Peterson just set his career-high in rushes in a single game with 37. That is also the most by a running back at least 32 years old. That’s a big deal. Even without Carson Palmer, this team could find a way to limp along with veterans like AP and Larry Fitzgerald. Playoffs? Probably not. But a .500 record isn’t out of the question as long as Drew Stanton can protect the ball.
22. Denver Broncos (3-5, Previous Ranking: 19)
Last Week: L, 51-23, at Eagles
Next Week: vs. Patriots (6-2)
The Broncos dropping this game to the Eagles on the road was an easy game to predict. But 51-23? Against one of the leagues elite defenses? That was rough to watch. Brock Osweiler will hold down the starting spot for a couple of weeks until Paxton Lynch is healthy. At that point, don’t be surprised to see the Broncos roll out their third quarterback this season in an attempt to try to get something to work.
21. Baltimore Ravens (4-5, Previous Ranking: 17)
Last Week: L, 23-20, at Titans
Next Week: Bye
At this point, it appears that the Ravens’ 40-0 win over the Dolphins was more of an indication of the Dolphins’ struggles than it was a potential resurgence from the Ravens. This is a very average team with one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL in the form of Joe Flacco (sorry, Ravens fans). They will win a couple of games throughout the second half of the season, but the Ravens have plenty of rebuilding to do during the offseason.
20. Oakland Raiders (4-5, Previous Ranking: 26)
Last Week: W, 27-24, at Dolphins
Next Week: Bye
The AFC West still belongs to the Chiefs, but with at least one win against the Chiefs (who have lost three of the last four), the West could be interesting moving forward. It probably won’t come to that, as the Raiders have been largely inconsistent this season, but you never know. This team still needs a lot of help on defense and some level of consistency on offense.
19. New York Jets (4-5, Previous Ranking: 25)
Last Week: W, 34-21, vs. Bills
Next Week: at Buccaneers (2-6)
People might not realize it, but this was a surprising and huge win for the Jets. The Bills were quietly one of the hottest teams in the NFL through the first half of the season and with three meh wins for the Jets going into this game, many thought the Bills would prevail. At the end of the day, the Jets strong, tough, and fast defense won out, proving that this could be a team in the playoff conversation by the end of the season. If it weren’t for a couple of last second losses, this is a Jets team that could’ve been at the top of the AFC East. Let that sink in for a second.
18. Los Angeles Chargers (3-5, Previous Ranking: 21)
Last Week: Bye
Next Week: at Jaguars (5-3)
Which form of the Chargers will we see in the second half of the season: the one that loses close games or the one that utilizes the talent it has on both sides of the ball? The fact that the Chargers can sneakily get wins makes them one of the more dangerous sub-.500 teams in the NFL right now. But, this is still the Chargers. So… do with that as you please.
17. Chicago Bears (3-5, Previous Ranking: 18)
Last Week: Bye
Next Week: vs. Packers (4-4)
Even though their record is 3-5, this has been an extremely competitive Bears team this season. Their defense has been one of the better units in the NFL and if they can find some stability with Mitchell Trubisky in the second half of the year, they could quietly string some wins together and build a nice foundation for 2018 and beyond.
16. Atlanta Falcons (4-4, Previous Ranking: 14)
Last Week: L, 20-17, at Panthers
Next Week: vs. Cowboys (5-3)
Let me repeat myself again: this is not the same Falcons team that set the world on fire in 2016. This is more like the 4th quarter Falcons team that we saw blow a 28-3 lead. Talk about a Super Bowl hangover. The Falcons schedule doesn’t get any easier over the next few weeks so it is a real possibility that this team will be on the outside looking in when it comes to playoff conversations.
15. Tennessee Titans (5-3, Previous Ranking: 20)
Last Week: W, 23-20, vs. Ravens
Next Week: vs. Bengals (3-5)
This was the type of win the Titans needed to really push themselves forward in the second half of the season. Winners of three in a row, the Titans are probably still the shakiest of the teams that currently hold a spot in the AFC playoff picture. But, if they can continue to string wins together, they could potentially steal the AFC South. I mean, their only competition at this point is the Jaguars, a team that they have already snagged a victory against this season.
14. Detroit Lions (4-4, Previous Ranking: 16)
Last Week: W, 30-17, at Packers
Next Week: vs. Browns (0-8)
The Lions got a huge win against the plummeting Packers in a crucial NFC North showdown. Matthew Stafford is the highest paid player in the NFL and is expected to win games, no matter what the circumstance is. He did just that with yet another strong showing. The Lions are trying to claw their way back into playoff contention, but they’ll remain in the conversation probably for most of the second half.
13. Washington Redskins (4-4, Previous Ranking: 15)
Last Week: W, 17-14, at Seahawks
Next Week: vs. Vikings (6-2)
I’ll admit that I am not the biggest Kirk Cousins fan. But props to him for rising up to the occasion and leading the Redskins to a huge win on the road at one of the most difficult places to play. This was one of his better performances in his career, especially considering the circumstances. But hats off to Jay Gruden for continuously dealing with adversity from injuries and getting a quality win.
12. Buffalo Bills (5-3, Previous Ranking: 8)
Last Week: L, 34-21, at Jets
Next Week: vs. Saints (6-2)
The Bills road struggles continue, this time coming at the hands of one of their AFC East rivals. The unfortunate part is that the Bills schedule is daunting over the next few weeks. If they can get through it with one of two wins, this is still a playoff-caliber football team. This loss to the Jets could come back to hurt them, though.
11. Carolina Panthers (6-3, Previous Ranking: 13)
Last Week: W, 20-17, vs. Falcons
Next Week: vs. Dolphins (4-4)
The Panthers continue to be one of the more frustrating teams in the NFL due to their potential but not always living up to it on the field. After trading away Kelvin Benjamin to the Bills, the Panthers’ passing game was a major concern. But with two straight wins largely thanks to their defense, the Panthers are sitting a half game behind the Saints in the race for the NFC South crown. Just like the Bills, this is a playoff-caliber football team, but they need to figure out a way to be more explosive on offense.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-3, Previous Ranking: 11)
Last Week: W, 23-7, vs. Bengals
Next Week: vs. Chargers (3-5)
This defense continues to be unreal. And instead of questioning them, we need to acknowledge that this is very much a great football team. As long as Blake Bortles isn’t forced to put the game into his hands, the Jaguars defense will take care of the winning for them, as they are an unstoppable force right now.
9. Seattle Seahawks (5-3, Previous Ranking: 6)
Last Week: L, 17-14, vs. Redskins
Next Week: at Cardinals (4-4)
The NFC West is going to be one of the most exciting races to watch throughout the second half of the season. This is a game that the Seahawks would love to have back, but all hope is not lost in Seattle. The Seahawks should be at least a wild card team, but still have a serious chance at securing the NFC West crown over the Rams.
8. Dallas Cowboys (5-3, Previous Ranking: 9)
Last Week: W, 28-17, vs. Chiefs
Next Week: at Falcons (4-4)
While the Ezekiel Elliott saga continues, the Cowboys are putting together wins to force themselves back into contention. The front seven has been one of the strongest groups in the NFL this season. Dak Prescott continues to settle in and be a force at quarterback. The biggest concern for the Cowboys moving forward will be delaying a potential suspension for Elliott. The longer it takes for a final ruling (assuming that a suspension would be upheld), the more potentially catastrophic the rest of the season could become for the Cowboys’ offense.
7. Kansas City Chiefs (6-3, Previous Ranking: 4)
Last Week: L, 28-17, at Cowboys
Next Week: Bye
After being the last undefeated team in the NFL, the Chiefs have dropped three of their last four games. But don’t let that fool you: this is still a Super Bowl contending football team. The Chiefs have played a solid schedule so far this season and have an offense that can go off at any moment each week. The major concern is this defense. Tamba Hali should provide a spark moving forward, but this defense is not the same strong unit we saw a couple of seasons ago.
6. Minnesota Vikings (6-2, Previous Ranking: 7)
Last Week: Bye
Next Week: at Redskins (4-4)
The Vikings might be the quietest 6-2 football team the NFL has seen. With Case Keenum under center, this team has been chugging along and controls their own destiny in the NFC North. The defense is great. They have weapons on offense. Keenum continues to be the “weakest” link, which speaks volume to this teams potential. Teddy Bridgewater is returning and if he can get back to action and provide the type of impact that they expected from him before his injury, the Vikings could become one of the most dangerous teams in the NFC.
5. New Orleans Saints (6-2, Previous Ranking: 10)
Last Week: W, 30-10, vs. Buccaneers
Next Week: at Bills (5-3)
Through the first two weeks of the season, the Saints looked like they were in for a long season. Fast forward to Week 10, and the Saints are winners of six straight games. The defense is lightyears better from the pathetic unit that showed up against the Vikings and Patriots. The run game seems to have only gotten better with the departure of future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson and the emergence of Alvin Kamara as a dual-threat running back. Drew Brees continues to air the ball out. This team is exciting to watch and are the clear favorites in the NFC South.
4. Los Angeles Rams (6-2, Previous Ranking: 5)
Last Week: W, 51-17, at Giants
Next Week: vs. Texans (3-5)
The Rams have arguably been the NFL’s biggest surprise in 2017. Who expected them to be 6-2 and have this explosive of an offense? What is scary about this team is how dangerous they are on the road, as they now stand at 4-0 on the season away from Los Angeles. Sean McVay should be the Coach of the Year for how he has turned this team around basically overnight. This is a playoff team. The biggest question: do they have a chance to pass the Eagles for the #1 seed? (I never thought I’d be asking myself that question)
3. New England Patriots (6-2, Previous Ranking: 3)
Last Week: Bye
Next Week: at Broncos (3-5)
The Patriots have found their rhythm after a shaky start (by the Patriots standards) and, like always, are one of the biggest contenders in the NFL. Anytime Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are together, they are a threat to win games… and Super Bowls. It was only a matter of time until things clicked for the Patriots.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2, Previous Ranking: 2)
Last Week: Bye
Next Week: at Colts (3-6)
After the bye, the two biggest weakness from the Steelers have been their inability to take advantage of redzone opportunities and their lack of any of their usual splash plays for huge chunks of yardage. With the defense playing the best they have in about five years, this is a team that has a nice blend of experience and youth. If they can find a way to improve their redzone offense and put more points on the board, this a team that not many people will want to play once January rolls around.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (8-1, Previous Ranking: 1)
Last Week: W, 51-23, vs. Broncos
Next Week: Bye
The Eagles are the best team in the NFL. Period. Carson Wentz is the clear frontrunner for NFL MVP at this point in the season. The addition of Jay Ajayi gives the Eagles one of the best stables of running backs in the league when you factor in him, LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement, and Wendell Smallwood. Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor, and Alshon Jeffery give Wentz exciting options in the pass game. This team is heads and shoulders above the rest of the NFL. At this point, they control their own destiny more than any other team in the league.