Week 10 NFL power rankings

Now that every team has reached the halfway point of its schedule, we have a much clearer picture of what has transpired over the first nine weeks of NFL action. Week 9 treated us to the highly-touted matchup of two all-time great quarterbacks squaring off yet again -- even though the game itself ended up being extremely one-sided -- and we also had a much lighter slate of games, as six teams were on a bye.

The result?

As expected, an enormous amount of shuffling around. Teams like the Lions and Titans actually benefited by not playing this week, while the Dolphins and Patriots rose up the rankings with big wins. The Eagles and Cowboys both lost a few confidence points due to injured quarterbacks, and the Raiders and Jets battled for ineptitude once more.

Here are the Week 10 NFL power rankings:

Week 10 NFL Power Rankings
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Week 10 NFL power rankings

31. New York Jets (LW: 29)

If the Jets have nothing else going for them, at least they have the comfort of knowing that one team -- Oakland -- is currently below them in the power rankings.

If there’s any consolation to this, there’s also the added benefit that New York’s Opening Day victory over the Raiders is solely responsible for keeping the Jets out of dead last place in the NFL. For now.

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 31)

Even when the Jaguars threaten, it is more of a whimper than a roar. As close as it might have looked to a potential upset, the Jaguars struck the Bengals, then were killed in seconds -- literally, seconds off the game clock -- later.

These are the same Jaguars we have seen for years, and little appears to have changed.

 (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

28. Tennessee Titans (LW: 30)

Tennessee has been a disappointment across the board, opening the season with an impressive road win in Kansas City, only to go 1-6 since. The one win? Beating the Jaguars. At home. With a blocked field goal attempt.

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

27. Atlanta Falcons (LW: 26)

Perhaps last season’s 4-12 campaign was not solely due to an abnormal amount of injuries; perhaps the Falcons really are that bad. One thing is indisputable, the Falcons’ defense -- dead last in yards allowed -- is as horrible as advertised.

Atlanta has also given up 22 points in all but one game this season. Even with the talent the Falcons have on offense -- Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White, to name a few -- asking a team to continually score in the 30’s to win a game is a tall task for anyone.

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

26. Chicago Bears (LW: 23)

An uncharacteristic, horrible defense with a typical turnover-prone offense; it’s actually somewhat a surprise that the Bears are 3-5 and not worse.

A bevy of fantasy football studs without a galvanizing force to produce wins, the Bears needed a massive rework during their bye week to recover their soon-to-be lost season.

(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

24. New York Giants (LW: 22)

The Giants opened the 2014 season in similar fashion as last year -- struggling early through inept play. Quickly, however, the Giants appeared to have turned their misfortune around, running off three straight wins and pulling above .500.

It is becoming clear, as the weeks pass, that the real Giants are the mistake-prone squad from New York -- New Jersey, really -- and not the suddenly resurgent team that beat the Texans, Redskins, and Falcons in consecutive weeks.

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

23. Carolina Panthers (LW: 17)

The Carolina Panthers appear to have regressed in every conceivable facet of the game. Their defense has been a massive disappointment after being one of the league’s best a year ago, and their offense has been inept for weeks.

With a crucial loss to the Saints, the Panthers now need a complete reversal of fortune to turn their season around.

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

22. St. Louis Rams (LW: 27)

If only the Rams played NFC West opponents every week. Despite an overall losing record of 3-5, two of the Rams’ three wins -- in fact, both in the last three weeks -- have been against the Seahawks and 49ers.

These wins sandwiched a 34-7 blowout at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs. Victims of looking ahead, perhaps? Unlikely.

Despite how well the Rams play against NFC West rivals -- they get another opportunity to pull off an upset when they visit the Cardinals this week -- St. Louis is still a terrible team. Ranked in the bottom-five of scoring offense and scoring defense, and still with a liability at quarterback with Austin Davis, the Rams are going nowhere fast.

They have, however, earned the right to be considered this year’s ‘Spoiler Team,’ so, beware.

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

21. Minnesota Vikings (LW: 25)

It certainly hasn’t been pretty, but the Vikings’ back-to-back wins send them into their bye week with a somewhat respectable -- given the team’s expectations -- record of 4-5.

Before we even nudge the Vikings towards the level of ‘mediocre,’ however, it is worth noting that all four of their victories have been against teams with losing records -- Rams, Falcons, Buccaneers, and Redskins.

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

20. Houston Texans (LW: 20)

At 4-5, the Houston Texans enter their bye week exactly where they belong based on their stats -- just outside the conversation of contenders.

On the strength of their opportunistic defense -- Houston leads the league in takeaways -- the Texans have tallied wins against weaker opponents, but struggle when taking on the likes of the Cowboys, Colts, Steelers, and Eagles. The Texans are neither playoff-bound or pitiful. They are, simply, just below average.

(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

19. New Orleans Saints (LW: 21)

Their win over the Panthers put them on the inside track for the NFC South title, but that is more of an indictment of the division than reason for excitement.

The Saints have the recent history, quarterback, and coach to put together a run, but, until they do, they hover in mediocrity.

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

18. Baltimore Ravens (LW: 12)

As bunched up as the AFC North is at this point, the Ravens have dug themselves a massive hole with a 2-3 divisional record, including getting swept by the Bengals. Their 20-point loss to the Steelers on Sunday Night Football is crippling, and they have quickly dropped to the basement of the NFL’s most complete division.

The Ravens will need to go on a run to overcome their divisional losses, but it isn’t entirely impossible. Baltimore is ranked eighth in the league in points scored and fourth-best in points allowed.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

17. San Francisco 49ers (LW: 14)

The 49ers are the embodiment of hubris -- talented across the board with expectations that they will simply pull out a victory when needed. Unfortunately for them, they have failed to do so in half of their games this season.

Erratic and inconsistent -- losses to the Bears and Rams but wins against the Eagles, Cowboys, and Chiefs -- the 49ers are actually on the verge of falling out of the NFC playoff picture altogether.

Despite the popular belief that Colin Kaepernick is a top quarterback, his team’s offense has not yet scored 30 points in a game -- the only time San Francisco eclipsed 30 points was via an interception for a touchdown.

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

14. Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 18)

Largely left for dead after an 0-2 start -- including a home loss to the Titans -- the Kansas City Chiefs have gone on a 5-1 run since. Two of their last three wins have been against the Jets and Rams, so expectations should be tempered a bit, but Kansas City’s top-five scoring defense from 2013 appears to be returning to form.

The Chiefs are now ranked second in points allowed. With losses by the Broncos and Chargers in Week 9, the Chiefs are quiet players in the AFC West division race.

(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)

13. San Diego Chargers (LW: 4)

Streaky and inconsistent. In the past five seasons -- including 2014 -- the Chargers have had a 3-game losing streak and 3-game winning streak in the same year all but once. They get hot and cold seemingly quicker than any other team in the NFL, and their recent skid should come as no surprise considering their pedigree.

The Chargers are a good, solid team, but no one needs a bye week more than them. Let’s see if they take the time off to reverse their trend.

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

11. Miami Dolphins (LW: 15)

It’s about time. Miami has quietly been playing well over the past few weeks, but it needed a ‘statement win’ to solidify itself among the contenders. That win finally came in the form of a 37-0 thrashing of the visiting Chargers on Sunday.

With the victory, Miami now moves to 4-1 in its past five games, with the only loss coming via a last-second touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers. At 5-3 and with the league’s third-best defense, the Dolphins are trending upwards at the right time.

(Al Diaz/Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 13)

It took a little longer than it should have, but people finally have forgiven the Steelers for their three-game stretch during which Pittsburgh narrowly escaped Jacksonville with a win and lost to the Buccaneers and Browns.

Since their 21-point defeat in Cleveland, the Steelers are 3-0, including double-digit wins against the Colts and Ravens. Pittsburgh’s defense is still suspect -- 15th in yards allowed and 21st in points allowed -- but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le’Veon Bell, and wide receiver Antonio Brown add legitimate playmakers to the offense. Furthermore, the Steelers’ next two opponents are the Jets and Titans.

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

9. Green Bay Packers (LW: 8)

The Packers are the prototypical upper echelon franchise -- their ‘up years’ are fantastic and their ‘down years’ are above average. They appear to be right on the fringe of scuffling in the middle of the pack or going toe-to-toe with the Lions for NFC North -- and NFC, itself -- supremacy.

A history of winning and a superstar quarterback typically yields the benefit of the doubt, especially after a tough road loss in New Orleans.

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

8. Dallas Cowboys (LW: 5)

What to do with the Dallas Cowboys? Obviously, the direction of the team rests largely on quarterback Tony Romo’s shoulders -- or injured back, really -- but the 6-3 Cowboys have done enough to consider them one of the league’s top teams.

Fortunately for Dallas, Romo’s injury may not be much of a factor in the coming weeks, as the Cowboys take on the hapless Jaguars in London in Week 10, then have a bye in Week 11. As always, with the Cowboys, it will be December and January that tell the story.

(Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

7. Seattle Seahawks (LW: 6)

It has certainly been ugly at times, but the Seattle Seahawks continue to chug along and tally wins. Now at 5-3 and with five of their final eight games coming against division opponents, the NFC West is certainly obtainable. That is, as long as Seattle can build off the momentum of their recent wins over the Panthers and Raiders -- a combined 3-13-1.

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

6. Indianapolis Colts (LW: 9)

After an 0-2 start, the Colts ran off five consecutive victories on the back of Andrew Luck and the top-ranked offense in the NFL.

For a few weeks, they looked unstoppable, before running into a wall in Pittsburgh. The Colts responded to their broken win streak by pummeling the Giants on Monday Night Football, reminding the league how dangerous they could be.

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

5. Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 10)

It has been stated many times in our picks articles this season, but the Eagles’ losses could almost entirely be explained away by two plays -- a fourth down stand by the 49ers and a ridiculous prayer of a touchdown by the Cardinals.

At 6-2 and with a top-5 offense, Philadelphia is every bit as good as they appear on paper. The problem, however, is that quarterback Nick Foles is now out with a broken collarbone. If we are ranking the ‘power’ of a given team, this injury certainly has to be added to the equation.

The Eagles have the talent around backup quarterback Mark Sanchez that he never had with the Jets, so we may finally get to actually assess Sanchez in a real offense. Suddenly, the Eagles are the most intriguing story in the NFL.

(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

4. Detroit Lions (LW: 7)

As hard as it may be to believe, the Lions defense is legitimately dominant. No team has scored more than 24 points all season against Detroit, and the Lions have quickly become one of the most complete teams in the league.

At 6-2 and on a bye week, the Lions look to become even more dangerous when Calvin Johnson returns from his injury. Watch out.

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

3: Denver Broncos (LW: 1)

If any losses are considered ‘acceptable’ -- at least, without too much repercussion -- it’s a loss in Foxborough or Seattle. Those are the sites of the two losses for the Denver Broncos this year.

Still outstanding, still first in their division, and still led by one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, there is no shame in being the second-best team in the AFC. Denver took a hit in New England, but remains one of the league’s most dangerous teams.

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

2. Arizona Cardinals (LW: 2)

Arizona only has one negative in their victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday -- Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo did not play. Had Romo started the game and Arizona still won, they might have supplanted the Patriots as the top team in the rankings.

Instead, they had more to lose than gain when playing against the Cowboys’ backup quarterback Brandon Weeden. Regardless of opponent, the Cardinals are the class of the NFC, well-coached and well-balanced.

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

1. New England Patriots (LW: 3)

It’s tough to argue with the results of a what could only be described as a heavyweight match between the ‘Current Belt Holder’ and the ‘Number One Contender.’

When the Patriots crushed the Broncos -- the 22-point loss was the worst regular season defeat of the ‘Denver Manning’ era, supplanting the previous record-holder of 10 points by, of course, New England -- there was no doubt as to which team would top the charts.

But really, raise your hand if you’re surprised that the New England Patriots are currently atop the Power Rankings. Only a few? That’s what we thought.

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Related links:
Nothing is lost in translation when Mikhail Prokhorov speaks
Dissecting the AFC Wild Card race: Chargers poised for second-half surge
Dissecting the NFC Wild Card race: Packers destined to make a push at the north
Mohamed Sanu, Jeremy Hill among names to watch in fantasy

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