NFL Power Rankings Week 10 | Tier 2: Good, but even more inconsistent teams
These teams could all make a run in the playoff depending on the finish to their seasons, but all either have major flaws or issues playing consistent football on a weekly basis.
13) Kansas City Chiefs
What started as inappropriate criticisms of the offense have manifested itself into reality. Kansas City’s offense has looked disjointed for three weeks now. The defense isn’t looking as pathetic as it once did, but they’ve played Washington, the Giants, and the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers in three of four weeks.
This team feels unserious, which should do nothing but make us appreciate the consistent greatness of the dynastic New England Patriots year in and year out.
But on a third-and-10 late in a one-score game, Patrick Mahomes made a big play outside of the pocket to secure a win for the Chiefs, despite only putting up 13 points.
12) Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals struggled for the second week in a row. Nobody expected them to lose against the Jets and a backup QB, and nobody outside of Cleveland could have predicted such a thorough butt-whooping on Sunday.
Now, they’re tied with the Browns at 5-4, and both teams are currently on the outside looking in on the playoffs in the AFC. With the Raiders, Steelers, and Chargers coming up after the bye week, the Bengals must turn things around quickly or face a losing record as they head into Week 14 against the 49ers.
11) Cleveland Browns
I no longer have a clue what’s going on in the AFC North. The Browns’ offense, and more specifically Baker Mayfield, wasn’t playing well at all. Many Browns players had defended Odell Beckham Jr. over the past few days, but we didn’t hear that same defense of Mayfield.
Then, they go out and completely dominate a good Bengals team, just one week after looking inept against the Steelers. Mayfield played well, and Cleveland’s offensive line dominated the Bengals’ front, leading to a massive day for Nick Chubb. But it was the defense that turned the tides. Burrow threw 2 interceptions, and the Bengals lost 1 of their 3 fumbles on the day.
10) Las Vegas Raiders
Raider Nation wasn’t happy with me last week, as I pointed to their easy strength of schedule and their bad loss against the Bears as justification for having them at No. 9 in the NFL Power Rankings.
I love this Raiders team. They’re fun, and they have gone through the absolute ringer this season. I feel for the fans, and I hope for their success. But you can’t lose to the Bears and the Giants and feel good about your team. The same goes for the Bills.
But Las Vegas’ season has just begun. They play the Chiefs, Bengals, and Cowboys in consecutive weeks. If they can survive that and go 2-1, they’ll set themselves up well in the playoff picture, and they will have my utmost respect.
DeSean Jackson is a massive addition. They need that speed for the offense to work, and he still has plenty left in the tank.
9) Los Angeles Chargers
Something just doesn’t quite feel right with this team. After starting the season 4-1 despite playing some stiff competition, the offense doesn’t look as explosive, and they’ve struggled to stop the run.
The Chargers essentially dominated the Eagles, but red-zone struggles allowed Philadelphia to stay in the game. With the Vikings, Steelers, and Broncos upcoming, there’s a chance the Chargers are staring at the top seed in the West when they face the Bengals in Week 13.
Justin Herbert had himself quite a day, going 32-of-38 for 356 yards and 3 total touchdowns. Hopefully, LA stays on a roll and continues to rise back up in the NFL Power Rankings.
8) Buffalo Bills
I hate this football team. They were my Super Bowl pick, and I was incredibly happy with their start to the season (after Week 1). But they’ve let me and the Bills Mafia down. There is no excuse for an offense with this much talent to score just 9 points against the worst defense in the NFL.
Josh Allen was the MVP frontrunner before this week, but it looked like the other Josh Allen deserved it more. In a 1 PM ET slate that made absolutely no sense at all, this game confused me most. Turnovers ended up making a huge difference in this one, as they tend to do when bad teams beat good ones.
NFL Power Rankings Week 10 | Tier 1: Great, but inconsistent
A week ago, I would have told you there were seven or eight Super Bowl hopefuls. Now, after the absolute massacre of top teams in Week 9, I believe it’s all pretty wide open. There aren’t necessarily any “elite” teams. I wish there were. Parity was the theme of the week.
7) Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys were one of the teams in the early slate that boasted a better record than their opponent but still lost. However, their defeat was a bit more tragic than most. See, they got thoroughly dismantled by a team that just traded away a franchise legend and was missing many key starters.
Dallas didn’t show up, just as other good teams failed to do this week. The Cowboys take a tumble in the NFL Power Rankings, but they’ll be in good position with a seemingly easy remaining strength of schedule. At least Micah Parsons is starting to really come into his own as a linebacker.
6) Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens-Vikings contest was the only one I even remotely got right in my previews this week. The Vikings looked like they were going to beat the better team this week, but Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ offense climbed back into the game and won it in overtime.
When the Ravens run the ball the way they did against Minnesota, they’re going to be tough to beat. They rushed for 247 yards, and the 2021 version of Jackson is slinging it like he never has before.
Like everything else that happened in the early slate, this game was weird. We expected that from these teams, but even with the unique nature of this game, it was still the most normal of the bunch.
5) Green Bay Packers
There was a lot of backup quarterback action over the past few weeks, but the Jordan Love game might have been the most intriguing.
Unfortunately, he was unable to do enough offensively to allow this Packers team to beat the Chiefs. I actually believe this game was a net positive for Green Bay, aside from the obvious “L” on their record.
Their defense is playing wonderfully. They haven’t allowed more than 22 points since Week 3! This loss hurts them in the NFC standings, but holding the Chiefs to 13 points is a win. If the Packers can get healthy on the offensive line and they get superstar cornerback Jaire Alexander back, they could still be the best team in the NFC come playoff time.
That is, if the woke mob, UFOs, or chemtrails don’t take Rodgers from them first.
4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers might still be the best team in the NFL, but they must get a bit healthier in the secondary before they reach their final form. Their offensive line is outstanding. They have the best group of receiving weapons in the NFL, and they have a 44-year-old Hall of Fame QB playing some of the best football of his career.
Antoine Winfield Jr. is a menace on the back end, they have the best linebacking duo in the league, and Vita Vea is one of the most physically imposing defenders in the league. Even with the success we’ve seen from the Cardinals and Rams this season, I still think Tampa Bay will be a favorite when January rolls around.
3) Los Angeles Rams
This team is still one of the most impressive in the entire NFL. The only two teams they’ve lost to are ranked as the top two teams in the NFL Power Rankings. Matthew Stafford wasn’t as sharp against the Titans, but he’s still having a fantastic season overall. He should still be one of the MVP favorites.
Jalen Ramsey had a nice interception, and the defense played well. Unfortunately, the Rams’ offense set the defense up to fail with short fields. One possession only had to go 2 yards, and the other was a pick-six. Those consecutive possessions were the difference in the game. The Rams’ defense only allowed 3.5 net yards per play. This is an excellent team that had an off day offensively.
2) Tennessee Titans
The Titans are a frustrating team, but they’ve been effective in 2021. The loss of Derrick Henry is massive. The offense was not good against the Los Angeles Rams. However, that didn’t matter. The Titans’ defense was opportunistic and stout against the Rams.
For the first time this season, LA’s offense struggled through the air. Matthew Stafford threw 2 interceptions and looked disjointed at times for the first time in his Rams career. In a week full of crazy results, this was an underdog win that made sense, even if it didn’t happen the way we thought it would.
1) Arizona Cardinals
The two best teams in the NFC are both in the NFC West. That isn’t surprising given the hype surrounding the division to start the year. However, it’s impressive to see the Cardinals dominate a divisional opponent without their franchise quarterback, who missed the game with an ankle injury.
Arizona’s defense makes no sense, but it’s working. Byron Murphy is an animal, and the rest of the cornerbacks are somehow surviving. Offensively, they have a ton of weapons, and each week it seems one of their running backs is going off.
Not only are they a good team — they’re a fun team. They make the NFL more interesting, and that’s never a bad thing.