NFL Power Rankings, Week 10: Drew Brees and the Saints climb toward the top

Here’s the deal with these Week 10 NFL Power Rankings. They are not predictions. If a team projects to have an easy or difficult schedule ahead of them, that matters not for this exercise. These are very simply a list of how good each team is right this minute. Here’s how all 32 teams rank in my Week 10 NFL Power Rankings.

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NFL Power Rankings: Week 10

Before we get started with our Week 10 NFL Power Rankings, be sure to check out Mike Tanier’s NFL Week 9 Recap after you take a look through this list of 32 teams. This week, Tanier kicks off it off by taking a hard look at the Matt Nagy era in Chicago, the Seattle Seahawks, and his studs and duds of the week.

32) New York Jets (0-9)

The Jets are a terrible NFL team and the 32nd team in these Week 10 NFL Power Rankings. However, people need to realize that these are talented proud players and for New York, the Monday night game against the perennial powerhouse Patriots for everyone in the country to see was basically the Jets’ Super Bowl. Joe Flacco faced little pressure and made some excellent throws mostly to Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims, a promising pair of downfield threats. But, they still have yet to win a game.

31) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7)

Jake Luton, filling in for Gardner Minshew, hit DJ Chark for a long bomb touchdown to start the game and his NFL career. Jacksonville hung with the Texans for much of this game, but Deshaun Watson broke their back time and time again during crucial moments of regulation. Jacksonville hasn’t won a game since Week 1, but this was a step in the right direction at least, and Luton played much better than expected

30) Dallas Cowboys (2-7)

The Cowboys hosted the league’s only undefeated team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Dallas jumped up on them early, taking the lead into the locker room at halftime with Garrett Gilbert as their starting quarterback. Give Gilbert credit, though – he played a very solid game. Dallas won the time of possession and eliminated the Steelers running game but couldn’t get the win…which might actually help this franchise in the long run.

29) Washington Football Team (2-6)

Washington turned the ball over five times and got zero takeaways. Kyle Allen suffered a gruesome leg injury leading to Alex Smith running the show for Washington’s offense. He started slow and did throw three interceptions, but Smith brought Washington back in this game against the Giants with Terry McLaurin and Cam Sims really showing well.

It wasn’t enough, and now, the Football Team sits at 2-6. Washington couldn’t run the ball at all but did finish the day averaging a robust eight yards per offensive play.

28) New York Giants (2-7)

This was a nice divisional win over Washington for the Giants, who they have now beaten twice. New York has a legitimate defense, especially against the run. Daniel Jones spreads the ball around very effectively, and the Giants ran the ball well against a very good Washington front.

New York held the ball for 36:27 of the game clock and obviously benefited from the Football Team’s five turnovers. Daniel Jones didn’t commit one turnover, even though he was under much duress.

27) New England Patriots (3-5)

This is an embarrassing place for the best franchise of this millennium. But it also shouldn’t be totally unexpected. New England has a terrible roster with terrible talent, and the organization is looking toward next year. But hey, the Patriots got their third win of the year and we certainly have to recognize a night where Jakobi Meyers hauled in a dozen catches for 169 yards. New England also ran 32 more plays than the Jets in this game

26) Houston Texans (2-6)

The Texans got their second win of the season in Jacksonville, and Deshaun Watson keeps showing that he is one of the top quarterbacks in football. Watson got big plays from Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks, but Houston didn’t sustain offense and got nothing on the ground from their running backs. DJ Chark ate up Houston’s defense, and Jake Luton threw for over 300 yards in his first career start.

25) Denver Broncos (3-5)

The Broncos – ranked 25th in my Week 10 NFL Power Rankings – were overmatched in Atlanta in a game that was never really close until the end when Drew Lock started to battle back. A real bright spot for the Broncos and a star in the making is their first-round pick Jerry Jeudy, who finished this game with 125 yards. This was also another step forward for Drew Lock, but I have to ask – what would this offense and his receiver room look like with Courtland Sutton?

24) Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1)

The Bengals are on bye, but it is becoming clear that Joe Burrow could be a special player. He is elevating those around him already…something rarely seen from rookie quarterbacks. Cincinnati has only won two of their eight games, but there should be much optimism around this organization.

23) Detroit Lions (3-5)

The Lions just got gauged by Dalvin Cook and Minnesota’s ground game to the tune of 275 yards, 206 of that to Cook. Matthew Stafford left this game and was replaced by Chase Daniel. Overall, it wasn’t a bad day for the Lions passing game. But losing the turnover differential 0-3 was critical. The Lions fell to 3-5, and Minnesota advanced to 3-5, However, these teams are trending in opposite directions.

22) Los Angeles Chargers (2-6)

This week’s Chargers’ close loss came down to the very final play of the game on a very controversial call. It is just amazing the ways this team has found to lose games over the past two seasons. This is about as good and talented of a two-win team as you can find with an extremely promising rookie quarterback in Justin Herbert, who threw for 326 yards.

21) San Francisco 49ers (4-5)

On Thursday Night Football against the Packers with just a fragment of their roster, San Francisco was pretty much dominated. With the state of this team, the playoffs seem extremely unlikely for last year’s Super Bowl runner up.

20) Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1)

Our 20th ranked team in these Week 10 NFL Power Rankings begins are the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are on their bye week and should be getting much healthier on offense around Carson Wentz. Philadelphia doesn’t have a winning record, but they are in first place in the NFL’s worst division.

19) Minnesota Vikings (3-5)

The Vikings have somewhat quietly resurrected their season. Without question, the biggest reason for Minnesota playing well of late is Dalvin Cook. What Cook has done these past two weeks -and really all year long – is just remarkable. The Vikings averaged a whopping 8.9 yards per offensive play.

But that also sells the rest of this team short. And remember that Minnesota had two punts blocked in this game. Mike Zimmer deserves a lot of credit as the Vikings have now won back to back divisional games.

18) Cleveland Browns (5-3)

The Cleveland Browns should have Nick Chubb back in the mix when they return from their bye. Cleveland is 5-3, but they have also been outscored by their opponents this year by 31 points.

17) Chicago Bears (5-4)

Nick Foles and the Bears offense have plenty of problems and once again (only three first-half first downs), got nothing from their running game. However, that side of the ball did produce 375 yards against Tennessee while controlling the clock for nearly 34 minutes.

But don’t let those numbers make you think that Chicago’s offense is getting right. Turnovers haunted the Bears, including a Tennessee defensive score. Chicago is now 5-4 entering the second half of their season with very good defense and very bad offense. Could head coach Matt Nagy be in trouble?

16) Carolina Panthers (3-6)

You have to give the Panthers an awful lot of credit for this one in Kansas City. They came within a 65-yard field goal attempt at the end of the game of pulling off a gigantic upset. Christian McCaffrey returned for this game, and Carolina racked up 435 total yards.

One of the worst run defenses in football, Carolina held the Chiefs ground game to just 30 yards. While the Panthers held the football for over 38 minutes, the turnovers they committed did hurt their cause. The Panthers played very well, though.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 10: Teams ranked 15-6

15) Atlanta Falcons (3-6)

We kick off the top 15 of my Week 10 NFL Power Rankings with the Atlanta Falcons. Since firing Dan Quinn and naming Raheem Morris the interim head coach, the Falcons have won three of their last four. While them letting Denver back into this game cannot be ignored, Atlanta is certainly trending in the right direction, which is especially true on defense. Matt Ryan played a very strong game even with Calvin Ridley out, and the Falcons were able to possess the football for well over 33 minutes.

14) Arizona Cardinals (5-3)

In a fun back and forth game against Miami, Kyler Murray was often spectacular as his Arizona Cardinals averaged 6.9 yards per play in a losing effort. Murray ran for over 100 yards, and Christian Kirk supplied big plays as a receiver. This game was extremely evenly matched, and even with a loss, Arizona is just one game behind the Seahawks in the NFC West.

13) Miami Dolphins (5-3)

The Miami Dolphins – ranked lucky number 13 in my Week 10 NFL Power Rankings – scored on defense again early in this game in Arizona, and that might have been the difference between winning and losing. In Tua Tagovailoa’s second career start, Miami scored 24 first-half points. Tagovailoa certainly passed his second NFL test as a starting quarterback as Miami advances to 5-3 and very much in the AFC playoff picture.

12) Indianapolis Colts (5-3)

Philip Rivers completed passes to nine different receivers. That can make the Colts offense difficult to play against, but the reality is that this offense is really lacking a top receiving option. Indianapolis’ running game never really got going, and a strong defensive performance was wasted against the Ravens as Indianapolis fell to 5-3.

11) Los Angeles Rams (5-3)

After a tough game against Miami, the Rams got their bye week. They are very much in the thick of the NFC playoff race, but Los Angeles doesn’t have a particularly deep roster, so hopefully, head coach Sean McVay can lead them through the rigors of the rest of the season.

10) Las Vegas Raiders (5-3)

The top 10 of our Week 10 NFL Power Rankings begins with the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders ran the ball very well but lost the time of possession battle by 10 minutes. Their defense still leaves a lot to be desired, especially rushing the passer. Although he didn’t put up big numbers, few seem to realize it or give him credit, but Derek Carr is having a great season, and his Raiders are 5-3.

9) Tennessee Titans (6-2)

In a game that the Titans controlled from the start, Tennessee’s offensive box score doesn’t really tell the story as they only produced 228 yards of offense. AJ Brown stood out once again and is one of the league’s premier young receivers. Tennessee also lost the time of possession battle, but they won the turnover differential 2-0 and scored on defense.

The Titans have only lost two games this year and prepare to host Indianapolis next week in a game that will go a long way to determining the AFC South division winner.

8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3)

After getting destroyed by the Saints, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still a very strong all-around team. But the Bucs have only won two-thirds of their games this year and have had their share of low points, including trailing New Orleans 31-0 at the half on Sunday Night Football. They come in eighth in my Week 10 NFL Power Rankings.

7) Buffalo Bills (7-2)

The Bills jumped on Seattle early with Josh Allen carving up the Seahawks pass defense. Stefon Diggs and John Brown combined for well over 200 receiving yards. But as impressive and potent as Allen, Diggs and Brown were in this game, the most encouraging takeaway for the Bills might be how their defense slowed down Russell Wilson.

This looked like the Buffalo defense we have come to expect under Sean McDermott, but the Bills could use more from their rushing attack going forward. It is hard to argue with 7-2, though, and the AFC East belongs to Buffalo. Allen was the best player on the field against the Seahawks.

6) Green Bay Packers (6-2)

On a short week, the Green Bay Packers, led by Aaron Rodgers, traveled to San Francisco for their Thursday Night Football matchup. Somewhat predictably, they controlled that game basically from the start. The 49ers were just riddled with injuries, but nonetheless, Green Bay was far better than their opponent on both sides of the ball.

The top 5 NFL teams

5) Seattle Seahawks (6-2)

We kick off the top five of my Week 10 NFL Power Rankings with the Seattle Seahawks. Turnovers were again a problem for Russell Wilson, who got no help from his ground game in Buffalo. This very questionable defense allowed 44 points as the Seahawks fell to 6-2 while losing the turnover battle 0-4.

Seattle did find a pass-rush though in Buffalo, sacking Josh Allen seven times. But yet again, they allowed the opposing passer to throw for over 300 yards, which has become a weekly occurrence. Head Coach Pete Carroll needs to figure it out.

4) Baltimore Ravens (6-2)

The Colts defense did a great job bottling up Lamar Jackson and company, but eventually, Baltimore started moving the ball with some consistency, and Jackson really picked it up in the second half. But Baltimore still only finished this afternoon with 156 passing yards and another 110 yards on the ground.

The Ravens did have a defensive touchdown, and this was a very strong performance on that side of the ball by Baltimore overall. The Ravens really needed this win to keep pace in the AFC and a top-five spot in my Week 10 NFL Power Rankings.

3) Pittsburgh Steelers (8-0)

The Steelers were due for a letdown game, and that certainly is what we saw in Dallas. Pittsburgh’s running game was totally nonexistent, and the Steelers abandoned it early. The game was 13-9 at the half in Dallas’ favor, but Pittsburgh’s defense, led by Minkah Fitzpatrick, did tighten up as the game went along. Ben Roethlisberger orchestrated the passing game masterfully in the second half.

2) New Orleans Saints (6-2)

The Saints came out Sunday night and just throttled Tampa Bay from the get-go in a huge divisional game. Not only did the Saints finally get Michael Thomas back for this game, but their defense continues to get healthier and much improved as the season progresses.

New Orleans has now won five in a row, and just as importantly, two of their wins this year are over the Buccaneers. The NFC South now belongs to Drew Brees and the Saints…yet again.

1) Kansas City Chiefs (8-1)

The Chiefs advance to 8-1 while averaging 6.8 yards per play, but this was not a dominant performance by Kansas City, as the Panthers nearly pulled off the upset. However, the Chiefs are still number one in my Week 10 NFL Power Rankings.

The Chiefs are down quite a few offensive linemen, and that is something to really keep an eye on with this team as the Chiefs had no ground game to speak of. Expect to start hearing Patrick Mahomes’ name more and more in the MVP conversation.

Matt Williamson is a Senior NFL Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @WilliamsonNFL.

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