The picture has finally come into focus. While the tiers are more important than the individual ranking of the teams, the NFL Power Rankings return with numerics. There is far less separating the 10th and 20th-best teams in the NFL than there has been in a long time.
Heck, the Super Bowl champions from a season ago, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers, all fall in the 20s. It’s been an awkward season, but it’s become clear what teams are contenders and which are either hoping the season ends quickly or are actively trying to build for the future with each loss.
Week 10 NFL Power Rankings: Tier 6 | Unadulteraded Awfulness
Draft season can’t come soon enough. Luckily, Pro Football Network has a Mock Draft Simulator with premium features for free.
32. Houston Texans
The Houston Texans did on Thursday what they’ve done for most of the season. They hung around against teams vastly superior before ultimately collapsing in the fourth quarter.
While their competitiveness at times has been admirable, one glance at the roster is a good indicator of just how overmatched they are week in and week out.
They nailed the 2022 NFL Draft, but the roster still has a very long way to go before they’re competitive again. The good news is if they want to draft one of the top quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft, they’ll be in a position to do so.
31. Carolina Panthers
Panthers fans probably aren’t very happy right now. Reports around the trade deadline were teams offered some premium draft capital for some of Carolina’s best young talents. However, the team decided not to move DJ Moore or Brian Burns. Losing by a million to the Bengals was salt in the wound.
However, it’s important to understand that a GM’s career depends on having a competent enough roster to survive, and losing the team’s entire young corps would most likely eventually spell the end for Scott Fitterer.
A quarterback and good coaching could be the remedy.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers fans are in uncharted territory. They haven’t had to live in a world where the Steelers were any worse than an 8-8 team. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in 2022. Pittsburgh’s 27th in team DVOA, only have two wins, and struggle on both sides of the ball.
The only silver lining for Steelers fans is that their favorite team played the most-difficult schedule in the NFL through nine weeks, according to Football Outsiders. They face the 21st-most difficult schedule moving forward.
Still, it’s unlikely they make a playoff push in the remainder of the season. Pittsburgh needs to find out exactly what they might have in rookie QB Kenny Pickett.
29. Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions might be working their way out of the top draft pick, but it’s good to see a young, exciting football team battle their demons and beat a divisional opponent who’d taken five of the last six games in the series. The Lions’ win last season came in the final week of the season when Green Bay had the top seed in the NFC locked up.
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Detroit’s defense has been a sieve all season, but came up big on multiple occasions to turn over Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers undoubtedly helped Detroit on the second red-zone INT by underthrowing the pass to David Bakhtiari by about five yards, but rookie DE Aidan Hutchinson made a heady play by recognizing the tackle was eligible and leaving to run a route.
Jared Goff struggled for much of the game but came up big when the Lions needed him most on the team’s second and final touchdown drive.
28. Las Vegas Raiders
It’s time we took the shovel out of the shed and buried the lifeless Raiders. They just can’t seem to get things right, no matter the talent they’ve signed over the past 12 months. One week the offense looks lost, and the next week it’s the defense.
After losing a few games early in the season that they had no business losing, the thought was they could turn things around as luck turned around. But maybe that luck won’t ever come their way. Las Vegas lost another three-score lead against Jacksonville on Sunday.
They entered this week 26th in team DVOA, and despite playing the league’s 29th-most difficult schedule, had only mustered two wins. It will take a massive shift to make a season out of this.
27. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts’ offense has been the worst in the league by DVOA and the fourth-worst by EPA per play. Whiffing on Matt Ryan was a death blow to an offense that had already seen its offensive line deteriorate over the past few seasons.
There’s no harm in seeing what Sam Ehlinger has over the last half of the season. He showed some nice pocket presence in his first start of the season and just happened to run into a buzzsaw against New England. He’ll have every opportunity to prove whether he can start at the NFL level.
26. Chicago Bears
All of a sudden, the Bears are a ton of fun. Their defense has devolved over the last few weeks, but this was never a team looking to compete for anything in 2022. The only thing that matters to the Bears is seeing progress from Justin Fields.
There is still a ways to go in a lot of areas of Fields’ game, but after about a year and a half in Chicago, the Bears finally figured out how to maximize what he gives them. Luke Getsy and the young QB have found trust in one another. Getsy has found a way to shield an underwhelming offensive line from disaster and has figured out how to keep Fields out of trouble.
And over the past few weeks, arguably, no player in the NFL has been more fun to watch than Fields.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are one of the more frustrating teams in the NFL. Every metric in the world is trying to tell us this is a good football team.
Between the 20s, there aren’t many better teams in the league. In fact, Jacksonville is fifth in offensive drive success rate. However, they’re just 14th in points per drive, mostly because they’re 27th in turnovers per drive.
Trevor Lawrence, in particular, needs to be better in the red zone. He lost a fumble on one of the worst tosses of all time but played a very clean game Sunday after that moment.
Week 10 NFL Power Rankings: Tier 5 | We’re Not Mad, We’re Just… Disappointed
There are far too many teams in Tier 5 that we thought could be legitimate Super Bowl contenders in 2022. The NFL is special, and the inability to properly predict outcomes are a huge reason why.
24. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals’ success in 2021 always felt unsustainable in 2022, but this has been a massive downfall for a team that finished 11-6 a season ago. Arizona’s defense somehow finished with high marks a season ago, but it didn’t feel like a good defense.
The blown coverages and lackluster talent are on full display this season. However, it’s been the offense that has let them down halfway through the 2022 season, which could prove to be the final straw for Kliff Kingsbury in Arizona.
The Cardinals are now 3-6 and a long, long way from playoff contention.
23. Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns haven’t played up to expectations so far in 2022. The offense wasn’t supposed to be top 10 in DVOA this far into the season without Deshaun Watson, and their defense wasn’t supposed to be as bad as it’s been so far.
Cleveland’s secondary cannot work together, and the interior defense is majorly overmatched nearly every week. They rank 27th in defensive DVOA and sixth in offensive DVOA.
Cleveland has a tough stretch of Miami, Buffalo, and Tampa Bay coming out of their bye week. They must steal a few games if they want to survive for a late playoff push with Watson.
22. Denver Broncos
Arguably no team has been more underwhelming this season. Denver hit their bye week at 3-5 and 12th in the AFC. They still have the chance to turn things around this season, but it would involve their offense leaving its mother’s basement and touching some grass.
It’s never fun to watch a team waste a legitimately elite defense. Denver’s defense takes the top spot in both DVOA and EPA, but they’re awful on offense. Despite not turning the ball over much relative to the rest of the league, they rank 31st in points per drive and overall drive success rate.
21. Green Bay Packers
Things have spiraled out of control for the Green Bay Packers. They’ve yet to score 30 points in a game in 2022, something they did eight times a season ago. Green Bay’s special teams is still one of the weaker units in the NFL, the defense has underachieved, and their offense is disappeared in the last few weeks.
On Sunday, against Detroit, it was their Hall of Fame quarterback that had the biggest blunders. Aaron Rodgers’ first interception inside the 5-yard line was a bit flukey, but his second was an inexcusable underthrow on a trick play. Rodgers’ third was a poor decision on a seam throw to Robert Tonyan from the Lions’ 22.
If the Packers are going to salvage the season, their QB has to play better, no matter if the offensive line or receivers are bad.
20. New Orleans Saints
The Saints’ offense began the game by looking incredibly inept. Their first four drives ended in punts, and they could only muster two first downs on those two drives. The offense improved in the second half against Baltimore, but the Ravens made sure not to allow New Orleans any advantageous field position, and the Saints weren’t able to drive the full 75 yards to score a touchdown until late in the fourth quarter.
It will be fascinating to see whether Andy Dalton remains the starter or if Jameis Winston gets another shot for the Saints. Winston signed a two-year deal worth $28 million with the team during the offseason, while Dalton’s contract expires after the season.
But even at 3-6, if Dennis Allen believes Dalton gives the team a better chance to win, he will remain the starter because the team is still somehow in contention in the NFC South.
19. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams’ offense is pathetic. They came into the game ranking 31st in EPA per play and 23rd in DVOA. The offensive line is a mess, their run game is underwhelming, and aside from Cooper Kupp, LA doesn’t have a reliable weapon in the passing attack.
By contrast, their defense hasn’t been too bad, and they had a decent day against Tampa Bay. Unfortunately, they were on the field a whole lot in the fourth quarter, and they couldn’t continue to get stops when it mattered most.
18. Washington Commanders
The day started with Washington using Taylor Heinicke in their season-ticket advertisement and ended with the impending unrestricted free agent throwing the interception in the fourth quarter that led to the game-tying touchdown.
One of his TD passes came off pure chance. The referee ran into Camryn Bynum, who was tracking a horrific decision on a downfield throw from Heinicke. That throw ended up landing in Curtis Samuel’s hands for a touchdown.
Heinicke is a ton of fun, but he’s a limited quarterback best served to be a backup or spot starter. While the Washington defense has improved drastically since Week 1, the offense has been horrendous. And that probably doesn’t change no matter who is playing QB.
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offense is broken. They can’t score points. The team was 25th in points per drive before the Rams game on Sunday afternoon. It took a last-minute drive without a timeout from the greatest quarterback ever to overcome a four-point deficit.
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They should have already had the lead on the prior drive, but Scotty Miller couldn’t come down with a pass in the back of the end zone.
The Buccaneers’ defense came up huge against the Rams, allowing just 3.7 yards per play and 206 net yards of offense. But in an offensive-driven league, Tampa’s offense must start stringing together some positive games if it wants to contend in January and have a chance to win the division.
Week 10 NFL Power Rankings: Tier 4 | It Could Be Better
It’s a big tier, but it fits the weirdness of the NFL season. Some of the teams here we think might not be very good, while others could be legitimate championship contenders. But each team has something keeping them here, for now.
16. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons probably aren’t a very good football team, but they’ve been a ton of fun to watch so far this season. Their rushing attack is legitimately good, and Marcus Mariota has had his moments this season in his second opportunity as an NFL starter.
Unfortunately, he missed Kyle Pitts a few times downfield against Los Angeles in opportunities that could have totally changed the game. Additionally, Atlanta’s defense is one of the worst in the NFL, which makes not having an elite quarterback a grueling task for their offense.
The good news? They play the second-easiest remaining schedule in the NFL, according to Football Outsiders. Hopefully, this team won’t go down without a fight because they’ve been a joy to watch each week.
15. New England Patriots
The Patriots are a decent team that has a defense that looks completely dominant at times. But in the end, it doesn’t even matter. Mac Jones has not looked as good in his sophomore season.
He’s taking more risks and doing more in the offense this season, and it’s showing how limited he is as an athlete and passer. Josh McDaniels did wonders for the young QB. Jones is a bus driver. And there is nothing wrong with being that type of player, unless that driver is continuously running off the road.
His turnover-worthy rate skyrocketed in 2022. It didn’t hurt him against Indianapolis, but it has in some of New England’s competitive games this season. The Patriots’ floor is decently high, but its ceiling is low.
14. Los Angeles Chargers
“Frustrating” is becoming too kind an adjective to describe the Chargers’ offense. Joe Lombardi and Tom Telesco have put a rucksack filled to the brim with cement and strapped it to Justin Herbert’s back. The young QB is consistently forced to thread the needle in a scheme as predictable as a fan being upset about a loss by their favorite football team.
Despite investing heavily in run defense during the offseason, the Chargers still can’t stop the run. Despite ranking inside the top 10 in rushing success rate on defense before the Falcons game, LA ranks 27th in rushing EPA on defense.
The Chargers have huge games against the 49ers and Chiefs upcoming, and if their offense can’t bring more explosiveness, they won’t be able to compete.
13. New York Jets
The Jets’ defense is so much fun. A unit that just one season ago ranked dead last in DVOA but entered Week 9 inside the top 10, had another great day against Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills.
The Jets have playmakers on the defensive line and in the secondary, which has completely transformed their passing defense. Sauce Gardner is becoming a star before our very eyes at arguably the second-most difficult position to play in the NFL.
Zach Wilson does not need to be a hero for this offense. He just needs to avoid making boneheaded mistakes, make the throws he should, and throw the ball away when that’s what the situation dictates.
If he can do that, the Jets will make the playoffs this season, something even Robert Saleh probably didn’t expect before the season started.
12. Tennessee Titans
The Titans don’t play by the modern rules of the NFL. Derrick Henry had another big day on the ground, and Tennessee had practically a 2:1 run-to-pass ratio for the game and was able to keep the Chiefs at bay.
Kansas City dominated the ball, running nearly twice as many offensive plays while holding the ball for 11 more minutes than Tennessee. The Titans finished one for 10 on third down and could only manage nine first downs over the course of the entire game.
But man, that Tennessee secondary is a ton of fun to watch. The Titans rushed four for almost the entire game, and the Titans well-coached secondary blanketed the Chiefs passing attack. But in the end, the Chiefs were too much for Tennesse, getting a field goal in overtime and then ending the Titans’ OT possession in four plays.
11. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are probably better than their 4-4 record, and they’ll need to start showing it if they want to win the NFC West or have a shot at a Wild Card birth.
San Francisco must remain healthy if they want to see the same sort of success they saw a season ago. If their defense remains healthy, it’s one of the most well-coached and talented units in the NFL. But their defensive front must be dominant to get there, and injuries could derail that unit from consistency.
Offensively, it all comes down to the consistency of Jimmy Garoppolo. Adding Christian McCaffrey has already been a huge positive for the team. Although Kyle Shanahan is famous for his rushing attack, productivity has escaped that area of the game for his teams.
10. New York Giants
There hasn’t been a more surprising result through nine weeks than the New York Giants. At 6-2, they control their own playoff destiny in the NFC.
Even the most hardcore fans couldn’t have predicted such an ascension from Daniel Jones, even with Brian Daboll taking over as the first competent football coach of his NFL career. Many credit Daboll with Josh Allen’s progression, and with how sharp Jones seems to be progressing, it’s hard to argue.
New York’s defense has been lackluster from an efficiency perspective, but they seem to come up big when absolutely necessary, which has aided their hot start.
9. Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks are arguably the most pleasant surprise of the NFL season so far. Geno Smith has been outstanding, and they’ve really found something in their rushing attack with anyone who touches the ball.
While Seattle’s defense struggled early in the season, Pete Carroll and Clint Hurtt have the defense playing much better in recent weeks. If Smith and the offense continue to play as clean as they have thus far, there’s a strong chance they end up the NFC West champions.
8. Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins’ passing attack is amazing to watch. It’s incredible to see just how often Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are running without defenders around them. It’s no wonder Hill is on track to break the receiving record, and both receivers rank inside the top five in yards per route run.
Miami’s defense is a problem. Their secondary is endlessly injured. Although they’ve found production against the run, they can’t defend the pass.
The Dolphins’ defense ranked 29th in dropback success rate and 30th in EPA before Sunday, and Justin Fields did almost anything he wanted to when he dropped back against them.
That needs to be corrected if they’re going to compete in the AFC. For as good as Miami’s offense is, there will be down days for that unit. And right now, it looks like the defense isn’t set up for good days.
7. Cincinnati Bengals
One week after the Bengals were embarrassed by the Cleveland Browns, they decided it was their turn to embarrass an opponent. It’s rare that a team scores 35 points in a single half, but the Bengals did it against Carolina.
It helps to get seven possessions in a single half, but they scored touchdowns on five of them. Cincinnati’s rushing attack finally showed up in 2022, giving the Bengals five rushing touchdowns. Joe Mixon ran for four and caught one, marking the first time a Bengals player scored five touchdowns in a single game.
The Bengals head into their bye week an inconsistent team like many in 2022, but with a clear talent advantage most weeks they take the field.
Week 10 NFL Power Rankings: Tier 3 | The Minnesota Vikings
There’s no arguing their record. The Vikings simply don’t make a lot of sense yet.
6. Minnesota Vikings
Somewhere in the distance, Jesse Pinkman keeps yelling, “they can’t keep getting away with this,” in regards to the Vikings’ unbelievable winning streak. Minnesota is 7-1, and every game during their six-game winning streak has been by one score. (Granted, two of those were eight-point wins.)
It’s been ugly for Minnesota, but in a league basking in mediocrity and inconsistency, the Vikings are getting the job done. It took a Taylor Heinicke interception that set up the Vikings’ offense at the Washington 12-yard line to get them back into the end zone and the game tied. Four seven straight drives before that, Minnesota’s offense looked lost.
Games against Buffalo, Dallas, and New England should give us a clear picture of what this team might actually be.
Week 10 NFL Power Rankings: Tier 2 | Good Record, Good Rosters, Good Metrics
The Ravens and Cowboys both deserve recognition as two of the few unquestionably good teams in the NFL. But they’re not quite in the upper echelon just yet.
5. Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens are a lot like the Titans in that their offense feels out of touch. They’re a run-first team in nearly every sense of the phrase, except unlike Tennessee, Baltimore’s offense has far more ability in the run game and more explosiveness in the passing attack, despite lacking weapons in a similar way to the Titans.
Against Tennessee, Baltimore started 20 of their 29 offensive series with a run and picked up a first down or touchdown on 85% of those series. On the nine series starting with a passing play, they converted on just 65% of series. This is commonplace for Baltimore but completely foreign to most of the league.
Baltimore is unique. But their recipe is working well. As long as their defense can keep the game in a neutral script, the Ravens can compete with any team in the NFL.
4. Dallas Cowboys
If the Cowboys keep their offense looking the way it has the past two weeks, they will eventually join the top three teams in the elite tier.
Dallas has the best pass-rushing unit in the NFL, and if they get out to a lead early in games, it will be incredibly difficult for teams to pull themselves out of that hole. However, running quarterbacks have been a problem for Dallas, so they’ll look to fix that before their playoff run.
Dak Prescott has looked outstanding in the past two weeks since returning from injury, but he hasn’t been faced with a particularly difficult defensive assignment yet.
NFL Power Rankings Week 10: Tier 1 | The Elite Teams
Until these teams do something to prove they don’t belong here, they’ll continue their dominance in Tier 1. Buffalo has two losses by a combined five points, and one of Kansas City’s losses is to Buffalo.
3. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs’ offense looked disjointed against the Titans. Mahomes struggled to find receivers uncovering, and receivers struggled to finish plays when Mahomes created. But Kansas City controlled the ball for most of the game, and eventually, Tennessee’s defense couldn’t continue to get stop after stop.
The Chiefs’ offense is inevitable. It seems when they absolutely need to score, they do. It was actually surprising to see them not score on their second-to-last offensive drive in regulation. And in the end, Mahomes running around like he’s trying not to spill his beer led to some vintage Mahomes magic, and Kansas City did enough to move to 6-2 on the season.
Their run defense allowed a big Derrick Henry run to make their average look bad, but they held Tennessee to just one third-down conversion in 10 opportunities. Tennessee deserves credit for “mucking up” the game and giving themselves a chance against Kansas City with a backup QB.
2. Buffalo Bills
The Jets’ defense had themselves a day against Buffalo’s offense. The Bills were good on third down in the game, but the Jets’ pass rush got to Josh Allen often, and their coverage has improved drastically since last season.
If the Bills have a weakness, it’s their offensive line. It’s not necessarily bad, it just happens to be average on a roster that doesn’t have an otherwise average unit. The Bills’ two losses this season just show how difficult it is to win games in the NFL.
While they’re not the historical juggernaut we thought they may be, Buffalo is still one of the most dangerous teams in the NFL from top to bottom.
1. Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles were going to be the top team in the Power Rankings no matter what Buffalo did against New York. In a season where we’ve seen teams consistently come up short against “lesser” opponents, the Eagles continue to handle their business like professionals.
Their quarterback is much improved, even from one season ago. Jalen Hurts has better weapons this season, a fantastic offensive coordinator working to his strengths, and an offensive line that consistently bullies opposing defensive fronts.
Howie Roseman worked hard to build the Eagles’ defense. Darius Slay and James Bradberry have been fantastic, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson has as many interceptions in his eight games with the Eagles as he had in his career in New Orleans.