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NFL Power Rankings, Week 10: Saints leapfrog Bucs after Sunday’s beatdown

Going into Sunday, the Bucs were favourites to win in their divisional rematch against the Saints. But little did we know, the Saints would give Tom Brady the worst beatdown he’s ever experienced in his 21 seasons in the league. The Football Gods work in mysterious ways. Come see where your favourite team ranks this week on the Week 10 edition of the NFL Power Rankings.

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1. Kansas City Chiefs (8-1)

Previous Rank: 1

The best quarterback in the world is locked in right now and it almost makes the Chiefs unbeatable. Despite the Panthers offence doing an excellent job in the battle of possession, limiting the Chiefs offence to 22 minutes of possession, it was still enough time for Mahomes to throw for four touchdowns and 372 yards in a 33-31 win. Mahomes passed Dan Marino to become the fastest quarterback ever to reach at least 100 touchdowns (40 games), and Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce finished the day combining for 272 receiving yards with two touchdowns. The defending Super Bowl champs enter the bye week as the best team in the NFL.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-0)

Previous Rank: 2

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At one point on Sunday, the undefeated Steelers were trailing by as many as 13 points to a Cowboys team that was starting its fourth-string quarterback. How ironic it would have been if one of the worst teams in the NFL was going to give the undefeated Steelers their first loss of the season. But the Steelers finally woke up and managed to just break away with a 24-19 win, while also probably giving half of their fanbase a heart attack. Ben Roethlisberger threw for three touchdowns on two injured knees, and Minkah Fitzpatrick broke up a pass in the end zone on the final play of the game (again) to secure a Steelers victory. The Steelers are now 8-0 for the first time in franchise history.

3. New Orleans Saints (6-2)

Previous Rank: 11

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The Saints dominated the Bucs on every side of the ball on Sunday night in a 38-3 win. It was the worst beating Tom Brady has ever taken in his Hall of Fame career, and gave the Saints the tiebreaker over the Bucs in any head-to-head scenario. Drew Brees looked comfortable playing with a full roster of all his playmakers for the first time this season, throwing for four touchdowns on the night. Taysom Hill accounted for 123 yards of offence as a passer, receiver and rusher in what was his best game of the season. The Saints next five games are against teams below .500, so the NFC South could be theirs for the taking.

4. Green Bay Packers (6-2)

Previous Rank: 6

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Given the sorry state of the 49ers current roster, it’s hard to call this a full-on revenge game for the Packers. But surely there was some satisfaction for Aaron Rodgers and co. after the beatdown they experienced in January’s NFC title match. Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adam went crazy, as Rodgers hit his superstar wideout 10 times for 173 yards and a touchdown on the night. If Allen Lazard can pick up where he left off before his injury, it should help add more depth to a Packers offence that looks locked and loaded for another playoff run.

5. Buffalo Bills (7-2)

Previous Rank: 8

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The Bills are finally starting to put it together. In one of the team’s most complete wins of the year, the offence and the defence both came to play. Josh Allen busted out of his slump in a big way on Sunday, outplaying MVP front-runner Russell Wilson in a 44-34 win. Allen stood tall against Seattle’s blitz heavy scheme, completing 31 of 38 passes for 415 yards and three touchdowns, including a clutch rushing touchdown that effectively sealed the game. The Bills pressured Russell Wilson more than any other team this season, forcing 16 quarterback pressures and four turnovers (two interceptions, two fumbles) that turned into 16 Bills points. The Bills have now won three straight and are 7-2 for the first time since 1993. They will look to improve to 3-0 against the NFC West on Sunday in Arizona.

6. Baltimore Ravens (6-2)

Previous Rank: 5

The Ravens overcame much adversity in Sunday’s 24-10 win against the Colts. In an eight-day stretch that included a tough loss to the Steelers, the loss of star left tackle Ronnie Stanley to injury and Marlon Humphrey’s positive coronavirus test, the odds were against them, but they still managed to deliver the win. The offence only managed to muster 55 total yards of offence in the first half but Lamar Jackson got hot after the second half, helping the Ravens pull away with the win. The defence was the true MVP of the game though, as they gave Phillip Rivers and the Colts attack no path to success. It’s clear this Ravens team is not the same team they were last season. Will it be enough for a deep playoff run this season?

7. Seattle Seahawks (6-2)

Previous Rank: 3

If one thing’s for certain, it’s that Russell Wilson has to be perfect to cover up for the sins of this historically bad Seahawks defence. Wilson accounted for four turnovers on Sunday, and the defence was destroyed by Josh Allen in a 44-34 loss to the Bills. While Seattle did manage to sack Josh Allen seven times (a season high), when the pressure didn’t get home the Seahawks gave up big plays. The defence is giving up an NFL record 466 yards per game so far and ranks dead last for passing yards allowed. It’s back to the drawing board for Pete Carroll and defensive coordinator Ken Norton.

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3)

Previous Rank: 4

Not many teams have had such an up-and-down season so far. Unfortunately for Tom Brady and the Bucs, Sunday night’s 38-3 shellacking at the hands of the Saints may be the lowest low this team’s experienced so far. This loss makes you wonder where Tampa Bay truly belongs in the conversation about the league’s top contenders. We know this team has the starpower to be a true contender as shown by their boatload of playmakers and top defence heading into Week 9. But are they truly a contender? If the Bucs can’t get back on track against the 3-6 Panthers, we’ll know something is wrong.

9. Tennessee Titans (6-2)

Previous Rank: 7

The Titans needed a good performance out of their defence, and they finally got that in a 24-17 win against the Bears. Newly acquired cornerback Desmond King made a big contribution with the game-breaking fumble return for a score. The Titans held the Bears offence to 2-15 on third downs which came after a horrible stretch where they allowed the Steelers and Bengals to convert 23-33 third downs in the pair of Titans losses. Have the Titans defense finally started to turn it around, or was a good performance the product of playing a lackluster Bears offence. Thursday night’s showdown against the Colts will give us more insight. 

*Edit: The Titans lost to the Colts 34-17 on Thursday night, moving their record to 6-3*

10. Miami Dolphins (5-3)

Previous Rank: 15

Things are looking good in Miami right now. The Fins improved to 5-3 after Sunday’s 34-31 win over the Cardinals, pushing their win streak to four games now. Tua Tagovailoa played like a future star in the win, keeping pace with second-year star Kyler Murray to finish the day with 248 passing yards, 35 rushing yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers. Brian Flores also did what Kliff Kingsbury wouldn’t: put the ball in the hands of his young quarterback to close out the game. Tagovailoa rewarded his coach’s faith with a successful QB sneak on third-and-1 in the final minute to secure the win. Tua is giving the Dolphins the much-needed push necessary to become playoff contenders.

11. Arizona Cardinals (5-3)

Previous Rank: 9

On fourth and inches with five minutes left in play in a tie contest, Kingsbury asked running back Chase Edmonds to convert the first down. No success. On fourth-and-1 in the final two minutes down three, Kingsbury pulled Murray and the offence off the field in favor of a 49-yard field goal. It ended with Zane Gonzalez shorting the kick. It makes you wonder why Kingsbury didn’t put the ball in the hands of his best player Kyler Murray for either of these plays. Murray accounted for four touchdowns on the day and ran for a career high 106 rushing yards. When you need to make a big play, just put the ball in your best player’s hands next time.

12. Las Vegas Raiders (5-3)

Previous Rank: 13

The Raiders managed to pull away with a win against the Chargers in a dramatic 31-26 win. In the final seconds, it seemed that the Chargers had secured the game-winning touchdown but after review, the call was reversed and the Raiders narrowly escaped with victory. Beating the Chargers was the first test in a stretch of three consecutive games against division rivals, as the Broncos and Chiefs visit the Raiders over the upcoming weeks. 

13. Indianapolis Colts (5-3)

Previous Rank: 10

The defence came to play in the first half, only allowing 55 total yards of offence in the first half. But once Lamar Jackson got going, it was over for the Colts. Phillip Rivers and the offence couldn’t get anything going the entire game as the Ravens walked away with a 24-10 win. While Rivers and Colts fans do have the right to be annoyed by the controversial Marcus Peters interception that changed the course of the game, you can’t blame the loss on just one play. The Colts will look to take first place in the AFC South with a game against the Titans coming up on Thursday.

*Edit: The Colts beat the Titans 34-17 on Thursday, moving their record to 6-3*

14. Los Angeles Rams (5-3)

Previous Rank: 12

The Rams are... ok. They’ve shown that they can beat up the lower teams of the league, but can’t seem to hang around with the top teams so far. They are 1-3 against teams outside of the NFC East, so it’s hard to say how good this team is. Upcoming games against the Seahawks and Bucs over the next couple of weeks should tell us what we need to know.

15. Cleveland Browns (5-3)

Previous Rank: 14

The Browns seem to have finally moved on from the Factory of Sadness they were in the 2010s. The team has either scored 30-plus points or seven or fewer in every game this season. The Browns are 5-0 when they score big, and 0-3 when they don’t. With upcoming  against three sub-.500 teams after their bye week, the Browns should be in a good position for a playoff spot.

16. Chicago Bears (5-4)

Previous Rank: 16

After a 5-1 start, the Bears have now lost three straight games to drop down to 5-4. The Bears offense was shut down by a Tennessee defence that hasn’t done a great job in limiting points this season, especially on third downs. Mitch Trubisky suffered a shoulder injury, meaning Nick Foles will continue to start in an offence that’s been lacklustre to say the least. The Bears need to do something quick; .500 is approaching faster and faster every week now.

17. Minnesota Vikings (3-5)

Previous Rank: 20

Is Dalvin Cook releasing his inner MVPeterson? The last running back to win Most Valuable Player honours was another Vikings running back, named Adrian Peterson. After two monster games in back-to-back weeks for Cook, he may have now asserted himself somewhat into the MVP race. Over the past two weeks, Cook has run for 432 yards and six touchdowns. It seems the rise of Dalvin Cook may have also given way to the rise of Kirk Cousins, who now has consecutive weeks with three touchdowns and no turnovers. The Vikings just might be able to get themselves back into the playoff mix with a forgiving schedule ahead.

18. Los Angeles Chargers (2-6)

Previous Rank: 18

The Chargers always somehow find a way. With a heartbreaking 31-26 loss that included an overturned call for the game-winning touchdown, the Chargers losses have all been by at least 10 points or less. While the Justin Herbert era is exciting for Chargers fans, if they can’t find a way to close out games, there may need to be a new coaching change in Los Angeles.

19. Atlanta Falcons (3-6)

Previous Rank: 25

Matt Ryan was locked in on Sunday against the Broncos, throwing for 284 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-27 win. The former MVP has now completed at least 70 percent of his throws in each of his past four games, as the Falcons improve to 3-1 under interim coach Raheem Morris. Should the Falcons trade Matt Ryan in the offseason? We’ve seen that the best quarterback in the Falcons franchise history can still sling the rock, but the Falcons may be able to get the most value they can out of Ryan if he’s dealt this offseason. 

20. Carolina Panthers (3-6)

Previous Rank: 23

It’s hard to take any positives out of a four-game losing streak, but the Panthers played really well against the Chiefs. They dominated in time of possession and put up more than 30 points on the road. Usually, this would be good enough to help you get the win, but unfortunately, Carolina had the displeasure of playing Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes torched the secondary for 372 yards and four scores, spoiling Christian McCaffrey’s return from a six-game absence in the tough 33-31 loss. McCaffrey looked more fresh than ever, gaining over 100 yards from scrimmage and two scores on the night. His return may be short-lived though, as it’s been reported that he may miss more time with a shoulder issue. 

21. San Francisco 49ers (4-5)

Previous Rank: 19

Sometimes, it’s just not your year. With horrible injury luck for the 49ers this season, they went from being the team that came so close to defeating the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV to a team that’s hanging on by a thread. It’s clear this squad right now after all their injuries can’t get it done as shown by Thursday night’s 34-17 loss to the Packers. Maybe next year 49ers fans?

22. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1)

Previous Rank: 22

Carson Wentz has not been the man for the Eagles this season. He entered their Week 9 bye leading the league in turnovers (16), interceptions (12) and sacks (32). While all of the blame can’t be poured onto Wentz, he definitely deserves a decent amount of it. He hasn’t been accurate or explosive at all. For most teams, this kind of play would ruin their season. Luckily for the Eagles, they play in the NFC East and are in first place.

23. Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1)

Previous Rank: 24

Joe Burrow may have lifted the Bengals out of the pit of irrelevance. Burrow has 221 completions through his first eight games -- the most by a player through eight career games ever. He looks like the real deal, and may be the key to hopefully get the Bengals their first ever Super Bowl in the future. 

24. New England Patriots (3-5)

Previous Rank: 21

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The Patriots narrowly escaped a season-crushing setback on Monday night against the Jets, erasing a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit before beating the Jets on a 51-yard field goal as the time expired. This game showed that the Patriots are a team who belong in the basement of the league, and they can be beaten by anyone. While they’re aren’t many positives to take away from this game, at least Cam Newton somewhat bounced back, as he scored twice on the ground and powered New England’s fourth-quarter comeback with a barrage of huge throws. It was his best performance in weeks, and something the Patriots desperately needed.

25. Denver Broncos (3-5)

Previous Rank: 17

So much for the epic last-second win against the Chargers last week. The Broncos fell asleep for the first three quarters against the Falcons in the 24-27 loss. While Drew Lock did wake up with another three-touchdown surge in the final 15 minutes, it was all for naught. The loss puts the Broncos on the verge of falling out of the playoff race. While you can’t blame the Broncos 3-5 record simply because of the injury bug (as they now have 17 players on the injured reserve this season), it can’t be ignored either.

26. Houston Texans (2-6)

Previous Rank: 26

Deshaun Watson must be extremely relieved that the Texans didn’t trade his No. 1 wideout, Will Fuller, at the deadline. Fuller showcased his playmaking skills on a 77-yard touchdown and finished the night with 100 yards. Fuller has managed to stay healthy this season and now has touchdowns in six straight games. With the Texans making a huge mistake by letting DeAndre Hopkins leave the team, they should think a bit more wisely about Fuller as he’s now on the final year of his rookie deal.

27. Detroit Lions (3-5)

Previous Rank: 27

In a crushing 34-20 defeat against the Vikings, where the defence surrendered 275 yards on the ground and three touchdowns without a turnover against Kirk Cousins, things aren’t looking so good for the Lions in the Patricia era. With a 12-27-1 record in the Patricia era (which is a far-cry from the Caldwell era), when are the Lions going to pull the trigger?

28. New York Giants (2-7)

Previous Rank: 29

Daniel Jones is now 4-0 against Washington after a 23-20 win. If only he could play them every week. While Danny Dimes is 4-0 against the Football Team, he’s 1-16 against the rest of the league. The play of the game was when Washington fumbled the ball, and both teams could not recover the ball as it kept bouncing past them in the most NFC East play ever.

29. Washington Football Team (2-6)

Previous Rank: 28

Are Washington’s quarterbacks cursed? Another game and yet another quarterback who’s suffered a nasty low leg injury. Unfortunate news for Kyle Allen, as he’s now headed for surgery after dislocating and fracturing his ankle. Alex Smith came in and threw his first touchdown pass since 2018. In what could have been a Cinderella story, he instead threw three timely interceptions that effectively sealed the loss for Washington. The NFL is such an unforgiving league.

30. Dallas Cowboys (2-7)

Previous Rank: 30

The Cowboys blew a 13-point lead in a 24-19 loss to the Steelers, but hey, it could’ve been a lot worse for Dem Boyz. The Cowboys showed some life in this game; something they haven’t shown since the infamous Dak Prescott injury against the Giants. Garrett Gilbert was somewhat competitive, throwing a touchdown to CeeDee Lamb and moving Dallas to the end zone before his final pass was broken up by Minkah Fitzpatrick. With Andy Dalton returning from concussion protocol/COVID-19, let’s see if he can build off of this moral victory for Dallas into an actual victory against the Vikings on Sunday.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7)

Previous Rank: 31

There aren’t many positives to takeaway for the Jaguars this season. The quarterback situation is gloomy, and the defence is horrible. Jake Luton has now taken the reigns of QB1 against the Packers this weekend. This puts Luton and Gardner Minshew in a battle of who will become the future backup quarterback (if the Jaguars even pick a quarterback in the first round).

32. New York Jets (0-8)

Previous Rank: 32

The Jets were competitive in a football game? Impossible. Somehow, the Jets almost pulled away with a win against the Patriots but ultimately failed in the 30-27 loss. New York is 0-9 for the first time in franchise history and creep ever so closely to the No. 1 overall pick. How ironic it would have been for the Jets to get their first win of the season against the Patriots. 


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