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NFL Power Rankings: Bills, Texans big risers after a crazy Week 10


1Week 10 might have been one of the most upset-filled of this season so far: the Texans – who last week we ranked at #31 – ended the Bengals’ perfect season on Monday Night Football; Washington tore the Saints apart as Kirk Cousins put up a perfect passer rating; and of course, the Lions finally defeated the caught-in-a-tailspin Packers at Lambeau Field for the first time since 1991.

The surprising, unpredictable results from this week’s games has had a big effect on our power rankings, with only six teams staying in the same position as last week (only two of whom are in the top 10). It’s the Texans and the Bills, who are now on track for a playoff spot following their Thursday Night Football victory, who lead the way as the highest risers of Week 10, while the Saints and the Cowboys, who put in a dreadful performance in a 10-6 loss to the Bucs, both fell further than any other team.

Check out the full power rankings below! (Panel: Gur Samuel, David Venables, Edd Hodsdon, Remy Cabache, Toby Durant, Pete Hallifax, Brandon Hamme)

1. New England Patriots (9-0)

Last week: #1

GS = 1, DV = 1, EH = 1, RC = 1, TD = 1, PH = 1, BH = 1

The Patriots are still rolling despite facing a huge scare against the Giants. Julian Edelman will miss several weeks with a broken foot but Bill Belichick has mastered the art of adjusting his teams after injuries. New England has managed to protect Brady well behind a makeshift offensive line. The Patriots can still dream of 16-0. (EH)

2. Carolina Panthers (9-0)

Last week: #3

GS = 2, DV = 2, EH = 2, RC = 2, TD = 2, PH = 2, BH = 2

You would be forgiven for thinking that the Panthers may have a comedown after their breath-taking victory over the Packers last Sunday. Well, they shut out the Titans in the second half to take the pressure of an offense that struggled at times. You don’t become undefeated in the NFL without some ugly wins, and this was one of them. The Panthers won’t care one bit. (DV)

3. Cincinnati Bengals (8-1)

Last week: #2

GS = 3, DV = 3, EH = 3, RC = 3, TD = 3, PH = 3, BH = 5

The Bengals have fallen from the ranks of the undefeated with a 10-6 loss to the Texans in Cincy. The offense was completely shut down and failed to capitalize on several 4th quarter opportunities. They do still hold the second best record in football though, and they’re still uber-talented, so don’t panic Bengals fans. (RC)

4. Arizona Cardinals (7-2)

Last week: #6

GS = 4, DV = 4, EH = 4, RC = 4, TD = 4, PH = 4, BH = 4

In a fierce battle in the NFC West, the Cardinals reasserted their dominance with a hard fought victory over the Seattle Seahawks. The only knock on the Cardinals is their ability to not see games out fully. It was the same story on Sunday, holding leads of 16 then 19 points, only to surrender the lead in the fourth quarter. Their response? Two touchdown drives to seal the deal. (DV)

5. Minnesota Vikings (7-2)

Last week: #7

GS = 6, DV = 5, EH = 6, RC = 5, TD = 5, PH = 5, BH = 3

The Vikings defense has started to show its potential. Minnesota shut down one of the AFC’s best offenses in the Raiders this week, helping the Vikings take control of the NFC North. Adrian Peterson rushed for over 200 yards against Oakland and will be invaluable for winter football in a potential playoff run. (EH)

6. Denver Broncos (7-2)

Last week: #4

GS = 5, DV = 6, EH = 7, RC = 6, TD = 8, PH = 6, BH = 6

The Broncos suffered their second loss in as many weeks and it was bad. The defense was on the field a lot and they conceded too many points for this limping offense to keep up with. With Manning’s injury likely keeping him out at least two weeks, the Broncos are in trouble of wasting a potentially great team. (RC)

7. Green Bay Packers (6-3)

Last week: #5

GS = 8, DV = 9, EH = 8, RC = 7, TD = 7, PH = 7, BH = 7

Something is seriously wrong in Green Bay, and it goes beyond injuries. Aaron Rodgers has struggled to get comfortable over the last few games. Eddie Lacy and James Starks can’t generate anything on the ground. The defense has taken a step back, and questionable play calling has stifled Green Bay’s offense. Can the Packers get their season back on track? (EH)

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4)

Last week: #9

GS = 7, DV = 7, EH = 5, RC = 11, TD = 6, PH = 10, BH = 12

Ben Roethlisberger attributed his quick return from a foot sprain to “drinking lots of milk”. Well, they downed the Browns as the Steelers continue to defy the injury gods and keep themselves in a good position to make the playoffs. (DV)

9. Buffalo Bills (5-4)

Last week: #15

GS = 12, DV = 10, EH = 11, RC = 9, TD = 10, PH = 11, BH = 10

The Bills are far more of a threat to the rest of the AFC now that they have their offensive weapons back. They are in the driving seat for one of the AFC Wild Card spots having beaten the Jets on TNF. This team is built to win close game, and that’s a good thing. (RC)

10. Atlanta Falcons (6-3)

Last week: #10

GS = 9, DV = 8, EH = 18, RC = 10, TD = 9, PH = 8, BH = 13

The Falcons don’t look like a team that started 5-0. They are struggling for consistency and cannot seem to get either side of the ball back to a state of dominance. The defense doesn’t have the pieces yet for Quinn’s vision, and the Panthers are moving further out of reach in the NFC South. (EH)

11. New York Jets (5-4)

Last week: #8

GS = 11, DV = 11, EH = 12, RC = 12, TD = 11, PH = 9, BH = 11

The losers of the Rex Ryan Bowl now are at a quandary in their season. Their record is the same as the Bills, but they concede the tiebreaker to them. With their upcoming games less than kind, and injuries mounting, Todd Bowles’ gang is going to have to dig deep to make the postseason. (DV)

12. New York Giants (5-5)

Last week: =#12

GS = 10, DV = 12, EH = 10, RC = 17, TD = 12, PH = 12, BH = 8

The Giants looked like a completely different team against the Patriots. They moved the ball well and largely held the Patriots offense in check for most of the game. Can the Giants be able to play like that against their other opponents? The Giants have struggled for consistency all season, and their defense has been one of the league’s worst. In the tightly contested NFC East, consistency will be key. (EH)

13. Seattle Seahawks (4-5)

Last week: #11

GS = 14, DV = 16, EH = 14, RC = 8, TD = 15, PH = 14, BH = 9

The Seahawks were given a stark reminder of who are the top dogs in the NFC West at the moment on Sunday. Falling below .500 is always a bad state to be in for a team with playoff ambitions. (DV)

14. Oakland Raiders (4-5)

Last week: =#12

GS = 13, DV = 14, EH = 9, RC = 14, TD = 14, PH = 15, BH = 14

The Raiders are losing ground in the AFC wild card race after back-to-back losses. The offense has been one of the AFC’s best this season, but struggled against Minnesota. Yet it’s the defense that could jeopardize any potential playoff run for the Raiders. In each of the last two games they have allowed over 170 rushing yards, despite being ranked as high as second against the run earlier in the year. (EH)

15. Kansas City Chiefs (4-5)

Last week: #19

GS = 17, DV = 13, EH = 13, RC = 15, TD = 13, PH = 20, BH = 15

The Chiefs have now strung together 3 straight wins and their most recent one over the Broncos was very encouraging. Charcandrick West has gotten this offense going and the defense is really finding its form again. (RC)

16. Indianapolis Colts (4-5)

Last week: #16

GS = 20, DV = 18, EH = 16, RC = 13, TD = 16, PH = 16, BH = 18

The Colts have had a bye week to start planning around Matt Hasselbeck, who will start once again while Luck is injured. The offense seemed to have turned a corner against Denver under new coordinator Rod Chudzinski, but the defense has suffered some costly injuries. (EH)

17. Washington Redskins (4-5)

Last week: #20

GS = 15, DV = 15, EH = 19, RC = 20, TD = 17, PH = 13, BH = 20

Kirk Cousins had the most touchdown passes of his career as he torched a terrible Saints defense on Sunday. Cue every single one of the Redskins organisation and fanbase recreating the “You like that” tirade from two weeks ago. (DV)

=18. Miami Dolphins (4-5)

Last week: #21

GS = 16, DV = 19, EH = 23, RC = 21, TD = 22, PH = 17, BH = 16

The Dolphins manage to get back in the win column but they still sit a game behind the Jets and Bills and they have lost to both of those teams. The playoffs are pretty much out of sight but the Dolphins do have plenty of talent heading into next season. (RC)

=18. Philadelphia Eagles (4-5)

Last week: #17

GS = 18, DV = 21, EH = 24, RC = 18, TD = 18, PH = 18, BH = 17

Blew a big lead to the Miami Dolphins to leave initiative with the New York Giants in the NFC West. Sam Bradford could be out for multiple weeks with a shoulder sprain and concussion, so Mark Sanchez will have to show more than his red-zone interception from Sunday to keep the Eagles afloat. (DV)

=18. St. Louis Rams (4-5)

Last week: #14

GS = 19, DV = 20, EH = 15, RC = 16, TD = 20, PH = 21, BH = 23

The Rams have decided to bench Nick Foles in favor of Case Keenum ahead of their trip to Baltimore. In case you were wondering, Keenum’s last start was a week 16 win against the Ravens last year. As long as Gurley and Austin are healthy, this team still has the potential to be dangerous. (RC)

21. Chicago Bears (4-5)

Last week: #24

GS = 23, DV = 17, EH = 20, RC = 19, TD = 19, PH = 19, BH = 22

Jay Cutler didn’t throw a pick against the Rams and has been playing well. Jeremy Langford looks more than capable of replacing Matt Forte with another strong performance, and the defense is quietly one of the best against the pass despite being in a transitional year. The Bears are on the fringes of the wild card race and could make a run at the post-season. (EH)

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5)

Last week: #22

GS = 21, DV = 22, EH = 26, RC = 22, TD = 21, PH = 24, BH = 21

In a shaky game, rookie quarterback Jameis Winston won the game for the Buccaneers just after he thought he lost it. He seems to be learning from his mistakes, and improving week by week, all keys to a quarterback’s success in the NFL. (DV)

23. New Orleans Saints (4-6)

Last week: #18

GS = 22, DV = 23, EH = 22, RC = 24, TD = 24, PH = 23, BH = 24

The Saints defense is absolutely abysmal, and it has cost Rob Ryan his job. This is a step in the right direction but the Saints need to change a lot, and they need to do it soon. (RC)

24. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6)

Last week: #27

GS = 25, DV = 25, EH = 21, RC = 23, TD = 23, PH = 27, BH = 19

Their first road win in three seasons has given the Jaguars life in the AFC South. In the NFL’s tightest division, every win counts and the Jaguars will have to build on this momentum to wrestle it from the rest of the teams in the South. (DV)

25. Houston Texans (4-5)

Last week: #31

GS = 24, DV = 24, EH = 17, RC = 28, TD = 29, PH = 22, BH = 26

The Texans went into Cincinnati last night and shutdown the Bengals’ high flying offense, winning 10-6. What’s more, they didn’t go ahead, for good, until TJ Yates came in for an injured Brian Hoyer. This was huge for the now tied-at-the-top-of-the-AFC South Texans. (RC)

26. San Diego Chargers (2-7)

Last week: #26

GS = 30, DV = 27, EH = 27, RC = 25, TD = 27, PH = 30, BH = 25

The Chargers are holding back Philip Rivers. They have one of the league’s best passing games but are struggling at the bottom of the AFC West. Injuries have largely been to blame, but Rivers can’t carry the team on his own. Melvin Gordon hasn’t given him much support and his receiving options get thinner with every game. (EH)

27. Baltimore Ravens (2-7)

Last week: #25

GS = 26, DV = 26, EH = 29, RC = 27, TD = 26, PH = 29, BH = 30

A third quarter that may go down as one of the worst in NFL history prevented the Ravens from beating the Jaguars. The ending of the game was crazy from all sides, but for the Ravens, it was typical of how their season has progressed so far. (DV)

28. Dallas Cowboys (2-7)

Last week: #23

GS = 31, DV = 31, EH = 30, RC = 26, TD = 25, PH = 26, BH = 27

The Cowboys do get Tony Romo back now, but a 7 game losing streak – which has not been pretty – has pretty much dropped the Cowboys out of the playoff race. They are blessed with a poor division though. (RC)

29. San Francisco 49ers (3-6)

Last week: #30

GS = 27, DV = 28, EH = 28, RC = 32, TD = 28, PH = 25, BH = 29

The 49ers looked like they found some life thanks to Blaine Gabbert, but that seems unlikely to hold up for the rest of the year. The defense has shown flashes of competency, but the offense hasn’t been able to score points. (EH)

30. Detroit Lions (2-7)

Last week: #32

GS = 28, DV = 29, EH = 32, RC = 31, TD = 30, PH = 28, BH = 28

Their first win at Lambeau Field since 1991 will live long in the memory of Detroit fans, even in a season of lost cause. Even trying to lose the game didn’t work for the Lions, proving that they really can’t do anything right this year. (DV)

31. Tennessee Titans (2-7)

Last week: #29

GS = 29, DV = 30, EH = 25, RC = 30, TD = 31, PH = 32, BH = 31

Titans lost to the undefeated Panthers, which isn’t too bad, but they didn’t look that great and haven’t in most of their games. Taking away his two wins, Mariota has been outplayed by Winston and has turned the ball over more. The Titans have a lot more work to do. (RC)

32. Cleveland Browns (2-8)

Last week: #28

GS = 32, DV = 32, EH = 31, RC = 29, TD = 32, PH = 31, BH = 32

The Browns are officially now propping up the NFL as the only 8-loss team in the league. All too familiar territory, unfortunately. Head coach Mike Pettine just got the dreaded vote of confidence from owner Jimmy Haslam. Poor Cleveland fans. (DV)

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Gur Samuel

Hi! I'm Gur and I'm RealSport's Editor-in-Chief. I'm also currently the site's tennis editor, and contribute to our NFL, wrestling and Formula 1 coverage as well. I'm also an NFL analyst for CNN International and contributor to SB Nation, and have contributed to, or been interviewed by, various print, broadcast and online media, including Sky News, the BBC, Al Jazeera, Mail Online, ABC, NBC, CBS, USA Today, the Boston Globe, and Yahoo! Sports.

NFL Power Rankings: Bills, Texans big risers after a crazy Week 10

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