Week 10 NFL Power Rankings: Too Much Parity

Photo Courtesy SI.com
Photo Courtesy SI.com

Through 10 weeks, just 9 teams have more than 6 wins, and just 5 have more than 7. That leaves a boatload of teams hovering around .500, whether that be 5-4, 4-5, or even 4-4-1. Even the games themselves have been evenly matched with two ties occurring in back-to-back weeks. The NFL has created so much parity that it is impossible to tell the playoff contenders from the pretenders this year, and this is making for some exciting football. The lack of star-studded teams may explain the NFL ratings drop this year, but for hardcore football fans this season’s surprises have been nothing short of exciting.

  1. New England Patriots (Record: 7-2)
  • Despite losing to Seattle on Sunday night on a goal-line stand, the Patriots are still the best team in football so long as Tom Brady is at the helm. The Gronkowski injury is concerning, but Martellus Bennett is more than capable of filling the hole.
  1. Dallas Cowboys (8-1)
  • Behind the league’s best O-line, Ezekiel Elliott is tearing up defenses to the tune of 1,005 yards through nine games. If the running game keeps making life easy for Dak Prescott, Tony Romo will never see the field.
  1. Seattle Seahawks (6-2-1)
  • A win over the Patriots and Russell Wilson throwing for 348 yards and 3 TDs should assuage fears over the “demise” of the Seahawks. Beware of a letdown week against an Eagles team looking to prove something.
  1. Kansas City Chiefs (7-2)
  • They’ve won 5 straight and have been unfazed by injuries to both Jamaal Charles and Spencer Ware. The real question is whether their style of play can work in the playoffs.
  1. Oakland Raiders (7-2)
  • They’re coming off a BYE and looking at a Monday night game with Houston next week. With Latavius Murray back and looking like his former self, they have a chance to show that they are the real deal.
  1. Atlanta Falcons (6-4)
  • The loss to Philadelphia was tough and their less-than-stellar defense is starting to catch up with them after a hot start. They need to get back to the running game that was so successful early in the year, as this week Devonta Freeman was held to only 12 carries against the Eagles.
  1. New York Giants (6-3)
  • Their Monday night win against the Bengals was not very convincing, but they still are in second place in a brutal NFC East division. Rashad Jennings looked good though, and New York’s running game will make or break them going forward.
  1. Denver Broncos (7-3)
  • They landed a miracle win on a blocked extra point against the Saints, but they’re inability to hold a lead after getting to Drew Brees early is concerning. Trevor Siemian must show more consistency going forward, as he threw two picks to a very suspect Saints secondary.
  1. Washington Redskins (5-3-1)
  • Coming off a BYE week and two straight games that that they should have won, Washington needed a “show me” game from Kirk Cousins. Cousins delivered, slicing up the Vikings defense en route to a 26-20 win over Minnesota. If he keeps playing like this, it will be hard for the Redskins to not overpay Cousins.
  1. Houston Texans (6-3)
  • They’re 6-3 but have the 26th best point differential in the league with a -27 mark. They still hold a 1.5 game lead in the weak AFC South, however, so that counts for something.
  1. Detroit Lions (5-4)
  • They’re coming off a BYE and Matthew Stafford looks like a world-beater again. With the Jaguars on tap for next week, they could find themselves in first place after Week 11.
  1. Miami Dolphins (5-4)
  • On the back of Jay Ajayi, the Dolphins have won 4 straight and are right back in the playoff hunt. Ryan Tannehill has been no slouch either, as he has not thrown a pick during the winning streak.
  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-5)
  • They may have lost to Dallas this week, but the bottom line is that they look like a surefire playoff team with Ben Roethlisberger behind center. In an AFC North that’s having a down year, the Steelers will finish the year well above .500.
  1. Philadelphia Eagles (5-4)
  • They beat the Falcons but are still in last place in the NFC East despite having a winning record. Now they have to go to Seattle- not exactly a great place for a rookie quarterback to regain his footing after a long slump.
  1. Tennessee Titans (5-5)
  • DeMarco Murray is running like a man possessed and freeing up Marcus Mariota’s playmaking ability. They face the Colts next week in a game with huge playoff implications.
  1. Minnesota Vikings (5-4)
  • How the mighty fall. They’ve now lost four straight and now find themselves in a playoff battle with a bunch of other teams around the .500 mark. The McKinnon/Asiata combo at running back isn’t working at all, and now they’ve cut their kicker Blair Walsh. They smell like the 2009 Broncos.
  1. Arizona Cardinals (4-4-1)
  • Beating the 49ers by 3 points is not a good sign, and at this point it’s becoming apparent that this year’s early season struggles for Carson Palmer were not just a fluke. Their defense can keep them in games, but the passing game just isn’t there.
  1. Baltimore Ravens (5-4)
  • They beat a hapless Browns team but now they have to play the Cowboys. They’re running game is still too suspect to be reliable, and the coaches know it. 5 different backs had rushing attempts against the Browns.
  1. Indianapolis Colts (4-5)
  • They’re coming off a BYE week following a crucial win over the Packers. If they can beat the Titans this week, they can erase an ugly first half of the season.
  1. Buffalo Bills (4-5)
  • By far the hardest team to read this season, the Bills have lost three straight to three good teams and now sit 4-5. Like last year, their offense is not the problem, and Rex Ryan needs to do something to improve his defense. Now they get the Bengals who are coming off a short week.
  1. Green Bay Packers (4-5)
  • It’s hard to win games without a running game or a defense. It isn’t Aaron Rodgers’ fault that the defense got gashed for 47 points by the Titans this week. Now they get the Redskins in a game that will change the NFC wild card landscape.
  1. Los Angeles Rams (4-5)
  • Despite Todd Gurley’s struggles and Case Keenum’s inability to play football at anything resembling a mediocre level, the Rams are 4-5 because of a suffocating defense. They are the only team this year to have won games while scoring less than 10 points in those games.
  1. New Orleans Saints (4-5)
  • Drew Brees would probably like that first quarter back against the Broncos this week. They are still in playoff contention, but they face a tough road ahead in a crowded NFC South. A game against Carolina next week will determine who survives in the playoff race and whose season is most likely over.
  1. San Diego Chargers (4-6)
  • They came into this week hot, but the Dolphins were hotter. In most other divisions there would be no reason for panic, but in the stacked AFC West the Chargers are in do-or-die mode. Philip Rivers can’t have anymore 4 pick games.
  1. Carolina Panthers (3-6)
  • They looked like they were turning the ship around but ran into a buzz-saw in Kansas City. They cannot afford to lose anymore games, and a loss to the Saints next week could be the end of the Panthers’playoff hopes.
  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5)
  • They beat the Bears, but there are too many question marks on this team for them to be legitimate playoff contenders. Doug Martin scored but was limited to 2 yards per carry in his return from injury, and Mike Evans is this offense’s only real weapon.
  1. Cincinnati Bengals (3-5-1)
  • A weak AFC North could help the Bengals slip into the playoffs if they got hot, but a back-breaker on Monday night shows that this team probably doesn’t have what it takes to make such a run. Andy Dalton and Marvin Lewis are good as gone at this point.
  1. New York Jets (3-7)
  • It’s no question who the worst 5 teams in the NFL are. The Jets are the best of the bunch because they have a strong running game, but no team with Bryce Petty at quarterback can get higher than 28th in these power rankings.
  1. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-7)
  • One of the NFL’s most potent offenses last year has turned completely stagnant, and now they face a brutal four-game stretch ahead. Teams are focusing on the passing attack more this year, which is exposing their Achille’s heel in the running game.
  1. Chicago Bears (2-7)
  • Why Jay Cutler’s raw physical tools are not translating into good results is one of the great mysteries of the NFL. His demise proves that scouting combines are not the best places to find good quarterbacks. They play the Giants this week and are losing Alshon Jeffrey to suspension.
  1. San Francisco 49ers (1-8)
  • Colin Kaepernick is a significant improvement over Blaine Gabbert, but his instinct to run too often is preventing him from being a good quarterback like he’s shown flashes of being in the past.
  1. Cleveland Browns (0-10)
    – A couple of weeks ago, the Browns were losing games but at least were respectable. Now their futility is laughable. It’s not good when a team’s leading passer has 91 passing yards and their leading rusher has 23 rushing yards. Maybe Terrelle Pryor should play quarterback full time to make their games interesting enough to be paid attention to.





Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here