NFL Power Rankings After Week 10
19 November 2020
The first 10 weeks of the NFL season have been completed. During that time, teams have emerged as playoff contenders and teams have emerged as contenders for the top pick in the draft. In this edition of NFL power rankings, we look at both ends of the spectrum and everything in between, as a few teams have snuck into the upper echelon of the NFL hierarchy over the last couple of weeks.
32. New York Jets (Last Week: 32)
The Jets had their bye week in Week 10, which might be the most successful week they have all season. It has been a nightmare of a year for the Jets, which has a decent chance at getting worse. NFL betting odds have the Jets at 2/1 odds to finish the season 0-16. They take their chance at an 0-10 start in Week 11 when they travel to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week: 31)
Jacksonville may have played its best game of the season in their Week 10 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Their defense held Aaron Rodgers to just 24 points for the game. But Jake Luton couldn’t get the Jaguars’ offense going late in the game to keep them moving when they needed a drive to win the game. Jacksonville is up to eight straight losses heading into Week 11.
30. Dallas Cowboys (Last Week: 30)
The good news for the Cowboys is that they just had their bye week. That has allowed the team an extra week to try and get healthy heading into their game against the Minnesota Vikings. The bad news for the Cowboys is that the extra week may lead to Andy Dalton starting for the team once again. After a decent start by Garrett Gilbert against the Steelers, that could be the worst thing for the Cowboys.
29. Washington Football Team (Last Week: 29)
Washington had one of its best offensive performances of the season in Week 10 against the Detroit Lions. The problem is that they couldn’t get enough stops to win the game. In their 30-27 loss, Alex Smith had 390 yards passing. And while that is great to see, it must be maddening for fans of a team that has lost all four of its road games so far this season.
28. Cincinnati Bengals (Last Week: 26)
The Bengals were given a rude awakening in their Week 10 loss to their AFC North rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Joe Burrow had been receiving consideration for Rookie of the Year honors, but Burrow barely completed half of his 40 pass attempts in their 36-10 loss to the undefeated Steelers. Pittsburgh’s 24 unanswered points from the second quarter into the fourth quarter ended up being most of the difference.
27. Atlanta Falcons (Last Week: 25)
Atlanta had a bye week as well this week, as three of the worst teams in the NFL had the week off. Coming out of the bye, the Falcons have an interesting game on their schedule. They play the New Orleans Saints on the road, which is normally a terrible thing. But the Falcons get to play against Jameis Winston at quarterback instead of Drew Brees. If nothing else, the Falcons may be able to catch the Saints out of rhythm.
26. Carolina Panthers (Last Week: 24)
The Panthers have been profoundly disappointing this season. They lost 46-23 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10. During that loss, the Panthers gave up well over 300 yards to Tom Brady. The Panthers haven’t been good enough on either side of the ball this season, and find themselves at the bottom of the NFC South as a result.
25. New York Giants (Last Week: 27)
Don’t look now, but the New York Giants are playing themselves into the mix in the NFC East. The Giants beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 10. After two straight wins, the Giants are tied with the Eagles in the win column. If they can keep winning, and they can get anywhere near .500, they might be able to steal a playoff spot from one of the worst divisions in the history of the NFL.
24. Denver Broncos (Last Week: 23)
Denver put up an embarrassing performance in their Week 10 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. Vegas is a decent team, but there is no scenario in which the Broncos should lose 37-12 to them. A normally stout Denver defense has been torched by the Falcons and Raiders in recent weeks. Instead of competing with the Chiefs and Raiders for the division title, the Broncos will be fighting the Chargers to avoid last place.
23. Los Angeles Chargers (Last Week: 22)
Speaking of the Chargers, they suffered yet another disappointing loss in Week 10. Their 29-21 loss to the Miami Dolphins fit the mold of the last few weeks, where the Chargers played a competitive game but just could not get over the hump. This could be attributed to growing pains for a team led by a young quarterback. But eventually the Chargers are going to need to start winning their one-possession games.
22. Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week: 21)
Philadelphia lost a division game to the New York Giants in Week 10, which reopened the door in the NFC East race. The Eagles are two games up on the Giants in the loss column, thanks in large part to their tie against the Bengals early in the season. But the Eagles’ cushion could be evaporating as the Giants start to find their feet. That means that the Eagles will have to win somes games of their own, and soon.
21. Detroit Lions (Last Week: 28)
It wasn’t easy, and it never is easy for the Detroit Lions. But a last second field goal from Matt Prater helped the Lions to get a 30-27 win over the Washington Football Team in Week 10. Detroit, despite all of their flaws, are 4-5 after that dramatic victory. And while they aren’t likely to finish anywhere but last place in the NFC North, it can’t be said that the Lions aren’t competing.
20. Chicago Bears (Last Week: 20)
Just a half game better than the Lions are the Chicago Bears. Chicago was 5-1 just a few weeks ago. But they have rattled off four straight losses, with their most recent loss coming on Monday Night Football against the Minnesota Vikings. Only three teams have scored fewer points this season than the Bears, and the playoff hopes for this team are waning rather quickly in a loaded NFC.
19. Houston Texans (Last Week: 19)
The Houston Texans lost their Week 10 game on the road against the Cleveland Browns. But there were some extenuating circumstances surrounding that game that should be noted. The game was played in some strange wind conditions that handcuffed both offenses. Houston lost the game 10-7, but they should be commended for hanging tough against a playoff caliber team in adverse conditions.
18. San Francisco 49ers (Last Week: 17)
San Francisco got off to a 10-0 start against the New Orleans Saints on the road in Week 10. But the Niners were outscored 27-3 the rest of the way en route to another loss. There were just too many injuries to deal with once again for the 49ers, who appear poised to be the only sub-.500 team in the NFC West this season. Needless to say, Nick Mullens won’t be their starting quarterback beyond this year.
17. Minnesota Vikings (Last Week: 17)
They got off to a terrible start this season, but the Minnesota Vikings are playing some competent football as of late. In Week 10, the Vikings scored a 19-13 road win over the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. Even against one of the best defenses in the NFL, the Vikings managed to move the ball just enough to win on the road. While Minnesota didn’t expect to be at 4-5 through nine games, they have a chance to get back to .500 against the Cowboys in Week 11.
16. Las Vegas Raiders (Last Week: 16)
The Las Vegas Raiders aren’t a spectacular football team by any means. But they are a team that has simply found a way to win more games than they lose. They destroyed the Denver Broncos in Week 10, putting up 37 points against a normally good Denver defense. The Raiders are 6-3 on the season and find themselves as the fifth seed in the AFC playoff race through 10 weeks.
15. New England Patriots (Last Week: 15)
A rainy Sunday night against the reigning league MVP is exactly the type of game one would expect Bill Belihick’s team to win. And the Patriots did just that, upsetting the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football in Week 10. The game was ugly for the most part, but some creativity from the offense and a solid performance from the offensive line gave the Patriots enough firepower to keep themselves alive in the AFC playoff hunt. They need to keep winning to stay alive, though.
14. Cleveland Browns (Last Week: 13)
On a windy day in Cleveland, the Browns managed to do just enough to squeeze by the Texans. On a day where throwing the football was difficult, the potent running game of the Browns was a saving grace. This team is one of five teams sitting at 6-3 and hoping to claim a wild card spot in the AFC. That means that the pressure will be on to continue winning football games for Baker Mayfield and company.
13. Indianapolis Colts (Last Week: 14)
The Colts got their most impressive win of the 2020 season in Week 10. They managed to get the better of their division rivals in the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football. Indy was clearly superior on defense and special teams in that game. Whether or not they can keep that going consistently against respectable teams remains to be seen, but that was certainly a statement win for the Colts.
12. Miami Dolphins (Last Week: 12)
Since Tua Tagovailoa has taken over at quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, the team hasn’t lost a game. Their third straight win with Tagovailoa at the helm came against the Chargers, moving Miami to 6-3 on the year. Tagovailoa’s passing numbers have not been all that impressive, but it has been the defense and special teams that have kept Miami marching to victory as of late. As a part of the 6-3 logjam in the AFC playoff picture, Miami has exceeded all expectations.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last Week: 11)
Tampa Bay destroyed the Carolina Panthers for the second time this season. Their 46-23 win over the Panthers was a nice bounce back after their Week 9 debacle against the Saints. Tampa is a half game back of the Saints for first place in the NFC South. But with Drew Brees set to miss some time due to injury, the Bucs are back in control of that division one would imagine.
10. Los Angeles Rams (Last Week: 10)
One of the most impressive wins of the last week in the NFL came when the Los Angeles Rams beat the Seattle Seahawks. Jared Goff threw for over 300 yards for the Rams in their 23-16 victory. Anytime a team holds Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense to just 16 points, it is an accomplishment. And with the Rams now tied with Seattle and Arizona for first place in the NFC West, the Rams’ Week 11 game against the Buccaneers becomes all the more important.
9. Buffalo Bills (Last Week: 7)
You have to feel bad for the Buffalo Bills after Week 10. After scoring a late touchdown to take the lead in Arizona, Buffalo lost on a Hail Mary from Kyler Murray to DeAndre Hopkins. There were three defenders in the area, but none could jump high enough to take the ball from an all-time great receiver. With that said, the Bills played a great game offensively to be in that position in the first place.
8. Green Bay Packers (Last Week: 8)
It certainly was not pretty, but the Packers did just enough to beat Jake Luton and the Jaguars in Week 10. At 7-2 for the season, the Packers have a nice cushion between themselves and the rest of the NFC North. But the Packers can’t rest on their laurels as the Vikings have started to string some wins together. Green Bay travels to Indianapolis for a matchup with the Colts next week.
7. Tennessee Titans (Last Week: 5)
One of the biggest disappointments in the NFL in Week 10 had to be the Tennessee Titans. Leading at the half against the Colts, the Titans imploded in the second half of that game. Some issues on special teams seemed to hurt the Titans, but they could not stop the Colts’ offense even when winning the field position battle. Tennessee has now lost three out of four and are in danger of sliding out of the playoff picture.
6. Seattle Seahawks (Last Week: 6)
Sometimes you just have to tip your cap, and that’s what the Seahawks have to do after being dominated by the defense of the LA Rams. Seattle lost both of their back-to-back road games in Buffalo and Los Angeles. And as if that schedule wasn’t grueling enough, the Seahawks have to try and rebound on Thursday Night Football against a Cardinals team that is flying higher than anyone in the league right now.
5. Arizona Cardinals (Last Week: 9)
Speaking of the Cardinals, their Hail Mary win over the Bills will go down as one of the best moments in team history. The Cardinals appeared to be down and out of that game, but Kyler Murray makes it impossible to truly feel out of a game until it is over. While not many NFL picks had Murray as the MVP heading into the season, he is certainly a strong candidate for the award through 10 weeks.
4. New Orleans Saints (Last Week: 6)
The Saints just continue to win football games. This week, they went on a 27-3 run to beat the 49ers after falling behind 10-0. But there are undoubtedly concerns with the team’s future after Drew Brees was found to have broken ribs after the game. Jameis Winston is a capable backup, but the Saints will need to fit their offense to his more vertical style of play in a hurry to avoid losing the division to the Buccaneers.
3. Baltimore Ravens (Last Week: 3)
While the Ravens lost to the Patriots in Week 10, they do not move down our rankings for a couple of reasons. First, so many other top teams lost last week. Second, the game was played in a monsoon in New England. The Ravens had issues simply snapping the ball to Lamar Jackson in the shotgun. Once the Ravens have a chance to dry off, they should be back to their old selves.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week: 2)
The Chiefs had a bye week in Week 10. Typically, teams coached by Andy Reid are excellent when coming off of the bye. In Week 11, that theory gets put to the test as the Chiefs face the surging Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders beat the Chiefs in Kansas City early this season. The question now for the Chiefs is whether or not their defense can stop one of the hottest teams in the NFL to maintain their advantage in the AFC West.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week: 1)
The Steelers remained undefeated by destroying the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 10. There is only one undefeated team remaining in the NFL this season, and that is the Steelers. Pittsburgh reached an interesting milestone in Week 10, becoming just the second team in the NFL this season to amass a point differential of +100. The Chiefs are the only other team with a triple-digit positive point difference this NFL season.
NFL Betting FAQ
Right now, it really is anyone’s guess as to who will win the NFC West. But the Rams have one thing that the Cardinals and Seahawks do not. That is a solid defense. While this does not guarantee the Rams anything, being able to get stops on a regular basis gives the Rams an advantage that may be underrated when comparing them to the high-flying Seahawks and Cardinals.
It is unlikely that the Steelers will go 16-0. The perfect regular season in the NFL is a rarity. And with the Steelers still to face tough games against division rivals in the Ravens and Browns, it isn’t likely that they will get all the way to 16 wins without a loss. Their goal isn’t to win all 16 games anyway. Instead, it is to win the Super Bowl at the end of the season.
This is more likely to happen than the Steelers going 16-0. Even so, it isn’t likely that the Jets lose all seven of their remaining games. The team showed some ability to play decent football in their most recent loss to the Patriots. They will likely be underdogs in all of their remaining games. But the Jets could very well steal a game and avoid the perfectly imperfect season.