Week 9 had a little bit of everything around the NFL, from blowouts of bad teams to surprising, last-second upsets from teams we weren’t quite sold on. More than anything, just about every division race saw some significant movement in the standings and more than a few surprises in first place come Tuesday morning.
Factoring in everything from overall roster strength, to quarterback play, to the coaching staff, here is the latest edition of NFL power rankings and where every team stacks up from 1 to 32.
Week 10 NFL Power Rankings
1. New England Patriots
Last week: 1
There is still half a season left to derail Tom Brady and the Patriots but at this point they are head and shoulders above most of the AFC and can probably pencil in home-field advantage this winter.
Last week: 2
The week after a big win and going on the road to a bad team, chances ran high that the Cowboys could have been in for a letdown performance. Instead they did what good teams do and took care of business right from the start. At this point there is no decision to be made at quarterback with Dak Prescott becoming the first rookie at the position to start 7-1.
3. Seattle Seahawks
Last week: 4
The difference a healthy Russell Wilson makes was on full display Monday night and Jimmy Graham was borderline unstoppable. It all sets up what could be the game of the year at New England on Sunday in which you can expect Seattle to be very motivated to dish out a little revenge.
4. Atlanta Falcons
Last week: 6
Dan Quinn’s team handled having two games in five days with ease, throttling the Bucs to build a two-game lead in the NFC South. It doesn’t seem like everybody in Atlanta is quite sold on this team in the playoffs just yet but there’s little doubt that strides are being made on defense and the Matt Ryan/Julio Jones combo is the best in the game right now.
5. Kansas City Chiefs
Last week: 7
Even though it was against the lowly Jaguars, it was impressive the Chiefs were able to keep things rolling despite all those injuries. Things can continue to build over the rest of the month before that big divisional showdown at Denver after Thanksgiving.
6. Oakland Raiders
Last week: 8
The Black Hole was rocking in a way that it hasn’t in a long time in that primetime game against the Broncos as the Raiders delivered the biggest victory the franchise has had in recent memory. While the defense isn’t quite championship-caliber, the offense is picking up the slack behind legitimate MVP candidate Derek Carr. There were times when previous versions of this team would have lost that Sunday nighter but this team refused to and won going away.
7. Denver Broncos
Last week: 3
That’s now two losses on the road in the division with a looming trip to New Orleans on Sunday not looking like a sure thing either. The schedule sets up nicely down the stretch to rally for the division crown but home-field advantage is now a chase and not a defense for the Broncos.
8. New York Giants
Last week: 14
Odell Beckham Jr. went off between the lines once again which is one reason why Eli Manning posted some big numbers. The defense has continued to look much better than last season and has given up more than 24 points just once all year as the team is sticking around in the NFC East.
9. Buffalo Bills
Last week: 12
Even though the Bills lost to Seattle, they proved to be a formidable opponent in a tough environment. There are still slim hopes to make the playoffs in Buffalo but the margin for error is fast approaching zero entering mid-November.
10. Minnesota Vikings
Last week: 5
The team with the hottest start in the league is now on a three-game losing streak and that change at offensive coordinator hasn’t produced the results anybody has wanted in that span. What was really uncharacteristic of the Vikings was the defensive lapses that allowed the Lions to capture the shocking win in overtime on Sunday.
11. San Diego Chargers
Last week: 16
Is there a more entertaining team in the league given how much the Chargers love close games? One thing became clear in their big win over the Titans is that this has been a defense that is markedly better thanks to Joey Bosa being on the field. And don’t look now, but going into the bye week at .500 and trending upward remains a big possibility.
12. Detroit Lions
Last week: 20
The Lions hit their bye as winners of four of their last five, including an impressive come-from-behind win at the Vikings to muddle up the NFC North race. The question is if that halts the team’s momentum or is just what this group needs to power through a stretch run that suddenly looks very favorable.
13. New Orleans Saints
Last week: 17
The Saints flew west to win their fourth game of their last five in blowout fashion. Drew Brees remained hot and another big passing day for him (his 30th career game of 300-plus yards, 3 TDs and no picks) propelled a suddenly dangerous squad into the fringes of playoff discussion. New Orleans hosts a reeling Denver team on Sunday with much better odds of a win then there was after the first month of the season.
14. Green Bay Packers
Last week: 10
At this point, there will be more increased calls for Mike McCarthy’s head and a detailed examination of the head coach’s tenure is warranted at this point because the team is a mess right now. Injuries are a factor sure, but getting run out of your own building by an AFC South team isn’t acceptable for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
15. Arizona Cardinals
Last week: 15
The bye week will let this veteran-laden squad rest up and their upcoming game against the 49ers may provide another opportunity to get some guys a breather too. After that though, the team needs to buckle up for a make-or-break stretch that features three of four away from home.
16. Washington Redskins
Last week: 11
The rest of the NFC East has caught up to and surpassed Washington at this point in the year and a season-defining stretch of games over the next five weeks will either define or sink the team in 2016.
17. Philadelphia Eagles
Last week: 9
Everybody knows that the talent around Carson Wentz is not great but it seems like the rookie has really regressed from his hot start to begin the season. The big question around Phily is going to be if this is just a short-term blip or a bigger concern for a team that is 0-3 in the NFC East?
18. Baltimore Ravens
Last week: 25
Getting healthy was a huge factor in ending that four-game losing streak by bottling up Pittsburgh and suddenly this team finds itself tied atop the AFC North. The schedule isn’t easy down the stretch but John Harbaugh’s squad is going to be in every game the rest of the way if the starters stay in the lineup.
19. Pittsburgh Steelers
Last week: 13
Big Ben is back in action much sooner than expected and you could see the rust he had to shake off in that loss to the Ravens. If he’s more like he was in the fourth quarter, this team will be fine. If he’s not, they’re in for a dogfight against Dallas next week before the schedule starts to lighten up.
20. Houston Texans
Last week: 18
The off week could allow the team to regroup but there’s little question that the Texans face an uphill battle, having not won at all this season on the road and facing four of the next five away from Houston.
21. Indianapolis Colts
Last week: 22
If you can figure out this team, good luck. These Colts have basically gone hot and cold on alternating weeks while toeing the line between good and mediocre with all the close games they play.
22. Miami Dolphins
Last week: 23
Three straight wins has given the Dolphins life as they’ve rediscovered their running game to get back to an even record on the season. The next few games will either be a sign of growth from Adam Gase’s team or reinforce that there’s still a ways to go in Miami.
23. Cincinnati Bengals
Last week: 19
The rest of the AFC North has come back to the pack and opened the door for the Bengals to take control of it again. The question is will they and we’ll find out soon enough with a big Monday night matchup against the Giants.
24. Tennessee Titans
Last week: 24
Once again, Marcus Mariota had his team in position to win but coughed up a costly turnover. The young quarterback undoubtedly has to get better at protecting the ball because these Titans don’t have the talent to make mistakes given the thin edge they’re on.
25. Carolina Panthers
Last week: 21
A tough win after flying across the country can turn into a nice boost, especially when you factor in how improved the defense has looked the past two weeks. The next couple of games won’t be easy however and the controversy surrounding hits to Cam Newton will only continue to grow.
26. Los Angeles Rams
Last week: 26
Two: the number of touchdowns the Rams have scored in Los Angeles this season. Even more pressing than a decision on Jared Goff is what has happened to Todd Gurley and the run game.
27. New York Jets
Last week: 27
It is beyond frustrating if you’re a Jets fan to watch this team with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback and you have to wonder if we’ll ever see any of the young signal-callers on the roster this season beyond being an injury replacement, which is what Bryce Petty may be this Sunday.
28. Chicago Bears
Last week: 28
The perfectly-timed bye week just allowed all the Bears to take in the Cubs victory parade, right?
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last week: 29
That’s 73 points allowed by the defense in a single week for the Bucs, for those keeping score at home. A bye week couldn’t come at a better time, especially given how banged up Jameis Winston and Mike Evans are.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars
Last week: 30
Sure the drops were an issue at wide receiver but Blake Bortles didn’t look any better from previous weeks with a new offensive coordinator. This team simply doesn’t have the talent to overcome turnovers and there was certainly no way the Jags could take advantage of a backup quarterback on the other team if their offense was doing that.
31. San Francisco 49ers
Last week: 31
The roster is bad, there’s nothing to play for but draft position and the only talk about this team is whether Chip Kelly and/or general manager Trent Baalke will be back in 2017. Not a great combination, especially when you consider what’s happening across the Bay in Oakland.
32. Cleveland Browns
Last week: 32
The Browns got bulldozed by the Cowboys and now have to play on a short week. It might not be the combination to boost ratings on Thursday night.
— Written by Bryan Fischer, an award-winning college football columnist and member of the Athlon Contributor Network. You can follow him from coast-to-coast on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @BryanDFischer.