Before you sharpen your pitchforks, a short note on how we’ve come to rank the teams as we have: all NFLTR writers have compiled their own NFL power rankings, which we’ve compiled and averaged in the list below. We hope you enjoy the fruits of our labor, and feel free to agree, disagree, or roast us in the comments below.
#1) Denver Broncos
The Broncos haven’t been beating teams in as convincing of fashion as they were at the start of the season, but as long as they are keeping up with the undefeated Chiefs, they will at least get the opportunity to overtake the AFC West. Peyton Manning took a low hit to his knee against the Chargers, but all inductions are that it’s nothing serious and he’ll be ready to go on Sunday. We’re keeping the Broncos atop our rankings until after the Chiefs game.
#2) Seattle Seahawks
Seattle has gained a reputation for being soft on the road, but that was nowhere near the case on Sunday as they had their way with the Falcons. They’ll get the Vikings this weekend, but will then take on the Saints and 49ers in back-to-back weeks, which will end up having a huge impact on the NFC playoff seeding. Thankfully, the Seahawks will get Percy Harvin back for Sunday’s game.
#3) Kansas City Chiefs
There are numerous reasons as to why this Sunday’s match up against the Broncos will be a must-see game. The Chiefs are currently 9-0 and the last remaining undefeated team in the league, but they haven’t beat a single team with a winning record this season and will now travel to Denver with the division lead on the line. The good news is that their defense is about as good as they come and the Broncos offensive line is a little banged up. Peyton Manning also has an ankle injury, so the Chiefs should have an opportunity to win this game.
#4) New Orleans Saints ( 1)
It’s tough to get too worked up about a convincing win against an injury riddled Cowboys defense, but there’s no question that the Saints are a legitimate contender. I mean, even Mark Ingram looked like an impact player during this game. New Orleans has as hard of a four-game stretch ahead of them as anyone, which includes games against 49ers, Seahawks and Panthers.
#5) New England Patriots ( 1)
The Patriots travel to take on the red-hot Panthers on Monday night, which will be the best Monday Night Football game of the season. Although, that’s really not saying a whole lot. The Patriots will two weeks to prepare for a very solid Carolina team who is coming off of a big win on the road against San Francisco. Their defense is for real and could end up being a difference-maker unless Brady is able to find some mismatches to exploit.
#6) Carolina Panthers ( 3)
I was admittedly holding back a bit on rating the Panthers higher until we saw them secure a big win and they managed to do just that on Sunday. Carolina’s defense has been incredible this season and is without a doubt one of the best units in the league. Their ground game has also proven to be very effective, although I think it’s a bad idea to give Jonathan Stewart the majority of carries shortly after returning. DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert proved be a good combination, so I wouldn’t hurt that to get Stewart back in the mix. They get the Patriots in Week 11, which will be one of the most anticipated games of the week.
#7) San Francisco 49ers
I must admit that I picked Colin Kaepernick to win the MVP this year and Aldon Smith to take the Defensive Player of Year award, so it’s safe to say that I’m not very good prognosticating individual awards. The Panthers deserve credit for their superb defensive performance and not have Vernon Davis for the entire game really impacted the 49ers offense. Michael Crabtree can’t return soon enough.
#8) Detroit Lions ( 5)
The Lions shoot up the ranking after going on the road to beat the Bears and takeover as the top team in the NFC North. To be honest, it wasn’t the greatest game played by the Lions, but they have now dealt the Bears a serious blow to their chances of winning the division considering that Detroit has two wins over Chicago. The Lions travel to Pittsburgh in Week 11.
#9) Indianapolis Colts (5)
The Colts continue their head-scratching trend of beating solid NFL teams and then losing to teams they should be able to handle, even if they’re short-handed. Sunday’s performance was as bad as they come. St. Louis feasted on the Colts horrible offensive line and I’m not sure Indy laid a single had on Tavon Austin who accounted for three touchdowns. For as good as this team can be, they have major question marks on both sides of the ball.
#10) Chicago Bears ( 2)
It appears as though the Bears will be without Jay Cutler for a few weeks now that he’s dealing with an ankle injury. Josh McCown continues to look like the best backup quarterback in the league. Somehow Chicago moves up two spots this week, despite losing to the Lions. Clearly, this has more to do with the poor performances from others.
#11) Cincinnati Bengals ( 1)
Another poor performance from Andy Dalton leads to another disappointing Bengals loss. Dalton has thrown three picks in back-to-back weeks as opposed to just two touchdowns — one of which was a tipped hailmary catch that luckily bounced into the hands of A.J. Green. Dalton continues struggle to make plays when they need him to deliver and this alone caps their chances of making a deep postseason run. They get the Browns at home next week.
#12) Green Bay Packers (4)
Wow…Green Bay. It’s hard to imagine that things have come to this. It seems like 85 percent of their starters have been injured or currently are injured this season. They will travel to New York with Scott Tolzien as the starting quarterback. Although he was able to move the beyond 20 yards on Sunday, it’s just hard to excited about their chances. The Giants have been able to beat Packers pretty consistently in recent years so I’m sure they have plenty of confidence heading into this game.
#13) New York Jets ( 1)
The Jets were on bye last week, but managed to move up a spot in the rankings nonetheless. New York travels to take on the reeling Bills in Week 11 and a win could be enough to get them within in one game of the Patriots.
#14) Dallas Cowboys (3)
I don’t think many expected the Cowboys to walk into New Orleans and win this game, but it has to be disheartening to lose 49-17. The Cowboys allowed a franchise-record 625 yards during this game and the loss brings Jason Garrett’s head coaching record to 21-21. Dallas’ defense is horrific. They rank 32nd in passing yards allowed and 28th against the run. Thankfully they are on bye this week before taking on the Giants in Week 12.
#15) Philadelphia Eagles ( 4)
Philadelphia got another quality road win on Sunday, despite the fact that they were playing against a combination of Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien. Their offensive line held up pretty well even though Jason Peters suffered an injury. The additional time in the pocket allowed Nick Foles to complete multiple deep passes for touchdowns. They get Washington in Week 11.
#16) Arizona Cardinals ( 1)
The Cardinals quietly have a winning record. Of their four losses, three came against the 49ers, Seahawks and Saints, and the other was a three-point loss to the Rams in Week 1. I’m not suggesting that they are a contender or anything, but they are clearly no push over. They should be able to win Week 11’s game against the Jaguars, which could get them to 6-4.
#17) Baltimore Ravens ( 5)
Baltimore ended their three-game losing streak on Sunday with a solid win over the Bengals. Playing Andy Dalton obviously helped, considering that he chipped in three interceptions of his own. The Ravens offense is still ugly. Flacco threw for 140 yards, two touchdowns and two picks, while the ground-game totaled just 85 yards. They travel to Chicago this weekend.
#18) San Diego Chargers (2)
San Diego did a good job of fighting back in the fourth quarter after getting down 28-6, but it was too late by then. Their defense had almost no answer for Peyton Manning as he put up an efficient stat line on Sunday. They travel to Miami in Week 11.
#19) Miami Dolphins (4)
The Dolphins play an ugly brand of football and it really gets no worse than losing to a winless team. Monday’s game ended up being fairly close, but the Bucs should have had a much larger lead in the first-half before they allowed Miami to get back into the game. It’s been widely discussed, but the Dolphins offensive line is absolutely terrible.
#20) St. Louis Rams ( 9)
The Rams were the big winners of Week 10 with a surprising road win over the Colts. St. Louis didn’t just win the game, they crushed the Colts in a lopsided victory. Who knew the Rams would win a game like this with Kellen Clemens as their starting quarterback? First-round pick Tavon Austin helped Clemens out with a breakout game. The Rams are on bye this week.
#21) Pittsburgh Steelers ( 5)
The Steelers beat the Bills rather convincingly on Sunday in what a number of analysts saw as a likely win for Buffalo. Reports surfaced on Sunday that Ben Roethlisberger could ask for a trade out of Pittsburgh this offseason, but both he and the team refuted that report. The Steelers get the Lions in Week 11, in which could be a pretty decent game.
#22) Cleveland Browns ( 5)
Not sure how this happened, but the Browns move up five spots, despite not playing in Week 10. It can’t be a good thing for the other teams if we’re more confident in Jason Campbell-led Browns team. Cleveland travels to take on the division-leading Bengals in this weekend.
#23) Washington Redskins (3)
It’s just unacceptable to lose to the Vikings, especially when Matt Cassel had to play in the fourth quarter. Washington travels to Philly in Week 11 to take on an Eagles team that has put together back-to-back wins. After that, the Redskins will have a three-game home stretch.
#24) New York Giants (1)
New York was on bye in Week 10, but unlike the Browns, they managed to drop a spot in this week’s rankings. This weekend they will be up against an injury-riddled Packers team and their third-string quarterback, Scott Tolzien. If the Giants can’t win this game, we should probably start focusing on where their draft pick will be next May.
#25) Tennessee Titans (7)
It’s unacceptable to lose at home to the Jaguars under any circumstance. Jake Locker is done for the year, so it’s now the Ryan Fitzpatrick show in Tennessee, which should allow the Titans to get back in the race for a top-five draft pick.
#26) Buffalo Bills ( 5)
The Bills added to their current losing streak this weekend and now sit at 3-7 on the season. It’s hard to believe that this team has a win over the Panthers, but it’s true. They get the Jets in Week 11.
#27) Houston Texans (3)
The Texans losing streak is now at seven straight and there’s a decent argument to be made that they belong much lower than this. I’m not sure why we are giving them a slight benefit of the doubt, but it probably has something to do with J.J. Watt being awesome.
#28) Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons have now lost six of their past seven games and continue to get hit with injuries. Thankfully for them, they get the Buccaneers in Week 11, who just happens to be one of the two teams they’ve beaten this season. That’s actually depressing.
#29) Minnesota Vikings ( 1)
The Vikings Thursday night win over the Washington was good enough for them to move up one spot. Congrats to them on the big achievement this week. Matt Cassel has played in both of their wins this season, for whatever that is worth.
#30) Oakland Raiders ( 5)
The Raiders have more wins than the Texans, Falcons and Vikings, but somehow come in at No. 30 overall. We’re apparently done with them being better than a bottom-five team. An ugly loss to the Eagles and a poorly played game against the Giants is more than enough drop them five spots.
#31) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Congrats to the Buccaneers for preventing an 0-16 season. They get the reeling the Falcons in Week 11, which could be another win if they don’t shot themselves in the foot, which is always a possibility with this team.
#32) Jacksonville Jaguars
Congrats to the Jaguars for preventing an 0-16 season. On Monday I actually considered the possibility of moving them out of the bottom spot in our rankings, but thankfully the Bucs also won this week. The Jaguars travel to Tennessee to take on Ryan Fitzpatrick in what should be the worst Week 11 match up.