The crazy parity around the NFL leads to a lot more shuffling in the 2020 Week 10 power rankings.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-0) | Last week: 1
I didn’t really think about moving the Steelers from the top spot in the power rankings despite a relatively disappointing performance against the Cowboys. A win is a win, and going undefeated through the first half of the season is no easy task. Mike Tomlin has already clinched a .500 record this season, making it a remarkable 14 consecutive seasons with a record of 8-8 or better.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (8-1) | Last week: 2
While it’s certainly fun watching Patrick Mahomes throw the ball around and put up massive numbers, it’s a bit puzzling that the Chiefs rushing attack looked so powerful early in the season and is now struggling to get much going even after adding former All-Pro runner Le’Veon Bell. Look for Andy Reid and the offense to take the bye week and create more balance on offense as the weather gets colder throughout this month and into December.
3. Buffalo Bills (7-2) | Last week: 5 (+2)
Somehow, despite a 7-2 record and a great win over the Seahawks, the Bills are going under the radar ahead of Week 10. Josh Allen absolutely torched Seattle’s defense, and he became the first player in NFL history to have 400+ pass yards, 3+ pass touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 130.0+ passer rating in multiple games in a season. Only Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Patrick Mahomes have multiple such games in their careers. Allen, who is arguably the MVP frontrunner or a close second behind Patrick Mahomes after a head-to-head win over Russell Wilson, should get more credit than he does.
4. New Orleans Saints (7-2) | Last week: 7 (+3)
Headlining stars Michael Thomas (in his return to the lineup for the first time since Week 1) and Alvin Kamara didn’t even need to make that big of an impact for the Saints to completely dominate on the road versus the Buccaneers. Drew Brees picked apart Todd Bowles’ defense, which is not easy to do; and the defense did not allow Tampa Bay to do anything. New Orleans is clearly a very confident team right now.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3) | Last week: 3 (-2)
I don’t know what happened to the Bucs on Sunday night. The offensive line obviously did not play well, as Tom Brady had constant pressure around him on seemingly every snap—but it was still just stunning what occurred on both sides of the ball. Tampa Bay also set an NFL record for the fewest rushing attempts in a game (five). As bad as the Bucs looked, we have to keep in mind this was just one game. It happens.
6. Seattle Seahawks (6-2) | Last week: 4 (-2)
The Seahawks tried to use a lot of man coverage against the Bills, but they could not match up with Stefon Diggs, John Brown, and Cole Beasley. And Russell Wilson was unable to bounce back from the mistakes a couple of Sundays ago and probably had his worst game of the year—when the Seattle defense is getting torched, they need Wilson to be almost perfect to have a shot. Suddenly, the Seahawks are looking to defend first place in the NFC West when they face the Rams this week.
7. Las Vegas Raiders (5-3) | Last week: 6 (-1)
Nelson Agholor has been mentioned a few times here in the power rankings, but he continues to earn it with huge game-changing plays like the 45-yard touchdown grab to put the Raiders up in the second half against the Chargers. Tom Brady aside (disregarding his latest performance), I don’t think there’s been a better signing this offseason than Agholor—and it was for the veteran minimum, which is insane for a former Super Bowl hero that’s been there and can lead a receiver room. Derek Carr has been doing a very good job of getting the ball to Agholor and his other playmakers with accurate throws from in and outside of the pocket. Defensively, Justin Herbert did some damage, but Las Vegas got a stop when it mattered most to win the game.
8. Tennessee Titans (6-2) | Last week: 8
The Titans were able to get back on track with a tough win against the Bears, and they’ll be in another battle with a divisional matchup on a short week. Current odds for this week’s NFL games have the Titans as narrow road favorites over the Colts on Thursday night, but most of the early picks are for Indy. Anything can happen, especially on Thursday Night Football, but expect a slugfest type of game and a heavy dose of Derrick Henry after he was off the field more than usual in Week 9.
9. Baltimore Ravens (6-2) | Last week: 9
Baltimore was able to score a defensive touchdown on a fumble recovery, and they also were granted a questionable key interception by Marcus Peters on a play that almost everyone agrees was a major blown call. It’s good that the Ravens can win low-scoring games, but the offense continues to disappoint in 2020. Lamar Jackson and company had an offensive explosion when they faced the Patriots last season, so we’ll see if they can do it again this Sunday night versus a New England defense that’s not close to as good as it was in 2019.
10. Green Bay Packers (6-2) | Last week: 10
Aaron Jones had a successful return to the lineup after missing two games with a calf issue, and the Packers coasted to victory in San Francisco last Thursday night. Davante Adams has been simply unstoppable over the past three weeks, with lines of 13/196/2, 7/53/3, and 10/173/1 in that stretch—and Green Bay is set to get receiver Allen Lazard (core muscle) back soon. After showing some pass-rush life, I’d like to see if the Packers can keep it going defensively and get after the passer more consistently this week against the Jaguars.
11. Los Angeles Rams (5-3) | Last week: 11
The Rams come off the bye for a huge NFC West matchup with the Seahawks, and Sean McVay is excellent off the bye. Los Angeles had as good of a bye week as you can have, with the division going 0-3 while they were off.
12. Miami Dolphins (5-3) | Last week: 14 (+2)
Tua Tagovailoa is now 2-0 as a starting quarterback in the NFL, and he did more of the heavy lifting this time around in an exciting victory at Arizona. Tua has been efficient and accurate like he was at Alabama, and his hip and health overall look like zero concern with the way he ran the ball on Sunday. The Miami defense couldn’t contain Kyler Murray on the ground, but they limited Chase Edmonds and made a key stop late when they needed it.
13. Indianapolis Colts (5-3) | Last week: 13
While they lost by 14 points, the Colts played a very competitive game and were right there with the Ravens—Darius Leonard was a huge part of the Indy defense, racking up 13 tackles while bringing the energy like he always does when on the field. 43 pass attempts for Philip Rivers probably isn’t the formula for success on offense, so the Colts will probably try to run the ball more this Thursday night in a divisional game.
14. Arizona Cardinals (5-3) | Last week: 12 (-2)
Maybe it’s not an issue, but from the outside it appears that DeAndre Hopkins might already be causing some problems with the Cardinals in his first year with the team. He did draw some penalties (all arguably questionable calls), but the All-Pro receiver was limited to just 30 yards in the loss to the Dolphins—and he clearly was not happy after the game. Everyone wants to win, but part of Hopkins’ issue has been that he seems to get the maddest when he doesn’t put up individual statistics. It’s something to keep an eye on with a matchup against superstar cornerback Tre’Davious White coming up.
15. Chicago Bears (5-4) | Last week: 15
The Bears battled back to make it a game, but they’ve now dropped three straight after a 5-1 start to the season. Again, the main concern is clearly the play of the offensive line, as they can’t establish the run or protect the quarterback; there’s simply been no room for David Montgomery to run and not enough time for Nick Foles to throw. Chicago must get back on track this Monday night against Minnesota.
16. Cleveland Browns (5-3) | Last week: 16
Nick Chubb (knee) looks set to come back for the Browns, which will be a major lift for an offense with an identity of hard-nosed running. Chubb’s return will allow Kareem Hunt to slide back into more of a complementary role, which can be absolutely devastating for worn-down defenses late in the game. The bye week gave Cleveland more time to prepare for dual threat quarterback Deshaun Watson.
17. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1) | Last week: 18 (+1)
It was probably a good bye week for the Eagles, as Washington fell further back in the standings while the Cowboys also lost again, and Philly now has a chance to get a second win over the Giants this season. Hopefully the Eagles are able to get Miles Sanders (knee) back in the lineup.
18. San Francisco 49ers (4-5) | Last week: 17 (-1)
It’s the NFL, so nothing would be too stunning, but the 49ers didn’t have much of a chance after all the injuries and then the COVID-19 impact on their roster last week. At least Kyle Shanahan got some extra time to prepare a plan of attack for a red-hot Saints team this Sunday.
19. New England Patriots (3-5) | Last week: 19
For a proud franchise like the Patriots and a proud sports city like Boston, things might have gotten unusually ugly if New England was unable to come back and beat the Jets on Monday night. Cam Newton threw the ball well in the victory, mostly connecting with Jakobi Meyers, who made clutch catches throughout the night. The Pats defense gave up a surprising number of big plays, and they need top cornerback Stephon Gilmore back in the lineup soon.
20. Atlanta Falcons (3-6) | Last week: 24 (+4)
The Falcons are an unfortunate slip-up (the Todd Gurley touchdown when he tried to stay out of the end zone against the Lions) away from a four-game winning streak and a 4-5 record this season; so, all things considered, they have to feel pretty good about where they are heading into the bye. When Atlanta returns, they have a very difficult schedule on paper including two matchups with the Saints and two with the Bucs.
21. Minnesota Vikings (3-5) | Last week: 25 (+4)
The Vikings also should not be counted out entirely this season, and Dalvin Cook is obviously the driving force behind that. The dynamic runner is putting up legit video game numbers this season, particularly over the past two games. The Chicago defense will be a challenge for Cook and company on Monday night, but Adam Thielen and rookie Justin Jefferson have the ability to step up if Kirk Cousins needs to throw the ball more.
22. Denver Broncos (3-5) | Last week: 20 (-2)
4-4 would have been promising, but 24 second-half points weren’t enough to erase a slow start by the Broncos. Denver can’t keep falling behind and expect to come back, especially against top teams in the league. They might want to get spark-plug-style running back Phillip Lindsay going more early in games moving forward.
23. Carolina Panthers (3-6) | Last week: 21 (-2)
The Panthers gave the Chiefs everything they could handle on Sunday, and it’s what we’ve come to expect from Matt Rhule’s squad in his first year as the team’s head coach. Christian McCaffrey had an outstanding return to the lineup, and now we have to hope the All-Pro running back doesn’t miss time again after injuring his shoulder toward the end of the Week 9 loss. Carolina will be facing an angry Tampa Bay team this weekend.
24. Detroit Lions (3-5) | Last week: 22 (-2)
The elimination of practice time and the lack of Kenny Golladay (hip) on the outside might have impacted him, as Matthew Stafford did not play well in Detroit’s loss at Minnesota on Sunday. But the defense is the bigger concern after they allowed Dalvin Cook to total over 250 yards while averaging 9.4 yards per carry. The Lions’ next three games are against sub-.500 teams, but they are right in that same boat themselves.
25. Los Angeles Chargers (2-6) | Last week: 23 (-2)
After it looked like the Chargers might have scored a go-ahead touchdown as time expired and people quickly claimed they finally figured out how to win a close game, it turned out to be just yet another way to lose, as the touchdown was overturned after replay. The good news is Justin Herbert has been extremely impressive during his rookie year, and he led the team down the field and in position for the game-winner, putting two fades on target with a chance for his guys to make a play. Herbert vs. Tua will be fun as a Week 10 headliner.
26. Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1) | Last week: 27 (+1)
Speaking of impressive rookie quarterbacks, Joe Burrow up against an elite Steelers defense will be a great test this Sunday. Burrow and company had the bye week to prepare for the talented unit, and hopefully running back Joe Mixon (foot) is back on offense.
27. New York Giants (2-7) | Last week: 29 (+2)
The Giants’ two wins this season have come against Washington, but they’ve been in basically every game except for Week 3, which speaks to the job Joe Judge is doing in Year 1 as the team’s head coach. Despite the 2-7 record, New York is right in the NFC East race if they can get a home win over the Eagles this weekend.
28. Washington Football Team (2-6) | Last week: 26 (-2)
Washington was unable to take care of business off the bye, but Ron Rivera is still confident in his team’s ability to compete in the worst division in football. You have to feel for Kyle Allen (thankfully the injury isn’t as bad as it could have been), but it’ll be awesome to watch Alex Smith play and compete after all he went through to return to the field. Smith is obviously an easy guy to root for.
29. Dallas Cowboys (2-7) | Last week: 28 (-1)
Jerry Jones and the Cowboys are saying that Mike McCarthy will without a doubt be the team’s head coach in 2021, and it’s the right move to make in my opinion. McCarthy is a Super Bowl winning head coach, and he was hired for a reason—he deserves much longer than one season. After some locker room concerns a few weeks ago, Dallas has played hard as of late. Andy Dalton should be back after the bye and will be the starter, but Garrett Gilbert did a very nice job in his first career start versus the Steelers.
30. Houston Texans (2-6) | Last week: 30
Houston opted to keep Will Fuller at the trade deadline, which made Deshaun Watson happy as the team tries to at least make some noise and play spoiler if they can’t climb back into playoff contention. Watson might have a chip on his shoulder facing a Browns team that passed on him with the top pick in the draft a few years ago. Like the Giants, the Texans have their two victories this season against one opponent (the Jaguars).
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) | Last week: 31
While the Jags came up just short of a win, rookie quarterback Jake Luton has to feel pretty good about the way he played in his NFL debut. At the halfway point in the season, James Robinson is on pace for the most yards by an undrafted rookie in league history, so he’s been quite the find for a Jacksonville team set for a big reset in 2021.
32. New York Jets (0-9) | Last week: 32
Credit Adam Gase for relenting playcalling duties (which can be a death knell for a head coach), as it seemingly has given some life to the offense over the past couple of weeks. And Joe Flacco was the notable spark in the Jets’ near upset win over the Patriots, as the former Super Bowl MVP was calm, composed, and hit a bunch of big plays with pinpoint passes down the field. Sam Darnold needs to get back on the field soon for his own sake, but Flacco will keep the Jets competitive as they try to finally get in the win column.