The NFL hierarchy looked pretty clear last week, or so we thought.
Entering Week 10, it looked like the New England Patriots once again had risen to the top of the AFC after ripping off six straight wins. Well, that doesn’t appear to be the case, as the Pats went down to Nashville and got dump-trucked by the surging Titans. Tennessee appears to be hitting its stride with a fully healthy Marcus Mariota, while the Patriots will enter their bye week wondering what it will take to fix their broken offense.
With 10 weeks of action now in the books, here’s how we’re ranking every NFL team from No. 1 to No. 32. (For our Week 10 power rankings, click here.)
1. New Orleans Saints (8-1; Last week’s rank: 1): Many thought the Saints were primed for a letdown in Week 10 following their huge win over the Los Angeles Rams. That was far from the case, however, as Drew Brees and Co. eviscerated the Cincinnati Bengals 51-14, leaving no doubt they are the NFL’s top team.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (9-1; 3): Kansas City was unimpressive in a 26-14 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Next up for the Chiefs: a Week 11 date with the Rams in Mexico City.
3. Los Angeles Rams (9-1; 4): After suffering their first loss of the season in Week 9, the Rams got back on the horse with a 36-31 win over the Seattle Seahawks. Unfortunately, LA lost a big weapon in the win, as wide receiver Cooper Kupp is out for the season with a torn ACL.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2-1; 5): The Steelers blasted the Carolina Panthers in Week 10, hanging 52 on Ron Rivera’s club to show they’ve truly hit their stride. Pittsburgh’s red-zone offense, which was a travesty early on, now ranks first in the NFL with a success rate of 78.57 percent. Le’Veon Bell reportedly isn’t expected to report by Tuesday’s deadline, but it doesn’t seem like the Steelers will miss him all that much.
5. Los Angeles Chargers (7-2; 6): Make it six in a row for the Chargers, who rolled over the hapless Oakland Raiders in Week 10. As long as Philip Rivers remains healthy and upright, LA is a Super Bowl contender.
6. New England Patriots (7-3; 2): New England’s six-game winning streak came to a screeching halt Sunday at Nissan Stadium when the Titans stomped the Patriots 34-10. The Patriots’ offense hasn’t been good for almost a month now. Is it a blip or a sign that Tom Brady finally is becoming mortal?
7. Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1; 8): Who is the class of the NFC North? We’ll find out Sunday night when the Vikings exit their bye to visit Soldier Field and the division-leading Chicago Bears.
8. Chicago Bears (6-3; 9): If the Bears want people to really believe in them then Mitchell Trubisky is going to have to outplay Kirk Cousins on “Sunday Night Football.” Or, the Bears’ defense could just suffocate the Vikings with…