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NFL Power Rankings: Eagles on top of the football world

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The Broncos’ outnumbered defenders finally got overwhelmed.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos’ defense laid a rare egg in a game where it became clear that fixing the offensive woes will not be as simple as just switching the starter at QB. Similarly, some other teams like the Chiefs and Falcons are showing weak spots that weren’t apparent in the early season. Other teams, like the Eagles and Rams, are surging and playing excellent football as the season fully enters its second half.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 10:

1. Philadelphia Eagles

Last Week: 1 (0)

A week ago everyone was predicting that the nascent Carson Wentz MVP talk would run into a speedbump against the Broncos. But then the Eagles’ running game accomplished what no other unit has this year and had a good day vs Denver. Wentz didn’t have to pass a lot due to that, but a sub 200 yard passing day won’t matter much in the face of the 4 TD/0 Int split he put up against the No Fly Zone. If anything, he’s now the front runner for the MVP award.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers

Last Week: 2 (0)

Bye week, so no movement here.

3. Los Angeles Rams

Last Week: 5 (+2)

The Rams absolutely crushed the Giants. Sean McVay has his team’s offense clicking, and they leapfrog the Patriots on the strength of that. Wade Phillips’ defense leads the league in turnovers forced, which means this Rams team is likely equipped to beat Tom Brady’s Patriots in a shootout if they were to play each other.

4. New England Patriots

Last Week: 4 (0)

Bye week, so no movement here.

5. Carolina Panthers

Last Week: 8 (+3)

They move up on the momentum of an important but close victory over their division rival Falcons. Their next three to five games will be pivotal for the Panthers, in much the same way as the Broncos are currently failing at running a gauntlet.

6. Detroit Lions

Last Week: 10 (+4)

The Lions rolled right over the leaderless Packers. The two teams are clearly on opposite trajectories. The only question is whether or not the Lions can sustain it and make noise in the postseason.

7. Dallas Cowboys

Last Week: 11 (+4)

The Cowboys are picking up steam with a three win streak coming out of their Bye. Things are looking good for Dallas, and would be looking great if it weren’t for the Eagles. Though the Ezekiel Elliott issue is certainly an irritating distraction.

8. Kansas City Chiefs

Last Week: 3 (-5)

Three losses in their last four games has the Chiefs starting to gain momentum in the wrong way. KC’s upcoming Bye week is very well timed for them, giving them a chance to regroup while holding a firm 2-game lead on the division.

9. Seattle Seahawks

Last Week: 9 (0)

I’m not sure what to make of the Seahawks’ recent mixture of game performances. But with Russell Wilson leading them, it wouldn’t be wise to count them out at any point. The trade that just netted them a new left tackle could be crucial for the Seahawks’ late-season success.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars

Last Week: 13 (+3)

The constantly up-and-down Jaguars finally strung two wins together back to back... albeit with their Bye week sandwhiched in between. When this team is on, they’re hard to beat. When they’re off, they beat themselves. Which version will the Chargers get this weekend?

11. Buffalo Bills

Last Week: 8 (-3)

The Bills drop noticeably after dropping a divisional matchup, but they’re still one of the most likely teams to claim a wildcard spot this January.

12. Minnesota Vikings

Last Week: 12 (0)

Bye week, so no movement here.

13. New Orleans Saints

Last Week: 15 (+2)

Tom Brady isn’t the only old QB holding off Father Time. Drew Brees and this Saints offense are as dangerous as any group in the league, and the defense finally isn’t terrible. Could the Saints make postseason noise for the first time in a while?

14. Washington Redskins

Last Week: 16 (+2)

It was a sloppy game with an exciting conclusion, and a surprise victory for the Redskins. That bumps them up a couple of spots, as Washington’s squad is making things interesting.

14. Atlanta Falcons

Last Week: 14 (0)

The Falcons lost a close one to the Panthers. After a hot start the Falcons have lost four of their last five and face the prospect of plummeting down the ranks if they can’t right the ship. Only staying competitive in most of their losses has kept them afloat this long.

16. Los Angeles Chargers

Last Week: 17 (+1)

Bye week, but the Chargers got a small bump due to other teams’ failures.

17. Oakland Raiders

Last Week: 20 (+3)

The score might be closer than the game was, but that shouldn’t have even happened if this Raiders team was for real. At this point it’s highly unlikely that any team will seriously challenge the Chiefs for control of the AFC West.

18. Tennessee Titans

Last Week: 21 (+3)

A narrow win earns a decent rise. It’s now a two horse race for the AFC South, with the Titans and Jaguars neck and neck. Which team will prevail? The one with the QB and erratic results? Or the one with the defense and erratic results?

19. Baltimore Ravens

Last Week: 19 (0)

The Ravens lost a close one to a team that isn’t great. This seems about right for them.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last Week: 18 (-2)

The Bucs keep hovering around in this 18 to 20 range, so it seems like this must be home. But don’t expect them to maintain it now that Jameis Winston is out for a few weeks with a shoulder injury.
21. Houston Texans

Last Week: 6 (-15)

The last few months haven’t been kind to Houston. They’ve lost their best defensive player, their second or third best pass rusher, significant chunks of the city to a hurricane, and now their rookie phenom of a QB. At least the Astros won the World Series, because the rest of this fall has royally sucked for the city of Houston.

22. New York Jets

Last Week: 27 (+5)

Another surprisingly good game from the Jets. Perhaps they really were serious about seriously trying to compete in the NFL this season. Though if that’s the case, they’re still not very good at it.

23. Green Bay Packers

Last Week: 22 (-1)

As expected, this team is lost and confused without its leader. There’s a reason the Packers and Broncos are ranked one after the other: both are QB-less, rudderless, and going nowhere fast.

24. Denver Broncos

Last Week: 23 (-1)

The Broncos maybe ought to move down further after that blowout, but then again the Eagles are the best team in the NFL right now and it was a highly uncharacteristic faceplant by the Broncos’ defense that allowed it to happen. That, and most of the teams currently ranked below the Broncos also lost. But all signs point to things getting no better for Denver from here.

If there’s a silver lining, it might be this: Von Miller is on pace for a 16 sack season, which would be the 2nd most prolific of his career.

25. Miami Dolphins

Last Week: 25 (0)

It’s hard to ding a bad team for the loss to a better, yet still underperforming, Raiders squad.

26. Chicago Bears

Last Week: 26 (0)

Bye week, so no movement here.

27. Cincinnati Bengals

Last Week: 24 (-3)

Lots of teams lose to the Jaguars when the Jacksonville squad is having one of their good days. But this was an important game for the Bengals to win if they wanted to mount a comeback attempt at a wildcard spot.

28. Arizona Cardinals

Last Week: 31 (+3)

A decent little boost for a decent little win. But for the team whose injury woes are second only to the Texans’, beating a winless 49ers squad doesn’t get you too much.

29. New York Giants

Last Week: 28 (-1)

There were literally no words, at least from their head coach, for how badly the Giants got trounced by Jared Goff & the Rams on Sunday.

30. San Francisco 49ers

Last Week: 29 (-1)

They’re the only winless team remaining in the NFL, so why aren’t they at 32? Because they’ve been decently competitive against every non-playoff team they’ve faced. Don’t get me wrong- they’re not going much higher, and do stand to keep falling if they keep avoiding the W column. But at this point losing isn’t the worst thing that can happen to the 49ers anyway.

31. Cleveland Browns

Last Week: 31 (0)

Bye week, so no movement.

32. Indianapolis Colts

Last Week: 32 (0)

Yes, they won. But a victory over the injury-crushed Texans who are reeling after losing their QB in practice is not an impressive feat. It doesn’t give us any additional conference that the Colts are capable of beating any other team, so here they stay. And I wasn’t going to demote the Browns on their Bye week, per my usual policy.