Week 10 is in the books and most of the games weren’t even close. The carnage started on Thursday Night Football, where the Steelers decimated Carolina, and continued well into Sunday. A few of these blowouts were expected (Packers and Chargers), while others came out of nowhere (Titans and Bills). Off the field, the NFL was forced to move the highly anticipated Rams-Chiefs game in Mexico City back to LA because the field was ruined. So how does that shake up the rankings? At the top, not as much as you might think.
Highest Risers: +4 Browns, Packers, and Titans
Worst Loser: -5 Dolphins
1. (–) New Orleans Saints (8-1)
Week 10: W 51-14 @Bengals. Another week, another milestone for Drew Brees (22-25, 265 yds, 4 total TD). Let’s start with Brees, who completed 88% of his passes and passed Brett Favre for 2nd all-time in passing touchdowns. Next, Michael Thomas continued his amazing season by hauling in all 8 of his targets and caught 2 more touchdowns. Finally, the Saints ran for 244 yards and blew out an upstart Bengals squad. All hail the kings.
2. (–) Los Angeles Rams (9-1)
Week 10: W 36-31 vs. Seahawks. It may have been a bit closer than the Rams would’ve liked, but LA was able to bounce back and improve to a league-best 9-1 record. Jared Goff (28-39, 318 yds, 2 TD) and Todd Gurley (19 touches, 160 total yds, TD) paved the way forward on offense, but an apparent season-ending injury to WR Cooper Kupp could hurt the Rams as the season winds down. Next week is the titanic matchup with Kansas City that we’ve all been waiting for.
3. (+1) Kansas City Chiefs (9-1)
Week 10: W 26-14 vs. Cardinals. First off, I want to applaud Tyreek Hill for being the first player in NFL history to shoot his own penalty on live TV. That was awesome. As for the game itself, it was business as usual for KC. Patrick Mahomes (21-28, 249 yds, 2 TD) continued his amazing season against Arizona, with the help of 97 yards from the running backs and a steady defense. Next week’s Monday Night Football matchup is looking more like a Super Bowl preview with every passing week.
4. (+2) Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2-1)
Week 10: W 52-21 vs. Panthers. Big things came out of Pittsburgh over the weekend, both on and off the field. Big Ben (22-25, 328 yds, 5 TD) was literally perfect (158.3 passer rating) in the massive Thursday Night matchup with the Panthers, and the rest of the team was just as good. AB and JuJu paired up for 199 yards and 2 touchdowns, James Conner found the endzone for the 5th straight game, and the defense held a red-hot Cam Newton under 200 yards. Off the field, Le’Veon Bell is officially not playing in 2018, putting that drama away for Pittsburgh. Oh, and Antonio Brown managed to go over 100 mph on McKnight Road. From personal experience, I’ve got to say that’s impressive, reckless driving citation aside.
5. (+2) LA Chargers (7-2)
Week 10: W 20-6 @Raiders. I just want you to think about this. 3 years ago, Los Angeles didn’t have a pro football team and the Rams and Chargers combined for an 11-21 record. Now, there are 2 NFL teams in LA that have 3 losses COMBINED. Philip Rivers (18-26, 223 yds, 2 TD, INT) and Melvin Gordon (23 touches, 165 total yds, rec TD) are having career years and are steamrolling the competition en route to the Chargers first playoff appearance since 2013. Their week 15 rematch with the Chiefs will determine whether those games are played in LA or in Kansas City, Foxboro, or Pittsburgh.
6. (-3) New England Patriots (7-3)
Week 10: L 34-10 @Titans. What the heck was that? After 6 straight wins, including Ws over Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes, the Patriots went into Nashville and got their clocks cleaned. Tom Brady (21-41, 254 yds) was chased around all day and could never establish a rhythm, and the run game was completely shut down. Rookie RB Sony Michel was fresh off injury and had had a 3-game stretch of 316 yards and 4 touchdowns before getting hurt, but was held to just 31 yards against Tennessee. Now 2 games behind the Chiefs, 1/2 games behind the Chargers, and only a 1/2 game lead over Pittsburgh, New England’s Bye couldn’t have come at a better time.
7. (+1) Houston Texans (6-3)
Week 10: Bye. Sometimes not playing is the best way to win, but other times it’s a good way to lose. For Houston, this week was the latter. With Indy and Jacksonville fighting to avoid the AFC South basement, the Texans were hoping, and probably expecting, the Patriots to knock off their rivals in Tennessee and give them a 2 game division lead. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Coming out of the bye, Houston looks to keep their 6-game winning streak alive against a surging Redskins defense in the nation’s capital.
8. (-3) Carolina Panthers (6-3)
Week 10: L 52-21 @Steelers. Just as I was getting high on the Panthers, they played another good team and got destroyed. This leaves me in a weird position ranking them. Obviously with Cam Newton (23-29, 193 yds, 2 TD, INT) and Christian McCaffrey (138 total yards, 3 total TD) there’s plenty of talent, but the Panthers 3 losses come against arguably the 3 best teams they’ve faced. Add to that Carolina only beating 1 team with a winning record (Cincinnati) and we’re left with a team that could both win out and bust. Jury’s still out with these guys.
9. (–) Washington Redskins (6-3)
Week 10: W 16-3 @Buccaneers. Reminiscent of the old school Redskins, Washington strangled the Buccaneers offense all game long in the still-hot Florida sun. Alex Smith (19-27, 178 yds, TD) took care of the football and won the battle of field position, letting the defense take care of the rest. Speaking of that defense, the addition of HaHa Clinton-Dix seems almost unnecessary. Outside of the 2 beatdowns delivered by Atlanta and New Orleans, Washington is allowing just 13.4 points per game. Much like Carolina, however, the Skins aren’t beating the good teams and the jury’s still out.
10. (–) Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1)
Week 10: Bye. Unlike the Texans, Minnesota was really hurt by their bye this week. Racing against the Bears and Packers for the division lead, the Vikings lost ground thanks to both their rivals winning. Now a 1/2 game behind Chicago and a full game ahead of Green Bay, the rest of the season will be 100% clutch time for Kirk Cousins and the Vikings if they want to host playoff games and get back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1977.
11. (+1) Chicago Bears (6-3)
Week 10: W 34-22 vs. Lions. Don’t let the score fool you. Up until the last 8 minutes, the Lions were never within 2 scores of the Bears. Mitch Trubisky (23-30, 355 yds, 4 total TD) has taken massive steps forward this season, and the defense continues to be lights out. Khalil Mack led the charge by bowling over blockers as the D-line tallied 6 sacks, and the secondary backed it up with 2 picks and a fumble. I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop, but until then I’d be afraid if I’m a QB facing these guys going forward.
12. (+2) Seattle Seahawks (4-5)
Week 10: L 36-31 @Rams. Yes, Seattle moved up 2 spots despite losing. Let me explain. LA puts points up on everyone. In fact, the Rams have only been held under 29 points 1 time this season. What’s most impressive is that the Seahawks kept pace with them blow for blow, falling just 1 catch short in the Coliseum. Seattle tallied 273 yards rushing in a league that abandoned the run a decade ago, and Russell Wilson (17-26, 176 yds, 3 TD, 92 yds rushing) has gotten better and better in this new system every week. They may have a losing record right now, but I still expect Seattle to be playing in January.
13. (+4) Tennessee Titans (5-4)
Week 10: W 34-10 vs. Patriots. Look out, Marcus Mariota (16-24, 228 yds, 2 TD) and the Titans have figured it out. Sunday started with a big kickoff return and things just kept on rolling for Tennessee. The run game powered ahead for 150 yards and the defense smothered the Patriots potent offense, holding them under 300 yards for only the second time this season. Only 1 game back in the division and tied for the wild card with a stumbling Cincinnati team, first-year head coach Mike Vrabel is set to make a run at the playoffs, which all started (and might also end) by knocking off his old mentors in New England.
14. (+4) Green Bay Packers (4-4-1)
Week 10: W 31-12 vs. Dolphins. Aaron Rodgers (19-28, 199 yds, 2 TD) has had to carry this team on his back for years, but Sunday’s win against the Dolphins gave cheezeheads hope that this might be changing. The OTHER Aaron, RB Aaron Jones, rushed for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns and the defense looked competant for the first time all season. Devante Adams also snagged 2 TDs to continue his career year. Will this continue? Probably not. It was the Dolphins, after all. But the hope is there that Rodgers may finally have the help he deserves.
15. (-4) Cincinnati Bengals (5-4)
Week 10: L 51-14 vs. Saints. After starting the season 4-1, the Bengals have been in free fall. Andy Dalton (12-20, 153 yds, TD, 2 INT) just hasn’t been able to gel with his receivers after their hot start, and Sunday’s absence of A.J. Green made things even worse. On defense, Cincinnati has given up 39.5 points per game over the past month and shows no signs of improving. Will this collapse finally be enough for Cincy to sever ties with head coach Marvin Lewis? Probably not, since they fired the Defensive Coordinator and gave Lewis the playcalling duties. Such is life as a Bengals fan.
16. (–) Baltimore Ravens (4-5)
Week 10: Bye. The Ravens needed this bye, and hopefully they’ll be able to take advantage. Joe Flacco suffered a hip injury that would be a possible career ender if he injured it even worse in a game Sunday, and the team as a whole has just felt flat since their hot start against the Bills. With the Steelers starting to pull away, Baltimore needs to string 3 or 4 wins together coming out of the bye if they want to get back to the playoffs.
17. (-4) Atlanta Falcons (4-5)
Week 10: L 28-16 @Browns. Well, that didn’t last long. The Falcons were riding a 3-game win streak and, on the back of Matt Ryan (38-52, 330 yds, 2 TD), were on the path back to playoff contention. They’re still on that road, but Cleveland’s shutdown defense gave the Falcons quite the bump. What really doomed Atlanta against the Browns (other than the fact that they couldn’t stop the run to save their lives) was their run game, which averaged just 3.7 yards per carry and totatled just 71 yards. In an offense that depends on being a dual threat, the Falcons became too predictable. Not a recipe for success.
18. (-3) Philadelphia Eagles (4-5)
Week 10: L 27-20 vs. Cowboys. The defending champions have looked anything but this season, and Sunday Night’s game against the Cowboys might be the final nail in the coffin. To start, this game had nothing to do with Carson Wentz (32-44, 360 yds, 2 TD, INT). Wentz did well to carry the Eagles, who could only total 64 yards without him. What did the Eagles in this week was a poor offensive line that couldn’t run block and a defense that just looked tired. The loss of CB Ronald Darby was just icing on the cake. Like so many before them, the Eagles fell victim to a bad Super Bowl hangover.
19. (+2) Indianapolis Colts (4-5)
Week 10: W 29-26 vs. Jaguars. Andrew Luck (21-29, 285 yds, 3 TD, INT) is giving it everything he has this season, and was brilliant yet again against the Jags. Luck has now throw for 3 touchdowns in 6 straight games and is second only to Patrick Mahomes with 26 touchdowns on the year. Elsewhere on the field, TE Eric Ebron was unstoppable. He tallied 71 yards and 3 touchdowns on just 4 touches. Now the #1 TE in terms of touchdowns and easily a key piece to Luck’s amazing comeback.
20. (+2) Dallas Cowboys (4-5)
Week 11: W 27-20 @Eagles. The Cowboys always get to make their stand in primetime, and Sunday Night was no different. At 3-5 and with their backs against the wall, Dak Prescott (26-36, 270 yds, TD) and Ezekiel Elliot (25 touches, 187 total yds, 2 TD) found a way to unleash the Cowboys offense we haven’t seen since 2016. Dallas is still hanging on by a thread, but the addition of Amari Cooper has jumpstarted this team on both sides of the ball. The next step is making this surge last multiple games and getting back into to playoff hunt.
21. (-1) Denver Broncos (3-6)
Week 10: Bye. The best thing about the Broncos bye week is that they couldn’t lose. Denver has lost 6 of 7 despite decent performances by QB Case Keenum and a rebounding defense. This skid will almost certainly cost Vance Joseph his job by the end of the season. Until then, the Broncos have to focus on a tough 3-game stretch out of their bye, where it’s more likely than not things just get worse at Mile High.
22. (+4) Cleveland Browns (3-6-1)
Week 10: W 28-16 vs. Falcons. Have yourself a day Nick Chubb. 209 total yards and 2 touchdowns is a good rookie statline for a season, let alone in a single game. At that rate, all Baker Mayfield (17-20, 216 yds, 3 TD) had to do was protect the football. Instead, he picks Atlanta apart en route to a near-perfect passer rating, an 85% completion percentage, and his first career 3-touchdown day. After a 3-36-1 stint under Hugh Jackson, the Browns are 1-1 and look like a team on the upswing. Cleveland fans can only hope it continues.
23. (+1) Detroit Lions (3-6)
Week 10: L 34-22 @Vikings. This might be one of the most frustrating Lions teams I’ve ever seen. Matt Stafford (25-42, 274 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT) is having arguably the second best season of his career and the offense will swing from 30+ points to less than 10 week to week and the defense will do the same. The reason the Lions aren’t ranked lower is because they’ve shown the potential to be a good team.
24. (-5) Miami Dolphins (5-5)
Week 10: L 31-12 @Packers. Easily the worst .500 team this season, Miami has looked like the shell of a good team. A 3-0 start was derailed by the Patriots, and ever since it’s been nothing but tired football. The Dolphins haven’t topped 23 points since week 6, the defense has only allowed fewer than 21 points or less since week 3. Brock Osweiler (23-37, 213 yds, INT) has also regressed as the season went on, with Week 10 being one of his worst games of the season. Still deep in the wildcard hunt, Miami has time to pull things around. But that time is running out fast.
25. (–) Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6)
Week 10: L 29-26 @Colts. What happened to the Sacksonville defense that came within one play of a super bowl spot last season? Blake Bortles (26-38, 320 yds, 2 TD) had one of his better games this year and led the offense to it’s best performance since week 4, but the defense couldn’t stop Andrew Luck and his tight end Eric Ebron no matter what they tried. Despite that, the Jags were still driving down the field in the final moments to tie the game. One Rashad Greene fumble later and the Colts were kneeing out the clock.
26. (-3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6)
Week 10: L 16-3 vs. Redskins. The FitzMagic has officially been used up. The transition back to Ryan Fitzpatrick (29-41, 406 yds, 2 INT) has netted plenty of yards, but much like Jameis Winston, yards are translating into turnovers instead of points. The defense was actually pretty good last week, but a Bucs offense that gained over 500 yards and recorded 29 first downs earned just 3 points. Even if kicker Chandler Cantazaro didn’t miss 2 kicks, it’s still just 9 points out of what statistically should have been 32.
27. (+3) New York Giants (2-7)
Week 10: W 27-23 @49ers. Yes, it was San Francisco. Yes, they had to come back from a second half deficit. Yes, it was against a 3rd-string QB. But what the Giants did last night, given their current circumstances, was pretty impressive. Eli Manning (19-31, 188 yds, 3 TD) looked better than he has in nearly 2 years on the final touchdown drive, Odell Beckham Jr. finally found a groove with his quarterback en route to a 2 TD performance, and the offensive line allowed just 1 sack, the first time they’ve done this since week 5 and just the second time all year. There’s hope in the Big Apple, something that hasn’t been said since the season kicked off.
28. (+3) Buffalo Bills (3-7)
Week 10: W 41-10 @Jets. For the second time this season, Buffalo pulled a blowout win out of nowhere despite looking like one of the worst teams in the league. 4th-string QB Matt Barkley (15-25, 232 yds, 2 TD) took the reigns and showed us all why he deserves to keep a roster spot. RB LeSean McCoy had his best game of 2018 with 113 yards and 2 touchdowns, which helped Buffalo to nearly 40 minutes of possession. But with all the success of Week 10 comes a tearful goodbye. Nathan Peterman………was released. He made defensive football fun to watch and for that, he will be missed. Goodbye Petermeme. We hardly knew ya.
29. (-1) Arizona Cardinals (2-7)
Week 10: L 26-14 @Chiefs. Honestly, the Cardinals looked ok last week. David Johnson finally had his breakout game this year, tallying 183 total yards and a TD each rushing and receiving. Josh Rosen (22-39, 208 yds, TD, 2 INT) held his own, despite the immense mountain he had to climb, but made too many costly mistakes to pull off the upset. And this leaves Arizona right at the bottom of the league standings, right at the top of the draft board. Here’s hoping Larry Fitzgerald has another year left in him. He doesn’t deserve to go out like this.
30. (-3) New York Jets (3-7)
Week 10: L 41-10 vs. Bills. You guys got blown out by the Bill’s and a quarterback that hasn’t thrown an NFL pass in nearly 2 years. That’s all that needs to be said.
31. (-2) San Francisco 49ers (2-8)
Week 10: L 27-23 vs. Giants. After a dazzling premier, QB Nick Mullens (27-39, 250 yds, TD, 2 INT) played well and nearly drove the Niners back at the end of the game to win it all. RB Matt Breida also racked up 100 yards and a TD, but the defense couldn’t stop an Eli Manning comeback that looked straight out of Super Bowls 42 and 46. It’s time to start looking ahead to next season in the Bay Area, where the rebuild can continue. Speaking of which…..
32. (–) Oakland Raiders (1-8)
Week 10: L 20-6 vs. Chargers. What more needs to be said about the Raiders? They’ve traded away 2 of their best assets, Derek Carr (24-37, 243 yds) has regressed, and the lockeroom has gotten so depressed that one veteran player is reported as saying “I gotta get the f#$k outta here” IN FRONT OF THE PRESS. I’ve seen bad teams before, but I can’t remember ever seeing a team gutted like Oakland right now. Not since the Montreal Expos back in 1995
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