FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 9: Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots drops a pass as David Harris #52 of the New York Jets defends in the second half at Gillette Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
We're more than half way through the season, but there is still a lot of time for teams to change their destiny. Who has a chance in Week 10 and who looks to be a lost cause?
The SB Nation Boston NFL power rankings for Week 10 have arrived. The Patriots continue to slip down the rankings as they have now lost two in a row to the Steelers and the Giants. Other teams have stepped up to take over in the top five, and the Ravens have officially taken over as the top ranked team in the AFC. Meanwhile, the Colts and Dolphins remain comfortably at the bottom of the pack.
Here's the full rundown of SB Nation Boston's Week 10 power rankings:
1. Green Bay Packers (8-0)
As the only undefeated team left in the NFL, the Packers have sealed their reputation as the best team in the league. They've won tight games, blow outs and everything in between. And with Aaron Rodgers playing at his highest level, the sky is the limit for the defending World Champs right now.
2. San Francisco 49ers (7-1)
The 49ers only need one more win to match the 8 that took the Seahawks to the playoffs last year.
Running back Frank Gore is having one of the best hot streaks in the league right now, having rushed for over 100 yards in five consecutive games. Jim Harbaugh's inaugural season as a head coach is shaping up pretty well. With four more divisional games in the weakest division in the league, this team could easily finish 12-4 at the worst.
3. Baltimore Ravens (6-2)
After completing the regular season sweep of archrival Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, the Ravens sit atop the AFC North with the tie-breaker on their side. It's not always pretty with this team, but they have been getting it done against some great competition.
But even with the Steelers behind them, this team has a perhaps even larger challenge ahead with two games against the "other" divisional opponent; the 6-2 Cincinnati Bengals.
4. New Orleans Saints (6-3)
The Saints have been a little inconsistent in 2011, beating Indy one week by 57 points only to come back the next week and give a pathetic performance in a loss to the otherwise winless St. Louis Rams. But with Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham both playing at the highest possible level in their positions, as well as being quarterbacked by Drew Brees, it's hard to doubt this team's chances at a postseason run. Especially considering the NFC South is still their division to lose.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3)
The Steelers have lost both of their games against the Ravens this year, and another against Matt Schaub and the Texans. If the Patriots lost both games to the Jets, there'd be some serious concern about the state of their season. But for some reason Pittsburgh is still getting a pass, perhaps because they are coming off a Super Bowl appearance last year. Injuries have been a factor, but the Steelers are walking a fine line in a division that has suddenly become very competitive.
6. New York Giants (6-2)
Eli Manning pulled a Tom Brady against the man himself when he led his team down the field in less than a minute and a half to be the first team to beat Brady at home in the regular season since 2006.
But the Giants certainly didn't look stellar the whole game and have to play out one of the most difficult schedules left in the league. The future health of Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw will also be vital for this team to keep themselves on top.
7. Houston Texans (6-3)
Turns out Wade Phillips is a much better defensive coordinator than he was a head coach, as he has helped the Texans defense improve dramatically from their bottom-dwelling in the defensive rankings of 2010. They are great at getting to the quarterback, and their offense has thrived even without superstar wide receiever Andre Johnson.
8. New England Patriots (5-3)
The AFC East is all kinds of locked up with the Pats, Jets and Bills all tied at 5-3. The Patriots Sunday night matchup in the Meadowlands and their season capper against Buffalo will be must-wins at this point if they look to stay in the mix for the playoffs. Keep in mind they still have to get by the hot-and-cold Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles before they enter a more mild stretch in December.
They're still probably the slight favorites to win the division, but if they lose to the Jets next Sunday, the Patriots could land themselves in a hole that they are never able to dig themselves out of.
9. New York Jets (5-3)
The Jets are hot going into their game against the Patriots on Sunday night, after struggling early; losing three in a row. Things certainly seemed even more promising after they handily beat the Bills in Buffalo to finally catch up in the standings, but they still have some weakness in their offensive line which has allowed 18 sacks on quarterback Mark Sanchez. They also will need Shonne Green to stay healthy and on the field if their offense hopes to have a chance.
10. Detroit Lions (6-2)
The Lions still have a lot of potential even after a few recent struggles, but coming off of their bye they will have to face Chicago, Carolina, Green Bay and New Orleans all in a row. Cam Newton and his Panthers are always a spoiler team, and let's face it: no one wants to get in a shoot out with Rogers or Brees, even if you do have Calvin Johnson. With the competition in the NFC strong, and with no chance of winning their division over the Packers, the Lions will have to do a lot to get into the postseason with the wildcard.
11. Cincinnati Bengals (6-2)
Red rocket boy-wonder Andy Dalton has turned into quite the rookie sensation for the finally Palmer-free Bengals. No one would have seen this team at 6-2 after week nine of this season and they have put together quite a first half run. Unfortunately they play in the AFC North and with all four games against the Steelers and Ravens still ahead, they may be in trouble going forward. But they have a chance to take split both series...Any Given Sunday.
12. Buffalo Bills (5-3)
Buffalo didn't look great against the Jets on Sunday as they struggled offensively, despite another great performance from Fred Jackson who contributed 120 yards of offense. But they definitely didn't do as bad as the Patriots did either. The Bills just don't look to be built for success against the elite league teams in the playoffs, but they are certainly still a team on the rise rather than the decline.
13. Atlanta Falcons (5-3)
Two things: One, Atlanta has won three really good games in a row. Two, Julio Jones came back from injury to have 3 receptions for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns. Obviously that's not a rate that he can keep up, but that kid is shaping up to be the future star receiver of the NFL. And Matt Ryan with a hot receiver can do wonders in this pass heavy league.
14. Chicago Bears (4-3)
The Bears and their fearless, inexplicably resilient quarterback Jay Cutler always seem to manage a game like the one against Philadelphia on Monday night. They exposed the Eagles while cementing themselves as a legitimate threat to take over second place in the NFC North. While Detroit seems to struggle with Matt Stafford's health, Cutler continues to remain resilient. And Matt Forte is really the indispensable X factor for Chicago.
15. Dallas Cowboys (4-4)
As hard as it is to believe, Dallas is still second in the NFC East, and with the Giants looking at their difficult schedule, the division still hasn't slipped away from Tony Romo and his Cowboys. Plus, DeMarco Murray is emerging as a possibly legitimate rushing talent, and serves as a reminder that their offense still packs a major punch.
16. San Diego Chargers (4-4)
Luckily for the inconsistent and perennially overrated Chargers, the AFC West is still up for grabs as San Diego, Kansas City and Oakland all sit at 4-4. The Chargers actually looked decent in their nearly successful comeback attempt against the Packers in Week 9, but Philip Rivers penchant for interceptions nixed their chances to seal the deal. Rivers now leads the league in interceptions, topping off one of his career worse statistical seasons so far. But even with Rivers playing as un-clutch as Lebron, his stiffest QB competition is Matt Cassel.
17. Tennessee Titans (4-4)
Although they are in second place in their division and only two games behind the Texans, the Titans don't seem to have any type of edge. They are not very good at one thing, but are rather proficient in many things. Matt Hasselbeck is just as capable of playing like a Pro-Bowler as he is of playing like he's quarterbacking a Division III intramural flag football team, Chris Johnson's decline has left him barely mediocre, and I'm not sure I could name any of their wide receivers besides Nate Washington.
18. Kansas City Chiefs (4-4)
Kansas City is as inconsistent and unpredictable a team as there is in the NFL. They could go undefeated for the rest of the season or somehow retroactively ensure the worst record in the league and win Andrew Luck; and none of those possibilities would surprise me. .
19. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5)
On Monday night, Vick had 247 total yards with no touchdowns, DeSean Jackson had two catches for 16 yards, and one of their two touchdowns came from a 4 yard run by Ronnie Brown... on his only carry of the night. Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel also made some major mistakes in the defensive backfield. This team is unraveling quickly and looks to be holding on by a string.
20. Oakland Raiders (4-4)
The Carson Palmer experiment was a bust. Can you believe it? Just when the Raiders have you thinking they might ride Darren McFadden/Michael Bush into a decent season, they go and give up a first and second round draft pick to the Bengals for Carson Palmer. I don't want to say they had it coming, but...
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4)
At .500, Tampa is technically not out of the race, though I fully expect the Saints and Falcons to maintain their hold on the top two spots in the NFC South at this point. Even with LeGarrette Blount back this week, the Bucs were blatantly overmatched by New Orleans and look to remain so.
22. Denver Broncos (3-5)
After a big game against the Raiders with 163 yards rushing and 2 TDs, Willis McGahee reminded everyone how good he can be. And Tim Tebow is certainly giving new meaning to the phrase "Best Show on Turf." But this team has absolutely no shot going forward as the rest of their schedule plays out with: @ Kansas City, vs. New York Jets, @ San Diego, @ Minnesota, vs. Chicago, vs. New England, @ Buffalo and vs. Kansas City. They'll be lucky if they win three more games.
23. Carolina Panthers (2-6)
It's hard to remember another time when a passing/receiving duo as dynamic as Cam Newton and Steve Smith played for a crappy last place team. But Cam's a delight to watch, and they might even be good pretty soon.
24. Washington Redskins (3-5)
Everything about the Redskins is awful right now. They've lost four in a row, benched Rex Grossman to start John Beck, and if Mike Shanahan's face doesn't explode on the sideline before Week 13 it will be a miracle .
25. Cleveland Browns (3-5)
Wait...Cleveland has won three games?
26. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6)
The only reason I didn't forget this team was in the NFL was because they actually beat the Ravens on national TV. If you're going to suck, and have a quarterback with hair like a Bee Gee brother that sucks too...might as well embarrass a contender on primetime every once in a while.
27. Minnesota Vikings (2-6)
I feel bad saying this because I actually like what Christian Ponder and Adrian Peterson have been doing, but the Vikings are almost unwatchable at this point. They are hopeless, beyond a possible upset here and there.
28. Arizona Cardinals (2-6)
Patrick Peterson got me 15 points as a defensive player on my fantasy team. Too bad a cornerback on special teams can't win you more games in the regular season. But they can't. If it weren't for the much improved 49ers I'd consider proposing the sell the NFC West teams to China as part of our nation debt repayment plan.
29. Seattle Seahawks (2-6)
The Seattle Sounders of the MLS generally draw a bigger crowd to Qwest Field than the Seahawks do. There's a reason for that. Seriously, SELL ‘EM!
30. St. Louis Rams (1-7)
Having to watch the Rams fall apart after making so many strides with first overall draft pick Sam Bradford last year is bad enough. I can't think of anything that would make me want to stick a fork in my eye more than if they picked Andrew Luck in 2012.
31. Miami Dolphins (1-7)
I almost wish they hadn't won a game. Miami is the perfect place for Luck to fall next year.
32. Indianapolis Colts (0-9)
My new chant to Indy is "Win for the Fin" so that Miami can take Luck and Indy can suffer through Manning's twilight years the way they were always meant to. It's only fair.
Who do you think should be in the Top 5 that isn't?
New York Giants (8 votes)
Houston Texans (12 votes)
New England Patriots (3 votes)
New York Jets (3 votes)
Detroit Lions (4 votes)
30 total votes