There were a few surprises last weekend that affected this week’s power rankings. We were able to determine a few “contenders or pretenders.” The top 3 teams remain pat “for the most part,” and a few teams are finally showing their true colors. With the playoffs steadily approaching, some teams are starting to make waves, while others are trending in the wrong direction.

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#1 – Saints (8-1) Contenders

Notable Wins: Rams, Vikings, Ravens, Redskins, Falcons

Notable Loses: Tampa Bay

Last week’s new #1 team picked up right where they left off in week 10. They had just beaten the previous #1 team, and they decided to show the league that it wasn’t a fluke. This week they came out and absolutely rolled the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals weren’t a Super Bowl favorite, but the Saints are showing us that the first game was no indication of their season.

 

#2A – Rams (9-1)

Notable Wins: Chargers, Vikings, Packers, Seahawks

Notable Loses: Saints

The Rams are arguably the best team in the NFL, but they just leave you wanting more. Their Besides a few blowouts (Cardinals, Raiders, Niners), they’ve been in some extremely close games. Their defense is giving up #’s, but their offense continues to outscore teams.

The loss of Cooper Kupp hurts, but their offense definitely has enough weapons to keep it going. We are waiting on them to reach their full potential. Maybe they’ll start peaking when necessary, and eventually win a Super Bowl?

 

#2B – Chiefs (9-1)

Notable Wins: Chargers, Steelers, Bengals

Notable Loses: Patriots

The only movement in the top 3 came from The Chiefs “moving up” a spot. I can’t quite put them above The Rams, but they are deserving of being on an equal playing field with one of the best teams in the NFL. We knew their offense could put up numbers, but now their once anemic defense is tied for 1st in the NFL in sacks with 31. We shall see who gains the edge after their Week 11 showdown.

For those of you who didn’t know, their timeslot has been change. They are no longer playing in Mexico City (field conditions were rough, and they didn’t want to risk injury of the players). The game will now be held in LA.

 

#4 – Chargers (7-2)

Notable Wins:

Notable Loses: Falcons, Redskins

I’m still not quite sold on The Chargers, but they haven’t done anything to warrant trending in the wrong direction. They keep beating the teams that they are supposed to beat, but they don’t have any notable wins. Their only losses were against 2 of the top 3 teams in the rankings. We won’t know much about their contender status until they play The Steelers, and then The Chiefs for the 2nd time.

 

#5 – Patriots (7-3)

Notable Wins: Packers, Bears, Chiefs, Texans

Notable Loses: Jags, Lions, Titans

The common theme for the last decade in the NFL has been the Patriots beginning to start establishing themselves as Super Bowl favorites in November. However, this year they seem to be trending in the wrong direction.

They had a bad early season lost to the Detroit Lions, but followed that loss up with 6 straight wins. Last week they lost to the Tennessee Titans. Albeit the Titans aren’t the worst team in the NFL, but it seems like a game they should’ve won. (FYI – Their 2 bad losses this season came against former defensive coaches.)

They can’t be completely written off just yet (Gronk didn’t play in that game, and Edelman has been battling some nagging injuries), but Tom Brady has only thrown 1 touchdown passes in the last 3 games. That seems to be cause for concern. They have a BYE this week to right the ship. If the past is any indication of their success this season, we can be sure that they are going to be hungry following their week 11 BYE.

 

#6 – Steelers (6-2-1)

Notable Wins: Ravens, Falcons, Panthers

Notable Loses: Ravens, Chiefs (Tied w/ Browns)

The Steelers are starting to show that they are the real deal. They are stacking up notable wins on their resume. They haven’t beaten the best of the best, but they are trending in the right direction. This team would’ve been a lot scarier with Le’veon Bell, but James Connor is no slouch. Only time will tell if this defense can hold top tier teams to fewer points than their offense can put up.

 

#7 – Panthers (6-3)

Notable Wins: Ravens

Notable Loses: Falcons, Redskins, Steelers

The Panthers are leaning towards being pretenders. They added a loss to their record with a horrendous showing last week. However, I’m unsure if that loss was due to The Panthers being bad, or The Steelers being legitimate contenders. They have a very favorable schedule for the remainder of the season (13-23-1 record combined for the remaining teams, excluding The Saints). They should win out until their rematch with The Saints.

 

#8 – Vikings (5-3-1)

Notable Wins: Eagles

Notable Loses: Saints, Rams, Bills (Tied w/ Packers

BYE

 

#9 – Bears (6-3)

Notable Wins: Seahawks

Notable Loses: Dolphins, Packers, Patriots

The Bears gained the most ground in the power rankings this week. They moved from a fringe pretender to a Top 10 team. Their defense is the real deal, and their offense is starting to show that it can put up points. They don’t have any notable wins, but their record can’t be overlooked. They are currently leading their division, and are inching closer and closer to gaining the respect that the Vikings are receiving.

 

#10 – Texans (6-3)

#11 – Redskins (6-3)

#12 – Packers (4-4-1)

#13 – Ravens (4-5)

 

#14 – Titans (5-4)

Notable Wins: Patriots, Texans

Notable Loses: Dolphins, Bills, Ravens, Chargers

This team is slowly moving up in the power rankings. They have a couple notable wins on the season, with the most recent coming against The Patriots. I don’t see this team making waves, but a few slip ups by The Texans could put them in position to secure a playoff spot.

 

#15 – Seahawks (4-5)

#16 – Falcons (4-5)