UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
NFL

NFL Power Rankings Week 10

Photo: Drew Hallowell/Philadelphia Eagles/Getty Images

Nick Foles has provided a spark for the Eagles, who are now tied for first in the NFC East.

The NFL has managed to create a system of parity that ensures some level of playoff-race drama. Right now, 21 teams are either in postseason position or sit a game back of the top six in their respective races. Another five are but two losses back of a division lead or wild-card spot.

That's 26 of the league's 32 teams -- more than 80 percent -- with some semblance of a playoff dream.

But here's what else that parity has brought in 2013: a pretty distinct gap from the possibly great teams to those that are just pretty good. That deficit is noticeable when pulling together the weekly Power Rankings, with the top five having separated themselves from teams six through 10 ... and with everyone else merely trying to stay in the discussion.

MORE COVERAGE: Kaepernick's struggles | King's MMQB | Inside case against Sam Hurd

Of note this week: Because we skipped Week 9 Power Rankings in favor of Midseason Grades, there are some dramatic rises and drops in the ranks here. (Philadelphia, for example, is up 17 spots from the previous set of Power Rankings.) So, keep in mind that the "previous rank" comes from a couple weeks back.

Let's begin ...

NFL Power Rankings
1Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 1
If the NFL picked its playoff teams using college football's BCS formula, the criticism of the Chiefs' schedule might have more traction. But since the standings are all that count in the pros -- and because the Chiefs play the Broncos twice in the next three weeks -- that's a rather moot argument.
 
2Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 3
Will injuries be the Seahawks' undoing? Just as they prep to add Percy Harvin, Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini back on offense, Brandon Browner and Tony McDaniel dropped on D.
 
3New Orleans Saints
Last Week: 2
At some point (probably about the time the Saints head to Seattle in Week 13), we'll have to talk about the elephant in the room with this team: that its offense is far, far better at home -- 35.2 points and 463.8 yards per Superdome game vs. 22.3 and 371.5, respectively, on the road.
 
4Denver Broncos
Last Week: 4
Reason to be concerned? The Broncos came out of their bye to have their first game with fewer than 400 yards of offense or 30 points. Of course, they still beat the Chargers 28-20, so ...
 
5New England Patriots
Last Week: 9
Every Patriots player returning from injury is graded on a 1-to-Gronk scale, but don't overlook the impact of Shane Vereen coming off IR. The versatile back will add yet another weapon to an offense that's suddenly starting to click.
 
6Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 13
There's a belief that the Panthers only go as Cam Newton goes. Week 10 might have put the kibosh on that in the best way possible, because Newton had one of his worst statistical games of the season ... and the Panthers won in San Francisco anyway.
 
7Detroit Lions
Last Week: 10
After the surprising Lions knocked off Chicago to grab first place in the NFC North, Reggie Bush issued this warning: "The one thing we can't do, we can't eat the cheese." He meant that Detroit cannot listen to the hype -- though the edict may also apply to Nate Burleson's penchant for driving with pizza.
 
8San Francisco 49ers
Last Week: 6
The difference between the 49ers offense when it's on and when it's struggling spans about the same gap as the difference between Wesley Snipes and Omar Epps as Willie "Mays" Hayes. San Francisco is still yet to hit double digits in a loss.
 
9Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 5
We will find out over the next four weeks if Indianapolis' wipeout against the Rams was an aberration or sign of things to come. Over that upcoming stretch the Colts play second-place Tennessee twice and visit Arizona and Cincinnati.
 
10Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 7
Cincinnati's Hail Mary TD was a total fluke, so I don't want to say that Andy Dalton should just heave the ball up in A.J. Green's direction every pass. But after Dalton's three-INT showing at Baltimore, there probably are worse plans.
 
11Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 28
And speaking of heaving the ball up to a receiver ... Riley Cooper bailed out Nick Foles a couple times Sunday en route to 102 yards receiving. Cooper is now averaging 19.8 yards per catch, behind only New Orleans' Kenny Stills (23.0) in the NFL ranks.
 
12Chicago Bears
Last Week: 15
When all is said and done, the regular season-ending injury to Bears CB Charles Tillman could play as critical a role in the NFC North (and NFC wild-card) race as Aaron Rodgers' fractured collarbone.
 
13New York Jets
Last Week: 14
If the Jets are going to bank on their defense to get them to the playoffs, the schedule sure sets up nicely. Carolina (17th in points scored) is the most prolific attack they'll face. The 20th-, 21st-, 22nd-, 26th- and 29th-ranked offenses also await.
 
14Green Bay Packers
Last Week: 8
Making his NFL regular-season debut against the Eagles last Sunday, Scott Tolzien threw for 280 yards. Or, 20 more yards passing than he had in any of his 29 appearances for Wisconsin.
 
15Dallas Cowboys
Last Week: 12
The wounded Cowboys desperately needed the bye week they're currently enjoying. Oh, and if anyone has the ability to heal others or knows about a fountain of youth, Jerry Jones would like to speak with you.
 
16Arizona Cardinals
Last Week: 17
The sacks have started to come in bunches for 35-year-old John Abraham. He had two Sunday against the Texans' Case Keenum, after picking up three combined in Weeks 7 and 8. And just like that, he's leading the Cardinals in sacks on the season.
 
17Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 16
More than enough has been made out of the Ravens' lack of a run game. (That problem's not getting any better, by the way.) But Ray Rice is not finding any room as a pass-catcher either. His 4.9 yards per reception mark is down more than 40 percent from his previous career average of 8.7 yards.
 
18New York Giants
Last Week: 23
Welcome back, Andre Brown. The Giants' bruising back made his 2013 debut Sunday with 30 carries for 115 yards, numbers that already have him close to overtaking the team leads in both categories -- the marks to beat sit at 44 (Brandon Jacobs/David Wilson) and 154 (Jacobs), respectively.
 
19St. Louis Rams
Last Week: 24
Utah Utes WR Dres Anderson celebrated on Twitter earlier this season when Calvin Johnson fell seven receiving yards shy of breaking the single-game record set by Dres' dad, Flipper. There was no celebration Sunday, but Flipper again dodged a bullet -- Tavon Austin's 314 all-purpose yards came within 22 of Anderson's Rams record.
 
20San Diego Chargers
Last Week: 11
The Chargers are seventh in the league in yards but just 16th in points scored. What gives? Start with this team's inability to finish drives. San Diego is scoring TDs on a mere 51.5 percent of its red-zone trips and went 0-for-2 there in the first half Sunday, settling for a pair of field goals.
 
21Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 18
Their Thursday nighter vs. Indianapolis is as much a must-win as any team has faced so far in 2013. A loss sets the Titans three back in the AFC South, with a three-game road trip upcoming.
 
22Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: 25
If the Steelers somehow scrap back into the playoff picture, they can thank a second-half schedule light on travel. Counting Week 10's home game vs. Buffalo, the Steelers have about 760 miles total travel in a six-week stretch (four home games, road trips to Cleveland and Baltimore). To put that in some perspective, the Chargers have about 4,600 round-trip miles to go for this week's matchup in Miami.
 
23Washington Redskins
Last Week: 21
Did the Redskins throw that game in Minnesota just so they could be 3-6? That's the mark they were at in 2012 before running off seven straight to win the division. (And tanking on purpose makes as much sense as straight-up losing to the Christian Ponder-led Vikes.)
 
24Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 29
Running back Willis McGahee, signed after Cleveland sent Trent Richardson to Indianapolis, has 12 more yards rushing as a Brown than Richardson does as a Colt. Perhaps GM Michael Lombardi knows what he's doing after all.
 
25Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 19
The chatter over Terrelle Pryor being the Raiders' future at QB has wilted considerably in recent weeks -- Pryor has thrown five interceptions and no touchdowns over Oakland's past three games.
 
26Miami Dolphins
Last Week: 20
One shot by ESPN's cameras of head coach Joe Philbin pretty much summed things up on Monday: In the fourth quarter of Miami's loss to previously winless Tampa Bay, Philbin paced the sidelines, mouth agape, looking in bewilderment at Miami's other coaches and then back out to the field. The Dolphins' season is unraveling.
 
27Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 22
"He will play to a point one day," said Bills coach Doug Marrone of QB EJ Manuel, "where I'm going to be able to stand here and say you know what, I'm proud of him. It's awesome." Sunday was not that day. Manuel completed just 56 percent of his passes against Pittsburgh, for 155 yards, a TD and a pick in a 23-10 loss.
 
28Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 30
The Vikings have a chance to play spoiler down the stretch, with all seven of their games against teams in the postseason hunt. Of course, they also have a chance to fill the role of a patsy that helps seven teams move closer to the playoffs.
 
29Houston Texans
Last Week: 27
In a depressing season full of bad news, word that Gary Kubiak could return to the sideline Sunday, two weeks after collapsing on national TV, should be a massive emotional boost for the Texans. There's no question that the Texans fans will give Kubiak an appropriate welcome back.
 
30Atlanta Falcons
Last Week: 26
The latest piece of evidence that this Falcons season is doomed: Tony Gonzalez, who has not missed a game since November of 2006, is questionable for Week 11 with a toe injury. Even the most reliable facets of Atlanta's roster cannot sidestep this curse.
 
31Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 31
The "State of Florida" Power Rankings got a lot more jumbled Monday, courtesy of Tampa Bay's win over Miami. If you combined the Dolphins, Bucs and Jags into one team ... it still might not be that great, but at least then we wouldn't have such a glut of crummy Florida football.
 
32Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 32
The last time the Jaguars beat a team other than the Colts or Titans: Tampa Bay on Dec. 11, 2011. Since then, they've gone 2-2 vs. Indianapolis and 2-1 vs. Tennessee, including last Sunday's victory.
Window into the Weekend: Week 11
The MMQB's Peter King takes a look at the Week 11 match-up between the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs.

More NFL

SI.com

Drag this icon to your bookmark bar.
Then delete your old SI.com bookmark.

SI.com

Click the share icon to bookmark us.