By Don Banks
November 10, 2010

So here we are, with 50.8 percent of the league's regular season in the books, and there's not even a one-loss team remaining, let alone an undefeated club. Strange to think of what a November and December in the NFL is going to be like without members of the 1972 Dolphins popping up on media platforms everywhere.

VIDEO: Go inside Don Banks' Power Rankings

But the call here is that this most unpredictable of seasons is about to get good. The Thursday-night games are back, with a first-rate Ravens-Falcons matchup to kick things off this week. We've got Patriots-Steelers and Colts-Patriots to look forward to the next two Sundays, and the NFC East plot thickens considerably in the weeks ahead.

They've been playing games that count for two months already, but some how this is always when it feels like football season has truly arrived. Getcha popcorn ready.

Now on to this week's rankings...

NFL Power Rankings, Week 10
1 Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: 2
I know the Bengals put a scare into the Steelers at the end of the Monday nighter, but I got the feeing Pittsburgh was just playing with Cincy all game long. The offensive line injury situation is getting serious with the loss of left tackle Max Starks to a season-ending neck injury, but Pittsburgh's ability to adapt and adjust is unequaled among NFL teams. This week's test at home against New England could illuminate the hierarchy in the AFC for the remainder of the regular season.
2 New York Giants
Last Week: 3
I get the sense the Giants are about to exert their will on the rest of the NFC East, and the division race will sort itself out quite a bit over the course of the next four weeks. New York gets a visit from Dallas this week, followed by a trip to Philly in Week 11 and then plays host to the Redskins in Week 13. Maybe the Eagles can stay on the field with New York if Michael Vick goes nuts. Maybe. But the Cowboys and Redskins definitely can't.
3 New England Patriots
Last Week: 1
The Patriots are at the Steelers Sunday night and then home against the Colts the following week. It's going to be defining stretch for Bill Belichick's team, and we're going to reach Week 12 either believing they're Super Bowl material, or kick ourselves for letting that 6-1 start disguise their potentially fatal issues and flaws. Offensively New England hasn't been the same team since you-know-who left town for Minnesota, and that's a fact.
4 Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 5
There were people in this league that I talk to, and there were several of them, who this offseason believed Ed Reed might be done as an NFL player following his extensive hip surgery. But guess what? Reed is back, and he looks as good as ever, with a team-leading three interceptions despite playing just two games. The guy just finds the football, better than almost anyone on defense in recent memory.
5 Atlanta Falcons
Last Week: 7
What a weird schedule the NFL saddled Atlanta with this season. The Falcons played just two of their first six games at home, but are now in the midst of a streak where they'll take the field at the Georgia Dome three times in a span of 19 days, including Thursday night against Baltimore. Then it's a four out of five stretch on the road, capped by two home games in a seven-day span. But so far, so good, right? First place is nothing to complain about.
6 New York Jets
Last Week: 6
What is it with Jets specialists and a certain air of ignorance-is-bliss? Kicker Nick Folk failed to pick up on the overtime rules being changed for the playoffs only, and punter Steve Weatherford takes off on a fake that failed because he thinks it's fourth-and-9, not fourth-and-18? Huh? Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff is considered one of the best in the biz, but he's got his hands full coaching these guys. He needs to Hard Knocks a few heads together.
7 Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 4
It's not what they're used to at this time of year, but the key for the Colts right now is to try and tread water until they get healthier for the December sprint to the finish. The Colts face home games against Cincinnati, San Diego and Dallas over the next four weeks, and of course their anticipated trip to New England in Week 11. If Indy can get out of that stretch at 8-4, and get both Joseph Addai and Austin Collie back into the lineup at some point, they've got a good chance to make a ninth consecutive playoff trip.
8 New Orleans Saints
Last Week: 8
After the multi-faceted debacle at home against Cleveland, the Saints defense is starting to look pretty 2009-ish again these past two weeks. I know, it was only the Panthers last Sunday in that 34-3 blowout win in Charlotte, but still. New Orleans pass defense is suddenly tops in the league with 166.3 yards per game allowed, and the Saints scoring defense is fifth at 16.8. With games against struggling Seattle, Dallas and Cincinnati just ahead after this week's bye, the Saints are about to go marching once again.
9 Green Bay Packers
Last Week: 11
The Packers probably don't want to jinx anything, but last year's sack-fest of Aaron Rodgers is but a distant memory. Rodgers was dropped a staggering 37 times in the first eight games of last season, and his 50 sacks overall in 2009 were the most in the league. But he has been sacked just 17 times in nine games this season, and that's on pace for a 30-sack season. That's not the cleanest of seasons, but it's a 40 percent improvement, and first-place Green Bay will take it.
10 Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 10
I'm told the fans in Nashville went slightly ga-ga over the acquisition of Randy Moss last week. Relax Titan-folk, you're not getting the 1998 version of Moss at this point. He's got a lot of miles on him and a few luggage stickers by now. But that said, Moss could come in very handy for a Tennessee team that can play-action teams to death with Chris Johnson in its backfield. I know this: Moss as a Titan is not good news for the Colts, Texans and Jaguars, all of whom will see Tennessee in the coming eight weeks.
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