NFL Power Rankings Poll Week 10: Patriots in Top Spot After 49ers Loss, Ravens Climbing

San Francisco suffered its first loss of the season to Seattle on Monday Night Football, which means New England, obviously, moves back atop the NFL Power Rankings.
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Lamar Jackson

This week’s NFL Power Rankings Poll voters:

Andrew Brandt, Business of Football Columnist
Albert Breer, Senior NFL Reporter / Lead Content Strategist
Mitch Goldich, Producer/Writer
Gary Gramling, Senior Editor
Kalyn Kahler, Writer/Producer
Bette Marston, Associate Editor
Jenny Vrentas, Senior Writer

Skinnies for each team written by Jake May.

1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (8-1)

Previous rank: T-2
Points in poll: 219
Highest-place vote: 1 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 3 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: at Philadelphia

The bye gave Tom and the fellas plenty of time to pour over the putrid game film from Baltimore and some Super Bowl LII tape, just for good measure. The “meat” of the Patriots schedule begins this weekend in Philadelphia.

2. BALTIMORE RAVENS (7-2)

Previous rank: 4
Points in poll: 212
Highest-place vote: 1 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 6 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Cincinnati, 49-13.
This week: vs. Houston

Yes, it was against the Bengals, but that takes nothing away from Lamar Jackson’s second perfect passer rating of the season, a feat he achieved in just three quarters. He did so on 15-of-17 passing with 223 yards, 3 TDs, 65 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown. His last showdown with Deshaun Watson was fantastic, and their first NFL meeting should be more of the same.

3. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (8-1)

Previous rank: 1
Points in poll: 206
Highest-place vote: 2 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 6 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Seattle, 27-24
This week: vs. Arizona

The 49ers needed to be the only undefeated team left in the NFL to take over that top spot in the power rankings. Now that they have one in the L column, courtesy of the Seahawks on Monday Night Football, down they go in the rankings.

4. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (8-2)

Previous rank: 8
Points in poll: 200
Highest-place vote: 3 (4 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 9 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat San Francisco, 27-24
This week: Bye

It took 70 minutes of football, but the Seahawks handed the 49ers their first loss on Monday Night Football. The race in the NFC West down the stretch will be one to watch for the remainder of the season.

5. GREEN BAY PACKERS (8-2)

Previous rank: 7
Points in poll: 194
Highest-place vote: 4 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 11 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Carolina, 24-16
This week: Bye

Important bounce-back for a quality team looking to reassert that fact after a clunker in L.A. Aaron Rodgers didn’t light it up (by his admittedly high standards), but the defense strapped up for a red-zone pick, a key third-down sack and a late-game stand. The Pack is sitting pretty heading into the bye.

6. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (7-3)

Previous rank: 6
Points in poll: 190
Highest-place vote: 4 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 8 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Dallas, 28-24
This week: vs. Denver

Kirk Cousins (23-of-32, 220 yards, 2 TDs) continued a strong season, Dalvin Cook stomped all over the ‘Boys for 97 rush yards, 86 receiving yards and a touchdown and Kyle Rudolph reeled in this ridiculous one-hander. The defense stepped up late, and Minnesota appears primed to snag a wild-card spot in the NFC even if Green Bay holds serve.

7. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (6-4)

Previous rank: 5
Points in poll: 186
Highest-place vote: 3 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 9 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Tennessee, 35-32
This week: at L.A. Chargers (Mon.)

The special teams unit punted not one, but two opportunities for KC to win this game. Patrick Mahomes looked absurd (36-of-50, 446 yards, 3 TDs), but the problem with this team all along reared its ugly head again as the defense gave up 35 points to a mediocre offense and allowed Ryan Tannehill to go 61 yards in under a minute for the win. Pat’s knee might be the least of this team’s concerns.

8. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (7-2)

Previous rank: T-2
Points in poll: 180
Highest-place vote: 5 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 10 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Atlanta, 26-9
This week: at Tampa Bay

New Orleans got caught napping at home coming off the bye and turned in their first turd of the season, but many of the NFL’s top teams suffered a similar fate in recent weeks. Drew Brees was under siege all game, eating six sacks and 11 total QB hits. Less than ideal for a 39-year-old coming off thumb surgery.

9. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (5-4)

Previous rank: 13
Points in poll: 164
Highest-place vote: 7 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 11 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: vs. New England

With the Cowboys falling to Minnesota on Sunday night and the Rams folding against the Steelers, the NFC playoff picture continues to condense in front of the Eagles. But a vengeful Tom Brady, even at the Linc, is a stiff test for this bunch.

10. HOUSTON TEXANS (6-3)

Previous rank: 10
Points in poll: 163
Highest-place vote: 7 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: at Baltimore

Houston got to kick its feet up during the bye and watch Brian Hoyer drop the Colts even further back in the AFC South race. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens await in Baltimore on Sunday in the first Watson-Jackson matchup since college.

11. DALLAS COWBOYS (5-4)

Previous rank: 9
Points in poll: 162
Highest-place vote: 7 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Minnesota, 28-24
This week: at Detroit

The Cowboys had 15 minutes to get one touchdown, and they couldn’t do it. Dak slung the ball around to Amari Cooper (147 yards, 1 TD) and Randall Cobb (106 yards, 1 TD), but Zeke only mustered 47 yards on 20 carries and did nothing at the end of this late drive. Detroit offers a chance for a quick rebound.

12. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (5-4)

Previous rank: 11
Points in poll: 136
Highest-place vote: 10 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 16 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Miami, 16-12
This week: vs. Jacksonville

Hopefully this loss reminds Colts fans not to take Jacoby Brissett for granted. An 18-of-39, 204-yard, 1 TD, 3 INT effort from Brian Hoyer ended with a 38.8 passer rating, and Indy needs their starter back if they hope to climb back into the playoff picture.

13. CAROLINA PANTHERS (5-4)

Previous rank: 15
Points in poll: 134
Highest-place vote: 12 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 16 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Green Bay, 24-16
This week: vs. Atlanta

Going over two quarters without a score is usually a bad idea, especially against Aaron Rodgers. Despite good outings from Kyle Allen (307 passing yards), Christian McCaffery (141 total yards, TD) and D.J. Moore (120 receiving yards), a red-zone INT in the third quarter and a shambolic late-game sequence sunk Carolina.

14. BUFFALO BILLS (6-3)

Previous rank: 12
Points in poll: 130
Highest-place vote: 13 (2 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 18 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Cleveland, 19-16
This week: at Miami

As the petty, cold-hearted scribe of the skinnies, it gave me great satisfaction to watch a team I question each week in these rankings orchestrate a late collapse against a two-win team. Yes, the missed field goal hurt, but the Bills were in range with over a minute to go and only mustered an additional six yards. Don’t let Miami get hot!

15. OAKLAND RAIDERS (5-4)

Previous rank: 17
Points in poll: 128
Highest-place vote: 13 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat L.A. Chargers, 26-24 (Thurs.)
This week: vs. Cincinnati

Feel-good win in the last primetime game at the Coliseum saw Derek Carr (21-of-31, 218 yards, 1 TD) lead the Raiders down the field late for the win. They should keep the momentum rolling against the NFL’s resident pond scum next week.

16. LOS ANGELES RAMS (5-4)

Previous rank: 14
Points in poll: 126
Highest-place vote: 11 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 18 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Pittsburgh, 17-12
This week: vs. Chicago

This team is in trouble. Jared Goff was bad (51.2 passer rating) and Sean McVay coached himself into a pretzel again by giving Todd Gurley, their best offensive weapon in the midst of his best game of the season, zero touches during the fourth quarter of a one-score game because of “rotations.” Two games out of the playoffs, L.A. has Baltimore, Dallas, Seattle and San Francisco left on the schedule.

17. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (5-4)

Previous rank: 19
Points in poll: 118
Highest-place vote: 13 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat L.A. Rams, 17-12
This week: at Cleveland (Thurs.)

One of the top 10 defenses in the league terrorized Jared Goff, totaling three picks, four sacks, nine quarterback hits and 13 passes defended. A modest day on the other side of the ball was enough, and the Steelers slide into the sixth AFC playoff spot with their fourth win in a row.

18. TENNESSEE TITANS (5-5)

Previous rank: 20
Points in poll: 106
Highest-place vote: 16 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Kansas City, 35-32
This week: Bye

Amazingly, Ryan Tannehill has given the Titans a measure of, dare I even say it, juice they didn’t have with Marcus Mariota. The best finish of Week 10 saw this Tannehill drive buttressed by a textbook field-goal block to seal the win. Props to the former Miami signal-caller for finding a way to restart his career.

19. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (4-6)

Previous rank: 18
Points in poll: 96
Highest-place vote: 18 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Oakland, 26-24 (Thurs.)
This week: vs. Kansas City (Mon.)

Tough one to drop in primetime for a team that had a chance to take more steps away from the brink. The Chargers go as Phillip Rivers goes, and three interceptions were too much to overcome despite Melvin Gordon’s best game of the season (133 total yards, 1 TD).

20. CLEVELAND BROWNS (3-6)

Previous rank: 26
Points in poll: 87
Highest-place vote: 19 (1 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (5 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Buffalo, 19-16
This week: vs. Pittsburgh (Thurs.)

The mistake on the lake got their first win in over a month at the expense of their cousins to the east. Baker Mayfield had his best outing in a while (26-of-38, 238 yards, 2 TDs, NO PICKS!), Nick Chubb continues a strong season (116 yards on 20 carries) and the defense stifled the Bills’ rushing attack nicely (84 total rushing yards).

T-21. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (4-5)

Previous rank: 21
Points in poll: 78
Highest-place vote: 19 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 23 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: at Indianapolis

Nick Foles gets his first real shot at the starting job in Jacksonville against a divisional foe. We’ve seen half a season of Gardner Minshew, and now we’ll see half a season from Foles as he attempts to win back his job with authority.

T-21. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (3-6)

Previous rank: 22
Points in poll: 78
Highest-place vote: 18 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Arizona, 30-27
This week: vs. Saints

Finally, the Bucs win a tight one. Jameis Winston once again pieced together a long fourth quarter drive to take the lead, and the defense kept Kyler Murray out of field goal range to clinch it. Keep this up, Mr. Winston, and you just might get paid!

23. CHICAGO BEARS (4-5)

Previous rank: 24
Points in poll: 71
Highest-place vote: 19 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Detroit, 20-13
This week: at L.A. Rams

The Bears stepped on the gas to start the second half and their defense held off a backup quarterback on two potential game-winning drives. Mitchell Trubisky was better (16-of-23, 173 yards, 3 TDs) and the Bears can show some fight with a win next week against a reeling Rams team.

24. DETROIT LIONS (3-5-1)

Previous rank: 16
Points in poll: 67
Highest-place vote: 18 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Chicago, 20-13
This week: vs. Dallas

Matthew Stafford has been this team’s most important player since Megatron pulled the plug, and predictably the Lions couldn’t squeeze enough out of Jeff Driskel to take advantage of two late fourth quarter drives. Detroit has underdelivered on the early season promise they flashed in those tight losses to the Chiefs and Packers.

25. ARIZONA CARDINALS (3-6-1)

Previous rank: 25
Points in poll: 57
Highest-place vote: 23 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Tampa Bay, 30-27
This week: at San Francisco

You had to figure Jameis and his merry band of swashbucklers were going to win a tight one sooner or later. A late mistake from Kyler Murray took three points off the board and led to a long game-winning drive the Cards D couldn’t stop. Growing pains were expected, but they doomed Arizona in a winnable game

26. DENVER BRONCOS (3-6)

Previous rank: 23
Points in poll: 56
Highest-place vote: 22 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: at Minnesota

This team is in a weird purgatory of John Elway’s design as they wait for their newest quarterback of the future, Drew Lock, to return and replace their (backup plan?) quarterback of the future in Brandon Allen. In any case, Minnesota should enjoy the Broncos’ visit.

27. ATLANTA FALCONS (2-7)

Previous rank: 28
Points in poll: 47
Highest-place vote: 24 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (4 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat New Orleans, 26-9
This week: at Carolina

A stunning, tough road win that definitely felt good for Dan Quinn. Viewers had to be left wondering where this defense (6 sacks, 11 QB hits, 52 rushing yards allowed) has been hiding all season.

28. NEW YORK JETS (2-7)

Previous rank: 29
Points in poll: 30
Highest-place vote: 28 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 29 (5 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat N.Y. Giants, 34-27
This week: at Washington

Sammy Spleen may be a bit over his skis on this one, but somebody had to win the deplorable showdown of crap teams nobody wants. Luckily for downstate New Yorkers, their part of the state is the one where two such franchises happily coexist.

29. MIAMI DOLPHINS (2-7)

Previous rank: 31
Points in poll: 28
Highest-place vote: 28 (5 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Indianapolis, 16-12
This week: vs. Buffalo

Two in a row looks good on the Dolphins, and they did it against a fringe-playoff team in the Colts. Jason Sanders hit a clutch kick, the D made a big red zone stand and Miami can make Bills fans VERY nervous with a win next weekend.

30. NEW YORK GIANTS (2-8)

Previous rank: 27
Points in poll: 22
Highest-place vote: 29 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to N.Y. Jets, 34-27
This week: Bye

A six-game slide into the abyss concluded with the game the Giants couldn’t lose but did anyway. Something’s up with Saquon Barkley (one yard on 13 carries), and the bye comes a few weeks too late for a team battling a cornucopia of injuries.

31. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (1-8)

Previous rank: 30
Points in poll: 16
Highest-place vote: 30 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (5 voters)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: vs. N.Y. Jets

Bill Callahan named Dwayne Haskins the starter for the rest of the year, a relative no-brainer at this point in a lost season. Hopefully that gives the young quarterback the confidence he needs to find the consistency that has eluded him so far.

32. CINCINNATI BENGALS (0-9)

Previous rank: 32
Points in poll: 9
Highest-place vote: 30 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (6 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Baltimore, 49-13
This week: at Oakland

Joe Mixon had his best game of the year (151 total yards), but it didn’t matter because the Bengals stink. Lamar Jackson is great, yes, but Ryan Finley is not, and neither is the Cincinnati defense. They’ve outstripped the rest of the NFL in the race to the bottom. 

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