A new team sits atop the NFL Power Rankings, as Atlanta joined the ranks of the defeated. Houston beat the Bears on the road, which was enough to become the new No. 1. Losses knocked the 49ers and Giants to the fringe of the top 10 while the Eagles’ freefall continued.
Coming up: How was Jay Cutler able to play with a concussion? Who joined Donovan McNabb in being unaware that there were ties in football? And what has gotten into Josh Freeman?
1. Houston (8-1); Last week: 2
Week 10 result: at Chicago
Meet the new top team in the NFL. The Texans went into Soldier Field and shut down the Bears’ offense - albeit, with Jason Campbell leading it for two quarters - while outdueling the Chicago defense in the turnover department, four to two.
Next up: vs. Jacksonville
2. Atlanta (8-1); Last week: 1
Week 10 result: Lost at New Orleans, 31-27
After several close wins in recent weeks, the Falcons finally succumbed. Matt Ryan, who threw for 411 yards and three touchdowns, was unable to get the Falcons in the end zone with four plays inside the 10. Atlanta has played only one team with a winning record this season (Denver).
Next up: vs. Arizona
3. Chicago (7-2); Last week: 3
Week 10 result: vs. Houston
Jay Cutler apparently played with a concussion before being removed from the Bears’ loss to the Texans. Concussions aren’t funny, but how Cutler was able to pass a concussion test is.
Next up: at San Francisco
4. New England (6-3); Last week: 6
Week 10 result: Won vs. Buffalo, 37-31
The Patriots made what should have been an easy win into one that needed to be secured by an end zone interception. Rob Gronkowski gronked his ninth gronk of the season in the win, his fifth gronk in his last three gronks. He also received a cake replica of himself.
Next up: vs. Indianapolis
5. Denver (6-3); Last week: 8
Week 10 result: Won at Carolina, 36-14
The Broncos continue to win easily, traveling to the East Coast for the second straight week and collecting a win. Peyton Manning hit 300 passing yards and threw one touchdown, but Denver’s defense led the way. En route to a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown, Trindon Holliday pulled a DeSean Jackson and threw the ball away before crossing the goal line, but the play stood, as it was not reviewed.
Next up: vs. San Diego
6. Green Bay (6-3); Last week: 7
Week 10 result: Bye
Aaron Rodgers apparently is sensitive about his height, according to the 60 Minutes profile of him that aired recently. Wonder if he’s also sensitive to the fact that he lost his right tackle Bryan Bulaga for the season.
Next up: at Detroit
7. Baltimore (7-2); Last week: 10
Week 10 result: Won vs. Oakland, 55-20
The Ravens set a franchise record with 55 points, even executing a fake punt touchdown run from punter Sam Koch. Joe Flacco threw three touchdown passes and ran for another. Baltimore is 5-0 at home and has a 15-game winning streak there.
Next up: at Pittsburgh
8. Pittsburgh (6-3); Last week: 9
Week 10 result: Won vs. Kansas City, 16-13
The Steelers needed overtime, but they beat the Chiefs after a Matt Cassel interception on the second play of the extra session. They also lost Ben Roethlisberger to a shoulder injury, which coach Mike Tomlin says is a sprain but has the Steelers fearing it is more serious.
Next up: vs. Baltimore
9. San Francisco (6-2-1); Last week: 5
Week 10 result: Tied vs. St. Louis, 24-24
Ties are the best, huh? David Akers could have won the game in overtime but missed a field goal, Alex Smith was knocked out of the game with a concussion and Dashon Goldson didn’t know that games could end in ties.
Next up: vs. Chicago
10. New York Giants (6-4); Last week: 4
Week 10 result: Lost at Cincinnati, 31-13
Nothing says November like a Giants swoon. New York has lost two straight and in ugly fashion, with Eli Manning being straight dreadful. In his last three games, Manning has thrown zero touchdowns and four interceptions.
Next up: Bye
11. Seattle (6-4); Last week: 11
Week 10 result: Won vs. New York Jets, 28-7
The Seahawks won another game at home, this time over the toothless Jets. Marshawn Lynch rushed for a touchdown and broke the 1,000-yard mark for the season, while Golden Tate threw what may be the ugliest touchdown pass you’ll ever see.
Next up: Bye
12. Indianapolis (6-3); Last week: 12
Week 10 result: Won at Jacksonville, 27-10
Teams usually undergo a rebuilding process the year after drafting a franchise quarterback, but the Colts have four more wins than they all of last season, largely because of Andrew Luck. The rookie ran for two touchdowns in the win over the Jaguars.
Next up: at New England
13. Minnesota (6-4); Last week: 13
Week 10 result: Won vs. Detroit, 34-24
Since tearing his ACL late last season, Adrian Peterson has run for merely 1,128 yards and seven touchdowns in ten games. Peterson gained 171 of those yards in the Vikings’ win over the Lions, with one touchdown. Christian Ponder bounced back from a rough couple games to throw two touchdown passes.
Next up: Bye
14. New Orleans (4-5); Last week: 20
Week 10 result: Won vs. Atlanta, 31-27
Eight weeks after becoming the only team to lose to the Chiefs, the Saints handed their division rival their first loss of the season. Jimmy Graham caught seven passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns. The Saints’ win completed this NFL Circle of Life chart, via Reddit.
Next up: at Oakland
15. Dallas (4-5); Last week: 17
Week 10 result: Won at Philadelphia, 38-23
The Cowboys won the “So You’re Saying There’s A Chance” Bowl thanks to a punt return touchdown, a pick-six and a fumble recovery in the end zone. Here’s Rob Ryan with a Pat’s logo on his playsheet.
Next up: vs. Cleveland
16. Cincinnati (4-5); Last week: 18
Week 10 result: Won vs. New York Giants, 31-13
Not sure if A.J. Green is better at playing wide receiver or giving great quotes, but he’s elite at both. Green caught a touchdown pass for the eighth straight game as the Bengals snapped a four-game losing streak with the surprising victory over the the Giants.
Next up: at Kansas City
17. Tampa Bay (5-4); Last week: 21
Week 10 result: Won vs. San Diego, 34-24
Josh Freeman has been very unlike Josh Freeman in the past five games, throwing 13 touchdowns to just one interception as the Buccaneers have improved to 5-4 after a 1-3 start. Tampa Bay did lose linebacker Quincy Black for the season after he was taken off on a stretcher after injuring his neck on a tackle.
Next up: at Carolina
18. Miami (4-5); Last week: 14
Week 10 result: Lost vs. Tennessee, 37-3
The Dolphins managed just a field goal against a Titans defense that had allowed 52 to the Bears the week before. Turnovers were the story, as Ryan Tannehill was intercepted three times and Reggie Bush lost a fumble. Miami lost by more than a field goal for just the second time this season.
Next up: at Buffalo
19. San Diego (4-5); Last week: 15
Week 10 result: Lost at Tampa Bay, 34-24
Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes against Tampa Bay, but gave one back as one of his two interceptions was returned for a touchdown. The Chargers have lost four of their last five games. Think Norv Turner is feeling the pressure a bit?
Next up: at Denver
20. Detroit (4-5); Last week: 16
Week 10 result: Lost at Minnesota, 34-24
Calvin Johnson had a huge game, with 12 catches for 207 yards and what is somehow only his second touchdown of the season. The Lions’ defense couldn’t stop Adrian Peterson however, allowing him to run for 120 yards in the fourth quarter alone, including the eventual game-winning touchdown.
Next up: vs. Green Bay
21. Washington (3-6); Last week: 19
Week 10 result: Bye
The Redskins have the privilege of facing Nick Foles in his first career NFL start this Sunday. Could it be the start of a playoff run? Nah.
Next up: vs. Philadelphia
22. St. Louis (3-5-1); Last week: 24
Week 10 result: Tied at San Francisco, 24-24
You know the old saying: ties are better than kissing your sister two weeks after getting embarrassed in a football game played in London. Or something. The Rams got hosed though, as what would have been the game-winning field goal in overtime was washed out by a delay-of-game penalty. Danny Amendola didn’t know the game could end in a tie either.
Next up: vs. New York Jets
23. Arizona (4-5); Last week: 22
Week 10 result: Bye
The bye week broke the Cardinals’ five-week losing streak, but a trip to Atlanta likely will extend their losing streak to six.
Next up: at Atlanta
24. Tennessee (4-6); Last week: 27
Week 10 result: Won at Miami, 37-3
Jake Locker made his first start since Week 4 and threw two touchdown passes, though he completed only 9-of-21. The Titans’ defense forced four turnovers and allowed only three points a week after losing to Chicago by 31.
Next up: Bye
25. Buffalo (3-6); Last week: 25
Week 10 result: Lost at New England, 37-31
In their first meeting against the Patriots, the Bills lost 52-28 at home. In their second meeting, at Gillette Stadium where Buffalo has never won, the Bills were inside the red zone with a chance to take the lead. Instead, Ryan Fitzpatrick made a typical Harvard decision.
Next up: vs. Miami
26. PHILADELPHIA (3-6); Last week: 23
Week 10 result: Lost vs. Dallas, 38-23
Have they hit rock bottom yet? A car burning in the parking lot during the game is a pretty great metaphor. Only seven games left of the Andy Reid era.
Next up: at Washington
27. New York Jets (3-6); Last week: 26
Week 10 result: Lost at Seattle, 28-7
Mark Sanchez is terrible, but Tim Tebow is even worse, so that’s why the Jets continue to start Sanchez. Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate threw for one more touchdown than either of New York’s quarterbacks and Muhammad Wilkerson’s fumble return accounted for the Jets’ only score.
Next up: at St. Louis
28. Cleveland (2-7); Last week: 28
Week 10 result: Bye
With the Browns headed for another top-five draft pick, the team is already wondering if they should give up on quarterback Brandon Weeden, who will turn 30 next season. Luckily, Cleveland has just the guy in the front office to make a decision on a player of that age.
Next up: at Dallas
29. Oakland (3-6); Last week: 29
Week 10 result: Lost at Baltimore, 55-20
The Raiders’ defense tied a franchise record in allowing 55 points to the Ravens and allowed more than 40 points for the second straight game. Carson Palmer threw for 368 yards and two touchdowns, but Oakland fell so far behind that even Matt Leinart saw game action.
Next up: vs. New Orleans
30. Carolina (2-7); Last week: 30
Week 10 result: Lost vs. Denver, 36-14
Rough game for Cam Newton, throwing a pick six and being sacked seven times, once for a safety. He now has thrown more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (8) on the season and is on pace to get his coach, Ron Rivera, fired.
Next up: vs. Tampa Bay
31. Kansas City (1-8); Last week: 32
Week 10 result: Lost at Pittsburgh, 16-13
Things we have learned about the Chiefs since Monday Night’s game began: Eric Berry is terrified of horses and they love to dance. Things that were reaffirmed: Matt Cassel makes poor decisions.
Next up: vs. Cincinnati
32. Jacksonville (1-8); Last week: 31
Week 10 result: Lost vs. Indianapolis, 27-10
Welcome to the bottom, Jacksonville. The Jaguars could not get a second win over the Colts, the only team they have beaten this season, and now travel to Houston, where not even Chad Henne can save them.
Next up: at Houston