In the NFL, you can basically never get what you want. But I'll do my best to tell you what you need.
Here are the un-Power Rankings (the formula for how the un-Power Rankings work have been heavily debated, but isn't it obvious? Isn't it? Is it?) for Week 10 and a note about what every team needs going forward.
1. Jaguars (0-8) Last week: 1
What they need: A new quarterback.
Last season with a poor class of QBs (or so they say) the Chiefs, Cardinals, and Raiders all opted to go outside of the organization for veteran help rather than go with a rookie. All three teams are improved (though Oakland, it's not due to Matt Flynn) while teams that opted to stay with their young guns for one more year (Jags, Vikings, Buccaneers, and the Browns old gun) struggled because of it.
There's no question about it, Jacksonville is going to lose the most games and they are going to draft Teddy Bridgewater.
Up next: at Titans
2. Buccaneers (0-8) Last week: 2
What they need: A new head coach
For a half, the Bucs played their best game of the season. That might matter if we were playing halfshoes and halfgrenades, but we're not and for more than a half, Tampa Bay was beat soundly by the Seahawks.
The Bucs have eight games left and four are winnable. I'm not positive they wind up with the second pick but firing Greg Schiano and hiring someone else to start over can be done with any record.
Up next: vs Dolphins, MNF
3. Vikings (1-7) Last week: 3
What they need: A new, new, new, new quarterback
You've tried the rest, now try more of the rest!
The draft could hold any number of interesting quarterbacks depending on who declares, but I am sure that there will be one that's worthy of a top-three pick besides Bridgewater. I would actually hold onto Christian Ponder, because I think he's a top NFL backup, and stop foolin' with Freeman.
Up next: vs Redskins, TNF
4. Raiders (3-5) Last week: 10
What they need: A fresh start
The Raiders are so bad at "This" in the last 10 years (and by "This" I mean, "the football thing") that it's getting to levels where Nick Foles has seven touchdown passes against you in like two hours of human time. And that took place during what's going to be your eleventh straight season without a winning record.
And while I think that general manager Reggie McKenzie has done well with a short deck and that Terrelle Pryor has a lot of potential, at what point are you actually going to get better? Oakland has made 14 first round draft picks in this century and they've combined for four Pro Bowl appearances:
Did I mention that they are terrible for the last 10 years? That should've resulted in like, eight good players. At least.
Dennis Allen's job this year: Win eight games. McKenzie's job: Draft good players with lower draft picks.
That's the model that Pete Carroll and John Schneider went for. (Though Pete only won seven.)
Up next: at Giants
5. Rams (3-6) Last week: 4
When they need: A redshirt for Sam Bradford
St. Louis might lose the rest of their games. Their easiest remaining game is home against the Bucs and their hardest remaining game is the rest of them. Road games against the Colts, 49ers, Cardinals, and Seahawks, home games against the Bears, Saints, and Bucs.
The Rams could be picking in the top three again but with their own pick and the Redskins, might have the luxury to take tackle Jake Matthews as well as a safety like HaHa Clinton-Dix. Wait, a Rams safety named "HaHa"?
Yep, it checks out.
Up next: at Colts
6. Falcons (2-6) Last week: 6
What they need: Self-awareness
The Atlanta Falcons brought most of the same dates back with them to the prom this season with the exception of a few, but in reality there shouldn't have been a drop-off. Lost Michael Turner? You don't run the ball anyway. Lost John Abraham? Osi Umenyiora is just as good. Lost Julio Jones? Well, you were 1-4 with him this year.
The biggest difference between this year and last year? The Falcons are losing those close games they were used to winning, but it seems to expose vulnerability that already existed rather than being a symbol of any loss of talent. Except that losing Jones for the year really is a major loss of talent and Matt Ryan has seven interceptions in the last two games, perhaps because now he's trying to do too much.
Atlanta has never seemed to commit themselves to building a great defense, maybe they should really tank it and go for Jadeveon. That might actually start to make it interesting.
Up next: vs Seahawks
7. Texans (2-6) Last week: 5
What they need: To at least take some responsibility when asked "Where the hell has Case Keenum been?"
Maybe it's nothing, but Keenum now has put together two games better than Matt Schaub has put up in quite some time, especially when you consider the defenses he was facing and the situations. Maybe the Texans wouldn't be in this hole.
Then again, it's been two games! (Two really good games.)
The Texans could look for an outside linebacker like Anthony Barr or Khalil Mack.
Up next: at Cardinals
8. Steelers (2-6) Last week: 7
What they need: Older players, to hang onto nostalgia for another five seasons
You hear that Pittsburgh? Go on. Sign Troy Polamalu to an eight-year extension too. Good. Good.
Up next: vs Bills
9. Giants (2-6) Last week: 8
What they need: To stop winning games
Who is in danger really if the Giants lose 14 games? You're going to fire Tom Coughlin? Cut Eli Manning? It's certainly possible that Coughlin could retire if he finds 14 losses is all too much to bear, but maybe he'd stick around knowing that Jadeveon Clowney or Jake Matthews would be joining the team next season. And then what do you have?
A team good enough to win the NFC East. Which, I guess, is also what the Giants still are right now at 2-6 on account of the East sucking. And also, of course the Giants would win the East this year and pull some bullshit like going to the Super Bowl after an 0-6 start.
Up next: vs Raiders
10. Eagles (4-5) Last week: 9
What they need: -7 touchdowns on defense
Nick Foles is now a qualified passing leader for rate stats. Nick Foles is the best quarterback in the league now!
With 13 TD, 0 INT, 10.9 adjusted yards per attempt, and passer rating of 127.4, is there anyone better than Foles? Yep! Probably a few players. But is he giving Chip Kelly enough confidence to stick with him for the foreseeable future? Probably. Sticking with the defense is another question, and the Dugles could target a linebacker like C.J. Mosley.
Up next: at Packers
11. Ravens (3-5) Last week: 15
What they need: An offensive line not so offensive
How could the drop-off from 2012 to 2013 be this dramatic? Ray Rice is getting killed out there and they're just shuffling through anything on the scrap heap at this point. Lineman went fast and furious in last years draft and there's a number of good ones coming up this year too.
Well, let's hope they are good at least. The recent crop of lineman have had a lot of issues with consistency and health.
Up next: vs Bengals
12. Bills (3-6) Last week: 12
What they need: To cancel Tuel Time and Breaking Thad and put Mad Manuel back on the air
Buffalo strikes me as a team that's actually going to put it together soon, but if you're going to lose in 2013, lose with the rookie. That's not a philosophy people used to have, thinking we needed to "protect" these players as much as possible. Well, we protected a lot of quarterbacks that were shitty and could've saved a lot of time if we knew early on that things weren't going to work out.
Up next: at Steelers
13. Redskins (3-5) Last week: 11
What they need: Eight more games
Washington was 3-6 last season before winning their last seven. In the NFC East, they could do it again. So maybe the Rams will get a top 10 pick, maybe it will be in the twenties. It's too early to tell and Robert Griffin III might only be getting started.
They could also use that draft pick, because that defense is pretty crappy. Remember how Brian Orapko was on GEICO commercials? Well, there are no GEICO commercial openings for players with three sacks.
Up next: at Vikings, TNF
14. Titans (4-4) Last week: 14
What they need: To stop being so damn average
They refuse to move out of this 14 spot! Refuse!
The Titans keep trying every year in the draft with wide receiver. Every year. Quit it, some of your guys are alright. Find the next Jevon Kearse, except he doesn't fall off after three years.
Up next: vs Jaguars
15. Browns (4-5) Last week: 13
What they need: Continuous deals with the devil
"I want to start for the Browns, and, and, and I want to be undefeated in my Cleveland career!"
"Wish granted, Mr. Hoyer. Wish granted. Hehehe."
"Hey, why are you rubbing your fingers together and maniacally laughing?"
"Oh that? No worries. I'm the devil, it's what I do."
Up next: Bye
16. Jets (5-4) Last week: 16
What they need: A Loss, and then a Win, and then a Loss, and then a Win...
The Jets haven't won or lost consecutive games yet this season but this I do know: They've been outscored by 62 points. That's a pace of being outscored by 110 points. In NFL history, 62 teams (weird coincidence) have been outscored by a total between 100 and 120 points and the best record that any of them ever managed was 7-9.
New York could go 9-7 (or better) and also be going to the playoffs. With the same point differential that netted Bill Walsh's 1979 49ers team a 2-14 record.
Up next: Bye
17. Dolphins (4-4) Last week: 17
What they need: Dr. Phil
"Now you can take Richie Incognito and put him in Kansas City, Missouri with a barrel of rare Beanie Babies but you can't take Jonathan Martin and give him an F in third grade biology and tell me that's a passing grade!"
Up next: at Bucs, MNF
18. Chargers (4-4) Last week: 21
What they need: A pass rush, to get it together
The AFC Wild Card picture after Denver has the Jets on top, but then a tie between the Dolphins, Chargers, and Titans. The big difference there is that the Chargers also have one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, so why do they beat teams like the Cowboys and Colts, but lose to teams like the Raiders and Texans?
San Diego is right on the cusp of being good but nobody on the team has more than three sacks. Melvin Ingram is on the PUP and could be coming back. Is that enough? They don't seem to need much, they are way, way better than the Jets.
Up next: vs Broncos
19. Cardinals (4-4) Last week: 20
What they need: I don't want to find out
Now Arizona is going to start making their case as the best defense in the league. Tyrann Mathieu has been the defensive steal other than Alonso, they've gotten Daryl Washington back, and most of their best talent is 27 or younger.
I hope they don't win enough games to make a deep playoff run over us but win too many to get a good draft pick. Although with how they've done lately in the draft, it might not matter.
Up next: vs Texans
20. Packers (5-3) Last week: 25
What they need: Aaron Rodgers
The list of quarterbacks getting starts in the NFL this year is getting weirder and weirder, but it appears that Seneca Wallace has one last rodeo in him. His rodeos were fun for awhile but not particularly successful.
Up next: vs Eagles
21. Cowboys (5-4) Last week: 18
What they need: Respect?
Are we undervaluing Dallas because they play in the East? They've lost to the 9-0 Chiefs, the 7-1 Broncos, the NFC North-leading Lions, and the 4-4 Chargers. They could have (and some cases should have) won all of those games.
But their schedule doesn't get any easier so they might still wind up 9-7.
Up next: at Saints, SNF
22. Bears (5-3) Last week: 19
What they need: More injuries to Aaron Rodgers, less injuries to Jay Cutler
Okay, I'm not advocating injuries to anyone. I want a healthy NFL as much, no, nay, nary, MORE SO, than the next guy, but it doesn't hurt Chicago that Rodgers hurts. They need to win their next four games (DET, BAL, @STL, @MIN) and then they might finally be able to close out a season properly.
Up next: vs Lions
23. Bengals (6-3) Last week: 24
What they need: A healthy Geno At- Oh damn it.
Another ACL bites the dust, and on a pretty talented team, Geno Atkins was probably the most talented. The Ravens survived some injuries last year, but the Bengals can't afford any more this season.
Up next: at Ravens
24. Lions (5-3) Last week: 22
What they need: A tiny bit of defense
Reggie Bush's career-high in total yards from scrimmage is 1,382. He currently has 853 total yards from scrimmage in seven games (one missed to injury) which would be a 15-game pace of 1,827 yards. There's also that Calvin Johnson fella, but the Lions are bad against the run and the pass.
Up next: at Bears
25. Saints (6-2) Last week: 28
What they need: I don't know, but they should find it fast.
For formerly 5-0 Saints have lost two of three and now only hold a one-game lead over the Panthers, a team they haven't faced yet. They also have to play the Cowboys, 49ers, and Seahawks.
A month ago people were saying, "Why you no put Saints at 32?" and now I have to wonder if they'll make the playoffs at all. I mean, they should, but you would've said the same thing about the Giants a year ago too. If they do finish 12-4, they'll be a really, really strong 12-4 team.
Up next: vs Cowboys, SNF
26. Chiefs (9-0) Last week: 27
What they need: To keep facing undrafted free agent quarterbacks that were third-string players a week ago.
Okay, Kansas City, you're seven-game season starts now! Err, next week. The Chiefs have faced: Blaine Gabbert, Tony Romo, Michael Vick, Eli Manning, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Terrelle Pryor, Case Keenum, Jason Campbell, and Jeff Tuel.
And those last three, including two undrafted free agents, didn't play bad at all.
Now we'll find out.
Up next: Bye
27. Patriots (7-2) Last week: 23
What they need: They just got it.
Up next: Bye
28. Panthers (5-3) Last week: 26
What they need: To beat the 49ers
Carolina looks ridiculously good right now but they haven't really beaten anyone that is also good. Their five wins have come over opponents with a combined record of 8-32. However, they are doing what they're supposed to do against bad teams: Blowing them out.
Over their last four games, the average score is: 32.5 - 12.
Over the 49ers last five games, the average score is: 34.8 - 12.2.
Up next: at 49ers
29. Broncos (7-1) Last week: 30
What they need: The number one seed.
Denver can't falter over the second half of the year, they'll need to beat the Chiefs and hope that the Colts don't match their record. The Broncos defense is bad, but it appears to be less bad at home.
21.6 points allowed per game in Denver
36.6 points allowed per game elsewhere. Including Indianapolis.
Up next: at Chargers
30. 49ers (6-2) Last week: 29
What they need: To lose to Carolina.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's what you need, guys. Just trust me on this one.
Up next: vs Panthers
31. Colts (6-2) Last week: 31
What they need: Andrew Luck to keep playing like himself, and not like Peyton Manning
The Colts are where they are because they have turned it over less than any team in the league. I still don't think they are super-talented, and their defense isn't great, but if you hold onto the football, you're going to compete every week. They're 3-2 when they turn the ball over, 3-0 when they don't.
Luck is first in the league in interception percentage and not playing anything like a young Manning, who threw an average of 20 interceptions per season over his first five seasons in the NFL. Their lack of turnovers is why they can beat anyone, but their lack of being able to force turnovers (17th) could be an issue in the playoffs.
However, it only takes one lucky play and the Colts could be headed to the Super Bowl.
Up next: vs Rams
32. Seahawks (8-1) Last week: 32
What they need: Much like a child that is only 2000 points away from his high score on Crazy Taxi, a second quarter
Almost like the anti-Colts, Seattle is the most talented team in the league but also seems to be one of the most mistake-prone, as well. They can beat anyone, including themselves. The Seahawks are 18th in the NFL in turnovers but 5th in takeaways.
A Seattle-Indianapolis Super Bowl would be as competitive as their meeting five weeks ago, and it's not nearly out of the question that it will happen. If the Seahawks manage to finally play four quarters of football, they'll be the champs.
Continue to blow easy opportunities, and they'll be the chumps.
"You blew it up, damn you, you blew it up!" and they'll be the chimps.
Up next: at Falcons