Alright, here is my second power rankings installment - no, your team is still not better than their record. The rankings are rounding into a nice mid-season form, with a bell curve of teams at the top and bottom of the rankings not moving much at all, win or lose, and those in the middle jumping (or falling) as much as five positions. This makes sense, as the mid-tier teams fall into a larger pool of teams with the same winning percentage as them, and if a team with a relatively weak strength of schedule loses a game (or conversely, if one with a relatively strong schedule wins) they can climb (or fall) rather significantly. So, without further ado, here are the Week 10 Power Rankings.
The top three teams have or two losses, and Baltimore (who has three losses, but is one win better than any of the other three loss teams), make up the NFL elite thus far in the 2023 season. It's possible that injuries could knock them from their pedestals, and melt-downs certainly occur from time to time, but these teams seem to shin in the biggest games.
1. Eagles (-) Their wins aren't always pretty, and sometimes they look like they would prefer it if another team won every so often (Please Dallas, have this win. No thanks, Philly, we don't really want to beat good teams. We prefer to beat up on bad ones.), but in the end, they've only let one slip away all season. Best team in the league.
2. Chiefs (-) The Chiefs have not looked like the world-beaters that they've been in recent seasons, but at the end of the day, "not so great" for them appears to be better than most of the rest of the league.
3. Lions (+2) Who would have imagined at the beginning of the season that the Lions would find themselves in the ranks of the NFL elite? But aside from a bad loss in Baltimore and a shootout loss to the Seahawks - both top 10 teams - they have had their mojo every week.
4. Ravens (-1) The Ravens have the talent to beat any team in the league, but have an annoying habit of blowing leads late. If they can figure that out - look out!
The Good Teams
These teams with 3 and 4 losses are good, and are all still in control of their own destiny to make the playoffs this season.
5. Jaguars (-1) The Jaguars found themselves up against a 49ers team coming off of three consecutive losses and a bye. This loss was probably almost inevitable, although the way they got embarrassed should prompt some self-scouting, if not soul-searching. It will be interesting to see whether this is a loss that galvanizes, or shatters, this young squad.
6. Browns (+2) The Browns got a signature win against a division foe, but lost their starting quarterback for the season in the process. Paint them as the most likely to fall quickly out of contention and out of the playoffs - unless their rookie quarterback is a revelation.
7. Steelers (-) The Steelers should not be this good. But they are winning on the back of a strong defense, good coaching and discipline. And it's not like they've been playing powderpuffs, with the 11th strongest schedule thus far in the league.
8. 49ers (+2) After three straight losses had everyone wondering what was going on with the Niners, they put a statement hurting on a good Jags squad. Look for more of that in the future.
9. Seahawks (+2) The Seahawks have put together a nice 6-3 record without playing particularly good offensive football this year. Their defense is young and fast and aggressive - which can all be either strengths or weaknesses, and their offense (and Geno Smith) have shown flashes of brilliance but have not been consistent. They have a winnable game this week, but the Rams always give them fits - and then they begin one of the most brutal stretches of any team in the NFL. It's not inconceivable that they could be 7-7 five weeks from now. Let's hope the O flashes more often and the D comes into their identity.
10. Dolphins (-4) I'm going to write this paragraph for both Miami and Dallas. They look like world-beaters against bad and middling teams, but can they beat a good team? So far, it doesn't appear to be the case.
11. Cowboys (+1)
12. Vikings (+1) The Vikings started poorly, seemed to find their mojo, and then Kirk Cousins got hurt. Game over, right? Not so fast. They've got Josh Dobbs!
13. Texans (+5) It looks like CJ Stroud might be the real deal. That being said, he's still a rookie. 23/39 for 356 and a TD sound good, until you add in the INT and two lost fumbles. He makes the Texans exciting, and will probably get them to the playoffs, but will be a first round exit.
14. Bengals (-5) Despite starting 0-2 and losing three of their first four games, the Bengals find themselves right in the thick of the playoff hunt at mid-season. If they want to stay there, however, they'd better start winning all the games the are supposed to win.
The teams with 5-6 losses at the midway point are walking the knifes edge, when it comes to making the playoffs. One or two more losses is all it will take to push them out of contention, so they'd better be prepared to get real hot real fast if they want to keep dancing in January.
15. Colts (+4) Mired in mediocrity. That's probably a pretty apt description of this franchise for the past decade. Doesn't look like this is the year they'll climb out of that rut.
16. Bills (-2) Probably the most surprising team to be in this category. Even more surprising that they lost to the Broncos (more on that later). Has Josh Allen lost his mojo, or can he lead his team on a miraculous run to the playoffs?
17. Raiders (+5) A statement win for the Raiders, and the statement was, "We really hated Joshy-boy McDaniel!" (Used in loving memory of the Professor.)
18. Saints (-3) Although they entered the day with the same record as the Vikings, the Saints schedule was far inferior, and the better team came out on top, even with Josh Dobbs at QB.
19. Chargers (-3) As they have done all season, the Chargers fought hard and lost.
20. Buccaneers (+3) Tampa Bay is up again, and down again and up again this week, but in a bad NFC South, their playoff chances are probably better than many in this category.
21. Broncos (+4) At 4-5 in the AFC West with the Kansas City Mahomes at the top of the division, it's too late for Denver to hope for a run to the playoffs, but I do believe you're starting to see Sean Payton's coaching take hold on this team.
22. Jets (-5) It's a testament to good coaching and the character of this team that they didn't mail in the season the minute Aaron Rodgers went down week 1. But alas, good coaching can't overcome a bad quarterback.
23. Commanders (-3) This team has a good young QB, can move the ball on offense, and then trades away two of their best defensive players while they were still in the hunt for a playoff spot. Still scratching my head over this one.
24. Falcons (-3) On a three game losing streak and falling to third in the NFC South. The Falcons may not be toast yet, but their starting to get brown and crispy.
25. Rams (+2) The Rams are bad this year, but in the NFC West, they're always good enough to play spoiler to the Seahawks. Let's hope a season split is in the cards.
26. Titans (-2) Hanging on by the slenderest of threads. One more loss and you can stick a fork in them.
27. Packers (-1) Surely this isn't the way the Packers front office saw the dawn of the Jordan Love era when they traded away Aaron Rodgers to the Jets. I'll bet a lot of fans saw it happening this way though...
This group will grow. They may not be mathematically eliminated yet, but I'll tell you now. You won't see any of these teams playing in January.
28. Bears (+2)
29. Patriots (-1)
30. Giants (-1)
31. Cardinals (+1)
32. Panthers (-1)
1. Texans/Raiders (+5)
2. Colts/Broncos (+4)
3. Buccaneers (+3)
1. Jets/Bengals (-5)
2. Dolphins (-4)
3. 4 Tied (-3)