Patrick Smith/Getty Images
As expected, Week 10 NFL action didn’t help sort out the weekly power rankings much.
Some might argue things started to normalize, but the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams continuing to pick up wins still doesn’t feel normal, per se. Neither does a team with a quarterback controversy looking like a Super Bowl contender, yet here we are.
Alas, this is a brave new world for the NFL as the shift in power to new teams continues. There are some old mainstays hanging around, but the power rankings and playoff outlook make for one of the more interesting seasons fans have seen in a long time.
In the aftermath of Week 10, let’s plot out fresh rankings and key talking points.
2017 NFL Power Rankings and Super Bowl Odds
|1||Philadelphia Eagles (4-1)|
|2||Minnesota Vikings (18-1)|
|3||Pittsburgh Steelers (15-2)|
|4||New England Patriots (9-2)|
|5||New Orleans Saints (14-1)|
|6||Los Angeles Rams (14-1)|
|7||Atlanta Falcons (28-1)|
|8||Dallas Cowboys (16-1)|
|9||Seattle Seahawks (10-1)|
|10||Kansas City Chiefs (11-1)|
|11||Carolina Panthers (25-1)|
|12||Detroit Lions (28-1)|
|13||Oakland Raiders (33-1)|
|14||Buffalo Bills (66-1)|
|15||Tennessee Titans (28-1)|
|16||Denver Broncos (100-1)|
|17||Jacksonville Jaguars (25-1)|
|18||New York Jets (250-1)|
|19||Washington Redskins (50-1)|
|20||Los Angeles Chargers (100-1)|
|21||Chicago Bears (150-1)|
|22||Green Bay Packers (66-1)|
|23||Baltimore Ravens (100-1)|
|24||Miami Dolphins (250-1)|
|25||Arizona Cardinals (150-1)|
|26||Houston Texans (100-1)|
|27||Cincinnati Bengals (100-1)|
|28||Indianapolis Colts (300-1)|
|29||Tampa Bay Buccaneers (200-1)|
|30||San Francisco 49ers (5000-1)|
|31||New York Giants (1000-1)|
|32||Cleveland Browns (5000-1)|
|Author’s opinion, odds via OddsShark|
- Pittsburgh Steelers 7-2
- New England Patriots 7-2
- Kansas City Chiefs 6-3
- Tennessee Titans 6-3
- Jacksonville Jaguars 6-3
- Buffalo Bills 5-4
- Miami Dolphins 4-4
- Baltimore Ravens 4-5
- Oakland Raiders 4-5
- New York Jets 4-6
- Houston Texans 3-6
- Cincinnati Bengals 3-6
- Los Angeles Chargers 3-6
- Denver Broncos 3-6
- Indianapolis Colts 3-7
- Cleveland Browns 0-9
- Philadelphia Eagles 8-1
- Minnesota Vikings 7-2
- New Orleans Saints 7-2
- Los Angeles Rams 7-2
- Seattle Seahawks 6-3
- Carolina Panthers 6-3
- Atlanta Falcons 5-4
- Detroit Lions 5-4
- Green Bay Packers 5-4
- Dallas Cowboys 5-4
- Washington Redskins 4-5
- Arizona Cardinals 4-5
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3-6
- Chicago Bears 3-6
- New York Giants 1-8
- San Francisco 49ers 1-9
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
The Minnesota Vikings are the team hinted at in the intro.
These Vikings are 7-2 and running away with the NFC North, yet they continue to start Case Keenum under center despite the presence of Teddy Bridgewater watching from the sidelines.
And who can blame head coach Mike Zimmer and his staff? Keenum just went to Washington and dropped a 21-of-29 line for 304 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions on the Redskins in a 38-30 win.
It doesn’t get much better than this in the good-problem-to-have category, as ESPN Stats & Info helped illustrate:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Case Keenum is the first Vikings player with 4 Pbad TD in a game since Teddy Bridgewater in 2015. The last VIkings quarterback with 4 Pbad TD on the road was Brett Favre, who did it in 2009, in his first game back at Lambeau FIeld as a visitor.
The Vikings have now won four games in a row. The two losses came against strong Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers teams, too, so it’s not like Keenum’s crew isn’t taking care of business against opponents it should beat.
And while the Vikings have a loss to those Lions already, there is still a Week 12 rematch on the schedule, and Matthew Stafford’s team is only 5-4, the same as the Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers.
This means the Vikings look like a good wager at almost any payout right now, even if they have three divisional games left as well as dates against the Los Angles Rams, Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers.
New Orleans Saints
Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press
To say the NFC is stacked would be an understatement.
The New Orleans Saints seemingly flying under the radar with seven wins is a good example of the conference’s depth.
Where to start? Drew Brees’ team hasn’t lost since Week 2. The lone defeats this season came against the Vikings and New England Patriots. Over the course of the seven-game tear, the Saints are even winning games on the road, including a 34-13 takedown of the Panthers and a Week 10 47-10 beatdown of the Buffalo Bills.
There, Brees coasted without a touchdown pbad while Mark Ingram rushed for 131 yards and three touchdowns, while rookie Alvin Kamara went for 106 and one.
It’s the latest example the Saints have finally built a strong team around Brees, who hasn’t lost much of a step yet. A deep dive by NumberFire’s JJ Zachariason illustrates this point quite well:
JJ Zachariason @LateRoundQB
Saints pbad attempt to rush attempt ratio over the last five years:
A complete team changes everything.
The idea the Saints can post 47 points while Brees doesn’t throw a touchdown should scare the rest of the NFL. So should the fact they’re running away with the NFC South. Carolina is the closest at 6-3 and two games against the Atlanta Falcons await.
But at this point, the Saints look great in any matchup. And the Saints at home in the playoffs, should they keep rolling like this, will have bettors confident.
New England Patriots
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After the Pittsburgh Steelers struggled to get past the Indianapolis Colts in Week 10, it looks like the Patriots are the top threat to fend off the NFC.
The Patriots haven’t had many problems as of late, taking down the Falcons and Denver Broncos on the road in two of their past three outings. In Denver, Brady made light work of a supposedly tough defense, throwing three touchdowns in a 41-16 win.
These Patriots are a case of the rich keep getting richer after adding tight end Martellus Bennett.
“He did a great job to have come in on Friday,” Brady said, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com). “I love having Martellus on our team. He adds a lot, he’s a great player, and he was for us last year.”
As one can probably guess, the Patriots aren’t having any problems in an AFC East with only one other team sitting above .500. That’d be the Bills, a team the Patriots still have to play twice and the team the Saints just put up 47 points against.
Which isn’t to say the Patriots will coast the rest of the season. They still have a high-profile showdown in Pittsburgh against the Steelers in Week 15. But otherwise, in a top-heavy conference the Patriots are the top.
Though five divisional games remain and teams will want to play the spoiler, the Patriots sitting on seven wins already and watching the rest of the AFC struggle should have would-be bettors comfortable.
Stats courtesy of NFL.com. Odds courtesy of OddsShark.