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WEEI NFL Power Rankings — Week 10

11.10.09 at 7:06 am ET
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The Saints put down the hammer when the game is on the line. (AP)

The Saints put down the hammer when the game is on the line. (AP)

Surprise, surprise — the Saints and Colts are in the top two spots in this week’s WEEI NFL Power Rankings. New Orleans and Indianapolis both improved to 8-0 and stay at their respective spots for the sixth week in a row.

The Steelers jump two spots to No. 3, ahead of the Vikings, who have a better record and were on a bye this week. The Broncos fall two spots to No.6 after their second loss in a row on Monday night. Denver now is looking up at the Patriots. Let the controversy and angry comments begin!

A steady decline for the Packers has been the pattern over the past couple of weeks. Green Bay now falls to No.20 after an embarrassing loss to the previously winless Buccaneers.

The Browns didn’t play in Week 9, nonetheless, they fall to the No. 32 spot after Tampa’s victory. I think we all know if the Browns were playing this week they would’ve lost. Browns fans probably thought they had a week off from misery, but not even a week off can prevent bad news for Cleveland fans.

New Orleans Saints1. (Last week, 1) 8-0-0 The Saints step up and know how to get the job done in the fourth quarter. These comeback wins can only help the Saints become more confident and help them improve.

2. (2) 8-0-0 Two straight weeks of mediocre play from the Colts. However, they still were able to pull out the win in each game. It will be interesting to see how the injuries on defense will affect them.

Pittsburgh Steelers 3. (5) 6-2-0 The Steelers are rolling and are a team that nobody in the NFL wants to face. That is usually the case when the defense is the best in the league. An 18-point victory on the road vs. Denver is impressive.

Minnesota Vikings4. (3) 7-1-0 It will be interesting to see how Brett Favre performs in the second half of the season.

New England Patriots 5. (6) 6-2-0 Now is the time for the Patriots to prove what they are capable of. The play of Laurence Maroney over the past few games has really helped balance this offense.

Denver Broncos6. (4) 6-2-0 The Broncos need to find a way to establish a run game with their talented backs, Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter. The two combined for 27 yards against the Steelers, which is an unacceptable total no matter which team they face.

Cincinnati Bengals7. (7) 6-2-0 People continue to doubt Cincinnati, and the Bengals continue to make those doubters “kiss the baby.” The Bengals still have the Lions, Chiefs, Raiders and Browns on their schedule.

Dallas Cowboys8. (9) 6-2-0 There is a lot of confidence in the Cowboys locker room. That is what a four-game winning streak will do for a team. In this stretch of wins, Dallas has managed to beat two solid teams in the Falcons and Eagles. If Tony Romo can continue to protect the football, this team can compete with the best in the NFC.

9. (11) 5-3-0 Michael Turner turned in another great performance and is helping the offense become more balanced and effective.

10. (8) 5-3-0 The Eagles have four divisional games to play in the second half of the season and will be a tough team down the stretch because of their defense. They are able to get great pressure on the quarterback and that is resulting in a lot of sacks and interceptions. The Eagles are ranked second in the league in both those categories.

Houston Texans11. (16) 5-4-0 The Texans showed signs they can play with the elite teams in the NFL. Losing after missing a field goal that could have sent the game into overtime against the division rival Colts must be a tough pill to swallow. Lots of credit has to go to Houston for being able to shut down Peyton Manning for the most part of the second half. The Texans can take a lot out of this loss.

12. (18) 5-3-0 Impressive final drive by Philip Rivers and the Chargers. San Diego needed a win against a team with a winning record and it got that on Sunday. We’ll learn a lot about this team in the next couple of weeks with Philadelphia and Denver next on the schedule.

13. (10) 4-4-0 Baltimore’s inconsistency continued to be a problem Sunday. The offense relies too heavily on Ray Rice, and that has cost the Ravens this year. They’re lacking a big-play wide receiver.

Arizona Cardinals14. (20) 5-3-0  The only thing we really can take from the Cardinals’ victory over the Bears is that Kurt Warner and his team play really well on the road and know how to win. Four of their five wins have come on the road. This team has been extremely inconsistent. Unfortunately for the Cards, they have to play in Arizona this week.

Miami Dolphins15. (13) 3-5-0 Dolphins players must be scratching their heads after Joey Porter‘s performance Sunday. Miami has yet to prove it can beat a solid team in the NFL.

16. (12) 5-4-0 Four straight losses and the Giants might be ready to press the panic button. Eli Manning is playing mediocre at best, the pass rush hasn’t been consistent, and the play-calling has been questionable. If any team was in desperate need of a bye week, it’s the Giants. Let’s see if they’ll be able to figure it out and get back to their winning ways.

Chicago Bears17. (15) 4-4-0 The Bears allowed the Cardinals to score on their first six possessions. Chicago’s defense can’t get any pressure on the quarterback, and the way Cardinals manhandled the Bears proves Chicago needs to figure something out fast defensively before the playoffs are out of reach.

New York Jets18. (19) 4-4-0 Rex Ryan will be called a genius or an idiot after giving his team six days off during its bye week. The Jets certainly will come out rejuvenated at the Meadowlands this Sunday against Jacksonville.

San Francisco 49ers19. (14) 3-5-0 The 49ers’ main problem all season has been at the quarterback position, and that continued on Sunday. Three interceptions really puts a team in a hole, and San Francisco wasn’t able to climb out.

Green Bay Packers20. (17) 4-4-0 Aaron Rodgers committed turnovers and the Packers lost to one of the worst teams in football. This loss could have bounced the Packers out of a playoff spot. Teams that are competing for that last wild card spot in the NFC — the Falcons, Cowboys and Eagles — are playing way out of the Packers’ league.

Buffalo Bills21. (21) 3-5-0 Got to like the idea of Michael Vick going to the Bills. It seems like a perfect fit.

Jacksonville Jaguars22. (24) 4-4-0 The Jaguars responded well to the change to the 4-3 defense. Jacksonville got good pressure on the quarterback and forced some interceptions. However, it’s tough to take much from a win over the offensively challenged Chiefs.

Seattle Seahawks23. (23) 3-5-0 Take a look at the box score from Seattle’s win over Detroit and you’ll see that Matt Hasselbeck was able to complete a pass to nine different receivers. Six of those receivers caught five passes or more. The Seahawks didn’t get rattled after falling to a 17-0 deficit in the first quarter and did a great job coming back.

Carolina Panthers24. (22) 3-5-0 Jake Delhomme didn’t throw an interception for the second straight game, but the offense still is struggling. The Panthers are in desperate need of Steve Smith to step up and make big plays offensively, but that has happened very rarely this year.

25. (25) 2-6-0 Vince Young is playing with a lot of confidence and led his team to another victory on Sunday. The key to the Titans’ success over the past two weeks is Young has been able to protect the football and not commit any turnovers while relying on Chris Johnson to make the big plays and score points.

Oakland Raiders26. (26) 2-6-0 The Raiders are expecting four starters to return to the lineup this week, including wide receiver Chaz Schilens and running back Darren McFadden. However, I’m more interested to see how the Tom Cable story plays out for the rest of the season.

Washington Redskins27. (27) 2-6-0 Will good news ever come out of Washington? Just when Redskins fans thought things couldn’t get any worse, Clinton Portis suffers a concussion.

Kansas City Chiefs28. (28) 1-7-0 One step in the right direction for the Chiefs with the release of disgruntled running back Larry Johnson. Great chance for the Chiefs to get their second win of the season this week against Oakland.

St. Louis Rams29. (29) 1-6-0 The Rams have one of the worst defenses in the league and will play the Saints in week 10. St. Louis has trouble putting pressure on the passer, and with Drew Brees having all kinds of time back in the pocket, I don’t like the Rams’ chances of getting their second win of the season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers30. (32) 1-7-0 After getting their first win, will the Bucs wear those creamsicle uniforms for the rest of the season? I hope so.

Detroit Lions31. (30) 1-7-0 Growing pains were expected from No. 1 overall draft pick Matthew Stafford. The Lions need to concentrate more on ways to help Stafford improve and less on winning games.

Cleveland Browns32. (31) 1-7-0 With the way things are being run in Cleveland, the Browns could continue to be a horrendous team into the next millennium.

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