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WEEI NFL Power Rankings, Week 10: Patriots leap to No. 6 heading into bye week

11.05.13 at 10:02 am ET

A bizarre week in the NFL has concluded, and it’s time to digest exactly we saw. The Broncos and Texans witnessed their coaches have serious health issues. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are making national headlines for the wrong reasons. The spotlight will be on all three of these teams to see how they react to some very unfortunate circumstances.

The Seahawks‘ control of the top spot remains intact after a dramatic comeback victory over the winless Buccaneers. In fact, the entire top five stays the same. The Chiefs are undefeated but still stuck at No. 5 as they’ve benefited from an extremely easy schedule the first half of the season.

The Patriots, Bears and Jets all creep higher after impressive wins in Week 9. The Ravens (19) and Falcons (23) are two playoff teams from 2012 that continue to slide.

Who knows what’s in store for football fans in Week 10?

1. (1) Seahawks (8-1) — They’re the best in the league right now because they find a way to win week after week. Super Bowl-caliber teams win the close games, and the Seahawks do just that.

2. (2) Broncos (7-1) — We saw the Colts use the illness of their coach to inspire them last season. It will be interesting to see how John Fox‘s absence following heart surgery affects this talented Broncos team.

3. (3) Colts (6-2) —  You can never count out Andrew Luck and the Colts. The second-year QB continues to play like a poised veteran. Luck now has 10 game-winning drives in his young career.

 4. (4) 49ers (6-2) — Mario Manningham, Eric Wright and Aldon Smith all are set to return as the Niners come out of their bye week locked in a dogfight with the Seahawks in the NFC West.

5. (5) Chiefs (9-0) — The Chiefs still have a lot to prove. Two of their next three games are against the Broncos. Their opponents in their first nine games have a combined 27-49 record.

6. (9) Patriots (7-2) — Many questions surround the Patriots as they limp into their bye week. They have lost many key players on defense. Will they be able to overcome with their leaders missing?

7. (14) Bears (5-3) — The turnaround we’ve seen from the Bears offensive line from 2012 to 2013 has been the key factor in this team’s success. With Jay Cutler on the verge of returning and the possibility Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers won’t see the field in a while, Chicago has a great shot at winning the division. 

8. (6) Saints (6-2) — The Saints must find a way to establish a more balanced attack offensively. New Orleans running backs carried the ball just 11 times in Sunday’s loss to the Jets.

9. (8) Packers (5-3) — It was a “next man up” mentality in Green Bay, but not even the Packers will be able to overcome an injury to Aaron Rodgers. Depending on the severity of the injury, the Packers could drop out of the playoff race in a heartbeat. Early reports out of Green Bay indicate a broken collarbone.

10. (7) Bengals (6-3) — The loss of Geno Atkins hurts, but in a less-than-competitive division the Bengals seem to have the upper hand.

11. (15) Jets (5-4) — The Jets’ roller-coaster ride of a season has been fun to watch. No one expected Rex Ryan‘s team to be in the playoff hunt in November. However, Rex has coached up a ferocious defense that has beaten both Tom Brady and Drew Brees in the same season. 

12. (11) Lions (5-3) — In the thick of the NFC playoff race, the Lions will face just one team with a record over .500 the rest of the year.

13. (12) Cowboys (5-4) — There is such a thing in the NFL as an ugly win, and the Cowboys got one Sunday. They added another mark in the win column, but they allowed Christian Ponder to look like a capable quarterback. Dallas’ defense gave up 393 total yards to one of the worst offenses in the league. 

14. (16) Panthers (5-3) — Behind the arm of Cam Newton, the Panthers have won four straight games. Newton has thrown for seven touchdowns and rushed for three in that span.

15. (10) Chargers (4-4) — San Diego can’t afford to lose games against sub-.500 teams, not with two games each against the Broncos and Chiefs looming. The Chargers are in the playoff hunt, but they have to get back to converting on third down and protecting the football if they want an actual shot.

16. (17) Dolphins (4-4) — What Joe Philbin does in the coming days and weeks will define his time in Miami. The Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin situation has the potential to completely tear the locker room apart.

17. (19) Titans (4-4) — Jake Locker and the Titans are in the hunt for a wild card berth in the AFC. If they want to make it there they’ll need Chris Johnson and the run game to be as productive as it was Sunday against the Rams.

18. (21) Browns (4-5) — A 4-5 start is like Christmas morning to Browns fans. The Browns have averaged 4.6 wins per season the last five years. There’s finally hope in Cleveland.

19. (13) Ravens (3-5) — For years the Ravens’ success has been based upon the play of Ray Rice. He’s having the worst statistical year of his career and it’s no coincidence the Ravens are having one of the worst seasons they’ve seen in a long time.

20. (23) Eagles (4-5) — The most impressive statistic from the young Nick Foles is that he has yet to throw an interception. Protecting the ball and limiting turnovers is something Michael Vick has had trouble with since arriving in Philadelphia. 

21. (18) Cardinals (4-4) — Coming off their bye week, the Cardinals will face the beleaguered Texans in Week 10. Carson Palmer and the offense are hoping rookie running back Andre Ellington can build off his breakout game against the Falcons. The Cards desperately need a run game.

22. (24) Redskins (3-5) — The increased use and production from the run game is the reason why the Redskins have gone back to their winning ways. The ground game is opening up the passing attack and allowing Robert Griffin III to do just enough. 

23. (20) Falcons (2-6) —  The decline of the Falcons has been eye-opening. Some teams can withstand injuries at their skill positions. Atlanta clearly cannot.

24. (26) Giants (2-6) — Could the Giants make a run in the NFC East? Crazier things have happened. Plus, this team has the track record.

25. (25) Texans (2-6) —  The losing streak is at six as the Texans’ nightmare of a season continued Sunday night. Arian Foster can’t seem to stay healthy, and it has greatly affected this Houston offense.

26. (28) Rams (3-6) — Jeff Fisher can deny it all he wants, but the loss to the Titans hurt a little more than a normal defeat. 

 27. (22) Raiders (3-5) — With all due respect to Nick Foles, the Raiders allowed him to absolutely torch their defense and put up historic numbers. It’s not like it was Peyton Manning or Tom Brady or Drew Brees or even Aaron Rodgers. It was Nick Foles. WOW.

 28. (27) Steelers (2-6) — Ben Roethlisberger simply doesn’t look like the same quarterback we saw win two Super Bowls and lead his team to many victories. The current Roethlisberger looks shaky and unsure of himself, and he makes bad decisions with the football.

29. (29) Bills (3-6) — The imminent return of EJ Manuel should bring some stability at the quarterback position for the Bills. It’s important Doug Marrone‘s main focus in the last half of the season is to develop and progress the young QB

30. (30) Vikings (1-7) — The Vikings have mastered the art of losing. Close games, blowouts, they’ve done them all.

31. (31) Buccaneers (0-8) — Greg Schiano is at the top of the list of current NFL coaches who will be looking for work in the offseason. 

32. (32) Jaguars (0-8) — On the bright side, this was the first week this season the resting Jaguars didn’t lose.

Which NFL teams are in your top 10? Leave your opinions/comments below or send via Twitter to @JoeZWEEI.

Read More: aaron rodgers, Jonathan Martin, NFL Power Rankings, Rex Ryan



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