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Week 10 NFL power rankings: Ravens create distance at No. 1, Falcons and Bills drop after Week 9

The Week 9 NFL schedule featured enticing matchups between the Miami Dolphins vs Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys vs Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills vs Kansas City Chiefs. With the best NFL teams in 2023 going head to head, our Week 10 NFL power rankings got a makeover.

Sunday morning started with the Dolphins nearly completing a 21-point comeback in Germany against the Chiefs. A few hours later, the Cowboys vs Eagles and Bills vs Bengals matchups were just as thrilling. Of course, those were just a handful of games fans enjoyed in Week 9.

Related: Week 10 fantasy rankings

Let’s dive into our latest NFL power rankings after Week 9.

Week 10 NFL power rankings: Worst NFL teams

32. Arizona Cardinals

  • Previously: 32nd in NFL power rankings

The Arizona Cardinals are at the bottom of the NFL power rankings, just like everyone predicted they would be at the halfway point of the season. Now, things get interesting. Clayton Tune clearly isn’t a starting-caliber quarterback, but he would all but secure Arizona the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. With Kyler Murray and James Conner on the brink of returning, however, the Cardinals have some decisions to make.

Related: 2024 NFL mock draft

31. Carolina Panthers

  • Previously: 29th in NFL power rankings

At the very least, it’s evident the Carolina Panthers made a mistake choosing Bryce Young over C.J. Stroud. It was a fairly reasonable decision at the time, but the Panthers’ foundation around Young has only worsened his issues. Without a first-round pick in 2024, it now becomes a question of how this same front office builds an effective offense around Young.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft order: Picks by team, Draft order

30. New York Giants

  • Previously: 28th in NFL power rankings

If New York Giants fans and Brian Daboll thought it was bad before, things are going to get so much worse. Daniel Jones (ACL tear) is lost for the season and the Giants inexplicably seem to believe Tommy DeVito is a better option than any free-agent quarterback who is looking for work. Perhaps that’s intentional because this season has also proven New York’s roster needs an overwhelming amount of work.

Related: College Football Playoff picture, CFP rankings

29. New England Patriots

  • Previously: 27th in NFL power rankings

Believe it or not, there’s a positive to take away from the 2023 New England Patriots season. Mac Jones has left no doubt that he is not the long-term answer and the Patriots don’t even have to think about that fifth-year option. Another positive, Week 9 showcased that Rhamondre Stevenson can be a building block for this offense once they find a solid quarterback and build an offensive line.

28. Green Bay Packers

  • Previously: 31st in NFL power rankings

The Green Bay Packers won. It was against a team starting a backup quarterback and running back, but the Packers won a football game. Not only that, Jordan Love looked a little better and Aaron Jones was made the focal point of the offense. Will it last? Only time will tell, but we’ll hold off on buying stock in the Packers until they beat a healthier football team.

Related: Why it’s time for the Green Bay Packers to clean house

27. Las Vegas Raiders

  • Previously: 30th in NFL power rankings

That’s why you make Antonio Pierce the interim coach. While the Las Vegas Raiders certainly benefitted from facing Tommy DeVito, we’ve seen this team fall short in winnable games against backup quarterbacks. Firing McDaniels cost Mark Davis a lot of money, but it all makes sense when you read what happened in that locker room before McDaniels left and after Pierce took over.

Related: Las Vegas Raiders coaching candidates

26. Los Angeles Rams

  • Previously: 24th in NFL power rankings

On the one hand, the absences of Matthew Stafford and Kyren Williams certainly cost the Los Angeles Rams in Week 9. However, it’s also becoming apparent that this team is much closer to its national preseason expectations than the one that stunned the football world by beating the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1. Of course, the benefit of that is the Rams will finally have a top pick in Round 1. That’s a win.

Related: With Playoffs Almost Out Of Reach, Is It Tank Season For Rams?

25. Chicago Bears

  • Previously: 26th in NFL power rankings

We’re feeling better about the Chicago Bears’ future with each passing week. While the contract was hefty, adding a premier pass rusher only cost Chicago a second-round pick. Plus, Bears fans have had the pleasure of witnessing new names emerge as core pieces for the future. While a new head coach still feels necessary, there are very few NFL teams better positioned to turn things around with draft assets, cap space and young talent.

Related: 7 cities interested in landing Chicago Bears

23. Tennessee Titans

  • Previously: 22nd in NFL power rankings

Any speculation of the Tennessee Titans trading Mike Vrabel to the Patriots in 2024 needs to stop. There are very, very few NFL head coaches capable of getting more out of less than Vrabel has in Tennessee. Trading him would be a mistake. Tennessee needs to stay the course and just keep building toward tomorrow with Vrabel creating the team culture to build from.

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22. Indianapolis Colts

  • Previously: 23rd in NFL power rankings

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times. The Indianapolis Colts’ arrow is pointed to the sky with head coach Shane Steichen. He’s on a trajectory that could make him one of the 10 best NFL head coaches by 2025. While a Week 9 victory didn’t show us anything new, Steichen’s teams keep finding ways to win even when his offense hits some potholes.

Related: NFL stadium rankings

21. Washington Commanders

  • Previously: 25th in NFL power rankings

This move feels temporary for the Washington Commanders. In Week 9, a defense that has been one of the worst in football faced an offense with even bigger problems. The end result was a narrow Commanders’ victory, just like what happened against the Cardinals and Broncos in September. We tend to believe this team is a lot closer to the one that is 2-5 since mid-September than its 4-5 record entering Week 10.

Related: Washington Commanders coaching candidates

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Previously: 20th in NFL power rankings

If you’ll notice, the rumors of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers potentially being open to extending Baker Mayfield have stopped. This was always a patchwork team and while its early success this season provided some hope for the fan base, there were just too many structural issues to ignore. From 2-0 to 3-5, the Buccaneers’ ship is sinking quickly.

Related: NFL reportedly unlikely to allow Jim Harbaugh return without discipline

NFL power rankings after Week 9: Falcons and Bills’ issues

19. New York Jets

  • Previously: 18th in NFL power rankings

Robert Saleh is right, that wasn’t the worst showing of Zach Wilson’s career, but that also says a lot about Wilson. Based on the state the New York Jets’ offensive line is right now, regardless of their record by December, Aaron Rodgers’ return months ahead of schedule from the Achilles injury would be inviting far more risk to his availability for 2024.

18. Denver Broncos

  • Previously: 21st in NFL power rankings

Why are the Denver Broncos moving up multiple spots after a bye week? It’s simple. Before the bye, Russell Wilson had a 7-2 TD-INT ratio with a 98.6 QB rating, while Denver’s defense held its last four opponents to a 3-5 TD-INT line with an 80.5 QB rating and just 218 pass ypg allowed. Denver is finally turning things around and it might have just enough to keep the Buffalo Bills on upset alert in Week 10.

17. Atlanta Falcons

  • Previously: 14th in NFL power rankings

One of two things seems to be going on with the Atlanta Falcons. Either head coach Arthur Smith is trying to prove a point by specifically making his hand-picked players to become the focal points of his offense or there’s a disconnect between the front office and head coach. One thing is evident, no team does a better job getting less out of its premium skill players than the Falcons’ offense.

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16. Minnesota Vikings

  • Previously: 19th in NFL power rankings

Without a single practice rep and no time to work with his new teammates to learn the offense, Joshua Dobbs came off the bench and rallied the Minnesota Vikings to a victory. Things like this are the very reason why millions of people love football. Is it sustainable? Doubtful. But after already encountering so many hurdles this year, the Vikings fought for and earned that victory in Week 9.

Related: Is Kevin O’Connell The Next Great NFL Coach?

15. Houston Texans

  • Previously: 17th in NFL power rankings

Just when we start to pull away from the Houston Texans, they draw us back in. C.J. Stroud isn’t just the obvious Rookie of the Year pick in 2023, he’s quickly becoming a top-12 quarterback in the NFL. Houston traded away its franchise quarterback early in the 2022 offseason and they’ve already replaced him with a superior option. Winning the AFC South isn’t happening in 2023, but 2024 is a very real possibility.

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14. Los Angeles Chargers

  • Previously: 16th in NFL power rankings

We’ll give credit to the Los Angeles Chargers for easily winning two winnable games, which hasn’t always been a guarantee from Brandon Staley’s clubs. Still, this team is 4-4 and has upcoming matchups against the Lions, Ravens, Broncos (twice), Bills and Chiefs. Realistically, we’re looking at an eight-loss team.

13. New Orleans Saints

  • Previously: 13th in NFL defense rankings

At long last, we might finally have a team in the NFC South that is ready to take control of the division. The New Orleans Saints are the only team in the division with a positive point differential and that’s typically a positive sign of what’s to come. With matchups against the Vikings and Falcons looming, New Orleans has a shot to enter December with its destiny in its hands.

13. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Previously: 15th in NFL power rankings

The Pittsburgh Steelers rarely make sense. We’ll put things into perspective. Coming out of Week 9, there are 14 NFL teams with a point differential of -10 or worse. Of that group, the Steelers are the only one with a winning record. This shouldn’t be happening. Yet, Mike Tomlin and the Steelers’ defense defy the numbers and make it a reality. We can’t even say whether or not it’s sustainable in the second half of the season because Pittsburgh keeps defying norms.

Related: NFL coaching hot seat

12. Buffalo Bills

  • Previously: 11th in NFL power rankings

The Buffalo Bills are not a Super Bowl contender right now. Of far greater concern than that, however, their long-term cap restraints mean this season might’ve been the last legitimate shot at the Lombardi Trophy. Josh Allen now alternates between MVP-caliber former and his reckless days, which is something an aging and injury-ravaged Bills’ defense can’t afford. This is why nailing draft picks is so crucial and whiffs on top-60 picks are one of the biggest reasons why the Bills are collapsing in front of our eyes.

Related: NFL QB rankings

11. Seattle Seahawks

  • Previously: 9th in NFL power rankings

The Seattle Seahawks keep going back-and-forth between an impressive win followed by an ugly loss. Of course, that also tends to be what happens when you face four of the best NFL teams in 2023. All things considered, 5-3 with the Commanders and Rams on deck is a good place for the Seahawks to be.

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Week 10 NFL power rankings: Best NFL teams 2023

10. Cleveland Browns

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns
Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: No. 12 in NFL power rankings

We’re putting that victory on the shoulders of the Cleveland Browns’ defense, again. On a Sunday when the Browns’ offense averaged just 4.6 yards per play and went 6-for-17 on third downs, Cleveland’s defense held Arizona to 1.2 yards per play and 1-for-12 on third downs. We’d legitimately be looking at a top-three NFL team if Nick Chubb was healthy and the Browns had a Pro Bowl quarterback.

9. Dallas Cowboys

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: No. 8 in NFL power rankings

In a game of inches, the Dallas Cowboys came up just short. Dak Prescott balled out on Sunday, playing like someone who would’ve generated well-earned MVP buzz if not for a few blades of grass. Even the Cowboys’ defense surpassed our expectations, considering some of the woes in coverage since the Trevon Diggs’ injury. Moral victories don’t exist for Super Bowl contenders, but what the Cowboys displayed in Week 9 led us to believe more in this team’s chances than we did before.

Related: NFL Schedule

8. San Francisco 49ers

Syndication: The Enquirer
Albert Cesare/The Enquier / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • Previously: No. 10 in NFL power rankings

This is it for the San Francisco 49ers. From Nov. 12- Dec. 10, San Francisco faces four teams in the top-12 of our NFL power rankings, with three of those dates coming on the road. On Christmas Day, the 49ers also take on the best team in the NFL (Baltimore Ravens). By the end of December, we’ll either view the 49ers as the Super Bowl favorite or a team destined for an early playoff exit.

7. Miami Dolphins

Syndication: USA TODAY
  • Previously: 6th in NFL power rankings

Yes, the Miami Dolphins lost to another team with a winning record. It’s a concerning trend, especially when you examine just how poorly this offense has performed against physical teams. Yet, our biggest question coming into Week 9 was Miami’s defense. Question answered. With Jalen Ramsey and Jevon Holland out there, the Dolphins’ defense is good enough to step up when the offense falters.

Related: NFL Playoff predictions

6. Jacksonville Jaguars

Syndication: Florida Times-Union
Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • Previously: 7th in NFL power rankings

The Jacksonville Jaguars want some respect nationally, here’s their opportunity. There are no excuses for either the 49ers or Jaguars coming off the bye week, both teams should be fairly health. If Jacksonville comes out on top, we’ll start hearing about the Jaguars as a threat to dethrone the Chiefs.

Related: NFL expert picks

5. Detroit Lions

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
  • Previously: 3rd in NFL power rankings

There’s nothing but green grass in front of the Detroit Lions. Returning from the bye week, Detroit gets to face Los Angeles (Chargers), Chicago, Green Bay, New Orleans, Chicago, Denver and Minnesota before the end of December. The Lions should be favored in each of those games and while a trip to New Orleans is challenging, our expectations for the Lions are high enough now that the bar is set at no more than three losses when they face Dallas on Dec. 30.

4. Cincinnati Bengals

Syndication: The Enquirer
Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • Previously: No. 5 in NFL power rankings

The Cincinnati Bengals offense is back and so is Joe Burrow. Frankly, the margin of victory on Sunday Night Football felt closer than the game itself. Cincinnati has now taken down two perceived heavyweights in the NFL. If the Bengals can somehow find a way to do the same to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football in Week 11, the No. 1 spot awaits.

3. Kansas City Chiefs

NFL: Frankfurt Games-Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: No. 4 in NFL power rankings

The Kansas City Chiefs defense is more than capable of helping this team repeat as Super Bowl champions. If the offense doesn’t dig itself out of this dry spell soon, however, Kansas City won’t give its defense a shot to win the Lombardi in a winner-take-all game. Unfortunately for Chiefs Kingdom, it’s starting to feel like the receiving corps is what will ultimately hold this team back.

Related: NFL offense rankings

2. Philadelphia Eagles

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: No. 2 in NFL power rankings

At some point, the Philadelphia Eagles secondary needs to correct its problems. We were willing to provide some benefit of the doubt and time after the Kevin Byard trade, but the Eagles’ secondary has now allowed over 600 passing yards and six touchdowns in the last two games. Defense wins championships and if we’re thinking about a potential Super Bowl matchup, Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow and Patrick Mahomes all pick this Eagles’ secondary apart. If Philadelphia finds a way to fix its pass defense, this is the best team in football.

1. Baltimore Ravens

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Baltimore Ravens
Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: No. 1 in NFL power rankings

The Baltimore Ravens are the best team in the NFL and the gap only got wider in Week 9. Put Lamar Jackson in a shootout with the best offenses in the league, he’ll go punch-for-punch with them. Of course, that’s rarely necessary. The Ravens have the best NFL defense in 2023 and when you combine that with an MVP quarterback, phenomenal coaching and elite special teams, you’ve got the best NFL team in 2023.

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