NFL Power Rankings Week 10: Chargers Exposed, Panthers Ascend

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SLR’s Week 8 NFL Power Rankings: 16-9

Nov 3, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) is pressured by New York Jets outside linebacker Quinton Coples during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

16. Arizona Cardinals (4-4) ▼1

Any chance they can find a new offensive line during the bye week? That might be their only chance to become a major player in the playoff picture.

15. Tennessee Titans (4-4) ▲1

That was a hard-fought win over a scrappy Rams team. Now they’re back to .500, and can think about a playoff run. If Chris Johnson can play like that for the rest of the season, they’re that much better off. I wouldn’t count on it, though.

14. Dallas Cowboys (5-4) ▼1

Two weeks, two last-second victories. Not both for them, of course. They lost to the Lions at the last moment, then pulled out a victory over the Vikings after it looked like Tony Romo had Romo’d the game away. So the good news is they won. The bad news is they were a few seconds from dropping a game to a 1-7 team and falling under .500.

13. New York Jets (5-4) ▲4

It’s hard to argue with beating the Saints, but seriously, who are these guys? Their wins (Saints, Patriots) look great, but then they go and lose to Pittsburgh, or drop a 49-9 stinker to Cincinnati. They’re dangerous, at the very least. The Saints and Patriots both have two losses, and the Jets account for one each.

12. Green Bay Packers (5-3) ▼4

The loss isn’t the big issue here. The issue here is the health of Aaron Rodgers. If he’s okay, so are the Packers. If he misses time, the Packers are in trouble. Thank goodness for them they found Eddie Lacy to help carry the offense just in case.

11. Chicago Bears (5-3) ▲2

People will talk about Aaron Rodgers being the reason the Packers lost that game, but give the Bears credit. Aaron Rodgers wouldn’t have been out there to stop a nine-minute drive in the fourth quarter, in which the Bears effectively iced the game. It looks like Jay Cutler will return for a big tilt with the Lions at home next week, but with as well as Josh McCown has played… does he really need to rush back? Is this about his job?

10. Detroit Lions (5-3) NC

It’s a good time for the Lions to have a bye. A number of their players have injuries of varying degrees, and with Ryan Broyles down for the season (again), they’ll need to figure out what their receiver situation looks like (again) after Calvin Johnson.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (6-3) ▼3

Bad Andy Dalton made his triumphant return on Thursday night, turning the ball over and making generally bad decisions. The Bengals are supremely talented, but they’ll only go as far as Dalton takes them. Losing Geno Atkins for the season is a huge blow that will hit the entire defense.