NFL Power Rankings Week 10: Chargers Exposed, Panthers Ascend

5 of 5

SLR’s Week 8 NFL Power Rankings: The Top 8

Nov 3, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley (22) is congratulated after his touchdown by head coach Bill Belichick in the second half at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Steelers 55-31. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

8. Carolina Panthers  (5-3) ▲4

I may have suspected the Panthers of being imposters last week. I’m not yet sure I’m wrong, and they have a couple of tough games to prove themselves coming up. But for now, there isn’t much more they can be doing. They’re winning convincingly and getting contributions from every phase of the game.

7. New England Patriots (7-2) ▲2

Uh-oh. Was that just a bad Steelers defense, or is that what the Patriots’ offense looks like when recognizable players (Gronkowski, Amendola) are playing? Maybe both? They look like they’ll get Shane Vereen back after the bye, as well. They might be a candidate for a second half push. Which is scary since they’ve already won seven games.

6. New Orleans Saints (6-2) ▼2

The Saints are getting to that point all good teams reach where opponents start cracking the code. The Bills pushed them around last week, and the Jets finally busted through. Now they have to start making adjustments. It may not seem like it to look at the stat sheet, but Darren Sproles has a huge impact on that offense.

5. San Francisco 49ers (6-2) ▲2

They have to be looking at the Seahawks struggling to put away the Rams late and the Bucs in overtime and taking notes. Soon, they’ll have a chance to put those gameplans into action, only with way more talent.

4. Seattle Seahawks (7-1) ▲1

They beat the Rams on a goal-line stand, then followed that up by falling into a 21-point hole to the 0-8 Bucs. Winning is good, but this isn’t what we’re used to seeing from these guys. Russell Wilson doesn’t look comfortable at all right now, and the offensive line might be a big reason why.

3. Indianapolis Colts (6-2) ▼2

Maybe they could have taken a second or three to actually game plan for Houston? Because it seemed like the plan was to let Case Keenum roll out at will, and let Andre Johnson run down the field unchecked. Luckily, they fixed that plan at halftime, and while they’re going to miss Reggie Wayne, it seems it’s finally time for T.Y. Hilton to get some of the recognition (and targets) he deserves.

2.  Denver Broncos (7-1) ▲1

It’s going to be an interesting second half for the Broncos. Now that Peyton Manning has come down from posting video game numbers to just posting plain old league-leading numbers, they look somewhat vulnerable. But here comes that defense.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (9-0) NC

Everybody looks like they have a chance, but nobody can beat them. Nine times in a row, do you really think that’s just luck? If you want to call them the worst 9-0 team of all time, at least acknowledge that the worst 9-0 team of all time is still really good.