NFL Week 10 Power Rankings: Bears stagnant as Fields shines
|Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 10:09 AM- -|
We're halfway through the 2021 NFL season, and it has not been disappointing. This year may look a bit different, with 17 games in 18 weeks and seven teams in each league earning a playoff berth. Nonetheless, we won't have a week without football until February 2022, and we couldn't be more excited to cover another year of NFL football. We at Bears HQ decided to give our power rankings ahead of the NFL's 10th week.
Spoiler alert, if you were a first-place team, week nine was not kind to you.
*We decided to explain the top 16 and the Bears*
1. Arizona Cardinals 8-1 (up one spot)
Nine weeks into the NFL season, and the Cardinals are 9-1, riding a potent pass rush and an electric offense to their success so far. Instead of making excuses for why the Cardinals are winning, maybe JJ Watt is right in saying, "Maybe we're just better." They are in one of the hardest divisions in the NFL but have looked like a playoff team thus far, beating the Titans, Vikings, Jaguars, Rams, 49ers, the Browns, and the Texans this past week. They probably should have beaten the depleted Packers last week as well, but winning over the 49ers without Kyler Murray solidifies number 1.
2. Tennessee Titans 7-2 (up six spots)
The Titans are the reigning AFC South champion. They have made the playoffs in consecutive seasons — oh, and they've added Julio Jones to an offense that already had Ryan Tannehill, AJ Brown, and Derrick Henry, who just ran for over 2,000 yards. In 2021, no team is going to be looking forward to playing the Titans. The Titans' 2021 season got off to a tough start, though, getting blown out by the Cardinals, but they rebounded nicely with a come-from-behind win over the Seahawks and a solid win over the Colts before dropping to the New York Jets in week four. Beating the Jaguars, Bills, Chiefs, Colts, and now Rams in consecutive weeks raises the Titans to the top two.
3. Buffalo Bills 5-3 (down two spots)
It may have surprised some people last year, but the Buffalo Bills being one of the league's best teams this season should come as no surprise. Buffalo is led by superstar QB Josh Allen and a brilliant coaching staff. The Steelers gave the Bills some trouble in week one, but after dominating the Dolphins, the Washington Football Team, the Texans, and the reigning AFC Champion Chiefs, they were the top team in the NFL, I believe. But losing to the Titans and Jaguars since a win over Miami in between puts the Bills at 3.
4. Los Angeles Rams 7-2 (down one spot)
The LA Rams may be the most improved team of the offseason just because of their upgrade at QB. Instead of Jared Goff, the Rams have Matthew Stafford leading their speedy offense — and of course, still have Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald on the defensive side of the ball. The new-look Rams are 4-1 to show for it, losing to the Cardinals and including an impressive beat down of the reigning champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Rams blew out the Giants, Lions, and Texans to keep the third spot but lost on Sunday night to the Titans, dropping them to 4.
5. Baltimore Ravens 6-2 (up two spots)
The Ravens quietly have one of the league's best rosters. Despite not winning the division in 2020 and being in one of the NFL's hardest divisions, the Ravens boast a legit chance to win a Super Bowl behind a star quarterback in Lamar Jackson and a defense that consists of the best secondary in the sport. The Ravens lost a stunner in week one against the Vegas Raiders, and the schedule won't ease up for a while, but they are certainly a top 10 team despite their injuries. Beating the Chiefs in primetime, defeating the Lions, handling the Broncos, storming from behind to beat the Colts, and blowing out the Chargers lock that in without a doubt. The Ravens fell out of the top five after losing to the Bengals but are right back in it after beating the Vikings in come from behind fashion again.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-2 (down one spot) COMING OFF BYE
It's hard not to rank Tampa Bay in the top five in our rankings. First and foremost, the Bucs are our reigning Super Bowl Champion — and they did not lose a single starter over the offseason. The Bucs have a roster construction to win another Super Bowl, and Tom Brady is never content. But after dropping one to the LA Rams, the Bucs fell to number two. Despite winning against the Patriots in Tom Brady's return to Foxborough and then the Dolphins, the Bucs fell one spot because of the Cardinals and Bills' dominance. Getting past the Eagles, blowing out the Bears but then losing to the Saints drops Tampa to number 6.
7. Green Bay Packers 7-2 (down three spots)
For most of the offseason, the Packers were one of the most questionable teams — and it all depended on reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers. Well, he's back… but the Packers were thumped by the Saints in week one, dropping the Packers out of the top 5. A dominating win on Monday Night Football over the Lions, a come from behind win over the 49ers, a dominating win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night, a narrow win over the Bengals, and a beat down of the Bears should be enough to defend the Packers being near the top 5. The Packers get into the top-5 after beating the Washington Football team and the previously undefeated Cardinals. But, more quarterback controversy regarding Aaron Rodgers and his vaccinated caused the Packers to be without him this past week and has now dropped them to seven.
8. Dallas Cowboys 6-2 (down two spots)
Dallas is flying under the radar this offseason. Still, a healthy offensive line plus Dak Prescott back from injury leaves Dallas with one of the best offenses in the NFL (which includes Ezekiel Elliot, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup.) The defense is still the clear weakness of this team but has been much better in 2021 — with Trevion Diggs leading the way with seven interceptions. The Cowboys gave the Bucs a tough fight in week one and did not lose until this past week, a disappointing loss to Denver.
9. Los Angeles Chargers 5-3 (no change)
LA might have had the best offseason in the AFC. Justin Herbert is coming off of an impressive campaign in which he won Rookie of the Year, and the Chargers have added to his offensive line - while also making some key acquisitions to the defense, the team's weakness in 2020. That, plus some opt-outs and injuries back, leave the Chargers with one of the most talented and intriguing rosters in 2021. It wasn't particularly pretty, but the Chargers gutted out an impressive week one win and took a hard to swallow week two loss against Dallas, but handling the Kansas City Chiefs and earning a win in week three, beating the Las Vegas Raiders in prime time and winning a shootout over Cleveland solidified LA as a top 5 team for me. With a chance to prove that, LA lost to the Ravens, handily, and then the Patriots and now stands at nine after beating the Eagles this week.
10. Kansas City Chiefs 5-4 (up three spots)
It would be hard to imagine the Chiefs falling out of the top 10 this season so long as Patrick Mahomes is healthy. This team easily boasts one of the best offenses in the league — while also adding to an offensive line that was exposed in the Super Bowl last year. Keep an eye on a motivated Chiefs team this season, especially after losing week two to the Ravens and in week three to the Chargers. The Chiefs got back on track against the Eagles but then suffered a blowout loss to the Bills in week five. The Chiefs rebounded nicely with a strong win over Washington but fell again to the Titans before beating the Giants narrowly and the Rodgersless Packers.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers 5-3 (up three spots)
The Steelers have cracked back into our top 11 after strong wins over the Broncos, Seahawks, Browns, and Bears. The recipe may not be pretty with Ben Roethlisberger aging, but the Steelers have figured out how to make their offense work with their tremendous defense. They are in a very tough division in the AFC but are a top 16 team.
12. New England Patriots 5-4 (up three spots)
The New England Patriots are back in the top 15 after a pair of strong wins over the Jets, Chargers, and Panthers after narrowly losing to the Buccaneers and the Cowboys. Bill Bellichick still coaches this team, so you can never count them out.
13. Cleveland Browns 5-4 (up three spots)
Yes, you read that right. After years of being the NFL's laughing stock, the Cleveland Browns have constructed a roster good enough to win a division and make a run in the playoffs. The Browns displayed dominance in their week two win over Houston and their week three win over the Bears and their week four win over Minnesota, and this team has all the makings of a top 10 team in the NFL. After two straight losses, the Browns fell out of the top ten, but a gusty win over the Broncos keeps them in the top 16. A narrow loss to the Steelers won't help their cause, but a strong win over the Bengals will. The team will be without OBJ, but it may not matter.
14. New Orleans Saints 5-3 (down three spots)
The Saints are back in our top 16 after a nice win over the Washington Football Team. The team has a much different identity than Drew Brees as the quarterback, but the Saints have been able to win games. Jameis Winston and the offense has some explosiveness, and the defense has been solid. Wins over the Packers, Patriots, Football Team, Seahawks, and most recently the Buccaneers put the Saints on the brink of the top ten. However, losing the Falcons will drop them to 14 — although they did start their third-string quarterback.
15. Cincinnati Bengals 5-4 (down three spots)
Joe Burrow and the Bengals are off to a great start this season. Their losses have come in a game that Burrow threw interceptions of three straight plays, one where their kicker missed the game-winner twice and a stunner against the Jets. The defense may have holes, but the offense is loaded with weapons — including Ja'Mar Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd, a three-headed monster of receivers for Joe Burrow to throw to. Wins over the Steelers, Vikings, Jaguars, Lions, and now Ravens put the Bengals as a top 10 team, but their consecutive losses to the Jets and Browns knock them down a peg.
16. Las Vegas Raiders 5-3 (down six spots)
If you want to talk about the grittiest team in the NFL, the Raiders deserve to be in that conversation. The Raiders were touchdown underdogs in week one against the Raves and week two against the Steelers — two of the toughest teams in the sport. To everyone's surprise, the Raiders pulled off wins. After starting 3-0, the team lost its next two before stringing together a pair of wins. However, with all of the coaching turmoil and bad publicity after Henry Ruggs' drunk driving incident that led to a death, the Raiders also lost a football game to the Giants this week — dropping them to 16.
17. Denver Broncos 5-4 (up five spots)
18. Indianapolis Colts 4-5 (up two spots)
19. Minnesota Vikings 3-5 (no change)
20. Carolina Panthers 4-5 (up one spot)
21. Seattle Seahawks 3-5 (down four spots) Coming off BYE
22. San Francisco 49ers 3-5 (down three spots)
23. Atlanta Falcons 4-4 (up two spots)
24. Chicago Bears 3-6 (no change).
It's been up and down for the Bears, with ugly losses against the Rams and the Browns. But in week four, Matt Nagy handed over play-calling to Bill Lazor, and the Bears looked like a much different, better team since. However, back-to-back-to-back losses to Green Bay, Tampa Bay and San Francisco where the Bears offensive line could not protect Justin Fields are wildly concerning. The Bears looked much better against the Steelers in week 9, and Fields was fantastic, but it was not enough for the win.
25. New York Giants 3-6 (up one spot)
26. Philadelphia Eagles 3-6 (down three spots)
27. Washington Football Team 2-6 (no change) COMING OFF BYE
28. New York Jets 2-6 (no change)
29. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-6 (up two spots)
30. Miami Dolphins 2-7 (down one spot)
31. Houston Texans 1-8 (down one spot)
32. Detroit Lions 0-8 (no change) COMING OFF BYE
Stay tuned as we update these rankings every week.