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NFL power rankings Week 10, 2018: The Saints go marching to the top

The Rams have been dethroned!

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

We have a shakeup at the top of the power rankings! The NFL’s last undefeated team was handed its first loss of the season as the New Orleans Saints beat the Los Angeles Rams, 45-35. These teams now rank one (the Saints) and two (the Rams) in our Week 10 NFL power rankings.

The top of the order

The Patriots and Chiefs both moved down one spot, but more because of the Saints’ recent dominance than anything else. Those three teams along with the Rams are clearly separating from the pack and the 6-2 Chargers aren’t far behind, coming in at No. 5 on the rankings after their 25-17 win over the Seahawks. The Chargers will have another chance to beat the Chiefs in Week 15. LA lost by 10 to Kansas City in Week 1.

The Steelers, Panthers, and Bears didn’t move since last week in the power rankings, but they all won again this week, maintaining their spots from six to eight respectively. The Steelers’ win over the Ravens was big for the AFC North race, but the Bengals are just a half-game behind the Steelers. The Panthers are following closely behind the 7-1 Saints and as great as New Orleans has looked, Carolina is impressive, too.

As for the Bears, their grasp of first place in the NFC North is weak. They have the Vikings on their tails and it’s too soon to count out any team from winning that division. Except for the Lions ... maybe.

Notable movers

The Texans keep winning, though their most recent victory over the Broncos came more because of bad coaching by Denver head coach Vance Joseph than anything else. With that said, the Texans have a noteworthy lead in the AFC South and are heading toward the playoffs.

The Vikings’ win over the Lions lifted them two spots. Kirk Cousins didn’t play his best game, but the Vikings defense notched 10 sacks, which was enough to effectively limit Matthew Stafford and Detroit’s offense.

The Falcons are rising a few spots following their win over Washington; don’t look now, but Atlanta is back in the playoff hunt.

Washington is headed in the opposite direction after Atlanta handed them that 38-14 loss. Making matters worse for Washington is a number of significant injuries. It was announced Monday that three starters suffered season-ending injuries in Week 9. Guards Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao along with wide receiver Paul Richardson are headed to injured reserve. Scherff tore his pectoral muscle, Lauvao tore his ACL, and Richardson has a knee injury in addition to a shoulder injury that he’s been dealing with since the summer.

The Ravens are also slumping while on a three-game losing streak that leads them into their bye week. After the bye, they’ll host the Bengals and Raiders before traveling to take on the Falcons and Chiefs.

You can’t fault the Packers too much for losing to the Patriots, but New England was far superior and Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense are not clicking. Elsewhere, the Dolphins beat the Jets, but it wasn’t inspiring.

The bottom half

The 49ers are climbing above a few other bottom-feeders thanks to an impressive debut from Nick Mullens in San Francisco’s win over the NFL’s worst team, the Oakland Raiders. The Bills — who have not had a passing touchdown since Week 6 when Nathan Peterman threw one touchdown and two interceptions in a loss to the Texans — are bad, but the Raiders are worse.

How, you ask? The Raiders scored just three points and totaled 242 yards against a subpar 49ers defense allowing 26.6 points and 351.7 yards per game. It’s looking like Jon Gruden should fulfill his claim of returning the Raiders their $100 million, because he’s making it clear he “can’t get it done.” Not in the short-term, at least.

The Cowboys also fell this week after losing on Monday Night Football to the Titans. Dallas started the game hot but fizzled out slowly and completely disappeared in the second half. The Eagles didn’t play this week but had a great bye week due to losses from both Washington and Dallas.

The bottom five teams heading into Week 10 are the Browns, Cardinals, Giants, Bills, and Cardinals; these teams are essentially fighting for draft positioning for the next eight weeks.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 10

Ranking Team Last Week
Ranking Team Last Week
1 New Orleans Saints 4
2 Los Angeles Rams 1
3 New England Patriots 2
4 Kansas City Chiefs 3
5 Los Angeles Chargers 5
6 Pittsburgh Steelers 6
7 Carolina Panthers 7
8 Chicago Bears 8
9 Houston Texans 12
10 Philadelphia Eagles 10
11 Minnesota Vikings 13
12 Washington 9
13 Cincinnati Bengals 14
14 Baltimore Ravens 11
15 Green Bay Packers 15
16 Miami Dolphins 18
17 Indianapolis Colts 17
18 Tennessee Titans 19
19 Seattle Seahawks 16
20 Atlanta Falcons 22
21 Detroit Lions 20
22 Denver Broncos 21
23 Jacksonville Jaguars 23
24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26
25 New York Jets 25
26 Dallas Cowboys 24
27 San Francisco 49ers 31
28 Cleveland Browns 27
29 Arizona Cardinals 28
30 New York Giants 30
31 Buffalo Bills 29
32 Oakland Raiders 32