NFL Week Ten storylines to follow
The New York Jets were on a bye this week so hopefully, that gave their fans some time to find a new team to cheer for. If you remained a Jets fan, well just know your misery and unhappiness on Sundays is your fault. I’m kidding, next year might be better.
The NFL season is ten weeks in and we have absolutely no idea who a lot of these teams are right now. There are 11 NFL franchises with three losses and only three divisions appear to have a clear-cut winner. That is the Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC North), Kansas City Chiefs (AFC West), and the Green Bay Packers (NFC North).
That means the rest of the NFL is wide open for playoff seeding and division winners. It has been a weird year in a lot of ways in 2020, but who expected the Miami Dolphins to be 6-3 right now with a quarterback that makes play after play? It has been said for weeks here that they could win this division and their defense is a big part of that.
Drew Brees goes down with multiple fractured ribs on both sides along with a collapsed lung. The New Orleans Saints are currently leading their division but with Jameis Winston most likely getting the start moving forward, there is a possibility they lose it. This is a situation to keep an eye on moving forward for Drew Brees and the Saints.
The Seattle Seahawks have dropped their last two games and Russell Wilson is not looking like Russell Wilson. DK Metcalf was shut down by Jalen Ramsey on Sunday and nobody is talking about it. The Seahawks defense wanted no part in slowing down the Los Angeles Rams offense and it might be something they continue to struggle with moving forward. They have traveled across the country a lot this season and have at least two more trips to the east coast before the season ends. It could be a real possibility this team is just exhausted and playing in their division doesn’t help. Seattle needs a break but won’t be getting one anytime soon as they face the Arizona Cardinals again next week.
The Giants are winning the NFC East if they can keep up this type of play. Daniel Jones playing mistake-free football is fun to watch. He is making tight-window throws down the field and along the sideline time after time during games. The defense has been improving as the year goes on and deserves some recognition for it. It’s no secret the NFC East is a joke this season, but the Giants have a real opportunity at hosting a playoff game by the end of the year.
Drew Lock isn’t to blame for Denver’s struggles as of late. Yes, you never want to see your starting quarterback throw four interceptions in a game, but on two of them Lock was trying to make magic happen. He looked phenomenal at the start of this game and was making some great throws down the field and along the sideline to where only his guy could get it. The Broncos then put themselves in 3rd and long situations and look at Lock and go “Now get us out of it.” At times he does, then others he is running for his life trying to make it happen. The kid isn’t Patrick Mahomes, but if they can give him an offensive line that can pass protect and a defense that wants to stop the run, the Broncos have something there at quarterback. If only that was a simple fix for John Elway and the Denver Broncos.
The NFL has looked to have caught up with Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. Yes, the Ravens are dealing with some big injuries to their offensive and defensive line, but all of the blame can’t go to that. Jackson is showing his limitations right now and that’s throwing the ball outside the numbers down the field. He isn’t making adjustments at the line of scrimmage and it’s starting to appear that his offensive coordinator may not trust him.
The end of the game against the New England Patriots shows that. They have nearly 30 seconds to march down the field in the pouring rain and it looked like the Ravens were willing to walk off that field with a loss. It’s no easy task for any quarterback to march down the field in those conditions but other quarterbacks are going to throw the ball downfield and give their team a chance. Instead, Jackson dumps it off to his running back and then looks around for the next call to come in while the offense lines up wasted a ton of time. Lamar ends the game dancing in the pocket, then making an awkward throw to the right side of the field — another check down — on their last opportunity to seal the victory for the Patriots. Teams now realize that if they can get an early lead and not turn the ball over, the Ravens will not be able to fight their way back into it.
Below are my NFL Power Rankings after Week Ten.
32. NEW YORK JETS (0-9) — LAST WEEK 32
On a bye week. It will not change their place in rankings even though it wouldn’t have mattered.
31. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (1-8) — LAST WEEK 31
This season is a wash. Just pray for the New York Jets to get a win so Jacksonville can draft Trevor Lawrence.
30. DALLAS COWBOYS (2-7) — LAST WEEK 30
On a bye week. It will not change their place in rankings.
29. WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (2-7) — LAST WEEK 29
Alex Smith is a lock for comeback player of the year. After being on his deathbed, he gets his first start back in the NFL and nearly throws for 400 yards. It stinks to lose by a field goal, but it’s amazing to see Smith back out there doing what he loves.
28. CINCINNATI BENGALS (2-6-1) — LAST WEEK 26
The Bengals honestly did not stand a chance this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. That isn’t a knock on the Bengals either though, they just don’t have the manpower to match the Steelers weapons this season. They look decent when running the ball, but when it comes time to protecting Joe Burrow, don’t count on it.
27. HOUSTON TEXANS (2-7) — LAST WEEK 25
I feel bad for Deshaun Watson. Who knows how many times that has been said that this season but it’s gotta be a LOT. He makes play after play to ensure their offense stays on the field but they still hardly get anything out of it. It’s ridiculous, but it’s going to get much worse before it gets better in Houston.
26. NEW YORK GIANTS (3-7) — LAST WEEK 28
The New York football Giants are in the race for the NFC East. Yup, with only three wins through 10 weeks into the NFL season they have a chance at hosting an NFL playoff game. They have lost a lot of close games this season as they are a young team that is still learning how to win football games. If they can get things rolling, we may have ourselves a surprise winner in the East.
25. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (4-5) — LAST WEEK 27
My God, Bill Belichick is something else, huh? Just when you think their season is in ruins they come out and beat the Baltimore Ravens in primetime. The weather favored New England at the end of the game but so did their ability to get an early lead and control the pace. Belichick loves winning football games this way. The Patriots might not win the AFC East this year but that isn’t going to stop them from trying to win football games.
24. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (2-6) — LAST WEEK 24
What is going on with the Chargers? Their defense can not stop the run. Hell, they can’t stop the pass either. This defense stinks right now. Plus, it doesn’t help when special teams are making their fair share of mistakes. Justin Herbert didn’t have his best game, but it’s also not his fault they lost. The future is bright for the Chargers if they can stay healthy. That’s a big IF.
23. DENVER BRONCOS (3-6) — LAST WEEK 22
Drew Lock would love to have this game back after four interceptions were added to his stat sheet. The thing is, he started the game off great. It’s when he tries to make too much happen that things fall apart. The blame does not all go on Drew Lock though, the Broncos defense wanted no part in stopping the Las Vegas Raiders’ running attack. The Broncos have to find things to build upon if they want to get better. Offensive playcalling would be a good place to start.
22. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (3-5-1) — LAST WEEK 20
Brother. I was raised on the saying “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say nothing at all.” Well, I’m not going to listen to that right now because the Eagles are playing like a bad high school football team. Carson Wentz has no time to throw the ball, the defense needs to be fired and the playcalling is atrocious. It’s hard to find any optimistic points right now because that performance on Sunday was bad.
21. ATLANTA FALCONS (3-6) — LAST WEEK 21
On a bye week. It will not change their place in rankings.
20. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (4-6) — LAST WEEK 19
Kiss this season goodbye and start looking for a new quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft.
19. DETROIT LIONS (4-5) — LAST WEEK 23
It’s time. Matt Patricia has got to go. They won by a last-second field goal but this team isn’t getting any better this season. You’ll take a win any way you can get it, but the feeling in Detroit isn’t a good one.
18. CHICAGO BEARS (5-5) — LAST WEEK 17
Welp, at least they have won as many games as they have lost this season. The talent on this defense is being wasted by the horrendous offense. They have a wide receiver playing running back and none of their quarterbacks on the current roster are good. Nick Foles goes down with an injury and I wouldn’t blame him if he decided to nurse it for a couple of weeks. Also, there is no way in hell Allen Robinson comes back next season.
17. CAROLINA PANTHERS (3-7) — LAST WEEK 16
The Panthers didn’t stand a chance this week. They played their hearts out in Week Nine against the Kansas City Chiefs. Then had to play a pissed off Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. You were silly to think they had a shot at winning this game.
16. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (4-5) — LAST WEEK 18
It was an absolute snooze fest for Monday Night Football on ESPN, but the Vikings pick up another win. Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson continue to shine this season as the Vikings defense once again steps up to help them win.
15. CLEVELAND BROWNS (6-3) — LAST WEEK 15
The Cleveland Browns offense does not go without the running game being successful. Nick Chubb being back in the mix was a huge boost for them this week. Playing a defeated Houston Texans team also helped as the Browns defense was able to harass Deshaun Watson all game.
14. TENNESSEE TITANS (6-3) — LAST WEEK 9
Thursday night was not a good look for the Tennessee Titans as they completely fell apart in the second half. The special teams unit continues to be a problem for the Titans as they had a punt blocked and Stephen Gostowski missed another field goal. Their defense was all out of sorts too as the Colts were spreading the ball around to their playmakers. The Titans have to find a way to get back on track next week against the Baltimore Ravens.
13. MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-3) — LAST WEEK 14
The Miami Dolphins are 6-3. They are a REAL 6-3 as they have played a very difficult schedule and earned this record. The defense is being led by Emmanuel Ogbah and the pass rush. The secondary was expensive but clearly worth it and the offense is picking up momentum. If you haven’t been watching the Miami Dolphins, you better start now.
12. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (6-3) — LAST WEEK 13
Welcome to the NFL Michael Pittman Jr. The rookie had quite the performance on Thursday night along with Nyheim Hines as the Indianapolis Colts rolled the Tennessee Titans. The running game is the bread and butter for this Colts offense as they roll with the running back by committee week after week. The defense has been rather good as well for them as they continue to create pressure and force turnovers. The Colts are another team to keep an eye on moving forward.
11. LOS ANGELES RAMS (6-3) — LAST WEEK 12
The Los Angeles Rams offense was clicking on Sunday and when that is happening, good luck everybody else. Their defense stepped up to the plate as well as they forced several turnovers and shut down Russell Wilson’s kitchen. The Rams are rolling right now.
10. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (6-3) — LAST WEEK 11
This is a top 10 team in the NFL and it can’t be overlooked anymore. Derek Carr has been playing out of his mind, no one can slow down Josh Jacobs and their defense can get to the quarterback with ease at times. The Las Vegas Raiders deserve our attention right now because they continue to improve week after week.
9. BUFFALO BILLS (7-3) — LAST WEEK 7
Talk about a heart breaker. Josh Allen leads them down the field and takes the lead for their defense to get out-jumped on a hail mary. The Bills still lead their division but the red-hot Miami Dolphins are not far behind.
8. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (6-3) — LAST WEEK 5
Uh, this isn’t good. Russell Wilson is struggle bussing right now. Wilson has thrown seven interceptions in his last four games. In case you were wondering, that’s not good. The defense is also an issue right now as they can’t slow down the pass or the run. The Seahawks have to find a way to turn things around and do so fast.
7. BALTIMORE RAVENS (6-3) — LAST WEEK 4
Well well well would you look at that. The Baltimore Ravens get down in a game and can not rely on their starting quarterback to throw them back into the game. As much as it was Lamar Jackson’s fault it was also the defenses and the offensive playcalling. The defense was missing their two big guys upfront and struggled to stop the run from the New England Patriots. The offensive playcalling got cute at times and cost them opportunities to extend drives. The Ravens face another tough opponent in the Tennessee Titans next. Good Luck.
6. ARIZONA CARDINALS (6-3) — LAST WEEK 10
The play between Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins has been shown enough times already. It was a great play by both parties. The Cardinals are back to winning after losing in Week Nine. If the Cardinals can keep up this level of play, they just might find themselves winning the NFC West.
5. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (7-3) — LAST WEEK 8
Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers get their make up game after a blowout loss on primetime the week prior. Tampa will need to continue to play disciplined football if they want a chance at winning this division. There is still a chance if they can win the rest of their games, but the inconsistent performances from week to week are starting to become a bit concerning.
4. GREEN BAY PACKERS (7-2) — LAST WEEK 6
It was a close one in Lambo as the Packers sneak by the 1-8 Jacksonville Jaguars. Thanks to Aaron Rodgers they were able to march down the field and score late to take the lead. The Packers are in charge of their own destiny this season as they control the NFC North.
3. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (7-2) — LAST WEEK 3
The Saints get the win of course but the big news here is Drew Brees. He has damaged both sides of his ribs and has a collapsed lung. It’s not looking good Bob as the Saints must now move forward with Lasik Jameis Winston. This is his opportunity to show he could be the future in New Orleans, but he cannot turn the ball over. If he goes back to Tampa Bay Jameis, it’s going to get ugly for the Saints.
2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (8-1) — LAST WEEK 2
On a bye week. It will not change their place in rankings.
1. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (9-0) — LAST WEEK 1
Pittsburgh had their way with the Bengals defense this week as the offense was back to spreading the ball around. The Steelers have to build upon that offensive performance if they want to remain undefeated. We can’t expect them to do so, but with the playmakers they have on both sides of the ball, it is a possibility.