NFC Power Rankings – Surging/Slumping into Week 10


With the loss of

Aaron Rodgers

, the Packers power ranking took a dive. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

As I sit and write this, please note that I have the “Rodger-less blues.” Arguably (but not really) the best QB in the game is down for an undetermined amount of time, which hurts my soul.

But, as always, I will be just and fair to all teams that I rank so here are Week 10’s NFC Power Rankings.

1. Seattle Seahawks (8-1) Last week: 2

Whatever is going on out in Seattle should have the Seahawks worried. Their offensive line has been despicable lately. Russell Wilson is doing his best impression of Flash Gordon trying to keep himself upright. If you don’t think there should be cause for concern after struggling with the Rams two weeks ago and watching WINLESS Tampa Bay nearly pull off theshocker of the year, then you are out of your mind. Why aren’t the Seahawks running Beast Mode more often? Wasn’t Percy ready to go? A trip to Atlanta Sunday shouldn’t be scary, but neither should have been a home game versus the Bucs.

2. San Francisco 49ers (6-2) Last week: 3

The 49ers could be getting Aldon Smith back from his rehab stunt this week. The bye week should have afforded Harbaugh and his band to get healthier which they really need. It should have also helped figure out whatever is going on with Colin Kaepernick who looks like a former shell of himself the past six weeks. This week’s prize is most likely game of the week against Cam Newton and the Panthers. Whose legs will do the most damage to two stubborn defenses?

3. New Orleans Saints (6-2) Last week: 1

I keep saying and people keep brushing it off. But I will say it again. The New Orleans Saints are VULNERABLE away from home. They should have lost to Tampa Bay earlier this year. They lost to New England. And they just lost to the New York Jets. Fresh off a week where the Jets get absolutely spanked. Sean Payton should probably consider maybe running the ball to get people out of Drew Brees‘ face some. A high-powered Dallas offense comes to town Sunday night. Can Ryan’s defense slow down Dez?

4. Detroit Lions (5-3) Last week: 5

The Detroit Lions have to be smiling right now about where they stand coming into this week. Green Bay has lost Aaron Rodgers maybe long enough to play them on Thanksgiving without him and they have had two weeks to prepare for Chicago who could be without Jay Cutler. The question is can Jim Schwartz and his band of misfits seize the opportunity?

5. Carolina Panthers (5-3) Last week: 6

The Carolina Panthers can taste a playoff berth. After thoroughly dispatching NFC South rival Atlanta, the Panthers look like they are ready to take the next step. “Scam” Newton is playing lights out right now. A trip out to the bay to play San Fran will show the Panthers’ true colors. Will they leave the 49ers feeling black and blue or will Newton and crew be exposed as a pretender?

6. Chicago Bears (5-3) Last week: 7

The Bears looked like monsters of the Midway again beating the Packers in Lambeau Monday night taking out Aaron Rodgers in the process. Their win created a three-way tie atop the NFC North. A showdown with Detroit this Sunday will displace someone from the top and have them chasing once again. Jay Cutler is stating he is ready to return. If he is, might Marc Trestman look at the first matchup (a Bears’ loss),and Cutler’s struggles and maybe “rest” him another week?

7. Dallas Cowboys (5-4) Last week: 8

Who are the Dallas Cowboys? Are they the team that took Denver to the brink in a thriller earlier this year? Or are they the team giving up a victory in 52 seconds or nearly losing to the horrific Minnesota Vikings at home? Whatever identity they want to be associated with will be determined this Sunday. A disappointed Saints’ team will be back in the Superdome looking to regain its focus. What does Rob Ryan have in store for Tony Romo and Dez Bryant?

8. Green Bay Packers (5-3) Last week: 4

The loss of Aaron Rodgers for however long is tremendous. This team was on the verge of really hitting a nasty groove. Bruising running game, elite quarterback play, reserves playing at a high level. In two minutes, it was turned upside down. Now the football world is watching to see its comeback from losing one of the greats of today’s game. A confident Philly team will head into Lambeau after a 7 passing TD performance by Nick Foles. ‘Next Man Up’ paging Seneca Wallace

9. Arizona Cardinals (4-4) Last week: 9

The bye week should have allowed Rashard Mendenhall to get healthier. If Bruce Arians is coaching competently then he goes with rookie Andre Ellington to lead the rushing attack going forward. Arizona may be on the cusp of sneaking into the playoff discussion. What they can’t afford to do is overlook a Texans’ team that nearly had Andrew Luck and the Colts’ dead to rights last Sunday night before losing momentum after watching their head coach fall ill.

10. New York Giants (2-6) Last week: 10

Tom Coughlin had to be using the bye week for the Giants to figure themselves back out. Their pass rush has been non-existent. Their offensive line has been dreadful. And Eli Manning has been even worse than both of those combined. There’s got to be a silver lining somewhere in there, right? Yep. It’s called the Oakland Raiders and they are coming to town fresh off making Nick Foles look like one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. Have fun, Eli.

11. Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) Last week: 12

Chip Kelly states that he is not ready to name Nick Foles his long-term starter. Ummmm, hello? Have you seen Michael Vick and Matt Barkley play this year? If Nick Foles hasn’t gained that confidence from his coach then does his he have his teammates’ confidence? We know he has Oakland’s respect at least. The Eagles have a chance to get back to the .500 mark this week against a Green Bay team that will be desperate to keep the vultures from picking at them until Aaron Rodgers returns.

12. Washington Redskins (3-6) Last week: 13 ( prior to their loss at Minnesota)

The Redskins did get back in the win column last week against the Chargers. For those of who watched the game, I think the win was more of a product of San Diego calling the most ridiculous set of plays from the half yard line imaginable. A draw with their smallest running back, an attempted jump ball, and a rollout with Philip Rivers. NO MATTHEWS OR BROWN with TWO TIMEOUTS and 21 seconds. Kudos to Washington, however. I keep them in this spot (for now) despite their loss to Minnesota. But where they shake out after this weekend will be interesting.

13. St. Louis Rams (3-6) Last week: 11

The Rams have been knocking on the door to wins. Ever so close against Seattle and a heartbreaking loss in the Jeff Fisher bowl last week shows that there is still fight left in the club. Quiet as its kept, Kellen Clemens hasn’t looked all that bad the last two weeks. They at least have been competitive. I can’t say the same for when Bradford was playing … Next up is a matchup with a team many believe is the best in the NFL: Indianapolis.

14. Atlanta Falcons (2-6) Last week: 14

Matt Ryan is trying to do too much knowing he really doesn’t have much. Roddy White is supposedly hurt although I would like to say he has given up on the season and just doesn’t want to be a part of the losing effort. You have to question Mike Smith‘s offseason moves. Getting Steven Jackson even after a promising postseason by Jacquizz Rodgers. Not addressing the defensive or offensive lines have taken a toll. Where is Atlant’s pride? Expect Seattle to take whatever is left Sunday.

15. Minnesota Vikings (2-7) Last week: 15

Why is Leslie Frazier still employed? I asked it last week and I’m going to ask it again this week. Christian Ponder has finally brought some stability to the quarterback position. Jared Allen should have gotten out of town as soon as he could. Maybe their win against the Redskins will help? Maybe that has at least delayed the inevitable press conference announcing who will be stepping into the role …?

16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-8) Last week: 16

Last but not least we have Tampa Bay. A win at raucous Quest Field Sunday could have possibly saved Schiano’s job. Well probably not, but I gave him hope. With the game on the line, Glennon looked frail. He had chances to scramble for first downs and ran scared. You can’t win games like that. The Bucs are hoping to take advantage of the disfunction going on in Miami to get themselves finally out of the losing column. P.S. why the heck is this game on Monday Night Football?!?!?!