NFL power rankings entering Week 10 of 2022 season (previous rank in parentheses):
1. Eagles (1): The offseason acquisition of S C.J. Gardner-Johnson didn’t garner as much attention as those of WR A.J. Brown or CB James Bradberry, and understandably so. But Gardner-Johnson has become a valuable component of this secondary, picking off a pass in four consecutive games to give him a league-best total of five – which also doubled his career total after three seasons in New Orleans.
2. Bills (2): Not quite ready to overreact to a road loss to a tough, physical NYJ squad. And Buffalo’s Week 6 win at Kansas City keeps Bills on the inside track for the AFC’s No. 1 seed. But their lack of aggression at the trade deadline could come back to haunt them … as could an 0-2 division record that threatens to undermine Super Bowl darlings if they don’t get right quickly.
3. Chiefs (3): A historic Sunday night for QB Patrick Mahomes, who became the first player in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) to pass for at least 400 yards and rush for 60 in the same game. He also tied Hall of Famer Peyton Manning with the second five-game winning streak of his career in which his team trailed at halftime in every outing.
4. Cowboys (4): Seems to be a mutual admiration society developing between Dallas and free agent WR Odell Beckham Jr. However it might be prudent to see how TE Dalton Schultz and WR Michael Gallup look coming out of the bye as America’s Team looks to complete a season sweep of NFC North.
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5. Dolphins (8): Speaking of the NFC North, Miami has barely survived in Detroit and Chicago the past two weeks. Still, Fins are poised to get really dangerous as they assimilate newly acquired LB Bradley Chubb and RB Jeff Wilson into the fold.
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6. Ravens (6): Monday night, they became the fifth team in the Super Bowl era to hold a double-digit lead in each of the first nine games of a season. Good chance that streak continues as Baltimore isn’t scheduled to face a team with a winning record again until its trip to Cincinnati on the final weekend of the regular season.
7. Vikings (5): WR Justin Jefferson’s next 100-yard receiving game will give him 20 in his career – and the record for most in a player’s first three seasons. Buy QB Kirk Cousins some more ice – new TE T.J. Hockenson ate into Jefferson’s target share Sunday – and he’s sure to get the ball.
8. 49ers (7): A team that looks primed to make a strong second-half run could also be getting dynamic RB Elijah Mitchell, who suffered a Week 1 knee injury, back soon to complement new RB1 Christian McCaffrey.
9. Bengals (9): For the second consecutive year, they go into the bye week at 5-4. Last season, they won eight of their next 11 on the way to Super Bowl 56.
10. Seahawks (10): They’re starting to build a lead atop the NFC West as they ready to embark on the longest road trip ever from Seattle – more than 5,000 miles to Munich.
11. Patriots (13): As they do, they’re in the midst of a patented midseason ascent with four wins in the past five weeks. But Bill Belichick and Co. will really have to earn their money on the other side of their Week 10 bye, their next three opponents (Jets, Vikings, Bills) currently a combined 19-6.
12. Jets (15): Their social media team took a nice shot at Buffalo following Sunday’s big upset. The NYJ will be in Western New York soon enough (Week 14), but they love road trips – currently 4-0, tied with Philadelphia for best mark away from home.
13. Giants (12): When your defensive co-captain and starting safety (Xavier McKinney) injures his hand in an ATV accident and is gone at least a month, you’ve officially lost to the bye week.
14. Titans (11): They’ve given new meaning to one-dimensional, managing a total of 97 net passing yards in rookie QB Malik Willis’ two-week hitch as the starter.
15. Chargers (14): They became the third team in league history to trail by double digits after the first quarter in four straight games. Remarkably, the Bolts have gone 3-1 in that stretch.
16. Buccaneers (18): After crossing the 100,000-yard passing threshold and setting an all-time record with his 55th game-winning drive, further relegating longtime rival Manning to obscurity, Tom Brady now sets his sights on winning the league’s first-ever regular-season contest in Germany.
17. Rams (16): They went three-and-out on eight of their possessions Sunday, including the critical one that set up Brady’s game-winning lightning drive. Also suboptimal when WR Cooper Kupp, good as he is, represents 62% of your offensive output.
18. Falcons (21): A team that’s passed for 1,415 yards has nearly been lapped through the air, surrendering a league-high 2,700. But Atlanta remains tied for first place in the NFC South despite being such a football anachronism.
19. Packers (17): Time to add more injuries to their insulting season. OLB Rashan Gary (torn ACL) is out for the year, and CB Eric Stokes (ankle/knee) and WR Romeo Doubs are likely headed for long stays on the shelf. Lastly, RB Aaron Jones (knee) will be well shy of 100% as Dallas heads to Lambeau.
20. Cardinals (19): Take away their league-leading five defensive touchdowns, and Arizona is averaging 18.8 points per game – almost eight fewer than in 2021.
21. Saints (20): If you’re unwilling to go back to Jameis Winston as the starting quarterback, is it time to put Taysom Hill (7-2 record as starter) back under center?
22. Browns (22): They come out of the bye to play four of the next five on the road, where they haven’t won since escaping the Panthers in Charlotte in Week 1.
23. Commanders (24): Just 25.9% of Washington’s offensive drives end in points, worst in the league. That’s not likely to improve Monday night in Philadelphia.
24. Bears (27): Justin Fields is on course to become the third different quarterback in league history to rush for 1,000 yards and has a shot at Lamar Jackson’s record (1,206) for the position. However Fields has also been sacked a league-worst 33 times, so the punishment could start to add up quickly.
25. Jaguars (26): With 515 yards and four TDs from scrimmage in four starts, a shame RB Travis Etienne isn’t eligible for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award after his first season on an NFL field.
26. Lions (31): Replacing Hockenson won’t be easy, but Detroit’s tight end committee of James Mitchell and Shane Zylstra both caught TDs in the Week 9 upset of Green Bay.
27. Raiders (23): They’ve already tied a single-season league record by blowing three games they led by at least 17 points.
28. Broncos (25): Dealing Chubb was the best move for the long term – especially given what the Russell Wilson trade cost – but the league’s No. 2 defense will suffer in the short run.
29. Steelers (29): The imminent return of OLB T.J. Watt and pick-up of CB William Jackson should make a huge difference to a defense that hasn’t surrendered fewer than 300 yards in a game this season.
30. Panthers (28): Change the quarterback. Fire some coaches. Rinse, wash, repeat.
31. Texans (32): WR Brandin Cooks has already been traded three times in his career … and you wonder if Houston will regret not dealing him a fourth time.
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32. Colts (30): Bizarre. But sure, maybe a guy with no NFL coaching experience can maximize a quarterback with next to no NFL playing experience.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.
Story Credit: usatoday.com