Every Tuesday during the NFL season, Colin puts out his Herd Hierarchy Top 10 NFL power rankings, and it continues to be most of the usual suspects after Week 10. This week, the Titans sneak back in, the Saints continue skyrocketing up the rankings on the strength of a dominant 7-game win streak, and the Cowboys take a huge drop from 3rd to completely out after a disaster of a week without Zeke in Atlanta.
Here are his Top 10 teams after Week 10:
10. Tennessee Titans – The Titans are off to their best start since 2008, and their current 4-game winning streak is their longest since 2009, but Colin still isn’t sold. He likes that they’ve allowed the fewest 20+ yard plays in the NFL and average 145.5 Rush YPG in their wins, but doesn’t like their offensive coaching staff and thinks Mariota hasn’t taken the next step. They play Pittsburgh this Thursday, which will be a tough midseason test.
9. Carolina Panthers – Colin picked them to win the NFC South, and so far that looks like a right, but he never knows which team – and which Cam – is going to show up from week to week. Last night against Miami, Newton had his best game since week 5, but can he follow it up with another solid performance? Defensively, the Panthers are the only NFL team that hasn’t allowed 400 yards of total offense, this year. Colin likes a lot about the Carolina roster, especially their D and young playmakers, but they need to be more consistent to move up.
8. Kansas City Chiefs – After dominating early in the year, K.C. hasn’t reached 100 yards rushing in 4 straight games (1-3 in those games), and defensively they can’t stop anybody. They’re 26th in points per drive allowed and 29th in yards per play allowed. The Chiefs have more explosive weapons than any team in the league, but they still have a B.B. gun offense, and Colin doesn’t trust Alex Smith late in the season and in the playoffs.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers key to success has been force feeding Le’ Veon Bell. They’re 6-0 when he has more than 15 carries, and they’ll need to continue pounding it because Big Ben is not an elite quarterback right now. Defensively, they’ve only allowed a 100-yard rusher twice all year and are 7-0 in games which they allow fewer than 20 points. Colin likes the Steelers, but isn’t sold on Roethlisberger’s ability to put the team on his back in the playoffs at this point in his career.
6. Seattle Seahawks – Colin likes Seattle, but they’ve been penalized 53 times since Week 7 (17 more than any team over that span), and since running back Chris Carson went down in Week 4, they’ve only averaged 2.6 yards per carry. Russell Wilson has thrown for multiple TD’s in 4 straight games, but they’re asking him to do too much. The addition of Duane Brown will help in the second half and into the playoffs. The loss of Richard Sherman for the year obviously hurts. Colin likes Seattle, but they have issues they still need to address.
5. Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings make the Top 5 because their defense is pushing teams around. The Vikings D has only allowed 271.7 YPG since week 4, and are 7-0 when the offense manages to score a measly 10 or more points. They do have 6 giveaways in their last 4 games, which is a concern because Case Keenum could be trending downward. Minnesota is limited at QB, but Colin still has them at 5.
4. L.A. Rams – During their current 4-game win streak, Rams are averaging 36.0 PPG and 397.5 YPG with only 2 giveaways, and in Jared Goff’s last 2 games, he’s thrown for 333.0 YPG with 7 TD’s, 0 interceptions, and a passer rating of 143.8. They also lead the NFL in takeaways. Even though they’re putting up points, they’re also leaving plenty of points on the table in the red zone and have room to improve. Colin initially thought the Rams were a year away from making noise in the playoffs, but he’s becoming more convinced each week that they can make a run.
3. New Orleans Saints – During their 7-game winning streak, the Saints have ranked 2nd in the league in rushing yards per game, 1st in rushing touchdowns, and lead the NFL in total defense. Even though New Orleans has developed a more balanced offensive approach, Drew Brees is completing 70.9% of his passes for a passer rating of 113.9 in his last three games. Colin didn’t see this coming, but the bizarro version of the Saints is a legitimate contender in the NFC.
2. New England Patriots – After getting gashed early in the year, the New England defense has allowed the 3rd fewest points in the NFL since Week 5 (13.4 PPG). In his last 3 games, Tom Brady has completed 70.9% of his passes with 6 TD’s, 0 picks, and a passer rating of 111.5. The Pats have 7 players with multiple offensive touchdowns (T-most in NFL). With no clear-cut challenger in the AFC emerging, New England has the clearest path to the Super Bowl of any NFL team.
1. Philadelphia Eagles- Philly was on a bye this week, but still hold on to the top spot. They’re the only team in NFL ranked in the Top 5 in Rushing Offense and Rushing Defense, and the only team ranking in the Top 3 in 3rd Down Offense and 3rd Down Defense. Carson Wentz leads the NFL in 3rd Down passer rating (125.1), and has thrown 15 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in the red zone. Philly is the best team in the NFL 10 weeks in.