TEXAS, Sporting Alert – New England Patriots are still No. 1 in the ESPN NFL Football Power Rankings, but the Panthers, Colts and Bears made moves in Week 10.
As expected, the Patriots (8-0) continue to lead the rankings after beating the Washington Redskins, but will face a tricky fixture this weekend against the New York Giants.
The Giants have won the last three meetings with the Patriots, including two Super Bowls, ESPN Stats and Info revealed, and Eli Manning and co. will be buzzing to keep the streak going as they look to maintain their lead in the NFC East.
Andy Dalton has the Cincinnati Bengals (8-0) rolling and this week they are up two places to No. 2 in the power rankings.
Dalton guided the Bengals to an impressive 31-10 win against the Cleveland Browns last week, which helped the AFC North leaders stay undefeated on the season and replaced the Denver Broncos as the second-ranked team.
After handing Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers another defeat on Sunday, the Carolina Panthers (8-0) are finally getting some serious notice.
Cam Newton, after ripping down the Packers’ banner before Sunday’s game at Bank of America Stadium, ran out to help Carolina handed Green Bay a second successive defeat, following the 37-29 victory.
The Panthers improve to 8-0 for the first time in franchise history, while extending its overall winning streak to 12 successive games, dating back to last season.
They jumped two spots to No. 3 this week after delivering one of their best offensive performances of the season.
So are the Carolina Panthers, who lead the NFL in rushing yards per game (142.3), sitting fourth in points for (28.5) and allowing 20.6 points per game – have a legitimate chance of winning out this season?
On current form and with Newton continuing to lead from the front, there is no reason to think that they can’t go all the way if they clean a few things up, especially when it comes to the fourth quarter in games and continue to play solid defense.
The Broncos, after climbing two spots in the NFL Football Power Rankings in Week 9, slipped the same number of spots this week.
Perhaps for the first time this season, Denver’s defense looked frail and the club was punished for it after losing for the first time this term against the Indianapolis Colts.
It wasn’t a productive homecoming for Peyton Manning, who threw two more interceptions on Sunday to take his season tally to 13, while the rushed for a season-low 35 yards.
The Broncos still remain the team with the No. 1 defense in the country, but with the Chiefs, Patriots, Bengals and Steelers still on their remaining fixtures, Manning and the crew can’t afford any additional slip-ups.
Completing the top five are the Packers, who will need to quickly find their rhythm again and end this two-game skid.
Meanwhile, making the biggest move in the ESPN NFL Football Power Rankings in Week 10 were the Colts (4-5), who jumped eight places to No. 14 on the back of the win over the Broncos.
ESPN Stats and Info revealed that Sunday’s victory was the first for the Colts against a non-division opponent since they defeated the Browns last season in Week 14.
The Chicago Bears moved seven places up in the week’s power rankings after Jay Cutler led his team to a thrilling 22-19 win over the San Diego Chargers in Monday Night Football.
Meanwhile, dipping the biggest this week were the Atlanta Falcons (6-3) and the Browns (2-7), who both slipped five places from last week’s release.
The Falcons, who started the season 5-0, have now dropped two straight games, and three of the last four and are rapidly losing grounds on the Panthers in the NFC South Standings.
ESPN’s Football Power Rankings:
Wk 10 For Nov. 10
1 Patriots (8-0)
2 Bengals (8-0)
3 Panthers (8-0)
4 Broncos (7-1)
5 ” Packers (6-2)
6 Cardinals (6-2)
7 Seahawks (4-4)
8 Vikings (6-2)
9 Steelers (5-4)
10 Rams (4-4)
11 Jets (5-3)
12 Falcons (6-3)
13 Raiders (4-4)
14 Colts (4-5)
15 Giants (5-4)
16 Eagles (4-4)
17 Bills (4-4)
18 Saints (4-5)
19 Chiefs (3-5)
20 Dolphins (3-5)
21 Bears (3-5)
22 Chargers (2-7)
23 Cowboys (2-6)
24 Ravens (2-6)
25 Buccaneers (3-5)
26 Redskins (3-5)
27 Texans (3-5)
28 Browns (2-7)
29 Titans (2-6)
30 49ers (3-6)
31 Jaguars (2-6)
32 Lions (1-7)