Home / Sports / Week 10 2018 NFL Power Rankings New Orleans Saints Scramble Top 3
For the first time since Week 3, we have a new number. 1.
The Saints, winners of seven in a row, not only gave the frames their first loss of the season on Sunday, they kicked the frames out of the Power Rankings penthouse. New Orleans was ranked No. 3 in the pre-season and fell as far as No. 9 before rising to the top.
How did your team go from all 32 before the season? Our NFL Nation reporters look back at Preseason Power Rankings and where things went wrong or wrong at week 10.
How we rank: Our power panel – a group of more than 80 authors, editors and TV personalities – evaluated how team stacks up during the first nine weeks of the season.
Previous Ratings: 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | Preseason
Preseason rank: 3 | Week 9: 3
Expectations were apparently high for the Saints to begin with. But they have surpassed them so far by proving they can win different styles during a brutal three-game stretch (coming back-slug party in Baltimore and Minnesota, then a 45-35 track at home meets Rams). It helps Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas put together one of the best “triplets” seasons in the NFL story. – Mike Triplett
Season Season: 11 | Week 9: 2
Patrick Mahomes has been better than expected. The managers were convinced that he would eventually play it well, but not right out of the channel. Through nine games, Mahomes has 29 touchdown passes, one away from the team record. – Adam Teicher
Season Season: 6 | 1:
Ramsna was expected to have a big season after they added three all-pro in Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters and Ndamukong Suh on defense, and the crime brought fast recipient Brandin Cooks. At 8-1, it is safe to say that Rams has exceeded expectations, especially on crimes. Todd Gurley II makes a strong case for MVP, as he leads the league in rushing yards and touchdowns, and the addition of Cooks has given a consistent deep-ball threat to Jared Goff. – Lindsey Thiry
Preliminary season rank: 2 | Week 9: 4
A 1-2 start was not completely unexpected, partly because Julian Edelman served a four-game NFL suspension and the patriots had a few early season matches during in recent years, but this is the main reason why the club has had a two-point dip from the anticipation of the advance. But credit goes to Rams and Chiefs, two teams that have exceeded forecasts, despite the fact that the patriots gave the managers their only loss of the season. – Mike Reiss
Here is the case for Drew Brees over Patrick Mahomes and winners for every major prize – plus some invented categories – at halfway.
Chiefs trading Alex Smith to start Patrick Mahomes? Smart. New York adds Nate Solder? Not so much. Here is the best and worst, and what’s next.
If the regular season ended right now, here’s how the six best would look at each conference, from the bosses and the downstairs frames.
Preseason rank: 10 | Week 9: 5
The loads are a bit before where they were expected to be in advance, thanks to Philip Rivers who may be playing his best football as a professional. He has completed 67 percent of his passport for 2,238 passengers and 19 touchdowns, and he has thrown only three interceptions. Rivers have done a good job of staying steady and playing within himself and let the game come to him. – Eric Williams
Season Season: 12 | Week 9: 6
Prior to the season, there was uncertainty as to whether Cam Newton could be the effective passer Norv Turner thought he could have a career skill rate of 58.5. And there was uncertainty as to whether an offensive line determined by injuries in the training camp could hold up. Newton has far exceeded expectations, completed 67.3 percent of his passports and throws 15 touchdowns to only four interceptions. The line has played so well that there are questions about where left thanks Matt Kalil fits in, as he is entitled to return from damaged reserve. – David Newton
Preview: 5 | Week 9: 7
The Steelers is down slightly from their previous season, which is not surprising given their 1-2-1 start after a 10-season season forecast. But Pittsburgh looks like a challenger because of improved defense, one of the league’s best red zone crashes and an offensive line that moves everything in sight. – Jeremy Fowler
Season Season: 4 | Week 9: 8
With a new quarterback that entered a new crime, there was a need to be a few bumps on the road. Kirk cousins have surpassed expectations sometimes but have also had their growing pains. The race game was expected to be better, but damage to Dalvin Cook and the early battle of the offensive ban stopped production. With Cook back, Minnesota’s rushing attack has sparked the explosive spark. Overall, one wins five wins before his week 10 hey, some Vikings are understandably proud of the brutal distance of games they met during the first nine weeks. – Courtney Cronin
First Season Season: 1 | Week 9: 9
For Philly, the Super Bowl hangover was correct. Lingering injuries (Alshon Jeffery, Tim Jernigan) from last season mixed with new (Rodney McLeod, Mike Wallace, Jay Ajayi) to empty a championship list that had some time to heal because of the long term. The offense was transferred from Nick Foles to Carson Wentz in week 3, and it has not yet hit all cylinders – possibly adapted to the loss of offensive coordinator Frank Reich and quarterback coach John DeFilippo. The eagles managed to a .500 record during the break, hoping that the second half will treat them more kindly. – Tim McManus
Season Season: 26 | Week 9: 14
Bears have been a surprise for the defense to play even better than expected – and it is with Khalil Mack who missed the last two matches with a foot injury. Also, Chicago’s crime slowly grows during quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, which has limited mistakes in the last two weeks. Field
Field Yates, Matthew Berry and Stephania Bell discuss Demaryius Thomas Pedestrians’ Day against their previous team, but they believe that better days are ahead for the wide recipient.
Preseason rank: 15 | Week 9: 16
Although the Texans started to have a bad start, they are a bit better than we thought they would be through nine games. Houston is a very talented team, but sometimes it fights to be consistent for a whole game. But even with a simple schedule of the last six games (all victories), the Texans have hit teams that they should hit. Houston is still led by its impressive defense, but it has been the case before. In the end, the team will go as far as Deshaun Watson takes it. – Sarah Barshop
Season Season: 27 | Week 9: 12
Most of the preseason forecasts had Bengals heading for a losing season, so they have already exceeded expectations due to a revived crime and the emergence of broad recipient Tyler Boyd. But their defenses have fought much more than expected this year and injuries have hit the team hard. Even though they have already won five games, it may be a struggle to stay in thick things unless they get healthy. – Katherine Terrell
Preview: 8 | Week 9: 11
The lack of talent from some confused draft classes in combination with an offensive plan that looks old has ended in Packers. And the quarterback has not played everything so well either. Yes, Aaron Rodgers has 15 touchdowns and one interception, but he has not been as sharp as before. It turns out in its graduation degree (at 60.6, in line with his career) and his passport classification (98.9, almost 5 points below his career average). – Rob Demovsky
Season Season: 19 | Week 9: 13
The problem is that even with an improved ranking, damage has made it difficult to say that Washington really is improving. Redskins placed three starters on injured reserve Monday (guarding Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao and recipient Paul Richardson). Redskins, however, has been better in the ranking, largely due to improved defense – especially against driving – a strong leaping game (thanks to Adrian Peterson) and lack of sales. It’s hard to believe it after Sunday’s 24-point loss to Atlanta, but this is the formula they’ve used to go 5-3. – John Keim
Domonique Foxworth decides if his old team needs a new coach.
Season Season: 21 | Week 9: 10
The ravens are better in power rankings than previously predicted, but Baltimore remains stuck in moderation. After a strong start, Baltimore has dropped three straight to fall to 4-5. Quarterback Joe Flacco has been struggling to break the end zone, and NFL’s top-ranking defense has suddenly been postponed. The ravens always seem to be in a hurry to reach the playoff before they fall short. Therefore, Baltimore is constantly among the middle of the packaging in NFL. – Jamison Hensley
Preseason rank: 9 | Week 9: 17
Falcons fell below expectations and started 1-4 mainly due to injuries. They currently have six starters on injured reserves, although Pro Bowl midfielder Deion Jones is back in a few weeks. But Falcons – behind a MVP worthy show of Matt Ryan – has managed to brag of three straight victories and is back in the playoff hunt. – Vaughn McClure
Preseason Rank: 17 | Week 9: 15
Seahawks looked as if they could be a .500 team after an offseason retooling saw they move on from a number of star players. They have not missed like Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett and Jimmy Graham as much as many expected them to. And they seemed to be better than a .500 team during a warm first half stretch where they won four in five and almost bothered Rams. Nevertheless, .500 is where they follow Sunday’s loss for chargers. – Brady Henderson
Preview: 32 | Week 9: 19
The leading 15 interceptions of the Dolphins have kept them competitive in the AFC finals. Despite assembly damage involving Ryan Tannehill and others, the dolphins have surpassed the ESPN ranking, which had them as NFL’s worst team in advance. This team is very inconsistent, but the best defensive game makers like Xavien Howard and Kiko Alonso have made it possible for the Finns to fight against smaller opponents. They are AFC East second best team and much closer to average than bad. – Cameron Wolfe
Preseason Rank: 7 | Week 9: 18
There is not enough room to get into everything, but the biggest issues are QB games and injuries. Blake Bortles is wild inconsistent, turns the ball too much (11 times in eight games) and needs things around him to be perfect for making the offensive effective. Damage has the jaguar on his third string left tack and the fourth strictly tight end. In addition, RB Leonard Fournette has played in the first half of just two matches due to a hamstring injury. The crime has become transnational sometimes as a result. – Mike DiRocco
Season Season: 14 | Week 9: 22
There is still time for Titans to come back on track when the second half of the season begins. Everything comes down to Marcus Mariota and the crime. Matt LaFleur needs to get Mariota in a rhythm and replicate his fourth quarterly performances. No quarterback has made his team on more game-winning units (sex) than Mariota in the past two years. The defense will always keep Tennessee in play, but can offensive score points? – Turron Davenport
Preseason Rank: 13 | Week 9: 21
The cowboys went into the season and thought they could replace Jason Witten and Dez Bryant with a committee effort and it did not work, especially at wide recipients, why Dallas gave up a first round in 2019 to acquire Amari Cooper. The Cowboys also felt their offensive line, with three Pro Bowlers, would play better; but Travis Frederick has not played down this season because of Guillain-Barré syndrome, and the group has not played consistently enough, resulting in a coaching change on the position. Finally, home-based successes are missing: The Cowboys were 12-4 away from home in Dak Prescott’s first two years, and they have matched the overall loss so far this season. – Todd Archer
Preseason Rank: 20 | Week 9: 20
The Lions are in many ways what we thought they would be at the start of the season – although how they came here at 3-5 and foundering have been a surprise. The defense, which looked like Detroit’s weakness, has actually done well against the passport (not so much against the run). The Lions found a driving game, but Matthew Stafford and the passing game have been inconsistent. This team was not supposed to be a contestant at the beginning of the season and, not least after being traded wideout Golden Tate, is not expected to be one now either. – Michael Rothstein
Season Season: 29 | Week 9: 24
Coltsna has a better than expected start. Andrew Luck has hit the roast (after missing the whole last season) by throwing for 23 touchdowns. The Offensive Line, which played an important role in Luck, lacks 26 games from 2015 to 2017, has gone almost four straight games without giving up a bag while playing a role in Colt’s rushing for at least 220 yards in each past two games. Finally, there is Rookie Linebacker Darius Leonard, who leads NFL in tackle (88) while forcing two fumble and restoring two fumble. – Mike Wells
Season Season: 22 | Week 9: 23
Broncos are close to their preeseason ranking, but they have simply made too many mistakes at important times of play. (See: 10 INTs of QB Case Keenum and 21 hold a penalty – third highest sum in the league.) In a season when they have played four matches against teams with at least six wins, they have not been good enough to overcome these mistakes. They have lost the four matches with a combined 16 points, with penalty that cost them at least seven points in a three-point loss for Rams.
Tim Hasselbeck, Ryan Clark and Adam Schefter break down what Buccaneers is going to do with Jameis Winston forward.
Bucs ranks where they deserve to be. They lack stability at the quarterback position, with Jameis Winston benched in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick, but it has barely slowed them down. Defense is where their real problems are. They fired defensive coordinator Mike Smith after week 6, and cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, security Chris Conte and midfielder Kwon Alexander are all on IR. They have also been without starting LB Kendell Beckwith, who has not played this season after an offseason car accident forced him to undergo ankle surgery. – Jenna Laine
They are due to winning two matches, which for Browns is a step forward from a winless 2016. But if they do not finish the ski they’re on – they have lost four in a row, and it will be very difficult to end the schedule – their year-end rating may be lower than the preseason projection. – Pat McManamon
Jetsna is somewhat ahead of its preeseason ranking, but it does not say much. The reality is that they have played an inclination under expectations that were encountered after a dominant week 1 win in Detroit. The reason: Sam Darnold’s growing pains are more acute than anyone could have imagined (leading 14 interceptions). – Rich Cimini
49ers are far behind devastating ACL injuries on QB Jimmy Garoppolo and RB Jerick McKinnon. Sure, 49ers have their share of problems that would need to fix regardless of health problems, but lose your start quarterback and start running back for the rest of the season just three weeks in is a fairly fast ticket for a disappointing season. The injury did not stop there either, because Niners has also treated a number of shorter problems from week to week. Niners are 1-4 in one possession game this year, including three losses with three points or fewer. – Nick Wagoner
Nobody really thought a repeat of last year’s nightmare 3-13 the season was possible with a new coach, with the addition of Saquon Barkley and with Odell Beckham Jr. back in the setup. But it has been. In fact, the giants are in a hurry to end with a worse record right now with one victory after eight games. – Jordan Raanan
The cardinals thought they would go when Sam Bradford went, and it’s done. Bradford fought for three starts with 400 total pass turns, two touchdowns and four interceptions, before they got benched in favor of rookie Josh Rosen. No one expected the cardinal break to be as bad as it was. Part of it was Bradford, and part of it was Mike McCoy’s abuse of addiction by RB David Johnson. All adds that the cardinals are well below expectations. – Josh Weinfuss
Was not Jon Gruden simply going to give Raiders a new scrub, polishing foundations like Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin, Derek Carr and Amari Cooper? Instead, the horror has hit the detonation button – Carr is all that remains of the four – in the recent deconstruction / reconstruction until the team’s move to Las Vegas 2020. While the crime has shown glimpses of the West Coast’s crime, the defense threatens to be the worst in franchise history. – Paul Gutierrez