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NFL Power Rankings through Week 10

Mark Sanchez looks dejected after getting pummeled by the Patriots. (Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports and Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

All is well in the world after the Patriots won Sunday night.

My friend who happens to be a Jets fan might disagree (just a hunch based on the number of expletive-ridden texts he sent me over the course of the second half), but as far as I’m concerned, I have never had a more quintessentially American moment than enjoying a delicious slice of apple pie after a big Patriots win over the Jets.

But this isn’t just about the Patriots, this is my expert NFL Power Rankings after ten weeks of football!

We have three unexpected news items to discuss from Sunday: Chris Johnson’s breakout, the NFC West’s Sunday dominance, and, um, let’s see, the third one, uh…the EPA!

Oops. Last week’s ranking in parentheses.

Without further ado, the rank and file of the NFL’s Tweedledums and Tweedledees through Week 10:

32 (32). Indianapolis Colts (0-10)

With a two-game lead in the “Suck for Luck” sweepstakes, it looks like the Colts will be able to draft best player available to replace Peyton Manning and his neck that looks like a high school metal fab project.

31 (31). St. Louis Rams (2-7)

The Rams barely beat the Browns when a botched snap led Cleveland to shank a chip-shot field goal. You may have won, but sorry, St. Louis: do not pass Go second-to-last place, do not collect $200.

30 (26). Washington Redskins (3-6)

The ‘Skins turned back to Rex Grossman to lead them to victory, but he threw two picks instead. I don’t know whether to be excited or appalled when Dan Snyder gives up 1,001 draft picks to the Colts for Peyton Manning.

29 (27). Cleveland Browns (3-6)

With a completion percentage under 60 and just one more career touchdown pass than career interceptions, it will always baffle me how Colt McCoy can stand to ruin such a cool name with such crappy stats.

28 (20). Carolina Panthers (2-7)

I’m officially out on the Panthers after they failed to stop Chris Johnson and the Titans. I don’t know who that’s worse for: the Panthers since they’re terrible, or Johnson since he is bad enough to serve as my measuring stick for bad teams.

27 (21). Kansas City Chiefs (4-5)

The Chiefs let Denver romp for 244 yards rushing even when they knew the run was coming every single play. It’s like they pooped in the refrigerator and ate an entire wheel of cheese – I’m not even mad, I’m just impressed.

26 (30). Miami Dolphins (2-7)

The Dolphins won their first home game in almost a year behind a retro-Reggie Bush performance. And since he’s playing well like he did at USC, it means he’s probably cheating. Just remember you first heard it here at SoB.

25 (19). Minnesota Vikings (2-7)

The Vikings got so owned by the Packers on MNF, they couldn’t even keep back-up quarterback Matt Flynn out of the endzone.

24 (25). Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6)

Blaine Gabbert broke 100 yards passing this week! I don’t know if I’m more impressed by his performance or Curtis Painter of the Colts, who for the second straight week managed to get replaced by the guy who was so scared to be sacked that he ran untouched out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

23 (29). Arizona Cardinals (3-6)

John Skelton looks to assume Kevin Kolb’s starting QB job with three touchdown passes to lead Arizona to a come-from-behind win. Sadly, the Cardinals can’t replace Kolb’s $63 million contract so easily.

22 (28). Seattle Seahawks (3-6)

The Seahawks beat the Ravens to give the NFC West a perfect 4-0 record on Sunday. If there were any time to predict the end of the world, now would be it.

21 (18). Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5)

Ex-Pat Albert Haynesworth made an impact with his new team by blocking a PAT and recording five tackles, two more than he had in six games with the Patriots. Unfortunately, the Bucs lost by 28, so his impact had roughly the same effect as always: none.

20 (16). Philadelphia Eagles (3-6)

The Eagles blew another lead in the fourth quarter as Michael Vick went 16 for 34 with 2 INTs and a 32.8 passer rating. Maybe the Eagles should have waited for the Dream Team to become a reality before agreeing to give Vick $100 million for playing well in the preseason.

19 (15). San Diego Chargers (4-5)

The Chargers lost again to somehow be on the verge of not winning the AFC West. How long can Norv Turner coach this team to mediocrity before getting fired? He’s like the Tebow of coaches. Except he doesn’t win.

18 (24). Oakland Raiders (5-4)

Since trading for Carson Palmer, the Raiders have surged into first place in the AFC West with a win over the Chargers on Thursday night. Let’s be clear: acquiring Palmer and being in first are not correlated. I thought they would have been mutually exclusive.

17 (23). Denver Broncos (4-5)

Tim Tebow won despite completing two passes in eight attempts for 69 yards. God must have a thing for beefy quarterbacks who can’t throw the ball.

16 (14). Buffalo Bills (5-4)

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three interceptions to just one touchdown while averaging 4.7 yards per attempt. Apparently his $59 million contract is not for his on-field performance, but for having to live in Buffalo.

15 (22). Tennessee Titans (5-4)

Chris Johnson finally broke out for 130 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Sure, it was a meaningless touchdown run set up by Matt Hasselbeck running out of bounds at the one-yard-line because Johnson is on his quarterback’s fantasy team, but still.

14 (11). Cincinnati Bengals (6-3)

The Bengals lost their first of four meetings with the Steelers and Ravens. You’re not in Kansas at TCU anymore, Dorothy Dalton.

13 (17). Dallas Cowboys (5-4)

It was a great day for Cowboys fans, as DeMarco Murray ran for over 100 yards and Tony Romo completed over 88 percent of his passes with fully healed ribs. That is, unless you have crush on Cowboys cheerleader Kelsi Reich.

12 (9). New York Jets (5-4)

The Jets supposed “shutdown” defense has now given up 67 points to the Patriots in two losses. Even worse, now they have to stir Bill Belichick’s drink.

11 (5). Detroit Lions (6-3)

Apparently the Lions have no running game, as Matt Stafford threw the ball 63 times. All to Calvin Johnson.

 10 (8). Atlanta Falcons (5-4)

Coach Mike Smith ordered his team to go for it in OT on 4th and inches from the Falcons’ own 29, costing his team the game when they couldn’t convert. Smith took full responsibility, acknowledging he probably shouldn’t have been the one trying to pick up the first down.

 9 (13). Houston Texans (7-3)

Just when I was getting ready to buy into Houston with their ability to win without Andre Johnson and their top-ranked defense, Matt Schaub goes down for the year with a broken foot. Luckily, back-up quarterback Matt Leinart knows how to win after going 37-2 at USC. Unluckily, that was his record in beer pong.

8 (10). New England Patriots (6-3)

Starting in the second half, I switched to Budweiser, flirting with the fine line between superstition and alcoholism depending on whether the Patriots won or lost. Luckily, it turned out to be a good karmic decision. I haven’t stopped drinking Bud heavy since.

7 (7). New York Giants (6-3)

You couldn’t have come up short in your fourth quarter comeback last week, Giants? Really, Eli? I’m so bitter.

6 (2). Baltimore Ravens (6-3)

The Ravens continue to be a total enigma after losing to the hapless Seahawks. Seriously, would a single team I rank second win so I don’t have to keep rearranging the rankings each week?

5 (12). Chicago Bears (6-3)

Despite only 12 first downs, the Bears avenged an earlier loss at Detroit and trounced the Lions 37-13 at home by forcing six turnovers. The Lions were caught off guard when Jay Cutler asked them for the ball nicely.

4 (6). New Orleans Saints (7-3)

In this week’s awful pun, it was a Brees for Drew to continue his streak of 37 straight games with a touchdown pass.

3 (4). Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3)

Even after getting swept by the Ravens last week, the Steelers find themselves back in first in the AFC North behind their vaunted defense. They finally convinced Troy Polamalu to stop checking his hair for dandruff long enough to play.

2 (3). San Francisco 49ers (8-1)

The 49ers showed they are for real in beating the Giants 27-20. Everyone credits Jim Harbaugh with the turnaround, but he said, “I don’t take any credit. It’s these men. These mighty, strong men.” Um, no comment.

1 (1). Green Bay Packers (9-0)

A week after getting shredded for 38 points, the Packers defense showed up in a big way to hold their opponent to seven points and complement the offense’s 45-point outburst. Like when Lara Croft fit the two pieces of the triangle together in Tomb Raider, the Packers now control time.

What’s that? No one wants me to make obscure references to terrible movies? Duly noted.

For next week.

About Nick Bohlen - @ndbohlen

Nick is an editor and regular contributor for the Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox sections of SoB. (Despite growing up in Vermont, just a short drive from Canada, hockey never really caught on with him.) Follow him on twitter: @ndbohlen

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