The Times’ NFL rankings (after Week 10)
by Lance Pugmire
We have a new No. 1 (they’re in Texas, but it’s not Dallas), the Falcons drop all the way to No. 2, and the Bears aren’t hurt too bad by their loss.
Up: Titans + 8 | Down: Lions - 5
Wade Phillips’ defensive strategies have launched team to this peak, as four takeaways, intense pressure clamp down Bears to just two FGs.
Can’t beat their nemesis again, as Saints’ Drew Brees (three TDs) and RBs impose their will, and stalled late at goal line.
Jay Cutler’s concussion left already failing offense even weaker against Texans. Not much time to get healthy. They travel to 49ers on Monday.
Another large step toward a division title as Coach John Fox beat his ex, the Panthers, with seven-sack, pick-six, safety effort.
Slide up a spot while in bye. Obvious strides by QB Aaron Rodgers will make their race to North title vs. Bears highly intriguing.
Had a rough go against Bills team making its last stand until Devin McCourty picked off last-minute pass in end zone. Home to Colts next.
Blitzing Raiders with record 55 points sets up key North battle Sunday night against rival Steelers. Can QB Joe Flacco keep rolling?
Chance to prove they’re elite Monday vs. Bears. Didn’t look it while losing QB Alex Smith to concussion , missing late FG, tying Rams.
Have impressively navigated injuries, but now have QB Ben Roethlisberger’s right shoulder to deal with on eve of Sunday night home game vs. rival Ravens.
In a significant slide considering line let Eli Manning get sacked six times, with the QB scuffling again. Need this bye.
Tough as can be at home, as evidenced by shackling of weak Jets. Marshawn Lynch keeps formula working with 124 yards on ground heading to bye.
Throttling of Jaguars moves them closer to surprise playoff appearance. How good are they? We’ll know after they play the Patriots this week.
Didn’t need full dose of star rookie RB Doug Martin thanks to punt-block and INT TDs vs. Chargers. Three straight wins heading to Panthers.
Run, Adrian, run. RB Peterson adds 171 more yards on ground in key division triumph over Lions, leaving them in playoff real estate at bye.
QB Brees’ promises of comeback seemed hollow with defense so weak, but late stand to upset Falcons give hope strong legs.
Put game on ice with late INT and punt-return scores at enemy Eagles. Needed win like that to start rally that should continue vs. Browns.
Leapfrog over badly struggling group by looking so impressive against defending champions. Defense can swarm again at Chiefs.
QB Ryan Tannehill suffered through a definite rookie performance with three INTS in second straight loss. Defense disappearance at home deeply troubling.
Return from bye to face a visiting Eagles team mired in five-game losing streak. Have to like their chances.
Coach Norv Turner flashes rage responding to another blown lead. Problem is, he doesn’t get team to play with same passion.
Can’t win with Matthew Stafford-Calvin Johnson alone. Run defense fades while run game not convincing others to load up pass defense.
Sharp move up after blasting Dolphins, but don’t buy Jake Locker (9-of-21 Sunday) as capable of getting them anywhere above here.
All good things must end, and so it appears is case of Coach Andy Reid era after Dallas loss.
QB Sam Bradford efficient in tie at 49ers, although OT missed FG will haunt. In good place returning home vs. Jets.
Deserve a drop even in bye given how bad they look amid run-game absence, interceptions. Now they go to Atlanta.
No more bombastic talk from Coach Rex Ryan with this group. Mark Sanchez was 9-of-22, finished with three turnovers, no offensive score at Seattle.
Made bold run in their den of horrors at Patriots, but QB Ryan Fitzpatrick remains guy you can’t count on in crunch time.
Without their RBs on cross-country trip, they were predictably blown out by Ravens. Can’t be enthused with Brees next after Joe Flacco battered them.
Holding pattern way down here off bye, and not expecting upward progression going to Cowboys next.
Would L.A. want this? Had home chance to start digging out, but surrendering seven sacks, getting picked twice affirms depth of situation.
Gave proudest effort yet in OT loss at Pittsburgh Monday. Defense has no excuses to not follow with similar showings.
So bad that they’re losing fans in droves. And guess what: they’re now at Houston. Let the blowout ensue.