NFL power rankings entering Week 10 of the 2023 season (previous rank in parentheses):
1. Ravens (2): Baltimore? Tops in the league? Consider – no team is allowing fewer points per game (13.8); the +115 point differential is 35 clear of the next-closest club; and the Ravens have blown out two NFC divisional leaders (Detroit, Seattle) by a collective 75-9 in their past two home games, outgaining the Seahawks by nearly 400 yards. And when WR Odell Beckham Jr. scoring his first TD since Super Bowl 56 and rookie RB Keaton Mitchell rushing for 138 yards with his first NFL touches are mere gravy? Look out – meaning Cleveland and Cincinnati, teams headed to Charm City the next two weeks.
2. Eagles (1): The league’s only 8-1 team, and the first to replicate such a start in consecutive seasons since Peyton Manning’s Indianapolis heyday in 2006. But with gimpy QB Jalen Hurts still dragging his leg around, the bye week has arrived at a perfect time – not to mention Philly has Kansas City, Buffalo, San Francisco, Dallas and Seattle in succession on the other side of the break. Though perhaps no worry, Hurts matching Manning’s mark (2008-10) with 12 consecutive regular-season wins against opponents with winning records.
3. Chiefs (3): Currently the AFC’s top-seeded club (again), K.C. also hits its bye ahead of Week 11’s Super Bowl rematch at Arrowhead against Philadelphia. The reigning AFC champs are surrendering just 15.9 points per game, lowest of the 11-season Andy Reid era.
4. 49ers (5): They just had the best off week in recent memory, acquiring DE Chase Young for a pittance, getting needed rest for injured LT Trent Williams and WR Deebo Samuel, and moving back into a first-place tie atop the NFC West following Seattle’s blowout loss.
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5. Jaguars (4): Coming off their Week 9 bye, October’s road warriors will leave Jacksonville just once in the next four weeks. Beating the Niners on Sunday would be quite a statement.
6. Bengals (10): ‘(W)e’re back, and we’re here,’ said WR Tee Higgins after Sunday night’s big win, Cincinnati’s fourth straight victory overall and sixth in a row at home in prime time (a team record). Unfortunately, no more (scheduled) home dates under the lights this season.
7. Lions (7): During three starts so far, rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs has a league-best 132.3 yards from scrimmage per game. Maybe keep him in the starting lineup even with war hammer RB David Montgomery set to return from a rib injury?
8. Cowboys (6): Four of their next five games are at AT&T Stadium, and the next three overall against teams a collective 12 games below .500. Very good opportunity to make hay in the NFC East ahead of Week 14’s rematch with Philadelphia – especially if WR CeeDee Lamb stays hot (30 catches for 466 yards over past three weeks).
9. Bills (8): They’ve only got one more road game (at Philadelphia) before December 10 – a good time to right the ship given the advantage Buffalo enjoys at Orchard Park … and maybe to try and evolve this offense beyond QB Josh Allen running or throwing to WR Stefon Diggs.
10. Dolphins (9): For those keeping score at home, that’s 39 points per game in their six wins (all against teams without winning records), and 17 per game in three losses – all against projected playoff squads.
11. Steelers (12): Of the 29 teams to be outgained in each of their first eight games since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, Pittsburgh (5-3) is the only one to manage a winning record.
12. Seahawks (11): Would not have expected the acquisition of DE Leonard Williams to coincide with Seattle surrendering 37 points and 515 yards.
13. Browns (13): Their top-ranked defense ceded 58 yards Sunday, the third fewest in franchise history. Cleveland is the first team in 41 years to hold two opponents below 100 total yards in the first eight games of a season.
14. Chargers (14): We give Brandon Staley a lot of flak for his underwhelming defense. Well, Monday night it posted eight sacks, three takeaways and didn’t allow a touchdown … though, does the performance really count when it comes against the Jets?
15. Texans (22): After a weekend of shattering rookie passing records, Houston QB C.J. Stroud has another one in his sights. With 14 touchdown throws and one pick, he could annihilate Dak Prescott’s mark (23 TDs, 4 INTs in 2016) for best TD-to-INT ratio among freshman passers.
16. Vikings (23): ‘It’s like if you were taking AP Spanish all year, and you showed up and someone told you Wednesday … you have an AP French exam on Sunday,’ new QB Josh Dobbs said of learning Minnesota’s offense on the fly Sunday. Good thing he’ll face the fleur-de-lis from New Orleans on Sunday.
17. Colts (21): CB Kenny Moore II became the first player in franchise history with two pick-sixes in one game at a most opportune time. No Indianapolis player has multiple TD catches in a game this season.
18. Jets (15): Only one team in the league has yet to score on its opening drive this season. Take a guess. The NYJ have eight offensive TDs this season, two fewer than Miami had … in Week 3.
19. Titans (17): Maybe their quarterback issue is solved, for now, with Will Levis. But a defense with a league-low six takeaways needs to give the rookie a little help … and a few extra possessions.
20. Falcons (18): Remember, this is the team that decided it wasn’t worth trying to sign QB Lamar Jackson to an offer sheet earlier this year.
21. Buccaneers (19): For all the good they did, the 37 points they posted Sunday were more than they scored in any game last year with QB Tom Brady.
22. Saints (20): Taysom Hill’s 5.2 yards per rush are nearly 50% better than any of New Orleans’ other regular ball carriers.
23. Rams (16): They’ve gone 1-4 since the return of WR Cooper Kupp, who’s been held to fewer than 50 receiving yards in each contest of LA’s three-game losing streak.
24. Raiders (24): Playing the decimated Giants obviously helped, but seemingly little coincidence that Las Vegas scored its most points and surrendered its fewest – while having plenty of fun – in Game 1 post-Josh McDaniels.
25. Broncos (25): Quiet at the trade deadline, time to find out if they overvalued their players … or might go on a run with them after winning the last two games.
26. Packers (28): Nice to see LB Rashan Gary land a four-year, $96 million extension coming off a 2022 season curtailed by a torn ACL.
27. Bears (29): We’re in the midst of a five-week stretch in which Chicago is scheduled to play three prime-time games. Let’s hope QB Justin Fields (thumb) can return Thursday to at least make Da Bears entertaining.
28. Commanders (30): Fresh off consecutive 300-yard games for the first time in his career, QB Sam Howell now leads the NFC with 2,471 passing yards – a figure that may continue to rise after the defense was stripped at the trade deadline.
29. Patriots (27): Hopefully the good people of Germany are not expecting Manning vs. Brady in Sunday’s Colts-Pats game in Frankfurt.
30. Panthers (31): The NFL doesn’t have an in-season tournament – yet – but you have to think Carolina really wants to win the DJ Moore Bowl.
31. Giants (26): You have to feel for injured QB Daniel Jones. You also have to feel like New York probably has buyer’s remorse after extending him in the offseason. Now they might be one of, say, a dozen teams having to reconsider its QB1 plans going into 2024.
32. Cardinals (32): Welcome back, Kyler Murray. Good luck … with this.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on X, formerly Twitter @ByNateDavis.