1 – Baltimore Ravens (2)
We’ve got a new team at the top! The Baltimore Ravens have now won four straight games and are first place in the AFC North with a 7-2 record. After dismantling one NFC division leader two weeks ago, Baltimore did it again last Sunday to the Seahawks. The team leads the NFL in sacks, has a safety leading the league in interceptions, and somehow seems to run the ball efficiently with anyone in their backfield. In Week 10, the Ravens will look to continue rolling in a very important divisional battle with the Browns. With the Bengals really starting to play well, the Ravens need all the divisional wins they can get to keep the space between them and Cincinnati.
2 – Philadelphia Eagles (1)
The Birds got the W last weekend against Dallas, but it didn’t come easily. There haven’t been a lot of games this season where everything has gone perfectly for the Eagles, but they’re still the only team in the league with one loss. It’s tough to look your best when your star QB is playing through injuries, so all the winning is still very impressive. With the 49ers falling in three straight games before their bye, there’s a great chance right now that the NFC will once again go through Philadelphia.
3 – Kansas City Chiefs (5)
Despite also not playing their best football in a lot of games this year, the Chiefs are another team that just knows how to win. They’re currently challenging for the conference’s top spot at 7-2 as they head into a well-timed Week 10 bye. After the bye, we’ll get to see where both Kansas City and Philadelphia stand as the two will meet at Arrowhead for a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl. As we’ve said all year, though, the Chiefs are still the Chiefs. They may not always look their best in the regular season, but when it comes down to the postseason, no one wants to see them. Their second half may not have been pretty this week, but a win against the Dolphins still gets them back into our top three for now.
4 – Jacksonville Jaguars (4)
Owners of the longest winning streak in the league, the Jags will get a true test in Week 10 against the visiting 49ers. Both teams were on a bye last weekend, so expect to see them looking fresh and ready for their second half pushes. Jacksonville has clearly been great this year, but the only teams with a winning record they’ve beaten are Buffalo and Pittsburgh. Starting this week, they’ll have a stretch of six weeks where they’ll play the 49ers, Bengals and Ravens. I think this team is close to being a legitimate contender in the very competitive AFC, and after this stretch, we’ll know exactly where they stand.
5 – Detroit Lions (6)
Another team coming off a bye, the Lions are back in Week 10 for a tilt against the Chargers. Before the break, rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs was really starting to make progress with David Montgomery out and now that Montgomery is back, it’ll be very interesting to see how Dan Campbell plays his runners. However, the team is 2nd in the league in yardage and I don’t expect much to change in the second half of the year, regardless of who is lining up at running back. It would obviously be nice to see more of the rookie Gibbs, but Montgomery brings a level of physicality to the game that Gibbs cannot. Either way, this team will remain tough to stop.
6 – Cincinnati Bengals (8)
The Bengals may not lose another game this year. Cincy has now won four straight games and has a great chance to get it to five at home against the Texans in Week 10. If you’ve been watching their last few games, it has become very clear that Joe Burrow is all the way back. In his last two outings against the Bills and 49ers, Burrow has completed 59 of 76 passes for 631 yards and five touchdowns with no turnovers. The Bengals are still the Bengals, and everyone should be taking notice right now if they haven’t already.
7 – Dallas Cowboys (7)
Yes, they lost to the Eagles last weekend, but Dallas looked surprisingly good against their divisional rivals. Dak exposed an injured Philadelphia secondary all afternoon, CeeDee Lamb was terrific again, and the defence kept them in the game against a very powerful offence. If it wasn’t for a few missed opportunities (by INCHES), this could have easily been Dallas’ biggest win of the season. Thankfully, they’ll play the Giants, Panthers and Commanders in the next three weeks before finishing the year off with a much tougher list of opponents. This provides a great opportunity to get Tony Pollard going, who’s been a disappointment so far this year on the ground and hasn’t reached the endzone since Week 1.
8 – Miami Dolphins (3)
Once again, the Dolphins came up short on an opportunity to prove themselves against a great team. If a defence is good enough to get Miami off schedule, they really have the upper hand against this squad. The offence is so much fun to watch when they’re playing lower-level competition, but they have yet to look the same in any of their games against the big boys. In their six wins against teams that are .500 or worse, the Dolphins have scored an average of 39 points. In their three games against teams with a winning record, they’re 0-3 with an average of 17 points. Mike McDaniel’s team is good for the game and great fun to watch, but they may not be built to win the games that really matter.
9 – San Francisco 49ers (3)
A team this good really shouldn’t be this low, but three straight losses cannot be ignored. Thankfully, the 49ers enjoyed a much-needed bye this past weekend and should be a lot healthier for their Week 10 matchup with the Jags. If Brock Purdy can get back to limiting turnovers and getting the ball to his superstars, this team will be fine. The defensive unit hasn’t necessarily been an issue during this tough stretch, but I also expect to see them looking a lot sharper in the second half of the season. The 49ers are still VERY good.
10 – Cleveland Browns (/)
There could have been a few teams taking the last spot, but we’ll give it to the Browns this week. After very narrowly losing in Seattle with their backup quarterback, Cleveland got back on track in Week 9 against the lowly Arizona Cardinals. Myles Garrett and the defence pitched a shutout, while Deshaun Watson was solid in his return, going 19/30 for two scores and 219 yards. The Browns aren’t the flashiest team in the NFL, but they’re 5-3 with a win against the 49ers for a reason. If Watson can ever get back to what he was in Houston, this team will be trouble for any opponent.