Davante Adams of the Green Bay Packers

Jeff Hanisch USA TODAY Sports

We're approaching the point in the season where the playoff picture starts to form, and soon we will know what teams are mathematically eliminated from contention as well as the teams vying for a first round bye.

There are plenty of teams in the middle right now whose season is teetering on the edge of success and failure. The next three game stretch will determine the destinies of many organizations. The Saints provided an exclamatory whipping on Tom Brady's Bucs on Sunday night, and the heroics of Patrick Mahomes got his team a win in a close game against the Panthers in Week 9.

Let's take a look at the Week 10 power rankings based on what we've seen so far this season.


32. New York Jets (0-9, Last Week 32 +/- 0) - The Jets nearly got their first win against New England this past week behind a throwback performance from veteran quarterback Joe Flacco. They blew a 10 point lead as the Pats won on a field goal to close out the game.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7, Last Week 31, +/- 0) - A notable debut performance for rookie QB Jake Luton in a loss and James Robinson continues his impressive season going for 99 yards and a TD.

30. Washington Football Team (2-6, Last Week 28, -2) - Alex Smith started for the Football Team and started to find rapport with Terry McLaurin and Cam Sims, however Antonio Gibson wasn't able to get much going on the ground and they lost to the Giants 23-20 in Week 9.

29. New York Giants (2-7, Last Week 30, +1) - As just mentioned above, the Giants won for the second time this year in Week 9. Their outlook is still bleak however without their star running back Saquon Barkley in the backfield.

28. Dallas Cowboys (2-7, Last Week 29, +1) - The Cowboys get bumped up a spot after holding their own against the Steelers. Dallas' defense held Pittsburgh to just nine points through three quarters of play before a 15 point fourth quarter sealed the game for the league's only remaining undefeated team.

27. Chicago Bears (5-4, Last Week 25, -2) - Now losers of three straight, Chicago takes on Minnesota on Monday Night Football and has the task of stopping the league's best running back in Dalvin Cook. After that it's a date with Aaron Rodgers and the division leading Packers.

26. Detroit Lions (3-5, Last Week 22, -4) - The Lions have now dropped two straight and it appeared that Matt Stafford got a little banged up in Week 9. Detroit's offense isn't good enough to overcome the deficits their defense puts them in.

25. Denver Broncos (3-5, Last Week 21, -4) - Despite trailing by three touchdowns going into the fourth quarter, Denver almost completed a spectacular comeback against Atlanta in Week 9. The performances of Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler are noteworthy for the young offense, but Denver needs to find ways to get Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon more involved regardless of the game script.

24. New England Patriots (3-5, Last Week 27, +3) - New England escaped with a win against the Jets. They only move up here because of other teams losing. Until they can get another good win against a team not named the Jets this seems like a good spot for them.

23. Los Angeles Chargers (2-6, Last Week 23, +/-0) - Even though they took their second consecutive loss last week, the Chargers have to feel excited about how well their rookie QB continues to play. Justin Herbert fell just short in a comeback attempt, but still threw for 326 yards and two TDs against a good Raiders team.

22. Houston Texans (2-6, Last Week 26, +4) - The Texans finally got over the hump and picked up their second win of the season last week against the Jaguars. Deshaun Watson is still one of the most talented players in the league Will Fuller has developed into one of the league's best deep threats.

21. Carolina Panthers (3-6, Last Week 24, +3) - Although the playoffs are likely out of reach and Christian McCaffrey sustained another injury in his return, the Panthers have been a gritty team that has looked competitive every week.

20. San Francisco 49ers (4-5, Last Week 12, -8) - The biggest drop this week in the rankings comes from San Francisco. The injuries haven't ceased and at this point one would think that in a competitive NFC West, the 49ers have little chance of getting to the playoffs this year let alone making another deep run.

19. Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1, Last Week 19, +/- 0) - Coming off their bye, the rookie Joe Burrow will lead his team against the undefeated Steelers. This is my upset of the week candidate.

18. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1, Last Week 16, - 2) - The Eagles also had a Week 9 bye week, but they are the hottest team in the NFC East riding a two game win streak. They look to be the favorite to win the division and are the only team trending in the right direction in the east.

17. Los Angeles Rams (5-3, Last Week 13, -4) - Four spots down from last week coming off a bye week seems excessive, but the Rams take on the Seahawks and Bucs over the next two games. Both will be looking to make up for bad losses endured in Week 9.

16. Atlanta Falcons (3-6, Last Week 18, +2) - The Falcons have won two in a row and have begun to look like the team we expected them to be at the onset of the season. It may be too late as they still have the Bucs and Saints ahead of them in the division, but they will still want to finish strong to bring momentum into next season.

15. Indianapolis Colts (5-3, Last Week 11, -4) - The Ravens stifled a good Indy offense as Philip Rivers and the running game never got anything going and failed to score a point in the second half. The Colts are good enough to win this division, but need to avoid offensive production like this in the coming weeks.

14. Cleveland Browns (5-3, Last Week 15, +1) - Cleveland is the last team on the list coming off their bye week. It was a much needed one after a terrible loss to the Raiders. The good news for them is that running back, Nick Chubb is expected back and should provide a lift to a stalling offense.

13. Minnesota Vikings (3-5, Last Week 17, +4) - When you have Dalvin Cook on your team you're bound to climb the rankings at some point in the season and that time is now. Winners of two straight, and with the Bears, Cowboys, Panthers, and Jaguars next up, the Vikings would be right back in contention if they came out of that stretch 7-5.

12. Las Vegas Raiders (5-3, Last Week 20, +8) - Jon Gruden's Raiders have been a rollercoaster of a ride to follow this year. The offense seems ready to compete with anyone, if the defense can improve Vegas may have a contender.

11. Miami Dolphins (5-3, Last Week 14, +3) - If you need another example of how 2020 has been an episode from the Twilight Zone, the Dolphins are on the precipice of cracking our top 10 and there's little room for argument against it. Their only losses have come at the hands of the Patriots in the season opener along with the Bills and Seahawks. Their mid-season quarterback change amid a two game win streak seemed odd, but it resulted in impressive victories over the Rams and Cardinals. Brian Flores is obviously a good coach and has done amazing things with this young team. The AFC should be officially on notice.

10. Arizona Cardinals (5-3, Last Week 9, -1) - Kyler Murray is developing into one of the best weapons in the NFL and the offense is near unstoppable. The loss to Miami in Week 9 hurt though as the Cardinals will take on the Bills this week. They are going to want to avoid dropping two in a row in one of the most competitive divisions in football.

9. Tennessee Titans (6-2, Last Week 7, -2) - The Titans beat the Bears in Week 9 but have a more stout opponent on deck this week in the form of the Colts. This should be a better indicator of who the Titans really are after a 5-0 start.

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3, Last Week 4, -4) - The debut of Antonio Brown and the return of Chris Godwin left many expecting a shootout in the matchup between Tampa Bay and the Saints in Week 9. Tampa never got the memo apparently, but the Saints sure did. Drew Brees administered a 38-3 blow out on Sunday night, and the Bucs need to figure it out with the Falcons starting to find their stride.

7. Baltimore Ravens (6-2, Last Week 10, +3) - The Ravens saw another lackluster performance from reigning MVP Lamar Jackson in a win against the Colts. While it may be troublesome to Ravens fans and especially to Lamar fantasy owners, the Ravens continue to win games. As long as they're able to keep winning it doesn't much matter how they accomplish it.

6. Seattle Seahawks (6-2, Last Week 3, -3) - The Buffalo defense showed that Russell Wilson is human for a whole half of football. Then Russ took off the suit and put on the cape and nearly brought his team back from a double digit deficit. If Seattle can't fix their problems on defense it will be a wasted year of phenomenal football from their QB.

5. New Orleans Saints (6-2, Last Week 8, +3) - The aforementioned beating that the Saints handed the Bucs is part of the reason for New Orleans' climb up the rankings this week. The other is that a healthy Michael Thomas back will only make them better.

4. Buffalo Bills (7-2, Last Week 6, +2) - A statement win from Buffalo against the Seahawks will send them into a tough game against the Cardinals with a boost of confidence. Not only a signature win for the team, but for their young gunslinger Josh Allen as well. Allen should be seriously considered for MVP if he continues this level of play.

3. Green Bay Packers (6-2, Last Week 5, +2) - Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams are so good together that the NFL needs to start considering making it illegal for them to be on the same team. It's great to see A-A-ron letting it fly again and a fully healthy Aaron Jones and early season hero, Allen Lazard, should make this offense even better down the stretch.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (8-1, Last Week 2, +/- 0) - The Panthers gave the defending champs a run for their money on Sunday, but Patrick Mahomes stepped up to put the Chiefs over the top. Throwing for four touchdowns on 372 yards, Mahomes did Mahomes things to fend off a scrappy Carolina squad.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-0, Last Week 1, +/- 0) - Although they looked shaky against the Cowboys, the Steelers came away with the W and when you're the only remaining undefeated team in the league you get the top spot.

Paul George grabbing a rebound in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals

Barry Gossage/Getty Images

In a must win game for the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George was finally able to look like the best player on the floor in a playoff game.

After a slow start, George poured it on in the second half on his way to a game high 41 points in Game 5. The performance elevated the Clippers over strong outings from the likes of Devin Booker and Chris Paul as L.A. outlasted Phoenix 116-102.

The Clippers don't have much time to bask in their win however as they have to turn around and play two more elimination games just to make it out of the West. The Suns jumped out to a 3-1 series lead as Los Angeles struggled to find their identity without Kawhi Leonard. If the Clippers are to stave off elimination any longer, George has to continue this level of play.

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Offense being the key word here.

Simmons is an all-world defender possessing the ability to guard virtually any opponent on the court from the perimeter to the rim. But it was his lack of offensive help throughout this playoff season that stood out beyond any accomplishments this year. Simmons joined Rudy Gobert as unanimous selections for the NBA's All-Defensive First Team this year and also finished fifth in the NBA in assists per game with 8.8 per contest.

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The Phoenix Suns are just a win away from sending LeBron James home in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in the King's illustrious career.

After stating that "These shoulders were built for a reason," James referring to facing the challenge of taking on added responsibilities after Anthony Davis was ruled out for Game 5, the Lakers and LeBron disappointed in a big way Tuesday night. L.A. started off hot jumping out to a 10-5 lead behind a couple shots from James and a three from Davis' replacement Markieff Morris. But it didn't take long for the wheels to completely fall off for the defending champion Lakers as they spent most of the first half trying to remember how basketball works.

LeBron James LeBron looking on during Game 5Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Two numbers stick out in the Game 5 loss for the Lakers and those are 34.5 and 12. Los Angeles shot 34.5% from the field on Tuesday night and were minus 12 in turnover ratio. No matter who's on your team, if you can't shoot and you can't protect the ball, the outcome is already determined.

The Suns weren't simply beneficiaries of a poor performance however as the Suns put it on the Lakers early and often and they never let their foot off the pedal for 48 minutes. Phoenix ended with 15 more assists, had seven more combined steals and blocks, and outscored L.A. in the paint by 12 points. Devin Booker and Cameron Payne were spectacular and they seemed to hit big shots every time the Lakers appeared to threaten a comeback. Mikal Bridges was effective on both sides of the ball adding three steals and two blocks to help electrify his team with the defensive effort.


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