Week 10 of the NFL season is in this books, and we dissect which teams are moving on up in our Power Rankings, and which are dropping hard after a bad performance.
What has gotten into Kirk Cousins lately? This is a team that I had really written off before this season started, but they are competing in every game and Jay Gruden is getting results. The defensive front 7 has remained stout through the first 10 weeks of the season and new GM Scot McCloughan seems to have really hit on a pair of good young players in Preston Smith and Matt Jones. The Redskins may have a very difficult decision this offseason in terms of whether or not to re-sign Kirk Cousins, especially if they keep playing themselves out of range to draft a decent first round QB.
I don't know if they are actually on the way up or if they just played the team they have been the legal guardian of in recent years - the Cincinnati Bengals. Texans QB Brian Hoyer got knocked out of the game in the second half with a concussion and Tyler Jonathan Yates still got the job done for this team. The Texans defense also held one of the most prolific offenses this season to only 6 points. Who knows what ashes are procured from the dumpster fire that is the AFC South, but Bill O'Brien may not want to be accepting that Maryland job quite yet.
As I am sure you all know, the Lions went in and beat the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau for the first time in a quarter of a century. The result also only gave them their second win of the season. The Lions are done for 2015, but the players are still playing hard for Jim Caldwell despite all the front office turmoil in recent weeks and the less-than-inspiring results on the field. That's saying something, but is it enough to keep his job? Probably not. But for at least one week, they are trending up.
What a weird week for Peyton Manning. He starts by breaking Brett Favre's all-time passing yards record, and then gets benched after record a -11.7 score on PFF in only 33 snaps of play. Is that bad? That sounds bad. Of course, reports following the game disclosed that Manning has been dealing with a painful plantar fascia injury, which for all we know might be an extremely valid excuse for his poor play, but the mysterious Brock Osweiler is getting the start this week and who knows for how long after. The Broncos are a huge question mark right now.
We touched on this team some when praising the Texans above, but it's relapses like this that just make you scratch your head. Andy Dalton was largely ineffective, AJ Green couldn't make an AJ Green-like impact, and Tyler iFart looked like Troy Niklas. The Bengals better hope the Colts don't let the Texans clinch this division, because if they face off in the playoffs, you can forget it. Don't look now, but the mighty AFC North is 1-2 on the season against the plebian AFC South.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
Two weeks in a row? Two weeks in a row. I don't know what is happening to the Packers, but they need to straighten things out before it's too late. I haven't seen an offense as potent as Green Bay's crumble like this since... ever. Aaron Rodgers should probably start focusing less on politics and more on finding a way to get everyone to R-E-L-A-X again. The Packers were my Super Bowl pick before the season began, but the ship appears to be sinking. On a side note, can you believe that all three teams in the Three Down column this week were all undefeated just three weeks ago? Life comes at you fast.