2019 NFL power rankings, Week 10: Dolphins win, Patriots don’t

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DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 3: Noah Fans #87 of the Denver Broncos runs the ball after a catch and is pursued by Joe Schobert #53 of the Cleveland Browns during the second half of a game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on November 3, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Browns 24-19. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)


Denver Broncos 3-6

Last week: W, 24-19 vs CLE
Last rank: 26th

Recap: Losers of six of their first eight games, the Broncos hoped to take advantage of a Browns’ team that was struggling as well. The team opted to place quarterback Joe Flacco on injured reserve late last week (herniated disc). But last Monday, the club announced that backup Brandon Allen would get the nod behind center. And the inexperienced pro did his share as he overcame three sacks and connected in 12-of-20 passes for 193 yards and touchdown tosses to wide receiver Courtland Sutton (21 yards) and rookie tight end Noah Fant (75 yards). On the other hand, Denver’s defense bent allowed 351 total yards but limited the Browns to four field goals and one TD.

Next Week: Fangio’s team gets some time off but when the struggling Broncos take the field once again, the club will take on the Vikings at Minnesota in the start of a stretch that will see the team play four road games in five weeks. Denver will be making its first appearance in the Twin Cities since posting a 35-32 victory in 2011.

Playoff hopes: The Broncos still find themselves at the bottom of the AFC West standings as they and the other three teams in the division all came away with home victories as well. It was a much-needed victory after a rough few days for the team. Now the club has a few weeks to prepare itself for a second-half postseason push.


Detroit Lions 3-4-1

Last week: L, 31-24 at OAK
Last rank: 18th

Recap: The Lions got back to the .500 mark last week by holding off the Giants. Now the Lions hoped to make it two straight wins via a trip to Oakland. Quarterback Matthew Stafford had been hot the previous two games, throwing for seven scores compared to only two interceptions. And he finished Sunday with 406 yards through the air and three more touchdowns. But the veteran performer also turned over the ball twice and that was bad news against an Oakland team that was able to move the ball at will against the Detroit defense. Matt Patricia’s club allowed 171 yards on the ground and allowed Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr throw for 289 yards and two scores.

Next Week: It’s actually the longest continuous rivalry in the NFL as the Lions make the trip to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears. The franchises have met at least once since 1930. A year ago, Detroit was swept by their NFC North adversaries for the first time since 2012, this after the Lions had prevailed nine of the previous 10 meetings.

Playoff hopes: After avoiding a loss in their first three games this season, Patricia’s club has dropped four of its last five contests. Detroit’s pass defense remains a big issue and those issues against the pass have made life easy for opposing quarterbacks. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) for the Lions, every team in the NFC North fell in Week 9.

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