The NFL Power Rankings are selected by a panel of theScore’s football editors.
With 10 weeks in the books, we identify every team’s unsung hero so far this season.
1. Baltimore Ravens (7-2)
Previous Rank: 4
Lamar Jackson and the run game takes most of the credit for Baltimore’s 2019 success, but Greg Roman’s offense wouldn’t be as potent without Ronnie Stanley at left tackle. The 2016 first-round pick helps fuel the Ravens’ rushing attack and is an elite pass protector.
2. New England Patriots (8-1)
Previous Rank: 3
Joe Thuney has been a bright spot on the struggling Patriots offensive line. His stellar play at left guard has been needed, too, given the leakiness of tackle Marshall Newhouse and center Ted Karras beside him.
3. Seattle Seahawks (8-2)
Previous Rank: 5
Tight end Will Dissly was the Seahawks’ unsung hero before he was lost for the season to injured reserve. His replacement, Jacob Hollister, has inherited the role. Hollister made the game-winning touchdown catch in overtime in Week 9 and caught eight passes and another TD in an overtime win in Week 10.
4. San Francisco 49ers (8-1)
Previous Rank: 1
While Tevin Coleman leads the Niners with five rushing scores, it’s homegrown favorite Matt Breida who leads the group in yards with 542. He stepped up during Coleman’s injury absences, starting five games and averaging 75 rushing yards in those contests.
5. Green Bay Packers (8-2)
Previous Rank: 6
One of the top under-the-radar offseason signings, Adrian Amos has solidified the back end of Green Bay’s defense. Thriving in coverage and run defense, and as an open-field tackler, Amos’ presence aids a productive Packers pass rush.
6. New Orleans Saints (7-2)
Previous Rank: 2
Former first-rounder Eli Apple was dumped by the New York Giants after just two-plus seasons, leading many to label him a bust. But he’s turned his career around with the Saints, developing into a much-needed solid partner for Marshon Lattimore.
7. Minnesota Vikings (7-3)
Previous Rank: 9
You’d be hard-pressed to find a linebacker playing better football in 2019 than Eric Kendricks is. Pass-rushers Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen make more splash plays, but the Vikings’ fifth-ranked scoring defense is clearly led by Kendricks. Whether it’s in run defense or coverage, the veteran is always around the ball.
8. Houston Texans (6-3)
Previous Rank: 8
As a nose tackle, D.J. Reader will never stuff the stat sheet and is often overlooked in discussions about the best interior linemen as a result. But Reader has become the linchpin of Houston’s defense after developing into a three-down player.
9. Kansas City Chiefs (6-4)
Previous Rank: 7
For a team bereft of strong corners, Charvarius Ward has been a godsend. He leads the team in tackles and interceptions. The Chiefs’ secondary is routinely ridiculed but ranks eighth in the league in pass defense.
10. Dallas Cowboys (5-4)
Previous Rank: 10
The Robert Quinn pickup didn’t generate much buzz but it’s turned out to be a crucial one for the Cowboys. His 7.5 sacks have been huge in light of the sluggish play from Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence.
11. Philadelphia Eagles (5-4)
Previous Rank: 14
With holes galore in the secondary, it’s been up to the Eagles’ line to keep the pass defense somewhat afloat. Brandon Graham has a team-high six sacks and is on pace to hit double digits for the first time in his career at age 31.
12. Oakland Raiders (5-4)
Previous Rank: 16
If you watched the Thursday nighter, you learned the name of the Raiders’ unsung hero: Erik Harris. The former Division II walk-on and potato chip factory worker leads the team with three interceptions and two pick-6s.
13. Los Angeles Rams (5-4)
Previous Rank: 12
For all the turnover and injuries that have befallen the Rams’ offensive line, the consistency of right guard Austin Blythe is welcomed. He’s started eight of nine games, during which he’s allowed only two sacks and taken an equally impressive two penalties. He took the field for all 77 offensive snaps Sunday.
14. Carolina Panthers (5-4)
Previous Rank: 15
Mario Addison – who leads Carolina in sacks – returned to the Panthers to play the Packers after missing one week following the death of his brother, a display of fortitude that makes him worthy of this distinction.
15. Buffalo Bills (6-3)
Previous Rank: 11
John Brown leads the Bills in receiving with 680 yards and would have plenty more if Josh Allen could hit him downfield. Brown has consistently gotten open while playing the No. 1 receiver role.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4)
Previous Rank: 19
Where did this season come from, Bud Dupree? Most were ready to declare Dupree a draft bust, but the former first-round pick is in the midst of a breakout campaign. The outside linebacker already tied his career high of six sacks with seven games to go.
17. Tennessee Titans (5-5)
Previous Rank: 21
While Logan Ryan had a rough outing against Patrick Mahomes – most do – during Sunday’s win, the cornerback has been one of Tennessee’s most consistent defenders this year, routinely locking down opposing receivers in the slot.
18. Indianapolis Colts (5-4)
Previous Rank: 13
Chris Ballard’s rookie class isn’t at the level of last season’s, but the Colts general manager has unearthed another gem in safety Khari Willis. The fourth-rounder has slipped seamlessly into Indy’s high-energy unit and is routinely a big factor in run defense.
19. Chicago Bears (4-5)
Previous Rank: 22
Chicago’s defense hasn’t played up to its 2018 standards, but Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is proving to be a key addition to the unit. Opposing quarterbacks have earned a 40.8 passer rating when targeting the former Green Bay Packer in coverage.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5)
Previous Rank: 20
Jacksonville, of course, misses the All-Pro talents of departed cornerback Jalen Ramsey, but A.J. Bouye has stepped up after taking over the top role. He more than held his own against DeAndre Hopkins in Week 9, limiting the receiver to just 48 yards on eight catches.
21. Detroit Lions (3-5-1)
Previous Rank: 18
Though the Lions are currently mired in a slump, safety Tracy Walker continues to excel as a starter in Matt Patricia’s defense. Walker leads the team in tackles while providing solid coverage against tight ends and running backs.
22. Los Angeles Chargers (4-6)
Previous Rank: 17
Defensive tackle Damion Square has filled in nicely with Brandon Mebane and Justin Jones nursing injuries. He’s been crucial in stopping the run game.
23. Cleveland Browns (3-6)
Previous Rank: 25
While Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. have largely disappointed in 2019, Jarvis Landry‘s high level of play saved a struggling Browns offense on multiple occasions. Landry has more catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns than his former LSU teammate.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6)
Previous Rank: 26
Defensive tackle Vita Vea, Tampa Bay’s first-round pick in 2018, is a one-man wrecking crew. While he has just one sack, his 31 total quarterback pressures trail only Shaq Barrett on the Buccaneers and are tied for eighth among all interior defensive linemen.
25. Arizona Cardinals (3-6-1)
Previous Rank: 23
Of all the Cardinals’ offseason moves, the signing of linebacker Jordan Hicks barely registered on the national scale. But the five-year vet has been a vital part of the defense, leading the team in tackles and interceptions while adding two forced fumbles.
26. Atlanta Falcons (2-7)
Previous Rank: 28
Atlanta’s offensive line has been a mess again this season, but it isn’t because of left tackle Jake Matthews. The 27-year-old remains solid and would get far more recognition if he had superior teammates to work alongside.
27. Denver Broncos (3-6)
Previous Rank: 24
Free safety Justin Simmons has been a force for the Broncos and is deserving of Pro Bowl consideration. He always finds himself around the ball and leads the team in tackles and picks.
28. Miami Dolphins (2-7)
Previous Rank: 30
In a rebuilding season, the Dolphins have learned that Raekwon McMillan can be a big part of their future. The third-year linebacker has 55 tackles and stands out in run defense.
29. New York Jets (2-7)
Previous Rank: 31
Jamison Crowder is quietly having a really nice debut season with the Jets. He leads the team in receiving with 48 catches for 486 yards, and has been everything Gang Green hoped he would be in the slot.
30. New York Giants (2-8)
Previous Rank: 27
Giants fans may never get over the Beckham trade, but at least Jabrill Peppers has held up his end of the bargain. The safety has three forced fumbles, one interception, five pass breakups, and 71 tackles since being traded from the Browns.
31. Washington Redskins (1-8)
Previous Rank: 29
Josh Norman is the Redskins cornerback who everybody knows, but Quinton Dunbar has been the one standing out on tape. The rising star had an interception in Washington’s only win this year.
32. Cincinnati Bengals (0-9)
Previous Rank: 32
With A.J. Green yet to suit up in 2019, Auden Tate has stepped in nicely to fill the veteran’s role in Zac Taylor’s offense. Tate emerged as a viable No. 2 target behind Tyler Boyd thanks to his unique ability to get open using size and strength.