NFL Power Rankings - Week 10: 'Muscle Hamster' leading Bucs

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NFL Power Rankings - Week 10: 'Muscle Hamster' leading Bucs

Every Tuesday throughout the regular season, we'll beranking all 32 NFL teams.

Take a look and offer up yourthoughts in the comment box below or to us on Twitter @BearsTalkCSN.

Previousrankings: Week1 Week2 Week3 Week4 Week5 Week6 Week7 Week8 Week9

SK JFComments 1 SK: Another less-than impressivevictory, but until someone beats them, ATL sits at No. 1.
JF: Still have problems stopping the run, but didn't matter vs. Cowboys. 2 SK: Possible Super Bowl preview onSNF?
JF: Still clearly the top team in the AFC.
3 SK: The defense is playing at a levelthat nobody in Chicago has seen since 1985.
JF: Most impressive win of the season is followed by toughest game vs. Texans.
4 SK: Despite string of injuries, AaronRodgers and Co. continue to get the job done.
JF: Off last week now back in action at home against St. Louis.
5 SK: Well restedand now face a tough divisional foe in the Rams.
JF: Continue to dominate their division. Can't afford to look past Raiders.
6 SK: Manning is playing at an MVPlevel, can't avoid a letdown in Carolina.
JF: Rodgers is discount double checking at a staggering rate the last few weeks.
7 SK:Should have no problem against a Bills team in a downward spiral.
JF: Did enough on offense and shut down Manning on defense to top Giants.
8 SK: It's about time theydecided Ray Rice is their best offense.
JF: Manning looked terrible in loss to Steelers.
9 SK:Arguably the most impressive victory in Week 9; ground game has beenlethal.
JF: Come back from BYE week for home matchup with Buffalo.
10 SK: Don't know which Giants team willshow up each week.
JF: The other Manning (Peyton) continues to shine for 5-3 Broncos.
11 SK: If ChuckStrong speech didn't giveyou chills, you don't have a soul.
JF:When Wilson is on and the defense is locked in, the Seahawks are a good team.
12 SK:I can't say enough good things about Russell Wilson, very underrated.
JF: Still can't believe the Colts are 5-3 heading into Week 10.
13 SK:Beat up on the lowly Jaguars. Run game was clicking Sunday.
JF: Defense was impressive with win over Chiefs. Are the Bolts back on track?
14 SK:After hot start, Ponder has been brutal. A plus is how healthy"All Day" looks.
JF: Without Harvin the Vikings will have a tough task vs. Detroit.
15 SK:Philbin for Coach of the Year?
JF:Huge opportunity for Lions vs. Minnesota in Week 10.
16 SK:Move over RG3, you've got competition for ROY in Dougie"Fresh" Martin.
JF: Need to win at home vs. Titans to stay in the playoff picture.
17 SK:Defense poured it on in a much-need victory over the Chiefs.
JF: Can't fault them for loss to Packers. Need to get healthy during BYE week.
18 SK:Look out NFC, the Saints may be back in the playoff hunt.
JF: Rookie RB Martin gives Bucs an added punch. Face fellow 4-4 Chargers.
19 SK: Mike Shanahan seems to havealready given up on the season.
JF:Can get the season back on track with home win over Giants.
20 SK:Sunday's battle in Philly could cost the losing coach his job.
JF: Brees has Saints believing in an even longer winning streak.
21 SK:Bye couldn't come at a better time for a team in the midst of afive-game losing streak.
JF: Continue to turn the ball over and can't give Vick any time.
22 SK:Major problems in Philadelphia. Time for a rebuild on both sides ofthe ball?
JF: Will they ever find a way to win again?
23 SK: Playoffs?!? Playoffs?!? Bengalscan't even win a game.
JF: See previous comment above.
24 SK:I know DMC got hurt, but why on earth is Palmer throwing the ball 61times???
JF: After getting embarrassed by Pats in London, need upset vs. 49ers following BYE.
25 SK:Amendola's return to the offense should provide spark.
JF: Looking better the last few weeks. Still have a big hole to dig out of.
26 SK:A loss to Seattle and they can kiss their playoff chances goodbye.
JF: Would have been 4-4 if they could have stopped one man (Martin) in loss to Bucs.
27 SK:Most lopsided loss of All-Time at LP Field in Nashville.
JF: Must win at extremely hostile environment in Seattle. You never know.
28
SK:Where was that Panthers defense allseason?
JF: Are better than their record indicates. But it's a win-now league.
29 SK:Almost pulled out a win over the first place Ravens.
JF:Not getting blown out, but not winning either.
30 SK:This team has no identity...
JF:Looked about as bad as any team could look vs. Bears.
31 SK:On the bright side, Justin Blackmon caught his first NFL touchdownpass.
JF: Can't run the ball on offense and unable to stop the run on defense.
32 SK:Hey Scott Pioli, your days of being an NFL GM may be over soon.
JF: Just awful.

Doug McDermott's return boosts Bulls' bench

Doug McDermott's return boosts Bulls' bench

Doug McDermott wasn’t exactly hunting for his first shot, but the first time he touched the ball in an NBA game in nearly a month wasn’t the optimal situation for him to let one fly.

It wasn’t in transition where he runs to an opening behind the 3-point line, nor was it a drive-and-kick situation where the help defense collapsed and left him open. It was a regular, simple, pass to the perimeter and McDermott’s defender was in reasonable proximity with 3:23 left in the first quarter.

He launched and the crowd soon roared its approval as his sweet jumper was sorely missed by the Bulls bench brigade—and moments later when he ran the floor for a fearless layup that caused Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to call a timeout, McDermott showed he missed the United Center crowd too, calling for more noise on his way to the bench.

“Anytime you have a guy like Doug, he comes back and makes his first 3, that’s hard to do,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He stepped up with confidence on that first shot. I’m sure he had a lot of nerves getting back out there.”

Missing 12 games and suffering two concussions, McDermott looked right at home in 25 minutes of run Thursday as the Bulls were able to rely on their reserves in some form in their 95-91 win over the previously perfect road warriors known as the Spurs.

“We defended and kept them off the foul line,” McDermott said. “Coach (Jim) Boylen was with them, so we feel we know them and I think all this time they were missing my defense.”

[SHOP: Get your Bulls gear right here]

The last statement was certainly tongue-in-cheek, but the Bulls’ bench production was certainly missing in action while he was out with the concussion protocol. So much so that his return prompted the Bulls’ coaching staff to call out the reserves in the morning shootaround, demanding more.

“It’s definitely Dwyane (Wade) and Jimmy (Butler) and (Rajon) Rondo (but) the coaching staff kinda called out our bench like, we gotta have you tonight, bench,” McDermott said. “We took that to heart, we were really locked in.”

Seemingly his presence aided the Bulls’ spirits and production, as the Bulls’ bench had the least effective scoring bench in the NBA since Nov. 13, the day after McDermott hit the unforgiving floor against the Wizards for his second concussion this season.

Their net rating ranks ahead of only the Wizards, Mavericks and Nets, who are a combined 17-45 this season. Their effective field goal percentage, which takes into account 3-pointers, is worst in the league in that span (42.3 percent).

When McDermott was healthy for that smaller sample size, the Bulls’ bench ranked fifth in offensive efficiency, seventh in net rating, and fifth in efficient field goal percentage. Whether McDermott – and his absence – was directly related to those numbers, it’s clear the Bulls are better when they have their best reserve – and only true floor spacers on the second unit – on the court.

“We’re all professionals and we want to help the guys who are busting their butts in the first unit to get us the leads,” McDermott said. “Tonight we did a great job of sustaining it. We take it personal when teams come back on us.”

[MORE: Pau Gasol relishes consistency with Spurs he couldn't find with Bulls]

Nikola Mirotic was four of eight from the field, and Cristiano Felicio seems to be back in Fred Hoiberg’s good graces as he’s carved out a rotation spot for himself with nine points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes.

It seems as if Hoiberg will stick with this rotation of players, at least for a little while until Michael Carter-Williams returns from his injuries. If McDermott is the mark of the Bulls’ bench going from bottom feeder to adequate, it should show this month.

“When he’s out there on the floor and we get him coming off screens, it forces the defense to shift as another person they need to be aware of,” Hoiberg said. “It opens up driving lanes for our guys. It was great to have Doug back with us.”

Morning Update: Bulls beat Spurs in Pau Gasol's return to Chicago

Morning Update: Bulls beat Spurs in Pau Gasol's return to Chicago

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