Look who appears to be back, potentially in Super Bowl form.
Three years ago, the Panthers went 15-1 and went to the Super Bowl. They lost to the Broncos, but the Panthers, with a strong defense and star quarterback Cam Newton, figured to be at or near the top of the league for years.
Then came 2016, when Carolina was the disappointment of the NFL, going 6-10.
The Panthers rout of the Dolphins on Monday night made them 7-3, a half-game behind the Saints for first place in the NFC South. So through 10 games, theyve already surpassed their 2016 win total and are riding a three-game winning streak entering their bye this coming weekend.
I feel as if were still scratching the surface with our potential and things we can do as a whole with this offense, Newton told reporters after Monday nights win over Miami. We just want to keep it going.
Newton, as always, has been the engine that makes Carolina go. He threw for 254 yards and four TDs and rushed for 95 yards on five carries in the win.
Its nothing saying weve hit our pinnacle yet, and theres nothing saying we cant get better, Newton said. Thats the thing weve just got to be optimistic about.
With that, heres a look at The Posts NFL power rankings for Week 10:
1. Eagles, 8-1 (1): Fresh off their bye week, the Iggles are ready to get after struggling Dallas on Sunday night with their No. 2-ranked offense (31.4 points per game).
2. Patriots, 7-2 (2): Home, on the road, in the U.S., out of the U.S. (the Patriots play the Raiders in Mexico City on Sunday), it appears theyre on track for another Super Bowl run.
3. Rams, 7-2 (3):The Rams have scored 84 points in their last two games, blowout wins over the Giants and Texans.
4. Saints, 7-2 (4): Seven consecutive wins and the Saints (for a change) are not winning by Drew Brees arm alone. This makes them one of the most intriguing contenders in the league at the moment.
5. Steelers, 7-2 (5): Struggled to beat the Colts, now will truly be tested with a quick-turnaround game Thursday night against the surprising Titans and their former longtime defensive coordinator, Dick LeBeau.
6. Vikings, 7-2 (6): With Teddy Bridgewater back in uniform it presents a compelling QB question about what Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. Can he possibly replace backup Case Keenum when hes helped them get to 7-2 with five consecutive wins?
7. Panthers, 7-3 (9): Behind Cam Newton, Panthers are running the ball with dominant authority. They stamped 294 rushing yards on the Dolphins and have gained more than 200 in each of their last two games after averaging fewer than 100 in their first eight games.
8. Chiefs, 6-3 (7): Who are the Chiefs? The team that started the season 5-0? Or the team thats lost three of its last four?
9. Jaguars, 6-3 (8): Jags survived a dodgy offense performance against the Chargers, but have won three in a row and are tied for first place in the AFC South.
10. Seahawks, 6-3 (10): Fresh off bye week having won five of their last six, Seahawks are challenged to figure out how to survive life with their vaunted secondary compromised by injuries.
11. Titans, 6-3 (12)
12. Falcons, 5-4 (13)
13. Cowboys, 5-4 (11)
14. Bills, 5-4 (14)
15. Lions, 5-4 (18)
16. Redskins, 4-5 (15)
17. Ravens, 4-5 (17)
18. Raiders, 4-5 (19)
19. Packers, 5-4 (20)
20. Dolphins, 4-5 (16)
21. Cardinals, 4-5 (22)
22. Jets, 4-6 (21)
23. Broncos, 3-6 (23)
24. Texans, 3-6 (24)
25. Chargers, 3-6 (25)
26. Bears, 3-6 (26)
27. Buccaneers, 3-6 (28)
28. Colts, 3-7 (27)
29. Bengals, 3-6 (29)
30. 49ers, 1-9 (31)
31. Giants, 1-8 (30)
32. Browns, 0-9 (32)