Week 9 NFL Power Rankings

Week 9 NFL Power Rankings
Joe Scarnici – Getty Images

In the Week 9 NFL Power Rankings, we’ve got a ton of movement! A bunch of last week’s top 10 teams had super rough weeks. Teams we dismissed a few weeks ago are starting to show signs of life. Hell, even the Jets are starting to look like they’re doing something right. The Week 9 NFL Power Rankings will probably look as ridiculous as any other week as early as next week. But, that’s part of the fun!

32. Detroit Lions (0-8)

Last Week: 32

Another week, another game where the Lions nearly get shut out in their own stadium. This time, instead of the upstart Cincinnati Bengals, it’s against the lowly Philadelphia Eagles. The wheels came off this train a long time ago. But, the walls are starting to come down now too. You have to imagine they’ll get a win eventually though… right? They can’t be the first 0-16 team AND the first 0-17 team can they?

31. Houston Texans (1-7)

Last Week: 31

A 22-point garbage time explosion doesn’t really do justice to how lopsided of a contest this was. Ka’imi Fairbairn’s missed 45-yard field goal as the second quarter expired was a perfect encapsulation of just how much of a disaster that first half was. The Texans are starting to show just how dysfunction their organization truly is. They couldn’t even move Deshaun Watson before the trade deadline. What a mess. 

30. Miami Dolphins (1-7)

Last Week: 30

It really feels like the Dolphins should be penalized in the Week 9 NFL Power Rankings for another loss. But, it’s pretty difficult to fall much further than they already have. At least they were mildly more competitive in their blowout loss this week than the Texans and Lions. I’ll give them some credit for having the good sense not to trade for Watson though. You made your bed with Tua, now sleep in it.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6)

Last week: 28

Many an NFL team have taken advantage of a Seattle Seahawks team featuring Geno Smith at quarterback this season. The Jacksonville Jaguars proved their ineptness by letting him blow them out. Yes, Seattle is one of the toughest stadiums to play in. But, man, the Jags weren’t even competitive until their second-to-last drive of the game. Even then the defense still couldn’t make a stop to make it remotely interesting. But hey, at least there’s teams worse than them.

28. Washington Football Team (2-6)

Last Week: 25

The Washington defense finally had a pretty decent game… against the Broncos. Washington joins the Jets, Giants, and Jags as the only teams in a bad enough spot this year to lose to the Broncos. Not exactly company you want to be mentioned with.

27. New York Giants (2-6)

Last Week: 27

I was going to give the Giants credit in the Week 9 NFL Power Rankings for playing their hearts out against a vastly more talented opponent. That is, until Daniel Jones did the most Daniel Jones thing ever and fumbled the ball on the final drive. Billy Price recovered the fumble to save catastrophe. But, then, he ran for about a one-yard gain with 15 yards to go and slid to avoid contact. Like he does know that basically ends the game, right? Why did you bother recovering the fumble if you’re just going to turn the ball over on downs without even trying to advance the ball? Giants gonna Giant.

26. New York Jets (2-5)

Last Week: 29

What even is this team? They’ve been embarrassed virtually every week they’ve played this year. Except, when they play top-10 teams. The Jets started Mike White in place of the injured Zac Wilson this week and he didn’t miss a beat. In fact, his 405 yards and three touchdowns would be a career day for most quarterbacks in the NFL. So, it seems the Jets are in good hands while Wilson recovers. Are they out of purgatory though? Time will tell, but it only took them seven games to equal their win total from last year.

25. Atlanta Falcons (3-4)

Last Week: 27

Just when you start feeling good about the Falcons… they pull the rug right out from under you. Then again, I guess that’s what it means to be a Falcons fan, huh? The Falcons fought their way back to .500 last week only to basically not show up in their own stadium against the Panthers this week. Carolina comes out looking like the team that could possibly turn things around, and Atlanta looks ready to go back to the basement.

24. Denver Broncos (4-4)

Last Week: 24

The Broncos did it! They finally won a game after failing to do so for an entire month! So, why aren’t they moving up in the Week 9 Power Rankings, you ask? Well, they really just confirmed what we already knew about them. They’re good enough to beat the bad teams, but still haven’t shown they can compete with anyone else. And what was that offensive performance? They made a WFT defense that has been extremely disappointing all season look stifling. And now they’re trading Von Miller to the Rams? I almost want to drop them, actually.

23. Chicago Bears (3-5)

Last Week: 20

That was an amazing run by Justin Fields! Seriously, I could see that play going down as one of those highlights that gets replayed endlessly on NFL Network every time this team is mentioned in a positive light. Problem is, all this game did was confirm that Justin Fields won’t save the Bears. Yes, he’s talented, but he’s in an awful position. The Bears take a slide in the Week 9 NFL Power rankings largely because of the way they completely collapsed in the fourth quarter.

22. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5)

Last Week: 26

I know it’s just the Lions. But, still, winning 44-6 on the road is a hell of an accomplishment, regardless of the opponent. They weren’t able to complete the shutout when Jared Goff managed to get a garbage time touchdown in the fourth quarter. But, the Eagles wouldn’t be the first team to fall just short of a shutout in Detroit this year. It’s been a rough year for a rebuilding Eagles team, but at least we know they can still dominate bad teams.

21. Seattle Seahawks (3-5)

Last Week: 22

The Seahawks beat the Jaguars handily in their own stadium. Yawn. Any win in the NFL is a good win, especially a dominating one like that. So, I’ll give the Seahawks credit with a boost in the Week 9 NFL Power Rankings. But, until Russell Wilson comes back, I don’t see much potential for this team.

20. Indianapolis Colts (3-5)

Last Week: 19

It was a good effort for the Colts this week. Unfortunately, the defense had no answer for AJ Brown. That said, the Colts probably could have won this game if Carson Wentz hadn’t melted down on the final four drives. Yes, he connected with Michael Pittman on a beautiful 38-yard pass that helped set up the game-tying touchdown. But, it could have been the game-winning touchdown if not for the pick six on the previous drive. Then, he threw the game away with an infuriating pick in Colts territory in overtime.

19. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)

Last Week: 21

The Steelers are now winners of three in a row, completely turning around what was looking like a lost season after losing three in a row. There are still some major question marks on that offense. But, Mike Tomlin is spinning straw into gold once again. Say his name. Rumpletomlin.

18. Carolina Panthers (4-4)

Last Week: 18

Alright! So, the Panthers beat the Falcons. Not exactly in the most photogenic way, mind you. Sam Darnold didn’t make any mistakes, but he also didn’t do much exciting either. He basically managed this game in an adequate way while Chubba Hubbard, Zane Gonzalez, and the defense buried the Falcons. I never really thought of Sam Darnold as the game manger type, but maybe it’s a role he should embrace? 

17. San Francisco 49ers (3-4)

Last Week: 17

Credit to the 49ers – they overcame a rough first half to put away a struggling Bears team in the second. Then again, this really felt like an instance of the Bears beating themselves rather than the 49ers doing anything spectacular. Jimmy Garoppolo managed the game well and found the endzone twice with his legs. But, it really felt like the 49ers were the much less exciting team to watch this week, even though they won.

16. Minnesota Vikings (3-4)

Last Week: 13

Just when I thought the Minnesota Vikings are going to make a jump in the Week 9 NFL Power Rankings, they turned everything upside down. The Vikings led the Cowboys through basically the whole game, save for a brief stretch early in the third quarter when it was tied. Then, they just had the absolute worst luck on the Cowboys’ final drive. What really felt like the Vikings’ opportunity to make a statement win turned into heartbreak. The Vikings are going to need to start finding a way to win these games before I take them seriously as playoff contenders.

15. Cleveland Browns (4-4)

Last Week: 11

What a fall from grace for the Browns. This team won three of their first four, but reversed course to lose three of their last four. To be fair, injuries have played a huge role in that decline. However, Baker Mayfield needs to be better. The Browns need more from their available receivers. This was a winnable game that the Browns appeared to be in control of until Jarvis Landry fumbled the ball away in Steelers territory in the fourth quarter. Next week they draw a pissed off Bengals team looking to bounce back in front of their home crowd. Yikes.

14. New Orleans Saints (5-2)

Last Week: 15

The up-and-down nature of the Saints’ season reared it’s ugly head again this week. The Saints beat the division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers and are now just half a game behind in the race for the top spot. But, they lost QB Jameis Winston for the year with a torn ACL in the process. Trevor Siemian played well enough in relief. But, it’s a bittersweet feeling for a Saints team that, otherwise, looked poised to make a run.  

13. Las Vegas Raiders (5-2)

Last Week: 14

It was a good time to have a bye for the Raiders. After all the Gruden turmoil, they proved their team is stronger than any controversy by handily winning their next two games. Now, they’re alone for first place in the AFC West. Is it sustainable? Find out next week on DRAGON BA…. err… the ATB NFL Power rankings.

12. Kansas City Chiefs (4-4)

Last Week: 11

An ugly win is a win at the end of the day. I’m no stranger to knocking teams down even after a win. But, I’m only going to do that in the case of an injury meaning more than the win itself meant. I’ll criticize the Cheifs all day long for a crazy sloppy game against the New York Giants. Honestly, we got more questions than answers out of this one. But, they won, so I won’t knock them down in the Week 9 NFL Power Rankings.

11. Tennessee Titans (6-2)

Last Week: 9

Uh-oh. Alright, I know it looks weird when a team that just beat their only competition for the division crown falls in the Week 9 NFL Power Rankings. But, hear me out. If Derrick Henry is out for the year, what even are the Titans anymore? Ryan Tannehill can sling it, but he won’t do that all the time. I’ll give the Titans credit for beating the Colts, which is why they don’t fall farther. But, ever heard of Pyrrhic victory? Supposedly there’s no bad wins in the NFL, but this might qualify.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (5-3)

Last Week: 6

Ouch. Remember all those good feelings we had about the Bengals after they demolished the Ravens last week? Yeah those are mostly gone after losing to the Jets. I still think this is a top-10 team because they’re remarkably healthy. And, they’re currently undefeated in the AFC North. The only other team the Jets have beaten this year are the Titans, who would be the No. 10 team this week had Derrick Henry not gotten hurt. So, maybe it’s not time to hit the panic button. Weird games happen. Go beat the Browns next week and those good feelings start coming back.

9. Los Angeles Chargers (4-3)

Last Week: 8

Over the last few weeks, Justin Herbert has looked more like the player I expected to see in the NFL. I’ve already admitted I was wrong about him, but he got outplayed by a pedestrian looking Mac Jones this week. The Chargers looked like they were generally in control of this game until he threw his first interception. They managed to overcome it and hold onto the lead, but then he threw a pick six in the fourth quarter. That was pretty much it for their chances this week, save for a too little too late touchdown with 40 seconds left in the game.

8. New England Patriots (4-4)

Last Week: 16

Am I being too generous to the Patriots here? Probably. But, last week I said they’re inching closer and closer to relevancy. Like the Steelers, the Patriots have completely reversed course on their abysmal start to the season. The difference is they did it with an absolute demolition job last week and a victory over a Super Bowl contender this week. I don’t see them losing any momentum with the Panthers, Browns, and Falcons coming up. But, if they do, it’ll show their boost in the Week 9 NFL Power Rankings was an overreaction. If not, they’ll be 7-4 in a few weeks.

7. Baltimore Ravens (5-2)

Last Week: 10

What a bye week for the Ravens! I haven’t forgotten they were blown out in their own stadium by the Cincinnati Bengals last week. But, the Bengals fell back down to earth against the Jets this week and gave the Ravens the half-game lead for the division race. Also, pretty much all the other AFC contenders stumbled this week, other than the Bills. I still can’t put them up as high as they were before last week. But, they benefited from the turmoil of their competitors in the Week 9 NFL Power Rankings.

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2)

Last Week: 2

It looked like Tom Brady was going to do typical Tom Brady things and lead his team back from the dead. The Bucs were staring at a 23-7 blowout midway through the third quarter. Brady turned it on after that and actually gave them the lead at one point. But, a pick-six with 1:24 left in the game sealed their fate. It was a wholly ugly game for the Bucs. They would have deserved plenty of criticism even if they won. But, they didn’t, so out of the top-3 they go.

5. Los Angeles Rams (7-1)

Last Week: 5

There’s not much to learn about the Rams in this one, other than that they’re a really good football team. But, you already knew that, and blasting the Texans probably didn’t change your mind. Matt Stafford looked near perfect with 305 yards and three touchdowns. They failed to cover their lofty Vegas expectations by letting the Texans rally in garbage time. But, the Rams weren’t going to let the Texans recover like four onside kicks in a row. So, there was never really any doubt.

4. Arizona Cardinals (7-1)

Last Week: 1

I figured it was coming eventually. I wasn’t the biggest fan of having the Cardinals as the best team in football. But it’s hard to argue against when they just kept winning. Perhaps a three spot fall in the Week 9 NFL Power Rankings is a bit much. Especially when the Cardinals just BARELY lost their first game because AJ Green forgot what the play call was. But, I’ve been skeptical of them all season. Let’s see how they bounce back with a fairly difficult second half of the season.

3. Dallas Cowboys (6-1)

Last Week: 4

Another close one for the Dallas Cowboys, but the Minnesota Vikings are much better than their record indicates. I’m impressed by the Cowboys’ resilience to win without Dak Prescott. The Cowboys will play the struggling Broncos and Falcons the next couple of weeks while Dak is out. So, getting this win was huge. If the Cowboys can win out while they’re waiting for Dak to come back, I’m not sure what’s going to stop this Cowboys team.

2. Buffalo Bills (5-2)

Last Week: 3

Beating the Miami Dolphins isn’t exactly the most impressive thing in the world. But, the Bills have looked as good as anyone throughout most of this season outside of a weird Week 1. Technically, the Tennessee Titans hold the No. 1 seed in the AFC right now due to head-to-head matchup. But, do you really think the Bills aren’t the best team in the AFC right now considering the Titans will be without King Henry?

1. Green Bay Packers (7-1)

Last Week: 7

What the Green Bay Packers have managed to accomplish this season is unbelievable. How Matt LaFleur isn’t the current unanimous front-runner for Coach of the Year is beyond me. Have you seen this team’s injury list? Za’Darius Smith, David Bakhtiari, Jaire Alexander, Josh Meyers, Marquez Caldes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, and Kevin King have all missed significant time this year. Hell, they didn’t even have Davante Adams against the Cardinals. But, they came away with a win against the only undefeated team left in the NFL. Can you imagine what this team will look like when they get healthy? Look out. For now, they’re well represented at the top of the Week 9 NFL Power Rankings.

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