Football

Week 9 NFL Power Rankings

Power Rankings
Mike Roemer/AP

The Packers proved they are the team to beat in the NFC, moving up in the power rankings. They had a statement win over the Cardinals.

Elsewhere, a lot of top teams fell in the power rankings after upset wins. The Buccaneers, Bengals, Cardinals, and Chargers all suffered a loss, despite being favored.

Week 8 was definitely exciting, with a lot of close games. Let’s take a look at where every team is at, heading into week 9.

1. Green Bay Packers

The Packers got the job done on Thursday night, despite not having their top receivers. They beat the Cardinals, 24-21. The difference maker was Aaron Jones, who had 110 total yards from scrimmage. Aaron Rodgers was more of a game manager, without his top receivers. Despite that, the Packers proved that they are resilient and can win tough games.

Previous Rank: 3

2. Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals weren’t lucky Thursday night. They lost to the Packers, 24-21. DeAndre Hopkins left the game with an injury, after a big 55-yard catch. Unfortunately, the Cardinals high flying offense left with him. Despite struggling for most of the game, it all came down to a last hope throw from Kyler Murray to AJ Green. AJ Green never turned around to make the catch and the throw was intercepted. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Cardinals, but this team has the ability to rebound.

Previous Rank: 1

3. Buffalo Bills

The Bills struggled to score points in the first half against the Dolphins, but they managed to turn on the jets in the second half to win 26-11. Josh Allen led the team in rushing yards with 55 rushing yards and continued a great season. Cole Beasley also had a great game with 110 yards. Despite the slow start, the Bills continued to show why they’re a dominant force in the AFC.

Previous Rank: 4

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers lost a heartbreaker in New Orleans on Sunday. Tom Brady threw for 375 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Buccaneers showed that you can do everything right and still lose the game. Despite that, don’t expect the Buccaneers to stay down for long. If anyone can bounce back, it’s Tom Brady.

Previous Rank: 2

5. Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys struggled to move the ball on Sunday, but did enough to get the win. They beat the Vikings, 20-16. Cooper Rush had an up and down game, but was aided by a struggling Vikings secondary. Ceedee Lamb and Amari Cooper continued to be difference makers, despite having a backup quarterback starting. With Dak Prescott likely returning soon, don’t expect the Cowboys to slow down anytime soon.

Previous Rank: 5

6. Los Angeles Rams

The Rams beat up on the Texans on Sunday, to the surprise of no one. Matthew Stafford had such a great game, that he sat the fourth quarter. Stafford threw for 305 yards and 3 touchdowns, before sitting out. The rushing attack and receiving game were also elite for the Rams. The Rams might be the most complete team in the NFL, at this point in the season.

Previous Rank: 7

7. New Orleans Saints

Sean Payton is coaching like a coach of the year. Despite losing Jameis Winston to a season ending knee injury, the Saints found a way to beat the Buccaneers. The game changer for the Saints was the defense, who found a way to capitalize on costly turnovers. Despite the win, the Saints will need to find a way to win without Jameis Winston. This might be a struggle, because relying on a rushing attack can only take a team so far.

Previous Rank: 13

8. Tennessee Titans

The Titans won in overtime against the Colts on Sunday. The star of the game was AJ Brown, who had 155 yards and a touchdown. Derrick Henry left the game early with an injury and might be out for the year. Moving forward, the Titans will need to find a way to win without their elite running back.

Previous Rank: 8

9. Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals played a good game on Sunday, but the Jets just played better. Joe Burrow played a good game, but a fourth quarter interception cost the Bengals the game. Tee Higgins had a big game, with 97 receiving yards. After this heartbreaking loss, don’t be surprised if the Bengals play with a chip on their shoulder moving forward.

Previous Rank: 6

10. Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens had their bye week in week 8. Considering their loss to the Bengals, the Ravens will be looking to bounce back strong. And considering their upcoming schedule, they have the chance to do just that.

Previous Rank: 9

11. Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders had their bye week in week 8. They’ve had a few hiccups this season, but the Raiders have showed no sign of slowing down. If Derek Carr can continue his hot streak, the Raiders will be in a good position come December.

Previous Rank: 12

12. Los Angeles Chargers

What is going on with the Chargers? After a red hot start, they’ve dropped 2 games in a row. Justin Herbert struggled on Sunday, only throwing for 223 yards. Herbert also threw 2 interceptions, one of which was a pick-six. The upcoming schedule gives the Chargers the chance to right the ship, which they’ll need to do if they want to make the playoffs.

Previous Rank: 10

13. New England Patriots

Could the Patriots actually be good? If they can keep putting together these wins, they might be. Unfortunately, their offense might be the thing holding them back. Mac Jones struggled to score in the red zone and no one shined offensively for the Patriots. Despite that, they found a way to beat the Chargers. If that’s the case, it’s possible this Patriots team could sneak out a few more wins against good teams this season.

Previous Rank: 15

14. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers did enough to get the win on Sunday. They beat the Browns, 15-10. The star of the game was Najee Harris, who had 91 rushing yards and a touchdown. Ben Roethlisberger got the ball out quickly and stuck to short passes for much of the game. It worked for this game, but the Steelers need to find a way to score points if they want to win more games moving forward.

Previous Rank: 17

15. Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs needed a get right game against the Giants, and they got it. However, after only winning 20-17 they left many lingering doubts. Patrick Mahomes ended the opening drive by throwing another interception, and he only threw for 275 yards in the game. The Chiefs have shown that they need Mahomes to be elite to win games. As the season winds down, there are lingering doubts to if that can happen.

Previous Rank: 16

16. Cleveland Browns

In a sight that is somehow both surprising yet familiar, the Browns are last place in the NFC North. With a loss to the Steelers, the Browns continued struggles that have been shown all season. Baker Mayfield did enough to get the Browns into scoring position, but couldn’t finish drives. The Browns have all the pieces to be a good team, but inconsistent quarterback play might be keeping them back.

Previous Rank: 11

17. Denver Broncos

The Broncos did enough to beat Washington on Sunday. Teddy Bridgewater had an average game, throwing for 213 yards and a touchdown. It was enough to beat Washington, but it may not be enough to beat other teams. The defense was still quiet and no one shined on offense.

Previous Rank: 22

18. Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks needed a big win against the Jaguars and that’s exactly what they got. Geno Smith had his first great game filling in for Russell Wilson, throwing for three touchdowns. Tyler Lockett was the target of choice, with 142 yards. If the Seahawks can put together a few more wins like this, they might be able to survive until Russell Wilson comes off of IR. And if they can do that, they can sneak into the playoffs.

Previous Rank: 18

19. Minnesota Vikings

Are the Vikings good or bad? This question has vexed philosophers for decades. In a Sunday night loss against the Cowboys, it appeared to be the latter. The Vikings led for most of the game, but couldn’t finish drives, often settling for a field goal. The Vikings secondary also struggled, missing many opportunities to intercept a pass. Some of those passes bounced right of the chest of Bashaud Breeland. It looks like Mike Zimmer might not be the defensive guru he used to be.

Previous Rank: 14

20. Indianapolis Colts

The Colts started strong against the Titans, but ultimately Carson Wentz cost them the game. Wentz threw 2 interceptions, including one in overtime. Wentz has been making backbreaking mistakes all season. Moving forward, the Colts need to find a way to limit Wentz’s mistakes if they want to win.

Previous Rank: 19

21. San Fransisco 49ers

In a win against the Bears, Jimmy Garopplo looked the best he’s ever been. The entire 49ers roaster seemed to have a good game on Sunday. Deebo Samuel had 171 yards and Elijah Mitchell had 137 yards. If the 49ers had been playing this way all season, they’d be a lot better than 3-4.

Previous Rank: 24

22. Carolina Panthers

The Panthers did enough to beat a struggling Falcons team. It was mostly a defensive game, with Sam Darnold struggling once again. Darnold left in the fourth quarter with an injury, being replaced by PJ Walker. With Darnold’s inconsistent play, don’t be surprised if the Panthers continue to fall in coming weeks.

Previous Rank: 25

23. New York Jets

Could the Jets start Mike White, even with Zach Wilson healthy? White made a case for it on Sunday, throwing for 405 yards and 3 touchdowns in a win over the Bengals.

Previous Rank: 29

24. Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles beat the worst team in football on Sunday. The Eagles relied on a strong rushing attack, with Jalen Hurts leading the pack. If the Eagles can keep this rushing game up, they may find away to sneak into the playoffs.

Previous Rank: 27

25. Atlanta Falcons

The best player on the Falcons might be Cordarrelle Patterson. Outside of Patterson, the rest of the roaster struggled. It looks like the falcons are wasting the twilight years of Matt Ryan’s career.

Previous Rank: 20

26. New York Giants

The Giants lost a very winnable game against the Chiefs. It just goes to show, even when the Giants are playing well, they’ll find a way to lose.

27. Chicago Bears

Justin Fields struggled to move the ball, and he took four sacks on Sunday. The hard truth for the Bears is that this was one of Fields’ best games this season.

Previous Rank: 23

28. Washington Football Team

Do you remember when everyone was talking about how good Washington’s defense was going to be? What happened?

Previous Rank: 26

29. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins are in free fall and Tua Tagovailoa is struggling. It appears another Belichick disciple has failed in Brian Flores.

Previous Rank: 28

30. Houston Texans

The biggest news out of Houston this week was that the Deshaun Watson trade might not happen until the off-season. The Texans also played a game on Sunday. They lost.

Previous Rank: 30

31. Jacksonville Jaguars

You can always count on the Jaguars to find new and interesting ways to lose.

Previous Rank: 31

32. Detroit Lions

The Lions played like they wanted the 33rd spot on this list.

Previous Rank: 32

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