Week 9 in the NFL was the week of upsets and the power rankings reflect that. The Bills, Rams, Packers, Saints, Bengals, and Cowboys all fell victim to upset losses.
Meanwhile the Cardinals, Ravens, and Titans proved that they belong at the top of the league after resilient wins.
Just when you think you know how good every team is, you get a week like this. Let’s take a look at where every team stands after week 9.
1. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals might be the most complete team in the NFL. Despite missing both Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins, the Cardinals pulled off a dominant win over a struggling 49ers team. James Conner was the star of the show, with 169 total yards and 2 touchdowns. Christian Kirk stepped in for Hopkins, recording 91 yards. The Cardinals have shown all season they’ll find a way to win any game. Even missing their potential MVP quarterback, the Cardinals couldn’t be slowed down.
Previous Rank: 2
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers had their bye week in week 9. Few teams have looked as dominant at this point in the season. With an easy slate of upcoming games, don’t expect the Buccaneers to slow down anytime soon.
Previous Rank: 4
3. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have showed resilience all season. That was again the case against the Vikings on Sunday. After being down early, the Ravens were able to claw their way back and win in overtime. No one demonstrated that more than Lamar Jackson. After struggling for the first half, Jackson threw 2 touchdowns in the second half to put the Ravens in position to win. As the Ravens continue to win close games, they silence narratives that they can’t win close games.
Previous Rank: 10
4. Tennessee Titans
The Titans defense took control on Sunday night against the Rams. Ryan Tannehill struggled to move the ball down the field. The Titan’s backfield struggled with Adrian Peterson taking the place of an injured Derrick Henry. Usually these things would spell disaster for the Titans, but the defense was so dominant that it didn’t matter. With the Titans proving they can find any way to win, they are one of the most dominant teams in the NFL.
Previous Rank: 8
5. Green Bay Packers
The future may not be so bright in Green Bay, without Aaron Rodgers. Jordan Love started his first game for the Packers last night, as Rodgers sat after testing positive for Covid-19. Against a Chiefs time that has struggled to score points, this would have been the perfect opportunity for Love to prove he is a valid starting choice at quarterback. Instead, Love struggled for most of the night and Green Bay only scored a touchdown. Green Bay now hopes to keep Rodgers healthy for the rest of the season, as they proved they can’t win games without him.
Previous Rank: 1
6. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams were in rare form on Sunday night against the Titans and that’s not a good thing. The elite passing offense struggled to move the ball down the field for most of the game. Matthew Stafford only threw for 143 yards and 1 interception. Hopefully, this is just an off game for the Rams and they’ll rebound soon.
Previous Rank: 6
7. Buffalo Bills
The Bills struggled to do anything against the Jaguars on Sunday. Josh Allen struggled to throw the ball, throwing two interceptions. The run game couldn’t do anything to help the team. Stefon Diggs stats looked good, but the receivers couldn’t find the end zone. With a high flying offense that struggles in the red zone, the Bills might struggle moving forward.
Previous Rank: 3
8. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys no-showed against the Broncos. They were scoreless for the first three quarters. Dak Prescott didn’t have impressive numbers until the fourth quarter. Trevon Diggs gave up 81 yards. Hopefully this is just a fluke for the Cowboys, and not a sign of trouble to come.
Previous Rank: 5
9. Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert was back to being an elite quarterback on Sunday, against the Eagles. Herbert threw for 356 yards and 2 touchdowns. With help from Austin Ekeler and Keenan Allen, the Chargers were able to escape with a win against an Eagles team that seems to be getting better. After a few bad performances, this is exactly what the Chargers needed to get back on track.
Previous Rank: 12
10. New England Patriots
The Patriots defense came to play on Sunday. They dominated the Panthers for the whole game, suffocating Sam Darnold. The stars of the game were J.C. Jackson who had a pick-six and Jaime Collins who also hand an interception. With Mac Jones playing efficiently and a defense that’s finding it’s identity, the Patriots are starting to look like a real threat in the AFC.
Previous Rank: 13
11. New Orleans Saints
The Saints did everything right against the Falcons on Sunday. Trevor Siemian had a good game, throwing for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns. Alvin Kamara gained 10 yards. Under normal circumstances, this would have been enough to win the Saints the game. Unfortunately for the Saints, the Falcons were just better. The Saints still played admirably and if they can put together games like this, they’ll usually come out with a win.
Previous Rank: 7
12. Cleveland Browns
The Browns showed they don’t need Odell Beckham Jr against the Bengals. Per usual, Nick Chubb led the charge with an elite rushing attack. Baker Mayfield had a solid game throwing for 218 yards and 2 touchdowns. All of these factors led to them putting up 41 points against the Bengals. After a few struggling weeks, the Browns seem to be back.
Previous Rank: 16
13. Cincinnati Bengals
At one point not long ago, the Bengals were first in the AFC North. After their loss to the Browns, that’s no longer the case. Joe Burrow was sacked 5 times and also threw 2 interceptions. Ja’Marr Chase was a non-factor, with only 49 yards. It seems the key to stopping the Bengals is getting pressure on Joe Burrow and taking his most reliable target out of the equation.
Previous Rank: 9
14. Las Vegas Raiders
Derek Carr did everything he could to lose the Raiders the game against the Giants. The Raiders offense was much more efficient moving the ball than the Giants. It was Derek Carr’s two backbreaking interceptions that cost the Raiders the game. Despite this game, Carr has still had a mostly good season. Moving forward, the Raiders need to put this game behind them and continue to build on their success this season.
Previous Rank: 11
15. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers etched out another tough win against the Bears on Monday night. Ben Roethlisberger continues to improve from a bad start of the season, and is showing he’s able to lead this team to close wins. Now with a tough slate of games moving forward, the Steelers face one of the toughest challenges of their season.
Previous Rank: 14
16. Denver Broncos
No Von Miller? No problem. The Broncos defense came to play on Sunday, keeping the Cowboys scoreless for the first three quarters. The defense recorded three sacks and took away the Cowboy’s elite passing attack. Teddy Bridgewater was an efficient game manager and didn’t turn the ball over. This was the Bronco’s formula to win all season. This was just the first team it worked against a good team.
Previous Rank: 17
17. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs beat the Packers on Sunday, but they did not make it look easy. In fact, it was one of the ugliest wins all day. Patrick Mahomes only threw for 166 yards and 1 touchdown. The communication issues with Tyreek Hill were still apparent, as he was quiet for most of the game. If the Chiefs want to win more games and be relevant again, this may be the path to do it. Do just enough to win and count on your defense to stop the other team.
Previous Rank: 15
18. Indianapolis Colts
After a slow start to the season, the Colts finally seem to be finding themselves. The answer seems to be Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines, who were the stars of the night for Indianapolis. Wentz also limited mistakes, allowing the running game to take control and lead the offense. If the Colts can build off of this newfound identity, they have a chance to climb up the rankings. Considering the Colts upcoming schedule, that will be easier said than done.
Previous Rank: 20
19. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks got some great news during their bye week. Russell Wilson has been cleared to return in week 10, against the Packers. Can he save the Seahawk’s season and take them to the playoffs? At this point, it might take a miracle.
Previous Rank: 18
20. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles can take away a moral victory from their defeat against the Chargers. The Eagles showed on Sunday that they have the potential to be an elite rushing team. They also showed that they need to be an elite rushing team to win. Unfortunately for the Eagles, that will be hard to do every week.
Previous Rank: 24
21. Atlanta Falcons
Where has this Falcons team been all season? Matt Ryan looked like he did during his Super Bowl run, throwing for 343 yards and 2 touchdowns. Cordarrelle Patterson continued to have a career renaissance. The Falcons have shown that if they can fire on all cylinders, they can beat most teams in the league. The problem is they haven’t been consistent doing that.
Previous Rank: 25
22. New York Giants
The Giants might be the best bad team in the NFL. The offense was nothing to write home about, as no one stood out. Xavier McKinney was the star of the game, with a pick-6. If the Giants want to win more games, the offense needs to find a way to do it’s job.
Previous Rank: 26
23. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are still in a free-fall. With 2 potential starting quarterbacks in Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance, the question has to be asked as to what is causing the 49ers struggles. Kyle Shanahan’s record since 2019 speaks for itself.
Previous Rank: 21
24. Minnesota Vikings
Considering how much talent the Vikings have, they should be a top ten team in the NFL. However, they have shown all season that they are unable to finish out games. That was the case against the Ravens. After an early 14-3 lead, the Vikings lost in overtime. They had many opportunities to put the game away, but were unable to capitalize on them. Now at 3-5, questions are starting to be asked about Mike Zimmer’s job security.
Previous Rank: 19
25. Miami Dolphins
Jacoby Brissett lead the Dolphins to a win over the Texans. It wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win. The jury is still out on if the Dolphins can win another game this season.
Previous Rank: 29
26. Carolina Panthers
The Sam Darnold experiment seems to have failed for the Panthers. Darnold threw three interceptions against the Patriots on Sunday. It seems Darnold is leading this team into a fiery crash of a season.
Previous Rank: 22
27. New York Jets
The Mike White era was exciting but short-lived for the Jets. White left the game after a forearm injury and was replaced by Josh Johnson. Johnson had a solid game against the Colts, but unfortunately the Jets defense didn’t show up for the game. The quarterback carousel for the Jets continues, with Joe Flacco still on the team and Zach Wilson likely to be healthy soon.
Previous Rank: 23
28. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars weren’t good on Sunday, but they were better than the Bills.
Previous Rank: 31
29. Chicago Bears
Justin Fields is starting to show improvement and that he may be a viable starter. However, the question now is if he’s good enough to overcome Matt Nagy’s coaching. Avoidable penalties might have cost the Bears the game on Monday night.
Previous Rank: 27
30. Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team didn’t have to play this week, saving their fans from another week of misery.
Previous Rank: 28
31. Houston Texans
Do you remember how good Tyrod Taylor was in week 1? What happened?
Previous Rank: 30
32. Detroit Lions
The Lions reportedly used their bye week to take out a lease in the 32nd spot, so don’t expect them to leave anytime soon.
Previous Rank: 32
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