The Football Gods work in mysterious ways. After the Packers and Titans upset losses, the Seahawks leapfrog the Packers and Titans in this week’s Power Rankings. Indianapolis also makes it into the top ten for the first time this season. Come see where your favourite team ranks this week on the Week 9 edition of the NFL Power Rankings.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (7-1)
Previous Rank: 1
The best team in the NFL without a doubt. A Week 8 home date against the winless Jets was just what Mahomes needed for the stat sheet, as he and the Chiefs casually dominated the Jets in a 35-9 win. Mahomes threw for 416 yards and five touchdowns with no turnovers in the beatdown. The Chiefs didn’t need to rely on Clyde Edwards-Helaire or Le-Veon Bell because Mahomes could attack the Jets however he wanted. It’s easy to win when you have the best quarterback in the world.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-0)
Previous Rank: 2
The Steelers remain undefeated in their 28-24 win against the Ravens. The defence rattled Lamar Jackson into four turnovers, while the offence started to get their mojo back. While the defence did give up 265 yards on the ground, they made big-time plays to help the Steelers win. Robert Spillane had a pick-six in the first quarter, the front seven swallowed up Jackson on a fourth-and-short draw play with two minutes left, and Minkah Fitzpatrick broke up Jackson’s end-zone pass on the final play of the game to secure victory for the Steelers. The Steelers are talented, well-coached, and know how to close games. No wonder they’re undefeated.
3. Seattle Seahawks (6-1)
Previous Rank: 7
A dominant performance by Russell Wilson and DK Metcalf helped secure the Seahawks a 37-27 win against the rival 49ers. Wilson is up to 26 touchdown passes on the season, only one shy of Tom Brady’s record from 2007 for the most through seven games. Meanwhile, Metcalf continues to show his rare combination of power, size and speed to make defenders look stupid. Metcalf finished the day with two touchdowns and 12 catches for 161 yards. Wilson and Metcalf looks like one of the scariest duos in the NFL right now.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2)
Previous Rank: 3
After two pretty wins in Week 6 and 7 for the Bucs, it was weird to watch them in an ugly 25-23 win against the Giants. Tampa Bay’s vaunted defence allowed Daniel Jones to march down the field for 70 yards and a touchdown in the final minutes, but Antoine Winfield Jr. helped secure the win for the Bucs by batting away the two-point conversion attempt. On paper, this game looked like a blowout, but the Giants’ defence gave Tom Brady problems all night (sound familiar?). New York could have easily won this game if Jones doesn’t throw two picks and miss wide open receivers throughout the night. But still, a win is a win. A huge division game against the Saints looms on the horizon this week.
5. Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
Previous Rank: 4
The Ravens just don’t look like the same team that set foot on the field last season. On Sunday, they blew a 10-point lead at home in a loss to the rival Steelers, while Lamar Jackson threw a pick-six and accounted for four turnovers in another lacklustre performance. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who was having a good season suffered a serious leg injury that ended his season, and Marlon Humphrey announced he tested positive for COVID-19. While the Ravens are seemingly in a good position for another playoff return, the road is much bumpier than it was last season.
6. Green Bay Packers (5-2)
Previous Rank: 5
It was the Dalvin Cook show at Lambeau Field on Sunday. He scored a touchdown in each of the Vikings’ first four possessions, a display of dominance that Green Bay hasn’t seen since Raheem Mostert’s destruction of Green Bay in the playoffs. Did GM Brian Gutekunst make a mistake by selecting a quarterback with Green Bay’s first pick in this year’s draft and only selecting just one defensive player in the first six rounds?
**Update: The Packers defeated the 49ers 34-17 on Thursday night, moving their record to 6-2**
7. Tennessee Titans (5-2)
Previous Rank: 6
After starting the season undefeated, the Titans have now lost back-to-back games over the past two weeks. The offence has been able to hide the problems on defence through their first five games, but if Tennessee's attack isn’t its efficient self, it’s clear this defence has problems. They couldn’t stop Joe Burrow and the Bengals on third or fourth down (which has been a common problem this season) and the Bengals played without four of their five starting linemen, yet the Titans could only muster two QB hits and zero sacks. They need offseason acquisitions Vic Beasley and Jadeveon Clowney to do something at some point (zero sacks combined), and the secondary must improve.
8. Buffalo Bills (6-2)
Previous Rank: 8
The Bills beat the Patriots at home for the first time in nine (yes, nine) years in a close 24-21 game. Defensive tackle Justin Zimmer played the hero, forcing a Cam Newton fumble deep in Buffalo territory in the final minute to secure the win. Josh Allen and the passing game have struggled ever since they started the season off carving up opponents, as he hasn’t even thrown a touchdown pass over the past two weeks. Fortunately, Zack Moss and Devin Singletary came to play for the Bills combining for 167 yards on 28 carries, with two Moss scores. If Allen can’t get back on track against the Seahawks lowly defence on Sunday, we’ll know something is wrong.
9. Arizona Cardinals (5-2)
Previous Rank: 9
Two years ago, the Cardinals were 13-3 with a struggling first-round pick in Josh Rosen. Now, Kyler Murray is leading the no.1 ranked offence in the NFL this season to a 5-2 record. Murray and blockbuster trade acquisition DeAndre Hopkins have been clicking this season, and the offensive line has been one of the league’s best. Not many teams have rebounded from a measly 3-13 record to becoming playoff contenders in only two years.
10. Indianapolis Colts (5-2)
Previous Rank: 14
The return of Darius Leonard was crucial for the Colts in a big win against the Lions. With the Lions driving down the field to take the lead late in the third quarter, Leonard managed to strip-sack Stafford. Phillip Rivers and the Colts’ offence were able to build off this turnover to get a quick touchdown, and Kenny Moore effectively sealed the game with a big pick-six on the following Lions drive. The Colts pass rush combined for five sacks and seven quarterback hits. The win moves the Colts into a first-place tie next to the Titans in the AFC South. With two games against Tennessee in the next four weeks, Indy just has to hope that Phillip Rivers continues his hot streak ways to help them for a playoff push.
11. New Orleans Saints (5-2)
Previous Rank: 11
Alvin Kamara continues to show why he is the best player on the Saints roster this season. The superstar running back had 163 scrimmage yards in Sunday’s overtime win over the Bears, as he’s now had at least 100 plus scrimmage yards in his last six games. He’s been a huge bolster to this depleted Saints offence who played without Michael Thomas, Marquez Callaway and Emmanual Sanders. While Brees’ arm strength has been a question over the first half of the season as he struggled to complete downfield throws to his cast of replacement receivers, the Saints have still been winning games. A huge test looms against Tom Brady and the Bucs on Sunday night.
12. Los Angeles Rams (5-3)
Previous Rank: 10
Playing well on special teams and limiting your turnovers are always some of the most important things a football team needs to do. It showed with the Rams’ 28-17 loss against the Dolphins. Los Angeles outgained Miami 471-145 in total yards and gained 23 more first downs than the Dolphins (31-8), yet found themselves getting blown out in the second quarter because of turnovers and special teams meltdowns. Sean McVay is probably on the brink of insanity right now wondering how his Rams’ managed to lose this one.
13. Las Vegas Raiders (4-3)
Previous Rank: 16
In a wind-swept and rain-soaked game in Cleveland, the Raiders came out tougher than the Browns in a 16-6 win. Josh Jacobs had a good game, rushing for 128 yards on 31 carries. The play of the game was made by cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, who laid a hard hit on Jarvis Landry to save a touchdown in the final minutes. A game against the 2-5 Chargers looms on the horizon for the Raiders.
14. Cleveland Browns (5-3)
Previous Rank: 13
Even with a loss against the Raiders, the Browns reach the season’s midpoint on pace for their first winning record since 2007. Even with a winning record, this team is just too inconsistent to be considered a serious AFC contender right now. While bad weather conditions made it tough for this Browns offence, they could only muster two field goals. Myles Garrett was limited during the game due to an ankle issue, and the Browns dropped five Mayfield passes. While it was a tough loss, a bye week comes at good graces for Cleveland, as Garrett, Mayfield and Landry are all battling injuries, and Austin Hooper and Nick Chubb continue to miss time.
15. Miami Dolphins (4-3)
Previous Rank: 20
When everyone thought it was going to be Tua time on Sunday, it was really the Dolphins’ defence and special team’s time. The defence and special team made big plays the whole game that helped seal the victory for Miami, forcing four Jared Goff turnovers and scoring on defence and special teams. Despite being outgained in total yards massively (471-145), Miami was able to make the big plays to win the game. The Dolphins put their three-game winning streak on the line against Arizona this Sunday.
16. Chicago Bears (5-3)
Previous Rank: 15
When FOX announcer and Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman is saying, “This is where the Bears miss Mitch Trubisky.”, it really shows you how uninspiring Nick Foles' play has been since becoming the starter. He’s not the same guy who torched the Patriots in Super Bowl LII and honestly may never be again. Is the younger and more athletic Trubisky the ultimately better option for the 5-3 Bears?
17. Denver Broncos (3-4)
Previous Rank: 23
Through three quarters on Sunday, the Broncos only mustered 10 points and 156 yards of offence. The Chargers’ lead grew to three touchdowns, and everything looked bleak for Drew Lock and the Broncos. But everything changed in the final quarter of play, as the Broncos torched the Chargers for nearly 200 yards of offence in a 31-30 comeback win. Lock went 14-18 for 155 yards and three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Can Lock build on this performance with a date against Atlanta this Sunday?
18. Los Angeles Chargers (2-5)
Previous Rank: 17
In just one quarter, any hope of the Chargers making the playoffs becomes drastically bleeker in a 31-30 loss to the Broncos. The Chargers were up 24-3 going into the second half but managed to find a way to lose the game. The Chargers are 3-14 in games divided by eight or fewer points since last season and have been unable to close games out, which makes you think if it’s time for a coaching change in Los Angeles.
19. San Francisco 49ers (4-4)
Previous Rank: 12
Absolutely devastating losses for the 49ers, as they lost both Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle to injuries this week. The 49ers now don’t have a single offensive player active who played in the Super Bowl last season. The offence was also unable to move the ball consistently against a Seattle defence that entered the game allowing close to 500 yards per game. The 49ers look nowhere close to competing against the Packers on Thursday night.
**Update: The 49ers lost against the Packers 34-17, moving their record to 4-5**
20. Minnesota Vikings (2-5)
Previous Rank: 26
The Football Gods work in mysterious ways, don’t they? If you told me the Packers were going to lose at Lambeau Field to the struggling Vikings in a stunning upset win, I would’ve laughed. But it happened. Dalvin Cook was an absolute monster, accounting for 226 yards of offence and all four Vikings’ touchdowns in a 28-22 win. He’s been a gem in what’s been a disappointing season for the Vikings. Kirk Cousins’ longest pass of the game covered 8 air yards which makes GM Rick Spielman question his decision of giving Cousins a two-year extension earlier this spring.
21. New England Patriots (2-5)
Previous Rank: 19
The Patriots era of dominance of the AFC East is officially over. After winning 11 straight division titles and 17 in 19 years, it’s all in the past now. Cam Newton’s red-zone fumble in the final minute secured Buffalo’s first win against the Pats in Orchard Park for the first time in nine years. The Patriots have lost four straight and the team’s not looking good. Cam Newton has become a liability offensively and while he deserves the majority of the blame for New England’s offensive woes, he can’t take all the blame; he barely has anyone to throw the ball to. New England’s wide receivers have only mustered one touchdown (yes, only one) through the season, and Cam Newton has only managed to produce two passing touchdowns on the season. While he’s been somewhat productive on the running side, if you can’t pass the ball, you can’t win games.
22. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1)
Previous Rank: 22
In a divisional matchup versus the Cowboys, this game was one for the gutters. Both teams looked horrible on the offensive side of the ball, with Carson Wentz accounting for three turnovers in a grisly first half against an inept Dallas defence. Wentz has become far too inconsistent and is starting to look like the second coming of Ryan Fitzpatrick. If the Eagles want to be taken seriously, he’ll need to start making fewer mistakes and show some consistency in his game.
23. Carolina Panthers (3-5)
Previous Rank: 18
After a three-game winning streak, the Panthers are now on a three-game losing streak, effectively eliminating any hope this team had of contending for a playoff spot. While the return of Christian McCaffrey will rejuvenate this offence, it may be too little too late with upcoming games against the Chiefs and Buccaneers over the coming weeks.
24. Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1)
Previous Rank: 27
The Bengals outplayed the Titans in all phases of the game in a strong 31-20 win, moving Cincy to 2-5-1. Despite missing four of their five starting linemen to injuries, Joe Burrow wasn’t sacked once on the day and had a strong performance despite difficult weather conditions. He’s making a case for Offensive Rookie of the Year, even with the gunslinger Justin Herbert making plays for the Chargers each week. Burrow has been even better than advertised; it looks like the Bengals are finally on their way.
25. Atlanta Falcons (2-6)
Previous Rank: 25
The Falcons looked like they were about to have another collapse again. There were curious coaching decisions, red-zone failures, a missed PAT, another Todd Gurley mental catastrophe and a third-and-long breakdown. Despite all of this, Atlanta’s blitz heavy scheme was able to make Teddy Bridgewater uncomfortable and forced the Carolina QB to throw the game-sealing interception, securing a 25-17 win for the Falcons.
26. Houston Texans (1-6)
Previous Rank: 24
The season is long gone for these Texans. In what’s been a disappointing season for Houston, it seemingly has only gotten worse. Typically, a silver lining to a gloomy season is that a team secures a top-10 draft pick, but because of the Laremy Tunsil trade back in 2019, the Dolphins have Houston’s first-round pick this year. If the season were to end today, Miami is currently set to pick fourth overall in Houston’s spot. While Tunsil is a great talent, it seems that the costs outweigh the perks in this trade.
27. Detroit Lions (3-4)
Previous Rank: 21
The Lions are now 0-3 at home after a humiliating 41-21 loss to the Colts. With the chance to put themselves into playoff contention with a win, they instead dug themselves into a bigger hole. Detroit will also be without star wideout Kenny Golladay, who will miss some time after sustaining a hip injury. While the Lions do face three losing teams over the next three weeks, can you really trust Matt Patricia and the Lions?
28. Washington Football Team (2-5)
Previous Rank: 28
Usually, a team entering Week 9 with just two wins under their belt is a cause of concern. Fortunately for Washington, they reside in the NFC East, so two wins are not far off at all from taking a lead in the division and honestly, they could do it. They have a strong defence (ranked fifth in DVOA by Football Outsiders) and have improved on its offence with a decent performance by Kyle Allen and a breakout game from Antonio Gibson. While this team is no Super Bowl contender, they could easily be the NFC East team to host a playoff game in January.
29. New York Giants (1-7)
Previous Rank: 30
Danny Dimes showed his strengths and weaknesses in Thursday night’s surprising thriller against the Buccaneers. Danny showed he can lead an offence down the field, shown by his 70-yard march that put the team in a position to tie the game (and included a beautiful end zone strike to Golden Tate). However, Danny was also the reason the Giants lost this game. He threw two horrible interceptions on the night and was haunted by errant passes, poor field vision and bad decision-making. Jones had opportunities to bury an elite opponent, but ultimately he just didn’t have it in him. He’ll be playing for his future over the upcoming eight weeks of the season.
30. Dallas Cowboys (2-6)
Previous Rank: 29
It’s hard to believe that Ben Dinucci (or Gucci Dinucci) wasn’t the saviour for this lost Cowboys’ season. Dinucci could only muster 180 yards while completing 21 of 40 passes and losing two fumbles, one of which was returned for a score in the 23-9 loss. With the offence becoming completely pathetic after Dak Prescott’s season-ending injury, it makes you wonder how important he really was for the team. Dalton hasn’t been able to perform, and the whole offence has regressed heavily since Dak’s departure. If one thing is certain, it’s that Dak is going to get a big pay-day this offseason.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6)
Previous Rank: 31
With the fall of Minshew comes the rise of Jake Luton, a sixth-round rookie. Minshew has been disappointing for the Jaguars this season, so why not try out another late-round rookie once again. It worked with Minshew… for a bit.
32. New York Jets (0-8)
Previous Rank: 32
The Jets are terrible. Adam Gase is still somehow the coach, and Darnold has undeniably regressed in his third season. As the Jets free-fall toward the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, it’s looking more and more likely the team starts over at quarterback…again. Could Trevor Lawrence (if the Jets get the opportunity to pick him) be the long-awaited saviour for New York?