NFL Power Rankings, Week 9: New teams enter the top 15

Here’s the deal with these Week 9 NFL Power Rankings. They are not predictions. If a team projects to have an easy or difficult schedule ahead of them, that matters not for this exercise. These are very simply a list of how good each team is right this minute. Here’s how all 32 teams rank in my Week 9 NFL Power Rankings.

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NFL Power Rankings: Week 9

Before we get started with our Week 9 NFL Power Rankings, be sure to check out Mike Tanier’s NFL Week 8 Recap after you take a look through this list of 32 teams. This week, Tanier kicks off his NFL Week 8 Recap looking at Tua Tagovailoa’s Dolphins debut, Lamar Jackson’s struggles, the New England Patriots losing record, and more.

32) New York Jets (0-8)

What is there to say from the Jets’ 35-9 loss in Kansas City? The game was never close or competitive. New York couldn’t even average four yards per offensive play. But hey, the Jets did stop Kansas City’s run game. So let’s focus on that one positive.

31) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6)

After losing six in a row, the Jaguars mercifully were on their bye this past week. With Gardner Minshew’s thumb issue, maybe that could really work out in their favor if he hasn’t been right of late.

30) Dallas Cowboys (2-6)

On Sunday night in Philadelphia, the Cowboys clearly had little faith in their offense or Ben DiNucci and had to pull out every trick possible to create offense. However, they still could barely move the ball.

If we look at the positives, though, it isn’t always obvious to see the impact a guard has on the game. But, the impact of getting Zack Martin back in the lineup was extremely apparent. At least there is that one bright spot.

29) Washington Football Team (2-5)

The Football Team gets their bye week as they sit at 2-5. But amazingly, Washington is very much in the thick of the NFC East playoff hunt.

28) New York Giants (1-7)

The Giants played Tampa Bay really tough Monday night. Daniel Jones made some throws in this game and never backed down, but his propensity for turning the ball over kept showing up yet again. Despite the Giants’ mistakes, New York gave the Buccaneers all they could handle. But they’ve still only won just a single game all year and a big reason why they are toward the bottom of my NFL Week 9 Power Rankings.

27) Houston Texans (1-6)

The Texans are 1-6 during their bye week. Maybe they can put a little something together during the second half of their season, as they seem better than a one-win football team. But this has been a miserable year, without question, and big changes are on the horizon.

26) New England Patriots (2-5)

The Patriots have lost four in a row, but this loss to Buffalo was actually an improvement over their recent play. Buffalo’s defense has its issues, but Cam Newton and the Patriots offense showed more signs of life in Week 8. That said, the best offensive development was the play of Damien Harris, who broke the 100-yard barrier on his 16 rushes. Still, the overall offensive weaponry here is rather nonexistent.

25) Los Angeles Chargers (2-5)

It is amazing how Anthony Lynn’s team squanders leads. The Chargers – ranked 25th in my NFL Week 9 Power Rankings – very much had this game in hand but allowed Denver to storm back. It was great to see Justin Herbert getting Mike Williams heavily involved.

With Austin Ekeler’s return on the horizon, Los Angeles has a very potent group of weapons now around their star rookie quarterback. The Chargers did run for 210 yards in this game, which is certainly encouraging. But wow, this is a decent team that is just great at losing games they should win.

24) Denver Broncos (3-4)

The Chargers jumped all over Denver, but as Los Angeles often does, this became a rather tight game in the second half. Phillip Lindsay broke off a long run, but for the most part, Denver’s running game was horrific, and the Broncos only had the football for just over 24 minutes of play. Drew Lock was uneven but did make some plays to bring the Broncos back.

23) Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1)

Joe Burrow got his second win as a professional, and even though Cincinnati is now at 2-5-1, they have been quite competitive most weeks. Beating the Titans is a big step forward, though, no matter which way you cut it. And although the Bengals (without Joe Mixon and several offensive linemen) didn’t do a lot on the ground, they still held the ball for nearly 36 minutes.

22) Minnesota Vikings (2-5)

This was an impressive Vikings win in Green Bay, but what a one-man show this was by Dalvin Cook. Cook ran for 163 yards, tacked on another 63 as a receiver, and found the end zone on four different occasions. He’s one of the NFL’s elite running backs, and Minnesota’s offense is night and day different when Cook is in and out of the lineup.

21) Carolina Panthers (3-5)

The Panthers fell to Atlanta on Thursday night. They couldn’t get D.J. Moore incorporated into the offense until very late and did a really poor job picking up the blitz. Teddy Bridgewater took a beating and left this game for a short stint, and Carolina threw for just 157 yards on the night. Julio Jones also ate up their secondary. The Panthers sit one spot outside the top 20 in my NFL Week 9 Power Rankings.

20) Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1)

The Cowboys have been far and away the worst team in football with turnovers, yet the Eagles lost that crucial differential by two turnovers. The strong winds in Philadelphia were surely an influence, but Wentz’s deep passing was a big problem in this game.

Travis Fulgham remained a bright spot in the Eagles passing game and could be a fixture for this team for some time. This wasn’t a well-played game on Sunday night, but the Eagles – who rank 20th in my NFL Week 9 Power Rankings – are in the driver’s seat in the NFC East with a 3-4-1 record.

19) Detroit Lions (3-4)

With zero running game to speak of, Matthew Stafford could only do so much, especially once Kenny Golladay left the game. Led by Stafford, the Lions averaged a half of yard per play more than Indianapolis. However, they lost the turnover battle, were destroyed in the time of possession, and never had any control of this game.

18) Atlanta Falcons (2-6)

Atlanta – ranked 18th in my NFL Week 9 Power Rankings – got a win on Thursday night in Carolina. Raheem Morris is now 2-1 as the Falcons interim head coach, and that doesn’t seem like much, but this team last year went from being terrible in the first half of the season to quite good during the second half of the year. The Falcons also controlled the clock to the tune of 36:30 as they wore down Carolina’s defense.

17) Miami Dolphins (4-3)

In Tua Tagovailoa’s starting debut, the Dolphins got their third straight win. While that is outstanding, Tagovailoa threw for just over 90 yards in this game. Additionally, the Dolphins could only muster 55 yards on the ground, averaging just 3.0 yards per play and possessing the ball for 23:31.

Despite all of this, they found a way to finish the game with 28 points. That isn’t easy to do in this league! Yet, the Dolphins have a winning record and could end up in the hunt for the seventh seed in the AFC.

16) Cleveland Browns (5-3)

The massive Cleveland wind had a big effect on this game, and neither team could throw the ball with any consistency. But Las Vegas clearly ran the ball much better and won the time of possession battle by a huge margin. The Browns are 5-3 and have a very favorable schedule going forward, but they look like an average football team.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 9: Teams ranked 15-6

15) San Francisco 49ers (4-4)

We kick off our next tier of my NFL Week 9 Power Rankings with the San Francisco 49ers, who took on the Seattle Seahawks. After being extremely ineffective, Jimmy Garoppolo left this game with an injury. George Kittle was injured shortly after. San Francisco got nothing from their running game. The game was out of reach, but the Niners offense sure spiked when Nick Mullens took over at quarterback. Still, the box score is misleading and makes this game look more competitive than it really was.

14) Las Vegas Raiders (4-3)

The Raiders are now 4-3 after winning in Cleveland. When we look back, this win could be the difference between the Raiders or Browns getting into the playoffs. The winds in Cleveland were brutal, and throwing the football was a massive challenge, but Las Vegas leaned on Josh Jacobs and ran the ball for over 200 yards. The Raiders ran 71 plays in this game to just 47 by Cleveland.

13) Chicago Bears (5-3)

Nick Foles started really bad against the Saints, but Chicago’s defense kept the Bears in the game, and Foles improved in the second half, helping to get his team to overtime. Roquan Smith made a ton of plays in this game for the Bears excellent defense and has really come into his own in 2020.

12) Los Angeles Rams (5-3)

Turnovers killed the Rams in Miami, and much of that was on Jared Goff. But the Rams and Goff came back strong in this game, and Los Angeles’ quarterback ended up attempting 61 passes in this losing effort. This game didn’t go the Rams’ way, but they destroyed Miami’s rushing and passing attack alike and moved the ball without much hindrance during the 36:29 that the Rams possessed the football in Miami. They sit just outside the top ten in my NFL Week 9 Power Rankings.

11) Buffalo Bills (6-2)

The Bills needed this win in a bad way and were able to advance to 6-2. They are now back in control of the AFC East and might have eliminated the Patriots from contention. This was a rather evenly played game, and while Josh Allen didn’t shine, it was very encouraging that both Zack Moss and Devin Singletary rushed for over 80 yards.

10) Arizona Cardinals (5-2)

The top 10 of my NFL Week 9 Power Rankings begins with the Arizona Cardinals, who took a lot of momentum into their bye week. It looks like it will be Chase Edmonds’ job as the top running back for the foreseeable future. He could be ready to explode.

9) Tennessee Titans (5-2)

The Titans got down early and couldn’t recover against Cincinnati. They have now dropped two in a row. Still, Tennessee lost this game by 11 points but averaged over a yard more per play than the Bengals. They also rushed for 100 more yards.

8) Indianapolis Colts (5-2)

Coming off their bye, the Colts really dominated Detroit to advance to 5-2. Philip Rivers is rounding into form. He threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns, but most importantly, zero interceptions. The offensive production is a group effort, but the Colts defense has been a strong constant for most of this year, and Detroit did zero on the ground.

7) Green Bay Packers (5-2)

Losing to Minnesota isn’t a good look for the Packers as Dalvin Cook just owned this Green Bay defense from the start. Aaron Rodgers played a very good game, but the Packers offense failed much too often on third down, and the team committed too many costly penalties overall. This Packers defense is a concern and a reason why they slip to number seven in my NFL Week 9 Power Rankings.

6) New Orleans Saints (5-2)

As you would imagine from a game that went to overtime, it was a very even matchup between the Saints and Bears, with both defenses playing better than their offenses. This team’s expectations were rightfully very high, but sitting at 5-2 after winning four in a row isn’t so bad, especially when considering that New Orleans has been without Michael Thomas.

The top 5 NFL teams

5) Seattle Seahawks (6-1)

We kick off the top five of my NFL Week 9 Power Rankings with the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks hosted their biggest rival, the 49ers, and had little trouble disposing of them, even though San Francisco did come back late in the game.

This was the D.K. Metcalf show and he finished the day with 161 receiving yards. The top five teams in the NFL are quite clear right now. After that, it gets rather foggy.

4) Baltimore Ravens (5-2)

The Ravens really controlled the game early on and had three different runners with at least 50 yards on the ground in the first half alone. But as is usually the case when Pittsburgh and Baltimore meet, this one went down to the wire in a very physical battle.

The Ravens ended up on the losing end and are in a bid to win the AFC North, but this game showed once again that Baltimore is an excellent football team as they outrushed the Steelers 265 yards to 48. Penalties and turnovers really hurt the Ravens, who also lost Ronnie Stanley for the rest of the season.

3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2)

It was tough sledding for the Buccaneers – ranked third in these NFL Week 9 Power Rankings – in the Big Apple on Monday night against the Giants. It wasn’t easy, but Tampa Bay advanced to 6-2. And hey, the Bucs could get Chris Godwin as well as Antonio Brown back in the mix next week to take on New Orleans in a huge game for both squads.

2) Pittsburgh Steelers (7-0)

The Steelers traveled to Baltimore in the game of the week and was able to remain the only undefeated team in the NFL. What a football game this was, though, and the reality is that the outcome really could have gone either way.

These teams meet again in Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving. Hopefully, that game is half as good as the first.  And more importantly, I hope they meet three times.

1) Kansas City Chiefs (7-1)

As expected, the Kansas City Chiefs toyed with the Jets. When the number one team in my NFL Power Rankings gets to play the last-place team, you get what we had today in Kansas City.

Matt Williamson is a Senior NFL Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @WilliamsonNFL.

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