NFL Power Rankings after week Nine

NFL Week Nine storylines to follow

Week Nine of the NFL season didn’t hold too much excitement, but there were some close games and upsets this week that caught us by surprise. Every week is a new opportunity for a team to get things turned around and we saw that for the Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, and the New Orleans Saints. The only predictable thing about the NFL is how unpredictable each week will be.

The Dallas Cowboys played the Pittsburgh Steelers close and had an actual chance at winning this game. Their defense was able to contain Pittsburgh’s offense, but the Cowboys offensive line did not stand a chance against TJ Watt and the Steelers defensive line. Pittsburgh’s offense hasn’t been very explosive lately, so that will be something to follow as the season goes on.

The NFC West has been deemed the toughest in the NFL, but in saying that they struggle when playing teams in the AFC East. Specifically, the Miami Dolphins, whose only loss from the west came from the Seattle Seahawks. Maybe it’s the trip across the country but each time these divisions meet up the game does not go as planned. The Buffalo Bills owned the Seahawks on Sunday and did so by forcing multiple turnovers from Russell Wilson. It feels like the entire country picked Seattle to win this game, but instead, they got whipped and head home with another loss. 

Speaking of getting whipped — say hello to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Anything that could have gone wrong for this team did on Sunday night. Tom Brady was almost killed by the Saints pass rush and the Bucs defense was all out of sorts. The Saints did whatever they wanted on offense and their defense held Tampa to only three points. The high powered, pick your poison type of offense of Tampa Bay was held to three points. I’m still stunned by it and I’m sure you are too. 

We can expect Brady and the Bucs offense to explode next week as they try to forget about this embarrassing loss.

BOLD STATEMENTS

Patrick Mahomes is the clear cut MVP right now. Then Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Donald. 

The Dolphins could win the AFC East with Tua being the starting quarterback now. Their defense has been good the last couple of weeks by creating turnovers and helping them win ball games. They just went 3-1 against the NFC West. It’s time to take them seriously. 

The Las Vegas Raiders should be a team to watch moving forward. Derek Carr is playing on another level. He’s throwing the ball down the field accurately and extending drives with his legs. Plus their ability to run the ball just proves how balanced their offense can be. The Raiders could very well find themselves in the playoffs this season.

Below are my NFL Power Rankings after Week Nine.

32. NEW YORK JETS (0-9) — LAST WEEK 32

What an embarrassment of an NFL franchise. Why did they down the New England Patriots receiver after he caught the ball in the middle of the field with less than five seconds left? I got a small glimpse of what it’s like to be a Jets fan on Monday night as I was actually cheering for them to win. Let me tell ya, it’s a lot more enjoyable being a member of Chiefs Kingdom.

31. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (1-7) — LAST WEEK 30

The tank for Trevor Lawrence is still in the works as the Jaguars lose another close game. Jacksonville is pretty set on losing games right now, but they also appear to have their foundation set for the future. The only thing they are missing is Mr. Lawrence. 

30. DALLAS COWBOYS (2-7) — LAST WEEK 29

The Cowboys season might as well be over, but they are in the NFC East so there is always a chance. Garrett Gilbert almost helped them pick up a win against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but wasn’t able to get the job done. 

29. WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (2-6) — LAST WEEK 24

The NFC East is so boring. Alex Smith was forced to come into this game after a serious injury to Kyle Allen’s lower leg. The offense had their moments but three interceptions wil not get the job done. Even though one of them wasn’t Smith’s fault. Also, Washington’s defensive secondary is awful. 

Daniel Jones is a bigger threat to Cowboys than Eli was in these ways

28. NEW YORK GIANTS (2-7) — LAST WEEK 31

The New York Football Giants picked up another win this week and a big part of it was their defense. Yes, they were playing the Washington Football Team, but if the Giants can tally together a couple more wins they have a real opportunity of winning this division. Crazy right?

27. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS  (3-5) — LAST WEEK 27

They almost lost to the New York Jets. The Jets gave them this win because they need Trevor Lawrence, but my god they got so lucky. A win is a win, but you don’t deserve to gain any spots in the rankings after that performance. 

26. CINCINNATI BENGALS (2-5-1) — LAST WEEK 26

On a Bye. Will not change place in rankings. 

25. HOUSTON TEXANS (2-6) — LAST WEEK 28

The Houston Texans picked up their second win of the season against Jacksonville. It’s always nice to sweep teams in your division, but they are also a team that is tanking. Houston is accidentally doing the same thing but hopefully, they pick up a couple more wins as the year goes on. 

24. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (2-6) — LAST WEEK 22

The Chargers cannot get out of their own way this season. They were so close to getting the win, but the receivers could not hang on to the beautiful pass that was delivered from Justin Herbert. The Chargers are learning what not to do if they want to win games. 

23. DETROIT LIONS (3-5) — LAST WEEK 21

The Lions stunk this game. Matthew Stafford, the offense and the defense. All of them. They stunk. I honestly don’t know if they can beat Washington next week.  

WATCH: Broncos' Drew Lock connects with Tim Patrick for touchdown against  Falcons – The Denver Post

22. DENVER BRONCOS (3-5) — LAST WEEK 19

The Denver Broncos were some mental mistakes away from coming back in this game. Drew Lock needs to avoid turning the ball over if he wants to make winning games easier for himself. The Broncos are beat up this season, but the foundation is there. 

21. ATLANTA FALCONS (3-6) — LAST WEEK 23

Matt Ryan was looking like his old self with the way he was throwing the ball this week. Julio Jones was a huge part of the win on Sunday and Todd Gurley is getting more and more involved. The Falcons desperately need their defense to be consistent if they want to compete in the NFC South. 

20. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (3-4-1) — LAST WEEK 20

On a Bye. Will not change place in rankings. 

19. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (4-5) — LAST WEEK 17

No Jimmy Garoppolo, no George Kittle, no Deebo Samuel, and no chance at this offense being good for a while. San Francisco might as well kiss this season goodbye and start planning for the NFL draft. 

Vikings roll over Lions 34-20 with another big game from Dalvin Cook | Star  Tribune

18. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (3-5) — LAST WEEK 25

The Minnesota Vikings offense was back on track with Dalvin Cook running through the Lions defense. Speaking of defense, the Vikings decided to play this week as they created several turnovers and destroyed the Lions. The Vikings are a wild team this year. We don’t know who they are from week to week. 

17. CHICAGO BEARS (5-4) — LAST WEEK 14

The Chicago Bears are crumbling right now. The offense cannot hang on to the ball and the defense can only do so much. The Bears offense was non-existent on Sunday and the Bears lose another one. 

16. CAROLINA PANTHERS (3-6) — LAST WEEK 18

Carolina played the Kansas City Chiefs close as their offense got CMC back. The Panthers gave the Chiefs everything they had and was close to winning it but kicking field goals was an issue in Arrowhead on Sunday.

15.  CLEVELAND BROWNS (5-3) — LAST WEEK 15

On a Bye. Will not change place in rankings.  

Habib: Tua Tagovailoa wins sizzling duel vs. Cardinals, Kyler Murray

14. MIAMI DOLPHINS (5-3) — LAST WEEK 16

This game for the Dolphins was won because of Tua. The rookie quarterback displayed everything we saw at Alabama. He has great touch when throwing the ball and allows his receivers to make a play, but the arm strength might hurt him at some point. The Dolphins defense also continued over from last week as they created another turnover and scored off of it. The Dolphins are rolling. 

13. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (5-3) — LAST WEEK 10

Indianapolis was in this game for a huge part of it, but in the fourth quarter, they struggled to move the ball downfield. The defense did their part in containing Lamar Jackson to an extent but that’s not an easy task. The Colts have a good chance at evening up the division next week in Nashville. 

12.  LOS ANGELES RAMS (5-3) — LAST WEEK 12

On a Bye. Will not change place in rankings. 

11.  LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (5-3) — LAST WEEK 13

They got lucky this week as Isaiah Johnson had back-to-back game-winning pass deflections. Derek Carr continued to lead this team with his arm and legs. The Raiders can control a game with their balanced offense and if they keep building off of this they could very well find themselves in the top 10. 

10. ARIZONA CARDINALS (5-3) — LAST WEEK 9

The Cardinals lose a close one this week as their kicker left the ball short of the goal post. I do not think I have ever seen that before in an NFL game. The games Arizona has lost this season are to teams you wouldn’t have guessed by looking at their schedule. It’s confusing, to say the least. If they have too many more of these upsets they can kiss the division goodbye. 

9. TENNESSEE TITANS (6-2) — LAST WEEK 11

Tennessee owned the Chicago Bears this week as they get back to winning. Things were starting to look questionable but Ryan Tannehill did his part in leading them to victory and helping them get back on track. Their defense also came back to life as they took advantage of Chicago’s mistakes. 

8. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (6-3) — LAST WEEK 5

Tom Brady and the Buccaneers would love to have this game back. They came in as favorites and ended up losing by 35 points. Anything that could have gone wrong did. Tampa will do their best to completely forget about this blowout loss. 

Josh Allen and Bills defeat Seahawks; Chiefs beat Panthers - Los Angeles  Times

7. BUFFALO BILLS (7-2) — LAST WEEK 8

Welp, it looks like Josh Allen is back in the MVP discussion after this week’s performance. The Bills defense was to thank for the win on Sunday as they forced four turnovers from Russell Wilson. It was an impressive game for the Bills this week. 

6. GREEN BAY PACKERS (6-2) — LAST WEEK 7

The Green Bay Packers put on a show for the nation Thursday night. Aaron Rodgers had an MVP performance type game and the defense was all over the beat-up 49ers offense. The Packers are back on track after last week’s disappointing performance.

5. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (6-2) — LAST WEEK 3

Seattle was favored by three on the road but did not live up to that projection. The Seahawks had trouble getting the ball downfield on offense at times and the defense wasn’t much help in slowing down the Buffalo Bills The Seahawks were removed of their style of play and it showed this week. They will look to get back on track next week against the Los Angeles Rams. 

4. BALTIMORE RAVENS (6-2) — LAST WEEK 6

Baltimore picked up a win thanks to their defense this week. They were able to rattle Phillip Rivers late in the game and forced him to make some errored throws. Lamar Jackson was able to attack the middle of the field up to the red zone, then it was time for their run game to take over. The Ravens sneak out of Indy with a win.

Brees and Saints beat Brady and Bucs

3. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (6-2) — LAST WEEK 4

We got to see Jameis Winston this week as the New Orleans Saints sweep the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season. The Saints’ defense created turnover after turnover and finally played up to the expectations that were set for them before the year started. The Saints will hope to keep things rolling as the 49ers come into town next week.

2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (8-1) — LAST WEEK 2

The Kansas City Chiefs head into their bye week with a win. It was an ugly win for the Chiefs, but a win’s a win in the NFL. The Chiefs are amazing after a bye week so we can expect them to come out firing as they start the second half of their season in Las Vegas.

Steelers vs Cowboys: 5 big takeaways from the win

1. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-0) — LAST WEEK 1

We all expected a blowout but the Dallas Cowboys offense was just good enough to keep them in the game. I have praised the Steelers as being a complete team, but in the last couple of weeks, this offense has been pretty stagnant. They are fine for now, but at some point, it might bite them in the rear. 

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