As the season passes it’s halfway point, singular wins and losses do less to move the needle on a team’s Power Rankings. While there was no shortage of interesting results in Week 9, these Power Rankings are a testament to that mantra. The biggest winner of the week rose just four spots, while the biggest losers fell just three spots. In previous weeks, teams rose or fell as many as seven spots in a single week.
Key results this week include the Pittsburgh Steelers improving to 8-0, the Buffalo Bills outdueling the Seattle Seahawks, and the New Orleans Saints obliterating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Read on to see how these outcomes shook up the landscape of the NFL.
MVP Watch: Quarter Season
Post-Week 9 Power Rankings
- Kansas City Chiefs (8-1) [Last Week: 1]
- Three Straight Weeks at the Top: The Chiefs almost lost to the Carolina Panthers, but escaped defeat with Patrick Mahomes’ late heroics. I still see the Chiefs as the best team in the NFL, even with the Pittsburgh Steelers staying undefeated. The simplest reason why? I would pick the Chiefs to beat the Steelers in any setting of a head-to-head matchup.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (8-0) [Last Week: 2]
- Denied Again: The Steelers rose steadily for the first seven weeks of the season, but seem to have hit their ceiling at the #2 spot. They had a chance to claim the top spot this week, with the Chiefs looking less than dominant against Carolina. But needing a second-half comeback of their own against the Dallas Cowboys, the Steelers can’t make that leap just yet.
- Baltimore Ravens (6-2) [Last Week: 4]
- The 6-2 Ravens have only lost to the best two teams in the NFL. They are firmly entrenched as the third best team in the league until someone else can beat them.
- New Orleans Saints (6-2) [Last Week: 7]
- The Saints started the season on a high-note, beating Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but spent much of the last eight weeks in the bottom half of the Top 10. However, an eye-popping 38-3 win over the Buccaneers, giving the Saints first place in the NFC South, catapults New Orleans in to the Top Five.
- Seattle Seahawks (6-2) [Last Week: 3]
- Why do I have the Seahawks over the Buffalo Bills, despite Seattle’s 10-point loss to them? I still like the Seahawks overall body of work better, and in a rematch, I would be inclined to pick Seattle. Josh Allen had a historic day, the kind you can’t count on every week.
- Buffalo Bills (7-2) [Last Week: 9]
- The Bills had been trending in the wrong direction, with failures to remain competitive against the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans, by far the best teams they’ve faced so far. That trend made Buffalo’s 44-34 win over the Seattle
- Green Bay Packers (6-2) [Last Week: 6]
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3) [Last Week: 5]
- Biggest Loser of Week 9 (tie): Almost everyone, including myself, picked Tampa Bay to beat the New Orleans Saints on Sunday Night Football. But even for those who picked the Saints, I don’t think they imagined the complete blowout that would ensue as New Orleans won 38-3. The Buccaneers were trending upwards in to the Top Five, but now regress as the biggest loser of Week 9.
- Tennessee Titans (6-2) [Last Week: 10]
- I wanted to bump Tennessee up a couple spots after they got back in the win column over the Chicago Bears, but they only team ahead of them I would expect them to beat is the Buffalo Bills, but Buffalo is hotter right now.
- Arizona Cardinals (5-3) [Last Week: 8]
- Miami Dolphins (5-3) [Last Week: 15]
- Biggest Winner of Week 9: The Dolphins are the biggest winners of Week 9, defeating a strong Arizona Cardinals team for their fifth win in their last six games. Tua isn’t an elite quarterback, but Miami is showing a well-rounded effort that has them right in the AFC playoff race.
- Las Vegas Raiders (5-3) [Last Week: 14]
- Los Angeles Rams (5-3) [Last Week: 12]
- Indianapolis Colts (5-3) [Last Week: 11]
- Biggest Loser of Week 9 (tie): I go back-and-forth with the Colts, ranking them anywhere from #11-#19 on any given week. This week, they’re among the league’s biggest losers after losing 24-10 against the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are an elite team, but Indy’s failure to be even competitive hurt’s their stock.
- Chicago Bears (5-4) [Last Week: 13]
- Chicago got a brief taste of the Top Ten a few weeks ago, but since then, things just haven’t been breaking their way. The Bears have lost three straight games, and back-to-back games by a single score. Going from 5-1 to 5-4 has flipped the script on a once-promising Bears season.
- Cleveland Browns (5-3) [Last Week: 16]
- San Francisco 49ers (4-5) [Last Week: 17]
- Carolina Panthers (3-6) [Last Week: 19]
- Los Angeles Chargers (2-6) [Last Week: 18]
- Week after week, Justin Hebert and the Chargers suffer heart-wrenching losses and lose one-score games they easily could have won. This week’s 31-26 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders was no different, but I still contend Los Angeles can compete with anyone.
- Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1) [Last Week: 21]
- Denver Broncos (3-5) [Last Week: 20]
- Minnesota Vikings (3-5) [Last Week: 23]
- Atlanta Falcons (3-6) [Last Week: 24]
- Atlanta inches upwards with their third win in their last four games. If you flipped the result of Atlanta’s four one-score losses (most of them embarassing fourth quarter collapses,) the Falcons would be 7-2. If this team had a reliable defense they would be a formidable force. For now, they’re just the 23rd-best team in the NFL.
- Detroit Lions (3-5) [Last Week: 22]
- Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1) [Last Week: 25]
- Houston Texans (2-6) [Last Week: 26]
- New York Giants (2-7) [Last Week: 28]
- Don’t get too excited, as for the second time, New York barely beat Washington Football Team. However, it was the sixth straight game the Giants kept within one score, including near-wins over the Buccaneers and Eagles. Daniel Jones is a turnover-machine, but the Giants aren’t the worst team in the NFL.
- New England Patriots (3-5) [Last Week: 27]
- Despite beating the New York Jets, the Patriots fall a spot in this week’s rankings. Barely beating the worst team in the league doesn’t do much to instill confidence in me.
- Washington Football Team (2-6) [Last Week: 29]
- Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) [Last Week: 30]
- Dallas Cowboys (2-7) [Last Week: 31]
- New York Jets (0-9) [Last Week: 32]
- Seven Straight Weeks at the Bottom: Joe Flacco and the New York Jets nearly upset the Patriots on Monday night, falling only due to Cam Newton’s late heroics. It would almost be enough to give the Jets a temporary reprieve from the #32 spot. But with the Cowboys, Jaguars, and Washington all coming close to victory in Week 9, the Jets can’t leapfrog any of them.
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Header Photo Credit: AP Photo/Brett Duke