NFL Power Rankings – Week 9

October 28, 2008 | Thyrl Nelson

Here are the Week 9 NFL Power Rankings. Again, there is no scientific formula or panel of expert consultants, just my opinion based on what we’ve seen so far this season. Last week’s rankings are in parentheses.


NFL Power Rankings Archive – 34567 – 8


Week 8 certainly saw another shakeup at the top of the rankings. For fans of parity, 2008 may be a season like no other, in a league already known for meteoric rises and Cinderella stories. One things seems certain at this point, aside from an elite few who have established some comfort in their divisions, most of the league looks like they could be harboring playoff hopes late into the season. It’s also looking more and more likely that 1 or 2 AFC teams could win their divisions with just 8 wins, and more and more likely that a 10 or even 11 win team could be left out of the playoffs in the NFC.


1. Tennessee Titans (1) – 7-0 – They don’t do it pretty, but there are no style points in the NFL. In a league where championships tend to favor teams that play smash-mouth defense and control the clock with the running game, the Titans appear to be built to last. Next Week: vs. GB


2. New York Giants (5) – 6-1 – Another shake up week at the top of the rankings, and the Giants keep rolling along. The Giants turned up the heat when they needed it most in the 4th quarter in Pittsburgh and will need to keep that intensity up if they’re going to survive their remaining schedule. Next Week: vs. DAL


3. Carolina Panthers (9) – 6-2 -The Panthers have done a better job than most of weathering their early schedule, and can create some distance coming out of their bye with games against the Raiders and Lions before a divisional match up with the Falcons in week 12. Next Week: BYE


4. Washington Redskins (6) – 6-2 – Many may have thought that Clinton Portis’ best days were behind him, clearly that’s not the case. And these Redskins look like they’ll go as far as Portis can carry them. Next Week vs. PIT


5. Arizona Cardinals (4) – 4-3 – Don’t fault the Cardinals too much for Sunday’s loss to the Panthers. Traveling across the country has been difficult on most teams, and the Cards had to face a tough Panthers squad. They still appear to be more in control of their division than any team in football, and an upcoming 3 game swing through the division could have them sitting pretty by Thanksgiving. Next Week: @ ST.L


6. Denver Broncos (12) – 4-3 – The bye week has allowed the sting of their Monday night drubbing to wear off and the Broncos are sitting firmly atop the AFC West after another Chargers’ loss. The Broncos should reasonably expect to win their next six games, which could make the last three pretty meaningless. Next Week: vs. MIA


7. Chicago Bears (8) – 4-3 – The Bears have clearly proven that they can play with anyone, now they’ll have to figure out that they don’t have to play with everyone. This week against Detroit will provide the Bears an opportunity to learn how to blow teams out. Next Week: vs. DET


8. Pittsburgh Steelers (2) – 5-2 – The Steelers have been money against everyone outside of the NFC East. The good news for them is that they’re halfway done with that division. The bad news is that they’ve got another NFC East opponent up this week. Next Week: @ WAS


9. Green Bay Packers (10) – 4-3 – I’m not sure the bye was as good to the Packers as it was to everyone else, just because they looked to be finally hitting their stride. They’ll have a real challenge right out of the gate against the Titans. Next Week: @ TEN


10. New England Patriots (11) – 5-2 – Quietly, the Patriots have clawed their way into a tie atop the AFC East. If the Patriots keep piling up wins, they won’t stay under the radar for long. And as much as it pains me to say it, if Bellichick is able to get it done with the guys he’s been left to work with, everyone else should just quit. Next Week: @ IND


11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7) – 5-3 – Just when it looked like Tampa’s offense was getting to respectability, they lay an egg against an underachieving Cowboys’ defense. The good news for Tampa is that they’ll get the Chiefs and then the bye to regroup. Next Week: @ KC


12. Buffalo Bills (3) – 5-2 – Sunday’s loss to Miami was not the way that the Bills wanted to begin their 3 game swing through the AFC East. They still have control of their own destiny, but they’ll have to get more out of Marshawn Lynch if they’re going to compete consistently. Next Week: vs. NYJ


13. Dallas Cowboys (13) – 5-2 – The Cowboys rallied for a big win on Sunday when they really needed it, and against a good team too. The key for the Cowboys will be not to panic in trying to stay afloat until Tony Romo returns. Next Week: @ NYG


14. Baltimore Ravens (20) – 4-3 – The NFC East has done a good job of keeping the Steelers in strinking distance for the Ravens. Unfortunately, the NFC East still awaits the Ravens as the season winds down. Next Week: @ CLE


15. Philadelphia Eagles (16) – 4-3 – They’re still afloat in the NFC East, but the Eagles dodged a major bullet on Sunday with the help of a bad call, and an all around bad circumstance for Mike Smith and the Falcons. Next Week: @ SEA


16. New York Jets (17) – 4-3 – I’m not sure if Jets fans remembered who Kellen Clemens was when they were booing Brett Favre on Sunday, but the upcoming stretch for the Jets will certainly determine whether they’ll have a shot in the playoff hunt this season. It will also give them a chance to establish control of the AFC East if they’re up to it. Next Week: @ BUF


17. Atlanta Falcons (18) – 4-3 – A tough call is all that kept the Falcons from establishing themselves as a legitimate contender in the NFC South on Sunday. I doubt they’ll mind being left off the radar if they’re able to hold serve with the Panthers until week 12. Next Week: @ OAK


18. Jacksonville Jaguars (15) – 3-4 – The Jags may have dug themselves a hole that they won’t be able to get out of this season, but they’ll have the Bengals and Lions to try and help them get things right in the next 2 weeks. Next Week: @ CIN


19. Minnesota Vikings (22) – 3-4 – The Vkings should be considering themselves lucky that no one has been able to take control of this division yet. If the bye treated them right, then they’re still very much alive in the hunt. Next Week: vs. HOU


20. Indianapolis Colts (19) – 3-4 – If Peyton is able to pull the Colts from this hole, it will certainly bolster his already solid reputation, but with each passing week, it’s looking more and more unlikely. Next Week: vs. NE


21. Cleveland Browns (23) – 3-4 – The Browns have come to life in recent week’s, and are clearly hitting their stride. A divisional showdown with the Ravens this week could give them an opportunity to get right back into the hunt for the AFC North. Next Week: vs. BAL


22. New Orleans Saints (26) – 4-4 – The Saints picked up a much needed win this week, but will need to keep improving if they’re going to keep pace in what is becoming the most competitive division in the league. Next Week: BYE


23. St. Louis Rams (21) – The Rams are clearly on the upswing, and the NFL was probably out of line in voiding Jim Haslett’s contract. I can see the unfortunate need for the Rooney Rule, but common sense is common sense. Maybe the Rams can use that to add fuel to their already growing fire. Next Week: vs. AZ


24. San Diego Chargers (14) – 3-5 – The schedule hasn’t been good to the Chargers, but neither have the Chargers. The question at this point isn’t whether Norv Turner can get this team into contention, it’s whether he can keep them from packing it in. Next Week: BYE


25. Houston Texans (24) – 3-4 – The Texans may be on a serious upswing right now, unfortunately they play in a division where their slow start may be too much to overcome. Next Week: @ MIN


26. Seattle Seahawks (30) – 2-5 – The Seahawks took advantage of a reeling 49ers team last week, we’ll see if they’re able to sustain it this week when the Eagles have to come across the country to deal with them. Next Week: vs. PHI


27. Miami Dolphins (25) – 3-4 – Forget about the wins and losses for a second, Tony Sparano may have had more impact on the league than any rookie coach in history with his “Wildcat” offense. Will there be any teams left at the end of the season who aren’t running some variation of this package?  Next Week: @ DEN


28. San Francisco 49ers (28) – 2-5 – Last week I joked that I couldn’t wait to see if Mike Singletary brought his trademark intensity to his head coaching position, I never imagined it would unfold like it did on Sunday. I can’t wait to see what happens when the gloves come off. Next Week: BYE


29. Oakland Raiders (27) – 2-5 – I guess it’s a good thing Al Davis took control and cleaned house in Oakland, otherwise things could have really gotten ugly. Next Week: vs. ATL


30. Kansas City Chiefs (29) – 1-6 – Things keep getting worse in Kansas City, but never fear, the Chiefs may be ready to discuss a multi-year deal with Daunte Culpepper. Next Week: vs. TB


31. Cincinnatti Bengals (31) – 0-8 – The Bengals still have some winnable games on their schedule, but they’ll need to find some charachter in order to be able to rally this bunch. Next Week: vs. JAX


32. Detroit Lions (32) – 0-7 – The Lions may not have any winnable games left on their schedule, but their trade with the Cowboys will go down as one of the biggest wins of the entire 2008 season, unless they spend the picks on another bunch of wide receivers of course. Next Week: @ CHI


Check back tomorrow for the Quarterback and Running Back Fantasy Power Rankings as well as the Week 9 start rankings for those positions. And continue checking back throughout the week for the rest of the Week 9 Positional Power Rankings and start rankings for every position.






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