NFL Week 9 was one crazy week of gridiron action! I moved one team all the way to number 4 on my power rankings. Keep reading to find out why. Also keep reading to find out what could possibly happen to the Dallas Cowboys now that Ezekiel Elliott is most likely going to take the bench for 6 games.
2017 NFL Week 9 Power Rankings
1. Philadelphia Eagles (7-1)
Things become demonstrably much tougher for the Philadelphia Eagles moving forward. Starting in NFL Week 9, the Eagles play a tough defensive team, the Denver Broncos. That’s why Philly traded for RB Jay Ajayi on Oct. 30. Will Ajayi help Philly get a rushing attack? Maybe. I’m not ready to take a stand on that question yet.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (6-2)
I read this morning that, eventually, QB Alex Smith is going to throw interceptions. Is he though? He’s never been a guy that throws a lot of interceptions. This season, he’s got way more weapons than he’s ever had. Maybe, Smith doesn’t throw a single interception from now until Super Bowl 52. Every game is different.
3. New England Patriots (6-2)
The Patriots unloaded Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49’ers. Okay. Writing unloaded isn’t the right word. I think what the Pats are doing is setting things up for the future. I don’t believe it will work. These are the New England Patriots, though.
4. New Orleans Saints (5-2)
Why are the Saints ranked 4th on my NFL Power Rankings for Week 9? They’ve won 5 in a row both straight up and against the spread. When you win and cover, like the Saints have done, you really impress me.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)
The Steelers deserve this ranking. Pittsburgh allowed Matt Stafford to throw for 423 yards. The Steel Sytrofoam didn’t give up a passing TD to Stafford. Beating the Lions at Ford Field is no easy task. I think the drama has settled down some in Pitt now that WR Ju-Ju Schuster-Smith has become the unquestioned WR2.
6. Minnesota Vikings (6-2)
The Vikings finally pulled away from the Cleveland Browns in NFL Week 8. It was a decent performance. It wasn’t a great performance. Minnesota QB Teddy Bridgewater could play in a couple of weeks. That’s amazing considering his injury over a year ago.
7. Seattle Seahawks (5-2)
The Seahawks have my mid-season MVP. I don’t believe any player has meant as much to his team as QB Russell Wilson. Wilson single-handedly beat the Houston Texans in Week 8. Seattle has no semblance of a rushing attack. The defense isn’t as good as it used to be. Without Wilson, the Hawks might have a losing record.
8. Buffalo Bills (5-2)
Don’t look now, but Buffalo has scored 30 points or more in 2 straight games. LeSean McCoy has finally got on track while QB Tyrod Taylor threw to 9 different receivers in Buffalo’s 34 to 14 Week 8 win over the Raiders.
9. Los Angeles Rams (5-2)
L.A. was on a bye. We’ll see if they can be as hot after their bye as they were before their bye.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-3)
The Jaguars, like the Rams, were also on their bye in NFL Week 8. The Jaguars do have 33 sacks. That led the NFL by 6 before Week 8. Jacksonville should get at least 6 sacks versus Cincinnati’s horrible offensive line this Sunday.
11. Carolina Panthers (5-3)
Carolina’s defense absolutely dominated Tampa QB Jameis Winston this past Sunday. The Panthers held Winston to 2 picks and no TD passes. A key match-up with Atlanta in Week 9 looms.
12. Dallas Cowboys (4-3)
The Cowboys got some bad news. RB Ezekiel Elliott must sit out the next 6 Cowboy games. He does have a couple of options. His lawyers could fight the suspension. They probably won’t. It does Dallas no good if they end up in the playoffs and the suspensions start then. Take the lumps right now. Will it effect the Cowboys? Sure…to a degree. Let’s not forget that Dallas has one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL along with a great offensive line, and along with a fantastic WR in Dez Bryant. The Boys should be okay on offense.
13. Green Bay Packers (4-3)
I think the Packers come out swinging after their bye. QB Brett Hundley has some talent. Coach Mike McCarthy wouldn’t have kept Hundley on the team if he didn’t have any talent. Who knows? McCarthy and Hundley might turn into the next Brett Favre. Brett Favre wasn’t Brett Favre until Don “Magic Man” Majkowski got hurt.
14. Tennessee Titans (4-3)
The Titans were on a bye. If QB Marcus Mariota and TE Delanie Walker are healthy, the Titans should come back as strong as ever in Week 9.
15. Atlanta Falcons (4-3)
The Falcons’ offense got out of the doldrums in NFL Week 8. It scored 25 points. Don’t start jumping through hoops if you’re a Falcons’ fan, though. The 25 points were against the New York Jets.
16. Miami Dolphins (4-3)
The Fins lost 0 to 40 to the Baltimore Ravens. Miami decided to trade RB Jay Ajayi to Philadelphia for a Round 4 pick. Not a bad idea, I think. Adam Gase’s offense revolves around a pass-catching RB. That’s not Ajayi. It might not be Damien Williams or Kenyan Drake, either. Still, Gase had to do something.
17. Houston Texans (3-4)
QB DeShaun Watson has thrown more TD passes in his first 7 games than any other QB in NFL history. The reason Houston is 3 and 4 is because while the offense is amazing with DeShaun under center, the defense is a mess without J.J. Watt. Not only that, but Watson plays almost too fast. The D gets tired.
18. Detroit Lions (3-4)
It’s a shame when your QB, in this case Matthew Stafford, throws for 423 yards and you still lose the game. That’s what happened to the Lions in Week 8. Detroit’s missing a strong rushing attack to go along with Stafford’s brilliant passing.
19. Baltimore Ravens (4-4)
The Ravens are 4 and 4. There’s still hope that they can make the playoffs. I must see some consistency before moving them into my Top 15, though.
20. Los Angeles Chargers (3-5)
The Chargers really disappointed me this past Sunday. After Melvin Gordon rushed for an 87-yard TD on the Bolts’ first possession, I thought LAC might take down the mighty New England Patriots. Nope.
21. Chicago Bears (3-5)
I think the Bolts are slightly better than Da Bears. Not by much, though. Chicago’s defense has really come around. The Bears hung with a gifted New Orleans Saints team in Week 8. The rushing attack and the defense makes the Bears a tough team to deal with. It’s also a good thing that TE Zach Miller didn’t lose his leg.
22. Denver Broncos (3-4)
The Broncos hung with the KC Chiefs until QB Trevor Siemian made the big mistake of throwing against his body. Only guys like his boss, John Elway, can get away with doing that. Denver’s defense has returned to its previous glory, though.
23. Oakland Raiders (3-5)
The Raiders aren’t a very good football team. I question why LB Navorro Bowman wanted to go to Oakland. The way Buffalo dominated Oakland’s defense in Week 8 is a sign that the Raiders aren’t ready to win the Super Bowl.
24. New York Jets (3-5)
Another week in the NFL, another New York Jets blown halftime lead. The Jets were up 17 to 13 at halftime versus the Atlanta Falcons. Yeah. They found a way to lose 20 to 25.
25. Washington Redskins (3-4)
Washington has now lost 3 out of their last 4. They would have won at least one of those games if the defense had played more bend but don’t break. On every play, Washington’s D wants to kill the other team. Playing so fast on defense early on in games isn’t a great strategy.
26. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4)
The Bengals’ offensive line is horrid. The defense looked terrible as well. Beating Indianapolis 24 to 23 as a -10.5 home favorite is not the way to get things right. Cincy could suffer a blowout loss this Sunday versus the Jaguars and their 33 sacks NFL leading defensive front.
27. Arizona Cardinals (3-4)
The Cardinals are in trouble. It looked to me like Adrian Peterson has lost a step while the QB choices are Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton. Yep, trouble. Big trouble.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5)
What’s up with Tampa Bay? QB Jameis Winston has not improved at all. I don’t understand how the Buccaneers offense can only score 3 points versus the Carolina Panthers. Tampa sees the Panthers’ D twice a year, every year.
29. Indianapolis Colts (2-6)
The Colts almost upset the Bengals as a huge, massive, underdog. That’s a piece of good news. Everything else isn’t good at all.
30. New York Giants (1-6)
The Giants were on a bye. I believe they play very well against the L.A. Rams this Sunday. They might even win. They won’t move up too far on my power rankings even if they do win.
31. San Francisco 49’ers (0-8)
Arizona is favored by 2.5 points over the San Francisco 49’ers. That could change because the Niners just traded for New England backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Does Jimmy know the offense? No. Does it matter? No. Garoppolo is an upgrade over C.J. Beathard and Brian Hoyer if he just hands the ball off all day to Carlos Hyde.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-8)
C Look what happened when the Browns handed the ball off to RB Isaiah Crowell? He rushed for 64 yards and a TD. That, and the fact that DeShone Kizer didn’t throw a pick in Week 8, are positive things for Cleveland going into their Week 9 bye.