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In the latest NFL Power Rankings, the Kansas City Chiefs maintain their spot atop the league. However, the New Orleans Saints emerge as power players, and the Buffalo Bills jump back into relevancy. This season has been crazy, and there isn’t a team that looks unbeatable, meaning the rankings should change even more in the coming weeks.
Check out last week’s standings for a better idea of how I put them together.
Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes won a shootout against the Carolina Panthers this past weekend. Questions about Kansas City’s defense remain, but the offense is easily capable of outgunning any other unit in the AFC.
The New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees picked apart the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 38-3 beatdown on Sunday Night Football. With Emmanuel Sanders and Michael Thomas back, New Orleans’ offense looks almost unstoppable.
The Steelers survived a scary upset bid by the Dallas Cowboys. If Pittsburgh’s offense doesn’t start performing better in early-game situations, the team’s defense could continue finding itself in high-pressure situations.
After a four-game skid, the Bills returned to form in Week 9. Josh Allen threw for 400 yards and three touchdowns while Buffalo’s defense sacked Russell Wilson five times and forced four turnovers. If the defense continues performing at that level, the Bills could find themselves in the top-three soon.
The Buccaneers and Brady got destroyed by the Saints in a 38-3 landslide. However, Tampa Bay already has a dominant 38-10 win over the Green Bay Packers. The NFC’s power rankings are incredibly jumbled.
After a loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Aaron Rodgers guided the Packers to a comfortable win over the San Francisco 49ers. Green Bay’s defense could serve as the team’s ultimate undoing.
After a disheartening loss to the Steelers, Baltimore recovered with a 24-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts. The Ravens thrived on defense, but questions remain about the offense’s stability.
Derek Carr keeps Las Vegas’ offense steady while the team’s young core on defense continues developing. The Raiders already have wins against the Chiefs and Saints this season, making them a wild card in the AFC.
Seattle couldn’t contain Buffalo’s offense or pass rush. While the Seahawks feature one of the NFL’s best passing offenses, the team is incredibly one-dimensional this year. Without Russell Wilson, the Seahawks might only be 3-5.
The past few weeks proved that Derrick Henry is stoppable, but Ryan Tannehill is capable of rising to the occasion and filling in for his star running back. However, Tennessee’s defense is mediocre at best.
With their win over the Arizona Cardinals, Miami advanced its win streak to four games. Tua Tagovailoa looked great in his second start, which gives the Dolphins a chance to challenge Buffalo for the AFC East crown.
Kyler Murray has the potential to lift the Cardinals to a ten-win season despite the team’s recent loss to Miami. However, the second-year quarterback is still inconsistent at times. It doesn’t help that Arizona’s defense is 19th in yards allowed per game.
The Colts are allowing the fewest yards per game in the NFL, but Philip Rivers and Jonathan Taylor can’t get anything going on offense. Over the past four or five years, the Colts have always had some pieces of the puzzle but never put together a complete team.
Surprisingly, the Rams are allowing the second-fewest yards per game this season, placing them among the league’s best defenses. If Jared Goff can protect the football, Los Angeles should waltz into the playoffs with at least ten wins.
The Bears have a good defense, but it’s not a generational defense. Without a historic performance on defense, Chicago has no shot of competing for a Super Bowl. The offense is far too limited.
Christian McCaffrey’s return may be short-lived as he’s now dealing with a shoulder injury. The Panthers performed admirably against Kansas City. Their offense scored 31 points, and that unit has the potential to make Carolina a playoff team next season.
The Browns recently designated Nick Chubb for return from injured reserve (IR), and not a moment too soon. The Pro Bowl running back could save Cleveland’s shaky offense and carry his team to the playoffs. There’s also the chance that everything falls apart for the Browns in the final eight games.
Even after opening the season 1-5, Mike Zimmer’s team could reach eight wins this year. The Vikings face losing teams in four of their next eight games, with two other matchups coming against the questionable Bears. Minnesota isn’t going to make a playoff push, but the team could save Zimmer’s job.
Injuries to Nick Bosa, Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, and Raheem Mostert have ruined a promising season for San Francisco. At least Richard Sherman is getting off of IR, but that move comes too late in the season to fix San Francisco’s troubled defense.
The Falcons have everything they need on offense, but the defense hasn’t shown up this season. It doesn’t help that injuries to Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley have made Matt Ryan look to other options in critical situations.
Despite their struggles, Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson will find a way for the Eagles to come out on top of the NFC East. They’ll probably make the playoffs win seven or eight wins and get bounced in the first round.
Joe Burrow is everything Bengals fans hoped for when Cincinnati drafted him with the first overall pick. However, the offensive line is still a problem, and the defense needs a complete overhaul. The Bengals can upset teams during the season’s second half, but that’s the peak for them this season.
As long as the Texans have Deshaun Watson, they have hope. Unfortunately for Houston, the defense isn’t that good, and Watson has almost no supporting cast. It could take the Texans two or three years to reconstruct the roster.
Matthew Stafford didn’t get much practice time this past week, and he got banged up toward the end of Detroit’s Week 9 matchup. With Stafford and Kenny Golladay struggling to get on the field at the same time, this season is over for the Lions.
Drew Lock showed a spark late in Denver’s game against Atlanta, but the Broncos were already too far behind. Denver has a strong defensive foundation and plenty of developing weapons. Quarterback play is the most significant issue.
Justin Herbert looks fantastic, but even the Falcons are impressed by how the Chargers lose close games. If Los Angeles doesn’t start winning these one-score contests, Anthony Lynn might lose his job.
The Giants have a defense, and that’s about it. With a better quarterback, New York could be 5-4 this season. Daniel Jones’ days in New York are numbered.
I can’t tell if Alex Smith taking over for the injured Kyle Allen is a good or bad thing. Washington’s defense is reliable, but the offense loves turning the ball over and can’t find any stability.
New England is still trying to win football games, but the team’s rough showing against the New York Jets proved this roster isn’t very talented. With no cap space and injuries piling up, the Patriots might finish this season with six wins if they’re lucky.
Dallas stuck with Pittsburgh this past weekend, but the team is still incredibly volatile. The organization needs significant changes.
Rookie quarterback Jake Luton provided a surprising spark for the Jacksonville Jaguars the same way Gardner Minshew did last year. However, the Jaguars remain in the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes.
The Jets somehow managed to collapse in the fourth quarter and give New England a hard-fought win on Monday Night Football.
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