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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / NFL Power Rankings entering Week 9 of the 2020 season

NFL Power Rankings entering Week 9 of the 2020 season

Publish Date: 11/04/2020
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

The Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes didn’t face a competitive team this week, but they still hold the top spot in the latest NFL Power Rankings. The Pittsburgh Steelers are hot on their tail and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers maintained their third seed as well. While the top three remains unchanged this week, every other team in the top 15 got shuffled around.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (7-1)

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs throttled the New York Jets this past weekend. The Steelers also have a claim to this spot, but Kansas City’s offense is on a different level. Most of Pittsburgh’s offensive starters would serve as backups in Kansas City. However, the Steelers have a more talented defense. Unfortunately, these two teams don’t play in the regular season this year.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-0)

Entering their Week 7 matchup, the Steelers didn’t have many impressive wins on their schedule. Now, Mike Tomlin’s team has back-to-back wins against top-ten teams. Mahomes’ Chiefs still loom as the team to beat, but the Steelers are making an improbable run near the season’s halfway mark.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-2)

After demolishing the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams, the Buccaneers struggled to put away the New York Giants. Oddly enough, Tom Brady and the defense both played well. While this was a close game, I don’t think it’s indicative of serious issues for the Buccaneers. My biggest concern for Tampa Bay is whether this team will play down to the level of weaker competitors in the future.

4. Seattle Seahawks (6-1)

The Seahawks have one of the NFL’s best offense, but the defense is questionable. However, the Jamal Adams-less Seahawks manhandled Jimmy Garoppolo for three quarters. The San Francisco 49ers eventually scored 20 points in the fourth quarter, but Seattle still easily crushed its division rival.

5. Baltimore Ravens (5-2)

Baltimore needs more from Lamar Jackson. Losing a game after rushing for 265 yards, winning the time of possession battle by over ten minutes, and holding the opponent to zero offensive points in the first half is shocking. The Ravens face Indianapolis in their next game and Tennessee three weeks down the line before a rematch with Pittsburgh.

6. New Orleans Saints (5-2)

The Saints survived an overtime thriller against the Chicago Bears. Drew Brees put together another impressive performance without Emmanuel Sanders and Michael Thomas, but New Orleans’ defense deserves the most credit. The Saints sacked Nick Foles five times.

7. Tennessee Titans (5-2)

After a close loss to the Steelers, the Titans lost their footing against the Cincinnati Bengals. While the Week 7 defeat is understandable, losing to the two-win Bengals stings. The next five teams Tennessee faces all have winning records.

8. Green Bay Packers (5-2)

After clubbing the Houston Texans in Week 7, Green Bay’s offense couldn’t get going against Minnesota. Despite holding a time of possession advantage, Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams couldn’t get past Dalvin Cook.

9. Indianapolis Colts (5-2)

If Philip Rivers continues his hot streak, the Colts could take the AFC South from the Titans. With Darius Leonard back in the fold on defense, Indianapolis has a good shot at wreaking havoc against Baltimore in Week 9.

10. Chicago Bears (5-3)

Even though they lost, the Bears pushed the Saints to overtime. As crazy as it seems, Chicago has the same number of wins as Green Bay. That defense is carrying Nick Foles’ underperforming offense.

11. Buffalo Bills (6-2)

Josh Allen and the Bills continue sliding down the NFL Power Rankings. Buffalo is 2-2 over the past four weeks with narrow victories over the Jets and New England Patriots. The Bills might have some competition for the division in the form of Brian Flores’ Miami Dolphins.

12. Arizona Cardinals (5-2)

The Cardinals scored at least 30 points in each of their past three games, including an overtime win against the then-undefeated Seahawks. Losing Kenyan Drake to a ligament tear hurts, but Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins seem prepared to shoulder the extra burden.

13. Las Vegas Raiders (4-3)

Behind Josh Jacobs, the Raiders claimed their fourth win of the season. Jon Gruden’s team is still missing a true No. 1 wide receiver, but the Raiders have enough pieces elsewhere to cover that hole for now.

14. Miami Dolphins (4-3)

Flores and the Dolphins are for real. Behind a strong showing from the defense, Miami upset the Rams in Week 8. However, Tua Tagovailoa’s performances will make or break Miami’s season in the coming weeks.

15. Los Angeles Rams (5-3)

Jared Goff committed four turnovers in Week 8 as the Rams dropped their second game in three weeks. Los Angeles still has the best defense in the NFC West, but the Seahawks could catch up when Adams returns and Carlos Dunlap joins Seattle’s defensive end rotation.

16. San Francisco 49ers (4-4)

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Garoppolo will miss at least six weeks with a high ankle sprain. George Kittle is out roughly eight weeks as well. The 49ers are already without Nick Bosa and Richard Sherman. Injuries have gutted this roster.

Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to be sidelined a minimum of six weeks and possibly longer if surgery is needed, per source.

George Kittle is out eight weeks with a broken bone in his foot, which means his season could be over.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 2, 2020

17. Carolina Panthers (3-5)

Two weeks ago, the Panthers looked like playoff contenders. After three losses in a row, Matt Rhule’s team is falling back to Earth. Maybe Christian McCaffrey’s return will get Carolina back on track.

18. Cleveland Browns (5-3)

How much patience do the Browns have with Baker Mayfield? He only has one win against a team with a winning record this season. Against the three winning teams Cleveland lost to, the offense scored 19 total points.

19. Minnesota Vikings (2-5)

Dalvin Cook is determined to help Minnesota finish this season with a respectable record. The Pro Bowl back produced 226 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns as the Vikings upset Green Bay. The Vikings are still an extremely talented team.

20. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1)

The Eagles are going to claim the NFC East title with six or seven wins. While Philadelphia topped Dallas in a sloppy Sunday Night Football showdown, Carson Wentz turned the ball over four times.

21. Detroit Lions (3-4)

The loss to the Colts in Week 8 likely meant the end of Detroit’s playoff hopes and Matt Patricia’s time as the head coach. Kenny Golladay suffered another injury, sidelining the young star yet again.

22. Cincinatti Bengals (2-5-1)

Joe Burrow is increasing his lead in the Offensive Rookie of the Year race. The LSU product led Cincinnati to a surprising 31-20 win over the Titans this week. Rookie wide receiver Tee Higgins is also playing an increasingly important role in the offense.

23. Denver Broncos (3-4)

The Broncos have several Pro Bowl players on defense and enough offensive pieces to top struggling opponents. Denver’s losses came to the Chiefs, Buccaneers, Steelers, and Titans this year. That’s a loaded lineup.

24. Los Angeles Chargers (2-5)

The Chargers have a better roster than their record shows. Justin Herbert made a few costly mistakes on Sunday that sank Los Angeles’ game against Denver. The Chargers haven’t lost a game by more than seven points this year.

25. Atlanta Falcons (2-6)

Julio Jones is determined to reclaim his position as the unanimous best wide receiver in the NFL. The Alabama product posted his third game this year with over 135 receiving yards as the Falcons upset the Panthers.

26. Houston Texans (1-6)

Deshaun Watson is doing everything he can to save this team, but Houston’s season is already over. The Texans need to reconstruct their offense in the offseason.

27. Washington Football Team (2-5)

Kyle Allen isn’t a terrible quarterback, and he had some solid performances with Carolina last year. Assuming the defensive front holds up and the running game improves slightly, Washington isn’t out of the playoff race.

28. New England Patriots (2-5)

Cam Newton can’t get anything done in New England, and the team is aging past its prime around him. Julian Edelman is on injured reserve while Newton has two passing touchdowns to seven interceptions this season.

29. New York Giants (1-6)

The Giants gave the Buccaneers, Cowboys, Eagles, and Washington Football Team all they could handle in New York’s four previous matchups. The Giants are 1-4 in their past five games, but those four losses only came by 14 points combined. There’s life in New York. If the Giants get a quarterback, things could turn around quickly.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6)

Gardner Minshew won’t be available for Week 9. Instead, rookie Jake Luton is starting with Mike Glennon serving as the backup. That tells you all you need to know about Jacksonville’s season.

Sources: #Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew is expected to be inactive for next week’s game vs the #Texans. Mike Glennon and rookie Jake Luton were told to be ready to compete in practice. One will start, the other will back up against Houston.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 1, 2020

31. Dallas Cowboys (2-6)

Even if Dallas had Andy Dalton on Sunday night, I’m not sure Mike McCarthy’s team would’ve won. The Cowboys seem poorly coached and unmotivated. Despite all of their talent on offense, the Cowboys have no offensive line to glue it all together.

32. New York Jets (0-8)

Are we sure the Jets aren’t keeping Adam Gase around to help them lose games?

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