NFL Week 9 Power Rankings: Superstar Lamar? New Teams At The Top and Bottom

Lamar Jackson has the Ravens looking like a threat in the AFC. Photo by Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports

It was quite a bizarre week in the NFL. We saw players make their case for MVP, we saw an undefeated team go down, and NFL fans witnessed the impossible; The 2019 Miami Dolphins won a football game. This team looked destined to go 0-16, but it looks like all they needed was a matchup with their former head coach. That aside, here’s how all 32 teams stack up this week.

32. New York Jets (1-7)

Oh boy. The New York Jets somehow reached a new low this week, losing to the lowly Miami Dolphins. It’s a complete disaster over there in Gotham city right now. Adam Gase is trying to throw his name into the hat for worst coach in the NFL, an award that Freddie Kitchens should be running away with. The ghosts that Sam Darnold saw against New England must be following him because he does not look like a starting-caliber quarterback right now. Sure, there is still a winless team in the NFL, but losing to the Dolphins makes the Jets more than deserving of the lowest spot in this week’s rankings.

31. Cincinnati Bengals (0-8)

The good news for the Bengals is that they couldn’t lose this week, because they didn’t play anybody. The bad news? They play the Baltimore Ravens next week, who are coming off of a big win vs the defending Super Bowl champions. Not exactly a great game to try out a new starting quarterback. But in spite of that, the Bengals have benched the Red Rifle Andy Dalton in favor of Ryan Finley. This move reeks of desperation from coach Zac Taylor, who may be on his way to being one-and-done as an NFL head coach.

30. Miami Dolphins (1-7)

In the last few games, the Miami Dolphins have led their opponents, and showed hope to maybe win a game, only to blow it in the end. This time, we reached the apocalypse: The New York Jets were so bad, that they couldn’t take the lead from Miami. Ryan was able to dig up whatever remnants of Fitzmagic he could. And the Miami Dolphins actually won a football game. Brian Flores should be considered for coach of the year for winning with the talent he has out there.

29. Washington Redskins (1-8)

The Washington Redskins lost yet again, but they should never expected to win against a team like Buffalo. But, there were some positives to take away. Sure, Dwayne Haskins’ stats from his first NFL start were generally unimpressive, but he didn’t turn the ball over against a top tier defense. Adrian Peterson went for over 100 yards, showing he still has a little bit left in the tank. The remainder of Washington’s season should be aimed at making Dwayne Haskins feel as comfortable as possible.

28. Atlanta Falcons (1-7)

The Atlanta Falcons were another team that couldn’t lose this week, because they didn’t play anybody. This bye was very well-timed for Atlanta, however, as it gave Matt Ryan an extra week to heal from his injuries. Atlanta also changed their kicker and punter during the bye, so nobody can say they weren’t busy. Don’t expect a win this week from the Falcons, however, as they travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints.

27. New York Giants (2-7)

Some might blame the cat that showed up on the field as bad luck, but the stats say that the Giants simply didn’t play well. Daniel Jones was only able to manage 210 yards on 41 pass attempts. Saquon Barkley was shutdown in the run game, only managing 2 yards per carry. And the defense continues to be a problem, as they gave up 37 points. They look to win the battle for New York next week against the Jets, who just surrendered a win to the previously winless Miami Dolphins.

26. Cleveland Browns (2-6)

It is becoming harder and harder to find new ways to bash Freddie Kitchens. Every week the Cleveland Browns play, it becomes more and more clear that he is in way over his head as an NFL head coach. The Browns also had to cut a safety after he put out some threatening social media posts after the game. And even worse, Odell Beckham had his eventual breakdown after not getting the ball enough. It was only a matter of time after weeks of poor statlines and a bad losing streak.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-6)

For every 3+ turnover game Jameis Winston has, he has a game where he flashes his massive potential against a quality opponent. He threw for over 300 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions against a good Seahawks team. Unfortunately, it still wasn’t enough to beat Seattle, but they did take them to overtime. They may not make the playoffs this season, but in the offseason a decision needs to be made about if Winston is Tampa Bay’s franchise quarterback or not.

24. Denver Broncos (3-6)

Denver was able to take advantage of a spiraling Browns team, and took a win. Brandon Allen looked pretty good in his first start, nothing really eye-popping, but he did enough to win, which is all the Broncos want out of him. As long as he doesn’t turn into a turnover machine, the starting job should belong to Allen for the rest of the season, then he should transition back into the backup role behind Drew Lock.

23. Chicago Bears (3-5)

The Chicago Bears have officially overtaken the Los Angeles Chargers as the biggest underperformers of the season. They currently sit in last place in the NFC North, where nobody thought they would be. Mitchell Trubisky is showing he is not capable of leading an NFL offense. The Bears should really consider starting Chase Daniel at quarterback. He isn’t a world beater by any means, but he will show more poise than Trubisky has in the past couple of weeks.

22. Detroit Lions (3-4-1)

The Lions lost a close one on Sunday. That seems to be a theme for them this season. They hang tough late in games, but can never overcome their opponents. The Lions do have the ability to win games and get hot, but it’s just not happening for them so far. They’ll visit the Bears in Chicago next week, a great opportunity to start a winning streak.

21. Tennessee Titans (4-5)

Tennessee is in a tough spot. They are a middle of the pack team with an okay roster, but no franchise quarterback. It is the worst place to be in the NFL, between contender and a rebuild. Ryan Tannehill continues to play better than Mariota was, and will likely remain the starter barring something unforeseen. Tennessee’s smashmouth offense will take on Kansas City, and face the likely returning Patrick Mahomes.

20. Los Angeles Chargers (4-5)

Ain’t it interesting what happens when your massive amounts of talent all come to play? Phillip Rivers protected the ball, Melvin Gordon looked like he was starting to get back into form, and the Chargers pass rush was able to get to Aaron Rodgers with ease. The Chargers have the talent to beat anybody, and need to stay hot in order to get back into playoff contention.

19. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4)

Mike Tomlin has done a phenomenal coaching job this year. The fact that the Steelers are even being mentioned as playoff contenders is a feather in his cap. Yet, there are still some fans that want him on the hot seat. Mason Rudolph continues to do just enough to win the Steelers games, and that is all they need from him. They have a tough test coming up when the Rams come to town.

18. Arizona Cardinals (3-5-1)

Well, so much for the Arizona Cardinals getting hot. Yes, there are teams with better records than the Cardinals in lower spots, but any team that can keep up with an undefeated team should not get bashed. The Cardinals are not necessarily a bad team, it’s just that they play in the best division in football. 6 games against San Francisco, Seattle, and the Los Angeles Rams is a hard schedule for any team. They travel to Tampa Bay next week, which could go either way depending on which Jameis Winston shows up.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5)

The Jaguars got smacked by one of their division rivals on Sunday. The Houston Texans bashed the Jags in London. Gardner Minshew may have gone over 300 yards, but that’s pretty easy to do when a team has 47 pass attempts. Either way, the Jaguars have decided to start Nick Foles, who is returning from injury next week. Gardner Minshew will return to the bench for now, but the Jaguars may have their quarterback of the future on the bench.

16. Oakland Raiders (4-4)

Jon Gruden’s group of Gruden grinders are a potential playoff contender that nobody seems to be talking about. If they can win a few of the 50-50 games they have coming up against teams like the Chargers, Titans, and Jaguars, they will have a good enough record to at the very least be in the conversation for playoff contention. The lack of talent on defense is a massive liability, but if they can make it work the Raiders may make it as the overachievers of the 2019 season.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (5-4)

The Philadelphia Eagles took full advantage of a matchup with Mitchell Trubisky on Sunday, taking a 22-14 win at home. Carson Wentz finally threw for over 200 yards, though he hasn’t had to for the Eagles to win their last few games. The Jordan Howard revenge game went according to plan for Philly, as he went for over 80 yards and a touchdown. However, it is expected that Desean Jackson’s season may be over, as he is having surgery on his core muscle. They’ll get a bye before their toughest test of the season against a seething New England Patriots team.

14. Carolina Panthers (5-3)

Cam Newton’s season is over for the Carolina Panthers, but that may not be a problem, as they continue to win behind their MVP candidate of a running back, their undrafted quarterback, and a shutdown defense. Christian McCaffrey has been running like a man possessed this year, and he is putting his team’s offense on his back. Carolina’s defense have been racking up sacks this season, and Luke Kuechly remains a premier linebacker in the NFL. The only thing keeping the Panthers from playoff contention is the massive amount of talent in the NFC West.

13. Los Angeles Rams (5-3)

The Rams had a bye this week, and it could not have come at a better time for them. Nobody knows when Brandin Cooks is going to return, Jalen Ramsey got another week to get familiar with Wade Phillips’ defensive scheme, and Todd Gurley got a week to recharge. The Rams have more than enough talent to make a deep playoff run, but taking the division from the 49ers may be a different story.

12. Indianapolis Colts (5-3)

Adam Vinatieri giveth, and Adam Vinatieri taketh away. The Colts took a big step back last week after suffering a shocking loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Adam Vinatieri was fed laces on the potential go ahead field goal try, and as a result he pushed the kick very wide. The biggest story from this game for Indy, however, is the injury to Jacoby Brissett. There is optimism he plays next week, but with an MCL sprain, only time will tell.

11. Houston Texans (6-3)

The Texans regained control of the AFC South thanks to the Pittsburgh Steelers, after going across the pond to destroy the Jaguars. The loss of J.J. Watt does not seem to be bothering the Texans too much, although the offense they were facing is not considered elite. The emergence of Carlos Hyde is the biggest story out of Houston besides how good Deshaun Watson is. He went for 160 yards rushing on Sunday, and looks like he may be the answer to the Houston Texans rushing attack problems after losing Lamar Miller.

10. Minnesota Vikings (6-3)

Minnesota lost to a very talented Kansas City team on Sunday. Damien Williams ran all over them, and Matt Moore was able to throw for 275 yards. While this performance may be a little concerning for the Vikings’ defense, Kirk Cousins continues to be a positive for Minnesota. They still are a top team in the NFC and should be viewed as such.

9. Dallas Cowboys (6-3)

How ’bout them Dallas Cowboys?! They certainly know how to beat down their division rivals. But when those teams include the Giants and Redskins, that doesn’t sound that hard. Having already lost to both Green Bay and New Orleans, Dallas needs to beat a top team in the NFC before they are to be taken seriously as Super Bowl contenders despite their massive amounts of talent.

8. Buffalo Bills (6-2)

The NFL’s resident overachiever of the 2019 NFL season continued to win on Sunday, dominating the Redskins. Josh Allen, similarly to Mason Rudolph, only needs to do enough so that his team can win. Him trying to do too much often leads to him throwing a bad interception. Devin Singletary’s good game is a very promising sign for Buffalo, as they would much rather give the heavy workload to the younger Singletary rather than the aging Frank Gore.

7. Seattle Seahawks (7-2)

There are a lot of players with a case for MVP, but Russell Wilson has more than just a case. He is the front runner for MVP, but it is close. Wilson lead his team to an overtime victory over the Buccaneers on Sunday, led by a Jameis Winston who came to play. Wilson has turned Tyler Lockett into a possible top 10 wide receiver, and has quickly bonded with rookie D.K. Metcalf. Josh Gordon will only make this Seattle offense better.

6. Kansas City Chiefs (6-3)

Kansas City’s nightmare is finally over. Patrick Mahomes is set to come back after dislocating his knee a few weeks ago. Matt Moore played very well in his absence, only losing to the Packers in his starts. The defense still isn’t going to be shutting anybody out, but they won’t have to with Mahomes under center. Kansas City will likely go back to putting up astronomical numbers on offense as soon as next week.

5. Green Bay Packers (7-2)

The Packers suffered a shocking upset on the road on Sunday to the underperforming Los Angeles Chargers. Aaron Rodgers came back down to Earth after a few MVP caliber performances, and this game likely takes him out of contention with so many other names entering the conversation. The Packers don’t have a ton of room wit Minnesota following them so close behind in the division, but with Aaron Rodgers as your quarterback a little room is all you need to eventually take the division.

4. Baltimore Ravens (6-2)

The Ravens pulled off a statement win on Sunday night, knocking off the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Lamar Jackson looked borderline unstoppable on the ground, and made a few key plays through the air when he had to. His pure dominance in this game alone has him trailing Russell Wilson and neck-and-neck with Christian McCaffrey for MVP. Considering the competition in the division, expect to see Baltimore make another trip to the postseason.

3. New England Patriots (8-1)

When the Ravens came at the king, they did not miss. Tom Brady was under pressure all game due to the Ravens constant blitzing and the offensive line’s horrible play. The biggest issue on that line without a doubt is left tackle Marshall Newhouse. He looked like a revolving door on Sunday, and has been the weakest link on the Patriots bad offensive line. New England gets a bye to figure things out, then head to Philly for a matchup with the Eagles. After that, Isaiah Wynn is expected to come off of injured reserve to replace Newhouse.

2. New Orleans Saints (7-1)

The Saints had nobody to play this week, and the NFL is thankful. No matter what pieces they lose, the Saints have continued to roll with backup quaterbacks and running backs. The bye week gives Alvin Kamara more time to come back healthy, and when he returns the Saints will have a deadly one-two punch with Kamara and Murray. The Saints remain contenders to play in February.

1. San Francisco 49ers (8-0)

The NFL’s last remaining unbeaten takes the number one spot this week. Jimmy Garoppolo had the game 49ers fans had been waiting for against Arizona, throwing for over 300 yards and four touchdowns. The arrival of Emmanuel Sanders may be just what the doctor ordered in the Bay area, and the 49ers’ defense continues to flex it’s muscles despite giving up 25 to the Arizona Cardinals. The niners are a legit threat in the NFC, and should be expected to at the very least go to the NFC championship.