Welcome to the Week 9 edition of the Cubicle GM NFL Power Rankings. Every Tuesday you can look forward to our composite rankings, as well as a bit of brief insight and analysis about each of the 32 teams.
The rankings are determined by taking the average of each of the contributors here at The Cube. For Week 9 we have rankings from five members of the Cubicle GM team, including me, Gideon, Mickey, Walker and Smokey. So remember, if you disagree with some portion of our rankings, be sure to check the individual rankings to find the culprit.
While we are almost at the midway point of the NFL season, we have reached the midpoint of the Power Rankings for the year. As a result, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the teams that have done the most movement since the preseason to see how off we really were before the 2009 campaign kicked off.
The biggest surprise in almost everyone’s opinion was the Denver Broncos, who overcame the Jay Cutler saga and Brandon Marshall suspension to start the year 6-0. After ranking them a composite No. 26 to start the year, the Broncos moved up a whopping 23 spots to No. 3 as of last week, the most movement of any team.
The opposite of the Broncos turned out to be the Tennessee Titans. After giving them a composite ranking of No. 8 to start the year, the Titans fell 21 spots all the way to No. 29 after starting the year at an 0-6 clip. A close second was Mickey and Smokey’s beloved Panthers, who started the year at No. 9 but fell 17 spots to No. 26 after a poor start.
The teams who moved the least were those who started at the bottom and stayed at the bottom. St. Louis has not cracked the Top 30 this year, spending seven weeks at the very bottom of the ranks before emerging this week. The Kansas City Chiefs also haven’t moved much, fluctuating only five spots between their current No. 26 and No. 30 for the entirety of the year.
The Cubicle GM rankings have only seen two teams at the top of the rankings, starting with the Steelers defending their title and followed by the Saints after their hot start. Five teams have occupied the No. 2 spot, including the Colts for a third straight week. Half the league has found their way into the Top 10, but that includes our misreads on Tennessee and Carolina in the preseason.
Looking now at the Week Nine rankings, Denver fell from the ranks of the undefeated with their loss to Baltimore on Sunday and also out of the top three. Jumping back into that spot was the Minnesota Vikings, who looked impressive in their win at Green Bay. The Saints and Colts held on to their unanimous places in the top two spots in the rankings after their respective wins.
After dropping five spots in the last two weeks, the Giants fell again after suffering a third straight loss, a shellacking at the hands of the rival Eagles. Their position at No. 10 is their lowest of the year. Replacing them at No. 7 were those Eagles, jumping up three spots.
The bottom of the rankings got a change this week, as the St. Louis Rams and Tennessee Titans removed themselves from the ranks of the winless. Tampa is now the lone team without a win and finds itself at No. 32 in the rankings. Cleveland falls down four spots to No. 30, and after seeing them in person this week, I’m not sure that’s low enough.
Outside of our top two undefeated teams, change was the theme in the rankings this week. There were 27 teams that changed spots this week, with 12 teams moving at least three spots up or down the ranks.
The Titans had the biggest positive movement this week, jumping four spots after finally winning a game. The biggest downward mover was interesting this week, as the Jets fell five spots after losing to the Dolphins for the second time this season.
The disagreements among the rankers dwindled this week to nearly nothing. There were just four disagreements of exactly seven spots in their ranks. This is the second consecutive week with no double-digit disagreements between any of the contributors.
Dallas Cowboys (7): Walker 9, Smokey 16
Green Bay Packers (7): Gideon 7, Jacob/Mickey 14
Atlanta Falcons (7): Gideon/Smokey 10, Walker 17
New York Jets (7): Gideon 13, Smokey 20
On the divisional side, the NFC East continues to lead the way with an average score of 11.50, holding its lead over the AFC North, who came in with a 13.20 average this week.
The bottom two divisions remain the same for the sixth consecutive week, as the NFC West remains at the bottom even with a win by the Rams, checking in with a 22.80 average rank. They are trailing the NFC South, which has a 19.45 average thanks to Tampa at the bottom.