NFL Week 9 Power Rankings: Patriots Set the Pace
The big story of Week Nine was obviously the clash of the remaining unbeaten teams—the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots.
The game wasn't exactly the offensive slugfest that most of us expected, but how could it have been?
It wasn't just two top offenses going head-to-head, after all—it was two top defenses as well.
The Colts spent most of the game proving they could contain New England, but the Pats exhibited just enough poise to make a fourth-quarter comeback and claim their place at the top of the league standings...and at the top of my power rankings.
Believe it or not, though, there really was more to Week Nine than just the Dungy-Belichick show. Let's take a look at rest of the NFL...
1. New England Patriots (9-0)
Can they go undefeated?
2. Indianapolis Colts (7-1)
The Colts won't go unbeaten, but they've proven that they can hang with the best of the best—and they're hoping for a rematch in January, when it counts.
3. Dallas Cowboys (7-1)
Dallas continues to win games. Honestly, I've been awaiting their collapse. Maybe I'll be waiting longer than I first thought. Tony Romo had a stellar performance this week.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)
Big Ben Roethlisberger matched Tom Brady's mark of five TDs in one half of football. The Steelers, as a whole, look like they're ready to put their sloppy losses behind them and compete with the Pats and Colts for a first-round bye.
5. Green Bay Packers (7-1)
Nice win over KC. These guys are winning more with their passion than they are with their talent.
6. Tennessee Titans (6-2)
The Titans are at the top of their game right now, and they just keep getting better. Three straight 100+ yard performances by LenDale White have certainly played a role in their success.
7. Detroit Lions (6-2)
I don't think anybody expected them to handle the Broncos the way they did. The rest of the season is no walk in the park though...
8. New York Giants (6-2)
Credit the defense for their 6-2 record. Eli surely isn't giving us any reason to applaud the offense. This team lives and dies with turnovers.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-3)
Tough game against the Saints—but you can't really blame them. The Jags aren't exactly elite, and the Saints are making up for a very weak beginning to their season. Look for the Jaguars to bounce back next week and have a much better game against Tennessee (not that they'll necessarily win, but they'll play better).
10. San Diego Chargers (4-4)
San Diego needs to decide if they're awesome or horrible—and fast, because the road to "mediocre," which is on the way to "no playoffs," is quickly approaching.
11. Cleveland Browns (5-3)
Their game against Pittsburgh on Nov. 11th will identify the Browns. If they can pull off a victory, anything goes for the rest of the season.
12. New Orleans Saints (4-4)
After starting the season 0-4, the Saints have shown they're not done yet—although I'd still be surprised to see them playing in January.
13. Washington Redskins (5-3)
This team is wildly inconsistent, and will be lucky to secure a playoff spot.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4)
The Bucs have won more games so far this year than they did all of last year. Earnest Graham has a chance to secure himself a real NFL career if he delivers more performances like Sunday's.
15. Buffalo Bills (4-4)
These guys remind me of the 2001 Patriots: a scrappy team that's winning games despite injuries, and that nobody is paying attention to.
16. Houston Texans (4-5)
Hey, look! Sage Rosenfels is still around! Hooray!
17. Kansas City Chiefs (4-4)
Can someone please explain to me how a team that has surrendered more points than they've scored is at the top of their division?
18. Baltimore Ravens (4-4)
Has anyone seen the Ravens offense? They came up missing sometime in the last month, and I believe Baltimore fans everywhere would appreciate even just a phone call so they know the players are okay.
19. Seattle Seahawks (4-4)
A .500 record...and in sole possession of first place in their division. Someday, the NFC will regain its credibility. Someday.
20. Minnesota Vikings (3-5)
Adrian Peterson is the future face of this franchise. Any more games like the one he had on Sunday, and many will consider him the best back in the league. Perhaps his performance will give the Vikings a spark in the second half of the season.
21. Carolina Panthers (4-4)
I'm not sure how this organization is at the .500 mark. The Panthers have played some pretty ugly football thus far.
22. Chicago Bears (3-5)
The Bears have more than doubled their total number of losses from last season. Did Thomas Jones really mean that much to these guys? The Jets don't seem to think so...
23. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5)
Really? Do I have to talk about the Eagles? I think all that needs to be said is that they're in the cellar of the NFC East...and it doesn't look like getting out will be an easy task.
24. Denver Broncos (3-5)
What an awful performance against the Lions. I think the Broncos' playoff hopes died over the weekend.
25. Arizona Cardinals (3-5)
I really thought the Cards would play better this season.
26. Cincinnati Bengals (2-6)
The Bungles are officially back.
27. Oakland Raiders (2-6)
Cue JaMarcus Russell.
28. New York Jets (1-8)
Their record doesn't exactly exemplify the way they've played this season. Lots of tough breaks...
29. Atlanta Falcons (2-6)
Well, at least they're better than the 49ers...
30. San Francisco 49ers (2-6)
I'd really like it if a 49er fan would comment on this article and tell me what's gone wrong this season, because I'm a little confused.
31. St. Louis Rams (0-8)
Weren't lots of people predicting that the Rams would be playoff contenders?
32. Miami Dolphins (0-8)
Well on their way to the first pick in the 2008 draft.
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