NFL Power Rankings Week 9: AFC, NFC Standings and Pre-MNF Predictions

Jake RillAnalyst IIIOctober 28, 2019

CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 13: James Conner #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers plays during a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park October 13, 2019 in Carson, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Four teams entered Week 8 of the NFL season with no more than one loss. All four won again this weekend. And those four remain to be the best teams in the league.

The New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers continued their unbeaten starts with victories on Sunday, while the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints also earned wins as each improved to 7-1. While the Patriots are the clear best team in the AFC so far, the 49ers, Packers and Saints have all been impressive in the NFC.

There's one game remaining in Week 8—the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the Miami Dolphins on Monday night.

Predicting that the Steelers notch a home victory in that contest over the winless Dolphins (more on that below), here's a look at how the NFL power rankings would shape up heading into Week 9, as well as the standings in the AFC and NFC.


NFL Standings

AFC East

New England (8-0)

Buffalo (5-2)

N.Y. Jets (1-6)

Miami (0-6)


AFC North

Baltimore (5-2)

Pittsburgh (2-4)

Cleveland (2-5)

Cincinnati (0-8)


AFC South

Indianapolis (5-2)

Houston (5-3)

Jacksonville (4-4)

Tennessee (4-4)


AFC West

Kansas City (5-3)

Oakland (3-4)

L.A. Chargers (3-5)

Denver (2-6)


NFC East

Dallas (4-3)

Philadelphia (4-4)

N.Y. Giants (2-6)

Washington (1-7)


NFC North

Green Bay (7-1)

Minnesota (6-2)

Detroit (3-3-1)

Chicago (3-4)


NFC South

New Orleans (7-1)

Carolina (4-3)

Tampa Bay (2-5)

Atlanta (1-7)


NFC West

San Francisco (7-0)

Seattle (6-2)

L.A. Rams (5-3)

Arizona (3-4-1)


Week 9 NFL Power Rankings Predictions

1. New England Patriots (8-0)

2. San Francisco 49ers (7-0)

3. New Orleans Saints (7-1)

4. Green Bay Packers (7-1)

5. Baltimore Ravens (5-2)

6. Seattle Seahawks (6-2)

7. Minnesota Vikings (6-2)

8. Indianapolis Colts (5-2)

9. Kansas City Chiefs (5-3)

10. Dallas Cowboys (4-3)

11. Houston Texans (5-3)

12. Los Angeles Rams (5-3)

13. Buffalo Bills (5-2)

14. Carolina Panthers (4-3)

15. Philadelphia Eagles (4-4)

16. Detroit Lions (3-3-1)

17. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4)

18. Chicago Bears (3-4)

19. Tennessee Titans (4-4)

20. Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1)

21. Oakland Raiders (3-4)

22. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-4)

23. Los Angeles Chargers (3-5)

24. Cleveland Browns (2-5)

25. Denver Broncos (2-6)

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5)

27. New York Giants (2-6)

28. New York Jets (1-6)

29. Atlanta Falcons (1-7)

30. Washington Redskins (1-7)

31. Cincinnati Bengals (0-8)

32. Miami Dolphins (0-7)


Monday Night Football Preview, Predictions

Even though the Steelers haven't had the best start to their season, this is a matchup they should have no trouble winning.

The Dolphins have dropped their first six games, averaging an NFL-worst 10.5 points per game. However, they've played a bit better since their Week 5 bye, losing 17-16 to the Redskins in Week 6 and scoring a season-high 21 points in a 31-21 loss to the Bills last week.

But make no mistake—the Steelers should win this game, and if they don't, it will be a big surprise.

Quarterback Mason Rudolph is returning for Pittsburgh after he suffered a concussion in a Week 5 loss to the Ravens. He missed the Steelers' Week 6 win over the Chargers, then they had a bye last week.

Rudolph, who is now Pittsburgh's starter due to Ben Roethlisberger's season-ending elbow injury, played well earlier this season, passing for seven touchdowns and only two interceptions over four games. And even though he took a big hit his last time on the field, he said that won't be on his mind Monday night.

"I'm going to go play the game I've always played and play with the aggressiveness, and if I need to extend the play, that's what's going to happen," Rudolph said, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "I'm not going to think twice about worrying about getting hit in the right spot. That's just the luck of the draw."

The Dolphins have also played multiple quarterbacks this season, but that's due to ineffectiveness and not injuries. Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, who will start Monday, has passed for three touchdowns and five interceptions in five games, while Josh Rosen has one touchdown and five interceptions.

Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins may be struggling, but they're still motivated to play well.

"What do you have to lose, right? What do we have to lose at this point?" Miami quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said, per AP. "I think that's part of the mentality, and part of the mentality is just trying to get that to trickle down and rub off on everyone else, that aggression."

Miami may not play as well as recent weeks, however, as Pittsburgh's defense has flashed its potential at times this season and hasn't had trouble shutting down lesser opponents.

Expect the Steelers to take control of this game early and handily pick up their third win in four games.