NFL Power Rankings For Week 9

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(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

By Marvin A Azrak  Baseball is finished(A hearty Congrats to the Braves) which means after a month’s layoff, I’m back to writing about the NFL. With the halfway point of the season upon us, i though it would be nice to check in on where each team stands. So sit back, relax, and enjoy these NFL Power rankings entering week 9 of the 2021 NFL season.

1. Green Bay Packers(7-1)

Aaron Rodgers(67.1 completion% 17TD, 236.8 yards per game) has been spectacular as Green Bay has reeled off seven straight victories, none bigger than the one they eked out over the previously undefeated Arizona Cardinals in the dessert 24-21 when Rasul Douglas picked off Kyler Murray in the endzone in the winning seconds of the fourth quarter on Thurs Night Football. The win streak includes wins over the 5-3  Bengals(25-22 OT), Bears(24-14), and Washington(24-10).

Unfortunately, AR12 will miss Sunday’s game in Kansas City after coming down with Covid-19.

2.  Dallas Cowboys(6-1)

Despite their season-opening loss to the Bucs, there were many reasons to be encouraged by the Cowboys performance and it has shown with a six-game win streak, defeating the Chargers(20-17), Eagles(41-21), Panthers(36-28), Giants(44-20), Patriots(35-29), and Vikings(20-16) to go 6-1, and claim first in the NFC East by a large margin. Dak Prescott has been spectacular with the “Dak attack” having hit 73.1% of his passes, 302 yards per game, and 16 touchdowns. MVP second half incoming?

3. Arizona Cardinals  7-1

They opened my eyes when they defeated the Rams 37-20 in week four, and then obliterated the Browns 37-14 in week 6. However, they may be coming down to earth now following their loss to the Packers, and Kyler Murray being lost to injury for 2-4 weeks.

4. Los Angeles Rams 7-1

The Von Miller acquisition is a game-changer and only makes the NFL’s #1 defense even more lethal. In addition to that, Matthew Stafford has thrown for 309.6 yards per game, completed 68.9% of his passes, and has 22 touchdowns, with 10 going to Cooper Kupp, who has 924 yards on the season. With the injury to Kyler, LA may run away with this division.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-2

That stunning 36-27  loss to Trevor Semien and the Saints, where Tom Brady threw a pick-six in crunch time is upsetting, but losses do happen in the regular season and I’m confident the defending champions will be just fine after the bye week.

6. Buffalo Bills 5-2

Aside from a 23-16 opening day loss to Pittsburgh, and a heartbreaking 34-31 week six loss to the Titans in Tennessee in week six, this season has gone as well as you could imagine for Bills mafia. Josh Allen is putting together a magnificent season with a 64.8 completion % for 1,723 yards, and 15 touchdowns to only eight interceptions, and 214 rushing yards in addition to two rushing touchdowns. Devin Singeltary has been leading the charge on the rushing end with 311 yards, and Stephon Diggs has hauled in 42 receptions for 503 yards this season and three touchdowns for the first place Bills who are undefeated in divisional play this season.

7. Las Vegas Raiders 5-2

Derek Carr has been driving the “Car” for Vegas with a 67.7 completion%, 324 yards per game with 12 touchdowns. Vegas is currently(Shockingly) atop the AFC West.

8. Baltimore Ravens(5-3)

You just can’t lose 41-17 to a Bengals team that wound up losing the Mike White-led Jets and expect to win the division. Now following a bye week it’s time to bounce back in Minneapolis.

9.  New Orleans Saints 5-2

No Jameis Winston, not a problem! Trevor Semien went 16/29 for a touchdown that led them to an improbable win over the reigning champs at home to pull within a half-game of first place in the NFC south.

10. Cleveland Browns 4-4

Being .500 doesn’t normally mean last in your division, but that’s what we got here with Cleveland. They released a liable asset in OBJ, and are hoping their offense can assert themselves in Cincy this week, and get themselves back in the fight for the North. The Brownies offense has looked the part, only scoring a combined 38 points in their past three games.

11. Tennessee  Titans 6-2

The sole reason why Tennessee is out of the top 10 is due to the loss of superstar RB Derrick Henry, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury during their 34-31 overtime win over the Colts. Before that, they had victories over the Jags(37-19), Bills(34-31), and Chiefs(27-3). They will take their four-game win streak into LA on Sunday night football in week nine.

12. Kansas City Chiefs 4-4

This team is in one word “Pathetic”. Patrick Mahomes stats tell the entire story, as he’s completed 66.5% of his passes, but has an abysmal 94.5 QB rating with 19 touchdowns, 10

Interceptions, and has been sacked 16 times in just eight games. KC does have luck on their side though, as they did grind out a “Flag-fest”  2017 win over the Giants despite committing 12 penalties, and AR12 won’t be in uniform when they host the Packers. Don’t look now, but I still believe the .500

The chiefs have it in them to make the postseason, and I won’t be surprised if they’re there come January despite what people may think now.

13. Pittsburgh Steelers 4-3

After a sour 1-3 start to the season, Pittsburg has reeled off three straight victories against the Broncos(27-19),  Seahawks(23-20), and Browns(15-10) to go over the .500 mark, and close within a game of the first-place Ravens who they face in week 13. For now, they must take care of the Bears in week nine.

14. Cincinnati Bengals 5-3

They have lost my respect for the moment after losing to Mike White and the Jets. Luckily, they can prove they’re legitimate again if they can knock off Cleveland in week nine.

15. New England Patriots 4-4

Mac Jones and Bill Bellichek have held their own. Ever since that 1-3 start, they’ve won three of four games. After splitting against Houston(25-22), and Dallas(29-35 OT), they pounded the hapless Jets into submission 54-13, and “Charge”d” up their fanbase by stunning LA 27-24.

16. Los Angeles Chargers 4-3

They were on the verge of moving to 5-2 and keeping pace with Vegas atop the AFC West, in what should be an intriguing fight to the finish line. But Adrian Phillips had other plans and picked off Justin Herbert before running it back to the house in the fourth, lifting New England to the road win. Los Angeles has been a fan-favorite this season, and now has 10 games to prove they’re playoff-worthy.

17. Philadelphia Eagles 3-5

I’ll say it: THIS TEAM IS BETTER THAN THEIR RECORD. Let’s breakdown their schedule thus far:

Wins:

Falcons

Panthers

Lions

Yes, I’m aware all those teams are under 500

Losses:

49ers

Cowboys

Chiefs

Bucs

Raiders

Four of five teams on that list are currently .500 or better.

Upcoming  schedule:

Chargers

Broncos

Saints

Giants

Jets

Washington

Giants

Washington

Cowboys

Looks like a pretty solid schedule to me, I’d say look for Jalen Hurtz and Philly to make some noise in the  Wild Card hunt down the stretch. The kids got some potential but just need some matchups to display it against. He’s not ready for the upperclassmen just yet, but that doesn’t make him a bust. Give it time!

18. . Minnesota Vikings 3-4

Overall, they’ve been competitive from week to week but those two heartbreakers at the beginning of the season are the reason why they remain under 500 and on the outside of the playoff picture. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get any easier with the Ravens on deck.

19. Carolina Panthers 4-4

Good riddance that CM24 is back because this team looked lost without him going 1-4.

20. Seattle Seahawks 3-5

Geno Smith can only carry you for so long, though that 31-7 obliteration of the Jaguars creates some confidence heading into the bye week. This team needs Russell  Wilson ASAP.

21. Atlanta Falcons 3-4

Matt Ryan(68.6%, 93.9 QBR,  13 TD, 259 YDPG) at 36 years old has been playing up to expectations thus far but this underwhelming Falcons team hasn’t done him many favors. They’re going to get a chance to make a Braves-like run though if they play some winning football down the stretch and sneak into the Wild Card race. That quest begins when they travel to the Big Easy to face the Saints on Sunday.

22. San Francisco 49ers 4-4

Okay, San Fran, it’s time for a new season! Elijah Mitchell, Debo Samuel, and Trent Williams are back from injury just in time to face the Kyler Murray-less Cardinals, and you’re coming off a 33-22 victory over the Bears in week eight. Playoffs are indeed within striking distance.

23. Indianapolis Colts 4-5

Nothing says “Career day” like facing the Jets defense. That’s what Jonathan Taylor did, rushing for 172 yards and two scores, while Carson  Wentz threw three touchdowns, as Indy rushed for an NFL-high 260 yards in their 45-30 drubbing of Gang Green.

24. Chicago Bears 3-5

Justin Fields has shown he’s got potential, as he’s gone for 243 yards with his legs for two touchdowns, and has thrown for three more in eight games played this season. However, there have been an overflowing amount of growing pains with the 15 turnovers, and more are bound to come throughout the rest of the season. However, I would tell Bears fans to “Trust the process”.

25. Denver Broncos 4-4

A Broncos fan told me the following;

“We are a great team, but we just need the proper QB”. Well, the problem has been cap space and lack of draft capital which has been taken care of by the Von Miller deal. Denver acquired second & third-round picks in 2022, and a host of cap space they can use to lure the next face of the franchise come to the offseason. The goal for the second half of 2021? Finish with a respectable record, and I think in the range of  6-11 to 9-8 will do the trick.

26. NY Giants 2-6

It’s time to “Judge”

Joe Judge for this season. I wouldn’t say to force him out of town just yet, but the G-Men have lost three games this season(WFT, Falcons, Chiefs) due to undisciplined penalties down the stretch.

That was an “MNF” game you had to have against a bumbling KC bunch to keep your playoff hopes realistically alive, and couldn’t even do that. Where do we go from here? Giants fans want to be proud just as Judge said, but it’s hard to smile and say “Giants” in the same sentence right about now.

27. NY Jets 2-6

Mike White’s 15 minutes of fame only lasted three days, for he suffered a forearm injury in the Jets 45-30 loss to the Colts. Now the question is, who starts against the 5-2 Bills on Sunday in week nine? This feels like something the New York media can latch onto as they finish covering another lost season of Jets football.

28. Washington 2-6

“Offense wins games, defense wins championships”, and this unit has been a shell of itself compared to last season. They’re 27th in total yards, 30th in passing, and 27th in points allowed per game at 28.4.

That’s why they’re 2-6, and with Dallas being a healthy 6-1, they can’t benefit from the “NFC Least” again this year.

29. Miami Dolphins 1-7

Miami has had a miserable season, but in their defense losing, Tua will do that to you. But there’s a big “TFC” (Tank football conference) game against the Texans this week that Miami “Must-Lose”, if they would like to remain in the hunt for the #1 draft pick, came Apri, and winners of the “Toilet Bowl”.

30. Houston Texans 1-7

Hey Houston, we do have a problem. Deshaun Watson is still on your team and is likely laughing with each loss you guys suffer. Trade him now for your own sake of becoming a playoff team once again. A spot that DW led you to not so long ago.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-6

The wins and losses don’t matter to Jags fans more than how Trevor Lawrence performs. The kid is flashy despite the 12 turnovers, because of his eight TD’s, 132 rushing yards, and 243 yards per game entering week nine. But not even he can break the 20 skids the franchise had in games played in the USA right now. Still, it will be interesting to see him in East Rutherford come week 16 against the Jets, when he may indeed reverse the curse.

32. Detroit Lions 0-8

There have been some close calls, but my “Bold pick” in my preseason predictions when yours truly said Detroit would go 0-17 is looking pretty good! However, the Lions are off this week so we won’t look past the fact adjustments can be made and a win can be manufactured at any time in the next couple of weeks. My message to Lions fans is to keep the faith before shades of your 2008 0-16 squad enter your mind again, and remember this is a 17 game season where all they need is just a single victory to avoid being shambled for eight months by 31 NFL fanbases.

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