By Conor Perrett
Last weekend, we saw a ton of action and we had a reshuffle at the top of the board and plenty to get to after Week 9 of the NFL.
Reaching the halfway mark of the season, we are starting to find out each team’s identity, so without further ado let’s get into our rankings.
- Philadelphia Eagles (8-0)
Last Week – 2nd
Philly takes their spot back at the top of the perch, after the Bills surprisingly stumbled this week. The Eagles have not put a foot wrong all season and continue to run away with the NFC as they remain the only undefeated team. Any team they have played has failed to find out where this team’s weakness is and by ESPN’S Football Power Index, they have the easiest schedule remaining. A perfect receipt for the No. 1 seed.
Up next: vs. Washington, Tuesday 1:15 GMT
- Buffalo Bills (6-2)
Last Week – 1st
Well this wasn’t written in the script. The Bills fell this week to the New York Jets after their running game got exposed. For numerous years now the Bills have relied on Josh Allen. This year felt different with a new elite defence but also investment into James Cook and Nyheim Hines at running-back.
Well the Jets showed there’s still work to do in that department and with the division looking tougher than usual, the jobs not done yet in Buffalo. The most important news that came out of the game Sunday was the elbow injury to Josh Allen. On the last drive of the game, Allen appeared to take a hit on the elbow which could come back to ruin the Bills season. As we head into the games this week, keep an eye out for the latest updates on that.
Up next: vs. Minnesota, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT
- Kansas City Chiefs (6-2)
Last Week – 3rd
Should we have expected anything different from Patrick Mahomes this year? Just when everyone thought Allen was the new QB on the block, Mahomes has reminded us all that he remains the best player in the NFL. He’s the new favourite for the MVP award, after a ‘classic Mahomes’ performance in prime time, which saw him throw for 446 yards in their win against Tennessee.
The offence continues to thrive despite big decisions of trading away Tyrek Hill and demoting Clyde Edwards-Helaire, with Andy Reid continuing to adapt his philosophy. All that keeps them away from the top-2 spot is their defence, which ranks 23rd in defensive DVOA.
Up next: vs. Jacksonville, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT
- Dallas Cowboys (6-2)
Last Week – 4th
The Cowboys had the week off this week and there might be a surprise in store with a potential Odell Beckham Jr rumour making the rounds. Could he find his way to the city of Dallas?
Also it’s a Mike McCarthy revenge game against The Green Bay Packers this week.
Up next: at Green Bay, Sunday 9:25 p.m. GMT
- Baltimore Ravens (6-3)
Last Week – 5th
Baltimore got a few new pieces added to their defence this week, especially Roquan Smith and it looked the best it has all season. With four sacks on the day and an interception to add against a surprisingly decent Saints offence, it’s exactly what the Ravens needed with their recent injuries on offence. A bye week this week, we only allow the offence to heal up and the defence to gain familiarity, as they look to chase down the likes of the Bills and Chiefs in the AFC.
Up next: Bye week
- San Francisco 49ers (4-4)
Last Week – 6th
Positive news out of the Niners bye week with DT Arik Armstead, LB Dre Greenlaw, CB Jason Verrett, WR Deebo Samuel, RB Elijah Mitchell and FB Kyle Juszczyk all expected to return in Week 10. The team has a look of contenders about it again.
Up next: vs. Los Angeles Chargers, Monday 1:20 GMT
- Miami Dolphins (6-3)
Last Week – 7th
If you missed out on any NFL content this week and are bored, then treat yourself to the Miami v Chicago game ,after you’ve read these rankings of course. Miami’s offence continues to flash, but their defence is getting left behind. They now join Denver with the largest gap between offensive or defensive DVOA with 2nd and 27th ranked units respectively.
The acquisition of Bradley Chubb will clearly take some time, but there’s potential for improvement this year at least.
Up next: vs. Cleveland, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT
- Seattle Seahawks (6-3)
Last Week – 8th
The Seahawks entered the season with an over/under win total of 5.5. Well we just reached the halfway mark of the season and Seattle just topped that reaching six wins already. Pete Carroll looks like a new man on the sideline after the most surprising story in the NFL.
It just goes to show, Seattle and Green Bay were at the same crossroads with their veteran quarterbacks this past off-season and both went different ways. Now they are both at completely different spectrum of our NFL Power Rankings.
Up next: vs. Tampa Bay (in Munich), Sunday 14:30 a.m. GMT
- Cincinnati Bengals (5-4)
Last Week – 10th
Joe Mixon set a franchise record this week with five touchdowns in the Bengals 42-21 win against Carolina. Cincinnati continue their up and down roller coaster of a season, as they clear the .500 mark ahead of their bye week.
It will be an important second half of the season for Joe Burrow and Co, as they look to push on for a postseason appearance. But it won’t be an easy task with them having one of the hardest schedules remaining, facing each of the current AFC division leaders in the next two months.
Up next: Bye week
- Minnesota Vikings (7-1)
Last Week – 9th
Another game and another one-score win. Now, there’s no hiding I have been harsh on this Minnesota team, but I don’t see a 7-win calibre team when I watch them. I think they are very fortunate to have the record they possess but if they want to prove me wrong, they can do that in their next four games.
We’re going to see if this team is real very soon, when they face the Bills, Cowboys, Patriots and Jets in the next four weeks.
Up next: at Buffalo, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT
- New York Jets (6-3)
Last Week – 16th
Before Robert Saleh took over the Jets he was in charge of the best defence in football. It’s a big reason why he got the job and he had them playing like that against the Bills this past Sunday.
Sauce Gardner and Quinnen Williams have become pillars on that side of the ball, as they try to get their offence to the same place. Zach Wilson took a step in the right direction this week when he completed 18 of 25 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown, but more importantly he didn’t make any major mistakes. Right now that’s all New York needs him to do if they want to continue their charge up the rankings.
Up next: Bye week
- Tennessee Titans (5-3)
Last Week – 11th
Tip your cap to Derrick Henry and Mike Vrabel. Rookie QB Malik Willis completed 11 passes for 135 yards and a pick in the last two weeks, and the Titans still beat the Texans and nearly beat the Chiefs. On Sunday night, the Titans held Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to just 17 points in regulation and narrowly lost the game in overtime despite entering the game as 14.5-point road underdog.
Up next: vs. Denver, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT
- New England Patriots (5-4)
Last Week – 14th
Mac Jones is the lowest-ranked quarterback in EPA per drop back but luckily for the Patriots, their defence is one of the best in the league. But that’s the way the Patriots have played this season, with solid defence and risk-averse offensive play calling. For the time being it’s working, but with the hardest remaining schedule according to ESPN’s Football Power Index, it won’t be easy to maintain.
Up next: Bye week
- New York Giants (6-2)
Last Week – 12th
Coming off a bye week, who would have thought both the AFC and NFC East divisions would be the best mid-way through the season.
Up next: vs. Houston, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT
- Los Angeles Chargers (5-3)
Last Week – 13th
The Chargers came back from the bye week with a win against the Falcons but they didn’t make it pretty. They continue to have a poor success rate on first and second down and are giving up a staggering 5.7 yards per carry in run defence. I mentioned last week that if they don’t improve in these departments, then the coaches are going to start to pay. They grabbed an away win this week, but sooner or later losses are going to pile up and pressure will immense.
Up next: at San Francisco, Monday 1:20 GMT
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5)
Last Week – 15th
Somehow with a 4-5 record, the Bucs lead the NFC South division. It’s extremely fortunate that they play in one of the worst divisions in football, as their offence continues to be hamstrung by an inefficient running game. Luckily they have the Greatest of All Time playing quarterback for them and Sunday night’s comeback drive, looked like Tom Brady wound the years back to string together a classic Brady drive to win against the Rams.
Up next: vs. Seattle (in Munich), Sunday 14:30 a.m. GMT
- Cleveland Browns (3-5)
Last Week – 19th
The people of Cleveland were fortunate to have the week off this week, before they are thrown to the wolves in Miami. Can the Browns play as well as they did last time out in their win against the Bengals?
Up next: at Miami, Sunday 1 p.m. GMT
- Atlanta Falcons (4-5)
Last Week – 20th
Not much to report on in Atlanta as they narrowly fell to the Chargers this week. They looked graceful in defeat and Cordarrelle Patterson looked very good in his return from injury, but this team continues to be amazing running the ball but awful on defence.
Up next: at Carolina, Friday 1:15 GMT
- Los Angeles Rams (3-5)
Last Week – 17th
The Rams’ hopes of making the playoffs seems to be fading, right in front of their own eyes. The offence continues to stink and games like Sunday where a win can turn to a loss in the snap of a finger won’t help morale.
It seems that Sean McVay and Les Snead have spent so much time worrying about their own futures and of key players on the team, that they forgot to build the rest. The offensive line is a shambles and apart from Cooper Kupp they lack any weapons in the passing game.
Up next: vs. Arizona, Sunday 9:25 p.m. GMT
- Denver Broncos (3-5)
Last Week – 23rd
Poor Russel Wilson, everybody forgot his plane antics after Kirk Cousins turned into Vanilla Ice on his flight back to Minnesota.
Up next: vs. Tennessee, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT
- Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6)
Last Week – 26th
The Jags comeback win against the Raiders, was a real kick start to get them back to where they were at the start of the season. Jacksonville’s 3-6 record is worse than their play has suggested, after they snapped their four game losing streak. Trevor Lawrence took some steps in the right direction, but it might be a little too late to get their season back. Even so, if he and Doug Pederson can continue to create a positive outlook for the 2023 season, then this young team could have a bright future in store.
Up next: at Kansas City, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT
- Washington Commanders (4-5)
Last Week – 24th
The Commanders are up for sale; Wahey!!! On the field, they continue to be competitive in almost every game.
Up next: at Philadelphia, Tuesday 1:15 p.m. GMT
- Arizona Cardinals (3-6)
Last Week – 20th
Just this past off-season, Arizona made the call to give Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray a six and five year contract extension respectively, despite neither of them finishing the season as a top-10 ranked offence together. This year hasn’t been any better with them 20th in EPA per play and the constant public arguing on the sidelines.
The Cardinals front office are in a big predicament, with the earliest realistic out for Murray’s contract being in 2028. They will have to turn over every stone to create this top-flight offence they dream about.
Up next: at Los Angeles Rams, Sunday 9:25 p.m. GMT
- Chicago Bears (3-6)
Last Week – 29th
Wow, what a turnaround Justin Fields and this offence has made in the last three weeks. The Bears looked like one of he worst offences in football, then the coaches finally woke up and started playing to Field’s strengths. Despite losing to the Cowboys and Dolphins the last two weeks, they have looked great in both defeats and with a few favourable games ahead, Chicago could make a charge up these rankings if all goes well.
Up next: vs. Detroit, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT
- New Orleans Saints (3-6)
Last Week – 22nd
The Saints’ chances of making the postseason are slim, and their path forward in 2022 and beyond, isn’t pretty. They gave up a 2023 first-rounder to eventually draft WR Chris Olave earlier in the year and they rank 32nd in projected cap space next off-season at -$62 million. Olave has been super as a rookie, but he can’t also play quarterback or rush the passer. General manager Mickey Loomis might have to finally commit to what he has been putting off for years; a rebuild.
Up next: at Pittsburgh, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT
- Green Bay Packers (3-6)
Last Week – 18th
The Packers embarrassed themselves on Sunday when they fell to the Lions and only managed to score nine points against the 32nd ranked scoring defence. But how does Aaron Rodgers take the loss? He said the Lions got lucky and as a team the Packers made mental mistakes.
Rodgers’ ego is so big he can’t seem to see the massive red flag pointing straight at him. Josh Allen after his loss this week summed it up perfectly. With him saying you can’t win in this league when your quarterback plays bad. You saw what Rodgers’ said above, yet he forgets he threw three interceptions in the game.
Was it the team’s mental mistakes which caused you to under-throw a pass to a defensive lineman? Was it the team’s mental mistakes that caused you to throw two interceptions to a rookie safety? Was it the team’s mental mistakes which caused you to get stood up on the one-yard line four times, in RPO situations where you kept forcing passes that weren’t there. No it wasn’t!!!
Rodgers played one of his worst games of his career but instead of being the veteran leader he should have been, he blamed the rest of his team which held the Lions to only 15 points.
Up next: vs. Dallas, Sunday 9:25 p.m. GMT
- Detroit Lions (2-6)
Last Week – 31st
Beating Green Bay won’t save the season by all means for the Lions, but the win does bode well for Dan Campbell’s future in Detroit. With pressure increasing, Campbell made the call to fire well respected DB’s coach Aubrey Pleasant last Monday, after allowing at least 24 points in every game. His players responded this week when they held the Packers to single-digit points and three interceptions.
What this organisation will be most happy about is how General Manager, Brad Holmes’ draft picks played in the game. The Lions have committed to building through the draft and nothing better than seeing these young players develop right in front of their eyes, with splash plays that enable them to win a game. We’ll soon see if this was a horrible Packers side, or a new young Lion pride ready to roar.
Up next: at Chicago, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT
- Las Vegas Raiders (2-6)
Last Week – 25th
I’ve tried and I’ve tried to back this Vegas team through their horrible start of a season, but I can’t any more. The Raiders are now 0-5 in one-score games this season, but three of those games have consisted of them leading by at least 17 points. Despite Derek Carr and Josh Jacobs, the front pins of this offence having good seasons, Josh McDaniels keeps losing the second-half adjustment battle. Combined with the 32nd ranked defensive DVOA, makes a recipe for disaster.
Up next: vs. Indianapolis, Sunday 9:05 p.m. GMT
- Pittsburgh Steelers (2-6)
Last Week – 30th
Pittsburgh had their off-week, but climbed a spot thanks to the Colts theory of tanking.
Up next: vs. New Orleans, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT
- Carolina Panthers (2-7)
Last Week – 28th
The Bengals scored three more points, 35 than the Panthers had yards, 32 in the first half of their blowout loss on Sunday. P.J. Walker completed three passes for nine yards and threw two interceptions, before being benched for previous starter Baker Mayfield.
Week 9 only reminded us that Carolina is still in one of the worst situations this season, but at least they get to add another quarterback into the mix with Sam Darnold returning for their Week 10 matchup.
Up next: vs. Atlanta, Friday 1:15 p.m. GMT
- Houston Texans (1-6-1)
Last Week – 32nd
The Texans climbed a spot thanks to another team’s misfortune, but their loss to the undefeated Eagles this week wasn’t as bad as people thought was going to happen. David Mills started the game well, with a first half performance of 8 of 9 on passes and two passing touchdowns. With another off-season of a potential head coaching change this team is a bit all over the place, but there are some bright spots that can flash.
Up next: at New York Giants, Sunday 1 p.m. GMT
- Indianapolis Colts (3-5-1)
Last Week – 27th
Do I think Indy is the worst team in the league; no, but with the state of their franchise right now especially at the top, there is no way they can be any higher.
To get you up to date with things, two weeks ago they benched former MVP Matt Ryan and promoted 2021 sixth-round pick Sam Ehlinger to starter, despite also having former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles on the roster. Then last week they fired offensive coordinator Marcus Brady, who wasn’t even calling plays.
Now, they fired Head Coach Frank Reich and made former player Jeff Saturday interim head coach, despite never having coached at any level before and having two former NFL head coaches on their staff in John Fox and Gus Bradley.
The Colts are just straight up tanking in broad daylight and owner Jim Irsay had a press conference that made the head coaching job even less attractive. If you’re a Colts’ fan you can click away now, as I list off some of his quotes to laugh at.
Jim Irsay on the Jeff Saturday promotion: “I’m glad he doesn’t have NFL experience.”
Irsay talking about how hard it is to win in this league “Do you know how many games Michael Jordan lost?”
And my favourite, GM Chris Ballard blaming the media for the O-Line’s bad performances “Y’all been kicking the shit out of me for not drafting wide-outs and now we’re under-performing on the offensive line.
Up next: at Las Vegas, Sunday 9:05 p.m. GMT