Here’s a look at where each team stands in NESN.com’s NFL power rankings as we head into Week 9. (To see our Week 8 rankings, click here.)
1. New England Patriots (7-1; last week: 1): The Patriots exacted revenge on Rex Ryan’s Bills and all but clinched the AFC East title in the process.
2. Dallas Cowboys (6-1; 3): The Cowboys’ overtime win over the Eagles gave them a two-game lead in the competitive NFC East.
3. Denver Broncos (6-2; 5): Denver has bounced back from its two-game losing streak by winning two in a row, including Sunday’s turnover-filled victory over the Chargers.
4. Atlanta Falcons (5-3; 6): A Matt Ryan touchdown pass with less than a minute remaining helped Atlanta avoid its third consecutive loss.
5. Seattle Seahawks (4-2-1; 5): The Seahawks lost to the lowly Saints on Sunday, and now they’ll be without star pass rusher Michael Bennett for at least the next few weeks.
6. Oakland Raiders (6-2; 11): If the season ended today, the high-flying Raiders would be the AFC’s No. 2 seed. My, how things have changed.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3; 7): Idle.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (4-3; 8): Thanks to the Eagles and Cowboys for finally giving us a compelling prime-time game.
9. Minnesota Vikings (5-2; 2): The quickest way to drop like a stone in our rankings? Lose to the Bears.
10. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2; 10): The Chiefs waxed the Colts to keep pace in the AFC West, but watching Alex Smith take not one but two hard shots to the head was more than a little bit unsettling.
11. Green Bay Packers (4-3; 9): How dire is the Packers’ running back situation? Aaron Rodgers was their leading rusher in Sunday’s one-point loss to the Falcons.
12. Washington Redskins (4-3-1; 17): Hey, London actually got an exciting football game, even if it did end in a tie.
13. New York Giants (4-3; 16): Idle.
14. Carolina Panthers (2-5; 21): The reigning NFC champs regained some level of respectability by beating the Cardinals. They still have a long way to go to book a trip back to the playoffs, though.
15. Houston Texans (5-3; 23): The Texans are not a good team, but if they continue to take care of business against even worse teams, they should have enough to sneak into the postseason.
16. Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1; 13): The Cardinals fell into a big hole early and never recovered against the Panthers, and they’ll now be without All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu for the next three to six weeks.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1; 18): Washington’s dance partner in the second tie of this season.
18. San Diego Chargers (3-5; 12): Philip Rivers took a pounding in a loss to the Broncos, and the Bolts now are the clear cellar-dwellers in the AFC West.
19. Buffalo Bills (4-4; 14): Rex Ryan admitted after Sunday’s loss to the Patriots that his team has virtually no shot of winning the AFC East this season. He’s right.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4; 19): The Bucs lost to the Raiders in overtime in perhaps the most exciting game of the weekend.
21. Miami Dolphins (3-4; 20): Idle.
22. Detroit Lions (4-4; 15): So much for that Matthew Stafford MVP talk.
23. New Orleans Saints (3-4; 25): The Saints upset the Seahawks on Sunday, and they didn’t even need to score 35 points to do it.
24. Tennessee Titans (4-4; 24): The Titans dismantled the Jaguars in a truly terrible Thursday night game.
25. Indianapolis Colts (3-5; 22): Take away Andrew Luck, and the Colts might legitimately have the worst roster in the NFL.
26. Chicago Bears (2-6; 30): World, meet Jordan Howard.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5; 26): The Jags are slowly sliding deeper into the basement of the woeful AFC South.
28. New York Jets (3-5; 28): It wasn’t pretty, but the Jets erased a 20-7 deficit to beat the winless Browns on Sunday.
29. Baltimore Ravens (3-4; 27): Idle.
30. Los Angeles Rams (3-4; 29): Idle.
31. San Francisco 49ers (1-6; 31): Idle.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-8; 32): We’re not expecting too many wins in Jamie Collins’ future.
Thumbnail photo via Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports Images