NFL Week 9 Power Rankings: Saints Rise Ahead Of NFC Showdown Vs. Rams


The New Orleans Saints are going to be a problem for any team that crosses their path.

New Orleans delivered a statement win Sunday by beating Minnesota Vikings 30-20 at U.S. Bank Stadium despite Drew Brees throwing for only 120 yards. Elsewhere in the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks revived their season by rolling over the Detroit Lions and the Houston Texans won their fifth straight game to continue their crawl up the rankings.

On the flip side, the Baltimore Ravens’ season might be on life support if they can’t right the ship in a week’s time.

With eight weeks of action now in the books, here?s how we’re ranking every NFL team from No. 1 to No. 32. (For our Week 8 power rankings, click here.)

1. Los Angeles Rams (8-0; Last week’s rank: 1): Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers pushed the Rams to the limit in Week 8, but Jared Goff and Co. eked out a 29-27 win to remain undefeated and set up a potential NFC Championship Game preview with the Saints.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (7-1; 3): Patrick Mahomes further improved his MVP case with his third straight four-touchdown game in a 30-23 win over the Denver Broncos. The Chiefs will face the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals in the next two weeks before facing the Rams in Mexico City in Week 11.

3. New Orleans Saints (6-1; 4): New Orleans got revenge on the Vikings for last season’s gut-wrenching loss in the NFC Divisional Round, beating the Norsemen 30-20 thanks to this P.J. Williams pick-six.

4. New England Patriots (6-2; 2): The Patriots were predictably vanilla and uncharacteristically sloppy in their 25-6 win over the Bills. Will New England make a deal for a marquee wide receiver by Tuesday’s trade deadline?

5. Los Angeles Chargers (5-2; 5): Hopefully the Chargers used their bye week to get Melvin Gordon (hamstring) and Joey Bosa (foot) healthy for the second half of the season.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2-1; 7): The Steelers put the city of Pittsburgh on their back Sunday, beating the Cleveland Browns 33-18 the day after a tragic shooting at Tree Of Life synagogue. James Conner ran for 146 yards and two scores in the win. Meanwhile, time is running out for Le’Veon Bell to return to the Black and Gold.

7. Carolina Panthers (5-2; 8): When does the “Cam Newton for MVP” hype train leave the station? The Panthers star quarterback did it all in Carolina’s 36-21 win over the Ravens, throwing for two scores and rushing for another as the Panthers remain one game behind the Saints in the NFC South. Newton has thrown for 1,646 yards and 13 touchdowns with four interceptions while accumulating a 97.4 passer rating this season.

8. Minnesota Vikings (4-3-1; 6): Minnesota made too many mistakes to beat the Saints in Week 8, something Kirk Cousins and the offense must clean up if they plan to contend for the NFC crown.

9. Chicago Bears (4-3; 10): Mitchell Trubisky still is as accurate as an ornery teenager egging a house on Halloween, but he was good enough to push the Bears past the New York Jets in Week 8 and place Chicago atop the NFC North.

10. Green Bay Packers (3-3-1; 12): Ty Montgomery’s inexplicable decision to take the kickoff out of the end zone and subsequently fumble cost Rodgers the chance to put together a game-winning drive against the Rams. The Pack might be one of the better teams in the NFL, but Green Bay needs a win against the Patriots in Week 9 to avoid falling below .500 with eight games to play.

11. Cincinnati Bengals (5-3; 11): The Bengals survived a late Ryan Fitzpatrick-led rally to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and snap a two-game slide. Cincy gave up 576 (!) yards in Week 8 and is on pace to give up the most yards in NFL history, which doesn’t bode well for its Week 10 matchup with Saints.

12. Washington Redskins (5-2; 13): We really have no idea how the Redskins are 5-2. Well, it probably has something to do with fact that they only have one win over a team above .500.

13. Philadelphia Eagles (4-4; 14): The Eagles found a minor cure for their Super Bowl hangover in London and his name was Blake Bortles. Philly still has to be the favorite to win the NFC East despite the Redskins’ hot start.

14. Houston Texans (5-3; 15): Make it five wins in a row for the Texans, who stomped the Miami Dolphins 42-23 in Week 8. Unfortunately for Houston, it lost wide receiver Will Fuller V for the season with a torn ACL.

15. Seattle Seahawks (4-3; 19): Pete Carroll’s club has won four of its last five games and now has the second-best turnover margin in the NFL at plus-10. That’s the Seahawks’ best margin since 2014, when they went to their second straight Super Bowl.


16. Baltimore Ravens (4-4; 9): The Ravens got pasted by the Panthers in Week 8, and now face a crossroads sitting at 4-4 with games against the Steelers and Bengals looming in the next two weeks.

17. Tennessee Titans (3-4; 16): Tennessee has to beat the Dallas Cowboys in Week 9 if it wants any chance to salvage its season.

18. Atlanta Falcons (3-4; 17): Matt Ryan and Co. can get back to .500 with a win over the league’s worst 5-2 team in Week 9. If Atlanta can beat the Redskins, it will put itself back in the playoff conversation after its 1-4 start.

19. Dallas Cowboys (3-4; 21): Jason Garrett spent part of his team’s bye week in Los Angeles at the World Series, which seems like a poor use of his time.

20. Detroit Lions (3-4; 18): The Lions returned to their old ways in a Week 8 loss to the Seahawks, as miscues and lack of focus doomed them to a 28-14 defeat.

21. Cleveland Browns (2-5-1; 24): Cleveland gets the post-firing-of-Hue Jackson bump. The Browns canned Jackson on Monday, which is good news just for the fact that Jackson no longer can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory each Sunday. The bad news, however, is that Gregg Williams of Bountygate infamy is taking over.

22. Miami Dolphins (4-4; 20): What are the chances the Dolphins finish with seven wins? Can’t be high.

23. Denver Broncos (3-5; 22): Denver has lost two games to the Chiefs by a total of 11 points, which has to be worth something.

24. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-5; 23): Did anyone tell the Jags that Colin Kaepernick still is available?

25. Indianapolis Colts (3-5; 27): If you told us the Colts would end up winning the AFC South, we might almost believe you. That’s how bad the division is.

26. New York Jets (3-5; 25): The Jets were sloppy in a Week 8 loss to the Bears, but they have two winnable games coming up against the Dolphins and Buffaloe Bills. If they can get to 5-5, the playoffs hypothetically are on the table.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4; 26): Jameis Winston lost his job yet again, and you know what that means — it’s FitzMagic time!

28. Arizona Cardinals (2-6; 30): Josh Rosen now is 2-0 in his career against the San Francisco 49ers. The offense looked a little more dangerous in the first week under new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.

29. San Francisco 49ers (1-7; 28): Draft position is all that’s left for the 49ers to play for.

30. New York Giants (1-7; 29): Should the Giants trade Odell Beckham Jr.?

31. Buffalo Bills (2-6; 32): The Bills battled the Patriots for the majority of Monday night’s contest, but in the end, Derek Anderson just couldn’t do enough on offense to make Bill Belichick sweat.

32. Oakland Raiders (1-6; 31): How many more Jon Gruden jokes can we make?

Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers
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