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My 2022 NFL Power Index Week 9

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Rich has a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Penn State. WE ARE!!!

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2022 NFL Power Index Week 9

Believe it or not, we’ve reached the halfway point of the season. Fans of some teams may be eagerly awaiting the playoffs. Fans of others may wish the season was already over. No matter how your favorite team has performed thus far, it’s usually at this point that we can pick the teams that are legit Super Bowl contenders and those who have a shot at the number one overall pick in next year’s draft.

1. Philadelphia Eagles (8-0) ~ They may not have gotten off to a hot start in Houston, but the Eagles did leave the Lone Star state as the lone undefeated team in the NFL. Philly moved to 8-0 and half of those wins have been by double digits. Coming off of a Thursday night game they’ll have extra rest when they host Washington on Monday night. Philly beat the Commanders 24-8 in their week three meeting earlier this year. (Last Week’s Ranking 2)

2. Kansas City Chiefs (6-2) ~ If the season ended today, Patrick Mahomes would get my vote for league MVP. His 2,605 passing yards lead the league as do his 21 touchdowns. He’s topped 400 yards in back-to-back games and, oh yeah, he makes plays with his legs like this. He’s simply otherworldly. (LWR 3)

3. Buffalo Bills (6-2) ~ The Bills are great, but, is there a chance they won’t win the AFC East? They are 0-2 in the division with losses at the Jets and Dolphins. Both of those teams are just one game back in the loss column. I’ve been talking about how the NFC East is the best division in football. The AFC East seems to be making their case as well. (LWR 1)

4. Minnesota Vikings (7-1) ~ I don’t know what I like more. The touchdown celebration is epic. Kirk Cousins on the plane home? Maybe even more so. (LWR 4)

5. Dallas Cowboys (6-2) ~ Ezekiel Elliott should be back in the Cowboys lineup after missing a game with a knee injury. He had the added bonus of the bye week giving him extra time. But, should he be the starting back? Tony Pollard has outrushed Elliott 506 to 443 on 28 less carries. Pollard also has five rushing touchdowns to Zeke’s four. Their yards per game are an identical 63.3. Pollard is also a receiving threat as Elliott has just six catches in seven games played. We joked earlier about a quarterback controversy between Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush. A running back controversy seems to be very real in Dallas. (LWR 5)

6. Baltimore Ravens (6-3) ~ Mark Andrews is banged up and missed last night’s game in New Orleans. Number one receiver Rashod Bateman is now lost for the season due to injury. Lamar Jackson needs someone to throw the ball to so the Ravens signed, and activated, DeSean Jackson. His final line for Monday’s game was one catch for 16 yards on two targets. Oh, and he left the game with a soft tissue injury. You have to believe the Ravens will look to add another pass catcher in the coming days. (LWR 6)

7. Miami Dolphins (6-3) ~ They say things happen in threes and that’s exactly how Miami’s season has gone. First three games? Three wins. Next three games? Three straight losses. Last three? You guess it. Three more wins. Does that mean they are due for a letdown when Cleveland comes to South Beach on Sunday? (LWR 7)

8. Seattle Seahawks (6-3) ~ Four straight wins by double digits for Seattle. This seemed unthinkable at the beginning of the season, but here we are. Geno Smith leads the NFL with a 76.5 completion percentage. He’s thrown 15 touchdowns to just four interceptions. He may just be the Comeback Player of the Year. (LWR 10)

9. New York Giants (6-2) ~ If Geno doesn’t get Comeback Player of the Year, it would have to be because Saquon Barkley took home that honor. Barkley’s 779 rushing yards are third in the NFL and he is showing flashes of the player he was as a rookie back in 2018. There’s a reason he was drafted second overall. (LWR 9)

10. Tennessee Titans (5-3) ~ In two games subbing for the injured Ryan Tannehill, Malik Willis has completed 11 passes for 135 yards and an interception. He’s also been sacked six times. That simply isn’t going to get it done even when you have a beast in the backfield like Derrick Henry. Tannehill is hopeful to return this week when the Titans host the Denver Broncos. (LWR 8)

11. New York Jets (6-3) ~ If you were looking for the signature win, look no further. Beating the Bills was a big, big step for this franchise as they held Buffalo to a season-low 17 points. Sauce Gardner looks like he is on his way to a Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Jets fans have to be wondering if the team found the next Darrelle Revis. Between the Jets, Giants and Seahawks, I’m not sure who is the biggest surprise team of the year. (LWR 14)

12. Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) ~ Joe Mixon found the end zone five times against Carolina. That is a new franchise record. That’s all that needs to be said this week about the Bengals. You can watch them all here if you so desire. (LWR 12)

13. San Francisco 49ers (4-4) ~ The last time the 49ers took the field, Christian McCaffrey accounted for three touchdowns; one rushing, one receiving and one passing. Now, with the benefit of the bye week to learn more of the playbook, I’m curious as to what we can expect for an encore. San Franscisco plays host the the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday night. (LWR 11)

14. Los Angeles Chargers (5-3) ~ No Keenan Allen. No Mike Williams. No matter for the Chargers as they went in to Atlanta and came away with the victory. Austin Ekeler scored twice bringing his total to a league-leading 10 touchdowns. This had all the makings of a game the Chargers should win, but that they inexplicably lose. That’s what I get for picking the Falcons in my confidence pool. (LWR 15)

15. New England Patriots (5-4) ~ Bill Belichick loves facing rookie or second-year quarterbacks. Especially at home. Since 2003, the Patriots are 43-4 in home games against first or second-year quarterbacks. Their defense sacked rookie qb Sam Ehlinger nine times in Sunday’s win. A sheer display of dominance. New England is above .500 for the first time this season. (LWR 16)

16. Los Angeles Rams (3-5) ~ Remember when we all thought Allen Robinson would be a good fit in L.A.? It hasn’t exactly worked out that way. Robinson has topped 60 receiving yards in a game just once all season. He hasn’t had more than five catches in any game and has found the end zone just twice. The wheels seem to be coming off for the Rams who have lost four of their last five. (LWR 13)

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17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) ~ Tom Brady has now crossed the 100,000 career passing yards mark. He is the first quarterback to reach that number. He may not be the last considering the season now has a 17th game. It will be interesting to see in the future if anyone comes close to that mark. (LWR 18)

18. Atlanta Falcons (4-5) ~ The Falcons are a run first team. The Falcons just welcomed back their lead runner as Cordarrelle Patterson was activated from injured reserve. All he did was run for 44 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. Rookie Tyler Allgeier had 10 carries for 99 yards and Caleb Huntley added another 34 yards on seven carries. That doesn’t even account for the 24 yards on the ground provided by quarterback Marcus Mariota. They have a real shot at leading the NFL in rushing for the first time since 2006. (LWR 17)

19. Cleveland Browns (3-5) ~ Can the Browns build off of their big Monday night win against the Bengals a week ago? With five losses already they don’t have a lot of room for error. Three more games until Deshaun Watson returns from suspension. I think Cleveland has to do no worse than go 2-1 in that stretch. Their next two are at Miami and at Buffalo so that is a tough ask. (LWR 23)

20. Washington Commanders (4-5) ~ They’ve put up more than 17 points just once in their last six games. The offense just hasn’t been there regardless of who is under center. The defense is keeping them in games, but this team simply isn’t living up to expectations. (LWR 19)

21. New Orleans Saints (3-6) ~ Michael Thomas is officially done for the year. His season total ends with 16 catches for 171 yards and three scores in three games played. He missed all of 2021. He missed a large chunk of 2020. These are the first three years of his five-year deal with the Saints. It’s safe to wonder if his career is in jeopardy. (LWR 21)

22. Green Bay Packers (3-6) ~ The Packers last win was on October 2nd. The Milwaukee Brewers last won a game on October 4th. The Brewers did not make the postseason. Green Bay has lost five straight for the first time since 2008. (LWR 20)

23. Arizona Cardinals (3-6) ~ Kyler Murray is now 0-2 since the latest Call of Duty was released. (LWR 22)

24. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6) ~ I haven’t heard a whole lot about number one overall pick Travon Walker. Let’s take a look at how his rookie season is going. He’s sixth on the team with 34 tackles. He’s third with 2 ½ sacks. He has one of the team’s eight interceptions. Not too bad, but I’m assuming they expected a little more from the top pick. Obviously there’s plenty of time for him to blossom into a star. Maybe that’s just what he’ll do. (LWR 26)

25. Denver Broncos (3-5) ~ Denver will play their first game without Bradley Chubb this weekend in Tennessee. I’m sure stopping Derrick Henry would be a bit easier with Chubb in the lineup. (LWR 27)

26. Chicago Bears (3-6) ~ Justin Fields is running wild. Fields ran for an NFL-record 178 yards against Miami on Sunday. That is the most by a quarterback in a single game. Here’s how Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel felt about it during the game. (LWR 28)

27. Indianapolis Colts (3-5-1) ~ Two weeks ago quarterback Matt Ryan lost his starting job. Last week it was offensive coordinator Marcus Brady who was relieved of his duties. Now Head Coach Frank Reich has been fired. I wonder what happens if Indy loses again this weekend. (LWR 24)

28. Las Vegas Raiders (2-6) ~ In two games this season the Raiders had a 17-0 lead. They led 20-0 in a third. They lost all of those games. If they win those games like they should we are looking at this team in a completely different light. (LWR 25)

29. Detroit Lions (2-6) ~ The Lions had allowed at least 24 points to every team they’ve faced this year. Until Sunday. When they held Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to just nine points. I do believe that was the final nail in the Packers season so at least Lions fans will be able to hang their hats on that this year. (LWR 31)

30. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-6) ~ They’ve been flexed! The Steelers matchup with Cincinnati on November 20th has been flexed out of primetime. Even when Pittsburgh didn’t play a game they managed to find a way to lose. (LWR 29)

31. Carolina Panthers (2-7) ~ During the blowout in Cincy, Baker Mayfield started the second half for the ineffective PJ Walker. Mayfield completed 14 of 20 passes for 155 yards and two scores, albeit in garbage time. Carolina plans to stick with Walker as the starter for Thursday's game against Atlanta. Maybe further complicating things is the fact the team activated Sam Darnold from injured reserve. This quarterback room is quite the hot mess this year. (LWR 30)

32. Houston Texans (1-6-1) ~ I actually watched Houston’s last game because it was against my Eagles. They debuted their Battle Red helmets and I must admit that these are, as the kids say, fire. (LWR 32)

And that is that. That's all I've got this week. You're now free to go about the rest of your day. Or night. Whatever it may be. If you want more of me, leave a comment below or follow me on social media via the link in my bio

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Rich

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