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My 2020 Week Nine NFL Power Rankings

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

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Week 9 NFL Power Rankings

In case you didn’t notice, I took last week off from voting on which NFL team was better than the next. That’s because there was something a bit more important that needed my vote. If you are a registered voter in the United States I hope that you too took the time to exercise your right to vote. Now it’s time to get back into the thing you came here for: NFL power rankings. Is there a new team atop the list after two more games?

1. Kansas City Chiefs (8-1) ~ The short answer is no. There is not a new team atop the rankings. The Chiefs are still the cream of the crop in my eye. Patrick Mahomes threw four more touchdowns making him the faster player to reach 100 career touchdown passes. He needed just 40 games to do so which broke Dan Marino’s record of 44. On the season, Mahomes has 25 touchdown passes and just one interception. Could he be on his way to another MVP? (Last Week’s Ranking 1)

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-0) ~ The lone undefeated team in the NFL. It took yet another goal line stand, this time against the woeful Dallas Cowboys who are on their fourth starting quarterback, but 8-0 is 8-0. Earlier today it was reported that Ben Roethlisberger was placed on the Covid-19 list and his status for Sunday’s divisional matchup against Cincinnati could be in doubt. If he can’t play, it wouldn’t be a reach to say that undefeated record could be in trouble. (LWR 2)

3. Baltimore Ravens (6-2) ~ They have the best rushing attack in the NFL. They allow the fewest points per game in the NFL. Their only two losses? That would be at the hands of the Chiefs and Steelers who are the only two teams above them in these rankings. They’ll get another shot at Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving which is going to be a must-see game. (LWR 3)

4. Green Bay Packers (6-2) ~ Is Davante Adams the best receiver in the NFL? For the season he has 53 catches for 675 yards and eight touchdowns. All of those are top 10 in the league. Oh yeah, he’s only played in six games so far due to injury. It stands to reason that if he were healthy all year, he might be atop all of those leaderboards. (LWR 5)

5. Buffalo Bills (7-2) ~ Buffalo thumped Seattle. Josh Allen was the first Bills quarterback to have 275 yards passing and three touchdowns in the first half since the merger. It felt like the Bills needed a statement win this year. You could argue that beating the Patriots was their statement win. You can’t argue that this beatdown of the Seahawks was anything but a statement win. (LWR 8)

6. New Orleans Saints (6-2) ~ Speaking of statement wins, the Saints did their best Thanos impression and made the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fade away into nothingness. It was their fifth straight win and they are 2-0 against the Bucs this year. Michael Thomas is back in the lineup and the Saints are starting to resemble the juggernaut they have been for the past few years. (LWR 9)

7. Seattle Seahawks (6-2) ~ Two losses in their last three may seem a bit troubling, and I believe it is. Seattle’s defense has disappeared. They are giving up more than 30 points per game. The only teams who have allowed more points this season are the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets. Those teams have all played one game more than Seattle. They are also allowing opposing quarterbacks to average a staggering 362.1 yards per game. Only one other team in the NFL (Atlanta) is even allowing so much as 300 per game. This is not the legion of boom we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in the great Pacific Northwest. (LWR 4)

8. Tennessee Titans (6-2) ~ They snapped their two-game losing streak, but don’t have much time to celebrate. They host Indianapolis Thursday night with first place in the AFC South up for grabs. That kicks off a tough stretch in which they then face the Ravens, Colts again and Cleveland Browns. All three of those teams are playoff contenders. How they navigate the next four weeks may determine whether the Titans return to the postseason. (LWR 6)

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3) ~ Well, that was embarrassing. A 38-3 home defeat to a division rival. It was the most lopsided loss in Tom Brady’s career. This coming a week after nearly losing against the New York Giants. There are weeks where Tampa looks like a contender, but then there are weeks where they lay an egg. They’ll need to right the ship if they plan on playing deep into the playoffs. (LWR 7)

10. Arizona Cardinals (5-3) ~ Short. Zane Gonzalez left his 49-yard game-tying field goal attempt with just under two minutes left short. It was his fourth miss of the season and has him at under 75%. It feels like a lot of teams are having kicking woes this year and I have a feeling that we will see a team’s season end in the playoffs due to a missed kick at one point or another. (LWR 11)

11. Los Angeles Rams (5-3) ~ Do we really know how good the Rams are? They’ve dispatched the NFC East by going 4-0 against the weakest division in the league, but they are just 1-3 in games against teams not in the NFC East. At least they should be fully rested up after the bye in preparation to host the Seahawks this Sunday. (LWR 10)

12. Indianapolis Colts (5-3) ~ I have been a big fan of Philip Rivers over the years. I have long said that were I not a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I would be a San Diego, er, Los Angeles Chargers fan. Well, Rivers no longer plays for the Chargers. Maybe he left the ability to make a tackle back on the west coast too. That’s probably what I’d look like out on the field too, so thanks for making me feel just a little bit better about myself Mr. Rivers. (LWR 13)

13. Miami Dolphins (5-3) ~ It’s only been two games, but maybe I was wrong to judge. Maybe I was a little too pessimistic when Miami said they were benching Ryan Fitzpatrick for rookie Tua Tagovailoa. It’s only been two games, but after taking down the Rams and Cardinals, Tua is 2-0. Touche. (LWR 17)

14. Las Vegas Raiders (5-3) ~ Believe it or not, if the season ended today, the Raiders would be in the playoffs. Couple that with the fact they are the only team to beat the Chiefs, and they would certainly make for an exciting playoff matchup. I’m sure it’s one most teams would want to avoid. There’s no fear with this team and that is tough to coach against. (LWR 16)

15. Cleveland Browns (5-3) ~ The second half of the schedule is kind to the Browns. Their next three games are against opponents with a combined record of 6-17-1. They also get to face both New York teams in December. Will this be the year Cleveland breaks through and makes the playoffs? It’s been 18 years. Kids have been born in Cleveland and graduated high school without seeing their hometown team reach the postseason. (LWR 14)

16. Chicago Bears (5-4) ~ Remember when the Bears were 5-1 and leading the NFC North? They’ve lost three straight and have fallen two games behind Green Bay. What’s worse is that they host Minnesota Monday night with a chance to fall into a virtual tie with the Vikings. They need to stop the bleeding this week. Someone get the Bears a tourniquet. (LWR 12)

17. San Francisco 49ers (4-5) ~ Nick Mullens is the new starting quarterback in the Bay Area. Jimmy Garoppolo is injured, yet again, and will miss most, if not all of the season. Surprisingly, Mullens actually leads the team in passing yards with 1,143 to Jimmy G’s 1,096. If Mullens can once again play well to close out a season, one has to seriously wonder if the 49ers might try and move on from Garoppolo. (LWR 15)

18. Carolina Panthers (3-6) ~ Let’s be honest. Hail Mary’s don’t often work. Most of the time they get smacked down to the turf by a large mass of bodies in the end zone. But how often do 67-yard field goals work? The answer? Never. It’s never been done. Down by two with enough time for one play, the Panthers opted for a 67-yard field goal rather than try and complete something in the end zone. What was Matt Rhule thinking? (LWR 18)

19. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1) ~ It was a good weekend for Eagles fans. The Cowboys and Washington Football team both lost. The New York Giants won, but the Eagles play at the Giants this weekend with a chance to take a stranglehold of the division. I should be watching the game at my in-laws on the big screen. My in-laws, along with my wife, are all Giants fans. Could be a fun Sunday. (LWR 21)

20. Minnesota Vikings (3-5) ~ Do you think the Vikings are glad to have Dalvin Cook back in the lineup? In two games since returning from injury, Cook has amassed 478 yards from scrimmage and scored six touchdowns in two Vikings victories. There is a seventh seed in the playoffs this year. Can the Vikings catch fire and rebound from their 1-5 start? (LWR 25)

21. New England Patriots (3-5) ~ It took a fourth quarter comeback to avoid losing a game to the winless Jets. That's how ugly it is in New England. The season started out with most of us thinking the Cam Newton / Bill Belichick marriage would work out well. Now, I'm not so sure. (LWR 19)

22. Los Angeles Chargers (2-6) ~ Stop me if you've heard this before: the Chargers lost a game in heartbreaking fashion. This time it appeared that the Chargers scored a touchdown to win the game as the clock read zero. The play was reviewed, and the call was, correctly, overturned to an incomplete pass. Chargers lose after the scoreboard had them ahead with no time on the clock. Amazing. (LWR 20)

23. Denver Broncos (3-5) ~ First round pick Jerry Jeudy looks like he is adjusting to the NFL. He set career highs in back-to-back weeks with 73 and then 125 yards receiving. He's been targeted 24 times during those two games which means Drew Lock is looking his way. He could be an intriguing fantasy play the rest of the season. (LWR 24)

24. Atlanta Falcons (3-6) ~ Here is a list of the most offensive snaps when a team has the lead. Chiefs (327), Falcons (321), Ravens (299), Bills (295), Seahawks (275). All of those teams outside of Atlanta are 6-2 or better. If the Falcons held on to a lead in even two of those games, they'd be in the thick of the playoff race. (LWR 29)

25. Detroit Lions (3-5) ~ It's safe to say the Lions aren't going anywhere this year. That could be the reason why D'Andre Swift is finally starting to garner more attention in the backfield. He should be outsnapping future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson. I was hoping Peterson would have been traded at the deadline to a contender looking to bolster their backfield. He deserves one more shot at a ring. (LWR 23)

26. Houston Texans (2-6) ~ The last time I wrote about the Texans I bashed their ground game. Now, David Johnson is concussed and might not be able to suit up this weekend. Duke Johnson might be the lead back and he just logged a career-high 16 carries when he took over after the injury. He mustered just 2.6 yards per carry and that was against Jacksonville. Needless to say, Houston will hope DJ1 will be A-OK for Sunday. (LWR 27)

27. Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1) ~ Joe Burrow is having an exceptional rookie year and part of that is due to his underrated stable of receivers. Oddly enough, longtime Bengal A.J. Green, once considered one of the best in the game, is third on the team in receptions (31) and yards (316). Will he stay in Cincy? Or will the high priced veteran have a new city to call home soon? (LWR 28)

28. Washington Football Team (2-6) ~ Alex Smith is back under center. Kyle Allen, who had been starting for the Football Team, is the latest Washington quarterback to suffer a gruesome ankle/leg injury. Insert Smith who, on Sunday, threw his first touchdown pass since 2018 when he suffered his own gruesome ankle/leg injury. (LRW 26)

29. Dallas Cowboys (2-7) ~ Garrett Gilbert is the latest Cowboys quarterback in case you were keeping score. At least Gilbert helped the Cowboys score as they had been held without a touchdown in their previous two games. It looks like it's going to be a long season in big D. (LWR 22)

30. New York Giants (2-7) ~ If they could only play the Football Team every week they'd be undefeated. They are 2-0 against Washington and 0-7 against every other team. They did play Tampa tough and are showing signs of improvement. I think they have another win or two in them this year. I just hope it's not this weekend against my Eagles. (LWR 31)

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) ~ The Jags need a lot of help. Certainly, if they finish the year in this position, they have a chance to upgrade at quarterback. But did you know they could really, really use a reliable kicker? Chase McLaughlin was just picked up off Minnesota's practice squad and is expected to kick on Sunday. He would be Jacksonville's sixth kicker this year. In nine games. (LWR 30)

32. New York Jets (0-9) ~ They almost had it. They almost had their first win of the year. I feel like it's that Geico commercial with the old man who has a dollar on a fishing pole and he pulls it away at the last second. One thing of note though, is that in this game, Joe Flacco surpassed Joe Montana on the career passing yards list. Think about that for a while. (LWR 32)

Well, that’s it. All 32 NFL teams. All in one little list that can cause a reader a bevy of emotions. Do you like where your team is ranked? Do you hate it? Do you think I have no clue what I’m talking about? Maybe you should tell me about it. Leave a comment below or reach out to me on Twitter. Handle is in the profile. See you next time kids.

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