Week 9 of the isportsweb NFL Power Rankings is the week all you Kansas City Chiefs fans have been waiting for. That’s right: after 9 straight victories and 3 consecutive weeks as the NFL’s only undefeated team, the Chiefs have finally made the #1 spot.
It wasn’t a slam dunk at first, as the Chiefs had to battle back against the Bills to keep their undefeated streak alive. Buffalo actually led after the first half, and had the game tied heading into the fourth quarter, even after Jeff Tuel (insert joke here) gave up a 100 yard interception returned for a score. That was really the impetus that gave KC the push it needed, as they scored 10 more unanswered points in the fourth quarter, sealing the deal with a score of 23-13.
All the Seattle Seahawks had to do to keep their stranglehold on the top spot was take care of business against the winless, hapless, hopeless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As we are all well aware however, they did not. The Bucs put up a suprisingly good fight, going up on the 7-1 Seahawks 21-0 in the second quarter. Things looked bleak for the Super Bowl contenders until Russell Wilson hit Jermaine Kearse for a 16 yard touchdown with under two minutes to go in the first half. The Seattle defense revived in the second half, allowing just one field goal (in the third quarter). Then with 1:51 left in the game down by seven, Russell Wilson tossed his second touchdown of the game to Doug Baldwin, tying the game at 24 and sending it to overtime where they finally won on a 27 yard Steven Hauschka field goal.
It boils down to this: Neither team looked the part of the top two teams in the league (and for that matter, Indy sure didn’t look like #3 in their comeback win over Houston), but didn’t do poorly enough to NOT be listed as the top two. But I expect to see more from these two in week 10.
On to the rankings:
1. Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 2)
The Chiefs didn’t exactly look dominant in their win over Buffalo, but when you compare it to the game the Seahawks played you can see they clearly earned this spot. Finally.
2. Seattle Seahawks (Last week: 1)
What the hell happened against Tampa Bay? Yes I realize they won, but how do you fall behind by three touchdowns to the Bucs to begin with?? Seattle has been playing with fire the last few games.
3. Indianapolis Colts (Last week: 3)
The game against Houston reminded me of another time the Colts played against a back-up QB making one of his first starts in the NFL. That was back in 2000, and that QB’s name was Tom Brady.
4. Denver Broncos (Last week: 5)
The Broncos come off a much-needed bye week hoping Peyton Manning’s ankles are much healthier with the extra time away.
5. San Francisco (Last week: 6)
All it took for the 9ers to move up from the #6 spot was a bye week. They face
6. New England Patriots (Last week: 10)
It’s kind of hard to figure out this Patriots team, but they keep winning. And it must be an encouraging sign to see them drop a 50-burger on Big Ben and the Steelers.
7. Detroit Lions (Last week: 9)
Heading into Chicago off their bye week, the Lions should probably win unless Matt Stafford breaks his collarbone also.
8. New Orleans Saints (Last week: 4)
They got owned by the Jets. They’re lucky to sill be in the top ten after that.
9. Chicago Bears (Last week: 12)
If Aaron Rodgers hadn’t been injured, the game against Green Bay could have gone a whole different direction. But he did and it didn’t, so the Bears get a little bump up.
10. Green Bay Packers (Last week: 8)
Like the Bears, the Packers don’t get too penalized here for losing by a touchdown after their Super Bowl winning, former MVP QB goes down with an injury.
11. Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 7)
The Bengals seemed primed to go an a tear after a couple of impressive outings by QB Andy Dalton. Then they flopped at Miami.
12. Carolina Panthers (Last week: 13)
Beating up the Falcons would have been more impressive at the beginning of the year before they sucked, but the Panthers put themselves in serious contention for the NFC South division.
13. Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 15)
Was that a Tony Romo winning TD pass sighting? Yes, I believe it was.
14. Arizona Cardinals (Last week: 14)
The Cardinals face off against a reeling Texans team that almost pulled out a win over the Colts. The Cardinals can put themselves in decent playoff contention AND eliminate the last of Houston’s with a win.
15. Miami Dolphins (Last week: 17)
You don’t see an overtime-ending sack for a safety too often. It had to feel good for the Dolphins considering all the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin hoopla. Oh, and the fact that it ended a 4 game losing streak.
16. Tennessee Titans (Last week: 16)
The Titans can get over .500 again this season with a win. Did I mention they play Jacksonville?
17. San Diego Chargers (Last week: 11)
Behind both the Chiefs AND the Broncos, the Chargers have a tough road to relevance.
18. New York Jets (Last week: 22)
I’m going to give this team a shot at credibility again. They’re 5-4 and have beaten both the Saints and the Patriots. They head into their bye with the full knowledge their next game is against the highly beatable Bills. Not a bad situation.
19. Cleveland Browns (Last week: 20)
The Browns get off a three game slide by beating the Ravens, something they haven’t been able to do very often. After their bye week, they can try to make some noise against Cincinnati, who beat them 17-6 earlier in the year.
20. Philadelphia Eagles (Last week: 24)
Nick Foles was ridiculous against the Raiders last week. But just a quick disclaimer: Matt Flynn threw for six touchdowns in one game once, and he was kicked to the curb – twice.
21. Washington Redskins (Last week: 26)
RGIII is definitely getting healthier by the week, but if the ‘Skins are going to make noise in NFC East, they have to improve their defense.
22. St. Louis Rams (Last week: 19)
In his two starts after the Sam Bradford injury, Kellen Clemens has thrown for 368 yards, one score, and no picks. Not glamorous, but effective and mistake free. It just hasn’t translated into W’s. The better news is rookie Zac Stacy keeps tearing it up on the ground with a hefty 4.95 YPC average the last two games.
23. Baltimore Ravens (Last week: 18)
I still say that any contract that pays a single player more than 20% of the team’s salary cap is a franchise killer, no matter how good that player is. I give you exhibit A, the Baltimore Ravens.
24. Atlanta Falcons (Last week: 21)
All I can think of now is poor, poor, Tony Gonzalez.
25. Houston Texans (Last week: 23)
Case Keenum had himself a game, and for a while there it seemed like the Texans were going to roll. Then Andrew Luck did what Andrew Luck does in the 4th quarter and it all fell apart.
26. New York Giants (Last week: 27)
Three straight weeks without a loss for the NY Guys. Granted one of those was a bye week, but hey, semantics right?
27. Oakland Raiders (Last week: 25)
Peyton Manning, Nick Foles is not. The Raiders must be absolutely beside themselves since they still face PM one more time this year.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last week: 28)
How much different will this team and coaching staff look next year? It could be unprecedented in Steelers history. Or not. The Rooneys aren’t known for panicking.
29. Buffalo Bills (Last week: 29)
Ah, what could have been. They came this close to being the first to take down the Chiefs. But then they remembered they are the Bills, and fell apart late.
30. Minnesota Vikings (Last week: 30)
What are the odds that the Vikings will have none of the three quarterbacks that have thrown a pass for them this year on the roster next year??
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last week: 31)
Mike Glennon and Mike James bring a ray of hope (albeit a very, very small ray) to an otherwise dismal team.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last week: 32)
Jags fans, you can absolutely count the bye-week as a quasi-win. Hey, at the very least you know they didn’t lose.
Biggest Riser: Washington (+5 spots)
Biggest Faller: Baltimore (-5 spots)
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