Business as usual at the top of the NFL power rankings following week 9: New England Patriots and 31 more teams behind them, including the still undefeated Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers in pursuit, while the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos complete our top 5. At the bottom? Right now last place belongs to the Detroit Lions, but the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars are giving them a run for their money.
1. New England Patriots, 8-0: The Patriots have now gone on to score in 31 consecutive quarters, which has been done just by the Rams in 1999-2000 and the 2005 Colts.
2. Cincinnati Bengals, 8-0: Andy Dalton having Tyler Eifert to throw to in the end zone has been huge this season, with nine touchdowns so far, all coming on red zone targets.
3. Carolina Panthers, 8-0: Cam Newton has now thrown and run for a touchdown in the same game 29 times. Only Steve Young (31) has done it more.
4. Arizona Cardinals, 6-2: Heading into a big stretch of the season, that includes the crucial two games against the Seattle Seahawks.
5. Denver Broncos, 7-1: So Peyton Manning, even after a relatively good game, is still -4 in the TD/INT ratio, reminding us that even the best scoring defense in the NFL (allowing just 17.1 points per game) relies on what the quarterback gives them.
6. Green Bay Packers, 6-2: The Packers haven’t been able to get to the quarterback two games in a row.
7. Minnesota Vikings, 6-2: Great running and defensive numbers so far, but it might all fall apart if Teddy Bridgewater isn’t playing.
8. Atlanta Falcons, 6-3: Have lost three of their lost four, unable to score more than 20 points in any of those games, averaging just 16.8 points in those four games.
9. New York Giants, 5-4: For the first time since Odell Beckham emerged, it was better for Eli Manning to not throw to him during their win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
10. New York Jets, 5-3: Shouldn’t think too much about Rex Ryan being himself, and naming IK Enemkpali to be his captain for the Thursday night game.
11. St. Louis Rams, 4-4: Losing to the Vikings with Todd Gurley slowed down for the first time has Jeff Fisher busier than ever, mostly defending the cheap hit that concussed Teddy Bridgewater.
12. Seattle Seahawks, 4-4: Come out of the bye week with three consecutive home games, just what the doctor ordered.
13. Philadelphia Eagles, 4-4: The thing Eagles players were happy about the most after beating the Cowboys was how they were hitting Greg Hardy.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers, 5-4: With 306 total yards, Antonio Brown outgained three different teams in week 9.
15. Buffalo Bills, 4-4: Sammy Watkins accounted for 92.8% of the Bills receiving yards in the win over Miami with 168.
16. Indianapolis Colts, 4-5: Hard to say if beating the Denver Broncos was the emergence of the real team, or just something that happens once in awhile.
17. Oakland Raiders, 4-4: One of the most fun to watch offense in the league, but a defense that’s giving up 26.4 points per game is probably going to stop them from making the playoffs.
18. New Orleans Saints, 4-5: Ranked second in the NFL in passing yards, second from bottom in defense, giving up 29.8 points per game. The story of the Saints in the last few years.
19. Chicago Bears, 3-5: It’s hard to notice because of how irrelevant the Bears are in the postseason race, but Jay Cutler is having a good season.
20. Miami Dolphins, 3-5: The Dan Campbell effect is over; the inability to do damage with the defensive line has returned.
21. Kansas City Chiefs, 3-5: With road games in Denver and San Diego, the Chiefs go out to see if this season is still worth playing for or is time to plan 2016.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 3-5: With six drops, Mike Evans made more than any other player in the last 10 years, possibly costing the Bucs a winnable game against the Giants.
23. Washington Redskins, 3-5: Jay Gruden still thinks his team can make the playoffs despite their sluggish first half to the season.
24. San Francisco 49ers, 3-6: From 2011-2014, according to ESPN, Blaine Gabbert has the worst QBR in the NFL. His 65.8 Total QBR in the win over the Falcons was the second highest of his career.
25. Baltimore Ravens, 2-6: Will try to make their no-defense approach work against an angry Rams team coming off the bye week.
26. San Diego Chargers, 2-7: The air raid approach is doing nicely for Philip Rivers’ stats, but is sending the Chargers to an awful season.
27. Dallas Cowboys, 2-6: Close loss, close loss, close loss. Tony Romo can’t come back soon enough.
28. Houston Texans, 3-5: Playing two excellent defenses in Cincinnati and then hosting the New York Jets might end their playoff outlook in two weeks.
29. Tennessee Titans, 2-6: The jury is still out on Marcus Mariota, but his performance as the Titans stopped the bleeding makes you understand why they took him second in the draft.
30. Cleveland Browns, 2-7: Four straight losses, which could easily turn into seven as they play all three division rivals in the coming weeks, with a bye week in the middle.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars, 2-6: Blake Bortles might be doing slightly better than Blaine Gabbert, but it’s not enough to pull the Jags out of the AFC South cellar.
32. Detroit Lions, 1-7: Things are really falling apart in Detroit, with no one safe from a pink slip.