By Javier Ascoli
Week 9 will provide two showdowns between four of my TOP 10 Teams. Saints vs Buccaneers, and Bills vs Seahawks. I think that this week's games will provide a huge level of competition.
Here are my Power Rankings:
1. Kansas City Chiefs:
Patrick Mahomes casually is dominating opponent teams. Their offense is powerful and very dangerous against any defense they face. On the other hand, the defense is playing well, allowing few touchdowns, this Sunday they must face Christian McCaffrey and the Panthers, on CMC’s return after a couple of weeks out due to injury.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers:
The only UNDEFEATED TEAM in the league. The Steelers remained undefeated with a difficult win against the Baltimore Ravens. Pittsburgh is a great team, but they are allowing many yards to opposing teams’ running backs. The offense is starting the games slowly, but when they start getting rhythm in the game, they are difficult to stop.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Tom Brady is playing at an amazing game level. The Bucs had a challenging game last week against the Giants, this week they are facing their division rivals, the New Orleans Saints. WR Chris Godwin is out with a finger injury, but recently signed Antonio Brown will have his debut with the team.
4. Seattle Seahawks:
Russell Wilson is having an MVP level campaign. He has been easily connecting with his talented WR Duo Metcalf-Lockett. This week, the Hawks have a tough challenge against the powerful Bills’ defense. Defense, especially the secondary needs to improve, but in general the Seahawks with their powerful offense are winning important games.
5. Green Bay Packers:
That Rodgers-Adams connection is getting more dangerous every single game. The problem is that last week Dalvin Cook scored four touchdowns in four consecutive possessions at Lambeau. Aaron Jones is back after missing a couple of games. In defense, they are allowing many yards to opposing teams, but in the offense, they are dangerous.
6. Baltimore Ravens:
The Ravens are coming from a bad week, after losing at home against their division rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, by blowing out a ten-point lead. Defenses are discovering ways to stop Lamar Jackson, but the Ravens are still at a good level. They are missing some key defensive players due to the Coronavirus, and help in the O-Line, with Staley out.
7. New Orleans Saints:
Drew Brees has shown that he does not need a star wideout to win games. Alvin Kamara has helped him to carry the Saints’ offense. Brees struggled a little bit last week, it was his first game played outdoors in the season. The defense is doing their job, but this week they have a tough challenge against the Bucs at Raymond James Stadium.
8. Buffalo Bills:
The Bills have defeated the New England Patriots at home for the first time in nine years. Is it Buffalo’s year in the AFC EAST? Josh Allen started the season at an MVP level, but in the last two games, he has struggled a bit in his passing game, but their backfield combined for 160+ yards. They have a tough matchup against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. Will Josh Allen take advantage of the terrible Seahawks secondary? He will miss his Center, Mitch Morse.
9. Arizona Cardinals:
The Cardinals are coming from their bye week to face Tua Tagovailoa and the surprising Miami Dolphins. Kyler Murray and NUK are creating an amazing QB-WR Duo. They have won important games over the season. HC Kliff Kingsbury has huge merit for this huge team performance. After coming with the worst record in the league a couple of seasons ago, they have created a contender team in the NFC.
10. Tennessee Titans:
After starting 5-0, two consecutive losses. Titans’ offense was inefficient against the Bengals. The defense was a mess; they could not stop young Joe Burrow, especially in third down. The Bengals were missing five starters from the Offensive Line. Impressive? Will Desmond King help this defense stop Nick Foles and the Bears? One positive thing from this team is that Derrick Henry is still producing yards, and touchdowns.
11. Indianapolis Colts:
Colts' defense is absolutely one of the best defenses in the NFL. Star Linebacker Darius Leonard is back, it is his first game since week 4. Indianapolis’ pass rush is doing great. The offense is rolling efficiently. Phillip Rivers had a 3-TD game with no Interception last week against Detroit. They have a tough matchup tomorrow against Baltimore. Right now, the Colts are tied up in first place in the AFC South with the Tennessee Titans.
12. Los Angeles Rams:
The Rams have been a surprising team this season. They have had surprising losses and surprising wins. The defense is playing well. Last week, despite the loss, the Rams outgained the Miami Dolphins 471-145 in total yards. Turnovers have been a disaster. The Rams have a bye week. They will have two weeks to prepare their division game against the Seattle Seahawks for Week 10.
13. Las Vegas Raiders:
Jon Gruden’s Raiders ran the ball with absolute power last week against the Cleveland Browns. Derek Carr has been playing well, he would have better numbers if he threw touchdowns, but overall, he is well. The defense has made strong plays that can decide the winner of a game. Tomorrow they face rookie QB Justin Herbert and the LA Chargers for the first time in the season.
14. Cleveland Browns:
The Browns started the season with a winning pace, but the Brownies have been inconsistent throughout the last games. Last game against the Raiders, their struggling offense just scored two field goals. Injuries, injuries, and injuries. Myles Garrett, Baker Mayfield, and Jarvis Landry are facing injuries, while Odell Beckham Jr., Austin Hooper, and Nick Chubb will still be missing time.
15. Miami Dolphins:
In my opinion, it was not the time for rookie Tua Tagovailoa. Fitzpatrick was playing well. Tua’s second start is tomorrow in Arizona, against the powerful Cardinals. Last week, their defense was outstanding against Jared Goff and the Rams. Will the Dolphins continue their winning streak? Pass Rush is constantly putting pressure on opponents’ Quarterback. Tomorrow, their secondary will have a tough one against DeAndre Hopkins.
16. Chicago Bears:
The Bears nearly got another W against the New Orleans Saints last week in overtime. Nick Foles has had inconsistent performances over the season. This week, they face the Tennessee Titans, which started the season 5-0 but lost two consecutive games. Khalil Mack and company will have a difficult game against powerful Derrick Henry.
17. San Francisco 49ers:
The painful season for SB LIV runner ups. Injuries have destroyed the Bay Area team over the season. This week they need to face Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Last week they had a painful loss against the Seahawks. Jimmy G and George Kittle are expected to miss a couple of weeks.
18. Denver Broncos:
Last week, during the first three quarters against the Chargers, Drew Lock’s offense just had 156 yards and ten points. But everything changed during the last fifteen minutes of the game. They reeled off twenty-one points to get the win at home. Second-year QB had almost a perfect 4th quarter, 14/18, 155 yards and three touchdowns. Tomorrow they face the Atlanta Falcons. On the defensive side, despite the loss of Von Miller, has been playing well.
19. Los Angeles Chargers:
Consecutive blow out leads has destroyed the Chargers season. Last week they blew a 24-3 lead. 6th overall pick quarterback from Oregon, Justin Herbert has been outstanding. He has a cannon in his arm. What is happening in LA? Bad clock management by Head Coach Anthony Lynn? This week they have another division matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders. Will the Chargers get a division win?
20. Minnesota Vikings:
Dalvin Cook has been outstanding this season. He had a four-touchdown game in the win against the Packers at Lambeau last week. He was absolutely a monster; Cook finished the game with 226 yards. Kirk Cousins will likely be like Jameis Winston, having many yards and touchdowns, but many interceptions as well. They face the injured Lions this week, but it is a division game so who knows.
21. Carolina Panthers:
Star Christian McCaffrey is finally back. Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Rhule have been good in their first season in the Panthers. The offense is looking good, as well as the defense. Bridgewater has many guys who can secure and handle the football. This week they have a very difficult game against Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs. It will be a fun game to watch.
22. Philadelphia Eagles:
Dramatically, the Philadelphia Eagles are in first place in the NFC East. Carson Wentz had three first-half turnovers against a poor Cowboys’ defense. Last week, their defense saved them. They have a bye week, so they can rest a bit and fix all those errors that have been destroying them all over the season.
23. New England Patriots:
The Pats are missing Tom Brady in Foxborough. Cam had a red-zone fumble in the final minutes of last week's game against the Bills. Injuries, opt-outs have made the Patriots look terrible. Four straight losses. This week they face the 0-7 Jets in MetLife. Is it a bad play call/coaching from Belichick?
24. Atlanta Falcons:
Falcons had a game-deciding INT with less than a minute to play last week against the Panthers. Blitz's defense was great and deserves credit. Will the Falcons fix the strange decisions from the coaches, missed PAT’s, red-zone struggles, errors from Todd Gurley to get a win at home against the Denver Broncos?
25. Cincinnati Bengals:
Joe Burrow is showing to everyone why he was the first overall pick in the previous draft. Without five of his offensive line starters, he is carrying his team to win football games. They outplayed the Tennessee Titans last week, with outstanding plays from their young receivers. Joe Burrow has been amazing and is taking the Bengals in the correct road. They have a bye week this week 9.
26. Detroit Lions:
The Lions are 0-3 at home this season, this week they must face division rivals. The Minnesota Vikings. Detroit lost star Wide Receiver, Kenny Golladay. They face losing teams in three consecutive weeks. If they get a rhythm again, they can still push for a playoff race this season. Matthew Stafford will likely play, he tested positive for the Coronavirus last week, but apparently, he is negative right now.
27. Houston Texans:
Texans’ season is practically lost, and the bad news is that the Miami Dolphins have their first-round Draft pick. Watson is missing DeAndre Hopkins, despite all the wideouts he has around him. This week, they practically have an easy game against the Jaguars, with Minshew not playing. But who knows, it is a division rival.
28. Washington Football Team:
Coming off a bye week, the Washington Football Team is facing the New York Giants at FedEx Field. Washington has a strong defense and an offense that it is improving every game. Rookie Running Back Antonio Gibson is leading this offense alongside Kyle Allen. With the disastrous NFC East, why cannot Washington be a Playoff team?
29. New York Giants:
They almost had the tie against Tom Brady and the Bucs. Danny Dimes deserves credit for that 70-yard last drive last week on Monday Night. Turnovers and injuries are still a problem for the Big Apple team. The defense was good, flags did not help. Daniel Jones is playing for his future in New York in the remaining games. This week they face the Washington Football Team for the second time in the season, this time on the road.
30. Dallas Cowboys:
Ben DiNucci will not be the Cowboys’ starting quarterback this week against the Steelers. Neither DiNucci nor Dalton were good after Dak’s injury. The Cowboys will use their fourth different quarterback this week to face the undefeated Steelers. On the positive side, rookie Trevon Diggs is improving week by week. The Wide Receiver Trio has not been producing. Are there still hopes for this team?
31. Jacksonville Jaguars:
Minshewmania has not worked this season. He will be out for week 9 due to a thumb injury. Rookie Jake Luton will make his first career start against the Houston Texans. Undrafted Running Back James Robinson is probably the only one who is playing well on this team.
32. New York Jets:
Winless Jets come from a tough loss against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. This week they face the poor New England Patriots at home. Will the Jets get their first win? Many people are thinking about why Joe Douglas has not fired Adam Gase. The Jets are free falling into the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, looking for their franchise quarterback once again.
Will Week 9 have any surprise?