NFL Power Rankings: Week 9

My current NFL Power Rankings for Week 9 of the 2021 NFL Season.

I’m going to use these rankings as the order for my 2022 NFL Mock Draft during the 2021 season. Follow @walterfootball.

I’ve gone from WORST to FIRST, so if you don’t see reverse numbering (via Javascript), don’t worry; the Jets and Texans aren’t my top teams.

Updated: Nov. 2

  1. Houston Texans Houston Texans (1-7) – Previously: 30.
    Tyrod Taylor should be back soon – perhaps even this week – so Davis Mills’ days of throwing 3-yard passes on third-and-13 while not under any pressure are numbered. I’m going to miss it, as I have an under 4.5 wins bet on the Texans that will be threatened by Taylor’s presence.

  2. Detroit Lions NFL Power Rankings Detroit Lions (0-8) – Previously: 31.
    The Lions have been on-off-on-off-on-off with their effort the past six games. This means they’ll play hard in their next game. Hopefully, not too hard because they shouldn’t surrender the top pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

  3. Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6) – Previously: 28.
    We probably should have known how terrible Urban Meyer would be off the bye, given that he had the entire spring and summer to prepare for the Texans and was utterly destroyed. The Jaguars were outplayed by the Geno Smith-led Seahawks in every facet, losing in humiliating fashion. The Jaguars should have fired Meyer during the bye, despite the win in London. Then again, Meyer will give the Jaguars the best chance of landing Kayvon Thibodeaux in the 2022 NFL Draft (see my 2022 NFL Mock Draft for more)

  4. New York Jets New York Jets (2-5) – Previously: 32.
    I went against the Jets in Survivor because I love fading terrible quarterbacks on terrible teams. Somehow, Mike White wasn’t terrible. In fact, he was quite brilliant. The Jets thought they had their franchise quarterback in Zach Wilson, but perhaps it was White the entire time. Seriously, I did a deep dive on him in the NFL Game Recaps page. He was awesome.

  5. Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins (1-7) – Previously: 29.
    The Dolphins somehow hung around versus the Bills, but they looked like they were putting forth more effort than Buffalo. Despite this, they still lost 29-11. The trade deadline is Tuesday, so it’ll be interesting to see if they end up making a move for Deshaun Watson.

  6. Atlanta Falcons Atlanta Falcons (3-4) – Previously: 25.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Falcons are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  7. Washington Redskins Washington Redskins (2-6) – Previously: 24.
    I listed the Redskins as overrated last week. I’m removing them from that list because they suddenly have so many offensive line issues. They moved the chains well against the Broncos, but once again stalled inside the opposing 30 on many occasions without scoring points.

  8. Denver Broncos Denver Broncos (4-4) – Previously: 22.
    The Broncos were less inept than the Redskins in the red zone, allowing them to come away with their fourth victory of the year. The problem is that the Broncos have so many defensive injuries that they won’t be able to beat many other opponents in the second half of the season, especially without Von Miller. Go here for my Von Miller Trade Grades.

  9. Chicago Bears Chicago Bears (3-5) – Previously: 21.
    Someone in the Bears’ organization should give Matt Nagy false positive tests the rest of the year because Justin Fields finally started running when Nagy wasn’t around. It’s just too bad that the defense looked absolutely pitiful in its attempts to tackle Eli Mitchell.

  10. Carolina Panthers Carolina Panthers (4-4) – Previously: 27.
    The Panthers tried their hardest to throw away the Atlanta game with countless mistakes, but the Falcons somehow made more blunders. The Panthers improved to 4-4, but a concussed Sam Darnold may miss next week’s game. The good news is that Christian McCaffrey is expected to return from injured reserve.

  11. New York Giants New York Giants (2-6) – Previously: 26.
    The Giants may have beaten the Chiefs if it wasn’t for that phantom face mask on Travis Kelce. Then again, perhaps that’s not very impressive, given how poorly Kansas City has played this year.

  12. Seattle Seahawks Seattle Seahawks (3-5) – Previously: 23.
    If only Geno Smith could’ve played inept defenses like the Jaguars his entire career – he would have lived up to his draft billing! Smith and the rest of the Seahawks were great against the Jaguars, getting a big win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to read anything into that win because Urban Meyer is so inept. The good news is that Russell Wilson should be back soon.

  13. Philadelphia Eagles Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) – Previously: 20.
    The Eagles have destroyed the Falcons and Lions on the road this year, so we at least know that they’re not one of the bottom feeders in the NFL. They’ve endured a tough schedule otherwise, so I could see Philadelphia getting to seven or eight wins if it can continue to beat some softer opponents in the second half of the season.

  14. Minnesota Vikings Minnesota Vikings (3-4) – Previously: 17.
    The Vikings no longer are overrated after losing to Cooper Rush, as people finally recognize how flawed they are. They may have to completely rebuild. Kirk Cousins is obviously not the long-term answer at his salary, while Mike Zimmer’s clock mismanagement at the end of each half made Mike McCarthy look like Tom Landry.

  15. New Orleans Saints New Orleans Saints (5-2) – Previously: 19.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Saints are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  16. Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) – Previously: 18.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Steelers are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  17. San Francisco 49ers San Francisco 49ers (3-4) – Previously: 16.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the 49ers are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  18. Indianapolis Colts Indianapolis Colts (3-5) – Previously: 15.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Colts are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  19. Tennessee Titans Tennessee Titans (6-2) – Previously: 12.
    Congratulations to the Titans for winning the AFC South and ripping out my heart in the process because I had the Colts as my Pick of the Month. Tennessee was outplayed for most of the afternoon, but managed to win, thanks to Carson Wentz’s late-game incompetence.

    Derrick Henry is out for 6-10 weeks – hence the downgrade in the power rankings – but the good news is that he should be back for the team’s playoff run.

  20. Las Vegas Raiders Las Vegas Raiders (5-2) – Previously: 14.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Raiders are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  21. Los Angeles Chargers San Angeles Chargers (4-3) – Previously: 8.
    The TV announcers noted that the Chargers were happy with what they saw from their own self-evaluation during the bye week. They must not have studied their dreadful run defense. Still, the Chargers may have won if it wasn’t for Justin Herbert’s pick-six. It’s tough to say if Herbert was at fault for that, however, as Jared Cook never looked for the pass.

  22. New England Patriots New England Patriots (4-4) – Previously: 13.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Patriots are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  23. Cincinnati Bengals Cincinnati Bengals (5-3) – Previously: 11.
    Think Joe Burrow will stake everyone who lost in their Survivor Pools because of the interception he threw while up four with four minutes remaining? I never would’ve imagined the Bengals losing to the Jets, but then again, I never would’ve imagined Mike White playing like the second coming of Tom Brady.

  24. Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns (4-4) – Previously: 9.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Browns are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  25. Kansas City Chiefs NFL Power Rankings Kansas City Chiefs (4-4) – Previously: 6.
    The Chiefs look broken, perhaps beyond repair. They easily could’ve lost to the Giants. That said, would it surprise anyone if everything suddenly clicked for Kansas City, and the team went on a rampage in the second half of the year? The Chiefs are very difficult to rank for that reason.

  26. Green Bay Packers Green Bay Packers (7-1) – Previously: 10.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Packers are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  27. Baltimore Ravens Baltimore Ravens (5-2) – Previously: 7.
    I can’t believe how much hype the Ravens got from their win over the Chargers. Just six days before that victory, they were losing 22-3 at home to the Colts! Baltimore has severe offensive line issues, especially if right tackle Patrick Mekari can’t return next week.

  28. Arizona Cardinals Arizona Cardinals (7-1) – Previously: 3.
    The Cardinals are falling apart. They’re down J.J. Watt and three offensive linemen. Both Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins are banged up. Luckily, they have extra time to heal for next week’s battle against the 49ers.

  29. Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys (6-1) – Previously: 5.
    I saw someone ask if it’s crazy to make the argument that the Cowboys are the best team in the NFL. I don’t think it is, but I wouldn’t put them ahead of the Buccaneers because Tampa Bay beat them despite not playing their best game. That said, the Cowboys are a legitimate Super Bowl threat.

  30. Buffalo Bills Buffalo Bills (5-2) – Previously: 2.
    I still can’t believe the Bills covered. They were very sluggish versus the Dolphins, but it was a tough motivational spot because they crushed Miami earlier in the season. The Bills should play better in upcoming games.

  31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2) – Previously: 1.
    Red Zone’s Scott Hanson asked, “What do you do with your power rankings now?” in the wake of the Buccaneers’ loss to the Saints. I don’t think you do anything. I wouldn’t read anything into Tampa’s loss. The Buccaneers were extremely sloppy – three Tom Brady turnovers, multiple drops – and the Saints played so much harder than Tampa. If these teams played again next week on a neutral field, the Buccaneers would obliterate the Saints.

  32. Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles Rams (7-1) – Previously: 4.
    The Rams were up 38-0 when they pulled their starters, to the chagrin of Rams bettors everywhere. Well, maybe not everywhere. Those who got in below -16 – i.e. before the Tyrod Taylor news was announced – were still happy with the result.

    I’ve moved the Rams to No. 1 in the wake of the Von Miller trade.

    MVP Race:

    1. Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals
    2. Matthew Stafford, QB, Rams
    3. Josh Allen, QB, Bills
    4. Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers
    5. Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens

    Scrubs of the Week:

    1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
    2. Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
    3. Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
    4. Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
    5. Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
    6. Chase Claypool, WR, Steelers
    7. Aaron Jones, RB, Packers
    8. Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs

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2022 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Post-Super Bowl Power Rankings | Post-Free Agency Power Rankings | Post-NFL Draft Power Rankings | Post-Preseason Power Rankings | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17

2021 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Post-Super Bowl Power Rankings | Preseason Power Rankings | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | Playoffs |

2020 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Post-Super Bowl Power Rankings 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | Playoffs |