Each week, we will bring you staff NFL Power Rankings. The overall rankings are a combination of polls submitted by Justin Rozzero, Marc Clair, Chad Campbell, Greg Phillips, Andrew Flanagan & Maurice Pogue. Each team is assigned points based on rank and then compiled and ranked overall based on total points. Managing Editor Brad Woodling has the power to break ties.
- Kansas City Chiefs (187 pts): Kansas City was able to squeak out another victory against a gutsy Browns team. Still, as the only team still undefeated, they maintain our overall #1 rankings and Alex Smith was able to find the end zone after a dry spout with two passing TDs. However, several things looked alarming for the Chiefs as their defense gave up almost 300 yards to Jason Campbell and Jammal Charles failed to score a TD. A big road test looms vs. Buffalo this week.
- Denver Broncos (184 pts): Things were looking bleak for the Broncos as DeAngelo Hall scampered into the end zone giving the Redskins a 21-7 lead. The resulting comeback and 24 point final score beating of the Redskins showed great poise. Also encouraging was the lack of yards overall they held RGIII to. The Broncos aren’t the machine they were the first 5 weeks of the season, but they are still an impressive team that can throw up a ton of points.
- Seattle Seahawks (181 pts): Fairly worrisome week for the Seahawks continuing the theory that it is imperative for them to obtain home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch both had unproductive days. Lynch in particular had the least amount of yardage so far in the 2013 season and averaged under 3 yards per carry. The defense remained strong but they were playing Kellen Clemons. Sydney Rice being out for the season makes Percy Harvin’s return become that much more important.
- New Orleans Saints (175 pts): Drew Brees had one of the most productive passing days of any NFL quarterback this year. An efficient 332 yards and 5 TD’s making Kenny Stills look like Jerry Rice in the process. The defense also remained its solid play. The main concern concerning the Saints is the lack of production from Darren Sproles. This weeks road test vs. the Jets should be interesting.
- Indianapolis Colts (170 pts): The Colts enjoyed their bye week basking in the glory of the great win over Denver. Like most of the other elite teams in the NFL, week 9 finds them on the road in a game they should win but could prevent a challenge. Will this be the week Trent Richardson steps up?
- San Francisco 49ers (165 pts): The Niners crusied to a victory in London and the early loss to Indy at home is looking better by the week. They head into their bye week and then set their sights on another wild card contender in the Carolina Panthers.
- Cincinnati Bengals (152 pts): The Bengals had looked more like a lucky team than a good one until Sunday’s dismantling of the Jets. Marvin Jones has emerged as the #2 option for Andy Dalton and the offense looks particularly potent. The Bengals have to be considered the odds on favorite to win the AFC North.
- Green Bay Packers (148 pts): The Packers took care of business winning a game they had to win against the Vikings. The most interesting stat from the game was that Eddie Lacy had nearly 30 rushes given this offense a balance they have lacked in recent years.
- New England Patriots (147 pts): Things were looking bleak for the Patriots in the first half, but a second half rally has them sitting at an unsteady 6-2. The offense has looked terrible and even the addition of Gronk didn’t provide the spark for Tom Brady that has been missing this season.
- Detroit Lions (137 pts): The Lions provided the most exciting finish to a NFL game so far this season with Matt Stafford’s brilliant goal line decision. If the defense can continue to be competent, they can go deep into the playoffs. Oh, and Calvin Johnson is not too bad either.
- Dallas Cowboys (122 pts): Dallas could stake a claim as the most perplexing team in the entire league. They have won key games but also squandered an equal amount of games. Add to that a defense that just gave up 600 yards in total offense and some festive sideline banter among offensive members and the future is uncertain for Dallas in the second half of the season.
- Chicago Bears (119 pts): The bye week was very advantageous for Da Bears. It was be a huge test for backup quarterback Josh McCown heading into Lambeau Field.
- San Diego Chargers (117 pts): San Diego is also coming off of a bye and is heading into DC. The continued success of Rivers, Matthews, and Gates will be steamrolling against the anemic Redskin defense.
- Baltimore Ravens (110 pts): As you can see, the bye teams are fairly tough to judge which is why they are lumped together here in our rankings. LIke both Chicago and San Diego, the Ravens face a road test against the Browns in a sneaky must win game for Cleveland.
- Carolina Panthers (106 pts): Carolina has been surging the past couple of weeks and looks poised to contend for a wild card playoff spot. Cam Newton has been extremely proficient the past three games with 0 turnovers and a QBR over 100. This week he faces a Falcons team that has struggled historically against an active QB.
- New York Jets (103 pts): A team much maligned in the preseason looked like a legit AFC East contender after the Patriots win. Whether it was bad karma with Justin Rozzero in attendance or all of their weaknesses were exposed, the shellacking in Cincinnati didn’t look good. Now they get the Saints coming to Metlife and they can’t afford another embarrassing loss. After a hot start, Geno has been struggling the last three games with a high QBR of 71.
- Miami Dolphins (101 pts): Will the real Miami Dolphins please stand up. After jumping out to a 3-0 start, things were looking optimistic in Miami. Now four loses later, they are needed a win against the Bengals coming down to South Beach. Lamar Miller should be a key ingredient and looked good in the increased workload vs. the Patriots with a rushing average hovering around 5 yards per carry.
- Tennessee Titans (91 pts): Jake Locker game back from injury with an over 300 yard game vs. San Francisco. The bye week allowed him to nurse any lingering injuries and allow the Titans to make the final charge for a possible playoff berth. Taking care of teams like the Rams are critical to those playoff chances.
- Arizona Cardinals (77 pts): Arizona looked good holding home court vs. the Falcons and Carson Palmer made fewer mistakes than in previous games although he did have that awful interception to Asante Samuel. Andre Ellington also emerged as the #1 RB in the desert. The Cardinals are unlikely to make the playoffs but they should be a competitive matchup for any team in the NFC.
- Buffalo Bills (73 pts): Tuel Time! The Bills are pretty awful on the road and somehow eeking out wins at home. That theory gets put to the test when the Chiefs visit on Sunday. The other big problem with the Bills is the running back corps. C J Spiller is still not healthy and Fred Jacksons yard per carry average has plummeted. The goal line package has also resulted in frustrations.
- Atlanta Falcons (69 pts): Anyone holding out hope for a long streak of wins for the Falcons were silenced with their dismantling vs. Arizona. The cherry on top of this injury laden disastrous season was Matt Ryan having one of the worst games in his NFL career with 4 picks. The game vs. Carolina is essential for them to regain some pride and try to salvage this season. Super Bowl or bust indeed.
- Cleveland Browns (69 pts): Another team that does not know how to finish. The muffed punt and the dropped pass on 4th down are going to sting for a while. Beating the last undefeated team in the league would have meant a lot. On the bright side, Jason Campbell’s performance demonstrates that the Browns won’t have to throw in the towel just yet. The AFC North is still winnable.
- Oakland Raiders (67 pts): The Raiders finally end the post-bye losing streak, and prove that the read option is not dead, but simply to be used sparingly. They face an Eagles team and could find themselves with a 3-5 record after Sunday.
- Philadelphia Eagles (57 pts): It feels weird to say, but the Eagles could win the division. Unfortunately, much of that fate is resting in Nick Foles’ hands heading into the game vs. the Raiders.
- Washington Redskins (51 pts): A crushing loss for the Redskins when it looked as though they could have snuck one out in the mile high city. RGIII had a dreadful passing day and his streak of 2 games with 70+ rushing yards came to a crushing halt. Adding to that is his knee injury that while not being called serious should at least be concerning to any Redskins fan.
- Houston Texans (49 pts): Case Keenum will be leading the charge for the post bye Texans. They face the Colts in a division clash. The preseason favorites to win the division will be clawing and fighting to just prove they belong in the same class as the surging Colts.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (39 pts): The loss at Oakland was a really bad loss for the Steelers and it is beginning to look like the Bengals and Ravens are distancing themselves from the pack in the AFC North. The road doesn’t get any tougher as they travel to Foxboro to duel with the Patriots.
- New York Giants (35 pts): The Giants did hold the Eagles offense to no offensive TD’s so that is something. Eli Manning still continues to struggle especially in the red zone over shooting targets and not being able to score a TD as reflected by the 5 field goals the Giants scored in this victory.
- St. Louis Rams (30 pts): Encouraging news for the Rams with their performance vs. the Seahawks with Kellen Clemens as their quarterback. Now they face the Titans in an interesting game for the bottom third of our Power Rankings but probably not the most exciting game from a Sunday Ticket user.
- Minnesota Vikings (19 pts): I don’t think there is a more boring team in the league. AP has been very good but the QB and WR situation has been a disaster. All of the smack talk from Greg Jennings should be shut up once and for all after Sunday night’s game.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12 pts): Mike Glennon is chucking the ball, but the results have been more L’s for the Bucs. Problems persist with WR Mike Williams being out for the year and Doug Martin currently having a humorous timetable of two weeks to two months until his return.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (6 pts): I don’t expect them to be winless but I don’t know when a victory will be coming either. One bright spot was that MJD looked better playing abroad in London than at any other point this year.
Biggest Rise: Carolina Panthers (+6), Arizona Cardinals (+6)
Biggest Fall: Atlanta Falcons (-3)
PTB Game to Watch: Chicago Bears at The Green Bay Packers (8:30 Eastern, Monday, ESPN)
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