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NFL Power Rankings: Week 9

Each week members of The Game Haus will collaborate to determine our NFL Power Rankings. We rate teams from 1-32 and add the points received to give us our final answer.

Our voters: Zac Stone, Ben Hendricks, Joe DiTullio, Michael Packard, Pranay Malempati, Savannah Dean, Jacob Gilbert, Manny Finale

Week 9 was full of exciting matchups that featured a quarterback battle, as well as the last undefeated team finally falling. Future Hall of Famers played in New England Sunday night, with Tom Brady getting the better of Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Drew Brees won a shootout to take down the Rams once and for all, while stealing the top spot in our power rankings.

Undrafted rookie Nick Mullens made his debut as the 49ers took care of business with ease against Jon Gruden’s Raiders on Thursday night. While the Cowboys with new receiver Amari Cooper looked sluggish on Monday night, although Cooper did find the end zone in his first game in Dallas.

Here is where each team sits at the halfway point of the season.

1. New Orleans Saints – 251 (High: 1. Low: 3. LW: 2)

The New Orleans Saints have become the new team to beat in the NFL. They defeated the last remaining undefeated team in the league: The Los Angeles Rams. Drew Brees is hitting MVP-caliber strides and Alvin Kamara is turning into a two-way nightmare for defenses. Scoring 45 points against the top team in the NFL is astonishing. Now, with defeating the Ravens, the Vikings and the Rams, New Orleans stands as the top dog of the NFC.

– Manny Finale

2. Los Angeles Rams – 244 (High: 1. Low: 5. LW: 1)

The 1972 Dolphins will once again pop champagne. The Rams lost an exciting battle to the Saints on Sunday. Despite the loss,  the Rams are the most complete team in the league. The defense put out a rare dud, but when you travel to New Orleans against Drew Brees, anything can happen. The Rams look to bounce back next week when they host division rival Seahawks.

– Zac Stone

3. Kansas City Chiefs –  243 (High: 1. Low: 4. LW: 3)

The Chiefs took care of business in Cleveland against a Browns team that just fired its head coach yet again. This week it was Kareem Hunt who dominated with three total touchdowns and 141 yards from scrimmage. They have one more easy matchup next week against the Cardinals before their showdown in Mexico City against the LA Rams. That will be a huge test for Kansas City’s seemingly revived defense, which hasn’t allowed over 23 points since it got torched by New England four games ago.

– Pranay Malempati

4. New England Patriots – 234 (High: 2. Low: 5. LW: 4)

Tom Brady faced off with Aaron Rogers in what is likely the last time these two future Hall of Famers will play on the same field. Unless of course, they meet up in the big game. Brady came away victorious in this battle, as he has so many times before. The real takeaway from this game is that New England has as good a chance as anyone to make it to the Super Bowl this year.

– Jacob Gilbert

5. Carolina Panthers – 224 (High: 4. Low: 6. LW: 5)

(Photo Courtesy: Boston Herald)

The Carolina Panthers took a crucial step in the right direction. With a 42-28 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina look well on their way to return to the playoffs. Cam Newton and Christian McCaffery lit up the Bucs, and looked blade-sharp doing it. Their pass defense still needs work, after surrendering four touchdowns through the air. But surely head coach Ron Rivera will make the right adjustments to get everything in top shape.

– Manny Finale

6. Los Angeles Chargers – 217 (High: 4. Low: 8. LW: 6)

The Chargers went to the home of the 12th man and won a game that shouldn’t have been as close as it ended up. Philip Rivers was able to consistently hit his receivers for big plays. Somehow, they almost ended up going to overtime when Russell Wilson had the ball in the red zone with a few seconds left. The fact that the Chargers closed the game out should give their fans hope that the curse of crazy losses is finally over. On a sour note, they had kicking problems again and ended up cutting placekicker Caleb Sturgis today.

– Pranay Malempati

7. Minnesota Vikings – 202 (High: 7. Low: 9. LW: 9)

The Vikings defense played phenomenal on Sunday, limiting the Lions to just three field goals. The offense outside of Dalvin Cook did not produce too much, but they did not need to with the way the defense played. Adam Thielen had his worst game of the year which still included a touchdown, of course. Minnesota will head to Chicago in week 10 for a huge matchup Sunday night for the top spot in the division.

– Zac Stone

8. Pittsburgh Steelers – 200 (High: 6. Low: 14. LW: 8)

The Steelers are probably the most shocking team of the NFL right now. They turned a 1-2-1 start to a 5-2-1 record. Pittsburgh is riding a four-game winning streak right now and are controlling their division right now but only by half a game. They will try to extend their streak to five when they face the rolling Panthers on Thursday night.

– Savannah Dean

9. Chicago Bears – 186 (High: 8. Low: 13. LW: 13)

The Bears traveled to Buffalo to play a struggling Bills team in week 9. The result was not pretty, for Buffalo that is. The Bears scored 28 points in the second quarter on their way to a 41-9 smackdown. Jordan Howard ran for two touchdowns, but the offense did not have to work too hard with the Chicago defense producing four turnovers and scoring two touchdowns.

– Zac Stone

10. Houston Texans – 182 (High: 9. Low: 13. LW: 11)

Let’s call it what it was, the Houston Texans were fortunate to come out a winner in their 19-17 win over the Denver Broncos. The Texans only scored on four of their 11 drives, with only one of those being a touchdown. Quarterback Deshaun Watson had an average game and the running game for the Texans came back down to earth after a couple of good weeks. However, it was the Houston defense that helped secure the win by forcing a turnover that directly led to a touchdown and twice made the Broncos go for long field goals, both of which were missed. Houston has reeled off six straight wins after starting off 0-3 and now have a two-game lead in the AFC South. They travel east to take on the 5-3 Washington Redskins next week.

– Michael Packard

11. Washington Redskins – 171 (High: 8. Low: 13. LW: 7)

Washington dropped a winnable game against a middling Falcons team in Landover in Week 9. Certainly, it was a missed opportunity to increase their surprising NFC East lead. Matt Ryan carved up the defense for four touchdowns, while Alex Smith only connected for one. This loss should be troubling for the Skins, as they traded for Clinton-Dix to shore up the back end, only to get torched all day Sunday. There are still questions to be answered for this team, and they had better find them fast if they want the division crown.

– Ben Hendricks

12. Cincinnati Bengals – 164 (High: 11. Low: 15. LW: 10)

Their bye week means this team is rest and ready to go. With a 5-3 record right now they are only half a game behind the Steelers for first in their division. Their win against the Buccaneers last week gave them confidence going in to the bye week. Andy Dalton will need to give it his all when they face the red-hot New Orleans Saints this Sunday.

– Savannah Dean

13. Philadelphia Eagles – 161 (High: 11. Low: 16. LW: 14)

The Eagles come off of their bye this week after Week 8’s trip to London. Hopefully healthier, more focused and with a renewed resolve to shake off this season’s first half, which landed them at 4-4. Obviously the defending Super Bowl champions had much higher expectations, but with a trade for Golden Tate, and a roster that cannot get much more banged up, it is do or die time in Philadelphia. Week 10’s divisional matchup with the Cowboys will be one to watch.

– Ben Hendricks

14. Atlanta Falcons – 154 (High: 11. Low: 17. LW: 17)

NFL Power Rankings: Week 9
Matt Ryan

Atlanta is turning their season around at lightning pace. With a 38-14 win over the Washington Redskins, the Falcons have shown improvements in execution. As Tevin Coleman takes on the majority of the snaps, he is shown to be a quality starter and not just part of a running back tandem. Matt Ryan looks crisp under center as well. Now, the Falcons must keep the accelerator down to keep up with New Orleans and Carolina.

– Manny Finale


15. Green Bay Packers – 145 (High: 10. Low: 18. LW: 12)

Winning in Gillette Stadium is never an easy task, even when you have Aaron Rodgers under center. In what was a battle of two of the best to ever play the position, it was Tom Brady who emerged victorious. The Packers fought hard, but were unable to do anything in the fourth quarter when the Patriots pulled away. They should be able to get back on track next week when they host the Dolphins.

– Zac Stone

16. Baltimore Ravens – 139 (High: 12. Low: 20. LW: 15)

It is hard to tell if this team is going to be able to bounce back. They got crushed this week by their inner division rival and now sit third in the division at 4-5. Their defense is still ranked first in yards allowed a game, but Joe Flacco is not able to convert on third downs anymore. This team has way to much to work on for the middle of the season.

– Savannah Dean

17. Seattle Seahawks – 129 (High: 14. Low: 19. LW: 16)

The Seahawks were tasked with a difficult task in week 9, to slow down one of the best trios in football in Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen. The team played well as a whole, but a crucial fourth-quarter mistake by Russell Wilson put the game out of reach. Seattle is still in the thick of the playoff hunt and improving each week, but Sunday’s setback makes the road a bit more difficult.

– Zac Stone

18. Tennessee Titans – 117 (High: 13. Low: 21. LW: 22)

It didn’t look good for the Tennessee Titans early on in their 28-14 win over the Dallas Cowboys Monday night. Quarterback Marcus Mariota fumbled on back-to-back drives to start the game, but settled down after that. The Titans’ defense was the story on Monday, as they had consistent pressure on Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, causing two turnovers from Prescott, and held star running back Ezekiel Elliott to 61 yards rushing. The win pushes the Titans to 4-4 and keeps them alive in the AFC South. That said, they have a tough test ahead of them as they have a red-hot 7-2 New England Patriots team coming to Nashville next Sunday.

– Michael Packard

19. Miami Dolphins – 100 (High: 15. Low: 25. LW: 20)

NFL Power Rankings week 9
Kenyan Drake (Photo by

Not an overly impressive performance from Miami offensively against the New York Jets. However, the defense was stellar, forcing rookie quarterback Sam Darnold into four interceptions and allowing only six points on the day. That’s impressive no matter how badly the other teams quarterback is playing. Hopefully Miami can build on this performance and bring more on offense next game.

– Jacob Gilbert

20. Dallas Cowboys – 99 (High: 19. Low: 23. LW: 19)

Dallas looked messy against the Titans. The newly acquired Cooper did his job, but Prescott did not play well enough to match the much-maligned (as of late) Mariota. The defense also looked a little lost against Tennessee’s run-heavy attack. With a great chance to position themselves well in this confusing NFC East, Dallas laid an egg. Jason Garrett’s seat is officially warm.

– Ben Hendricks

21. Jacksonville Jaguars – 95 (High: 19. Low: 24. LW: 23)

The Jacksonville Jaguars had a much-needed bye this week. The Jags are riding a four-game losing streak in which they were out-scored 114-56. The team was also fighting amongst one another and then four players were detained in London after a misunderstanding over the amount of a bill at a pub. For a team that had Super Bowl aspirations to start the year, the Jaguars’ season is very well on the line when they take on the well-rested 3-5 Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.

– Michael Packard

22. Detroit Lions – 90 (High: 17. Low: 27. LW: 18)

In what could be considered a must-win game for the Lions in Minnesota, they fell flat on their face. Detroit was unable to get any offense through the air or on the ground. They failed to find the end zone against a tough Vikings defense and had to settle for three field goals. In a division with three strong opponents, it will be hard for the Lions to come back.

– Zac Stone

23. Denver Broncos – 84 (High: 18. Low: 25. LW: 21)

Denver lost a heartbreaker when kicker Brandon McManus missed a 57 yard field that would have given them the win. Their defense once again held up its end of the bargain by holding the potent Texans’ offense, who last week traded with the Broncos for receiver Demaryius Thomas, to 19 points. Speaking of DT, the Broncos and their fans gave him a great welcome with a Thank You banner outside the stadium and a pregame video. Denver dropped to 3-6 and nearly out of the playoff picture, so they need to figure things out over their bye week.

– Pranay Malempati

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 75 (High: 22. Low: 26. LW: 24)

The best thing that Tampa Bay has done is bench Jameis Winston and start Ryan Fitzpatrick. But “FitzMagic” is the only thing going for the Buccaneers. The Bucs’ defense is still getting dominated, and their rushing game has done little to help. It’s very unlikely they’ll see the playoffs this season. Fitzpatrick can’t run and pass every single play, so Tampa Bay needs to rethink their strategy if they wish to remain relevant in this division.

– Manny Finale

25. Indianapolis Colts – 68 (High: 22. Low: 28. LW: 25)

One of the hotter teams in recent weeks, the Indianapolis Colts are finally finding their stride coming out of their bye. In recent wins over the Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders, the Colts’ offense has come to life with quarterback Andrew Luck looking more and more like his former self and running back Marlon Mack becoming the bell-cow in the backfield. Indianapolis will look to make it three wins in a row against a struggling 3-5 Jacksonville Jaguars team when the two meet up in Indy on Sunday.

– Michael Packard

26. New York Jets – 56 (High: 23. Low: 28. LW: 26)

It was a sloppy performance this week by the Jets. Their defense played well again, as usual. However, their offense failed to muster even one touchdown. Not all of it is on Sam Darnold either as running the ball proved just as ineffective as passing. Any hope the Jets had of competing for a playoff spot this year likely ended with this divisional loss to the Miami Dolphins.

– Jacob Gilbert

27. Cleveland Browns – 48 (High: 26. Low: 28. LW: 27)

The Browns team is not what fans expected. They have won two games so far. Although that is one more than the last two season combined, they need to begin another rebuild as well. They are missing a strong offensive line and top receivers. Landry was supposed to bring hope to this team yet he is not a big factor in games. The Chiefs rolled passed them style this week.

– Savannah Dean

28. San Francisco 49ers – 41 (High: 24. Low: 29. LW: 30)

NIck Mullens

Welcome to the NFL Nick Mullens. Mullens threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns in his NFL debut. The Southern Miss grad played so well, another Southern Miss alum you may have heard of, Brett Favre, compared his coming out party to Tom Brady in the sense that anyone can make it given the opportunity, which he took full advantage of. He will look to go 2-0 in his career when facing an awful Giants team in week 10.

– Zac Stone

29. Arizona Cardinals – 30 (High: 28. Low: 31. LW: 29)

For the second straight week, the Cardinals did not lose, their longest such streak of the season. Alright, they did not win either to be fair. Arizona stood idle in week 9. The 2018 season will continue to be a “hope Josh Rosen progresses and appreciate Larry Fitzgerald’s legacy” type season. The Cardinals travel to Kansas City next week for a game that we will predict with one word. Ugly.

– Zac Stone

30. Buffalo Bills – 27 (High: 27. Low: 31. LW: 28)

Until Josh Allen returns the Buffalo Bills are truly unwatchable. Nathan Peterman is abysmal. He threw for 189 yards and three interceptions on 49 attempts! Peterman had 31 completions but they only amounted to 189 yards because anything Peterman threw past the line of scrimmage was intercepted. Nathan Peterman should not be a backup quarterback in the NFL.

– Jacob Gilbert

31. New York Giants – 18 (High: 30. Low: 31. LW: 31)

The good news for Giants fans is that their team did not lose a game this week. The bad news is that it’s because they didn’t play one. New York will play the 49ers next week, a team that is not quite the doormat their record would indicate. Given that the game is on the road, expect the losing skid to continue for Eli and company. Look forward to Week 11, when the Buccaneers visit MetLife, if you are looking to see the G-Men steal another win this season.

– Ben Hendricks

32. Oakland Raiders – 8 (High: 32. Low: 32. LW: 32)

This is a new low for Oakland; they allowed undrafted free agent, Niners third string quarterback Nick Mullens to throw all over them in his first career start. This season is over for the Raiders, so they need to use it to help Derek Carr get back to his 2016 level. Carr has looked solid, albeit against poor defense, in the two games since Oakland’s bye week with a completion percentage over 75% and a combined 3 TDs and 0 picks.

– Pranay Malempati

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