NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs slide as Saints & Rams show Super Bowl form

It was a wild week in the NFL, with fights, blowouts, and even more fights. How has it affected our power rankings?


The biggest fallers this week, unsurprisingly, are the Houston Texans, who lost Deshaun Watson for the season to a torn ACL in practice last week. Their loss to the Indianapolis Colts was just salt on the wounds of a team that knows their playoff hopes just went up in smoke.

Meanwhile, out voting panel has finally seen enough to trust that the Rams and Saints aren’t going away. Both sides have been ruthless this season and their confident Week 9 wins asserted them as not just playoff contenders, but teams that could make a serious run in January.

In the AFC, Kansas’ turn of bad form has seen them drop from the top two for the first time this season.

1. Philadelphia Eagles (Previous: #1)

Beating this year’s’ Broncos isn’t worth getting too carried away about, but the continued MVP-caliber performances from Carson Wentz certainly are. An instant upgrade at running back with Jay Ajayi offers yet another ingredient to a high-powered offense, on the hottest team in the league right now. The Eagles continue to soar with their 7th win on the bounce! (Martin Hill)

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (Previous: #3)

The Steelers had a bye week and saw their already commanding lead in the AFC North grow. The division is theirs and they are ready to roll towards the Super Bowl. (Remy Cabache)

3. New England Patriots (Previous: #5)

The Patriots had a week off and I expect them to come back even stronger after their break. Belichick has had time to really work on the team’s shortcomings and the rest of the season will now just be business as usual for the AFC East. (Remy Cabache)

4. Los Angeles Rams (Previous: #8)

The Rams are just balling. The offense is firing on all cylinders and Goff’s talent is clear now. He is being nurtured and developed in a perfect system for him. Sean McVay has been excellent and Wade Phillips is, unsurprisingly, getting it done defensively. This team is in the middle of a brutal stretch and they only appear to be getting stronger. (Remy Cabache)

5. Minnesota Vikings (Previous: #4)

The Vikings are quietly dominating the NFC North and despite having Case Keenum under center they are rolling. Mike Zimmer has the defense humming and they look like a team no one really wants to play. (Toby Durant)

6. New Orleans Saints (Previous: #11)

New Orleans are one of the hottest teams in the NFL, and with the defense working smoothly and the running game threatening, Drew Brees is having to do less than ever. It’s a recipe for success that has echoes of 2009. (Toby Durant)

7. Kansas City Chiefs (Previous: #2)

The Chiefs have slumped to three defeats in their last four games, and while they are still deadly there are several shortcomings that are starting to take their toll, not least Eric Berry’s absence in the middle of the field. Andy Reid needs to get things back on track or they run the risk of missing out on a bye in the playoffs. (Toby Durant)

8. Jacksonville Jaguars (Previous: #12)

The Jags showed they can score without Leonard Fournette, and Jalen Ramsey showed that he has taken the NFL smack talking title that was vacated by Steve Smith. The combination of their pass defense and an offense that doesn’t turn the ball over is a deadly one. (Toby Durant)

9. Carolina Panthers (Previous: #9)

Carolina pulled off a vital divisional win against the Atlanta Falcons and started to get their youngsters Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel more involved offensively. As long as Cam Newton is running and Luke Kuechly is marshaling the defense they will be tough to beat. (Toby Durant)

10. Dallas Cowboys (Previous: #13)

The Cowboys are a threat for as long as Ezekiel Elliott is on the field, but this suspension will come down sooner or later, and at that point we will really see what the ‘Boys are made of. For now though, an impressive win over the Chiefs keeps them firmly in the wild card hunt. (Toby Durant)

11. Seattle Seahawks (Previous: #6)

The Seahawks have some alarming issues, mainly their offensive line, but I trust them. Russell Wilson is playing great football and the defense, despite their hiccups, is great. Come crunch time this team will be in the mix and I trust they’ll find a way. (Remy Cabache)

12. Buffalo Bills (Previous: #10)

Just when things were looking up in Buffalo they stumbled on Thursday against the Jets. Can Sean McDermott weave more of his magic to avoid the team wasting a good start? (Toby Durant)

13. Washington Redskins (Previous: #16)

Washington pulled off a big win in Seattle to keep their playoff hopes alive. Injuries have taken their toll on the team but Kirk Cousins has enough magic in his arm to get them some wins. (Toby Durant)

14. Tennessee Titans (Previous: #17)

The Titans played well. They had the bonus of having to outscore and stop the Ravens offense. Nevertheless, this offense can get going and get win in multiple ways, especially with Corey Davis back in the lineup. With the Texans being crippled by injuries the Titans are in a great spot to take control of an AFC Wild Card spot. (Remy Cabache)

15. Detroit Lions (Previous: #14)

The Lions are much like the rest of the league: inconsistent. They can move the ball but they have struggled getting the ball in the paint. That wasn’t as big an issue against the Packers, though. If they can string together a couple of performances similar to last nights they will challenge the Vikings for the division. (Remy Cabache) 

16. Oakland Raiders (Previous: #19)

The Raiders need to use Marshawn Lynch more. They pounded the rock more against the Dolphins and Lynch, though he was bottled up on a lot of runs, showed his signature elusiveness and looked like the same old Marshawn Lynch. If they can get more yards from him it will open up the entire offense, allowing this team to roll. (Remy Cabache)

17. Atlanta Falcons (Previous: #15)

The Falcons start well on offense and then tail off horribly. They need to move on from Steve Sarkisian as soon as possible, because their playoff hopes are hanging by a thread now that the Saints and Panthers have found consistency. (Toby Durant)

18. New York Jets (Previous: #24)

The Jets have managed, in one offseason, what the Browns have been attempting to do for countless years; they have blown up their roster, rebuilt and they are now showing clear signs of progress. The energy on defense is incredible and the coaching staff are doing a great job getting everything they can out of the offense. (Remy Cabache)

19. Denver Broncos (Previous: #18)

Brock Osweiler returned for Denver but it made little difference to the outcome against the Eagles who put a 50 burger on their defense, the apparent strong-point of this Denver team! Four losses in a row and more poor play below the cloud line on the road sees the Broncos slip further down the rankings. (Martin Hill)

20. Baltimore Ravens (Previous: #22)

The Ravens just continue to be what they are. That might sound silly but you could drop them into the bottom six teams after one week but then want to move then into the top half another. THe offense is shocking and the defense is not able to prop this team up every week. (Remy Cabache)

21. Los Angeles Chargers (Previous: #21)

The Chargers enjoyed a bye week that saw them gain ground in their division despite not playing. They’re 3-5 but if they can continue to improve, week-to-week, as they have, they can make noise in the AFC West. (Remy Cabache)

22. Arizona Cardinals (Previous: #28)

The Cardinals rode Adrian Peterson to victory on Sunday against a weak run defense, but with a short week to play Seattle it’s unlikely to be a formula they can replicate in Week 10. (Toby Durant)

23. Miami Dolphins (Previous: #23)

The Dolphins got a lot more done on offense, finally, but it came against the Raiders defense. What’s more, one of those scores came in garbage time. The loss of Ajayi didn’t seem too significant, this team just isn’t very good. (Remy Cabache)

24. Houston Texans (Previous: #7)

No Deshaun Watson means the Texans tumble down the rankings. It was a terrible game from Tom Savage on Sunday, which is something fans should get used to in the short term. No one is more frustrated about this than DeAndre Hopkins. (Toby Durant)

25. Green Bay Packers (Previous: #20)

Green Bay’s opening drive showed promise, but once the play script ran out they were lost. Brett Hundley can’t throw down the field consistently enough to keep running lanes open, and the defense struggled all day to get pressure on Matthew Stafford. Their playoff hopes have all-but disappeared. (Toby Durant)

26. Chicago Bears (Previous: #26)

The Bears got the week off to heal up and plan to beat Green Bay. Their defense has been a shining beacon all season and it gives them a legitimate chance to pour salt on the wounds of their bitter rival. (Toby Durant)

27. Cincinnati Bengals (Previous: #25)

An ugly loss for the Bengals that will be remembered mainly for AJ Green’s handy MMA performance. The Cincinnati defense did outperform the Jags on QB hits four to two, but this small win means nothing while the Teal Curtain (I went there) shut down Andy Dalton and his crew, holding them to just seven points. (Martin Hill)

28. Indianapolis Colts (Previous: #30)

Jacoby Brissett is proving to be a smart acquisition, but this franchise feels like it is going through the motions until Chuck Pagano is gone and Andrew Luck’s long-term prospects are known. (Toby Durant)

29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Previous: #27)

Tampa are in disarray. They have bungled Jameis Winston’s shoulder issue, but their problems run far deeper than just that. This team has not gelled and Dirk Koetter seems powerless at the helm. Mike Evans’ thoughtless actions are just another symptom of a team lost at sea. (Toby Durant)

30. New York Giants (Previous: #29)

This team was meant to be great this year. The defense had no reason to be worse, in fact they should have been better; they aren’t. The offense was meant to be unstoppable, but Eli Manning is done, they’ve lost Odell Beckham Jr., they have no offensive, and they have very little ground game. This team is a dumpster fire. (Remy Cabache)

31. San Francisco 49ers (Previous: #31)

I don’t blame Kyle Shanahan for saying what he did about Jimmy Garoppolo not playing yet, but he can’t continue with CJ Beathard. He has seen he doesn’t have anything in Beathard and he needs to gauge exactly what he has with Garoppolo. The Giants have been playing poorly so that game figures to be a good opportunity to give Garoppolo game time. (Remy Cabache)

32. Cleveland Browns (Previous: #32)

The Browns had a bye week to lick their wounds after a disastrous couple of days. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team come out flatter after their break, thanks in large part to what the trade deadline will have done to DeShone Kizer’s confidence. Hue Jackson is in trouble. (Remy Cabache)



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Toby Durant

Deputy Editor at RealSport. A life-long gamer, I have been with RealSport since 2016 and spent time covering the world of Formula 1, NFL, and football for the site before expanding into esports.

 

I lead the site's coverage of motorsport titles with a particular focus on Formula 1. I also lead RealSport's Madden content while occasionally dipping my toe into Football Manager and esports coverage of Gfinity Series events.

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