2011 NFL Power Rankings – Week 9

NFL Power Rankings 2011 Pre 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Playoffs

Our rankings heading into Week 9:

Rank Team Comment
1 Green Bay Packers The Packers got rested and healed up over their bye week and get started back against the stumbling chargers. Outside of facing Detroit twice and the Giants on the road, the Packers have a favorable schedule.
2 Pittsburgh Steelers The Steelers got their first quality win of the season against Tom Brady and the Patriots. They’ll hope to follow that up with a win against the Ravens in a game that will go a long way in deciding the division winner.
3 San Francisco 49ers The 49ers are no longer just a good story. They are looking like a legitimate powerhouse. The defense is intimidating, Frank Gore found his legs, and even Alex Smith is doing his part to not screw things up. The 49ers are in position to get a first round bye if the playoffs started today.
4 Detroit Lions Detroit destroyed Tim Tebow and the Broncos last week which started a downward spiral that led up to TSGs www.occupytebow.com. Detroit has a bye week and then has two games before getting a chance to chip Green Bays armor and their two game NFC North lead.
5 Baltimore Ravens The Ravens avoided a second disastrous loss on Sunday after trailing big, completing the largest comeback in team history. They’ve been inconsistent offensively this season, but they’ll come to play against Pittsburgh on Sunday night.
6 New England Patriots New England’s recent history of dominance over the Steelers was worth nothing in their 25-17 loss at Heinz Field, a game that wasn’t as close as the point suggest. The Patriots fall to second place in the AFC East and host a tough Giants team next week.
7 Houston Texans The Texans knocked Blaine Gabbert out of the game early on their way to a 24-14 win over the Jaguars. Houston controls the AFC South with a one-game lead over the Titans going into a game hosting Cleveland next week.
8 New Orleans Saints How the Saints managed to go from winning 62-7 one week to losing 31-21 to one of the worst teams in the NFL the next is beyond crazy. It’s hard to feel confident about this teams chances with performances like that in games they should dominate.
9 Buffalo Bills Buffalo came back strong off their bye week with a 23-0 win over the hapless Redskins, taking back first in the AFC East with the Patriots’ loss. The Bills host division rival New York next week.
10 New York Giants The Giants got a win they needed against Miami. It’ll be their last easy one since their schedule gets very, very tough down the stretch.
11 San Diego Chargers Philip Rivers was uncharacteristically awful–responsible for multiple turnovers himself–in San Diego’s 23-20 OT loss to Kansas City. Worse still is that San Diego–now percentage points out of first place in the AFC West–faces the defending Super Bowl Champion Packers next week.
12 New York Jets While the Jets were off for their bye week, their chances in the AFC East got sunnier; a Patriots loss and Bills victory means that New York is only a game back from the divisional lead going into a game against Buffalo next Sunday.
13 Atlanta Falcons Atlanta is welcomed back after their bye week by facing the practice squad caliber Colts. After putting themselves in a bit of a hole to start the season, they face an uphill battle if they hope to return to the playoffs.
14 Tampa Bay Bucs Tampa Bay comes back from the bye week and gets a chance to kick the Saints while they are down. Tampa Bay won the first matchup and a win here would put them in the drivers seat of the NFC South.
15 Cincinnati Bengals When will we start taking the Bengals seriously? I say not yet, as they’ve still got to face proven contenders Baltimore and Pittsburgh a total of 4 times.
16 Oakland Raiders With a week to cool off after the double-headed INT machine game, Oakland prepares for a home game against the Broncos next week. With the AFC West tight at the top, it’s a divisional game they can’t afford to take lightly.
17 Chicago Bears The Bears will be coming off of the bye week with extra time to prepare for a big game on Monday night in Philadelphia. A win there keeps them in the wild card hunt and a loss puts them well on the outside looking in.
18 Philadelphia Eagles The Dream Team is looking like it might be back on track after back-to-back wins. LeSean McCoy has become a real catalyst for the Philly offense.
19 Kansas City Chiefs It took overtime of a poorly-played game to do it, but the Chiefs’ 23-20 victory over division rival San Diego vaults them to the top of the AFC West after a disappointing 0-3 start. Kansas City can try to build a lead with the Dolphins next up on their schedule.
20 Tennessee Titans Tennessee was able to maintain pace in the AFC South with a 27-10 win over the Curtis Painter-led Colts. They will face a surprisingly stiff test when Cincinnati comes to town next weekend.
21 Dallas Cowboys The Cowboys looked completely outmatched against the Eagles on Sunday night. They look like the 3rd best team in the division, and they’ll have to get back on track quickly if they want to make the playoffs.
22 Cleveland Browns The Browns are worse than their record shows. Their 3 wins are against teams with a combined 2-20 record.
23 Washington Redskins John Beck was sacked 10 times against Buffalo as the Redskins offense continues to struggle. Quarterback issues will be a theme for the rest of the season.
24 Carolina Panthers Cam Newton led the Panthers in another close but just shy of the win game. Newton will continue to rack up numbers as the Panthers find themselves playing from behind in most games.
25 Minnesota Vikings Minnesota got its second win of the year and the first win for rookie QB Christian Ponder. The Vikes seem to have an extra spark to them since Ponder was put in and while the playoffs are virtually out of the question, they should be able to add some tallies to the W column.
26 Denver Broncos No miracles this time around; despite playing at home, the Broncos lost badly to the Lions by a final score of 45-10. It won’t be any easier next weekend when Denver hits the road in Oakland.
27 Jacksonville Jaguars After losing starting rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville went on to lose 24-14 to the Texans. The Jaguars, thankfully, will have a bye week next week to try and heal up.
28 Seattle Seahawks Seattle lost to an Ohio team for the second straight week and one can basically rule out any playoff hopes for them. Unfortuately, their 2 wins will probably take them out of the Luck sweepstakes.
29 Arizona Cardinals The Cardinals almost pulled off one of the seasons biggest upsets but instead blew a 21 point lead to the Ravens. Maybe it’s for the best though, as the Cardinals remain one game away from the worst record and Larry Fitzgerald is probably dreaming of getting to play with Andrew Luck next year.
30 St. Louis Rams Holy flashback, Steven Jackson! Jackson ran for 159 yards and two scores as the Rams beat heavily favored New Orleans to get their first win of the season. Perhaps that is the spark the Rams needed to help make the season respectable.
31 Miami Dolphins Miami was competitive for the second week in a row, but they were unable to emerge victorious from their game against the Giants. The “Suck for Luck” sweepstakes appears to be in full effect, and the Dolphins travel to play the Chiefs next week.
32 Indianapolis Colts Another game in the division and another loss for the Manning-less Indianapolis Colts. Next up; a well-rested Atlanta team looking for a win.

Commentary breakdown: Alex (AFC North, NFC East), Brian (AFC East/South/West), Pat (NFC North/South/West).

Alex Chalupka - Originally from the Baltimore-Washington area, Alex is a huge Baltimore Ravens and Maryland Terrapins fan who currently resides in Little Rock, Arkansas. He’s also an Orioles fan and follows the NBA and other sports as objectively as possible. He enjoys writing about all sports and is the founder/editor of theSportsGeeks.com. - Follow him on Twitter here - Visit his personal website

Brian Parker - Born in Maine, a state with no professional sports team, Brian Parker is nonetheless a huge statistics nerd and fan of the NFL and NHL, with some passing interest in the MLB. Regional ties see him as a Patriots and Red Sox fan, though a childhood of watching Patrick Roy tend the net as a Montreal Canadien puts him on the opposite side of his fellow New Englanders for that NHL rivalry. Brian has both an M.A. and a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Maine. - Follow him on Twitter here - Visit his personal website

Pat Lussenhop - Pat was born and raised in rural Minnesota and is currently living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He graduated from St. John's University (MN) with a degree in psychology and went on to get his masters in school psychology at the University of Northern Iowa. He's a lifetime sports fan and follows basketball and football the most. His favorite teams include any team that has "Minnesota" in it's name and he enjoys sports statistics and any good sporting debates. - Follow him on Twitter here

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