NFL Power Rankings – Week Nine

Written by Ryan Lownes on November 3, 2011


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Resident power rankings guru Ryan Lownes shares with us his weekly writeup.

 

Love or hate where he has your favorite team stacked up? Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments below or over at the Draft Breakdown message board.

 

 

Rank

Team

Explanation

Last

1

Green Bay Packers

(7-0)

The lone remaining unbeaten team has shown few weaknesses to this point and appears poised for another deep playoff run. If they can find consistency on the ground, they may be unstoppable.

1

2

Pittsburgh Steelers

(6-2)

Despite being banged up at linebacker and along the offensive line, Mike Tomlin has his team playing Pittsburgh Steelers football. The win over New England cemented their status as a contender in the AFC.

4

3

Detroit Lions

(6-2)

The Lions faced little in terms of resistance during their trip to Denver and came away with a lopsided victory. The running game remains the big question, but Stafford-to-Johnson will continue to light up the scoreboard.

5

4

New England Patriots

(5-2)

While losing at Heinz Field certainly doesn’t qualify as embarrassing, the play of the Patriots secondary might. The pass defense may be the Achilles heel for an otherwise dominant team.

2

5

New Orleans Saints

(5-3)

I am going to take it easy on the Saints this week. While they clearly laid an egg against a very beatable Rams team, the roster is still equipped with enough talent and depth for a deep playoff run.

3

6

San Francisco 49ers

(6-1)

No team has shocked the league quite like Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers. I still have my doubts about the passing game, but this squad is playing as good on defense as any right now.

9

7

Baltimore Ravens

(5-2)

No movement for the Ravens this week following a less-than-impressive win at home against Arizona. Consider me among those skeptical of Joe Flacco as a franchise quarterback.

7

8

Houston Texans

(5-3)

Barring a meltdown, the Texans will be competing in the playoffs this January. The defense, especially the secondary, has proven this is not the Houston team we had grown accustomed to. That said, I think this is only a good team right now, not a great one.

8

9

New York Giants

(5-2)

The Giants were lucky to escape with a win on Sunday and must play better down the stretch. Their defensive line remains one of the best in all of football.

10

10

Buffalo Bills

(5-2)

I am still not 100% sold on the Bills, but they will make a push for a wild card spot in the AFC. The defensive front has come a long way from last year and Fred Jackson’s success is no fluke.

13

11

Atlanta Falcons

(4-3)

Like many, I am waiting for a breakout game from the Falcons. They were so dominant a year ago, especially at home. The talent in Atlanta is not a concern, but does the team have the killer instinct?

11

12

Philadelphia Eagles

(3-4)

Finally the Eagles showed us what many came into the season expecting from them. There will be problems at linebacker and on the offensive line, but they have elite ability in the right places.

16

13

New York Jets

(4-3)

A few years ago when Rex Ryan’s Jets burst on to the scene, there was no telling how far the team could go. After coming up short the last two years, this team seems to lack the same swagger. New York has a lot to prove in a very competitive AFC East.

12

14

San Diego Chargers

(4-3)

Who can figure out the Chargers? I sure can’t. The roster has talent, but Phillip Rivers must pick up his play if San Diego wants to avoid missing the playoffs for the second straight year.

6

15

Cincinnati Bengals

(5-2)

The early season schedule has been kind to the Bengals, but it gets much harder from here. Andy Dalton has consistently exceeded expectations and may be good enough for Cincy to challenge for a wild card spot.

17

16

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(4-3)

Tampa Bay will be thankful to get LeGarrette Blount and Gerald McCoy back as they gear up for a matchup against the division rival Saints. The team is still very young, but there is enough talent for a playoff run.

14

 

 

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Ryan Lownes

Ryan is currently an undergraduate student at Ohio University pursuing a degree in Sport Management. He has been attending the NFL Draft in New York City since 2005 and has aspirations of a career in scouting. He is currently a draft writer and analyst on the Draft Breakdown team, posting his latest rankings, mock drafts, scouting reports, and more. Be sure to follow Ryan on twitter for year-round NFL Draft analysis. See all posts by Ryan Lownes.