Before we get into this week's power rankings, there's some things I want to discuss about the recent election. First of all congrats to president-elect Joe Biden, and vice presidential-elect Kamala Harris on winning arguably the most important election of our time. It was in my opinion, imperative that Donald Trump was removed from office, as we were dangerously approaching facism, racism was being empowered by the day, and countless scandals dominated the news cycle. It's like the end of an obnoxious reality TV show.
I think what we saw after the race was called, was relief. People out in the streets felt they would be able to go back to a sense of normalcy, but the question is, what is normalcy?For Black America, normalcy has been things like systemic racism and police brutality. It's happened under Democrats, Republicans, and Facists (Donald Trump). So there's a ton of distrust in the political system among our community, and rightfully so.
One of the very few positives of a Trump administration was it forced us to be more educated about racism and all of its forms. I think more black people are aware now as to how the system has been designed against us than ever before. So my question is, now that we know, what do we do?
There's only one peaceful answer to that question, it's hold elected officials accountable. Be out in the streets protesting, get a coalition to go speak with your local government or congressman, identify people with the same values as us and get them to run for public office, etc. All of these things help push the movement to improve the quality of life among Black people.
Guess what doesn't help? Complaining on social media about what an elected official, ISN'T GOING TO DO. If you don't put pressure on them to work for you, of course they're not going to help you, if they don't know what specifically you want done. They can't see your tweets, facebook posts, group message complaints, etc. Organize some members of your community, and do something about it. It's time to stop complaining and be productive.
So if you have an issue, come up with a SOLUTION, and present it to someone who can do something about it. And if they don't do it, take it to someone else, and work to vote out the person who denied you in the next election. It's really that simple.
Okay rant over, let's get to some power rankings!
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-0, 1st in AFC North)
-Last week's rank: 1st
-Week 9 result: Win @ Cowboys, 24-19
The Steelers remain #1 in our power rankings this week, after squeaking by the Cowboys on the road. While they didn't dominate the matchup like you might've expected, a win is a win.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (8-1, 1st in AFC West)
-Last week's rank: 2nd
-Week 9 result: Win vs Panthers, 33-31
The return of Christian McCaffrey was the biggest talking point in this game and he certainly helped them keep this one close. Although the Chiefs were just too much, and it's because they have Pat Mahomes. With Russell Wilson's recent struggles, Mahomes has elevated himself to the top of the MVP race. The Chiefs didn't quite do enough to push them above Pittsburgh, but a win certianly keeps them in the second spot this week.
3. Baltimore Ravens (6-2, 2nd in AFC North)
-Last week's rank: 3rd
-Week 9 result: Win @ Colts, 24-10
This was a tough matchup for the Ravens, but there's still big concerns about this offense. Lamar Jackson's ability as a passer is that concern, as it doesn't seem he's developed into someone who can consistently beat good defenses from the pocket. Until he improves from the pocket, the ceiling on this Ravens team is limited.
4. New Orleans Saints (6-2, 1st in NFC South)
-Last week's rank: 11th
-Week 9 result: Win @ Tampa Bay, 38-3
After a big win over a team previously in the top 5 of my power rankings, the Saints jump all the way up the 4th this week. They haven't been super convincing this year, but neither have any of the other NFC teams if we're being honest. The Saints have some quality wins now after beating Tampa Bay twice, and the Bears on the road. With a healthy Michael Thomas back, maybe this Saints team starts to pull away from the pack.
5. Green Bay Packers (6-2, 1st in NFC North)
-Last week's rank: 9th
-Week 9 result: Win @ 49ers, 34-17
The Packers redeemed themselves this week with a convincing win over the Niners on Thursday Night. While the Niners were decimated by injuries and covid related absences, they still are a threat to win as they seem to still be productive on both sides of the ball regardless of who plays. Aaron Rodgers is still playing MVP caliber football, and Devanta Adams just might be the best receiver in football. When you add in a healthy Aaron Jones, this offense looks like one of the best in the league. The question each week will be, can the defense do enough to not mess it up.
6. Miami Dolphins (5-3, 2nd in AFC East)
-Last week's rank: 13th
-Week 9 result: Win @ Cardinals, 34-31
Yeah you're reading this correctly, the Miami Dolphins are a top 6 NFL team right now. Their defense coming into this game was the #1 scoring defense in the league, and with Tua now under center, I think this team is better than people might think. While Fitzpatrick was by no means playing poorly, Tua can make plays that Fitz can't.
Tua makes good decisions, gets rid of the ball quickly, and is incredibly elusive in the pocket, allowing him to make plays with his legs. He reminds me a lot of a young Russell Wilson. Last week I lowered their ranking from where the numbers had them because I didn't quite believe it yet. I am not doing that again this week. Time to take the Fins seriously.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3, 2nd in NFC South)
-Last week's rank: 4th
-Week 9 result: Loss vs Saints, 38-3
An embarrassing loss on Sunday Night Football sees the Bucs drop here, and all the doubts we had about the offense resurfaced last night. It begs the question, is Bruce Arians the problem? His offense just seems to result in turnovers far too often, and the result is inconsistent performances like this one.
8. Buffalo Bills (7-2, 1st in AFC East)
-Last week's rank: 10th
-Week 9 result: Win vs Seahawks, 44-34
Josh Allen lit up an incredibly weak Seattle secondary at home this week so they get a bump in the power rankings. I'm still not 100% sold on this team however as we've seen how inconsistent Josh Allen can be, even in positive match ups like this one. The run game still looks bleak, and their defense forced some turnovers this week, but overall this year has been subpar.
9. Arizona Cardinals (5-3, 2nd in NFC West)
-Last week's rank: 6th
-Week 9 result: Loss vs Dolphins
A tough loss sees the Cardinals drop a bit here in this week's power rankings, despite Kyler Murray's best efforts. The kid was incredible this week, and maybe if his kicker makes a 49 yard field goal to force OT, we're having a different conversation (and maybe for the Dolphins too).
10. Tennessee Titans (6-2, First in AFC South)
-Last week's rank: 12th
-Week 9 result: Win vs Bears, 24-17
The Titans got back on track this week with a win against an okay Bears team at home this week. This range is just about where I expect this team to hover around for most of the season. They have a big game coming up in week 10 against the Colts which will tell us even more about this team.
11. Seattle Seahawks (6-2, 1st in NFC West)
-Last week's rank: 5th
-Week 9 result: Loss @ Bills, 44-34
Seattle suffered their 2nd loss in the last 3 weeks, and the secondary just got lit up in this one. A secondary that has been historically bad so far, limits how good this team can be. It's to the point where if Russ isn't cooking, they're probably going to lose. My wonderful co-host Mike Badzik made a great point on our most recent podcast (which can be found here: hyperurl.co/allinpodcast ), If Russ knows his defense can't get stops, it may force him to make more aggressive decisions. Which will result in more turnovers, and that is a recipe for a Seahawk loss every time.
12. Las Vegas Raiders (5-3, 2nd in AFC West)
-Last week's rank: 16th
-Week 9 result: Win @ Chargers, 31-26
This Raiders team picked up a tough road win against a Chargers team that is better than their record shows. The Raiders could be a potential wild card team this year.
13. Indianapolis Colts (5-3, 2nd in AFC South)
-Last week's rank: 7th
-Week 9 result: Loss vs Ravens, 24-10
Can someone explain to me what Phillip Rivers does better than Jacoby Brissett as this stage of their careers?
14. Los Angelos Rams (5-3, 3rd in NFC West)
-Last week's rank: 14th
-Week 9 result: Bye
15. San Francisco 49ers (4-5, 4th in NFC West)
-Last week's rank: 8th
-Week 9 result: Loss vs Packers
Injuries had already decimated this team heading into this week, then a covid outbreak forced even more inactives this week. Until this team gets healthy they'll struggle to stay afloat in a tough division.
16. Chicago Bears (5-4, 2nd in NFC North)
-Last week's rank: 15th
-Week 9 result: Loss @ Titans, 24-17
17. Cleveland Browns (5-3, 3rd in AFC North)
-Last week's rank: 17th
-Week 9 result: Bye
18. Atlanta Falcons (3-6,T-3rd in NFC South)
-Last week's rank: 21st
-Week 9 result: Win vs Broncos, 34-27
They came close to blowing this one, but back to back wins have the Falcons moving in the right direction.
19. Minnesota Vikings (3-5, T-3rd in NFC North)
-Last week's rank: 24th
-Week 9 result: Win vs Lions, 34-20
Dalvin Cook seems determined to drag this team out of the gutter, and he just might do it. They aren't too far out from playoff contention after back to back wins, let's see if they can keep it going.
20. Carolina Panthers (3-6, T-3rd in NFC South)
-Last week's rank: 18th
-Week 9 result: Loss @ Chiefs, 33-31
Carolina put up a great fight in a game pretty much no one expected them to win. McCaffrey returned but may have suffered a new injury, but if he's able to continue to go, I'm optimistic about their playoff chances.
21. Los Angelos Chargers (2-6, 4th in AFC West)
-Last week's rank: 23rd
-Week 9 result: Loss vs Raiders, 31-26
I'm not sure who loses games in worse ways the Chargers or the Falcons, but I still think this Chargers team is better than their record shows. If a few plays go their way the last two weeks, they'd be sitting at 4-4.
22. Denver Broncos (3-5, 3rd in AFC West)
-Last week's rank: 20th
-Week 9 result: Loss @ Falcons, 34-27
23. Detroit Lions (3-5, T-3rd in NFC North)
-Last week's rank: 19th
-Week 9 result: Loss @ Vikings, 34-20
24. Houston Texans (2-6, 4th in AFC South)
-Last week's rank: 28th
-Week 9 result: Win @ Jaguars, 27-25
Both of their wins have come against Jacksonville now, but they've had a brutal schedule besides them and the Vikings. I think Houston is slightly better than their record shows, especially after firing Bill O'Brien.
25. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1, 1st in NFC East)
-Last week's rank: 22nd
-Week 9 result: Bye
26. New England Patriots (3-5, 3rd in AFC East)
-Last week's rank: 25th
-Week 9 result: Win @ Jets, 30-27
They got back on track this week but just barely against a Jets team still searching for its first win. Its still brutal in New England.
27. Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1, 4th in AFC North)
-Last week's rank: 26th
-Week 9 result: Bye
28. New York Giants (2-7, T-3rd in NFC East)
-Last week's rank: 29th
-Week 9 result: Win @ WFT, 23-20
29. Washington Football Team (2-6, 2nd in NFC East)
-Last week's rank: 27th
-Week 9 result: Loss vs Giants. 23-20
30. Dallas Cowboys (2-7, T-3rd in NFC East)
-Last week's rank: 30th
-Week 9 result: Loss vs Steelers, 24-19
31 - Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7, 4th in AFC South)
-Last week's rank: 31st
-Week 9 result: Loss vs Texans, 27-25
32. New York Jets (0-9 4th in AFC East)
-Last week's rank: 32nd
-Week 9 result: Loss vs Pats, 30-27
Almost guys, almost.