NFL Top 10: Week 9
For those who are into underdog stories, Week 8 of the NFL season was certainly an exciting week. However, the exciting action shook up the power rankings quite a bit.
After a pair of Week 8 losses from the top-seeded Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals, the league’s top-10 discussion is only getting foggier. Here is a dive into the first post-deadline power rankings of the 2021 NFL season.
1. Green Bay Packers (7-1)
Following a last-second defensive stand against the then-undefeated Cardinals, the Packers are back in their rightful regular-season throne.
It doesn’t matter who lines up at receiver for Green Bay; Aaron Rodgers is still going to deliver.
2. Los Angeles Rams (7-1)
After the acquisition of former All-Pro pass rusher Von Miller, the Lakers have some competition for the best “Big Three” in Los Angeles.
With a challenging schedule ahead for the Rams, putting Miller alongside Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey was a justifiable move, despite the fact they now only have four remaining picks for the 2022 draft.
3. Dallas Cowboys (6-1)
Coming off its sixth win in a row, an argument could be made that Dallas is home to the best team in football. Dan Quinn has established himself as a top-tier assistant coach, flipping the script from last year’s struggles with a revitalized championship defense.
And of course, kudos to Cooper Rush for his successful Dak Prescott Halloween costume.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2)
Whether it’s to Drew Brees, Jameis Winston or Trevor Siemian, it wouldn’t be a complete regular season if fans didn’t see Tom Brady fall short against the Saints.
This loss won’t dock Tampa Bay’s ranking too much for its annual struggles against a division rival. At the ripe age of 44, there’s no reason to believe that Brady isn’t in the hunt for an eighth ring.
5. Arizona Cardinals (7-1)
In the biggest game to date of the Kyler Murray-Kliff Kingsbury era, the Cardinals lost their undefeated record to the short-handed Packers.
At this point of the season, one has to wonder if Arizona’s lack of playoff experience is beginning to show.
6. Tennessee Titans (6-2)
For now, Tennessee holds the top seed in the AFC. Whether or not it will be able to retain this position without Derrick Henry is a different story.
Ryan Tannehill and the Titans will now be relying on another former 2,000-yard rusher, Adrian Peterson, to carry the load.
7. Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
Coming off their bye week, the Ravens are sitting pretty at 5-2 and now face three consecutive opponents with losing records.
At the midseason mark, John Harbaugh is well in the running for Coach of the Year for leading this injury-plagued team to contender status.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (5-3)
If a team aspires to win the AFC North, it simply cannot follow a blowout victory with a loss to castaway quarterback Mike White and the Jets.
There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the newly emerged Bengals, but allowing 400 yards through the air to a backup signal caller is not one of them.
9. Buffalo Bills (5-2)
While the Bills have not been quite as explosive as they were in 2020, they have chugged their way along to first place in the AFC North.
Outside of a 34-31 loss to the Titans, Josh Allen has had the luxury of playing with a lead for most of the season, thanks to an underrated defense that is allowing the least passing yards per game in the NFL at 182.
10. New England Patriots (4-4)
Rounding out the top 10 is the New England Patriots.
Coming off a three-week stretch consisting of a near victory against the highly touted Cowboys, a 41-point victory against the Jets and an upset of the Chargers on Sunday, Bill Belichick has made it clear that New England is nowhere close to a phase of post-Tom Brady rebuilding.
Grant Sheets is a first-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.