The Cincinnati Bengals lost to the New York Jets, the Arizona Cardinals lost their first game and, somehow, none of that is the biggest takeaway from Week 8. With the trade deadline set for 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, November 2nd, we have already seen some interesting trades. For the most part, however, the rumor mill has been cool. On Monday, however, a bombshell in the form of Von Miller being traded to the Los Angeles Rams rocked the NFL and social media. With the trades we know so far and the results from Week 8, how does the NFL stack up? Here are your updated NFL Power Rankings for NFL Week 9.
NFL Power Rankings: Week 9
1) Los Angeles Rams (7-1) (4)
While the Rams did nothing more than take care of business this week against a pathetic Houston Texans team, the big reason for their jump was seen off the field. The Rams agreed to send over a second and third-round draft pick in 2022 to the Denver Broncos in return for linebacker Von Miller. An already menacing defense becomes even scarier, and this offense is rolling as well. Although Miller will be a free agent this offseason and will likely attract big money elsewhere, it’s clear the Rams are all in on this season specifically and the best team in the NFL right now. Still, his addition helps the Rams claim the top spot in the NFL Power Rankings.
2) Green Bay Packers (7-1) (6)
The Green Bay Packers went into Arizona Thursday night without 11 starters. That included their top three receivers, two cornerbacks, two linebackers and three of their offensive linemen. They also lost their top tight end and another running back to season-ending injuries during the game. After all of that, they still found a way on a short week to beat the undefeated Cardinals. The Packers have now won seven straight games and are the hottest team in the NFL. They have a real test coming up next week against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead, but they do have plenty of time to prep. If they can win there, they have two easier matchups on the horizon, with the Vikings and Seahawks.
3) Arizona Cardinals (7-1) (1)
To be fair to Arizona, they also had some injuries of their own. While not nearly as many as the Packers had, this team wasn’t fully healthy. One could argue they were one play away from winning this game. It is slightly concerning that they looked like the inferior team for most of the night. With key defensive end J.J. Watt likely out for the season, this team’s defense, especially against the running game, takes a massive hit. The good news for the Cardinals is they have three of their next four games against teams under .500. If they can take at least three of those, they’ll be in a good position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2015.
4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2) (2)
There is something about the New Orleans Saints that Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just can’t crack. In a hard-fought divisional game in the Superdome, Tampa Bay fell, 36-27, although the game was much closer than the score indicates thanks to a late pick-six. While Brady threw for over 375 yards and four touchdowns, he also threw two bad interceptions and this defense looked extremely vulnerable. Although divisional games are always tougher, losing to Trevor Siemian is not what we had envisioned for Tampa Bay heading into this week. With that in mind, it was a valiant effort to almost complete a 16-point second-half comeback on the road. However, they still drop in our NFL Power Rankings.
5) Buffalo Bills (5-2) (3)
In Week 2, the Buffalo Bills decimated the Miami Dolphins, 35-0. In Week 8, it was assumed the same type of result would hold. Instead, the Bills were lucky to head into halftime tied and needed a strong fourth quarter to finish off the Dolphins, 26-11. This defense looked solid, but the offense was shaky. A week after Miami was diced up by Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons, the Bills could only muster three first-half points. With the Jaguars and Jets on deck, it’ll be interesting to see if the Bills continue to sleepwalk through the next few weeks as well.
6) Dallas Cowboys (6-1) (5)
Credit where credit is due to the Dallas Cowboys. Down their starting quarterback in Dak Prescott, the Cowboys went into U.S. Bank Stadium and beat the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night, 20-16. Even with most of the questionable calls going the way of Minnesota, the Cowboys found a way to win. Fill-in quarterback Cooper Rush looked solid and the offense looked as good as you could expect in a hostile environment against a solid defense. With that being said, this team still hasn’t been able to prove they can beat a true contender, which is why the Packers passed them this week. Every team above them has proven something, whereas, as of now, the Cowboys have not.
7) Baltimore Ravens (5-2) (9)
The Baltimore Ravens were on bye this week and moved up in the NFL Power Rankings simply because of the lackluster play we saw from other teams across the league. While their blowout loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last week does look worse thanks to their recent loss to the New York Jets, those were two completely different games. Fully rested, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens should be able to take advantage of an AFC North division that is still up for grabs. Their next two games are against the Vikings at home and the Dolphins on the road.
8) Tennessee Titans (6-2) (8)
If the Tennessee Titans are anything, it’s consistent. The Titans once again needed overtime and beat the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium to take a three-game lead atop the division. Unfortunately, it looks as if bell-cow running back Derrick Henry will be out for the season thanks to a foot injury that requires surgery. While the Titans do expect him back from anywhere between six to 10 weeks, one has to wonder if he’ll be the same Derrick Henry when he comes back. With Henry’s massive size, frame and the way he runs, this injury, if not taken care of correctly, would effectively take them out of contention in the AFC.
9) Las Vegas Raiders (5-2) (13)
Much like the Ravens, the Las Vegas Raiders were also on bye this week. With the Los Angeles Chargers’ surprise loss to the New England Patriots, they have the division lead all to themselves heading into a showdown with the Giants. While the Raiders are 5-2 currently, they really haven’t played a true contender since their matchup in Week 1 with the Ravens. With the Kansas City Chiefs on deck in two weeks’ time, we’ll see just how legitimate of a threat the Raiders are in the AFC West.
10) Kansas City Chiefs (4-4) (12)
Unfortunately for Kansas City, their Monday night game against the New York Giants was a lose-lose situation. Playing at home, any margin of victory below 20 points would likely be criticized somehow by pundits globally. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the Chiefs offense seemingly played into that as they needed help from the Giants jumping offsides on what would’ve been another Mahomes interception to move down the field and kick what would turn into the game-winning field goal. This defense is bad and Mahomes looks like a shell of himself. With Travis Kelce fumbling the ball and Tyreek Hill dropping passes, this team has plenty to figure out and they’re starting to run out of time.