We are half way through the season with the contenders starting to separate themselves from the pretenders. Mike White, who looked like he came from the electronics area at Target, put on a clinic against the Bengals. Derrick Henry breaking his foot didn’t slow down the Titans in a win over the Colts. Is OBJ on his way out of Cleveland?
Here’s my week 9 NFL Power rankings
- Los Angeles Rams (7-1)- No surprise that the Rams took care of Davis Mills and the Texans on Sunday, but what sent havoc throughout the entire NFL yesterday was the Rams acquiring Von Miller from the Denver Broncos to add more defensive prowess on an already loaded team. Von Miller will now tack alongside Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. Very quietly, the Rams are averaging 30 points per game – which is 5th best in the league, so as you see it’s more than just defense with the Rams.
- Dallas Cowboys (6-1)- The Cowboys had no business going to Minnesota with their backup quarterback, Cooper Rush, and handling business without Dak Prescott, but indeed they did…impressively. This team has an aurora about themselves that hasn’t been seen in recent years. The receiving core is underrated, with three viable options on the outside. The division lead seems to increase by the week. Dallas’ defense, outside of the Rams, looks as complete of any team in the NFC. The ‘accident waiting to happen’ is an afterthought this season with The Boys. Dallas is for real!
- Arizona Cardinals (7-1)- If A.J. Green at least attempted to look for the ball in the end-zone we are potentially having a different conversation, but he didn’t and the Cardinals have their first loss of the season. Losing J.J. Watt for the rest of the year will hurt, especially with applying pressure and quarterback hurries. It will be interesting to see how this team bounces back after its first defeat on the season.
- Green Bay Packers (7-1)- What Aaron Rodgers did on the road without his top-two weapons on the outside was quite remarkable. The question has not been the offense, but how well can the defense sustain in the secondary. The Packers have forced 14 turnovers this season – placing them in a tie with the Cowboys for 3rd overall in the league. Can you imagine Aaron Rodgers potentially adding OBJ to his receiving core opposite of Devonta Adams? The Packers have been rumored to be in the market for another weapon.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2)- If we can praise him for throwing his 600th passing touchdown one week ago, we can criticize him for throwing two fourth quarter interceptions against the Saints, who lost Jameiss Winston for the season due to an ACL injury. Tom misread the disguises in the secondary, which ultimately led to both interceptions. We understand Tom is missing “AB,” but the problems have been in the secondary for several weeks now.
- Buffalo Bills (5-2)-if you take a glance down the Bills’ remaining schedule, it’s almost a cake walk where they will be favored in at least eight of their remaining nine games. With fire power on both sides of the ball, Josh Allen will give Bills’ mafia plenty to cheer for if Buffalo can revamp its run game. That’s the only flaw you could potentially see on this team.
- Tennessee Titans (6-2)- Is it possible to win and lose during the same week? Yes the Titans gutted out a win against a division foe, but at the expense of Derrick Henry – the league’s most complete back. Henry, who will undergo surgery on his foot, is expected to be sidelined for the duration of the season. There is slim hope he can turn to play this year if the Titans make a deep playoff run. The health of the receiving core is also an issue this year. Julio Jones’ durability has been a lingering issue all season long.
- Baltimore Ravens (5-2)- Will the real Baltimore Ravens please stand up. The last time we saw this team on the field, it was a straight beating on their home field to the Bengals. Heading into December you want consistency, depth and health within your ball club. The consistency has been there, but the issue has been depth. Next up for the Ravens is a home showdown against Minnesota.
- Las Vegas Raiders (5-2)- We understand the Raiders have endured a lot and are a good football team. They can be a great football team following a 3-game stretch that includes games against the Chiefs (who are vulnerable), the Bengals (who lead the AFC North), and the 6-1 Cowboys (who will have Dak back by then).
- Cincinnati Bengals (5-3)- Putting the world on notice that you’re for real shouldn’t be taken back a week later by an abysmal loss to backup Mike White and the Jets, but the fact remains the New York Jets put up over 500 yards in total offense on the Bengals’ defense. Joe Burrow and company are still serious contenders for the AFC North title. One week doesn’t define what we’ve seen from this team so far this season.