Week 9 was a wild and crazy week. And that might be underselling it.
Six of the top teams lost.
The most stunning was the Jaguars’ upset of the Bills. Between the 9-6 score, with the Bills only mustering two field goals, that was a head-spinner.
And don’t look now, but the Patriots are on a run, winning three straight. At midseason, Bill Belichick’s team is right on the tail of the Bills in the AFC East.
The Cowboys, Bengals, Saints and Raiders also lost.
So did the top-ranked Packers, but they were playing with a backup quarterback thanks to Aaron Rodgers having COVID-19, not to mention misleading everyone about his vaccination status. That’s a whole different can of worms.
In the AFC, there are nine 5-win teams. The NFC isn’t quite as wide open, but he musical chairs continue.
So who sits at the top?
Here’s our Power Rankings heading into Week 10:
1. Cardinals (8-1): No Kyler Murray. No DeAndre Hopkins. No problem. They easily get back in the win column with Colt McCoy at the helm
2. Buccaneers (6-2): After they came back from their bye week last season, they didn’t lose another game. Might history repeat?
3. Titans (7-2): Derrick Henry isn’t walking through that door any time soon. But for one week, it didn’t matter. The Titans continue to roll.
4. Packers (7-2): Jordan Love didn’t exactly come to the rescue in wake of Aaron Rodgers’ absence. And Rodgers might not play this week. Troubles in Packer-land.
5. Rams (7-2): They didn’t exactly flash a Super Bowl-contender look against the Titans. The way the offensive line got pushed around, Matthew Stafford probably had flashbacks to being in Detroit.
6. Ravens (6-2): Hard to believe some people didn’t think Lamar Jackson was capable of bringing the Ravens back from a big deficit. That’s all he seems to be doing in 2021.
7. Cowboys (6-2): Six-game winning streak blows up against Denver. Likely just a blip on the radar.
8. Bills (5-3): Lose one game, no big deal. Lose two in the row to two of the worst teams in the NFL, and that tells a completely different story — one the Bills don’t want to hear.
9. Chargers (5-3): Justin Herbert looks like a much different quarterback when he’s not facing the Patriots.
10. Chiefs (5-4): The impostor Chiefs have now won two straight. Patrick Mahomes threw for a measly 166 yards, but was money with the game on the line.
11. Browns (5-4): Was it an accident the Browns had their best offensive game with OBJ no longer in the picture? Hmm.
12. Patriots: (5-4): Think the Bills are hearing footsteps? Three straight wins have the Pats breathing down their necks.
13. Steelers (5-3): Life is good for the Men of Steel. Four straight wins, a revived offense, and the Lions on deck.
14. Saints (5-3): There are only so many rabbits Sean Payton can pull out of a hat. They rallied from an 18-point deficit to take a lead on the Falcons, but couldn’t finish the job.
15. Raiders (5-3): Given all of the off-field issues they’ve had to endure, we’ll give them a pass for losing to the Giants.
16. Bengals (5-4): In two weeks, they’ve managed to undo all the good, and all the progress that was made toward being a threat in the division. Take them seriously? Turns out they’re still the Bungles.
17. Broncos (5-4): Weren’t they waving the white flag by trading Von Miller? Guess not. And wouldn’t you know, the defense rocked in the upset in Dallas.
18. Colts (4-5): They rushed for 260 yards against the Jets Thursday night. Well, that’s one way to protect against Carson Wentz throwing a killer pick.
19. Seahawks (3-5): They got the best bye week present they could ever receive — clearance for Russell Wilson to play.
20. Falcons (4-4): Their history of blowing leads is well known. Lucky for them, they don’t lose every time that happens this season.
21. 49ers (3-5): They’ve now lost 10 of their last 11 home games, and look nothing like a team only two years removed from a Super Bowl appearance.
22. Vikings (3-5): Seems like Groundhog Day for the Vikings every week. The offense starts out fine, then disappears.
23. Panthers (4-5): “We can’t keep doing this,” said head coach Matt Rhule. What’s this? Having Sam Darnold dissolve into a puddle and throw multiple picks every game.
24. Bears (3-6): Four straight losses heading into a bye week. The good news? Justin Fields has arrived. He had his breakout moment against the Steelers, rallying the Bears back in the fourth quarter, nearly pulling off the win.
25. Giants (3-6): They enter their bye week on a high after taking out the Raiders. Best game they’ve played all year.
26. Eagles (3-6): No surprise to see them run all over the Charger’s NFL-worst run defense. Also no surprise to see them lose.
27. WFT (2-6): They had the exact same record a year ago, and managed to make it to the postseason. This year? Lightning isn’t going to strike twice.
28. Jaguars (2-6): No one saw this coming. They beat the AFC’s top team. They held the Bills to six points. And it wasn’t a dream.
29. Jets (2-6): Will the Pro Football Hall of Fame also want a jersey from Mike White’s second start? Probably not. He was gone with an injury after throwing a touchdown pass in the first quarter.
30. Dolphins: (2-7): They finally stopped the bleeding after seven straight losses. The bad news? They can’t play the Texans every week.
31. Texans (1-8): Tyrod Taylor returned after missing six games, and the rust showed. But he wasn’t helped by the woeful team around him.
32. Lions (0-8): They had a bye week to ponder being the front-runner to land the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.