Week 9 NFL power rankings: Bengals and Cowboys rise, Green Bay Packers hit new low ahead of NFL trade deadline

All 32 teams took the field in Week 8 ahead of the 2023 NFL trade deadline. What seemed like it would be a relatively predictable Sunday turned into chaos, resulting in a lot of movement in the Week 9 NFL power rankings.

Let’s dive into our latest NFL power rankings after Week 8, reviewing all 32 teams ahead of the NFL trade deadline on Tuesday.

NFL power rankings after Week 8

32. Arizona Cardinals

  • Previously: 31st in NFL power rankings

The Arizona Cardinals are the worst team in the NFL, just as everyone predicted before the season. Once again, Jonathan Gannon’s young club shows fight against every caliber of opponent it faces and that’s promising given the questions around Gannon when he was fired. Best of all for Arizona, it’s back on track for the No. 1 pick. Losing never looked so good.

Related: Jacoby Brissett trade landing spots

31. Green Bay Packers

  • Previously: 29th in NFL power rankings

The Green Bay Packers need to at least consider cleaning house this offseason. With the MVP quarterback gone, Matt LaFleur’s offense looks like it wasn’t designed for an NFL passer and the constant “I have to do better” from the architect of the NFL’s worst offense just becomes empty words when no changes are made, even after a bye week. Quite frankly, if you put the Packers head-to-head against Arizona right now, we’d pick the Cardinals to win.

Related: Week 10 college football rankings

30. Carolina Panthers

  • Previously: 32nd in NFL power rankings

Perhaps Frank Reich should’ve allowed Thomas Brown to call plays from the beginning. While Bryce Young showed some nice flashes in his last game before the bye, this performance was on another level. It didn’t result in a lot of points, but Carolina walks away from this one with way more confidence in Young moving forward and that’s far more valuable than the win.

29. Las Vegas Raiders

  • Previously: 30th in NFL power rankings

The Las Vegas Raiders are simply not a well-run organization from top to bottom. Owner Mark Davis went for the splashy hire with Josh McDaniels, pairing him with Dave Ziegler to try and recreate the Patriot Way. Except, that hasn’t worked for anyone outside of New England. McDaniels doesn’t seem well-liked as a coach, the Raiders burned bridges with some of their best players and the decision-making reflects an organization that can’t commit to rebuilding or contending. A reset is desperately needed in 2024.

Related: Las Vegas Raiders coaching candidates

28. New York Giants

  • Previously: 24th in NFL power rankings

It’s difficult to win an NFL game with your backup quarterback. If you’re forced to turn to your third-string option, that’s a wrap. Yet, the New York Giants nearly came away with a victory in Week 8. Although, we tend to believe that’s an indictment on both of the teams at MetLife Stadium. One thing seems fairly certain, Daniel Jones’ future in New York past the 2024 season feels far more iffy than it did entering Week 1.

Related: New York Giants star believed to be available at NFL trade deadline

27. New England Patriots

  • Previously: 2rd in NFL power rankings

There’s more than enough smoke coming out of Foxborough to believe the New England Patriots will be sellers at the NFL trade deadline on Tuesday. This team wasn’t good to begin with and that was even before injuries struck. If Bill Belichick offloads talent for draft picks, the Patriots will be one of the worst NFL teams in the second half of the year. Then again, that might be what they want and need.

26. Chicago Bears

  • Previously: 27th in NFL power rankings

Regardless of how the Chicago Bears looked on Sunday Night Football, this team was better in October than it was in September. Now, quarterback Justin Fields is nearing a return and Khalil Herbert is right behind. It might not be enough to save Fields and Matt Eberflus long-term, but at least the Bears will be a more competitive team.

Related: 7 cities interested in landing Chicago Bears

25. Washington Commanders

  • Previously: 26th in NFL power rankings

Theoretically, the Washington Commanders might determine that playing the Philadelphia Eagles close warrants standing pat at the trade deadline. We just wouldn’t bet on it. Washington’s defense is getting worse and while Sam Howell look greated on Sunday, his penchant for taking sacks remains an alarming issue. With all that’s going on, it might be time to start discussing the Commanders’ offseason changes.

Related: Washington Commanders coaching candidates

24. Los Angeles Rams

  • Previously: 21st in NFL power rankings

It’s unraveling pretty quickly fr the Los Angeles Rams. This team is 2-5 since its stunning Week 1 victory and it appears to be regressing on both sides of the ball. With all the holes on the offensive line and defense, prioritizing draft position over looking like a competitive team might be in the Rams’ best interest long-term. Call it tanking if you’d like, but trading draft picks for one or two players isn’t going to make a difference.

Related: Rams Defense Exposed, Massacred In Minnesota

22. Indianapolis Colts

  • Previously: 22nd in NFL power rankings

It’s not about the wins and losses for the Indianapolis Colts this season. Everyone’s focus in Indiana should be on Shane Steichen and his work through the first two months of the season, with Jonathan Taylor and Anthony Richardson missing signficant time, puts him up there with the best play-callers in the NFL. We’re already thinking about the 2024 Colts’ offense.

Related: Ohio State Buckeyes poised to lose multiple stars to 2024 NFL Draft

23. Tennessee Titans

  • Previously: 28th in NFL power rankings

We honestly should’ve known. It’s just like a Mike Vrabel team to trade one of its defensive leaders, start a raw rookie quarterback and then stun the Atlanta Falcons. It’s a credit to Vrabel as a head coach, though, it does leave us wondering what he could do on a team like the Raiders or Chargers.

Related: Tennessee Titans make decision on potential Derrick Henry trade

NFL power rankings: Denver Broncos rise, Buccaneers drop

21. Denver Broncos

  • Previously: 25th in NFL power rankings

If the Denver Broncos were reluctant sellers with high asking prices before Sunday, Sean Payton and George Paton might not even pick up the phone at the NFL trade deadline. Denver’s defense is back on track and Russell Wilson is playing well. No one should be thinking about the playoffs, but we will give Payton credit for starting to turn things around.

Related: Denver Broncos taking hard-line stance at NFL trade deadline

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Previously: 15th in NFL power rankings

When you can’t get pressure on Josh Allen, bad things happen. Ordinarily, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could view their late-game comeback attempt as something to build from moving forward. However, Tampa Bay has now lost four of its last five games and the bye week is already behind them. It’s starting to feel like the cellar-dweller we expect before the season has finally emerged.

19. Minnesota Vikings

  • Previously: 18th in NFL power rankings

Teams are typically supposed to move up in the NFL power rankings after a victory, that is unless you lose your star quarterback to a likely season-ending injury. Kirk Cousins was carrying this team as of late, giving the Minnesota Vikings a little hope for a Wild Card spot. If his season is over, the Vikings might as well be sellers at the NFL trade deadline.

Related: 4 Free Agent Quarterbacks To Replace Kirk Cousins

18. New York Jets

  • Previously: 17th in NFL power rankings

They say all wins count in the standings and that is by definition true. Yet, anyone who had the misfortune of watching the Jets vs Giants game on Sunday wouldn’t consider either of these teams a winner. The Jets’ defense is excellent and Breece Hall is a star, but that only goes so far when your franchise refuses to upgrade over Zach Wilson to protect Aaron Rodgers’ feelings.

Related: New York Jets experiencing big issue in trade talks

17. Houston Texans

  • Previously: 16th in NFL power rankings

We’re simply too early on the Houston Texans. An inexperienced team with a first-year coaching staff goes through a lot of learning experiences and penalties devastated the Texans in Sunday’s loss to Carolina. Houston’s future remains bright and it likely doesn’t regret trading its 2024 1st for Will Anderson Jr., but that pick will likely be a little higher in the order than we or they thought.

16. Los Angeles Chargers

  • Previously: 20th in NFL power rankings

The Los Angeles Chargers got back on track in Week 8, but we’ve already seen this team lose four games this season. Offensively, this team will improve but the highest-paid defense in the NFL and head coach Brandon Staley remain the anchors that prevent Los Angeles from coming anywhere close to its ceiling. But hey, at least Zach Wilson won’t be much of a threat to the Chargers’ defense. How did the Chargers get back-to-back primetime games?

Related: Where Do Chargers Rank Among LA Football Uniforms?

15. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Previously: 14th in NFL power rankings

For as much respect as we have for head coach Mike Tomlin, the Pittsburgh Steelers were never nearly as good as their 4-2 record suggested. This team has had a lot of breaks go their way this season, but that came to an end in Week 8. With Kenny Pickett likely sidelined by a concussion on a short week, Pittsburgh will be in for a fight against the Titans. Although, the Steelers’ defense might just save the day again.

Related: NFL coaching hot seat

14. Atlanta Falcons

  • Previously: 13th in NFL power rankings

Turnovers and sacks are devastating for an offense. That seemed to be the very reason the Atlanta Falcons sat Desmond Ridder in favor of Taylor Heinicke. Then, Arthur Smith said after the game that Ridder cleared the concussion protocol but wasn’t pulled for performance issues. All we know is this, the Falcons are good enough to win the division if they have a quarterback who doesn’t kill drives single-handedly a few times per game.

Related: NFL defense rankings

13. New Orleans Saints

  • Previously: 19th in NFL power rankings

After losing four of their last five games, the New Orleans Saints offense found its rhythm in Week 8 and delivered its second double-digit victory on the season. It just adds to the Saints’ bizarre resume, which includes wins over Tennessee and by four combined points then a one-point loss to Green Bay. Fortunately for New Orleans, no one seemingly wants to take hold of the division.

Related: Sam Howell sacks tracker

12. Cleveland Browns

  • Previously: 8th in NFL power rankings

If the Cleveland Browns defense isn’t going to play at a historic level, which was always unsustainable in a 17-game season, something needs to happen at quarterback. P.J. Walker isn’t the answer and Deshaun Watson’s situation remains a mystery. Might we suggest what everyone else has? Jacoby Brissett will fix a lot of problems.

Related: Highest-paid NFL players

11. Buffalo Bills

  • Previously: 11th in NFL power rankings

We’ll start with the good news for the Buffalo Bills. In Week 9 on Thursday Night Football, Dalton Kincaid came through with a breakout game and a spread out Bills’ offense looked extremely effective with the quick passing game, leading to a career-low 13% pressure rate faced. Now, for the bad. Thanks to season-ending injuries, the Bills’ defense has allowed its last four opponents to average a 99.9 QB rating with a 68.3% completion rate and 7.1 yards per attempt. If Allen isn’t playing at an MVP level, Buffalo can’t beat the NFL’s best teams.

Related: Amazon wants to create NBA version of Thursday Night Football

Week 9 NFL power rankings: Best NFL teams right now

10. San Francisco 49ers

Syndication: The Enquirer
  • Previously: 6th in NFL power rankings

The San Francisco 49ers aren’t as bad as the team that has lost three consecutive games. Likewise, this team was far more flawed than everyone thought a few weeks ago when it was suggested they could go undefeated. Brock Purdy is experiencing the other side of the turnover spectrum, with his incredible luck from early in his career turned into the inevitable regression. The thing is, though, the 49ers’ roster and coaching staff are still among the best in the NFL. The bye week and NFL trade deadline can help turn things around very quickly.

Related: Top MLB free agents 2024

9. Seattle Seahawks

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Seattle Seahawks
  • Previously: 12th in NFL power rankings

The Seattle Seahawks have a fascinating resume. They opened the season with a 17-point home loss to the Rams, then ripped off three consecutive victories including over the Detroit Lions. It was followed by self-inflicted wounds costing them in Cincinnati, before returning home to sneak by Arizona and Cleveland with wins. Seattle reigns atop the NFC West right now, but the recognition still isn’t really there. While the Seahawks will be underdogs next weekend in Baltimore, we’ve already seen Pete Carroll and Geno Smith go on the road and beat one of the best NFL teams in 2023.

Related: NFL QB rankings

8. Dallas Cowboys

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys
  • Previously: No. 10 in NFL power rankings

When the Dallas Cowboys win, they win big. Dallas has the fourth-highest point differential (+77), beating four opponents by three-plus touchdowns. This is also the same team that was crushed by San Francisco and somehow found a way to lose to the Arizona Cardinals. If the Cowboys want to gain that national recognition and be viewed as a threat to hoist the Lombardi Trophy, they must show up in Philadelphia. Otherwise? This is the same ol’ Cowboys team as before.

Related: NFL games today

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

Syndication: Beaver County Times
  • Previously: No. 5 in NFL power rankings

The Jacksonville Jaguars have the longest winning streak in the NFL right now. Things looked bleak in Florida after a 20-point thrashing at the hands of the Texans, but the Jaguars’ have clawed their way back near the top of the NFL standings. It still feels like Super Bowl contention is a year-plus out and Jacksonville’s schedule in the next six games is daunting, but a 6-2 record entering the bye is probably even better than the Jags hoped.

6. Miami Dolphins

NFL: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
  • Previously: No. 7 in NFL power rankings

Jalen Ramsey immediately made an impact in his first game back and that’s just his opening act. He will have a massive influence on the Miami Dolphins’ defense, especially when his co-starters get healthy. With that acknowledged, the knock on the Dolphins remains the fact that they haven’t beaten a team with a winning record this season. In the two instances they faced top-12 teams, Miami lost by double-digits.

5. Cincinnati Bengals

Syndication: The Enquirer
  • Previously: No. 9 in NFL power rankings

The Cincinnati Bengals are back. If Joe Burrow isn’t 100 percent healthy, the Pro Bowl quarterback at least has to be at 90 percent. He carved up the 49ers’ secondary on Sunday and a healthier Tee Higgins made this passing attack even more explosive. There are still plenty of things to clean up defensively and the offensive line remains a work in progress, but wins over Seattle and San Francisco put Cincinnati back in the SB hunt.

4. Kansas City Chiefs

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos
  • Previously: No. 2 in NFL power rankings

The Kansas City Chiefs can be the best team in the NFL, but not with an offense functioning like this. Matchups against divisional opponents are always tough, but the Chiefs’ offensive woes are about a lot more than just two games. Patrick Mahomes and Co. will get a shot to prove they can flip the switch quickly and it’ll be a special treat in Week 9 with the Chiefs vs Dolphins playing in Germany.

3. Detroit Lions

NFL: Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens
  • Previously: No. 4 in NFL power rankings

The Detroit Lions fell short a week ago against the Baltimore Ravens, but they have to feel ecstatic about where things stand heading into the Week 9 bye. David Montgomery will return, Frank Ragnow will be healthier and this receiving corps should look even better with Jameson Williams settling in more. Plus, the possibility exists for Detroit to swing a big trade to improve defensively. Another reason to believe the Lions will finish with one of the best records in the NFL, is the fact that have one of the easiest schedules in the second half.

Related: Detroit Lions trade targets

2. Philadelphia Eagles

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Commanders
  • Previously: No. 3 in NFL power rankings

It’s A.J. Brown’s world and we’re just living in it. Even on a Sunday when the Philadelphia Eagles botched the Tush Push and gave the football away at the 1-yard line, this offense was still electric. Jalen Hurts isn’t healthy, but he doesn’t need to be to carve up defenses when Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert get open. As for the Eagles’ defense, well, there’s a reason they aren’t No. 1 in the NFL power rankings.

Related: Philadelphia Eagles pursuing second blockbuster trade

1. Baltimore Ravens

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Arizona Cardinals
  • Previously: No. 1 in NFL power rankings

It wasn’t as spectacular as last Sunday’s win against the Lions, but the Baltimore Ravens once again proved they’re the best team in the NFL. Lamar Jackson should be leading the MVP race and he’s supported by arguably the best defense in football. The Ravens will stumble at some point, every team at No. 1 has this year, but Baltimore’s track record has earned this spot entering Week 9.

Related: Baltimore Ravens targeting offensive weapon in trade talks

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