NFL Power Rankings Week 9: Updated 2017 Regular-Season Standings


SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 29:  Tight end Jimmy Graham #88 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates his touchdown with 21 seconds left in the game with Russell Wilson #3 against the Houston Texans at CenturyLink Field on October 29, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

We’ve reached the midway point of the season for nearly half the teams in the NFL. Already, some clubs should start thinking about future draft plans. Nonetheless, Week 8 caused some movement in the power rankings and standings.

The marquee matchup featured two high-powered offenses. A pair of dual-threat quarterbacks put on a show at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington. How did the outcome affect both clubs? Will we see these two teams play in January?

How many wins does it take to embrace a surprise winning squad that most viewed as one of the worst teams in the league coming into the year? Should badysts finally embrace the Buffalo Bills as they continue to mold their roster? Did Sunday prove anything for this club?

We’ll go through the season standings after Week 8 action followed by power rankings for Week 9 with notable listings.


NFL Division Standings After Week 8

AFC East

1. New England Patriots (6-2)

2. Buffalo Bills (5-2)

3. Miami Dolphins (4-3)

4. New York Jets (3-5)

AFC North

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)

2. Baltimore Ravens (4-4)

3. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4)

4. Cleveland Browns (0-8)

AFC South

1. Tennessee Titans (4-3)

2. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-3)

3. Houston Texans (3-4)

4. Indianapolis Colts (2-6)

AFC West

1. Kansas City Chiefs (6-2)

2. Denver Broncos (3-4)

3. Los Angeles Chargers (3-5)

4. Oakland Raiders (3-5)

NFC East

1. Philadelphia Eagles (7-1)

2. Dallas Cowboys (4-3)

3. Washington Redskins (3-4)

4. New York Giants (1-6)

NFC North

1. Minnesota Vikings (6-2)

2. Green Bay Packers (4-3)

3. Detroit Lions (3-4)

4. Chicago Bears (3-5)

NFC South

1. New Orleans Saints (5-2)

2. Carolina Panthers (5-3)

3. Atlanta Falcons (4-3)

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5)

NFC West

1. Seattle Seahawks (5-2)

2. Los Angeles Rams (5-2)

3. Arizona Cardinals (3-4)

4. San Francisco 49ers (0-8)


Week 9 Power Rankings

1. Philadelphia Eagles (7-1)

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)

3. Kansas City Chiefs (6-2)

4. New England Patriots (6-2)

5. Seattle Seahawks (5-2)

6. New Orleans Saints (5-2)

7. Carolina Panthers (5-3)

8. Houston Texans (3-4)

9. Los Angeles Rams (5-2)

10. Atlanta Falcons (4-3)

11. Dallas Cowboys (4-3)

12. Buffalo Bills (5-2)

13. Minnesota Vikings (6-2)

14. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-3)

15. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4)

16. Washington Redskins (3-4)

17. Detroit Lions (3-4)

18. Los Angeles Chargers (3-5)

19. Oakland Raiders (3-5)

20. Tennessee Titans (4-3)

21. Denver Broncos (3-4)

22. Miami Dolphins (4-3)

23. Green Bay Packers (4-3)

24. New York Jets (3-5)

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5)

26. Chicago Bears (3-5)

27. Baltimore Ravens (4-4)

28. Arizona Cardinals (3-4) 

29. New York Giants (1-6)

30. Indianapolis Colts (2-6)

31. San Francisco 49ers (0-8)

32. Cleveland Browns (0-8)


Seattle Seahawks at No. 5 with New Offensive Identity

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 29: Wide receiver Paul Richardson #10 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates his touchdown as Nick Vannett #81 and Russell Wilson #3 run over to join him during the second quarter of the game against the Houston Texans at CenturyLink Fie

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

In Week 8, the Seattle Seahawks showcased a new identity that differs from their past. We’re used to seeing quarterback Russell Wilson complement a productive ground attack and take shots downfield with one-on-one matchups on the perimeter. 

On Sunday, we saw Wilson use play action with a non-existent rushing offense and still complete deep throws downfield to non-household-name wide receivers:


This @dangerusswilson pbad to @tdlockett12… ??? #Seahawks

2017-10-29 22:50:24

Casual fans should remember the names Paul Richardson and Tyler Lockett in Seattle. Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham shared the spotlight with the two young pbad-catchers on Sunday.

Three Seahawks ball-carriers ran for five total yards against the Houston Texans in Week 8. Wilson registered four carries for 30 yards.

Seattle runs a Wilson-centric offense, but the aggressive aerial attack illustrates a new wrinkle. Interestingly, it may eventually help the ground attack with more defenders dropping back into coverage.


Despite Loss, Houston Texans Still No. 8

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 29:  Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans cheers as DeAndre Hopkins #10 scores a 72 yard touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field on October 29, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Ph

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The Texans lost to the Seahawks with a 41-38 result, but the outcome doesn’t hurt their standing in the power rankings. At 3-4, Houston have lost to three of the top teams in the league with Deshaun Watson as the starter: the New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs and Seahawks.

Houston’s record doesn’t indicate their significant improvement with Watson under center as a dynamic dual-threat quarterback. The Texans defense has surrendered points in bunches. However, the rookie signal-caller will keep this team in every game as shown in the previous outing.

Expect the Texans to string together consecutive victories going into November and December in a push for a playoff spot. Watson’s ability to stretch the field or scramble for first downs on demand will continue to produce highlights and victories. Houston played like a top-10 team even in defeat.


Buffalo Bills Rise to No. 12 

Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

It’s time to embrace the Bills as a legitimate contender for a wild-card spot in the AFC playoff picture.

After a 34-14 blowout victory over the Oakland Raiders in Week 8, the Bills rank No. 12 due to their portable game plan that can win in any stadium. With a 4-0 record at home, Buffalo’s defense and ground attack shows the club’s identity under head coach Sean McDermott. 

Running back LeSean McCoy serves as the primary weapon on offense. Nonetheless, quarterback Tyrod Taylor doesn’t put his team in disadvantageous predicaments with turnovers.

On Sunday, the Raiders gave the ball away four times, and the Bills defense scored on one occasion. Buffalo didn’t commit one turnover and scored 13 points off of Oakland’s miscues. 

The Bills won’t excite spectators like the Texans, but they have a sustainable winning formula that should put them in the AFC playoff picture.

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