NFL Power Rankings: Week 9 | Football | CBC Sports

NFL Power RankingsNFL Power Rankings: Week 9

Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 | 09:58 AM

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Rookie Torrey Smith, right, celebrates his game-winning touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers with fellow receiver Anquan Boldin. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) Rookie Torrey Smith, right, celebrates his game-winning touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers with fellow receiver Anquan Boldin. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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Once a week, CBCSports.ca's Tony Care breaks down the balance of power in the National Football League.

Once a week, CBCSports.ca's Tony Care breaks down the balance of power in the National Football League.

1. GREEN BAY PACKERS [unchanged]
Overall record: 8-0
Streak: Won eight
There's no hiding the fact that the Packers are giving up too many points. However, the defence is still making plays and leads the league with 16 interceptions.
2. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS [unchanged]
Overall record: 7-1
Streak: Won six
As our good friends from The Associated Press point out the most impressive part about the 49ers this year has been their play on the road. They are 4-0 away from San Francisco, with all four wins coming while playing in the 1 p.m., Eastern Time zone. It may seem trivial to some, but those 1 p.m. games are usually murder for West Coast teams.
3. BALTIMORE RAVENS [up from 5]
Overall record: 6-2
Streak: Won two
Rookie receiver Torrey Smith went from bum-to-hero against the Steelers. On the very first play from scrimmage, Smith was called for holding, wiping out a long touchdown run by running back Ray Rice. He then dropped a potential game-winning TD in the final minute. Remarkably, QB Joe Flacco didn't lose faith, and found Smith in the end zone for the winning touchdown with eight seconds remaining. All in a day's work, eh Torrey?
4. PITTSBURGH STEELERS [down from 3]
Overall record: 6-3
Streak: Lost one
The Steelers had this game. All they had to do was prevent the Ravens from going 92 yards in 2:17 and they blew it.
5. N.Y. GIANTS [up from 8]
Overall record: 6-2
Streak: Won three
Eli Manning loves playing the Patriots. In a fourth quarter eerily similar to Super Bowl XLII, Manning engineered a winning TD drive in the final seconds to secure the win for the Giants. He may not be Tom Brady, but he certainly has had Tom Terrific's number the last two games.
6. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS [down from 4]
Overall record: 5-3
Streak: Lost two
Suddenly, the Patriots are in a dog fight in the AFC East. The offence hasn't scored more than 20 points in each of the last three games, plus the defence can't make a stop when it counts. And oh yeah, they visit the Jets Sunday night
7. DETROIT LIONS [down from 7]
Overall record: 6-2
Streak: Won one
The Lions are in a great position at the halfway point of their season. A 5-3 mark the rest of the way should secure their first playoff spot in 12 years.
8. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS [up from 9]
Overall record: 6-3
Streak: Won one
The Saints' offensive line did a nice job this week against Tampa Bay, never really allowing defenders to get to Drew Brees. It sure was a better effort than that debacle in St. Louis a week-and-a-half ago.
9.CINCINNATI BENGALS [up from 10]
Overall record: 6-2
Streak: Won five
The Bengals host Pittsburgh next week, and a victory will solidify their status as a top contender for the AFC North crown.
10. HOUSTON TEXANS [up from 11]
Overall record: 6-3
Streak: Won three
Arian Foster and Ben Tate abused the Browns by each posting 100-yard games. A consistent running game is a quarterback's best friend, especially when the Texans' best offensive weapon - receiver Andre Johnson - isn't playing.
11. N.Y. JETS [up from 13]
Overall record: 5-3
Streak: Won three
The Jets are hitting their stride. They didn't just beat the Bills, they punished them.
12.CHICAGO BEARS [up from 14]
Overall record: 5-3
Streak: Won three
Jay Cutler and Matt Forte were both terrific in the Bears' win over Philadelphia. But the star of the game for me was the offensive line, which kept Cutler protected all night. It was the first time in 29 games that Cutler played without being sacked.
13. BUFFALO BILLS [down from 7]
Overall record: 5-3
Streak: Lost one
The Bills simply didn't show up against the Jets, who overpowered Buffalo in every facet of the game.
14. ATLANTA FALCONS [up from 17]
Overall record: 5-3
Streak: Won three
Rookie receiver Julio Jones (3 catches, 131 yards, 2 TDs) showed just how explosive he can be when he gets his hands on the ball.
15. DALLAS COWBOYS [up from 21]
Overall record: 4-4
Streak: Won one
Despite the win, the No. 8-ranked passing unit took a big hit with the news that receiver Miles Austin will miss 2-4 weeks after reinjuring his hamstring against the Seahawks.
16. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS [down from 15]
Overall record: 4-4
Streak: Lost three
The pair of Pick Six that Philip Rivers threw against Green Bay in the first half was the difference. Rivers has now thrown a league-worst 14 interceptions.
17. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS [down from 16]
Overall record: 4-4
Streak: Lost two
The Bucs are in trouble. They've dropped their last two games and must play Houston and Green Bay in the next two weeks.
18. OAKLAND RAIDERS [down from 12]
Overall record: 4-4
Streak: Lost two
Carson Palmer has thrown six interceptions in six quarters. I wonder if coach Hue Jackson is experiencing any buyers' remorse?
19. TENNESSEE TITANS [unchanged]
Overall record: 4-4
Streak: Lost one
A big reason for the Titans' problems on defence is the unit's inability to get to the quarterback. Tennessee has only registered 14 sacks this season, which ranks 28th in the NFL.
20. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES [unchanged]
Overall record: 3-5
Streak: Lost one
Bears running back Matt Forte killed the Eagles with runs up the middle. In fact, the only way the Eagles were able to penetration was when they blitzed.
21. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS [down from 19]
Overall record: 4-4
Streak: Lost one
The only good news that came out of their pathetic home loss to the lowly Dolphins was that both San Diego and Oakland suffered defeats.
22. DENVER BRONCOS [down from 29]
Overall record: 3-5
Streak: Won one
Remarkably, the Broncos are only one game out of first in the AFC West - a sad indictment as to how far this division has fallen.
23. WASHINGTON REDSKINS [down from 22]
Overall record: 4-4
Streak: Lost four
Coach Mike Shanahan doesn't like to use the word "rebuild" when discussing his team so I'll say it for him: you're rebuilding, Mike.
24. CLEVELAND BROWNS [down from 23]
Overall record: 3-5
Streak: Lost two
The way things are going for the Browns lately, you have to wonder if rookie head coach Pat Shurmur should worry about his job security.
25. MINNESOTA VIKINGS [down from 24]
Overall record: 2-6
Streak: Won one
The Vikings' secondary remains shaky at best, which is the worst-case scenario for a team heading to Green Bay for a Monday night tilt.
26. CAROLINA PANTHERS [down from 25]
Overall record: 2-6
Streak: Lost one
The matchup between Tennessee and Carolina will be an interesting one. The Titans' Chris Johnson is struggling to find his form. The Panthers, however, have the 26th-ranked run defence. So who blinks first?
27. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS [down from 26]
Overall record: 2-6
Streak: Lost one
With the Colts coming to town, rookie QB Blaine Gabbert has a good shot at getting his second career win.
28. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS [down from 27]
Overall record: 2-6
Streak: Lost three
Running back Marshawn Lynch ran for 135 yards and one touchdown against the Cowboys, but he shouldn't expect the same success versus the Ravens.
29. ARIZONA CARDINALS [up from 30]
Overall record: 2-6
Streak: Won one
This is why rookie Patrick Peterson was so highly touted coming out of LSU. Along with his impressive coverage skills, Peterson is an exciting return man, as his game-winning 99-yard TD punt return in overtime against St. Louis proved.
30. ST. LOUIS RAMS [down from 28]
Overall record: 1-7
Streak: Lost one
The injury list continues to pile up for the Rams as they lost receiver Greg Salas for the season with a broken tibula.
31. MIAMI DOLPHINS [up from 32]
Overall record: 1-7
Streak: Won one
Goodbye, Andrew Luck.
32. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS [down from 31]
Overall record: 0-9
Streak: Lost nine
It's going to be tough for the Colts to even register a single win in their final seven games. Here's their remaining schedule: Jax, Car, @NE, @Bal, Ten, Hou, @Jax. They have a chance against Jacksonville, but that's about it.

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