2014 NFL Power Rankings: Week 9

Updated: October 28, 2014, 2:55 PM ET


NFL Power Rankings: Week 9
Mike & Mike weigh in on week 9 of the ESPN.com NFL Power Rankings.

NFL Power Rankings: Week 9


Didn’t see Dallas, Arizona and Detroit soaring to first place in 2014? Neither did we.


After eight weeks, these NFC stalwarts have a combined 18-5 record — yet not one made the top 10 in our initial 2014 hierarchy. Once the season got going, however, ESPN’s Power Panel (a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities) was quick to embrace the Cardinals and Cowboys, who have been among the league’s steadiest risers.


On the heels of a dramatic Week 8 win over Philadelphia, Arizona now sits at No. 2, its highest mark of the season. Dallas dropped slightly to No. 4, the result of its Monday night loss to Washington.


The Lions’ rise to prominence wasn’t nearly as meteoric. Last week, they cracked the top 10 for just the second time this season, and Matthew Stafford & Co. now sit at No. 6 — a considerable jump from their Week 1 spot (No. 18).


Week 9 will keep two of these teams in the spotlight, as Dallas and Arizona meet Sunday (Detroit has a bye). With No. 1 Denver facing a tough test (No. 3 New England), opportunity could be knocking for the Cardinals, who could conceivably vault to the top spot with a victory.


Note: The comments below are provided by ESPN Stats & Information.


• SN: Rank ‘Em | How Cardinals have risen | Vegas rankings: Steelers rise Insider | Team Power Rankings charts since 2002



2014 Power Rankings: Week 9

Last Week: 1

This should be fun. Peyton’s Broncos, fresh off a 35-point performance against the Chargers, head to Foxborough, where Brady’s Pats just dropped 51 points on the Bears. Tackling optional.

Last Week: 5

The Cardinals gained 193 yards after the catch Sunday, their most in a game this season and their second most in a game in Stats & Info’s dataset (since 2006).

Last Week: 8

Tom Brady finished 20-for-20 Sunday targeting Brandon LaFell and Rob Gronkowski for a combined 273 yards and four touchdowns. October was very friendly to the Patriots (4-0).

Last Week: 2

DeMarco Murray gained an incredible 5.2 yards before contact on his average rush Monday night. Somehow, with Tony Romo injured in an overtime loss, Murray had a season-low 19 rushes.

Last Week: 3

Sunday was a missed opportunity for the Eagles, the kind they should take advantage of now before a Week 13-15 stretch against the Cowboys, Seahawks and Cowboys again.

Last Week: 10

After starting 0-for-5 on throws at least 15 yards downfield in the first half, Matthew Stafford was 3-for-5 during the second-half comeback. All three completions were to Golden Tate.

Last Week: 6

Eddie Lacy had a career-high 182 yards from scrimmage Sunday night, including a career-high 123 receiving yards. The Packers got plenty of yards, just not enough points.

Last Week: 7

Even with Peyton Manning’s productive game Thursday night, the Chargers still have allowed only one quarterback (Carson Palmer, 304) to throw for at least 300 yards in a game.

Last Week: 4

The Colts entered Sunday with the league’s best third-down defense (26 percent). Then the Steelers converted eight of 13 attempts in Sunday’s offensive explosion.

Last Week: 11

Russell Wilson went 4-of-4 for 53 yards and a touchdown on the Seahawks’ game-winning drive after completing 57.1 percent of his passes on the Seahawks’ first seven drives.

Last Week: 12

Go big or go home for Colin Kaepernick. His QBR in every game this year has either been below 50 (four) or above 80 (three).

Last Week: 13

Cincinnati is in good shape moving forward. The Bengals get the Jaguars, Browns, Saints, Texans and Buccaneers from now to Week 13, a stretch that should produce a few wins.

Last Week: 9

Joe Flacco was 0-for-2 targeting Torrey Smith Sunday, throwing interceptions on both attempts. Flacco has thrown five of his seven picks this year targeting Smith.

Last Week: 15

Ben Roethlisberger finished 40-of-49 for 522 yards and six touchdowns Sunday. He’s the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 500 yards in a game twice.

Last Week: 14

Alex Smith is the first starting quarterback since Ryan Tannehill in Week 8 of 2012 to win a game without attempting multiple passes deeper than 10 yards downfield.

Last Week: 16

The Jets blitzed Kyle Orton at the highest rate of Orton’s season Sunday, and Orton finished 6-of-8 for 184 yards and three touchdowns against at least five rushers.

Last Week: 22

Even at 3-4, the Saints are tied for first in the NFC South. New Orleans has won 11 straight at home, including 3-0 this year.

Last Week: 18

Does anyone know what to expect from Ryan Tannehill at this point? He has as many games with a QBR above 90 (three) as below 30.

Last Week: 20

Brian Hoyer was blitzed at the second-highest rate of his season Sunday, and finished 9-of-12 for 101 yards and a touchdown when the Raiders sent at least five rushers.

Last Week: 17

Cam Newton was 3-of-10 for 61 yards and an interception on straight dropback passes (no play-action fake), the fewest completions and lowest percentage in his career.

Last Week: 23

J.J. Watt had two sacks Sunday, his 10th game with multiple sacks in the past three seasons, most of any player in the league.

Last Week: 21

This is a brutal stretch for the Giants, facing the Colts, Seahawks, 49ers and Cowboys in the next four weeks. New York must beat good teams for a playoff berth.

Last Week: 19

The Bears allowed 38 points in Sunday’s first half, most in a first half in franchise history. Jay Cutler was 3-of-9 for 35 yards and an interception targeting Brandon Marshall.

Last Week: 26

QB controversy! OK, probably not, but Colt McCoy was 6-of-7 for 136 yards targeting DeSean Jackson. McCoy’s 7-yard quarterback draw touchdown looked like a Robert Griffin III play call.

Last Week: 27

Cordarrelle Patterson was targeted 10 times Sunday, the second-highest total in a game in his career. When Patterson has at least seven touches, Minnesota is 2-0-1.

Last Week: 25

A fifth straight loss means problems for coach Mike Smith. Not sure what’s worse, the 2-6 record or the fact that the Falcons are only two games behind in the NFC South loss column.

Last Week: 24

Austin Davis entered Sunday ranked seventh in completion percentage on throws deeper than 10 yards downfield this season. Davis was a brutal 2-of-7 with an interception on those throws Sunday.

Last Week: 28

Zach Mettenberger posted a 22.7 Total QBR in his first start. Mettenberger was 27-of-41 for 299 yards, two touchdowns, an interception and a free social media lesson from J.J. Watt.

Last Week: 30

The Buccaneers have allowed an 81.2 Total QBR this season (31st in NFL). For context, Peyton Manning’s QBR in his record-setting 2013 was 82.9.

Last Week: 29

The quarterback situation is still a mess. Geno Smith and Michael Vick were a combined 1-for-9 for 11 yards and four interceptions on throws deeper than 10 yards downfield Sunday.

Last Week: 31

Blake Bortles threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns Sunday. Bortles is the second quarterback since the start of last season to throw two pick-sixes in a game (Geno Smith).

Last Week: 32

The Raiders are 0-7 and have games coming up against the Seahawks, Broncos and Chargers in the next three weeks. Should Oakland trade or use the first overall pick?
  • Biggest Jump:Saints
  • 5
  • Biggest Drop:Colts
  • 5

Tim Tebow’s Terrifying ‘GMA’ Corn Maze

Tebow faces off with the Lara Spencer and Ginger Zee in search of the golden pumpkin

Link To Video

Tim Tebow’s LSU Comment Is Painful Realization Of Muschamp Era Failure

October 28, 2014
10:40 am | 22 hours ago
Written By
Glenn McGraw
Florida Gators, Tim Tebow, Will Muschamp
Cred: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Listen, I love the Florida Gators as much as the next guy. I’ve spent a total of 10 years, between college and post-graduation, in Gainesville. And I always support my team, but at some point we all have to face reality: the Muschamp era has been a failure.

No, I’m not booing the Gators on the field. I never condone that, because these are college kids working their asses off. But I’m also not going to wear rose-colored glasses when there’s something that isn’t working.

Think about this for a minute: You sit on the board of a major corporation. A few years back you hired a guy as the CEO to lead the company into the future. Fast forward four years and not only has there been no progress made, but you’re staring at some backslide. Do you sit back and say, “Hey, he’s a nice a guy and he’s trying hard,” or do you stop the bleeding and make a change?

We all know the answer.

Muschamp is that ineffective CEO. He was hired to direct the UF football program. As fans we have no emotional ties to him, only to the Gators. Saying we want Muschamp out doesn’t mean we aren’t supporting the team. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. We just want the right leader for our program.

Talent has been pouring into Gainesville in the form of four and five star recruits, yet the results aren’t changing. This is something Tim Tebow touched on during his 1010XL Tuesday radio show, when he discussed how Florida has the same talent as LSU, yet the development, both mentally and physically, isn’t there for the Gators.

Florida has the same talent LSU has, but are they going to make that mental jump… competitive excellence… to make plays – Tebow


After four years, it’s hard to imagine the Gators are ever going to make the jump under Muschamp. That’s not bailing on my team, that’s the cold, hard truth. And sometimes the truth hurts

Tim Tebow to Gator Nation: ‘We are better than booing student-athletes’

Posted: October 25, 2014 – 3:30pm  |  Updated: October 25, 2014 – 4:16pm


Character counts.

That’s what former Heisman-trophy winning Florida Gators quarterback told Gator Nation on Saturday, a week after the team suffered a Homecoming blowout to SEC rival Missouri made worse when fans at The Swamp booed the team from the stands.

“Let’s show character as fans that we are Gator Nation and we can stand up and we are better than booing our student-athletes,” Tebow said Saturday, during the SEC Network’s pregame show. Tebow is an analyst for the network.

Florida and Georgia each had the day off, a week before two teams meet in Jacksonville for the annual Florida-Georgia game.

You can watch Tebow’s remarks here


Tim Tebow: Florida Gators’ Next Head Coach?

Tim Tebow: Florida Gators’ Next Head Coach?


— October 24, 2014

Spoiler alert: Will Muschamp’s days as the head coach of the Florida Gators are numbered.

Muschamp is the only coach in the last decade to lose a game in which his defense held an opponent to less than 120 yards of total offense, and he’s done it twice: once in a 21-7 loss to Florida State in 2011 (95 yards), and then in last week’s 42-13 black eye against Missouri (119 total yards) in the swamp.

Now at 3-3 (2-3 SEC) with only five more opportunities to get what seems like an unlikely bowl berth, it’s inevitable that Florida will part ways with Muschamp the second the regular season ends—heck, his job is already listed on Craigslist.

“At the beginning of the season we said we would evaluate the season as it plays out,’’ Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley told gatorzone.com, the school’s athletic department web site. “We will continue to do so. Our sole focus right now is supporting our coaching staff and players as they prepare for Georgia.”

I’m sure Foley is kicking himself for not making the move after the Gators went 4-8 in 2013, missing out on ideal candidates like Charlie Strong, James Franklin, and Chris Petersen.

Or maybe he’s not. Maybe he’s just a genius and bit the bullet to wait one more year, holding out for big names such as Dan Mullen, Rich Rodriguez, Jim McElwain, and even Steve Spurrier to possibly become available.

But then there’s another candidate that no one has even thought to put on the radar. Someone that bleeds Gainesville blood, is adored by every Florida fan known to man, is charismatic and would be great with the media, and would bring the “WOW” factor back to U-of-F football.

Tim Tebow.

That’s right. The same Tim Tebow that went 35-6 as a starting quarterback and helped the Gators win two national championships from 2006-09. The same Tim Tebow that owns the SEC record for career rushing touchdowns (57), Passer Efficiency Rating (170.79), and yards per passing attempt (9.33). The same Tim Tebow that has a plaque with his motivational post-game speech quoted on the front entrance of the football facility.

The same Tim Tebow that would leave his position as an analyst with SEC Network—a job that he says he “loves doing”, but seems to be looking for a way out—to become Florida’s next HC in a heartbeat.

“I’m excited to talk about Xs and Os and really giving the viewers an opportunity to see what it is like as a quarterback making decisions, going through the reads and coverages,” Tebow said back in early August. “Hopefully they can get a feel for learning offenses.”

Meh. Good try, Tebow—I’m not sold. We all know your dream is to play quarterback in the NFL, and unfortunately, that window has been slammed shut. So why not do one better and try to teach Florida’s football team the Xs and Os and give the offense a feel for learning offense?

Florida is, of course, averaging just 19.3 points per game against Power Five opponents over its last 15 games, and ranks 116th in the NCAA in team passing efficiency (107.3) in 2014.

“It was tough to watch; if you’re a Gator fan it was not easy to watch,” Tebow said following Florida’s brutal loss to Missouri, according to 1010 XL Radio. “They just didn’t play with the heart that I’m used to watching Florida Gators play with.

“I don’t think that the offense has an identity right now, and I don’t think that they know what they want their identity to be. One of the biggest problems on the offense is leadership.”

Tebow has voiced his support of Muschamp in the past, but it seems as if the Gator legend has changed his mind—and possibly believes the lack of leadership is a reflection from the coaching staff.
I’m not saying Tebow would be the perfect fit for the soon-to-be-vacant head coaching position at the University of Florida. He has no coaching experience and it’s obvious where his true passion still lies: handling his business under center and playing at the highest level.

But he is a born leader. He has a face recruits would recognize. He would bring the fans back to the swamp.

It would undoubtedly be the most discussed hire in the history of sports.

And I’d certainly be watching.



Former QB Tim Tebow: Florida lacks identity, leadership on offense

Former Heisman Trophy winning-quarterback Tim Tebow let loose on his former team Tuesday, saying Florida doesn’t have an identity and lacks leadership on offense.

Tebow, now an analyst for the SEC Network, appeared on 1010 XL Radio in Jacksonville and had several critical thoughts after the Gators were routed at home 42-13 by Missouri on Saturday despite holding the Tigers to 119 yards of total offense. Florida was doomed by turning the ball over six times.

“It was tough to watch, if you’re a Gator fan it was not easy to watch,” Tebow said.

Tebow said he hopes that the team can rally with the “our backs are against the wall” mentality for the rest of the season.

“I don’t think that the offense has an identity right now, and I don’t think that they

know what they want their identity to be,” Tebow said. “One of the biggest problems on the offense is leadership. You need to have something to motivate you, something to give you an edge…they’re (Gators) not out of the SEC East.”

The offense, which has been an issue all season, is 119th out of 125 FBS teams in total yards at 368 per game. Florida’s also averaging 28 points per game.

Florida head coach Will Muschamp’s job security has been a major question lately. He is 25-19 in three-plus seasons with the program and Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said Monday that he will continue to evaluate Muschamp throughout the entire season.

Florida (3-3, 2-3 SEC) has a bye in Week 9 before playing No. 9 Georgia in Jacksonville on Nov. 1.

They need to get hyped and play with a chip on their shoulder when they come to Jacksonville,” Tebow said.

- Scooby Axson

2014 NFL power rankings: Packers, Ravens pushing toward the top in Week 8

 By Matt Verderame@MattVerderame on Oct 21 2014, 10:05a +

Mike McGinnis

Despite the top two teams remaining the same, there was plenty of shifting in the rankings following a wild Week 7.

Coming into the season, some experts thought the Dallas Cowboys would not win six games by the end of December. Yet, Dallas appears to be one of the best teams in the NFL, ranking with the likes of the Denver Broncos as the elite through seven weeks. The Cowboys are the only team with six wins after beating the struggling New York Giants on Sunday, making fans in Big D wonder if this could be the year for Tony Romo and the band.

Elsewhere, the champs continue to plummet. After starting the season 3-1, the Seattle Seahawks lost to the Cowboys at home before being upset by the lowly St. Louis Rams, dropping them five places in the rankings. The Rams utilized a pair of trick special teams plays to top Seattle, putting the Seahawks at 3-3 and third in the NFC West. Seattle is in a tough spot, still with two games left against both the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals, and dates remaining with the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs.

 Speaking of the Chiefs, Kansas City came out of its bye week and defeated the host San Diego Chargers on a last-minute 48-yard field goal by Cairo Santos, vaulting the Chiefs five spots. With the win, Kansas City concludes a brutal stretch in which it faced four playoff teams from 2013 in five games. Now, the Chiefs will be home for the Rams and New York Jets.

On Sunday night, Peyton Manning set the all-time career passing touchdown record while his Broncos hammered the 49ers, 42-17. Denver could do no wrong, moving into first place in the AFC West and maintaining the top spot in our rankings. San Francisco finally saw the effect of having Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Aldon Smith and others sidelined, getting beaten in every facet without much fight. The 49ers dropped five spots and now get a well-timed bye week.

Team Record SB Nation ESPN NFL.com Football Outsiders Average
Denver Broncos 5-1 1        
Dallas Cowboys 6-1 2        
Green Bay Packers
Philadelphia Eagles 5-1 4        
Arizona Cardinals 5-1 5        
Baltimore Ravens
Indianapolis Colts
Detroit Lions
San Diego Chargers 5-2 9        
New England Patriots
San Francisco 49ers 4-3 11        
Seattle Seahawks 3-3 12        
Kansas City Chiefs 3-3 13        
Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers
4-3 15        
Buffalo Bills
Cleveland Browns
Miami Dolphins
Carolina Panthers
Chicago Bears
New York Giants 3-4 21        
Houston Texans
New Orleans Saints
St. Louis Rams 2-4 24        
Atlanta Falcons
Washington 2-5 26        
Minnesota Vikings
2-5 27        
New York Jets 1-6 28        
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tennessee Titans
Jacksonville Jaguars
Oakland Raiders


The four polls we use:

We use four different rankings for our weekly average. The thought is to get a wider sense of where all 32 teams are being valued with seven weeks complete. Our power rankings sources are from our in-house rankingsESPN and NFL.com. We also factor in DVOA rankings from Football Outsiders to add an objective statistical measurement to the formula.

Tim Tebow on Huckabee

Link To Video

Buzzy Says : It may not be Tebow Time But Its Comment Time people.

Tim Tebow Makes Fun Of Bama Bangs (Video)

by Josh Sanchez

Former NFL quarterback and Florida Gators legend Tim Tebow made fun of “the Southern swoop” aka “Bama Bangs” on the SEC Network Saturday.

During an appearance Saturday on the SEC Network, Tim Tebow, the former Florida Gators golden child who flamed out in the NFL, took a shot at people from Alabama and all regions of the southeast for their love for a certain type of hairstyle.

      While former

LSU Tigers

    defensive lineman Marcus Spears was cracking jokes about khakis, Tim Tebow was more concerned about “the Southern swoop.”

We should all know what the “Southern Swoop” is.

For those who don’t, think of Justin Bieber’s hairstyle before he became a tatted up drag racer who turns into an asshole during deposition hearings.

The crew then cracked a joke about their producer sporting the Southern Swoop which was also dubbed “Bama Bangs” during the little exchange on set. It was something that everyone on set seemed to be having fun with, especially Paul Finebaum who could hardly control his maniacal laughter.

It was also nice to see Tim Tebow get a little loose and have fun rather than coming across as a robot.


You can check out the video of the exchange below:

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