2015 NFL Power Rankings: Week 9

Updated: November 3, 2015, 2:07 PM ET



NFL power rankings: Oakland on the rise

A new No. 1? Afraid not. But we do have someone new at No. 2.

After shutting down Aaron Rodgers on Sunday night, Denver has taken over the No. 2 spot, ending Green Bay’s four-week run there. The Bengals are No. 3, with the Packers and Panthers rounding out the top five. The Patriots top our hierarchy for the eighth consecutive week.

In other news, the Raiders and Rams cracked the top 10 for the first time, replacing the Jets and Steelers. Oakland, coming off an impressive victory over the Jets (No. 8 last week), was the week’s biggest mover (along with the Buccaneers), jumping from No. 16 to No. 9.

Meanwhile, things continue to get worse for Dallas. The Cowboys plunged six more spots to No. 26 after their fifth straight loss.


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



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2015 Power Rankings: Week 9

Last Week: 1

The Patriots have three turnovers this season, tied for the fewest through a team’s first seven games in the Super Bowl era. None of those turnovers have been in Foxborough, where they host the Redskins in Week 9.

Last Week: 4

Peyton Manning is now one win from passing Brett Favre (186 wins) for most all time by a starting QB (Elias). He can break the record in Indy this week.

Last Week: 3

The Bengals are 7-0 for the first time in franchise history. They host the Browns Thursday, who Cincy has lost to in three of their past five meetings. Andy Dalton threw six touchdowns and 10 interceptions in those games.

Last Week: 2

The Packers’ streak of 42 straight games with a sack ended Sunday. They can start a new streak against Cam Newton, who has been sacked in nine straight games.

Last Week: 5

The Panthers are 7-0 for the first time in franchise history. According to ESPN’s Power Football Index, they have a 44 percent chance of obtaining the top seed in the NFC.

Last Week: 6

Carson Palmer leads the NFL in Total QBR (85) and his 20 touchdown passes are tied with Tom Brady for most in the league. No Cardinals quarterback has ever thrown more than 30 touchdown passes in a season.

Last Week: 7

In their past four games (2-2), the Falcons have averaged 19 points per game with 12 turnovers. They averaged 34.3 points per game and had just two turnovers in their first four games (4-0).

Last Week: 9

The Seahawks have allowed a combined 15 points in their past two games, both road wins. Up next after the bye are the Cardinals, who have the league’s second-best scoring offense.

Last Week: 16

If the season ended today, the Raiders would be the 5-seed in the AFC playoffs. That is not a typo. They also have only three remaining games against teams currently above .500.

Last Week: 12

Todd Gurley is the first rookie in NFL history to rush for 125 yards in four straight games (Elias). The Rams face another pretty good running back in Week 9: Adrian Peterson.

Last Week: 11

The Vikings have won three straight, all by single digits, and are now a game out of first place in the NFC North. Stefon Diggs is fourth in the NFL in receiving yards during the winning streak (332).

Last Week: 8

Todd Bowles said Ryan Fitzpatrick tore ligaments in his thumb in the loss to the Raiders. Fitzpatrick has the league’s third-best Total QBR (78), which also is the best by any Jets quarterback in the past 10 seasons.

Last Week: 10

The Steelers were finally healthy, then lost RB Le’Veon Bell for the season with a torn MCL. Bell had averaged a league-high 119 scrimmage yards per game since 2013.

Last Week: 14

The Giants are allowing a league-worst 427.5 total yards per game, the fourth-most allowed through a team’s first eight games of a season in the Super Bowl era.

Last Week: 17

Drew Brees’ seven-touchdown performance was his first game with three or more touchdowns this season. The Saints are 24-8 in the past five seasons when he throws for three touchdowns and 14-21 when he does not.

Last Week: 19

The Bills host the Dolphins in Week 9, a team they beat 41-14 in Week 3. However, that was when Tyrod Taylor and Karlos Williams were healthy, and when Joe Philbin still coached the Dolphins.

Last Week: 13

Since Dan Campbell took over as coach on Oct. 5, the Dolphins have run the ball by design on 42 percent of plays, compared to 26 percent under Joe Philbin this season. Makes sense, considering the Dolphins average the second-most yards per rush in the league (5.0).

Last Week: 15

The Eagles have the best point differential (plus-23) among teams with losing records this season. Up next are the Cowboys, who have been outscored by 49 points during their five-game skid, the fourth-worst differential during that span.

Last Week: 21

Who’s to blame for the Chargers’ 2-6 start? It’s not Philip Rivers, who has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes in the six losses. Try the defense, the only unit to allow 24-plus points in every game this season.

Last Week: 22

The Chiefs have won two straight games after losing the previous five. After a bye week, they face the Broncos, who have won all seven meetings against K.C. since Peyton Manning arrived in 2012.

Last Week: 28

Jameis Winston has posted a Total QBR of 88-plus in two straight games, one of just four rookies to do so in the past 10 seasons. He gets the Giants next, who just allowed Drew Brees to post a Total QBR of 96.

Last Week: 18

The good news: Andrew Luck’s fourth-quarter Total QBR ranks eighth in the league (78). The bad news: Luck’s QBR in the first three quarters ranks last (22).

Last Week: 24

The Browns’ two wins this season came against the Ravens and Titans, who are a combined 3-12. The unbeaten Bengals are up next.

Last Week: 23

The Redskins have lost seven straight road games, going 0-3 this season. Things won’t get any easier with a trip to Foxborough on Sunday.

Last Week: 29

The 3-5 Texans are somehow tied for the AFC South lead. Brian Hoyer has thrown multiple touchdowns in a franchise-record five straight games.

Last Week: 20

The Cowboys have now lost seven straight games in which Tony Romo did not start. Up next are the Eagles, against whom Romo broke his clavicle in Week 2.

Last Week: 26

Joe Flacco was 3-for-3 on throws 30-plus yards downfield in the win Sunday. He was 2-for-12 on such throws in his first seven games this season.

Last Week: 25

Talk about Bad News Bears. On Sunday, they lost both the game and RB Matt Forte, who left with a knee injury. Forte has the most scrimmage yards in the NFL since 2013 (4,546).

Last Week: 32

The Jaguars’ two wins this season have been against AFC East teams. They can make it three this week, as they take on the Jets.

Last Week: 31

The Lions are on pace to allow 30-plus points per game for the third time in the past eight seasons. The rest of the league has a combined two such seasons during that span.

Last Week: 27

Colin Kaepernick has been sacked in 18 straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL, and ranks 25th in Total QBR. Will Blaine Gabbert be an improvement?

Last Week: 30

On Sunday, Zach Mettenberger fell to 0-8 in his career as a starting quarterback. He has thrown at least one interception in all eight starts.
The rankings were determined by ESPN’s Power Panel, a group of more than 80 writers, editors and television personalities.
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17 Responses to “2015 NFL Power Rankings: Week 9”

  1. Sage says:

    Don’t blame Philip Rivers. Completes 70 percent of passes for his 2-5 team.

    How many of them beyond the line of scrimmage?

  2. Danny says:

    A few days ago I posted that I thought that TT may have got a look this week.

    Even though nothing happened, which I thought was very likely, I believe the Jets at least entertained thoughts about TT as well as others.

    Monday I stumbled across a random tweet from MM Group, which belongs to MM Leverage Group based out of NYC. They are a sports and entertainment firm that represents athletes.

    Gary Sheffield follows them too.

    Basically it went something like this:

    Gary Sheffield Verified account @garysheffield 8h8 hours ago

    Gary Sheffield Retweeted The MM Group

    This true or rumor? I love me some #Tebow

    Gary Sheffield added,
    The MM Group @MMLeverageGroup
    #Tebow back to the @nyjets ???
    1 retweet 2 favorites

    It was only one tweet and radio silence after that.

    So, that’s what I had to go on. I do admit I did check out the Jets site a little closer this week and thought it was odd that they publicly said they were looking to sign someone but in the end Fitzpatrick and Smith hobbled back on the field to practice. Flynn was another name that was rumored but in the end didn’t sign him either.

    Jets could have used TT for sure, and he is no stranger to playing in large markets and deal with all the media in those respective markets.

    Who knows? Fun to speculate, that’s what we do best around here!

    • ck says:

      Danny: The Jets are one organization that would not sit well w/me regarding TT and, yes, it seems that there is A LOT of speculation going on…that is how it usually works too w/dead silence then out of the blue something that no one saw coming occurs! GBPTT

  3. David says:

    It looks like Coach Mularkey in TN doesn’t have eyes for Tebow.

    The Titans worked out free agent QB Christian Ponder on Tuesday.
    Zach Mettenberger was injured late in Sunday’s loss, so the Titans might need someone behind Marcus Mariota and Charlie Whitehurst. Nov 3 – 6:09 PM
    Source: Aaron Wilson on Twitter

  4. David says:

    Do you remember G. J. Kinne, the 5th string QB/receiver in Philly? He’s currently on the NY Giants’ practice squad as a quarterback.

  5. Bubbaelvis says:

    I don’t think the Jets rumor was too far off. If I remember right back when The new GM was brought in and the offensive coordinator was Marty Morningwag, the Jets considered keeping Tebow. He had impressed them with his new throwing motion after having worked briefly with House and some other guys. Morningwag even talked to him about how he would use him. Rex Ryan was still there as well as Mark Sanchez. Once they drafted Geno they released Tim and New England picked him up. My feeling was if they couldn’t draft a QB they thought could be a franchise QB they would have kept him. After the way he played against them in preseason, I could see them being interested. However, I don’ think anyone will pick him up as a back up. If he gets picked up it will be to start when all other options are exhausted. I don’t even know if he still wants to play or is still working out other then just to stay in shape. I hope he is because I don’t think it is over for him. On another note, the Eagles still don’t have a number 11. Just saying.

  6. Anto says:

    I’m not an American, so I don’t have a lifetime of watching QBs to assess it. I understand the problem that people have had with his long, low throwing action, but I also can see that it looks much better than it used to.

    I understand the low completion rate issue. However, that’s partially related to him being unwilling to give up interceptions, and partially because of the next reason which he’s criticised for.

    And that’s his indecisiveness. The thought that he sits in the pocket for way too long, looks far too often at game plays where a QB should throw into space, but TT looks too long, does nothing and ends up having to spin out of a bad situation.

    In rugby countries, the QB equivalent is the “five-eighth”. He’s the key player who calls the shots in attack. The confusing thing for me is that there have been many stylish 5/8ths who’ve been sacked because they can’t score enough tries. However, a 5/8th who looks ugly, but finds a way to give his team a win, well he’s celebrated.

    Regardless, according to this: http://www.nfl.com/player/timtebow/497135/gamelogs

    If I’m reading it correctly, Tebow had a 90.7 QB rating in the Eagles’ preseason. That’s pretty damn good, isn’t it? Better than a whole load of backups who are presently pulling on jerseys.

    These are not rhetorical questions – I don’t actually know what, exactly, is the objection which 32 organisations have to Tim. I’d really like to understand it, however.

    • Sage says:

      Coaches and general managers are conformists who would prefer to do things in a way that is well regarded by the rest of the league. They don’t want to risk standing out in a negative way. Once it became common wisdom that Tebow can’t play a pro-style offense, this conformist mentality reinforces itself so that very few people have the foresight or guts to resist the common wisdom.

      Even though a lot of coaches and GMs probably recognize that Tebow is at least good enough to be a backup, they are afraid to hire him as a backup. They know Tebow is so popular that if the starting QB struggles, millions of fans will be screaming for Tebow to play. This terrifies the coaches and GMs, who want to feel like they have complete control over their faits.

      Each coach dreams he is Napolean.

      • bubbaelvis says:

        That was the best I have seen written explanation of why Tebow is not in the NFL. Of course, I believe they are wrong and he can start and win for most NFL teams. That is the reason I am pulling for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers to at least get to the Super bowl. Maybe then they will see Tebow’s value as a starting NFL QB since Cam is the closest thing to Tebow currently playing. They play a very similar game in that both are power runners and can truck over linebackers and DBs. They both can throw deep well. Tebow is a much better leader and I believe his throwing is improved to the point he throws better then Cam. Tebow can play in a pro-style offense but is much more a weapon when you incorporate some of the college spread stuff like the Panthers are doing.

        • Sage says:

          It’s been awhile since I gave any thought to Cam, but you’re probably right.

          I get the impression he’s having a good year. The Panthers are building with him, which is a great thing to do when you’ve got a good athlete who can lead and handle pressure.

    • David says:

      Anto, that’s a good analysis, but a quarterback that holds the ball can be described in 2 ways.
      1. He’s indecisive, holds the ball too long or doesn’t throw it.
      2. He’s patient in the pocket, let’s his deep routes develop, doesn’t always take the checkdown receiver, takes shots downfield which have more potential to score and will take a hit to avoid throwing an interception when his receivers are covered.

      When watching his highlights you’ll notice that in a lot of plays the running back is standing wide open as a checkdown receiver and Tebow ignored them and threw deeper passes. He wanted or needed more yardage or points to win. I thought he should have taken some of those easy throws just to keep the completion percentage nazis off his back. He could have thrown 4 more short passes in 30 attempts and had a 60% completion percentage. That is the difference between 48% and 60%. It pales in significance when you find out that Tebow was throwing 15.3 yards per catch and scoring more than twice as often per completion than Bradford who was throwing 9.92 yards per catch with 60%.
      I see Tebow as the second type of QB and the fact that he averaged 15.3 yards per completion and scored more often per completion in 2010 than every NFL QB is proof that his style works in the NFL. When his 177 of 374 attempts is compared to the 2011 QBs, he ranks 2nd for TDs per completion and 8th for TDs per attempt (per attempt factors in his completion percentage). He was a top 8 scoring passer per attempt in his first 16 games of playing time.
      Sage described how coaches are conformists and don’t want to vary from the dink and dunk style that has become NFL football. Peyton Manning has played this style but has trouble winning in the playoffs because the defenses will let him throw all day long between the 20’s and rarely let him score. But, he gets praised for getting rid of the ball quickly and the evaluators equate this with decisiveness, not ineffectiveness. I think it has a lot more to do with fear because when teams pressure him, he falls apart. When Manning played in collage at Tennessee, Florida fans used to say that he gets happy feet when pressured and he would start throwing interceptions and lose the game. Tebow is fearless in the pocket, throws long and protects the football.

  7. Danny says:

    So…Detroit Lions have fired their GM and President yesterday.

    One more dysfunctional team to add to the long list of NFL teams.


    An argument can be made for a bunch more, but those are the glaring obvious ones.

    Such a second rate league.

  8. Danny says:


    Hopefully you have the opportunity to watch high school and college football. You will see a very wide variety of offenses and defenses which add to the game. It’s actually that way in almost any team sport (soccer, basketball, baseball, etc) where each team best assesses the strengths of a player or players and uses them accordingly.

    A baseball pitcher in the major leagues can be just as effective throwing a 100 mph fastball or a 70 mph knuckleball. The bottom line is not every pitcher needs to be one dimension, aka throw fastballs all the time.

    In the NFL, it’s quite different. Ever since Bill Walsh and Joe Montana of the 49ers developed the “West Coast Offense” (the modern day short passing game), the NFL seems to have adopted this style of offense as the “go to” offense. Thirty plus years later, they’re still doing it. There’s very little variety between most teams; everyone tries to do it the same way with minor twists.

    Tim Tebow goes against conventional wisdom. He’s an all purpose QB who possesses a threat to run or pass. Your rugby analogy is very good in this case where his greatest attribute is to know what the right play is on the fly and to execute that play.

    The zone read when done properly is a very effective weapon. Deception is key to this type of offense and Tebow runs it the best. It’s too different for the NFL to embrace something new so it’s easier just to discourage teams from signing him.

    The NFL needs to recognize that not everyone has to look and be the same. The game and strategies evolve, the NFL just needs to encourage different styles of play. Put the best product out there and don’t be concerned that it doesn’t “look” like a “pro” offense. It’s just football. Let’s see some amazing athletes from all skill types play.

  9. David says:

    Tim Tebow scored 16 TDS with 5 Ints in his first 271 attempts, 7 rushing scores in his first 8 games.

    Bradford has scored 9 TDs with 10 Ints in 271 attempts

    Kaepernick has scored 6 TDs with 5 Ints in 243 attempts, 1 rushing score.

    Foles has scored 7 TDs with 5 Ints in 187 attempts, 1 rushing score.

    Can you tell which QB is different? The 32 coaches and GMs can’t.

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