Now that Week 9 of the 2021 NFL season is in the books, it’s time for everyone’s favorite meaningful exercise: NFL Power Rankings! What differentiates these rankings from others is that they’re the only truly accurate ones in the entire universe. Let’s take a look at how all 32 teams stack up entering Week 10. Even more power rankings discussion in this week’s episode of The ODDcast on The SB Nation NFL Show.
BLG’S WEEK 10 NFL POWER RANKINGS
1 - Tennessee Titans (Last Week: 7) - Jeffery Simmons (3 sacks, 3 TFL) outshined Aaron Donald as the Titans shut down Sean McVay’s offense. Tennessee now has five straight wins, with the last four coming over BUF, KC, IND, and LAR. No gimmes in that stretch. The Titans have earned their current spot atop the AFC playoff picture.
2 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 4) - The Cardinals dominated San Fran despite missing Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, and A.J. Green. Credit to Kliff Kingsbury for being able to win with Colt McCoy under center. Arizona also benefited from other top teams in the NFC losing on Sunday.
3 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 1) - Matthew Stafford’s MVP hype took a hit with the veteran quarterback throwing one real bad interception near their own goal line (shades of Carson Wentz) and another pick to post a 71.0 passer rating in the Rams’ second loss. Missed opportunity for LA to gain ground on the push for the No. 1 seed.
4 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 3) - Our friends at Acme Packing Company said it well back in the offseason: Aaron Rodgers is a putz. His decision to not get vaccinated prevented him from playing in Week 9 and it’s possible he might miss Week 10 as well. Pretty bad outcome for what’s supposed to be a “Last Dance” season.
5 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 6) - The Bucs saw LAR, GB, DAL, and NO lose while they were on their bye. They’ll certainly take that. Tampa returns to play the Football Team.
6 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 2) - I mean. How do you lose to Urban Meyer’s Jags? Buffalo didn’t look great against Miami and they struggled against Jacksonville. Florida has their number right now. Bills QB Josh Allen’s ugly games are pretty darn ugly. He’s failed to reach a passer rating of 80 or better in three out of eight games this year.
7 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 8) - The Ravens don’t always make it easy but they find a way to get the job done. Baltimore leads a very competitive AFC North. They have a chance to make a run at the No. 1 seed in their conference.
8 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 5) - If you didn’t already know, I co-host a weekly podcast with RJ Ochoa of Blogging The Boys about the NFL’s most important division. It’s called the NFC East Mixtape. You should check it out. Especially with the Cowboys suffering an embarrassing loss to a Broncos team that RJ has dogged all year along. Two standout quotes from RJ about this performance: 1) “We were all afraid to believe in the Cowboys. They just showed us why.” ... 2) ”This was one of the worst games of Dak Prescott’s career. By far.” You just hate to see it. The Cowboys will probably bounce back but this bad loss might cost Dallas their shot at the No. 1 seed.
9 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 11) - The Chargers eked out a dub in Philly. It was a get-right game for Justin Herbert, who took advantage of Philly’s soft defense. The Bolts lead an AFC West division where every team currently has five wins.
10 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 13) - Kansas City’s defense turned in their best performance of the season ... against Jordan Love making his first career start. The Chiefs will live with winning ugly if it means it buys they time to get hot and go on a run late in the season. Can’t rule that out from happening ... but it’s not guaranteed.
11 - New England Patriots (LW: 14) - The Pats have won three in a row and actually own the league’s fifth-best point differential. Bill Belichick might be able to reclaim the AFC East.
12 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 10) - The Saints gave Atlanta a run for their money at the end but it wasn’t enough. Sean Payton’s presence prevents this team from being a walk in the park but their quarterback situation obviously caps their ceiling.
13 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 15) - The Stillers currently own the league’s second-longest winning streak at four in a row. Pittsburgh’s offense isn’t very aesthetically pleasing to watch given Ben Roethlisberger’s limitations. But, not unlike their division rivals in Baltimore, the Steelers just find ways to grind it out and get the job done. Mike Tomlin’s a really good coach.
14 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 16) - Releasing OBJ: a case of addition by subtraction? The Browns are 14-15 with him and 9-5 without him since they traded for him. In any case, really big win and crucial win over Cincy. Cleveland’s defense is capable of some pretty strong showings.
15 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 9) - It looked like the Bengals had broken through after dominating Baltimore. Then they lost to NYJ and CLE. Not quite there yet. More of an average team with highs and lows then a consistently good one.
16 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 12) - Hard to gauge where the Raiders were at in light of the Henry Ruggs III situation. They’ll need to find a way to turn the page on a bad loss to NYG.
17 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 17) - Jonathan Taylor is a beast. With Derrick Henry hurt, he has a claim to being the best running back in the league. He’s second in rushing.
18 - Denver Broncos (LW: 24) - We thought we knew what the Broncos were: a team with a solid defense that isn’t really going anywhere with Teddy Bridgewater under center. That’s still probably the case in the long run. But beating Dallas comfortably on the road? That’s a pretty good win. Then again, they simply own the Cowboys. Haven’t lost to them since 1995.
19 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 19) - The Seahawks are getting Russell Wilson back. Kind of a big deal. To be determined if Seattle will face Aaron Rodgers or Jordan Love in Green Bay this week. Also kind of a big deal.
20 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 20) - The Vikings are stuck in purgatory with Mike Zimmer and Kirk Cousins.
21 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 23) - This team has wins over Zach Wilson, Daniel Jones, Tua Tagovailoa, and Trevor Siemian. They’d currently be the seventh seed in the NFC playoff picture if the season ended today. And they would get absolutely smoked by the No. 2 seed. The Falcons have proved not to be a total disaster but they’re certainly not a good team.
22 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 18) - The 49ers signing Kyle Shanahan to a six-year extension in June 2020 isn’t looking like a great decision. There’s a case to be made he should be on the hot seat. Trey Lance’s development has the potential to turn things around for him ... but he won’t even play the rookie.
23 - New York Giants (LW: 25) - The G-Men got a much-needed win despite having a big rest disadvantage against Las Vegas. It wasn’t pretty for the Giants, who scored just 16 offensive points. But they’re still alive.
24 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 22) - One might be tempted to describe the Eagles’ effort against the Bolts as a moral victory. Indeed, the Birds played an efficient game on offense. Nick Sirianni pounded the rock and Jalen Hurts led two big touchdown drives in the second half. But Hurts also left at least seven points on the field in a close loss. And Philly’s defense made life way too easy on LAC. As a result, the Eagles are 3-6.
25 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 21) - There was thought that Sam Darnold could have a career year away from Adam Gase. And he’s proved it to be true! Darnold’s 71.3 passer rating is on track to be his lowest mark yet. He’s really bad.
26 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 29) - The Jags doubled their 2020 win total by pulling off a big upset against Buffalo. Josh Allen absolutely dominated Josh Allen.
27 - New York Jets (LW: 26) - Would’ve liked to see what the Jets could’ve done on Thursday night if Mike White didn’t get hurt early in the game. Of course, he would’ve have fixed all the defensive issues that led to giving up 45 points.
28 - Chicago Bears (LW: 27) - Justin Fields still has a long way to go to justify the hype; this is a player with just four touchdown passes to eight interceptions. But the arrow is pointing up on him after an encouraging showing against a tough Pittsburgh defense. The next challenge will be doing enough to snap the Bears’ losing streak, which is currently at four games.
29 - Washington Football Team (LW: 28) - The Football Team returns from their bye to host the reigning Super Bowl champs. They’re in danger of falling to 3-6.
30 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 30) - Miami managed to beat arguably the worst team in the NFL (second worst at best) by one possession. Whoopee.
31 - Detroit Lions (LW: 31) - The Lions return from their bye to play in Pittsburgh. When will they win a game? Or will they become the first team to go 0-17?
32 - Houston Texans (LW: 32) - Tyrod Taylor’s return didn’t do much for Houston. The veteran threw zero touchdowns and three picks for a 42.8 passer rating in his first game back. Houston has lost eight straight games. They’re 1-13 in their last 14 with the sole win coming over Jacksonville.