2014 NFL Power Rankings - Week 9
Here are my Week 9 NFL power rankings:
1. Denver Broncos - Record: 6-1, Last Update: No. 1
Wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders (9/120/3) and Demaryius Thomas (8/105) both finished with 100-yard games last week against the Chargers. That means that the wide receiver duo is on pace for a massive 214 receptions, 3,202 yards and 23 touchdowns combined.
POLL: Will Thomas extend his 100-yard game streak to five games?
2. Arizona Cardinals - Record: 6-1, Last Update: No. 6
One of the league's surprise division leaders, the Cardinals have done a great job protecting the football and overall in turnover differential. Only the Patriots (+1.4/G) have a better turnover margin than the Cardinals (+1.3/G).
3. New England Patriots - Record: 6-2, Last Update: No. 8
Once again, Tom Brady had another strong performance, his best of the season, with 354 yards and five touchdowns, three of which were to tight end Rob Gronkowski. As the top two teams in the AFC (and arguably the NFL), the Broncos and Patriots will meet on Sunday as fans are treated to another Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady matchup.
4. Detroit Lions - Record: 6-2, Last Update: No. 10
His numbers will certainly decline with a healthy (i.e., not decoy) Calvin Johnson back on the field, but few free-agent signings have been as valuable as Golden Tate has been to the Lions. Over his past five games, Tate has averaged 7.8 catches for 119.8 yards on 11.6 targets per game and has scored three touchdowns during that span. On percentage terms, Tate's 599 yards equals 45.28 percent of Matthew Stafford's passing yards.
5. Dallas Cowboys - Record: 6-2, Last Update: No. 2
Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray went over the 100-yard rushing mark for the eighth consecutive game to start a season, breaking his own NFL record. This week, the Cowboys host the Cardinals, who rank third in the NFL in rush defense (77.9 YPG, 3.3 YPC).
6. Philadelphia Eagles - Record: 5-2, Last Update: No. 4
The Eagles run a ton of plays — only the Colts run more — but they have really struggled to score touchdowns in the redzone. No team has scored a fewer percentage of touchdowns in the red zone than the Eagles (34.78 percent).
7. Indianapolis Colts - Record: 5-3, Last Update: No. 3
Over the past five weeks, T.Y. Hilton has been virtually unstoppable. During that span, Hilton has exceeded 100 yards in four of five games with the only exception being a 9/90 performance. Halfway through the NFL season, it's Hilton that leads the NFL in receiving yards (866).
8. Baltimore Ravens - Record: 5-3, Last Update: No. 9
The only team with a better scoring margin than the Ravens (+10.8/G) this season are the Broncos (+11.7/G). While they rank second in scoring defense (16.4 PPG), it's perhaps more impressive that they rank seventh in the NFL in scoring offense (27.1 PPG).
9. Green Bay Packers - Record: 5-3, Last Update: No. 5
Based on current 2015 Super Bowl odds from Sportsbook.ag, only the Broncos (+250) and Seahawks (+750) have lower odds than the Packers (+1,000). The Patriots (+1,000) are tied with the Packers.
10. Seattle Seahawks - Record: 4-3, Last Update: No. 12
If you play fantasy football (and who doesn't, right?), it's been a roller coaster ride if your starting quarterback is Russell Wilson. Over his past four games, Wilson has alternated between being the top-scoring fantasy quarterback and finishing outside the top 20 fantasy QBs: QB1, QB27, QB1 and QB22.
11. San Francisco 49ers - Record: 4-3, Last Update: No. 11
The 49ers have been horrible in converting red-zone opportunities into touchdowns (or keeping opponents from converting theirs into touchdowns). The 49ers rank 30th in the NFL in red-zone offense (43.48 percent) and 31st in red-zone defense (68.42 percent).
12. San Diego Chargers - Record: 5-3, Last Update: No. 7
Tight end Antonio Gates has nine touchdowns in eight games this season. Gates has had only one season (2010) with double-digit touchdowns in the previous eight years. Against the Broncos last week, Gates had his third multi-touchdown game in eight games.
13. Miami Dolphins - Record: 4-3, Last Update: No. 13
Rookie Jarvis Landry, who currently leads the league in kickoff average, now ranks second on the team in receiving (255 yards) behind Mike Wallace (418). After posting back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, Brian Hartline has just 20 catches for 215 yards through seven games.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers - Record: 5-3, Last Update: No. 15
With 522 yards and six touchdowns against the Colts last week, Ben Roethlisberger became the first NFL quarterback to throw multiple 500-yard games in his career. Meanwhile, Antonio Brown extended his streak of 5/50 games to 24 and he's now on pace for 120/1,704/14, all of which would set franchise records.
15. Kansas City Chiefs - Record: 4-3, Last Update: No. 14
In just seven games, Justin Houston has a league-high 10.0 sacks. Houston now has double-digit sacks in each of the past three seasons.
16. Houston Texans - Record: 4-4, Last Update: No. 16
Apparently, not a fan of "selfies," J.J. Watt had two sacks, a forced fumble and a pass defended in their win over the Titans. The do-it-all defensive end has 7.0 sacks, 32 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and seven passes defended through eight games, which ranks him in the top five among defensive ends in all those stats.
-> Continue to Teams 17-32
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