Arizona Sports NFL Power Rankings Week 9: Top 2 hold steady
The Pittsburgh Steelers did something Sunday that they haven’t done in 48 years: Win a game in which they allowed the opponent to roll up more than 250 yards on the ground.
On October 29, 1972, O.J. Simpson ran for 189 yards and a touchdown while the Buffalo Bills amassed 254 yards rushing against the Pittsburgh defense. But the Steelers also forced four Buffalo turnovers in a 38-21 win.
There were plenty of similarities in Sunday’s 28-24 win over the Baltimore Ravens. Led by J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Lamar Jackson, the Ravens ran for 265 yards but also turned the ball over four times, allowing Pittsburgh to remain the only unbeaten team in the NFL through the season’s first eight weeks.
And that’s why the Steelers remain atop the Arizona Sports NFL Power Rankings heading into the second half of the year. The Kansas City Chiefs, who barely broke a sweat in pounding the New York Jets, kept pace at number two, with the Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills rounding out the top five.
The biggest plunge this week comes from the Tennessee Titans, who got manhandled by the normally toothless Cincinnati Bengals. The Titans dropped from sixth to 11th.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-0) ––
Got gashed on the running game but forced four Lamar Jackson turnovers to stay on top.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (7-1) —
Patrick Mahomes with his second 400-yard, five-touchdown game vs. the hapless Jets.
3. Seattle Seahawks (6-1) ▲2
Again, how did seven receivers get drafted before D.K. Metcalf in 2019?
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2) ▲3
Unimpressive against Giants, but a win is a win.
5. Buffalo Bills (6-2) ▲4
Giving up only 167 yards passing per game over the last four weeks.
6. Baltimore Ravens (5-2) ▼3
The “Lamar can’t win a big game” narrative is running wild after a loss to Pittsburgh.
7. Green Bay Packers (5-2) ▼3
Pretty gross defensive effort vs. Dalvin Cook and the Vikings.
8. New Orleans Saints (5-2) ▲2
Living dangerously: They’ve won four straight by a total of 15 points.
9. Indianapolis Colts (5-2) ▲3
Nyheim Hines is the best gymnast in the NFL.
10. Arizona Cardinals (5-2) ▲1
Coming out of the bye with two defensive starters on COVID-19 reserve list.
11. Tennessee Titans (5-2) ▼5
No matter how you slice it, a bad loss to the Bengals.
12. Los Angeles Rams (5-3) ▼4
Jared Goff is right — he needs to get better.
13. Las Vegas Raiders (4-3) ▲3
Had four scoring drives of 12 plays or more in terrible Cleveland weather.
14. Miami Dolphins (4-3) ▲3
It’s always nice to get touchdowns from your defense AND special teams in the same game.
15. Chicago Bears (5-3) ▼2
Now 2-3 over their last five games and averaging only 276 yards per game.
16. Cleveland Browns (5-3) ▼1
Aren’t the Browns supposed to have an advantage in bad weather against a team from the West?
17. San Francisco 49ers (4-4) ▼3
The rash of injuries they’ve been hit with is almost criminal.
18. Denver Broncos (3-4) ▲4
Had 40 net yards in first eight possessions before a furious comeback win over Chargers.
19. Carolina Panthers (3-5) —
Help is on the way in the form of the best running back in the league.
20. Detroit Lions (3-4) ▼2
Losing Kenny Golladay and Trey Flowers isn’t very good news.
21. Minnesota Vikings (2-5) ▲3
Solid strategy: give Cook 33 touches and limit Cousins to 14 throws.
22. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1) ▲1
They should be thankful they play in the worst division in football.
23. Los Angeles Chargers (2-5) ▼3
Thought the Falcons were the worst team at holding leads until the Chargers came around.
24. New England Patriots (2-5) ▼3
Cam Newton continues to be abysmal in close, late-game situations.
25. Atlanta Falcons (2-6) ▲3
Impressed they held a lead for the entire second half vs. Carolina.
26. Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1) ▲5
Joe Burrow is going to be really good. In fact, he already is.
27. Washington Football Team (2-5) ▼2
I’m not predicting it, but based on competition, there’s a chance they could be 6-5 four weeks from now.
28. Houston Texans (1-6) ▼2
Will Deshaun Watson have any receivers left to throw to after the trade deadline?
29. Dallas Cowboys (2-6) ▼2
New, inexperienced QB? Of course, call every trick play in the book.
30. New York Giants (1-7) ▼1
Did they get hosed on the two-point conversion attempt? Probably.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6) ▼1
Raise your hand if you’re ready for the Jake Luton era to begin!
32. New York Jets (0-8) —
They’ve been outscored by an average of 18 points per game.