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NFL Power Rankings for Week 9: Discrepancies emerging

by NYPost
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NFL Power Rankings for Week 9: Discrepancies emerging

One part predictable, one part chaos. 

That aptly describes the state of the NFL at the unofficial midpoint of the season. 

Most of the expected contenders in the AFC — the Josh Allen-led Bills, the Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs, the Lamar Jackson-led Ravens and the Justin Herbert-led Chargers — are riding great quarterbacks into playoff positioning. 

Then there is the NFC. If the season ended today, the Rams, Packers and Buccaneers — the three most popular preseason picks to be conference champions — all would miss the playoffs, while the Eagles, Vikings, Seahawks and Falcons would host first-round playoff games and the ultimate surprise Giants would make the dance. 

Here are The Post’s power rankings for Week 9, the beginning of time running out if order is going to be restored. 

1. Philadelphia Eagles 7-0 (1) 

The best got better this week when the Eagles traded for defensive end Robert Quinn. But it was general manager Howie Roseman’s draft-day trade for receiver A.J. Brown that paid off in a 35-13 win against the Steelers. Brown caught three of Jalen Hurts’ four touchdown passes — all in the first half, a first for an NFL receiver since 2004. 

2. Buffalo Bills 6-1 (2) 

In case you thought it was a mistake to see the Packers with Aaron Rodgers listed as a double-digit underdog for the first time in his career, the Bills jumped out to a quick 14-point lead and poured it on in a 27-17 victory. For all the attention on Allen’s connections with his weapons, the defense is playing great, too. 

Josh Allen celebrates during the Bills' win over the Packers.
Josh Allen celebrates during the Bills’ win over the Packers.
Getty Images

3. Kansas City Chiefs 5-2 (3) 

Incoming: Receiver Kadarius Toney, who was an injury-plagued bust over 1 ½ seasons with the Giants before he was acquired during the bye week for two draft picks. Outgoing: Maybe veteran backup running back Ronald Jones, who tweeted that he wants to be released. The Chiefs lead the NFL in points per game (31.9). 

4. Minnesota Vikings 6-1 (4) 

The Vikings lost eight games by eight points or fewer last season under then-head coach Mike Zimmer. All of the Vikings’ five consecutive wins — including the latest, a 34-26 victory against the Cardinals — are by eight points or fewer under head coach Kevin O’Connell. Za’Darius Smith had his third sack of the game on the second-to-last play to finish off Arizona. 

5. Dallas Cowboys 6-2 (5) 

Tony Pollard ran for three touchdowns and Dak Prescott threw for two and ran for another in the best offensive performance of the year by the Cowboys, who scored touchdowns on their first four possessions in a 49-29 win against the Bears. Not to be outdone, Micah Parsons had a 36-yard fumble return for a touchdown for the defense. 

6. Seattle Seahawks 5-3 (12) 

The surprise leaders of the NFC West have won three straight and four of their last five after beating the Giants, 27-13, in the only matchup of winning teams on the Week 8 schedule. Geno Smith continued to make a dark-horse MVP run by throwing the tie-breaking touchdown to Tyler Lockett with 9:18 remaining against his former team. 

7. New York Giants 6-2 (6) 

Richie James fumbled away two punt returns, which the Seahawks turned into 10 points. The Giants’ only touchdown was set up by the defense at the 2-yard line and Saquon Barkley finished with a season-low 20 carries for 53 yards. Daniel Jones was sacked five times behind an offensive line missing two starters. A good time for a bye week. 

8. Baltimore Ravens 5-3 (7) 

Jackson led touchdown drives of 77, 80 and 85 yards in the second half of a 27-22 comeback win against the Buccaneers, improving to 2-0 head-to-head against Tom Brady. Jackson completed all eight of his second-half passes and a balanced rushing attack gained 231 yards on the ground. The Ravens have won two straight for the first time. 

Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers would miss the playoffs if the season ended today.
Getty Images

9. Tennessee Titans 5-2 (10) 

Fill-in rookie quarterback Malik Willis frequently handed off to Derrick Henry, who rushed for 219 yards in a 17-10 win against the Texans. He is the first player in NFL history with at least 150 rushing yards and two touchdowns in four straight games against the same opponent. The Titans and Vikings are tied for the second-longest active winning streak (five). 

10. Miami Dolphins 5-3 (14) 

In his two starts since returning from a highly scrutinized concussion, Tua Tagovailoa has completed 70.4 percent of his passes with four touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 117.3 quarterback rating. He improved to 5-1 as a starter by beating the hapless Lions, 31-27. Tyreek Hill has four straight games with at least 160 receiving yards — one shy of an NFL record. 

11. Los Angeles Chargers 4-3 (13) 

12. San Francisco 49ers 4-4 (16) 

13. Cincinnati Bengals 4-4 (8) 

14. New England Patriots 4-4 (20) 

15. New York Jets 5-3 (9) 

With their words and actions (urging fans to get in their seats early), the Jets put a ton of emphasis on getting revenge for a 41-point beatdown last season and ending a losing streak against the Patriots. Then Zach Wilson threw three interceptions, the defense missed too many tackles and they lost a 13th straight meeting to their longtime nemesis, 22-17. 

16. Los Angeles Rams 3-4 (11) 

17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3-5 (15) 

18. Green Bay Packers 3-5 (18) 

19. Atlanta Falcons 4-4 (21) 

20. Washington Commanders 4-4 (22) 

21. Indianapolis Colts 3-4-1 (17) 

22. Arizona Cardinals 3-5 (19) 

23. Chicago Bears 3-5 (23) 

24. Cleveland Browns 3-5 (28) 

25. New Orleans Saints 3-5 (29) 

26. Denver Broncos 3-5 (30) 

26. Las Vegas Raiders 2-5 (24) 

27. Carolina Panthers 2-6 (27) 

29. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-6 (26) 

30. Pittsburgh Steelers 2-6 (25) 

31. Houston Texans 1-5-1 (31) 

32. Detroit Lions 1-6 (32)

This story originally appeared on NYPost

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