NFL Week 9 Power Rankings Cowboys and Eagleremain the top f


Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) rolls out in the end zone in the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at ATT Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

• The top five:Buffalo BillsKansas City ChiefsPhiladelphia EaglesDallas CowboysandSan Francisco 49ers

•Biggest Riser:Seattle Seahawks(5 places)

•Biggest Fallers:New York JetsandLas Vegas Raiders(6 places)

•Beware of theDallas Cowboysdefense:The Cowboys have the highest-graded pass rush in the league and are second in the league in EPA allowed per play (-0.127).

•Cincinnati BengalsmissJaMarr Chase:It was concerning to see how badly the Bengals offense struggled without the star WR, as they generated a season-low -0.199 EPA per play against theBrownsin Week 8.

The2022 NFL trade deadlinewas one for the history books, with a deadline-record 10 trades made between NFL teams. We will find out in the next few weeks whether these moves affect our power rankings.

After atumultuous Week 8, theAtlanta Falconslead the NFC South after their37-34 winover theCarolina Panthersand now have a 40% chance of making it to the playoffs. Meanwhile, thePhiladelphia Eaglesremain undefeated and have a pretty easy upcoming schedule that ranks 25th league-wide in terms of difficulty.

Sitting at 5-3 with sole possession of the NFC West, the Seahawks have made a five-spot jump up our power rankings. QuarterbackGeno Smithis having far and away the best season of his career and heads into Week 9 as the second-highest-graded signal-caller in the NFL. The defense is starting to get comfortable, with fifth-round rookie cornerbackTariq Woolensomewhat stealing the show with his league-leading four interceptions.

However, they have a tougher schedule coming up, so lets see if they can continue to prove the doubters wrong.

The Jets and Raiders each fall six spots in our power rankings, mainly due to collapses on the offensive side of the ball.

Last week, the Raidersfailed to score a single pointagainst aNew Orleans Saintsteam riddled with injuries on defense. Their offensive struggles are inexcusable at this point, and the fact thatDavante AdamsandHunter Renfrowwere held to just one catch apiece last weekend tells you all you need to know.

The Jets were riding an incredible four-game win streak heading into Week 8, largely due to their strong run game and shut-down defensive performances. However, their luck ran out when theNew England Patriotsforced QBZach Wilsonto throw the ball, which he did, notably three times to the other team.

Without RBBreece Halland OGAlijah Vera-Tuckeron offense, the Jets will have to rely on the improvement of Wilson and a depleted offensive line.

Saints toughing it out:TheNew Orleans Saintslost CBBradley Robyin Week 7 and RBMark Ingram IIin Week 8. Theyve lost about 0.025 more WAR than the next two closest teams, theBaltimore RavensandTampa Bay Buccaneers.

A welcome return:On the other end of the spectrum, theSan Francisco 49ersrecently welcomed back safetyJimmie Ward, which helps ease the load on their secondary. Shanahans squad has struggled to stay healthy this season, so its nice for them to have some good news.

The rich get richer:TheMinnesota Vikingshave lost the least WAR due to injury this season and just traded for another star player in tight endT.J. Hockenson, who ranks ninth among tight ends in PFF receiving grade this year (74.7).

The 49ers among the biggest risers in Elo:The Niners slide up to sixth in PFFs Elo rankings after completing animpressive road winagainst theLos Angeles Rams. The Ravens, Browns and Saints also made big strides up our rankings after dominant Week 8 performances.

Life tough without Chase:After two victories against banged-up opponents the Saints and Falcons theCincinnati Bengalsfall down the Elo rankings after a19-point loss against the Browns. It was slightly concerning to see how badly the Bengals offense struggled without star WRJaMarr Chase they generated a season-low -0.199 EPA per play so this is something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.

Colts coming up short:TheIndianapolis Coltswere up 16-7 against theWashington Commanderswith 11:12 left in the fourth quarter. All they had to do was keep possession and stop Washington from going down the field. It seems easy, right? The Colts fourth-down decision-making was by far the worst of any team this past week and resulted in a loss when they desperately needed a win. They punted four times when they could have gone for it and added to their lead.

Playing to win:Despite punting six times, the Commanders were successful on 67% of their fourth-down attempts. This contributed to theirwin against the Colts.

Lions reluctant to go for it:TheDetroit Lionscould not hold off theMiami Dolphinson Sunday, allowingTua Tagovailoa& Co. to rally back from a 10-point deficit. Dan Campbells squad went for it just once on fourth down in the second half they scored no points, punted twice, and turned it over on downs once. Will the loss ofT.J. Hockensonaffect their fourth-down decision-making?

Falcons need change to stay on top:Atlanta may sit atop the NFC South, but they have gone for it on fourth down at the lowest rate in the league. This will not help them in the long run.

Its easy to be a Bills punter:TheBuffalo Billsstruggled on fourth downs against theGreen Bay Packersand had to punt twice. The Bills have punted only 13 times this season, the fewest in the league by six.

Dallas defense is scary:Headlined by cornerbackTrevon Diggsand edge rusherMicah Parsons, the Cowboys defense continues to dominate. Parsons ranks second in the league in pressures (39), Diggs ranks second in the league in pass breakups (8) andSam Williamshas graded above 78.0 as a tackler, pass-rusher and coverage defender. You cant get much better than that. The Cowboys have the highest-graded pass rush in the league and are second in the league in EPA allowed per play (-0.127).

Bills arent a one-unit team:Buffalos defense is much improved from last year. They are the leagues seventh-best defense according to PFF grades, and they rank second in the league in team pass-rush grade. The Bills have allowed -0.126 EPA per play, third in the league.

Detroit surprisingly struggling:The Lions defense has struggled this season despite the additions of edge defenderAidan Hutchinsonand linebackerMalcolm Rodriguez. They have earned the lowest team coverage grade in the league (40.4) and have allowed the most EPA per play (0.157) through eight weeks.

Giants outdoing themselves:Its interesting to see that theNew York Giantsare about average in terms of offensive and defensive efficiency. Even withSaquon Barkleyrunning the show, they are still 16th in team rush grade (80.7). They are also 16th in team pass-blocking grade (64.0). Like the Eagles, their schedule has not been difficult, and they face two of the leagues worst teams (Texans and Lions) over the next two weeks.

Unsurprisingly, some of the leagues most valuable players are also some of the most targeted.

Jets cornerbackSauce Gardneris the lone rookie on this list, as hes been the rock of New Yorks coverage unit so far this season. The majority of their defensive success has come directly from Gardner andD.J. Reed, as their defense has been the key driver in most of their wins this season.

The biggest standout in this list isDeAndre Hopkins, who has played only two games but earned one of the highest grades among wideouts in Week 8 (84.1).

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