Seattle Seahawks: 2013 Week 9 NFL Power Rankings (#1)

Last week: 1 (+0)

Record: 7-1

The Seahawks were pretty flat in St. Louis this week, but they’ve been so good this season it’s hard to hold it against them. They return home this week where they should blow out the Buccaneers. With the exception of a home game against the Saints and a trip to San Francisco, the rest of their schedule is very easy so they could easily win 13 or 14 games and obtain a homefield advantage throughout the NFC, which is going to be key to their chances of winning the NFC and going to the Super Bowl.

Week 8 Studs

RB Marshawn Lynch

ROLB Bruce Irvin

Week 8 Duds

LT Paul McQuistan

TE Zach Miller

RE Chris Clemons

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Denver Broncos: 2013 Week 9 NFL Power Rankings (#2)

Last week: 2 (+0)

Record: 7-1

Peyton Manning threw 3 interceptions against the Redskins, matching his total from his first 7 games, but that was bound to happen. His level of play from earlier this season was simply unsustainable, even for him. Still, Manning played well and so did the defense, which has been rejuvenated by the return of Von Miller, in a 45-21 victory going into the bye. I still think the Seahawks are better equipped to win a cold weather Super Bowl and they looked better on the road against a mutual opponent in Indianapolis, but Denver is clearly a very, very solid football team.

Week 8 Studs

RB Knowshon Moreno

C Manuel Ramirez

ROLB Von Miller

DT Terrance Knighton

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Week 8 Duds

LE Derek Wolfe

DT Kevin Vickerson

MLB Wesley Woodyard

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New Orleans Saints: 2013 Week 9 NFL Power Rankings (#3)

Last week: 3 (+0)

Record: 6-1

The Saints have now won and covered in 13 straight games at home under Sean Payton. They aren’t quite the same team on the road, but, other than Seattle, their next toughest road games are in Carolina and Atlanta. They could easily win all of their home games (Dallas, Carolina, San Francisco, Tampa Bay) and lose maximum 2 road games, finish 13-3 and be in great position with a 1st round bye and home field advantage. The Jimmy Graham injury hurts, but he was still very dangerous in a limited role last week, catching 3 passes for 37 yards and 2 touchdowns on 19 snaps.

Week 8 Studs

RT Zach Strief

TE Ben Watson

ROLB Junior Gallete

Week 8 Duds

C Brian La Puente

MLB Curtis Lofton

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San Francisco 49ers: 2013 Week 9 NFL Power Rankings (#4)

Last week: 5 (+1)

Record: 6-2

Remember when the Packers and 49ers were both 1-2? They’ve won a combined 9 straight games and the 4 losses between them are all against top-10 teams in these Power Rankings. Colin Kaepernick has improved drastically recently and the 49ers are now moving the chains at a 74% rate, as opposed to 70% for their opponents, a differential that is 8th best in the NFL and sharply climbing. The biggest thing working against them is that Super Bowl runner ups almost never make the Super Bowl the following year and even less frequently win it all, but they certainly have the talent to buck the trend if everything falls right.

Week 8 Studs

QB Colin Kaepernick

LT Joe Staley

Week 8 Duds

LG Mike Iupati

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Green Bay Packers: 2013 Week 9 NFL Power Rankings (#5)

Last week: 8 (+3)

Record: 5-2

The Packers have blown out the Browns and Vikings over the past two weeks and were especially impressive against the Vikings in Minnesota. Even the final score of 44-31 doesn’t tell how much of a blowout it was as the Vikings needed incredible special teams to even get to that score. The Packers had 26 first downs and didn’t punt once all game, while the Vikings had 15 first downs and 4 punts. They are moving the chains at an 82% rate on the season, as opposed to 72% for their opponent, a differential that is 2nd in the NFL. Their schedule is pretty easy going forward, as they host Chicago, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh and go to the Giants, Lions, Cowboys, and Bears. If they can get healthy, they’ll be sneaky dangerous in the post-season, especially if they can get a first round bye and home field advantage.

Week 8 Studs

QB Aaron Rodgers

RB Eddie Lacy

RB James Starks

WR Jordy Nelson

RG TJ Lang

MLB Jamari Lattimore

Week 8 Duds

SS Morgan Burnett

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New England Patriots: 2013 Week 9 NFL Power Rankings (#6)

Last week: 4 (-2)

Record: 6-2

It needs to be said. Tom Brady looks more like a former 6th round pick than a 3-time Super Bowl winner this year. ProFootballFocus’ grades him out as the 24th ranked passing quarterback out of 37 eligible. I thought it would get better when Rob Gronkowski returned, but in his 2nd game back Brady completed 13 of 22 for 116 yards, 1 touchdown, and an interception against a weak Miami defense and really didn’t look good. They won by 10 on the strength of their defense, which will get better with Aqib Talib expected to return this week and that’s the reason they’re still a top-10 team (along with the potential that Brady gets better), but you could argue they deserve to be 3 spots lower. If they don’t have a good showing against the Steelers this week, they’ll move further down.

Week 8 Studs

LE Rob Ninkovich

CB Kyle Arrington

CB Logan Ryan

Week 8 Duds

RE Chandler Jones

DT Chris Jones

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