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NFL Power Rankings, Week 9: Patriots Push To No. 1; Packers Are Top NFC Team

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FOXBORO MA - OCTOBER 31:  Tom Brady #12 of New England Patriots reacts after a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings at Gillette Stadium on October 31 2010 in Foxboro Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FOXBORO MA - OCTOBER 31: Tom Brady #12 of New England Patriots reacts after a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings at Gillette Stadium on October 31 2010 in Foxboro Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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SB Nation's NFL power rankings for Week 9 are out and there shouldn't be much of a surprise about who's on top. The Patriots own the NFL's best record and have looked good doing it. With the Jets also playing very well (but losing this week), we're being set up for what might be the game of the year when the Jets and Patriots meet on Monday Night Football the first week of December.

A candidate for the worst game of the year might have come in London this week when the Broncos lost to the 49ers. At least we're not sending our best games over there.

As we enter Week 9 we're still trying to figure out teams like the Chargers -- will they make a run to end the season and capture the AFC West? -- as well as the Bucs -- are they really one of the top teams in the NFC?

Without further ado, here are SB Nations' Week 9 NFL power rankings.

32. Denver Broncos (2-6)

Last week's rank: 30

Last game: 49ers (lost)

SB Nation: Mile High Report

59 points given up to the Raiders last week and a loss to the 49ers and backup QB Troy Smith. That's pretty low for the Broncos. The Broncos now have four wins in their last 17 games.

31. Buffalo Bills (0-7)

Last week's rank: 31

Last game: Chiefs (lost)

SB Nation: Buffalo Rumblings

I watched the Bills take the Chiefs to OT, which is the same thing they did to the Ravens the week before. This team does not play like a win less team. They're staying too competitive to think they'll go 0-16.

30. Dallas Cowboys (1-6)

Last week's rank: 28

Last game: Jaguars (lost)

SB Nation: Blogging The Boys

All hope is lost this year. We're just seeing how long Wade Phillips sticks around now.

29. Carolina Panthers (1-6)

Last week's rank: 27

Last game: Rams (lost)

SB Nation: Cat Scratch Reader

They're sticking with Matt Moore which can't bode well for JImmy Clausen. The season is over. Why not start the rookie?

28. San Francisco 49ers (2-6)

Last week's rank: 32

Last game: Broncos (won)

SB Nation: Niners Nation

Kudos to the 49ers for pulling out the overseas win over the Broncos. Troy Smith may be a better option than Alex Smith at this point.

27. Cleveland Browns (2-5)

Last week's rank: 26

Last game: Bye

SB Nation: Dawgs By Nature

The Browns are still feeling the high of the Saints win in Week 7. The next two games don't get any easier against the Patriots and Jets. That's a brutal three-game stretch. Winning one of three would be a success.

26. Detroit Lions (2-5)

Last week's rank: 29

Last game: Redskins (won)

SB Nation: Pride Of Detroit

Detroit finally closes one of these games out. They're just a couple of bounces away from being a .500 team.

25. Cincinnati Bengals (2-5)

Last week's rank: 21

Last game: Dolphins (lost)

SB Nation: Cincy Jungle

I'm not sure what to make of the Bengals. I mean, they should be better. They should be beating teams like the Dolphins if they think they're playoff-worthy. But they're not.

24. Minnesota Vikings (2-5)

Last week's rank: 20

Last game: Patriots (lost)

SB Nation: Daily Norseman

I wish I could say more about the Vikings but there's just no media coverage of them. Must be a slow news week in Minny.

23. Arizona Cardinals (3-4)

Last week's rank: 19

Last game: Bucs (lost)

SB Nation: Revenge Of The Birds

This team is pretty miserable to watch at times but they're still just a game away from sitting atop the NFC West. It's a good year to be a mid-level team in the NFC West.

22. St. Louis Rams (4-4)

Last week's rank: 24

Last game: Panthers (won)

SB Nation: Turf Show Times

The Rams probably should be higher with their record. We'll find out what kind of team they are over the next month with three road games against the 49ers, Broncos and Cardinals. Those are games playoff teams should win.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4)

Last week's rank: 23

Last game: Cowboys (won)

SB Nation: Big Cat Country

This team is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. They're .500 but all four losses have come by 22 points or more.

20. San Diego Chargers (3-5)

Last week's rank: 22

Last game: Titans (won)

SB Nation: Bolts From The Blue

The Chargers are barely hanging on in the AFC West. If they're going to catch the Chiefs they'll need to go on a serious run here.

19. Seattle Seahawks (4-3)

Last week's rank: 16

Last game: Raiders (lost)

SB Nation: Field Gulls

We'll find out if they can win this division over the next month. They play the Giants, Cardinals, Saints and Chiefs.

18. Washington Redskins (4-4)

Last week's rank: 13

Last game: Lions (lost)

SB Nation: Hogs Haven

The Redskins schedule to end the season is no joke. Are they the team that benches their starting QB late in the game? Or are they the team that goes on a second half run to claim the division title?

17. Chicago Bears (4-3)

Last week's rank: 17

Last game: Bye

SB Nation: Windy City Gridiron

I can see an argument that the Bears should be lower than this. I'm not buying them at 4-3 just yet. They'll have to prove it over the next two weeks against the Bills and Vikings, who have combined for two wins this season.

16. Oakland Raiders (4-4)

Last week's rank: 25

Last game: Seahawks (won)

SB Nation: Silver And Black Pride

59 points two weeks ago and 33 points last week. I think I underestimated the Raiders. Their biggest game in eight years will come on Sunday against the Chiefs.

15. Miami Dolphins (4-3)

Last week's rank: 18

Last game: Bengals (won)

SB Nation: The Phinsider

This team is close to 5-2 after the Steelers game two weeks ago. The Bengals win was solid because that's the type of team they have to win in the super competitive AFC East. Games against the Ravens and Titans in the next two weeks should determine which way they're headed.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (4-3)

Last week's rank: 14

Last game: Bye

SB Nation: Bleeding Green Nation

It sounds like Michael Vick is coming back next week and if he continues to play like he did before he was hurt this team can string some wins together.

13. Houston Texans (4-3)

Last week's rank: 6

Last game: Colts (lost)

SB Nation: Battle Red Blog

They couldn't top the Colts but, as they have been over the last month, the Texans are right in the thick of the playoff hunt.

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-2)

Last week's rank: 15

Last game: Cardinals (won)

SB Nation: Bucs Nation

The best team in the NFC? I'm not sure about that but they just keep on winning.

11. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)

Last week's rank: 12

Last game: Bills (won)

SB Nation: Arrowhead Pride

The Bills took them to OT but they did the same to the Ravens. The Chiefs schedule is very friendly and if they continue to play like they have this year they should cruise.

10. Tennessee Titans (5-3)

Last week's rank: 7

Last game: Chargers (lost)

SB Nation: Music City Miracles

The Titans are sticking around in the AFC South with the Texans and Colts right in the middle of it, too. This might be the best division in football.

9. New Orleans Saints (5-3)

Last week's rank: 10

Last game: Steelers (won)

SB Nation: Canal Street Chronicles

Big win against the Steelers. We haven't seen that type of game from the Saints this season. Good to know they still have it.

8. Atlanta Falcons (5-2)

Last week's rank: 9

Last game: Bye

SB Nation: The Falcoholic

Each week goes by and I don't hear much about the Falcons. But here they sit tied for first place at nearly the halfway point.

7. New York Giants (5-2)

Last week's rank: 8

Last game: Bye

SB Nation: Big Blue View

We'll give the nod to the Packers for the best team in the NFC right now after they beat the Jets last week but the Giants, who were seemingly in turmoil last month, sit atop the NFC East. They'll need to beat the Seahawks and Cowboys over the next two weeks.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2)

Last week's rank: 3

Last game: Saints (lost)

SB Nation: Behind The Steel Curtain

They lost a tough one against the Saints but three of their next four come against the Bengals, Raiders and Bills. The ultra-consistent Steelers win games like that.

5. New York Jets (5-2)

Last week's rank: 1

Last game: Packers (lost)

SB Nation: Gang Green Nation

The Packers shut them out in a battle of the top AFC and NFC teams last week. The Jets may run the table leading upt to their Mon., Dec. 6 showdown against the Patriots.

4. Green Bay Packers (5-3)

Last week's rank: 11

Last game: Jets (won)

SB Nation: Acme Packing Company

Going into the Meadowlands and shutting out the Jets puts the Packers atop our power rankings for NFC teams. That was impressive anyway you cut it.

3. Baltimore Ravens (5-2)

Last week's rank: 5

Last game: Bye

SB Nation: Baltimore Beatdown

The Ravens may be the best team that may not win their division.

2. Indianapolis Colts (5-2)

Last week's rank: 4

Last game: Texans (won)

SB Nation: Stampede Blue

Maybe this won't be the year the Colts fall. They've gone the better part of this decade winning at least 12 games each season and I wouldn't bet against them going on a run and doing the same this year.

1. New England Patriots (6-1)

Last week's rank: 2

Last game: Vikings (won)

SB Nation: Pats Pulpit

Your new No. 1 in our power rankings. The Patriots took care of business against the Vikings and own the NFL's best record.