NFL Power Rankings Week 9: Who is King of the AFC?
The Kansas City Chiefs were the runaway favorites to take the AFC crown in predictions this offseason.
Behind the Super Bowl champions were the Baltimore Ravens, who claimed the top seed in the conference last year after posting a 14-2 regular-season record.
As we reach the midway mark of the 2020-21 season, however, the six-time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers have jumped both Kansas City and Baltimore in line.
The Steelers remain the only undefeated team in the league and are improving week by week. Are they the best team in the NFL?
Here are the official Power Rankings for Week 9 of the 2020 NFL season.
WEEK 9 POWER RANKINGS
1. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (7-0)
LAST WEEK RANKING: 1
WEEK 9: @ DALLAS COWBOYS (2-6)
The Steelers passed their biggest test of the season Sunday, defeating the Baltimore Ravens, 28-24, behind a stellar defensive performance.
Pittsburgh forced a whopping four turnovers, all coming from Lamar Jackson. The Steelers intercepted the reigning MVP twice, one of which resulted in a pick-six, and forced three fumbles, recovering two.
The disruptive defense didn’t stop Jackson from putting his team in a position to win, but it did consistently halt any momentum the Ravens tried to capture throughout the four quarters.
The win pushes the Steelers two games above the defending AFC North champions at the midpoint of the season.
2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (7-1)
LAST WEEK RANKING: 2
WEEK 9: VS. CAROLINA PANTHERS (3-5)
The Chiefs dominating the winless Jets was a foregone conclusion for Week 8, but we can still gush about another jaw-dropping performance from Patrick Mahomes.
The reigning Super Bowl MVP dazzled in the 35-9 win, throwing for 416 yards and five touchdowns on 31-for-42 passing. Mahomes spread the wealth throughout the game, helping Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman all amass 90-plus receiving yards in the win.
While the Steelers remain the lone undefeated side, the Chiefs hold onto the best offense in the league.
3. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (6-1)
LAST WEEK RANKING: 3
WEEK 9: @ BUFFALO BILLS (6-2)
Seattle craved a bounce-back game after its first loss of the season and found it in a 37-27 win over the 49ers.
Russell Wilson lit up the divisional rival, slinging four touchdowns and hitting star receiver D.K. Metcalf for an astonishing 161 yards.
While the Seattle defense has struggled to match the offense’s production, there have been bright spots throughout the season. In Sunday’s win, former Super Bowl MVP Bobby Wagner dazzled with 11 total tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss and four quarterback hits.
4. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (6-2)
LAST WEEK RANKING: NR
WEEK 9: VS. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5-2)
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are rolling.
Following a 3-2 start to the season, Tampa Bay has rattled off three consecutive wins and are gelling at the right time.
While their 25-23 win over the New York Giants on “Monday Night Football” was neither easy nor pretty, the Buccaneers came away as the sole team atop the NFC South.
Brady threw for 279 yards , while Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones II and the rest of the Tampa Bay rushing attack went for 81 yards to supplement the aerial attack.
5. BALTIMORE RAVENS (5-2)
LAST WEEK RANKING: 4
WEEK 9: @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (5-2)
The Ravens hang on in this week’s Power Rankings even after a divisional loss to Pittsburgh.
While Lamar Jackson couldn’t hold onto the ball consistently Sunday, the Ravens never let the game get away from them.
Although the turnovers were the main narrative, it’s impossible to ignore the dynamic Ravens rushing attack that flourished Sunday. The trio of Jackson, J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards dashed through the Steelers’ defense for a whopping 265 yards, leaving Pittsburgh with few answers.
Baltimore currently leads the NFL with 178.7 rushing yards per game.
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