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2009 NFL Power Rankings: Week 9

by: AnthonyP On  Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tags:  2009   Afc   Football   Nfc   NFL   Power Rankings  

Josh FreemanThe NFL rulebook isn’t revisionist. You can’t change it on a whim, so you may as well learn it. That would of been a novel idea for some teams in week 9, or as it’s better known ‘the week of the flag’; Sunday boasted a Falcon/Redskin melee, a Tommie Harris ejection and multiple teams penalty-ing themselves to death. The Giants committed over 100 yards of misdameanours that ultimately cost them, whilst the Redskins and Ravens both ate north of 80 yards in avoidable disciplinary action. Chris Snee, I’m looking at you.

Player of the Week

Josh Freeman – His decision making is still pretty raw, he took a lot of snaps out of the shotgun formation to conceal the cracks in his footwork and he coughed up a pick to the aggressive Nick Collins, but wow. Was that a hot performance or what? Bringing his team back from an 11 point deficit, converting a 4th and 4 to win the game, making 2 point conversions, showing physical strength in the pocket combined with mobility on the run, locking his eyes downfield and putting zip on the ball in tough conditions when required to; Tampa Bay have a gem they need to polish.

Under the Radar Performance of the Week

Cedric Benson – Cedric Benson seems a mainstay in any and all Performance of the Week monikers this season, and for good reason; because outside of Minnesotan tailbacks whose names start with an A and end in Drian Peterson, Cedric Benson has to be considered the standout running back of the 09 season. So how can a guy getting so much adulation be considered ‘Under the Radar’? He wasn’t spectacular on Sunday, and Carson Palmer and a stout defensive unit would probably claim greater stake in Cinncinnati’s 10 point humbling of the Ravens, but hidden in the midst of all that was Cedric Benson becoming only the second rusher in history to top 100 yards on the Baltimore Ravens; Jerome Bettis is the co-feature in this revered class of two. Hats off Mr Benson 2.0.

The Biggest Movers and Shakers

downAfter hitting horrible runs of form the Eagles, Giants and Ravens all slip out of the top 10, meanwhile Kansas City fall 3 because… well because they’re abysmal.

upQuarterback changes reap dividends in Tennessee and Tampa as both franchises rise 3 and 4 spots respectively. The Patriots jugganaurt also begins to pick up steam, climbing 4 before a tough game with #2 ranked Indianapolis.

Here’s how the rest of the NFL played itself out in week 9:

Rank Team Record Change Comment
1 New Orleans Saints 8-0 - Heroic comebacks are what Drew Brees does these days. I guess he got bored of tossing multi-TD games and decided to ply his talents at a different discipline, but bottom line is that as long as this offense keeps firing they’ll be insulated from any negative repercussions their soft run defense may cause them. Up Next: @St. Louis Rams
2 Indianapolis Colts 8-0 - They may have survived a tough test by the skin of their teeth, but the Colts’ remain unbeaten thanks (of course) to Manning, Clark, Wayne et al, but also thanks to a rare bristling performance from the second best runner in Indy, Joseph Addai. With Don Brown in the medical room, Addai scythed his way to 63 yards on 14 attempts, adding a necessary dimension to the NFL’s 29th ranked run offense. Up Next: New England Patriots
3 Pittsburgh Steelers 6-2 Let’s forget the opening of their season ever existed. Right now the Steelers have found the perfect fusion between the Polamalu lead fortress defense that won them the Super Bowl last year, and the hard running, high flying offense they’ve developed in 2009. Danger Will Robinson! Danger! Up Next: Cincinnati Bengals
4 New England Patriots 6-2 up

4

Later in these rankings I’ll go on to praise Vontae Davis for his spectacular takeaway – and I mean takeaway, Tom Brady didn’t give him an inch – but make no bones about it, Randy Moss straight up dummied Miami’s rookie corner tandem. When he wasn’t making one handed grabs he was stiff arming them on 71 yard breakaways. The guy is a monster. Up Next: @Indianapolis Colts
5 Minnesota Vikings 7-1 - BYE WEEK Up Next: Detroit Lions
6 Cincinnati Bengals 6-2 up

3

Cincinnati are a workmanlike unit with the potential to score big points quickly. Leon Hall is playing out of his skin right now and whether they need it or not, it looks the AFC North will be represented via wildcard in the 09 postseason. Up Next: @Pittsburgh Steelers
7 Dallas Cowboys 6-2 up

6

Dallas are perhaps the hottest team in football right now. As the Giants and Eagles stumble, Wade Phillips has the perfect chance to build up a buffer before the inevitable post-Christmas nosedive. Up Next: @Green Bay Packers
8 Philadelphia Eagles 5-3 down

4

I love DeSean Jackson as an on-field threat, but in 2009 he’s devolved into little more than a big play stunt artist; he averages 20 yards a catch, leads the league in 40+ yarders and has just 26 receptions on the year (2 more than Mushin Mohammed), making him an unreliable target and a far stretch from the safe hands Donovan McNabb needs right now. Up Next: @San Diego Chargers
9 Baltimore Ravens 4-4 down

3

Baltimore were offensively horrible in this game. Whenever they were asked to make a play they fell short – converting just 1 of their 10 3rd downs – failing to get anything going via ground or air; Flacco was a limited 195 yards with 2 picks, whilst the electric Ray Rice was insulated to just 48 rushing yards. Up Next: @Cleveland Browns
10 New York Giants 5-4 down

3

New York are systematically imploding; their choi de suicide of week 9 was the penalty. New York surrendered over 100 yards in penalties including a Chris Snee holding call that erased any hopes of a game sealing touchdown late in the fourth. Up Next: BYE
11 Houston Texans 5-4 up

1

Houston lost for the eighth time on the bounce in Indianapolis, sliding back to 5-4, but credit where it’s due, they were a 42 yard field goal away from victory and would have probably held on were it not for some costly errors including a Ryan Moats’ fumble at the 1. Houston running back making critical fumbles, hmm…. where have I seen that before? Oh yeah, the sidelines. Up Next: BYE
12 Denver Broncos 6-2 down

1

Cut to those of you who said Denver are a top 10 team who can hang with the best. Guess what; the best just came to town and they’re 2 losses better off for it. Up Next: @Washington Redskins
13 San Diego Chargers 5-3 up

2

Vincent Jackson is straight up dummying opposition defenses right now; 2 touchdowns with a likely third requiring defensive interference to prevent and multiple big time grabs. Phillip Rivers wasn’t too shoddy either; his final 80 yard, 1 minute drive was the stuff of champions. Up Next: Philadelphia Eagles
14 Green Bay Packers 4-4 down

4

Here’s a joke: what happens when you put one of the best quarterbacks in the league behind a line that has given up almost as many sacks in half a season as they did all last year? 4 and 4. The punch line in this whole situation? Green Bay. Up Next: Dallas Cowboys
15 New York Jets 4-4 down

1

BYE WEEK Up Next: Jacksonville Jaguars
16 Atlanta Falcons 5-3 - Michael Turner thumped home his 10th touchdown of the year – allaying fantasy fears that Tony Gonzalez would eat up his touchdowns – but the rest of this offense is incredibly lacklustre right now. Up Next: @Carolina Panthers
17 Arizona Cardinals 5-3 up

1

Arizona are playing great ball on D, and we all know they can explode on offense. They’re going to make the playoffs thanks to their horrible division, but what team shows up in the post-season will be a total mystery. How’d that work out last year? Hmm…Up Next: Seattle Seahawks
18 Chicago Bears 4-4 down

1

Chicago have no consistency right now, which should have boded well against an even more inconsistent Arizona team. Unfortunately, the Cards were hot and the Bears were not; 41 points worth of not. Up Next: @San Francisco 49ers
19 Miami Dolphins 3-5 - What is with rookie corners making crazy interceptions out of nowhere on the two best quarterbacks in the league? Last week it was Brent Grimes’ turn to snaffle Drew Brees, this week Vontae Davis makes a huge play, quite literally on Randy Moss; going up high and showing the focus needed to cancel out a nailed on touchdown. Up Next: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
20 Tennessee Titans 2-6 up

3

Economical in victory is Vince Young’s M.O, but he made some plays – he was a little lucky Justin Gage decided to make the catch of his career after VY threw to a crowded center field – and added a dimension with the run-pass option he gifts Jeff Fisher. Up Next: Buffalo Bills
21 San Francisco 49ers 3-5 down

1

San Francisco have faded badly after a bright start, but right now there are just too many ‘developing’ pieces; Michael Crabtree isn’t quite getting the separation his elite level route running deserves, whilst Alex Smith had growing pains in his lengthy quest to vindicate his #1 price tag. Up Next: Chicago Bears
22 Carolina Panthers 3-5 - Jake Delhomme now has back to back games without an interception – he did turnover the ball on a fumble so don’t celebrate too hard – and the Panthers are improving. With a stacked quarterback class emerging from college this year in anticipation to a rookie capped 2011 season, I wouldn’t be surprised if Delhomme has a capable understudy breathing down his neck come training camp next year. Up Next: Atlanta Falcons
23 Jacksonville Jaguars 4-4 up

1

I’m worried that it took playing a bad Kansas City team and a skittish Matt Cassel for Jacksonville to improve their season sack total by 60% (5 became 8 against Kansas’ diminutive line), but Jacksonville are just about holding onto the coat tails of NFL mediocrity boasting a .500 record at the season mid-point, so good for them… I guess. Up Next: @New York Jets
24 Seattle Seahawks 3-5 down

3

Seattle opened this game with a pick and a lost fumble on their first two offensive snaps and got stuffed on 4th and short down the ensuing drive, so quickly found themselves chasing a 17 point Detroit lead. Fortunately the Lions had little interest in winning this game so Orlindo Mare systematically field-goaled Seattle back into contention before Josh Wilson took Stafford’s 5th pick to the house, sealing the game for the teal warriors. Up Next: Arizona Cardinals
25 Buffalo Bills 3-5 - BYE WEEK Up Next: @Tennessee Titans
26 Washington Redskins 2-6 - Washington lost Clinton Portis to a concussion that has kept Brian Westbrook out for the last 2 Eagles’ games but that might not be so bad. Ladell Betts looked like a workhorse on his way to a futile 70 yards and a touchdown. Up Next: Denver Broncos
27 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1-7 up

4

Tampa Bay may not have any healthy/good receivers, or consistency from their fair weather baller tight end… or any resistance to opposition rush attacks… and their corners are getting burned way too much come to think of it. BUT they do have a victory and ensure the NFL won’t have two 0-16 teams in consecutive years. Up Next: @Miami Dolphins
28 Oakland Raiders 2-6 - BYE WEEK Up Next: Kansas City Chiefs
29 St Louis Rams 1-7 - BYE WEEK Up Next: New Orleans Saints
30 Kansas City Chiefs 1-7 down

3

Don’t get it twisted; despite managing to even the score up in garbage time with a pair of Chris Chambers’ touchdown grabs, this was a blowout. Jacksonville battered Kansas City, who despite making innumerable offseason adjustments to the whole of their franchise may actually be worse than last year. Up Next: @Oakland Raiders
31 Detroit Lions 1-7 down

1

I wish I could see the statistical correlation between over confident rookie quarterbacks who start slinging it like Peyton, and the fortunes of their teams. Whilst Vince Young and Josh Freeman play economical ball on their way to victories, Matt Stafford hurls 5 picks and falters after racing to a seemingly insurmountable 17 point lead. Up Next: @Minnesota Vikings
32 Cleveland Browns 1-7 - BYE WEEK Up Next: Baltimore Ravens

Be sure to check back next week with our NFL Power Rankings post week 10.




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