NFL Week 9 Power Rankings: Kansas City Chiefs remain on top, Denver Broncos rise three spots

2RW8NMP Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) waits for a pass interference call that did not come after the Broncos' two-point conversion attempt failed during an NFL football game against the the Washington Commanders, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

• Biggest riser: Denver Broncos (up three spots since Week 8)

• Biggest fallers: Green Bay Packers (down three spots since Week 8)

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You can find a statistical review of Week 8 here.

NFL Week 9 Power Rankings

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (no change)
  2. Philadelphia Eagles (up 1)
  3. Baltimore Ravens (up 2)
  4. San Francisco 49ers (down 2)
  5. Miami Dolphins (down 1)
  6. Dallas Cowboys (up 2)
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars (no change)
  8. Buffalo Bills (down 2)
  9. Detroit Lions (no change)
  10. Cincinnati Bengals (no change)
  11. Seattle Seahawks (up 1)
  12. Cleveland Browns (down 1)
  13. Los Angeles Chargers (no change)
  14. New York Jets (up 1)
  15. New Orleans Saints (up 2)
  16. Minnesota Vikings (down 2)
  17. Indianapolis Colts (up 2)
  18. Washington Commanders (no change)
  19. Green Bay Packers (down 3)
  20. Los Angeles Rams (no change)
  21. Pittsburgh Steelers (no change)
  22. Atlanta Falcons (no change)
  23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (no change)
  24. Denver Broncos (up 3)
  25. Tennessee Titans (down 1)
  26. Houston Texans (down 1)
  27. Las Vegas Raiders (down 1)
  28. New England Patriots (no change)
  29. New York Giants (no change)
  30. Chicago Bears (no change)
  31. Arizona Cardinals (no change)
  32. Carolina Panthers (no change)

NFL WEEK 8 TAKEAWAYS

The Chiefs generated just -0.35 expected points added (EPA) per play against the Broncos, 30th among the league's 32 offenses and their lowest single-game mark of the season. The defense also struggled, ranking 31st in defensive grade (51.8) and 32nd in coverage grade (41.7).

Despite putting up a season-high 365 passing yards, the 49ers lost to the Bengals. Their defense put up a 60.9 grade, 24th in the league, and they surrendered a season-worst 0.232 EPA per play.

The Vikings lost starting quarterback Kirk Cousins to a season-ending Achilles tear. At 4-4 in their division, will they be able to extend their three-game win streak without him?

Biggest Riser: Denver Broncos

The Broncos have rattled off two consecutive wins, the latest coming against the defending Super Bowl champs. The Denver defense held a reportedly flu-ridden Patrick Mahomes to nine offensive points and didn't allow a single offensive touchdown in Week 8.

Vance Joseph's group has slowly turned things around after a historically bad start to the season, allowing an average of 15 points per game in the last three weeks, with two of those games coming against the Chiefs.

One small reason for concern has definitely been how much Sean Payton has been trying to hide Russell Wilson. Wilson has eclipsed 30 pass attempts just once in the last five weeks, with Denver producing a -2.85 pass rate over expected in that span.

Biggest Faller: Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers have struggled this season and now sit with a 2-5 record and a point differential of -16. They have not scored more than 20 points since Week 2, and they have gotten off to some very slow starts.

Jordan Love has not earned a single-game passing grade above 70.0 and has thrown an interception in five straight games. On defense, the Pack ranks 25th among teams in both EPA per play and success rate allowed.

WAR Lost to Injuries

The Patriots leading receiver, Kendrick Bourne, will be out for the rest of the season with an ACL injury. Through eight weeks, New England's healthy wide receivers have combined for just 0.49 WAR, 24th in the NFL.

The Jets offensive line has taken more than a few hits. Centers Connor McGovern (0.15 WAR) and Wes Schweitzer (0.02 WAR) are both going on injured reserve, so the team is now down to fourth-string center Xavier Newman, who played 108 snaps for the Titans last season.

The Giants felt the injuries to quarterback Tyrod Taylor, tight end Darren Waller and offensive linemen Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal on Sunday when they passed for only 7 yards and posted a league-low 40.9 passing grade.

Late-down Decision-Making

The Jets punted 11 times, less than only the Giants' 13. They also lost the most win probability by kicking on fourth downs (20.3).

The Eagles converted 64.3% of their late-down plays into a score or a new set of downs, the highest rate of the week. The Eagles went for it only once on fourth down against the Commanders, and they managed to move the chains.

The Bears went for it four times on fourth down with rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent under center in Week 8, converting just once. Through Week 8, the Bears have gone for it 14 times, converting just five of those plays.

Game Finishers

The Falcons and Bills struggled on defense in the red zone, ranking 22nd and 21st in defensive grade, respectively.

The Falcons allowed the most EPA per play in the red zone (1.26), and the Bills were right behind them (1.08). Neither team was able to sack the opposing quarterback on those red-zone stands.

The Trenches

The Browns defensive line combined for just a 64.8 defensive grade. They posted their worst run-defense grade (38.2) of the season, but they also managed to produce pressure on 41.0% of their pass-rush snaps, a season-best mark.

The Bills offensive line did well against the Buccaneers defense. Mitch Morse and Dion Dawkins finished with top-10 PFF grades, and Josh Allen was pressured on just 19.6% of his dropbacks, the fourth-lowest rate of the week.

Defensive Success

In his first week back, Jalen Ramsey earned the highest PFF grade among Dolphins defensive players. He played every snap in the first half and allowed no catches, snagged one interception and forced a fumble. The Miami defense allowed only seven first downs in coverage, the third-best mark of the week.

Despite the loss, the Giants defense was stout against the Jets. Dexter Lawrence earned the highest defensive grade of the week (95.0) and produced one sack, 11 hurries and a 40.5% pass-rush win rate.

The Texans defense was also solid against the Panthers, sacking Young 11 times. They ranked 12th in team pass-rush grade in Week 8 (71.8).

Perfectly Covering Plays

The Ravens defense made waves defensively last week, and now they’re being supported by their offense, as Todd Monken’s scheme has come to life.

It’s also sad to see Kirk Cousins get hurt — he played at a very high level this year, and head coach Kevin O’Connell did a terrific job putting him in great situations to succeed.

Sustaining Drives on Offense

The Giants are inching closer to the Steelers in terms of how many three-and-outs they’ve had on offense this season. Obviously, it's tough to sustain drives with a third-string QB in the game, but the Giants' offensive regression is a major reason why they’ve taken a step back as a team.

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