There was a playoff rematch in Tampa. And the AFC East has suddenly become very interesting. It’s the latest edition of the NFL Power Rankings.
Six teams were off in Week 9. And for the second time this year, an NFL head coach lost his job. There could be a star emerging in Chicago. And it’s been a rough year in Tampa but a veteran quarterback showed he still has that comeback magic.
Let’s look at the NFL Power Rankings at the halfway point.
Carolina Panthers 2-7
Last week: L, 42-21 at CIN
Last rank: 27th
The Panthers were in Cincinnati for the first time since 2014. And Steve Wilks’ club may have regretted making the trip. The team was overwhelmed early and often as the Bengals took a 35-0 first-half lead.
P.J. Walker hit on only three of his 10 passes for nine yards and was picked off twice. Baker Mayfield came in and threw for 155 yards and two touchdowns and made the final score somewhat respectable. But Carolina’s defense gave up 464 total yards.
Indianapolis Colts 3-5-1
Last week: L, 26-3 at NE
Last rank: 24th
The Colts would be without running back Jonathan Taylor once again as they traveled to Foxborough. The team’s offensive woes continued as the club was limited to a mere 121 total yards on 60 plays (2.0 average).
Quarterback Sam Ehlinger was sacked nine times and the Colts were 0-for-14 on third down and 0-for-2 on fourth down. And on Monday, Frank Reich was relieved of his head-coaching duties and replaced by former Colts’ center Jeff Saturday.
Houston Texans 1-6-1
Last week: L, 29-17 vs PHI
Last rank: 31st
Lovie Smith’s team played well against the unbeaten Eagles on Thursday night. But the one-win club couldn’t get the job done and their run defense continues to be a major issue. Houston wasted a great outing by rookie running back Dameon Pierce, who totaled 27 carries for 139 yards in the losing effort. Second-year quarterback Davis Mills did throw a pair of touchdown passes. But he was also sacked three times and threw two more interceptions.
Las Vegas Raiders 2-6
Last week: L, 27-20 at JAC
Last rank: 28th
The Raiders’ offense was a no-show at New Orleans a week ago. Josh McDaniel’s team was back on the road at Jacksonville. And there was a familiar feeling to this contest as the Silver and Black owned a 17-0 lead in the second quarter.
But for the third time this year, the Raiders couldn’t hold such an advantage. Las Vegas’ defensive unit wound up allowing 403 total yards – including 168 yards on the ground – and fell to 0-5 on the road in 2022.