Culver City Observer -

By Bill Seals - Fred Altieri
Sports Reporters, PFWA Members 

NFL Power Rankings – Week 9

Rams at No. 10 - Chargers at 23

 

October 31, 2019

Jevone Moore

Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp - 220 yards receiving, one touchdown vs Bengals last Sunday

1. New England Patriots (8-0): The Pats have a dominant defense and a significant reason has been the use of the "zero blitz." The zero blitz is a defense with no deep safety help and as many as seven rushers. It requires an elite secondary that can cover man-to-man, which the Pats just happen to have. Next: -3 at Baltimore Ravens - Sun, Nov. 3

2. San Francisco 49ers (7-0): Rookie defensive end Nick Bosa was named Defensive Player of the Week in the NFC for week 8. Bosa had three sacks and an interception in the 49ers 51-13 blowout win over the Panthers. Bosa was also selected NFC Defensive Player of the Month in October. Next: +10 at Arizona Cardinals - Thu, Oct. 31

3. New Orleans Saints (7-1): Drew Brees returned and looked terrific, throwing for completing 34 of 43 passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns in the 31-9 win over the Cardinals. That was without star running back Alvin Kamara. Next: N/A vs Atlanta Falcons - Sun, Nov. 10

4. Green Bay Packers (6-1): Aaron Jones was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week after his performance against the Chiefs. Jones caught seven passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 67 yards on 13 carries. This was the second time this month Jones was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week, the other being in week five against the Cowboys. Next: -3.5 at Los Angeles Chargers - Sun, Nov. 3

5. Minnesota Vikings (6-2): The Vikings went 4-0 in the month of October behind the sudden resurgence of quarterback Kirk Cousins. In four games, Cousins completed 78% of his passes for an average of 315 yards per game, with 10 touchdowns and one interception. Next: +2 at Kansas City Chiefs - Sun, Nov. 3

6. Indianapolis Colts (5-2): The Colts are 5-2 in games decided by seven points or less. In other words, every game the Colts have played in has been decided by seven points or less. Next: -1 at Pittsburgh Steelers - Sun, Nov. 3

7. Baltimore Ravens (5-2): The Ravens had a bye week to prepare for their biggest challenge of the season, when they entertain the New England Patriots at home. The Ravens will bring the top rushing offense in the NFL, while the Pats have a defense that allows an NFL low 7.6 points per game. Next: +3 vs New England Patriots - Sun, Nov. 3

8. Seattle Seahawks (6-2): The Seahawks continue to grind their way to victories. They are 5-1 in games decided by less than seven points, including a pair of one-point victories at home over the Bengals and the Rams. Next: -5 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Sun, Nov. 3

9. Buffalo Bills (5-2): The Bills were gashed on the ground by the Eagles on Sunday, giving up 218 yards rushing, including a 65-yard touchdown sprint by rookie Miles Sanders. The Bills are tough against the pass, ranked #3 in the NFL, but they may have a weakness against the run.Next: -9.5 vs Washington Redskins - Sun, Nov. 3

10. Los Angeles Rams (5-3): The secret is out. Cooper Kupp is the offensive MVP on the Rams. Against the Bengals, Kupp had a ridiculously good day, catching seven passes for 220 yards and one touchdown. What a difference he might have made in the Super Bowl for the Rams. Next: N/A at Pittsburgh Steelers - Sun, Nov. 10

11. Houston Texans (5-3): The loss of defensive end J.J. Watt to a season ending injury will not help the Texans, at least not defensively. A bigger issue is protecting quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has been sacked 86 times in the last 24 games. Next: -1.5 at Jacksonville Jaguars - Sun, Nov. 3

12. Kansas City Chiefs (5-3): The Chiefs are 1-3 at home this season after their loss on Sunday Night to the Packers. They have lost three consecutive games at home. The Chiefs have struggled to stop the run and this week the NFL's leading rusher, Dalvin Cook, comes to town. Next: -2 vs Minnesota Vikings - Sun, Nov. 3

13. Dallas Cowboys (4-3): The Cowboys have a stretch that may decide if they really are a playoff team. They will be on the road for three of their next four games. The only home game in that stretch will be against the Vikings. Yes, we will learn a lot. Next: -10 at New York Giants - Mon, Nov. 4

14. Carolina Panthers (4-3): The Panthers will try to recover from their very unpleasant visit to the west coast this week. They were boat raced by the 49ers, 51-13. They were either exposed or just came across a juggernaut in the 49ers. Next: -3.5 vs Tennessee Titans - Sun, Nov. 3

15. Detroit Lions (3-3-1): It was somewhat surprising that the Lions did not acquire a running back before the trade deadline. After a knee injury ended the season of Kerryon Johnson, it was thought that the Lions would make a move. They decided on a running back by committee approach with rookie Ty Johnson and veteran castaways Tra Carson, J.D. McKissic, and Paul Perkins. Good luck with that. Next: +2.5 at Oakland Raiders - Sun, Nov. 3

16. Philadelphia Eagles (4-4): The Eagles got a much-needed win on the road against the Bills. The Eagles got a 65-yard touchdown run from rookie speedster Miles Sanders. Sanders brings the kind of speed that the offense lacks, and he needs to be a bigger part of the offense. Next: -4.5 vs Chicago Bears - Sun, Nov. 3

17. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4): Quarterback Nick Foles will return week 11, if his recovery from a broken collarbone is good. The question for Jag fans, they do stay with backup Gardner Minshew, who has played well, or return to their high-priced free agent acquisition? The bet here is on the guy making the most money. Next: +1.5 vs Houston Texans - Sun, Nov. 3

18. Tennessee Titans (4-4): One of the reasons that players like quarterback Marcus Mariota were not traded at the trade deadline is because of the NFL compensatory system. A player lost in free agency can bring up to a 3rd round draft pick in compensation. The Titans needed an offer in the 2nd to 4th round range to move Mariota. Next: +3.5 at Carolina Panthers - Sun, Nov. 3

19. Oakland Raiders (3-4): The Raiders have not played a game at home since September 15th. They will now spend the next three weeks at home with consecutive games against the Lions, Chargers and Bengals. If the Raiders are going to make a playoff run, this is the time. Next: -2.5 vs Detroit Lions - Sun, Nov. 3

20. Chicago Bears (3-4): The Bears are 3-4 and struggling offensively. A bigger concern is the future. The Raiders own the Bears first round pick in 2020 as a result of the Khalil Mack trade. The subpar play of their 2017 first round pick, quarterback Mitch Trubisky, has the Bears concerned about the 2020 season. Next: +4.5 at Philadelphia Eagles - Sun, Nov. 3

21. Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1): Kicker Zane Gonzalez was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month of October. Gonzalez connected on 11-of-12 field goal attempts and all nine of his extra points during the month. His 42 points tied for the most in the league in that span. Gonzalez does lead the NFL in points this season with 76 and has booted a league-high 21 field goals. Next: +10 vs San Francisco 49ers - Thu, Oct. 31

22. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-4): Quarterback Mason Rudolph got off to a slow start Monday night against the Dolphins and was booed loudly by the Steelers fans. Rudolph stated: "I would've booed that performance too. We were coming out slow. This is the Pittsburgh Steelers. There's a standard here." Next: +1 vs Indianapolis Colts – Sun, Nov. 3

23. Los Angeles Chargers (3-5): The Bosa family had a good weekend of football, as defensive end Joey Bosa was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week. Bosa had seven solo tackles, two sacks and four tackles for losses. His brother Nick was NFC Defensive Player of the Week. Next: +3.5 vs Green Bay Packers - Sun, Nov. 3

24. New York Gants (2-6): The Giants gave up a 3rd round and a 5th round for defensive tackle Leonard Williams. It is a lot to give up for a player that will be an unrestricted free agent in 2020, but the Giants wanted to test this investment out before they decide to commit to a long-term deal. Next: +10 vs Dallas Cowboys - Mon, Nov. 4

25. Cleveland Browns (2-5): Baker Mayfield: "Everybody wants to hear the truth until they actually get it. I am who I am and always have been. Don't call it emotional when it's convenient and then passion when it fits. I care about winning, so yeah I'm frustrated." Sounds very emotional. Next: -3.5 at Denver - Sun, Nov. 3

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5): Linebacker Shaq Barrett is tied for the NFL lead in sacks with ten. He has 27 tackles, one interception and leads the NFL with four forced fumbles. He is making $4 million this season and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2020. He is going to get a very big raise next year.Next: +5.5 at Seattle Seahawks - Sun, Nov. 3

27. Denver Broncos (2-6): Quarterback Joe Flacco is out with a neck injury for the next 4-6 weeks. The Broncos will turn to quarterback Brandon Allen, the former Rams' third-string quarterback. The Broncos need to find a long-term solution to their quarterback problem. The Rams 3rd string quarterback is not the solution. Next: +3.5 vs Cleveland Browns - Sun, Nov. 3

28. New York Jets (1-6): The Jets traded defensive tackle Leonard Williams to the Giants for a third-round pick in 2020 and a fifth-round pick in 2021. The fifth-round pick becomes a fourth-round pick if the Giants sign Williams to an extension before free agency begins next year. A good move for the Jets. Next: -3 at Miami Dolphins - Sun, Nov. 3

29. Washington Redskins (1-7): The Redskins need help. They need talent. They need a good head coach. They need a good GM. They need an owner that hires good football personnel and let's them run the operation. A top five pick in next year's draft will not solve all these problems. Next: +9.5 at Buffalo Bills – Sun, Nov. 3

Jevone Moore

Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa - Four tackles for loss, two sacks vs Bears last Sunday

30. Atlanta Falcons (1-7): The great wide receiver Julio Jones caught 10 passes for 152 yards in the Falcons 27-20 loss to the Seahawks. With quarterback Matt Ryan on the sidelines due to an injury, Jones was catching passes from Matt Schaub, showing that he can catch passes from anyone. Next: N/A at New Orleans Saints - Sun, Nov. 10

31. Cincinnati Bengals (0-8): The Bengals have decided to bench quarterback Andy Dalton and start 2019 4th round draft pick Ryan Finley, because starting a rookie quarterback on a bad football team almost always goes well. They are the Bengals. Next: N/A vs Baltimore Ravens - Sun, Nov. 10

32. Miami Dolphins (0-7): The Dolphins had a 14-0 lead in the second quarter in Pittsburgh on Monday Night. Then they remembered that they were the Dolphins and lost 27-14. All kidding aside, they are playing better football and may find a way to win a few games this season. In 2020, they will have 14 draft picks, including three 1st round picks. There may be hope in the future for Dolphins fans. Next: +3 vs New York Jets - Sun, Nov. 3

 

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