The NFL's NFC Power Rankings continue to take shape as the halfway point of the 2021 NFL season is now just a week away. The Week 9 Power Rankings have a serious shake up, with 13 of the 16 NFC teams being in a different spot than last week.
NFC Power Rankings: Teams struggling the most
#16 - Detroit Lions (0-8)
Last week: #16
Next Week: BYE
The Detroit Lions are the only team in the NFL that still doesn't have a win yet. That makes them the easy choice for last place in the Power Rankings. They will remain at the bottom of the list for as long as they are winless, and possibly even beyond that.
The Lions have a bye in Week 9. This will give them a chance to reset and regroup for the second half of the 2021 NFL season. They have played hard and been competitive in the majority of their games so they will try to keep fighting down the stretch.
#15 - Washington Football Team (2-6)
Last week: #15
Next week: BYE
The Washington Football Team also hold their spot in the Week 9 Power Rankings. They continue their disappointing season and have now lost four consecutive games. The defending NFC East champions can't seem to find their rhythm this year.
Washington's defense has been one of the most disappointing units in the entire NFL this season. They were projected to be in the top five at worst but instead are one of the absolute worst in the league.
#14 - New York Giants (2-6)
Last week: #12
Next week: vs. Las Vegas Raiders
The New York Giants fell a couple spots in the Power Rankings this week after losing Monday Night Football to the struggling Kansas City Chiefs. They had an opportunity to come away with a victory but they failed to get it done in the end.
The Giants entered this season with high expectations of much improvement from last season. They added key pieces that they were missing a year ago but it has not yet made much of a difference at all.
#13 - Chicago Bears (3-5)
Last week: #9
Next week: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Chicago Bears drop in the Week 9 Power Rankings after a third straight loss. They are one of only three teams in the NFC that have an active consecutive losing streak.
What's encouraging for the Bears is the steady improvement of rookie quarterback Justin Fields. He appears to get better every week and is finding his place in the NFL. His athletic ability has been impressive lately but unfortunately it's not resulting in victories yet.
NFC Power Rankings: Teams that need to do better
#12 - Atlanta Falcons (3-4)
Last week: #8
Next week: vs. New Orleans Saints
The Atlanta Falcons have been climbing the Power Rankings recently but came crashing down this week after a loss to the Carolina Panthers. They have another important NFC South divisional game in Week 9 against the Saints.
The Falcons will be without Calvin Ridley until further notice as he deals with personal matters. He is one of the best players on the team and it is almost impossible to replace his production on the field.
#11 - Philadelphia Eagles (3-5)
Last week: #14
Next week: vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The Philadelphia Eagles have been inconsistent this season. Some weeks they look competitive in the NFC while others they play like a bottom team in the Power Rankings.
The Eagles had a dominant victory over the Detroit Lions in Week 8 and that's why they jumped a few spots higher in the Power Rankings. They will look to build off of that in a difficult clash with the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 9.
#10 - San Francisco 49ers (3-4)
Last week: #13
Next week: vs. Arizona Cardinals
Last week, the San Francisco 49ers had an intense battle with the Chicago Bears and came out victorious. It was a crucial game for both teams in the Power Rankings as well as the NFC Wild Card race. The win gives the 49ers a fighting chance moving forward.
Veteran Jimmy Garoppolo continues to start at quarterback, while rookie Trey Lance will wait for his opportunity when it comes. Lance started one game this season and was unimpressive, while Garoppolo has been mediocre.
#9 - Seattle Seahawks (3-5)
Last week: #11
Next week: BYE
Geno Smith got his first win at quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. It was a crucial victory that kept their playoff hopes alive and moved them up a couple of spots in the Power Rankings.
The Seahawks have a bye in Week 9 of the 2021 NFL season and it comes for them at a good time. They are anxiously awaiting the return of Russell Wilson from his injury. The hope is that they are close enough to make a postseason push when he gets back.
NFC Power Rankings: Teams that are close
#8 - Minnesota Vikings (3-4)
Last week: #7
Next week: vs. Baltimore Ravens
The Minnesota Vikings were a team that was surging in the Power Rankings but will take a step back after losing to the Dallas Cowboys in Sunday Night Football. It was a missed opportunity to take down one of the top teams in the NFC Power Rankings.
After the top five teams in the NFC playoff picture, the final two spots are wide open right now. The Vikings figure to be one of the teams battling for a playoff appearance in the 2021 NFL season.
#7 - Carolina Panthers (4-4)
Last week: #10
Next week: vs. New England Patriots
The Carolina Panthers climbed back up the Power Rankings after a much-needed victory over the Atlanta Falcons. They stopped a long losing streak after opening the season with a winning streak.
The Panthers will look to gain momentum and start a new winning streak in Week 9. Quarterback Sam Darnold will face a familiar foe, the New England Patriots, from his time with the New York Jets.
#6 - New Orleans Saints (5-2)
Last week: #6
Next week: vs. Atlanta Falcons
The New Orleans Saints scored a huge upset victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They have now won three consecutive games as they continue to cause trouble for Tom Brady's Buccaneers.
The Saints have been establishing their identity in recent weeks but have suffered a devastating loss heading into Week 9. Quarterback Jameis Winston will require season-ending surgery after being injured. Head coach Sean Payton will have to come up with a new gameplan once again.
#5 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2)
Last week: #3
Next week: BYE
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell out of the top three in the NFC Power Rankings for the first time this season after losing a divisional clash against the New Orleans Saints. The will regroup in Week 9 with a bye.
The Buccaneers are still one of the favorites to win the NFC and get back to the Super Bowl. Tom Brady is still one of the leading candidates for NFL MVP and his Buccaneers are one of the most well-rounded teams in the Power Rankings.
NFC Power Rankings: The top teams
#4 - Arizona Cardinals (7-1)
Last week: #1
Next week: vs. San Francisco 49ers
The Arizona Cardinals fell a few spots in the Power Rankings after suffering their first loss of the season against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football. They were previously the last remaining unbeaten team in the NFL.
It was a missed opportunity for the Cardinals to continue their dominance against a Packers team that was missing several key players. They will be looking to get back on track in Week 9 in a divisional clash with the San Francisco 49ers.
#3 - Green Bay Packers (7-1)
Last week: #5
Next week: vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The Green Bay Packers continued their surge up the Power Rankings with their seventh straight victory. They have the longest active winning streak in the entire NFL.
Their victory over the Cardinals was a vintage performance by Aaron Rodgers. He handed them their first loss of the season and did so without his top two wide receivers, Davante Adams and Allen Lazard.
#2 - Dallas Cowboys (6-1)
Last week: #4
Next week: vs. Denver Broncos
The Dallas Cowboys continued their climb up the Power Rankings by registering their sixth consecutive victory. They did so over the Minnesota Vikings, on the road, and without their starting quarterback, Dak Prescott.
It was a very impressive victory for the Cowboys when considering all of the obstacles they overcame. Cooper Rush made the first start of his career while rushing attacks from Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard helped carry the load.
#1 - Los Angeles Rams (7-1)
Last week: #2
Next week: vs. Tennessee Titans
Week 9 of the 2021 NFL season features a new team at the top of the Power Rankings. The Los Angeles Rams took over the crown with a fourth straight victory. They are the most consistent and balanced team so far.
Leaders in the Power Rankings improved even further ahead of the NFL trade deadline. The Rams acquired superstar pass rusher Von Miller from the Denver Broncos. He will make a menacing combination with Aaron Donald on the defensive line.
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