NFL Power Rankings Week 9: The Bengals Have Arrived

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SLR’s Week 8 NFL Power Rankings: 32-25 Oct 27, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Giants defensive back Will Hill (25) intercepts a pass intended for Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) during the second half at Lincoln Financial Field. The Giants won the game 15-7. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-7) ▼1

It’s bad, and getting worse. I’m not in the locker room, I haven’t talked to the players, and I’m not a body language expert, so I can’t tell you if the team has “quit on” Greg Schiano or not, but’s Michael Silver can. I can’t remember a head coach being a lightning rod for stranger off-field controversies than Schiano, and his team is doing absolutely nothing to justify the media storm. At least Jacksonville was supposed to be this bad, and their head coach isn’t a few tenuous moments away from fighting off a mutiny.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-8) ▲1

We already know they lack talent. Getting demolished on foreign soil was a foregone conclusion. But even at 0-8, they’re not even the worst team in their own state. This season was never for winning, it’s for the new management to figure out what they have. They’re like the 2009 Detroit Lions, picking through wreckage to see what they can salvage. They have brighter days ahead. They’re better off in their rebuilding than the Bucs because they didn’t go on a free agent spending spree two years ago (see how that works?).

30. Minnesota Vikings (1-6) NC

Well, they lost to the Packers. That wasn’t exactly unexpected. When Josh Freeman is ready, he needs to come back in, because the top priority in Minnesota has to be finding a quarterback. They haven’t had a legitmate long-term option since Daunte Culpepper was good. Also, the defense is woeful. At least Cordarrelle Patterson is a special teams gift.

29. Houston Texans (2-5) ▼1

Who is the quarterback coming out of the bye week, and does it make any difference? The playoffs are probably a pipe dream this year, and their starting quarterback for next season probably isn’t on the roster right now.

28. New York Giants (2-6) ▲1

They didn’t win their first game until Week 7,  and now they’ve won two straight and are two games out of first in the NFC East. They won’t win it, because kicking enough field goals to beat the Eagles and Vikings doesn’t make them actually good. But they are looking better than their 0-6 start suggested.

27. Atlanta Falcons (2-5) ▼1

Oh, wow, it’s worse than I thought. They just got dominated by the Cardinals. Not beaten, but dominated. Blame a lack of Roddy White and Julio Jones if you want, but the problems run deeper than that. Fielding a below-average defense and the league’s worst rushing offense won’t win many games, especially when your quarterback throws four interceptions.

26. Washington Redskins (2-5) ▲1

They fought valiantly against the Broncos, almost making me wonder if I’d failed to give their defense enough credit. Then they gave up 38 unanswered points, and all was as expected. Granted, let’s give sufficient credit to Robert Griffin III becoming a turnover machine. It was a total team effort to give up a 14-point lead and lose by 24.

25. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) ▼5

Maybe we had it all wrong. Maybe the Revolutionary Chip Kelly Offense™ actually revolutionizes the ways the Eagles don’t score. Kelly’s legendary creativity has resulted in a grand total of three points in the last two weeks. Combined. And that was against the Cowboys and Giants. They’re awful, period.