Just like I told you last week, the #1 team on my (and everyone else's) NFL Power Rankings for Week 9 was going to get obliterated by the Cleveland Browns. Don't look it up, just trust that I said it.
New England was that solid clear top pick, but now that they've lost, we're faced with six teams sharing the NFL's best record at 6-2, while another two have 6-3 records. It doesn't really matter who I pick for the top this week because they're probably just going to find a way to lose.
Those of you who are reading this and still carry any sense of NFC West pride, you're about to be sorely disappointed.
On to the rankings.
(1) Baltimore Ravens (6-2) - 26-10 win over a Miami team I really like means these guys get a crack at the illustrious top spot in the Scott Howard power rankings. Soak it up, boys. (LW: 2)
(2) New England Patriots (6-2) - The embarrassing loss to Cleveland is more than likely just an aberration. I expect the effort this Sunday night against Pittsburgh will be quite a bit better. (LW: 1)
(3) Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2) - Their only two losses are to Baltimore by three points (without Big Ben) and to New Orleans. Call me crazy, but I think they're going to be alright. Jerks. (LW: 5)
(6) New Orleans Saints (6-3) - Carolina is a god awful opponent, yet for just the second time this season, the Saints did what they did last year and just woodshedded someone. A bye week precedes another team they should lay waste to -- Seattle, at home. (LW: 8)
(7) Atlanta Falcons (6-2) - I won't call it an indictment on the Falcons as much as just a faith in the Saints' ability to get it going. Don't see these guys taking control of the NFC South down the stretch. (LW: 6)
(8) Green Bay Packers (6-3) - Green Bay's 45-7 romp over Dallas was the hilarious nail in the coffin of Wade Phillips. The Pack has a bye this week, but road dates with Minnesota and Atlanta will let us know if they're to be taken seriously. (LW: 9)
(9) Indianapolis Colts (5-3) - Three of their five wins are in prime time. Unfortunately, they only have one such game left this season. Are injuries catching up with these guys or are they just not taking the regular season seriously? (LW: 3)
(10) Philadelphia Eagles (5-3) - Mike Vick returned from his injury and brought his Superman cape, throwing for over 200 yards and rushing for nearly 100 in a huge Eagle win over the Colts. If Vick stays healthy, they'll be a factor in the NFC. (LW: 14)
(12) Kansas City Chiefs (5-3) - Losing on the road at Oakland and blowing a lead in doing it is tough, so the mettle of this team will be tested. They've got four winnable games coming up (@ Denver, v. Arizona, @ Seattle, v. Denver) (LW: 10)
(13) Oakland Raiders (5-4) - It has been eight long years since the Raiders were a factor in the playoff race. Oakland has a bye this week to rest on their laurels, but the Steelers are coming up after that. Should be a hell of a test. (LW: 17)
(14) Miami Dolphins (4-4) - Falling to Baltimore ruined their perfect home road record. This week would be a fine time to "ruin" their winless home record. I'll believe in this team for one more week. (LW: 13)
(15) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-3) - They didn't beat Atlanta, so I feel like I can be smug. I'll call it right now: zero percent chance this team makes the playoffs. Zero. (LW: 12)
(16) Chicago Bears (5-3) - Four of their five wins are against Detroit, Carolina, Dallas, and Buffalo. They may be an even more fake 5-3 than Tampa Bay. (LW: 16)
(17) Houston Texans (4-4) - If you were to look up "mediocre NFL franchise" in the dictionary, you'd just find the Wikipedia entry for the Houston Texans. Unless they get some consistency going, it'll be another playoff-less year in Houston. (LW: 15)
(18) San Diego Chargers (4-5) - A phenomenal offense, a phenomenal defense, and finally back to back wins. I think they win six of their last seven. This is only the beginning. (LW: 22)
(19) Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4) - A Jacksonville bye week is a little like a Jacksonville game week -- either way, I don't notice and barely care. (LW: 18)
(20) St. Louis Rams (4-4) - If they win the rest of their home games then they can only win seven games. They're going to have to pull off one win on the road, at least. (LW: 19)
(21) Washington Redskins (4-4) - I'd say Donovan McNabb is getting his second shot at the Eagles this week ,but Mike Shanahan might just make it Rex Grossman. Frankly, the latter option would be infinitely more entertaining. (LW: 21)
(22) Minnesota Vikings (3-5) - Only Cardinal ineptitude saved this team from a Brad Childress firing and what I imagine would have been Brett Favre basically quitting in-season. Makes the Cardinals loss seem even worse. (LW: 23)
(23) Seattle Seahawks (4-4) - Awfully hard to respect this team after the way they got throttled at home, even if it was the Giants. Can they stay healthy enough in the back stretch to win the division? (LW: 20)
(25) Detroit Lions (2-6) - The Lions are unpredictable, but one thing's for certain: Matthew Stafford's shoulder hates his guts. Stafford is likely out for the year with yet another shoulder separation. Tough break for a promising team. (LW: 25)
(26) Arizona Cardinals (3-5) - Three losses in a row in three games the team easily could have won. The schedule says they can go 6-2 the rest of the way; reason says we're looking at another 3-5. (LW: 24)
(27) Cincinnati Bengals (2-6) - So, so close to pulling off an enormous Monday Night Football win over the Steelers that would have given them some hope. Instead, they are 2-6 and will just fade into Bolivian. (LW: 27)
(29) Denver Broncos (2-6) - No clue where this team wins another game. I'd say they have some sort of edge back at home, but their last game there was a 59-14 loss. (LW: 29)
(30) Buffalo Bills (0-8) - Really thought they were going to get that elusive win against the Bears. Now that we've sent the Bills to Toronto and the 49ers/Broncos to London, I ask whether Roger Goddell even wants the rest of the world to like American football. (LW: 32)
(31) Carolina Panthers (1-7) - I find the Panthers and Cowboys so distasteful that I've put them below a winless team. With Matt Moore on the IR, this is Jimmy Clausen's show, for better or for worse. OK, it's going to be the Tony Pike show in three weeks. (LW: 31)
(32) Dallas Cowboys (1-7) - Buffalo may be winless, but they are a hell of a lot more scrappy than the dead team walking in Big D. Wade Phillips may be fired, but this team is a far bigger disaster than just one portly moron. (LW: 30)