NFL power rankings: Who is NFC’s No. 1 contender following losses by Buccaneers, Seahawks?

NFL power rankings, 2020 post-Week 9 edition (previous rank in parentheses):

1. Steelers (1): QB Ben Roethlisberger is in his 17th season and – like the previous 16 – he won't endure a losing record. First time any player in league history can claim this.

2. Chiefs (2): Andy Reid's 230th career win (including playoffs) moved him into fifth place all-time among head coaches. Next up? Tom Landry, who has 270 victories.

3. Saints (11): Things can change so quickly in the NFL. Their complete dismantling of Tampa Bay launched New Orleans from NFC's wild-card mix up to the conference's projected top seed.

4. Ravens (5): Sunday's triumph at Indianapolis wasn't pretty, but it was the first time QB Lamar Jackson brought Baltimore back from a halftime deficit.

5. Titans (8): Offense hasn't been same in three weeks since perennial Pro Bowl LT Taylor Lewan went down for the year, scoring 10 points fewer per game during his absence.

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6. Bills (9): They go as QB Josh Allen goes – and that's been a good formula for success in 2020. But more balance could really make Buffalo dangerous at playoff time.

7. Seahawks (3): "I don't even recognize us," Pete Carroll said of a defense on pace to allow a league-record 7,292 yards. The 44 points Seattle surrendered Sunday were the most by a Carroll team since he was at USC.

8. Buccaneers (4): Yes, QB Tom Brady suffered the worst loss of his career. But Tampa Bay's defensive collapse was at least equally as shocking as the offense's ineptitude in Sunday's 35-point unraveling.

9. Packers (7): QB Aaron Rodgers now owns 52 games with at least three TD passes and zero interceptions. No one else in the Super Bowl era compares.

10. Dolphins (14): Five of their next six games are against sub-.500 teams, so excellent bet this Tua Tagovailoa "audition" ends with a playoff berth.

11. Cardinals (6): WR Larry Fitzgerald isn't used to this kind of touchdown famine. It's been nearly 11 months since his last visit to the end zone.

12. Raiders (10): Some breakout for WR Nelson Agholor, who leads the league with 20.4 yards per catch. The former first-rounder averaged 11.2 ypc in five years with Philadelphia.

13. Rams (16): Hope you rested up during the off week, fellas – next four weeks will serve up all three NFC West rivals and Tampa Bay, a stretch that could determine if L.A. returns to postseason.

14. Browns (12): Not a very good bye week when your quarterback goes on the reserve/COVID-19 list and you fall out of wild-card position.

15. Colts (13): Amazing what a difference LB Darius Leonard means to this defense, which surrenders 135 fewer yards a game when he's on field.

16. Bears (17): Stat sheet shows Mitchell Trubisky with a 3-0 record as Chicago's starting QB in 2020, while Nick Foles is now 2-4. Switch might make sense … if Trubisky's shoulder wasn't bothering him.

17. Falcons (20): Don't look now, but Atlanta is 3-1 under interim coach Raheem Morris and 2½ games out of the NFC's third wild-card spot. Stranger things have happened …

18. Vikings (21): Don't look now, but RB Dalvin Cook's two-week explosion has vaulted him past Derrick Henry for the league rushing lead (858 yards).

19. Panthers (22): Let's hope they keep trotting K Joey Slye out for field-goal attempts of 65+ yards until he finally sets a new league record.

20. Bengals (23): Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins could be Cincinnati's first pair of 1,000-yard receivers since Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh in 2007.

21. Lions (18): They haven't won a division title since 1993, the longest drought in the NFC … and it now seems sure to extend until at least 2021.

22. Eagles (24): Sunday's date with the Giants might be NFC's most consequential game, in terms of playoff ramifications, on the Week 10 schedule. No, seriously.

23. Broncos (19): Franchise-tagged S Justin Simmons will be one of the league's most heavily pursued free agents if Denver can't work out a deal next year.

24. Chargers (26): They've surrendered 159 points over their last five games … hence all the "bad luck" and squandered Justin Herbert performances.

25. 49ers (15): WR Richie James had more receiving yards (184) in Week 9 than his total output in either of his first two seasons.

26. Patriots (25): So much for the conspiracy theory that had Bill Belichick dropping two games to Jets this season in a bid to steal Trevor Lawrence atop the draft

27. Texans (27): Soon-to-be free agent WR Will Fuller V picked the right time for a career year … though it's still perplexing that Houston didn't move him for draft picks.

28. Giants (28): If only QB Daniel Jones got to face the Football Team every week. He's 4-0 against Washington … and 1-16 against the rest of the league.

29. Washington (29): Rough year in nation's capital, but QB Alex Smith – he threw his first TD pass since 2018 on Sunday – may now have a pretty clear path to comeback player of the year. This organization could use that kind of heartwarming story.

30. Cowboys (30): Their last four TD passes have been thrown by four different players … good a reason as any to start Cooper Rush or Ben DiNucci next week.

31. Jaguars (31): Nice to see things finally working out for Myles Jack, currently graded as Pro Football Focus' top-rated linebacker.

32. Jets (32): QB Joe Flacco bumps Joe Montana out of NFL's top 20 passing leaderboard … and perhaps proves his future in New York is more secure than Sam Darnold's.


Follow USA TODAY Sports' Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis

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