The 1972 Miami Dolphins raised a glass Monday night for their annual ritual — celebrating the last team of the NFL season to lose a game. And they can thank Taylor Heinicke and the Washington Commanders for preserving the '72 Dolphins' status as the only squad in league history to achieve an undefeated season.
The Philadelphia Eagles could not overcome their uncharacteristic and untimely mistakes (and some missed/iffy calls by the referees) to keep their perfect record intact. Monday night’s surprising 32-21 defeat at home to Ron Rivera’s Commanders dropped Nick Sirianni’s troops to 8-1.
However, the loss doesn’t mean the Eagles still aren’t the top team in the NFL.
It can be argued that the Kansas City Chiefs — with the way Patrick Mahomes is carving up defenses during their three-game win streak — deserve to leapfrog the Eagles into the No. 1 spot. But the team with an AFC-best 7-2 record still has that weird Week 3 road loss to the Indianapolis Colts (pre-Jeff Saturday era) on their résumé in addition to the Week 6 home setback to the Buffalo Bills.
Kansas City’s offense — ranked No. 2 in the NFL (423.1 yards per game) and first in scoring (30.0 points per game) — still does most of the heavy lifting for a Chiefs defense that’s 16th in total yards allowed (347.4) and 19th in points allowed (22.9). The Eagles boast top-four units on offense (376.9, fourth) and defense (302.4, third), and they’re also a league-best plus-13 in turnover differential (K.C. is 27th at minus-4) and among the least penalized teams (24th with 399 penalty yards).
So you won’t find any knee-jerk reactions here. Philly leads this week’s NFL Power Rankings with the top eight remaining intact and the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers rounding out the top 10.
The Green Bay Packers, led by Aaron Rodgers and a rejuvenated passing game, climbed six spots to 18th after last Sunday’s comeback win against the Dallas Cowboys in overtime. The week’s biggest drop belongs to the increasingly depleted Los Angeles Rams, who fell six spots to a season-worst No. 23 after a dispiriting 27-17 home loss to Colt McCoy and the Arizona Cardinals.
Let’s take a closer look at this week’s rankings.
NFL Power Rankings
1. Philadelphia Eagles (8-1, Last week: 1): They finally lost a game. So what? They’re still the most complete team in the NFL, although the way they got dominated in the trenches by Washington is a little concerning.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (7-2, LW: 2): As mentioned after their bye week, Andy Reid has a new toy to deploy in his offense with trade-deadline acquisition Kadarius Toney, who already feels at home in the Chiefs offense after totaling 90 yards from scrimmage with a TD in Sunday’s win over Jacksonville.
3. Minnesota Vikings (8-1, LW: 3): Thanks to Justin Jefferson’s physics-defying pass-catching skills, Kevin O’Connell got his signature win as Vikings head coach with a stunning road upset of the Bills in overtime.
4. New York Jets (6-3, LW: 4): The AFC East’s surprising second-place team can take over the division lead by avenging a Week 8 loss in New England this Sunday.
5. Miami Dolphins (7-3, LW: 5): Tua Tagovailoa is showing exactly why the Dolphins drafted him instead of Justin Herbert, with a leap in his development that our Jim Everett addressed on “Cover 2.0” last Sunday.
6. Buffalo Bills (6-3, LW: 6): Josh Allen’s red-zone interceptions — four in the last two games — are officially a problem.
7. Baltimore Ravens (6-3, LW: 7): They return from their bye week to face Baker Mayfield and the Panthers — so another bye week.
8. Seattle Seahawks (6-4, LW: 8): Their four-game win streak was snapped, but they get a pass for having to travel over 5,000 miles (one way) to play Tom Brady and the Bucs in Munich.
9. New York Giants (7-2, LW: 10): Saquon Barkley has played every game and is only 69 rushing yards away from his first 1,000-yard season since 2019.
10. San Francisco 49ers (5-4, LW: 11): Winners of two straight, the Niners have winnable games at Arizona (in Mexico City) and against New Orleans at home before facing old friend Mike McDaniel and the Dolphins in Week 13.
11. Dallas Cowboys (6-3, LW: 9): The collapse in Green Bay placed a bigger bullseye on the vulnerable Dallas run defense.
12. Cincinnati Bengals (5-4, LW: 12): Ja’Marr Chase reportedly is not ready to return from a hip injury that’s caused him to miss the last two games.
13. Tennessee Titans (6-3, LW: 13): After a slow start, they’re in position to claim a third straight AFC South title.
14. Washington Commanders (5-5, LW: 18): When Carson Wentz returns from his finger injury, he should be handed the clipboard and get comfortable watching Taylor Heinicke make plays at quarterback.
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5, LW: 16): They may have found a much-needed running game in rookie Rachaad White, who rushed for a career-best 105 yards on 22 carries in the big win over Seattle.
16. New England Patriots (5-4, LW: 15): They return from their bye week to face a young Jets squad seeking payback from the Pats’ Week 8 win in Foxborough.
17. Los Angeles Chargers (5-4, LW: 14): Justin Herbert looks like he’s recovered from fractured rib cartilage, but it feels like half the team is on the injury report every week.
18. Green Bay Packers (4-6, LW: 24): Could the emotional OT win over former head coach Mike McCarthy and his Cowboys be the turning point of the Pack’s season?
19. Arizona Cardinals (4-6, LW: 21): If Kyler Murray is still sidelined by a hamstring injury and Colt McCoy wins his second straight start this Sunday against the 49ers, Kliff Kingsbury will have a real quarterback controversy on his hands.
20. Atlanta Falcons (4-6, LW: 19): They’ve lost two in a row, but Arthur Smith isn’t ready to hand the keys to the offense to rookie QB Desmond Ridder despite growing cries to bench Marcus Mariota.
21. Indianapolis Colts (4-5-1, LW: 22): Don’t ever doubt Jim Irsay again. At least for this week.
22. Detroit Lions (3-6, LW: 28): They’ve won two in a row, and Aidan Hutchinson is making plays like a No. 2 overall pick should.
23. Los Angeles Rams (3-6, LW: 17): The Super Bowl champs’ season has gone from bad to nightmarish with Cooper Kupp going on the IR to undergo ankle surgery.
24. Cleveland Browns (3-6, LW: 20): They’ve lost five of their last six, and now Sunday’s forecast calls for “potentially historic” snow for their trip to Buffalo.
25. Chicago Bears (3-7, LW: 26): They’re the first team in NFL history to score at least 29 points in three straight games … and lose all three games, per OptaStats.
26. Denver Broncos (3-6, LW: 23): The bye week changed nothing — Nathaniel Hackett’s offense was still abysmal outside of rookie wideout Jalen Virgil’s 66-yard TD catch.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7, LW: 27): Earth’s population has reached 8 billion people, but Doug Pederson is one of the very few on the planet who believes “it’s all starting to come together” for Trevor Lawrence.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-6, LW: 29): They got a much-needed boost with the return of T.J. Watt, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
29. Carolina Panthers (3-7, LW: 30): Baker Mayfield will replace the injured PJ Walker (ankle sprain) at quarterback this Sunday at Baltimore, so say goodbye to any hope and optimism generated by a 2-2 stretch inspired by Walker’s solid play.
30. New Orleans Saints (3-7, LW: 25): GM Mickey Loomis put off a rebuild by not drafting a QB, and now Dennis Allen is stuck choosing between Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston, two veterans whose best quarterbacking days are well behind them. Good times.
32. Houston Texans (1-7-1, LW: 32): It’s becoming pretty clear that their quarterback for the future isn’t Davis Mills but who they select with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.