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Week Nine power rankings


1. Arizona Cardinals (last week No. 2; 7-1): Bruce Arians doesn’t want the Cardinals to let anyone else dress in their lockers during Super Bowl week. If winning the NFC title doesn’t work, we suggest storing rotten eggs there.

2. New England Patriots (No. 5; 7-2): Shame on anyone who pointed out that the Patriots stunk back when they, you know, stunk.

3. Philadelphia Eagles (No. 4; 6-2): Chip Kelly says DeMeco Ryans is the team’s Mufasa. Which makes sense coming from a guy who’s built a little like Pumbaa.

4. Denver Broncos (Last week No. 1; 6-2): The Denver scoreboard operator says Peyton Manning didn’t have a very good day.

5. Detroit Lions (No. 6; 6-2): Lions teams of recent years would find a way to blow this.

6. Dallas Cowboys (No. 3; 6-3): Does England recognize the medical credentials of a non-licensed, non-practicing physician who owns a football team?

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 15; 6-3): Martavis Bryant is helping Ben Roethlisberger make a lot of money.

8. Indianapolis Colts (No. 9; 6-3): Eli isn’t the Manning the Colts need to be worried about.

9. Green Bay Packers (No. 8; 5-3): Eddie Vedder would still take Aaron Rodgers with a bad hamstring over Jay Cutler.

10. Seattle Seahawks (No. 11; 5-3): Close wins over winless teams won’t do much to change the perception that the Seahawks aren’t who we thought they were.

11. Cincinnati Bengals (No. 12; 5-2-1): A compelling game in November involving a team from Ohio rarely involves another team from Ohio.

12. Baltimore Ravens (No. 10; 5-4): Two straight losses hurt. Two straight division losses can be fatal to a playoff push.

13. Kansas City Chiefs (No. 16; 5-3): Big Red’s machine keeps chugging away. Oh yeah.

14. Buffalo Bills (No. 14; 5-3): With games against the Chiefs and Dolphins four days apart, it’ll soon be obvious whether the Bills are in position to contend.

15. Miami Dolphins (No. 19; 5-3): Mike Wallace should keep complaining about the offense.

16. Cleveland Browns (No. 17; 5-3): The cupcake portion of the schedule is over. Based on how they played against the Jaguars, Raiders, and Bucs, that may be a good thing.

17. New Orleans Saints (No. 18; 4-4): If they keep winning at home, the playoffs will be a lock.

18. San Francisco 49ers (No. 13; 4-4): “Who’s got it better than us?” That list keeps growing.

19. San Diego Chargers (No. 7; 5-4): The Chargers are collapsing even faster than they’d like their stadium to.

20. Minnesota Vikings (No. 25; 4-5): DeMarco Murray has complained about running into nine-man fronts. If Adrian Peterson returns, Teddy Bridgewater may get to throw into a few of them.

21. St. Louis Rams (No. 26; 3-5): If the Rams played as well against the rest of the league as they do against the 49ers and Seahawks, they’d be in playoff contention.

22. Carolina Panthers (No. 20; 3-5-1): After a 2-0 start, the Panthers have fallen apart. And yet could still win the division.

23. Houston Texans (No. 21; 4-5): Ryan Mallett may not have to wait much longer to prove he can’t perform at the NFL level.

24. Chicago Bears (No. 22; 3-5): The Bears want to know if their new sod comes with a free side of competent quarterback.

25. New York Giants (No. 23; 3-5): Tom Coughlin apparently needs the hot seat to be McDonald’s coffee lawsuit hot before the playoff push kicks in.

26. Washington (No. 24; 3-6): Is it too soon to make a joke about a busload of reporters going off a cliff being a good start? (Chris Rock says it’s not.)

27. Atlanta Falcons (No. 27; 2-6): Why wasn’t Mike Smith fired during the bye week? In part because the team still has a legitimate shot at winning the division.

28. Tennessee Titans (No. 28; 2-6): Zach Mettenberger wants to know if J.J. Watt thinks it’s high-schoolish to check Instagram during a game.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 29; 1-8): Hopefully, folks in London don’t know enough about football to realize that 1-8 is a really, really bad record.

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 31; 1-7): Mike Evans is becoming exactly what the Bucs thought he’d be. Unfortunately, that statement doesn’t apply to most of the rest of the roster.

31. New York Jets (No. 30; 1-8): Drew Bledsoe says playing quarterback for the Jets is like a virgin sacrifice. And there’s a punchline hanging there that if uttered in this space would probably prevent me from ever returning to New Jersey again.

32. Oakland Raiders (No. 32; 0-8): The 2008 Detroit Lions are putting the champagne on ice. And by “champagne” I mean “ginger ale.” And by “ice” I mean, “in the back yard under a dead tree.”