During week nine, the National Football League’s various power rankings were shook up tremendously. The previously unbeaten Los Angeles Rams fell to the New Orleans Saints, in a shootout that ended in a score of 45-35. The Kansas City Chiefs who were widely ranked at the second best team, easily routed Cleveland 37-21. With New Orleans beating Los Angeles, many power rankings now place the Saints in the number one spot, even above Kansas City, who’s been in the top three almost all season.
Is the Saints’ number one ranking justified? Looking only at their offense led by quarterback Drew Brees, yes. But, looking also at their defense, there is evidence against it. Before playing the Rams in week nine, the Saints’ defense on average was allowing around 20 points a game. This figure is against teams such as the Washington Redskins, and the New York Giants, who are not the best of teams this year. Looking at those numbers, the Saints are in a boat similar to that of the Kansas City Chiefs. The offense has looked great though, posting over 30 points in numerous games under Drew Brees’ leadership. Beating the Rams is a key factor into their ranking, as the Rams were arguably the best all-around team before their loss.
Many Kansas City Chiefs fans may question why the Chiefs did not move into the top ranked spot after last week, but it is clear. Until Kansas City gets their chance to play the Rams in week 11, don’t expect the Chiefs to be moving upwards of the number two rank. Since Kansas City does not play the Saints this season, this will be the only way for the Chiefs to try to position
themselves as the best ranked team in the NFL. Since the Rams fell to the third spot in the power rankings, a win over the Chiefs for them could put them back into the best spot, or even a slightly close second under the Saints.
Another factor to be considered in these rankings is the respective teams’ strength of schedule, of which the Saints and Rams arguably have it easier than Kansas City. With two games against the Redskins, and a game against the Giants, the Saints have had three wins handed to them automatically this season. The Rams, have also had three relatively easy wins against the Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders, and San Francisco 49’ers. The Chiefs have at max had only
two relatively easy wins, with the 49’ers at home, and the Cleveland Browns on the road.
From the outside looking in, the Saints and Chiefs appear to be pretty evenly matched, so having the Saints bypass Kansas City in the power rankings immediately after their win over the Rams is questionable, especially to Chiefs fans. But, Kansas City will get their shot to be ranked where they feel they should during week 11 in Mexico City, against Los Angeles. Week nine finally
knocked the Rams out of being the top ranked team, What does week 10 hold for those rankings?