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NFL Power Rankings Poll: Saints Overtake Rams for No. 1 Spot, Patriots No. 2

Our panel of seven voters ranks all 32 teams from the Saints to the Raiders.

We have a brand new team in the top spot this week, which was bound to happen whenever the Rams lost. They just happened to lose to the Saints, who had been our No. 2 team, which made finding a new No. 1 an easy decision. New Orleans becomes the fifth different team to claim the top spot this year. In week's 1-4, it was owned by the Patriots, Jaguars, Chiefs and Rams. The first three teams only lasted one week, before the Rams went on their run. Will the Saints get to stay awhile? Time will tell.

There was not a ton of movement in the poll this week, with most teams staying within a spot or two of where they were last week. The biggers fallers were the Redskins, who fell five spots. And the biggest risers were the Falcons and—believe it or not—the 49ers, who jumped three spots each.

This week's voters:

Ben Baskin, Staff Writer
Andy Benoit, Staff Writer
Andrew Brandt, Business of Football Columnist
Mitch Goldich, Producer/Writer
Jonathan Jones, Staff Writer
Robert Klemko, Staff Writer
Jenny Vrentas, Senior Writer

Blurbs by Mitch Goldich

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1. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (7-1)

Last Week’s rank: 2
Points in poll: 224
Highest-place vote: 1 (7)
Lowest-place vote: 1 (7)
Last week: Win 45-35 vs. Los Angeles Rams
Next week: at Cincinnati

You beat the best, you become the best. The Saints were sitting at No. 2 in our rankings before spoiling the Rams’ perfect season, so naturally we have a new team atop the list.

2. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (7-2)

Last Week’s rank: 4
Points in poll: 215
Highest-place vote: 2 (5)
Lowest-place vote: 3 (2)
Last week: Win 31-17 vs. Green Bay
Next week: at Tennessee

Remember when the Patriots were outside of our Top 10? One of these years we’ll learn not to write them off after a slow start. The Patriots not only jumped the Rams this week, but also the Chiefs.

BREER: Who Answered the Call? Week 9 in the NFL​

3. LOS ANGELES RAMS (8-1)

Last Week’s rank: 1
Points in poll: 208
Highest-place vote: 2 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 4 (3)
Last week: Loss 45-35 at New Orleans
Next week: vs. Seattle

The Rams’ five-week run at the top is over. They still might be the best team in football, despite losing a shootout in New Orleans, but of course they have to take a hit here.

4. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (8-1)

Last Week’s rank: 3
Points in poll: 207
Highest-place vote: 2 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 4 (4)
Last week: Win 37-21 at Cleveland
Next week: vs. Arizona

The Chiefs took care of business against Cleveland and they’ve got one more tune-up game against Arizona before the big showdown with the Rams on Monday, November 12 in Mexico City. It may be a little unfair that they lost ground here, but there’s a clear top four and they’ll have their shot to gain those spots back.

5. CAROLINA PANTHERS (6-2)

Last Week’s rank: 5
Points in poll: 195
Highest-place vote: 5 (6)
Lowest-place vote: 6 (1)
Last week: Win 42-28 vs. Tampa Bay
Next week: at Pittsburgh

The Panthers may have been hurt by the Saints’ win over the Rams more than the Rams were. The winner of the NFC South looks likely to have a first round bye, and the second-place team would have to survive at least two playoff games on the road.

BENOIT: The Carolina Panthers Offense: A Love Story

6. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (5-2-1)

Last Week’s rank: 6
Points in poll: 190
Highest-place vote: 5 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 6 (6)
Last week: Win 23-16 at Baltimore
Next week: vs. Carolina

The Steelers have now won four straight heading into a tough Thursday night game with the Panthers.

7. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (6-2)

Last Week’s rank: 7
Points in poll: 181
Highest-place vote: 7 (6)
Lowest-place vote: 8 (1)
Last week: Win 25-17 at Seattle
Next week: at Oakland

It’s hard to keep winning close games without a reliable kicker—as Chargers fans are well aware—but this year, at least, it seems to be working out mostly fine so far.

8. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (5-3-1)

Last Week’s rank: 9
Points in poll: 175
Highest-place vote: 7 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 9 (1)
Last week: Win 24-9 vs. Detroit
Next week: Bye

There’s that Minnesota defense we were expecting all year. The Vikings go into the bye week as our panel’s favorite in the NFC North.

9. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (4-4)

Last Week’s rank: 10
Points in poll: 169
Highest-place vote: 8 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 9 (6)
Last week: Bye
Next week: vs. Dallas

The Eagles got a nice present with Washington’s loss during their bye week. (And Dallas’s, Green Bay’s and Seattle’s losses, to be honest.) But the division remains the main focus for now. Five of their final eight games come against NFC East opponents, starting with Dallas traveling to Philly on a short week.

10. HOUSTON TEXANS (6-3)

Last Week’s rank: 12
Points in poll: 159
Highest-place vote: 10 (5)
Lowest-place vote: 11 (2)
Last week: Win 19-17 at Denver
Next week: Bye

The Texans have won six games in a row, and they still have a couple easy games left on the schedule. They have not only taken charge in the AFC South, but they are in the mix for a first-round bye in the AFC, which was unthinkable a month ago.

11. GREEN BAY PACKERS (3-4-1)

Last Week’s rank: 8
Points in poll: 148
Highest-place vote: 10 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 16 (1)
Last week: Loss 31-17 at New England
Next week: vs. Miami

The Packers had a chance to make a real statement against either the Rams or Patriots, but lost both games. We knew going into the season that the NFC was very deep, and that a good team or two would get squeezed from the playoff picture. The Packers are not one of the NFC’s elite teams and they are in danger of getting squeezed.