NFL Power Rankings for Week 9

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The top two teams in the AFC have begun to separate themselves from the pack in The Post’s weekly NFL rankings.

The Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers both have opened multiple-game leads in their respective divisions, one with an expected blowout against the worst team in the league and the other with an impressive win Sunday against their top divisional rival.

The NFC remains more wide open as we hit the Week 9 midway turn, with seven teams posting either five or six wins already, led by Seattle at 6-1.

1. Kansas City Chiefs, 7-1 (Last week: 1)

The top-ranked Chiefs essentially earned a victory on a bye week against the Jets, with Patrick Mahomes racking up a season-best 416 yards, five TD passes and a piggyback ride back to the sidelines following one of two scoring throws to Tyreek Hill. Only three of KC’s remaining opponents (Las Vegas, Tampa Bay and New Orleans) currently have winning records. Next: Sunday vs. Carolina

2. Pittsburgh Steelers, 7-0 (2)

Mike Tomlin wasn’t happy with the Steelers’ second-ranked run defense coughing up 265 yards on the ground against Baltimore, but the black-and-gold D also harassed Lamar Jackson throughout, sacking him four times and forcing him into four turnovers to match their best start ever. The Steelers could get to 10-0 for the first time in team history with games the next three weeks against opponents with a combined record of 5-17-1. Next: Sunday at Dallas

3. Seattle Seahawks, 6-1 (4)

With a league-best 26 TDs through seven games, Russell Wilson might be distancing himself in the race for league MVP, an award he incredibly has never received a single vote for in his nine-year career. Pete Carroll’s defense has given up the most yards per game (461) in the league, but the Seahawks impressively shut down San Francisco for three quarters Sunday before the Niners scored a couple of late touchdowns. Next: Sunday at Buffalo

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 6-2 (5)

Tom Brady’s team nearly lost to the Giants again, but the 43-year-old legend converted two Daniel Jones turnovers into 10 important points Monday night for the Bucs’ third straight win heading into a first-place matchup this weekend in the NFC South. Next: Sunday night vs. New Orleans

5. New Orleans Saints, 5-2 (8)

Drew Brees and the Saints continue to grind out low margins of victory, winning three in a row by three points apiece after Sunday’s OT win over Chicago. Brady (561) and Brees (560) keep leapfrogging each other for the top spot on the NFL’s all-time passing TD list. Next: Sunday night vs. Tampa Bay

6. Baltimore Ravens, 5-2 (3)

Lamar Jackson’s numbers continue to lag behind the ridiculous MVP statistics he posted one year ago, when he led the league with 36 touchdown passes and set a record for quarterbacks with 1,206 rushing yards. Losing recently re-signed Pro Bowl left tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) for the season is a crushing blow. Next: Sunday at Indianapolis

7. Green Bay Packers, 5-2 (6)

The Pack have dropped two of three after starting 4-0, getting hammered for four touchdowns Sunday, including three on the ground, by Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook. Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers have to make sure Green Bay doesn’t waste a winnable road game on a short week against an injury ravaged opponent. Next: Thursday at San Francisco

8. Buffalo Bills, 6-2 (11)

The Bills haven’t won the AFC East since 1995, but they solidified their standing atop the division with Sunday’s win against fading New England. Their bigger threat actually might be rising Miami, which won its third straight game in Tua Tagovailoa’s first NFL start Sunday. Next: Sunday vs. Seattle

9. Arizona Cardinals, 5-2 (9)

Kyler Murray and the dynamic Cards have a tough three-game segment coming out of their bye week with games against the Dolphins and Bills ahead of a rematch against the Seahawks, who will look to avenge their lone loss of the season. Next: Sunday vs. Miami

10. Indianapolis Colts, 5-2 (14)

The Colts moved into a first-place tie with Tennessee in the AFC South with Sunday’s win over Detroit, which might have been Philip Rivers’ best performance of the season. The unheralded Indy D ranks third in the NFL in total yards allowed, second in rushing yards allowed and fifth in points allowed per game. Next: Sunday vs. Baltimore

Philip RiversGetty Images

11. Tennessee Titans, 5-2 (7)

12. Los Angeles Rams, 5-3 (10)

13. Cleveland Browns, 5-3 (12)

14. Miami Dolphins, 4-3 (17)

15. Las Vegas Raiders, 4-3 (16)

16. Chicago Bears, 5-3 (13)

17. San Francisco 49ers, 4-4 (15)

18. Detroit Lions, 3-4 (18)

19. Denver Broncos, 3-4 (20)

20. Carolina Panthers, 3-5 (19)

21. Philadelphia Eagles, 3-4-1 (22)

22. New England Patriots, 2-5 (21)

23. Los Angeles Chargers, 2-5 (23)

24. Washington Football Team, 2-5 (24)

25. Cincinnati Bengals, 2-5-1 (26)

26. Minnesota Vikings, 2-5 (27)

27. Atlanta Falcons, 2-6 (31)

28. Dallas Cowboys, 2-6 (25)

29. Houston Texans, 1-6 (28)

30. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-6 (30)

31. Giants, 1-7 (29)

Joe Judge’s team has blown double-digit leads in each of its last three losses, but a possible 4-4 record and first-place spot in the NFC East instead leaves Big Blue just one game ahead of (OK, behind) the Jets in the race for the No. 1 overall pick. Daniel Jones continues to have more turnovers than a Big Apple bakery. Next: Sunday at Washington

32. Jets, 0-8 (32)

Adam Gase saying “I’m doing this job to win” is the new “You play to win the game” from yesteryear. The rest of Gase’s yearbook quote following Sunday’s waxing by Kansas City, of course, was “… not to get my face stomped in.” Gase’s team is getting stomped every week — keeping it in the lead in the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes. The offense is ranked 32nd in the NFL in yards and points, with a porous defense that at least is not ranked last in those categories. Next: Monday vs. New England

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