2017 NFL Power Rankings: Week 9

Jacksonville continues to hold the top spot in our power ratings, with the Patriots sagging into the middle of the pack in what's been a bizarre NFL season through eight weeks.

If you wanted to get a true sense of just how wacky this NFL season has been, look no further than the team that started the year atop our power ratings and the one currently occupying that spot.

The Jacksonville Jaguars -- who were on their bye over the weekend -- remain in the number-one slot in our nERD-based power rankings and have been there for three weeks. This is the longest such streak of the season by any team.

We’ve covered their exploits extensively in this space in previous weeks, but the Jaguars are thriving thanks to a defense that has been elite and an offense that has surprisingly solid.

Things are different in New England, who opened the year at the top of our rankings. While the Patriots defeated the Chargers, 21-13, last Sunday, they dropped five spots in the power ratings. The reigning champions and preseason Super Bowl favorites are now just 15th.

The numbers indicate that New England was outplayed, as the Patriots averaged 5.0 yards per play compared to San Diego’s 6.7. The hosts thrived on third and fourth down (where they were 10-for-20, compared to the Chargers’ 4-for-11 clip) but still managed just a 43.9% Success Rate. Los Angeles had a 53.9% Success Rate -- which is the percentage of plays that yield positive Net Expected Points (NEP). For reference, the NFL average is about 43%. You can read more about Success Rate and NEP in our glossary.

The Patriots still own the league’s best offense by schedule-adjusted NEP but are 31st on defense, ahead of only the lowly Colts.

Here is how the rest of the league breaks down.