Week Nine Team Rankings

DeSean Jackson (Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Eagles are starting to find consistency on both sides of the ball. The same can be said about the Dallas Cowboys of late. Where do both teams stand with Scout.com's team rankings? Details inside....

1) New Orleans Saints: They find new ways to win each week and there seems to be a different player making a big play when they need it. They are clearly the NFL's best team and there is no sign of them slowing down on either side of the ball.

Last Ranking: 1

Needs Still to be Filled: RT (veteran depth), LT (veteran depth), DT (depth), DE (depth), SLB (veteran depth)


2) Indianapolis Colts: Despite their injuries at cornerback, it's amazing the depth they still have at that position. Veteran CB Marlin Jackson only played in four games and didn't start any, so they're not going to miss him much. However, what they were hoping to get from him this season was badly needed physicality at cornerback in a reserve role. It will be interesting to see how the loss of starting SLB Tyjuan Hagler will impact the defense. To get to the Super Bowl, they are going to have to find a way to run the ball better.

Last Ranking: 2

Needs Still to be Filled: RT (veteran depth), SLB (veteran depth), WLB (veteran depth)


3) Pittsburgh Steelers: Despite the season-ending injury to starting DE Aaron Smith, his replacement, veteran Travis Kirschke, hasn't been a big drop-off. However, Kirschke may miss a few weeks because of a calf injury. Offensively, they are finally finding balance.

Last Ranking: 3

Needs Still to be Filled: G (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), LT (veteran depth), OLB (depth)


4) Minnesota Vikings: Great win for them last week and they are starting to be more consistent on defense, even with with the injury to starting CB Antoine Winfield. WR Percy Harvin, if he continues his progression, will get strong consideration for offensive rookie of the the year.

Last Ranking: 5

Needs Still to be Filled: G (veteran depth), C (veteran depth), MLB (veteran depth), WLB (veteran depth), SLB (veteran depth), S (veteran depth), CB (nickel upgrade)


5) Philadelphia Eagles: They finally played well in all three phases of their game last week. The addition of veteran Will Witherspoon has brought some stability to their linebackers. Veteran S Sean Jones brought some badly needed physicality to their secondary last week against the Giants.

Last Ranking: 8

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), RT (depth)


6) Denver Broncos: Their offensive line really struggled last week and it won't get any easier against the always tough Steeler defense on Sunday. Kyle Orton is not willing to throw the ball down field at all. They basically have a 10-yard and in passing game.

Last Ranking: 4

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), CB (veteran depth)


7) New England Patriots: Eventually, they will have to find a way to run the ball against better competition.

Last Ranking: 7

Needs Still to be Filled: QB (veteran depth), WR (veteran depth), ILB (depth)


8) Cincinnati Bengals: Their offense has terrific balance. Defensively, getting a consistent pass rush still remains an issue.

Last Ranking: 9

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), G (veteran depth), DT (depth), CB (depth/nickel)


9) Baltimore Ravens: The no-huddle is getting their offense into a rhythm. Defensively, it was good to see them being more aggressive last week. They'll need to be that way against Carson Palmer on Sunday.

Last Ranking: 12

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (depth), G (depth), ILB (veteran depth), CB (veteran depth)


10) New York Giants: Eli Manning isn't making good decisions and their inability to run the ball consistently has been a detriment to offensive progression. Defensively, the secondary really is having major problems in the backend with communication.

Last Ranking: 6

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), S (veteran depth)


11) Dallas Cowboys: Miles Austin may be the NFL's most improved offensive player this season. Defensively, OLB DeMarcus Ware is starting to come on and he's giving their pass rush some badly needed life.

Last Ranking: 15

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), OLB (pass rushing depth), CB (veteran depth)


12) Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan has not played nearly as well as last season and he doesn't seem as comfortable in the pocket. Their defense can't seem to find a consistent pass rush and it's effecting the secondary's ability to cover consistently.

Last Ranking: 10

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), G (veteran depth), DT (veteran depth), SLB (depth), WLB (depth)


13) Houston Texans: The defense really seems to be improving each week and the run defense has taken a major leap of late. The loss of starting TE Owen Daniels, however, is huge. No tight end in the NFL had been playing better. He had terrific chemistry with starting QB Matt Schaub.

Last Ranking: 16

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (depth), TE (pass catching depth), DE (veteran depth)


14) San Diego Chargers: Their defense is starting to make some small strides, especially in the back end. They still have one of the top three or four passing games. If they could run the ball better that would really help their defense get off the field and not wear down.

Last Ranking: 17

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (depth), RT (depth), G (depth), S (veteran depth), CB (veteran depth)


15) Arizona Cardinals: It's almost hard to believe how bad their run defense was last week. Offensively, Kurt Warner doesn't seem as comfortable in the pocket as last season.

Last Ranking: 11

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), C (veteran depth), DE (depth), ILB (veteran depth), CB (depth)


16) New York Jets: Their defense has really slowed down after a hot start. Offensively, they have to find a way to get more success in the passing game if they are going to challenge for a playoff spot.

Last Ranking: 13

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (slot), G (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), DT (depth), DE (depth), OLB (veteran depth)


17) Green Bay Packers: Playing the 3-4 on defense clearly isn't working out because of the personnel they have on that side of the ball. Don't be surprised if Ryan Grant is replaced next season as their starting running back.

Last Ranking: 14

Needs Still to be Filled: QB (veteran depth), G (depth), DE (veteran depth), OLB (pass rushing depth), S (veteran depth)


18) Miami Dolphins: Opposing defenses are bringing a safety or cornerback down in the box to stop the Wildcat formation, so it will be interesting if they start to throw the ball more.

Last Ranking: 22

Needs Still to be Filled: G (veteran depth), LT (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), S (veteran depth), CB (veteran depth)


19) Chicago Bears: They have to find some stability and continuity on their offense line if they want to have a realistic shot at making the playoffs.

Last Ranking: 21

Needs Still to be Filled: QB (veteran depth), RB (veteran depth upgrade), G (depth), MLB (depth), SLB (depth), WLB (depth)


20) San Francisco 49ers: They were very competitive last week, but they still need a major upgrade of talent at several positions on both sides of the ball. Rookie WR Michael Crabtree has been better than expected so far despite signing as late as he did.

Last Ranking: 18

Needs Still to be Filled: G (depth), OLB (pass rushing depth)


21) Carolina Panthers: Impressive win last week after struggling the previous week against a beat up Bills' team. Any time Jake Delhomme only has to throw the ball 14 times, the Panthers are almost a lock to win. If he has to throw it 30 times or more, they're just about a lock to lose.

Last Ranking: 23

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (veteran depth), LT (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), G (veteran depth), CB (nickel/depth), S (veteran depth)


22) Buffalo Bills: Reality hit them last week. When you have a backup quarterback starting and have too many injuries on defense, eventually you're going to get exposed. Their bye came at the right time.

Last Ranking: 19

Needs Still to be Filled: TE (veteran depth), G (depth), WLB (veteran depth)


23) Jacksonville Jaguars: David Garrard continues to struggle with his accuracy and decision making. The Jaguars can easily get out of his contract next season, so 2009 could be his last as their starting quarterback. The defense lacks the personnel in their front-seven to fit the 3-4 scheme that they're using this season.

Last Ranking: 20

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (veteran depth), DE (depth), DT (veteran depth), OLB (veteran depth), CB (veteran depth)


24) Seattle Seahawks: If they could get Sean Locklear back this week, that would help their struggling offensive line. Rookie LB Aaron Curry is struggling and teams are taking advantage of him.

Last Ranking: 24

Needs Still to be Filled: OT (depth), G (depth)


25) Tennessee Titans: Getting back a healthy Cortland Finnegan last week did wonders for their struggling secondary. If they continue to make big plays in the running game as they did last week, they'll be able to win a few more games.

Last Ranking: 30

Needs Still to be Filled: G (veteran depth), LT (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), WLB (veteran depth), MLB (veteran depth), SLB (veteran depth)


26) St. Louis Rams: Steven Jackson should get some MVP votes if he continues to play at such a high level. If Marc Bulger could just find some consistency, this team could find a few more wins the rest of the way.

Last Ranking: 29

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (veteran depth), DT (veteran depth), OLB (veteran depth), MLB (veteran depth), CB (veteran depth)


27) Detroit Lions: To have any realistic chance to win they must get Calvin Johnson back in the lineup. Even if Kevin Smith can play this week, it would be a smart move to get veteran RB Maurice Morris the ball more. He gives them badly needed speed to their running game. The Lions signed veteran CB Jason David this week. Who's next? Larry David? No NFC team has worked out more free agents this season than Detroit.

Last Ranking: 25

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (depth), DE (veteran depth), DT (veteran depth)


28) Kansas City Chiefs: Getting LT Branden Albert back this week will help their struggling offensive line. It will be interesting to see how Jamaal Charles does as their starting running back this week.

Last Ranking: 26

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (depth), DE (depth), OLB (pass rushing depth), CB (veteran depth), FS (depth)


29) Oakland Raiders: They played hard against the Chargers last week, so at least there's something positive to build on. However, JaMarcus Russell continues to make Derek Anderson look like a quality quarterback. Oh wait, that's impossible to do.

Last Ranking: 27

Needs Still to be Filled: G (depth), DT (depth), MLB (depth)


30) Washington Redskins: You know it's bad when a guy who has been out for football for several years gets to call the plays on offense. At least their defense is competitive each week.

Last Ranking: 28

Needs Still to be Filled: G (veteran depth), DE (pass rushing depth), OLB (depth)


31) Cleveland Browns: There's not much positive to say from either side of the ball. There's absolutely no legitimate reason why Derek Anderson should be starting at this point. They could be better off with no quarterback and just handing it off every play--I'm only half serious.

Last Ranking: 31

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (depth-speed), LT (depth), RT (depth), ILB (veteran depth), OLB (pass rusher), CB (veteran depth)


32) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: They are lacking talent at so many positions that it's hard to see how they could actually win one game the rest of the way.

Last Ranking: 32

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (veteran depth), G (depth), C (depth), LT (depth), RT (depth), DT (veteran depth), CB (depth/nickel)

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