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Tabeek's NFL Power Rankings: Top three, Falcons, all stay put for now

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We're at the midway point of the season and the NFL trade deadline is behind us, too. (So much for waiting on a possible blockbuster deal before the 4 p.m. ET trade deadline.)

Not much changed in the top 10 of my Wildly Important NFL Power Rankings this week. Then Panthers were beat up in the Bay Area and dropped three spots to No. 13. The Bills also fell three spots, from the fifth spot to No. 8.

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But the bigger story here as we head into the second half of the season centers around the two remaining unbeaten teams: No. 1 New England and No. 3 San Francisco. While both teams are fueled by tremendous defensive units, the schedule is about to get considerably tougher for both.

Yes, I'm expecting a shakeup in the top five in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

So, without further ado, it's time for the Week 9 edition of my Wildly Important NFL Power Rankings. Enjoy.

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1. Patriots (8-0) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Sure, they’ve beaten up on some weaker teams, but they’ve dominated almost all of them. Plus, they’ll be tested soon enough. 1
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2. Saints (7-1) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Stepping in as the starter, all Teddy Bridgewater did is keep the bus rolling. And now Drew Brees is back. Watch out. 2
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3. 49ers (7-0) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Think they should be higher than the Saints? Think Nick Mullens could win five or six straight games if he had to start? We’ve seen them without Jimmy G before; it ain't pretty. 3
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4. Packers (7-1) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
I’m not surprised they beat the Patrick Mahomes-less Chiefs, but I am somewhat surprised by the 7-1 mark. Circle the date: Nov. 24 at 49ers. 4
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5. Ravens (5-2) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
We’re about to find out just how good the Ravens (and the Patriots!) are this weekend. 6
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6. Vikings (6-2) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
It wasn’t pretty, but they got the win over a bad Redskins team. Tough road game up next at Arrowhead Stadium. 7
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7. Seahawks (6-2) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They took their foot off the gas pedal against the Falcons and it almost cost them. 8
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8. Bills (5-2) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They got punched in the mouth – at home! – by Philly. How will they respond in D.C.? 5
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9. Chiefs (5-3) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Back-to-back games at home against two really good NFC North teams. They’ve lost one already. 9
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10. Rams (5-3) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They’re heading into their bye on a winning note and you get the sense that this team is gaining some steam heading into the second half. 12
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11. Cowboys (4-3) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
If they can get the same effort they showed against Philly every week I think this team can hang with any team. But will they? 11
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12. Colts (5-2) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They squeaked by the Broncos at home and, more importantly, they’ve won five of their last six as they head into Pittsburgh. 13
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13. Panthers (4-3) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
I was wrong about the Panthers; I thought they’d show up and give the Niners a fight in Frisco. Not so, but they’re still in position to make playoff push in the second half. 10
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14. Texans (5-3) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They rallied to beat the Raiders by three … and now get the Jags. Last time those two met it came down to a failed two-point attempt. 14
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15. Lions (3-3-1) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
The Lions are better than their (very) average record. 15
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16. Eagles (4-4) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Nice road win against a good team in a rowdy environment. They need to string some wins together in order to keep pace with the Cowboys. 16
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17. Jaguars (4-4) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
How much fun is the Gardner Minshew story? Now he and the Jags get a chance at redemption with the Texans coming to town. 19
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18. Titans (4-4) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
The Titans are about where I thought they’d be midway through the season: hovering around .500. 20
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19. Raiders (3-4) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They’re hanging around in the AFC West, but I’m not sure if they have what it takes to make a second-half push. 17
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20. Bears (3-4) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Outside of the Falcons and Chargers, no team has been more disappointing than the Bears this season. 18
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21. Steelers (3-4) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Sure, it’s been a tough year with no Big Ben under center but they’re still scrapping in the Steel City. 22
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22. Cardinals (3-4-1) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They were whipped by the Saints, and that’s not a shocker. But I like how this team has steadily shown progress over the first eight games. 21
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23. Chargers (3-5) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They fired their offensive coordinator. Will that help any? I’m not so sure, but this team is much better than its 3-5 record. 27
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24. Browns (2-5) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They’ve now lost three straight and four of their last five games. So much for that preseason hype and guaranteeing wins. 23
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25. Giants (2-6) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
It’s been a rough season but a win over the Cowboys on Monday night would make Big Blue fans feel a little better. 24
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26. Buccaneers (2-5) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Welp, Jameis Winston is on pace to throw more picks this season than any of his previous four seasons in Tampa. 25
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27. Broncos (2-6) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Based on multiple reports it sounds like Joe Flacco is going to be out for several weeks. Brandon Allen is next man up. 26
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28. Jets (1-6) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
The Jets were reportedly very active around trade deadline, shopping a number of marquee players. That’s got to make Gang Green fans feel *really* good. Yikes. 28
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29. Falcons (1-7) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
If the Falcons could only figure out a way to play like they do in the second half of games in the first two quarters, they’d be in much better shape right now. 29
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30. Redskins (1-7) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
The defense held the Vikings in check for the most part, but the offense is inept. AP is still running hard, so there's that. 30
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31. Dolphins (0-7) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Say what you want about tanking and all of that stuff, but at least they look like they’re trying to win games on the field. 32
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32. Bengals (0-8) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Andy Dalton passed for 329 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions last week. He’s been benched for Ryan Finley. This 0-8 record is starting to make sense to me now. 31
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