With the undefeated Eagles remaining firmly entrenched in the top spot after another victory, there was shuffling in the rankings immediately below them due in part to the Bills' losing to the Jets on Sunday.
After Week 9, here's my take on the league's top 10 teams.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (8-0)
The competitive stamina and emotional maturity of the unbeaten Eagles is as impressive as their collection of talent on each side of the ball. Jalen Hurts and Co. take care of business against inferior opponents with a championship-level focus that should serve them well as title contenders.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (6-2)
Patrick Mahomes gives this team a chance to win the title despite their flaws and deficiencies. The former NFL and Super Bowl MVP can single-handedly win games against elite competition with magical performances that showcase his unique set of skills as an improvisational playmaker.
3. Minnesota Vikings (7-1)
It is not always pretty with the Vikings, but this team continues to win close games. With six of their seven victories decided by eight points or fewer, Kevin O'Connell's squad has already mastered the art of winning close games.
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4. Buffalo Bills (6-2)
Sean McDermott's team is capable of earning the No.1 spot on this list, but complacency and the lack of a 60-minute focus make them susceptible to upsets to inferior squads. Although the Bills remain one of the favorites to represent the AFC in Super Bowl, it is hard to ignore the silly mistakes and miscues that repeatedly show up in their games.
5. Dallas Cowboys (6-2)
The emergence of Tony Pollard as a legitimate RB1 has given the Cowboys one of the NFL's most dynamic backfields. The combination of Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott has enabled the Cowboys to adopt a ground-and-pound philosophy that perfectly complements a stingy defense. With Mike McCarthy electing to play "team" ball instead of ringing up meaningless stats, the Cowboys look like a legitimate contender in the NFC.
6. Tennessee Titans (5-3)
The Titans' old-school tactics make them a tough out when they are able to control the flow of the game. The combination of a stout running game and hard-hitting defense can carry this team far in the post-season.
7. Seattle Seahawks (6-3)
The Seahawks have re-emerged as playoff contenders due to the steady play of Geno Smith and a rapidly improving defense. Pete Carroll has his squad believing in the same formula (defense + strong run game + solid QB play = win) that helped the team dominate the early 2010s.
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8. New York Jets (6-3)
With a win over the Bills, Gang Green deserves serious consideration as a legitimate playoff contender in the AFC. Utilizing a straightforward, no-nonsense approach on defense, the Jets are whipping opponents with their superior talent at the line of scrimmage and on the perimeter. With James Robinson and Michael Carter adding enough pop in the running game, the Jets have relied on an old-school recipe that still produces wins in today's game.
9. Miami Dolphins (6-3)
The ultra-explosive Dolphins can light up scoreboards across the league with a dynamic offense that features speedsters on the perimeter and a dart thrower at quarterback. Although the defense needs to tighten up a little for the Dolphins to make a deep post-season run, Mike McDaniels' offense forces opponents to engage in shootouts whether they like it or not.
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10. New York Giants (6-2)
The G-Men lack top-10 talent, but their unorthodox playing style makes it hard for opponents to knock them out. If the Giants are able to play the game on their terms, they will continue to mask their flaws and stay in the playoff hunt until the end of the season.
Bucky Brooks is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. He regularly appears on "Speak For Yourself" and also breaks down the game for NFL Network and as a cohost of the "Moving the Sticks" podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.
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