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NFL Power Rankings, Week 9: Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers Battle For No. 2 Spot

Week eight of the 2011 NFL season is complete and we had a modest shakeup at the top of the power rankings. With the Patriots Saints and Chargers all losing, the top ten has switched up a bit, including the addition of the Buffalo Bills back into the top ten. The San Francisco 49ers climbed a spot to number two while the Pittsburgh Steelers climbed two spots to number three. The undefeated Green Bay Packers remain at the top of the rankings as they continue rolling along in defense of their championship.

Around the Internet there will be much debate today as to whether the Steelers are the second best team in the NFL. I elected to keep them one spot below the 49ers for a couple of reasons. One reason is that I am probably a bit of an unabashed homer. The more realistic reason is that while beating the Patriots at home is a solid win, it is not the end-all, be-all win some might make it out to be. The Patriots are a solid team, but they have significant weaknesses this year. The Steelers exploited them and got the victory. The 49ers did not blow up the Cleveland Browns, but they handled their business as required.

That is not to say there are not arguments for slotting them at number two, but for now I'm sticking with the 49ers. The good news is that the teams do get a chance to square off on Monday Night Football on December 19. That should be quite the showdown given how well the two teams are playing.

The biggest gainer this week would have to be the Philadelphia Eagles. They have climbed back from the ledge and suddenly find themselves in the thick of the NFC East playoff race. If the Eagles are in fact bringing everything together, they are an incredibly dangerous team moving forward.

On to the Week 9 NFL Power Rankings (previous week in parenthesis). As always, feel free to tweet your disagreements to @sbnbayarea:

1. (1) Green Bay Packers (7-0)
2. (3) San Francisco 49ers (6-1)
3. (5) Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)
4. (2) New England Patriots (5-2)
5. (6) Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
6. (4) New Orleans Saints (5-3)
7. (7) Atlanta Falcons (4-3)
8. (8) New York Giants (5-2)
9. (10) Detroit Lions (6-2)
10. (11) Buffalo Bills (5-2)
11. (13) Houston Texans (5-3)
12. (9) San Diego Chargers (4-3)
13. (12) Oakland Raiders (4-3)
14. (16) Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)
15. (14) Chicago Bears (4-3)
16. (21) Philadelphia Eagles (3-4)
17. (15) Dallas Cowboys (3-4)
18. (17) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-3)
19. (18) New York Jets (4-3)
20. (22) Tennessee Titans (4-3)
21. (24) Kansas City Chiefs (4-3)
22. (19) Cleveland Browns (3-4)
23. (20) Washington Redskins (3-4)
24. (28) Minnesota Vikings (2-6)
25. (23) Carolina Panthers (2-6)
26. (30) St. Louis Rams (1-6)
27. (25) Denver Broncos (2-5)
28. (26) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6)
29. (27) Seattle Seahawks (2-5)
30. (29) Arizona Cardinals (1-6)
31. (31) Indianapolis Colts (0-8)
32. (32) Miami Dolphins (0-7)