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NFL Power Rankings Week 9 - Out Of The Darkness

  Winning maintains the grinning. The St. Louis Rams got their Winless Club card revoked in beating the Saints, and the conventional wisdom rewarded them in the NFL power rankings.

  Jumping nearly three points this week, the Rams began the long climb out of the basement. I say long, because whether it takes another few games or more than this season offers, it's not going to be anytime this month.

For reference, here's last week's ranking summary.

Average ranking (# of rankings) 28.11 (9)
Average change from last week +2.67
Highest ranking (source) 26th (Pro Football Talk)
Lowest ranking (source) 29th (multiple sources)
Biggest positive change (source) +5 (Pro Football Talk)
Biggest negative change (source) +1 (multiple sources)

SB Nation: 27th (30th last week)

Rams beat Saints. Perfect example of how much we know about the NFL (which is very little).

The rest of the major power rankings after the jump.

ESPN: 29th (30th)

Six division games in the final nine weeks will help the Rams as the season progresses. 29th (32nd)

Where the hell did that come from? We need to see a few strong performances to move this team more than three spots. Speaking of a strong performance: So the baseball Cardinals get lucky against the Rangers in the World Series and all of a sudden A.J. Feeley has a better arm than Chris Carpenter? Steven Jackson was awesome Sunday with 191 yards and two touchdowns, and it was nice to see. What a career. Since 2006, Jackson has 8,922 yards from scrimmage, tops in the league over that span.

CBS Sports: 29th (30th)

Give Steve Spagnuolo credit for getting this team ready to play against the Saints. The play of that defense has to be inspiring for next season.

Pro Football Talk: 26th (31st)

The team’s passion and enthusiasm in Week Eight makes us wonder where it was the rest of the season..

Pro Football Weekly: 29th (30th)

Perfect time for Steven Jackson to step up, get Rams in win column.

Fox Sports: 28th (31st)

When RB Steven Jackson is at 100 percent, he is the difference maker for this team, but he wasn't the only reason they beat the Saints on Sunday. DE Chris Long finally played like the first-rounder the Rams have been waiting for, and he led the charge to apply consistent pressure on Saints QB Drew Brees and force him into terrible throws down the field.

National Football Post: 29th (32nd)

Chris Long and Steven Jackson tore up the Saints in the Rams’ upset win.

Sports Illustrated: 27th (31st)

I'm not predicting the Rams climb all the way out of the hole they dug for themselves, but at least you saw a glimpse of their potential in that 31-21 upset of the Saints last Sunday. And don't forget that St. Louis has yet to play a division game, so there's that. Five of the Rams' coming six games are against the Cardinals (two), the Seahawks (two) and the 49ers (one).