NFL Power Rankings: Falcons, Packers drop in Week 9

30 of 33

Nov 2, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) prepares to take the snap during the second half of the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports


Last week: 4
Change: None

For a moment, the Carolina Panthers looked vulnerable. A 23-6 lead evaporated and the pass rush lost its way. The game headed to overtime, and Andrew Luck was driving to win the game. But as the Panthers have done all season, they found a way to win in gritty fashion.

It wasn’t a pretty win in the rain, but Carolina doesn’t care. Cam Newton once again displayed his toughness and unique ability to burn defenses, despite the hits he takes. He gives the Panthers a shot against any team.

The concern is with the way the defense played late on. The pass rush diminished and the defense looked gassed. Up against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers next week, they will have a tougher test. You can’t rely on Rodgers turning the ball over as frequently as Luck, and the Panthers will have memories of last season’s blowout at Lambeau Field.

Next: No. 3