For the first time this season, there is a change at the top of The Post’s weekly NFL Power Rankings.
The Patriots’ first loss of the year Sunday night to Baltimore leaves San Francisco as the lone unbeaten team in the league.
Hence, the Niners are our new No. 1 squad, with Lamar Jackson and the Ravens jumping into the Top 5. Seattle and Kansas City also are creeping upward within the Top 10, with Mitchell Trubisky and skidding Chicago continuing to plummet.
1. San Francisco 49ers, 8-0 (Last week: 2): Tom Brady’s former backup quarterback is running the show for the NFL’s new top-ranked team, but Jimmy Garoppolo hardly is the primary reason the Niners have ascended to the head of these prestigious rankings. San Fran’s stingy defense ranks first in the league in passing yards (138.1) and total yards allowed per game (241.0) heading into a marquee NFC West matchup Monday night against Seattle.
2. New England Patriots, 8-1 (1): Flaws that didn’t show themselves during an 8-0 start against teams with a combined record of 17-40 this season (including 6-2 Buffalo, and two wins over the Jets) were exposed in a 37-20 crushing Sunday night by Baltimore. The schedule only gets tougher from here for the Belichicks with games against Philly, Dallas, Houston and Kansas City in succession following this week’s bye.
3. New Orleans Saints, 7-1 (3): The Saints appear rested and ready for the second half coming out of their bye week. An improved defense and the return of Drew Brees in its previous drubbing of Arizona has New Orleans poised to challenge for NFC supremacy, continuing with this week’s matchup against 1-7 Atlanta.
4. Seattle Seahawks, 7-2 (6): Russell Wilson continues to play the best ball of his career and at an MVP level with 21 touchdown passes and one interception through nine games. The Seahawks would make a significant statement and remain in contention for the NFC West title with another win Monday in San Francisco.
5. Baltimore Ravens, 6-2 (7): Speaking of statements, the Ravens now have posted impressive wins over two teams above them in the rankings — Seattle and New England — sandwiched around their Week 8 bye. Jackson also must be considered in the MVP conversation with 637 rushing yards, 10th in the NFL, entering this week’s game against winless Cincinnati.
6. Green Bay Packers, 7-2 (4): Aaron Rodgers and the Packers slogged through their ‘”what the heck” game Sunday against the Chargers, with only 13 first downs and 184 total yards of offense in a quiet 26-11 loss. Green Bay’s run defense did the offense no favors, of course, allowing 159 rushing yards, The Chargers dominated the time of possession, keeping the ball for more than 35 minutes. This week, the Packers will have to stop Carolina’s Christian McCaffery, who leads the NFL with 13 touchdowns.
7. Kansas City Chiefs, 6-3 (8): Andy Reid couldn’t have asked for much more from backup QB Matt Moore. He helped the Chiefs split two tough games without Patrick Mahomes (knee), overcoming a disheartening loss to Green Bay with a redemptive last-second win Sunday over Minnesota. Reid still hadn’t committed as of Monday to Mahomes returning this week against Tennessee.
8. Minnesota Vikings, 6-3 (5): The Vikings defense coughed up a few costly big plays among the 377 total yards it allowed against Moore and the Chiefs, including a 40-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill and a 91-yard scoring burst by Damien Williams. Minnesota has won all four home games this season, but is 2-3 on the road with another key away game slated for Sunday night in Dallas.
9. Buffalo Bills, 6-2 (9): All six of Buffalo’s wins have come against teams presently with losing records, but no scheduling apologies ever are necessary in this league. Josh Allen and the Bills need to keep winning such games over the next three weeks — against Cleveland, Miami and Denver — to solidify their contention for the franchise’s second playoff berth in three seasons.
10. Los Angeles Rams, 5-3 (10): Sean McVay and the Rams, currently on the outside looking in of the playoff picture in the loaded NFC, were hoping to get healthier during their bye week. But wide receiver Brandin Cooks’ status remains in question for this week’s game against the improving Steelers.
11. Houston Texans, 6-3 (12)
12. Dallas Cowboys, 5-3 (13)
13. Indianapolis Colts, 5-3 (11)
14. Carolina Panthers, 5-3 (14)
15. Philadelphia Eagles, 5-4 (15)
16. Oakland Raiders, 4-4 (21)
17. Los Angeles Chargers, 4-5 (22)
18. Pittsburgh Steelers, 4-4 (23)
19. Detroit Lions, 3-4-1 (16)
20. Jacksonville Jaguars, 4-5 (17)
21. Tennessee Titans, 4-5 (18)
22. Chicago Bears, 3-5 (19)
23. Arizona Cardinals, 3-4-1 (18)
24. Denver Broncos, 3-6 (27)
25. Cleveland Browns, 2-6 (24)
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2-6 (25)
27. Giants, 2-7 (26): Monday night’s loss to Dallas makes it five in a row now for Daniel Jones and the Giants, with an average of 31.6 points per game allowed over that stretch ahead of this Sunday’s sad local clash against the Jets.
28. Atlanta Falcons, 1-7 (30)
29. Washington Redskins, 1-8 (29)
30. Miami Dolphins, 1-7 (32)
31. Jets, 1-7 (28): Adam Gase and Gang Green bottomed out with Sunday’s eyesore defeat to the previously winless Dolphins, his former team. Or did they? Their ever-disgusted fans get to be the home crowd this week against the Giants.
32. Cincinnati Bengals, 0-8 (31)