NFL Power Rankings Week 8

NFL Power Rankings Week 8 5

NFL Power Rankings Week 8

NFL Power Rankings Week 8 6Week seven was a weird week in the NFL. There wasn’t a lot of offense to go around and there seems to be a clear distinction between teams that could win the Super Bowl, a gaggle of middle of the road teams, and a few teams that are already planning for next season. It’s not the easiest to separate the mid-range teams. Any of them can rise up and beat a superior team. That’s just the nature of the NFL. The difference between a Super Bowl team and the team that finishes 7th in the conference is likely just one or two players. We’re closing in on the midway point of the season of our weekly NFL Power Rankings feature and it’s getting late in the day for teams to make their move. The follow are my (@Bucn4life) NFL Power Rankings for Week 8

 

Philadelphia Eagles

Power Ranking: 1

  • Previous Rank: 2
  • Record: 6-1
  • Week 7 result: Win versus Washington Redskins, 34-24
  • Week 8: versus San Francisco 49ers

Not only are the Eagles the only team in the NFL with just one loss, that loss came at Kansas City. Philly has been very impressive so far this season and they’re being led by sophomore sensation Carson Wentz. This will likely seem reactionary but I think you could make the argument that Wentz is a top 5-8 QB right now in the NFL. He leads the league in TD passes with 17, he shows a knack for making big throws and he’s extremely poised in the pocket. Wentz took some big shots but just kept coming Monday night. The rest of the Eagles team is coming together nicely. The defensive line is among the best in the league. The only sour notes came from Philly likely losing LB Jordan Hicks and OL Jason Peters for an extended period. San Francisco searches for their first win in Philly next week.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Power Ranking: 2

  • Previous Rank: 3
  • Record: 5-2
  • Week 7 result: Win versus Cincinnati Bengals, 29-14
  • Week 8: at Detroit Lions

The Steelers have climbed back near the top to round out the 1-2 Pennsylvania combo. The main reason is actually the defense and not the offense. While the offense continues to endure drama from all sides, the defense has been lights out so far. They have legitimate playmakers at each level and they are shutting teams down. They held the Bengals to just 19 yards in the second half on Sunday. It was like watching a boa constrictor crush the life out of their prey. Pittsburgh needs to figure out what to do with WR Martavis Bryant before the grenade goes off in the locker room. The Steelers go on the road this week to kick off a string of primetime games. Just in case you missed it, here’s a gratuitous GIF of Le’Veon Bell stealing Dre Kirkpatrick’s soul.

Kansas City Chiefs

Power Ranking: 3

  • Previous Rank: 1
  • Record: 5-2
  • Week 7 result: Loss versus Oakland Raiders, 31-30
  • Week 8: versus Denver Broncos

NFL Power Rankings Week 8 7The Chiefs are still high up because of the track record of the entire season. They have two losses by a combined seven points. The walk-off loss to the Raiders hurt, but a divisional game on Thursday night can be a little weird. QB Alex Smith is still playing at a ridiculously high level, especially by his standards. RB Kareem Hunt has started to slow down a bit. This isn’t the biggest surprise given his blistering pace. The biggest concern has to be the defense. This unit is finally starting to show the cracks I thought might surface when safety Eric Berry tore his Achilles. They should be able to right the ship when the Broncos come to Arrowhead this week.

Minnesota Vikings

Power Ranking: 4

  • Previous Rank: 4
  • Record: 5-2
  • Week 7 result: Win versus Baltimore Ravens, 24-16
  • Week 8: versus Cleveland Browns

It’s still very uncomfortable to have the Vikings this high. The flip side of that coin is not very many teams could keep on winning if they lost the players on offense the Vikings have. Their defense is still taking care of their business every week. It’s not exactly an accomplishment to do that to Baltimore but Minnesota can’t control who they play. There are rumors that QB Teddy Bridgewater could be close to returning but Minnesota will not risk him in London due to questionable field conditions. There’s always going to be questions about how long Minnesota can win given their injury situation. They have answered them every week so far.

Seattle Seahawks

Power Ranking: 5

  • Previous Rank: 5
  • Record: 4-2
  • Week 7 result: Win versus New York Giants, 24-7
  • Week 8: versus Houston Texans

Seattle came out of their bye week and smacked the Giants in New York. The Seahawks have a knack for being a second-half team and they got started on the right foot. The defense held the Giants in check for most of the day, although they did struggle to contain TE Evan Engram. The main question will continue to be how the Seattle offense can survive with a bad offensive line and absolutely no run game to support QB Russell Wilson. The offense could really use a secondary receiving option. One of Jimmy Graham, Tyler Lockett, or Paul Richardson needs to step up and help take some pressure off Wilson and Doug Baldwin. A very fun matchup looms when Houston comes to Seattle this week.

NFL Power Rankings Week 8 8

Houston Texans

Power Ranking: 6

  • Previous Rank: 6
  • Record: 3-3
  • Week 7 result: Bye Week
  • Week 8: at Seattle Seahawks

Houston has had a week to prepare for the challenge of playing in Seattle. We’ll learn a little more about rookie QB Deshaun Watson than we have in the past month this Sunday. To this point, he’s had a fairly easy path as far as playing bad defenses. That won’t be the case this week. I’m steadfast that Houston could be the best 3-3 team in the NFL, but sinking to 3-4 won’t help them at all.

New England Patriots

Power Ranking: 7

  • Previous Rank: 10
  • Record: 5-2
  • Week 7 result: Win versus Atlanta Falcons, 23-7
  • Week 8: versus Los Angeles Chargers

NFL Power Rankings Week 8 9One has to wonder if the Patriots defense is starting to figure things our or is the Atlanta offense just that far off track. New England easily handled their business Sunday night and the Falcons didn’t put up much of a fight. QB Tom Brady and the offense have the stats but it just seems like the offense isn’t quite as dangerous as most thought. I’m not sure why that is but the weapons just haven’t meshed quite as well as I thought. Losing WR Julian Edelman didn’t help. If the defense has started to put things together, New England could see their path to the Super Bowl crystalize. The Chargers have enough on offense to challenge the Patriot defense this week.

Los Angeles Rams

Power Ranking: 8

  • Previous Rank: 13
  • Record: 5-2
  • Week 7 result: Win versus Arizona Cardinals, 33-0
  • Week 8: Bye Week

The Rams completely whitewashed Arizona this week and they’re announcing themselves as a flawed contender in the NFC. I tend to think they’re a season ahead of schedule but sometimes those are the most dangerous teams to face. QB Jared Goff and Coach Sean McVay continue to be a fantastic story. They’re putting a ton of points on the board without WR Sammy Watkins which is crazy. Watkins is the second best weapon on offense behind RB Todd Gurley. The defense is playing better and Wade Phillips is clearly having an effect. It also doesn’t hurt to have Aaron Donald on that defensive line. The Rams enter their bye week as potentially the team to beat in the NFC West.

Washington Redskins

Power Ranking: 9

  • Previous Rank: 8
  • Record: 3-3
  • Week 7 result: Loss versus Philadelphia Eagles, 34-24
  • Week 8: versus Dallas Cowboys
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Can one of the wide receivers on the Redskins please show up? QB Kirk Cousins has truly been remarkable this season considering the lack of help he gets on the outside. There’s hope that Josh Doctson is healthy and ready to make a push, but Jamison Crowder and especially Terrelle Pryor have just been awful this season. Pryor was actually benched Monday night and Cousins didn’t even mention his name in a post-game interview. That’s noteworthy because he listed literally everyone else. The Redskins are a good football team, but the results have to start showing up soon. A huge game within the division happens this week when Dallas travels to Washington.

New Orleans Saints

Power Ranking: 10 

  • Previous Rank: 17
  • Record: 4-2
  • Week 7 result: Win versus Green Bay Packers, 26-17
  • Week 8: versus Chicago Bears

Is there a quieter 4-2 team in the NFL than the New Orleans Saints? They’re kind of transforming right before our eyes. New Orleans is a bit more balanced than they have been and have an average time of possession of 31 minutes. It’s still QB Drew Brees that drives the engine but the trade of Adrian Peterson had paved the way for Mark Ingram to be what he should be- a workhorse running back. The New Orleans defense is around average, which should be good enough to get them into a playoff position. It’s helping that the rest of the NFC South is scuffling pretty badly right now. The Saints have a winnable matchup against Chicago this week.

Dallas Cowboys

Power Ranking: 11

  • Previous Rank: 16
  • Record: 3-3
  • Week 7 result: Win versus San Francisco 49ers, 40-10
  • Week 8: at Washington Redskins

Ezekiel ElliottDallas flew to San Francisco and took the 49ers to the woodshed. QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Eliott were a lethal 1-2 punch this week, just like any other week. It’s incredible that the Cowboys put up 40 and didn’t really involve WR Dez Bryant. Sure, he got targets and he scored a late garbage time touchdown. It still has been a very quiet year for Dez. It’s still difficult to know what to make of this team. If Zeke can play the rest of the way and they go back to the 2016 formula of controlling the clock and keeping the defense off the field, they can win. If they get off-script, life gets harder. Prescott is among the elite in this league, but he could really use a secondary weapon. The Cowboys travel to Washington for a divisional showdown.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Power Ranking: 12

  • Previous Rank: 19
  • Record: 4-3
  • Week 7 result: Win versus Indianapolis Colts, 27-0
  • Week 8: Bye Week

The Jaguars continue their yo-yo act as they went to Indy and spanked the Colts. The defense racked up 10 sacks and completely dominated the day. That’s not too surprising but seeing QB Blake Bortles get near 300 yards is pretty shocking. He lit up the Colts defense with Marquise Lee and Allen Hurns to mitigate rookie RB Leonard Fournette being out. The Jags are a formidable foe when they play their game. They’re also very below average when they don’t. At 4-3 and entering their bye week, Jacksonville is in the mix for the AFC South crown.

Buffalo Bills

Power Ranking: 13

  • Previous Rank: 21
  • Record: 4-2
  • Week 7 result: Win versus Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 30-27
  • Week 8: versus Oakland Raiders

If the Saints aren’t the least publicized 4-2 squad, it has to be the Buffalo Bills. They don’t have a lot of flashy players. RB LeSean McCoy is falling behind a lot of other backs in the league as far as star power. That’s not really fair, but that’s the way things go. QB Tyrod Taylor is a man with no receiving options and he just keeps getting it done.The overall stats may not jump out at you and he’s a flawed QB for sure. He’s also the most underappreciated starter in the league. The defense will have better days in the future. The Bills could fight for a Wild Card the rest of the season. A big win versus the Oakland Raiders this week would help that cause quite a bit.

Carolina Panthers

Power Ranking: 14

  • Previous Rank: 7
  • Record: 4-3
  • Week 7 result: Loss versus Chicago Bears, 17-3
  • Week 8: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Even though the Bears play pretty well at home, this is a bad loss for a Panthers team looking for consistency. It’s borderline impossible to win in today’s NFL when you throw the ball seven times. The Bears did exactly that thanks to two defensive scores. QB Cam Newton and the Panthers offense held the ball for 40 minutes and yet only produced 3 measly points. They certainly are still in the mix in the NFC South but they better get some things figured out. Their offense could get right this week against a Tampa Bay “defense” that is giving up yards and points by the truckload.

Atlanta Falcons

Power Ranking: 15

  • Previous Rank: 9
  • Record: 3-3
  • Week 7 result: Loss versus New England Patriots, 23-7
  • Week 8: at New York Jets

The biggest storyline coming from this game is whether or not offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian should even have this job right now. The Falcons offense went over 90 minutes game time without scoring points. That’s just unacceptable given the talent the Atlanta offense is blessed with. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why WR Julio Jones doesn’t get the ball more. Even if he’s being double covered, he’s still open. Any game that Julio doesn’t see 10 targets and RB Devonta Freeman doesn’t get at least 15-18 touches is a failure. There has to be a lot of concern in Atlanta at the moment. If they can’t beat the Jets, it’ll be full-blown panic and worry.

Tennessee Titans

Power Ranking: 16

  • Previous Rank: 15
  • Record: 4-3
  • Week 7 result: Win versus Cleveland Browns, 12-9 in OT
  • Week 8: Bye Week

The film from this game should just be thrown straight into the fire. For the Titans to not be able to score a touchdown against the Cleveland Brown defense is a terrible look. Somehow, WR Eric Decker managed to not have a catch. Rishard Matthews and Delanie Walker were both very quiet as well. QB Marcus Mariota is certainly not blameless here. He missed Walker on what should have been an easy TD. Tennessee has a winning record but also has a lot of work to do during the bye week.

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Los Angeles Chargers

Power Ranking: 17

  • Previous Rank: 22
  • Record: 3-4
  • Week 7 result: Win versus Denver Broncos, 21-0
  • Week 8: at New England Patriots

The good news is the Chargers have reeled off three straight victories to at least get back towards the AFC Wild Card picture. They shut down the Broncos offense and did just enough offensively to grind out a victory. Travis Benjamin had himself a day with a punt return TD and a long TD reception. WR Keenan Allen and RB Melvin Gordon were both very quiet, but that makes plenty of sense given they played the Broncos defense. Now, the bad news is the Chargers now have to travel all the way east to face a New England Patriot team that could be finding its groove. We’ll learn a lot about these two teams this week. Look for the Chargers to get Allen and Gordon going.

Detroit Lions

Power Ranking: 18

  • Previous Rank: 18
  • Record: 3-3
  • Week 7 result: Bye Week
  • Week 8: versus Pittsburgh Steelers

The Lions are in for a rude awakening coming out of the bye week. They’ll have to deal with one of the better defenses in the league when Pittsburgh rolls in. QB Matthew Stafford looks like he’ll be without WR Golden Tate, which is a huge blow for the Lions. Detroit better have worked on their offensive line play. Giving up about 4 sacks a game just isn’t going to get it done. The fast start is quickly being forgotten.

Oakland Raiders

Power Ranking: 19

  • Previous Rank: 24
  • Record: 3-4
  • Week 7 result: Win versus Kansas City Chiefs, 31-30
  • Week 8: at Buffalo Bills

NFL Power Rankings Week 8 10Man did Oakland need this win. Falling to 2-5 basically, would have ended their season. QB Derek Carr and WR Amari Cooper finally came alive in this game. Cooper shredded the Chiefs defense for 200+ yards and a touchdown. They played Thursday Night and I still haven’t figured out what in the world RB Marshawn Lynch was thinking. He got himself ejected and later suspended for shoving an official. Maybe the Raiders will realize he’s not their best option at running back now. A win at Buffalo this week would go a long way for an Oakland team trying to salvage their season.

Green Bay Packers

Power Ranking: 20

  • Previous Rank: 11
  • Record: 4-3
  • Week 7 result: Loss versus New Orleans Saints, 26-17
  • Week 8: Bye Week

Green Bay got to see what life was like without Aaron Rodgers this week and the first glimpse was pretty ugly. TE Martellus Bennett led the team with 17 receiving yards. RB Aaron Jones may have taken the job right from Ty Montgomery. Even though the latter is surely still injured, Jones looks like a natural at the position. The Packers are a remarkably average football team without Rodgers. Any team is going to be worse if they lose their Hall of Fame starting QB. It’s just amazing how many flaws Rodgers can cover. The Packers do get a well-timed bye week to try and figure out ways to succeed with QB Brett Hundley.

Miami Dolphins

Power Ranking: 21

  • Previous Rank: 27
  • Record: 4-2
  • Week 7 result: Win versus New York Jets, 31-28
  • Week 8: at Baltimore Ravens

I’m not sure how they do it, but Miami keeps winning football games. This is not a team that should be 4-2 if you just look at their roster. QB Jay Cutler has been abysmal this season and Matt Moore didn’t impress when Cutler was knocked out of the game. RB Jay Ajayi was held in check again and he’s had a fairly quiet season. Perhaps that’s the most surprising element of the 4-2 record. It made sense for the Dolphins to just ride Ajayi and hope the defense could hold up. While the first part of that hasn’t really happened, the results are still there. It’s still hard to rank Miami all that high with their QB issues. They now get a short week and go to Baltimore Thursday night.

Denver Broncos

Power Ranking: 22

  • Previous Rank: 14
  • Record: 3-3
  • Week 7 result: Loss versus Los Angeles Chargers, 21-0
  • Week 8: at Kansas City Chiefs

The Broncos are in a free fall after back to back pathetic losses. The Giants walked into Denver and claimed their only victory on the year and then the Broncos went to LA and laid an egg again. Emmanuel Sanders is a good football player but he shouldn’t be the reason Denver gets shutout. They haven’t been able to get the running game going and QB Trevor Seimian can’t lead the offense. He can play a role but if he’s the engine, the offense is doomed. The Broncos defense is still one of the best but they are closer to the pack then they were last season. The road gets harder this week when they travel to Kansas City for Monday Night Football.

Chicago Bears

Power Ranking: 23

  • Previous Rank: 27
  • Record: 3-4
  • Week 7 result: Win versus Carolina Panthers, 17-3
  • Week 8: at New Orleans Saints

Mitchell TrubiskyChicago continues to be a pesky team, especially at home. 2 of their 3 wins have come in Chicago and they probably should have beat Atlanta in Week 1. The fact that the Bears won while only attempting 7 passes is nothing short of astonishing. The defense came to play, not only scoring twice but holding Cam Newton and company out of the end zone despite playing for almost 40 minutes. This is certainly not a recipe for success moving forward. Teams should realize that the Bears aren’t pushovers. Having said that, I have no earthly idea how they’ll be able to keep up with the Saints in New Orleans this week.

New York Jets

Power Ranking: 24

  • Previous Rank: 19
  • Record: 3-4
  • Week 7 result: Loss versus Miami Dolphins, 31-28
  • Week 8: versus Atlanta Falcons

The magical three-game winning streak has come to an end in New York. The Jets made a valiant effort to make it four games in a row but came up just a little short. Somebody forgot to tell QB Josh McCown and the rest of the team that they were supposed to be fighting for the first overall pick. McCown is actually playing about as well as anyone could expect. He’s taken this mishmash of an offense and is actually putting up some points every week. Sure, they’re tied for 20th in points per game. That’s still more than most people thought before the season started. Don’t be surprised if they keep it close versus Atlanta this week.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Power Ranking: 25

  • Previous Rank: 28
  • Record: 2-4
  • Week 7 result: Loss versus Buffalo Bills, 30-27
  • Week 8: versus Carolina Panthers

It was in a losing cause, but QB Jameis Winston had himself a day on the stat sheet. He threw for 350+ yards and 3 TDs. It’s too bad for Tampa that their defense can’t stop anyone. Putting up 27 points on the road should be good enough for a win. This is a team that picked up steam as a sexy playoff pick in the pre-season but they look anything like a playoff team right now. Regardless of how Winston and the offense play, the defense is just a total liability. A divisional showdown is lined up for this week when Carolina visits.

Cincinnati Bengals

Power Ranking: 26

  • Previous Rank: 22
  • Record: 2-4
  • Week 7 result: Loss versus Pittsburgh Steelers, 26-17
  • Week 8: versus Indianapolis Colts
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The Bengals are on the verge of losing their grip on this season. They sit third in the AFC North and the 0-3 start seems like it could doom them. QB Andy Dalton and their offense started out hot but the wheels completely fell off in the second half. They couldn’t move the ball at all and even had the rookie RB Joe Mixon chirping for the ball more after the game. It’s one thing for stud WR A.J. Green to demand the ball. It’s quite another for a rookie who hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire to start up. Then again, it’s not like this is the first time a player has been out of line under Coach Marvin Lewis. Cincinnati faces a must-win game at home this week versus the Colts.

 

Indianapolis Colts

Power Ranking: 27

  • Previous Rank: 25
  • Record: 2-5
  • Week 7 result: Loss versus Jacksonville Jaguars, 27-0
  • Week 8: at Cincinnati Bengals

Speaking of teams in utter disarray, let’s talk about the Colts! They got totally destroyed by the Jags this week even though rookie sensation Leonard Fournette sat out. The let QB Blake Bortles throw for almost 300 yards. They also lost Malik Hooker to a serious knee injury. If that wasn’t enough, WR T.Y. Hilton followed up his no-show performance by throwing the offensive line under the bus to the media. This season just helps show how good QB Andrew Luck truly is because the Colts are a disaster without him. They’re staring a sixth loss right in the face this week when they go to Cincinnati.

Arizona Cardinals

Power Ranking: 28

  • Previous Rank: 24
  • Record: 3-4
  • Week 7 result: Loss versus Los Angeles Rams, 33-0
  • Week 8: Bye Week

There’s really not much to break down here. The Cardinals got destroyed in London and lost QB Carson Palmer in the process. I’ll take to this space to beg the Cardinals to trade WR Larry Fitzgerald. The man has given that franchise everything he possibly could have. He had to deal with some absolutely terrible QBs throughout his career. Find a contender, take a draft pick and make it work. Arizona is going nowhere without David Johnson and Carson Palmer both out. Do right for Fitzgerald and give him a chance before they come off the bye week.

Baltimore Ravens

Power Ranking: 29

  • Previous Rank: 30
  • Record: 3-4
  • Week 7 result: Loss versus Minnesota Vikings, 24-16
  • Week 8: versus Miami Dolphins

NFL Power Rankings Week 8 11First and foremost, we all hope WR Mike Wallace is ok after the vicious hit he took Sunday. Anytime the helmet comes off and a player just kinda lies there, it’s a scary spot. Secondly, this offense is just terrible. QB Joe Flacco certainly doesn’t have any viable weapons right now, but he is far from blameless. It looks like the Chiefs made the right call in letting WR Jeremy Maclin go. He’s been injured and ineffective so far this season. There’s nothing to write home about out of the backfield and TE Ben Watson is about 392 years old. The defense can hold its own with any team but it appears the offense is incapable of matching points. Baltimore welcomes Miami in for Thursday Night Football.

 

San Francisco 49ers

Power Ranking: 30

  • Previous Rank: 29
  • Record: 0-7
  • Week 7 result: Loss versus Dallas Cowboys, 40-10
  • Week 8: at Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco ended their streak of losing close games when they got their doors blown off this past week by the Cowboys. They had zero answers for the Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott combo on Sunday. Everyone knew this year was going to be pretty rough. 0-7 still can’t be what anyone had in mind in the Bay. Life for rookie QB C.J. Beathard gets even harder this week when the 49ers go to Philly and face that fearsome defensive line.

New York Giants

Power Ranking: 31

  • Previous Rank: 31
  • Record: 1-6
  • Week 7 result: Loss versus Seattle Seahawks, 24-7
  • Week 8: Bye Week

The Giants enter their bye week beaten, battered, and in the middle of a lost season. They have made their playoff run last season seem like a total mirage. Injuries have been a major part of that equation. It still wouldn’t be that shocking to me if they totally cleaned house after this season. They seem to be a prime candidate to take a QB early in next year’s  draft.

Cleveland Browns

Power Ranking: 32

  • Previous Rank: 32
  • Record: 0-7
  • Week 7 result: Loss versus Tennessee Titans, 12-9 in OT
  • Week 8: versus Minnesota Vikings

The factory of sadness just keeps right on going. This year has been a trainwreck so far and even OL Joe Thomas couldn’t escape. He finally missed a snap for the first time in his career and has suffered a torn triceps, ending his season. Cleveland needs to stop jerking around DeShone Kizer. It doesn’t do him or the team any good to keep getting benched. Pick a lane and stay in it. However, I wouldn’t feed Kizer to the wolves this week when Minnesota comes to Cleveland. It’s better to let him wait at least until WR Corey Coleman is back for a real option for Kizer to throw to.

About the author

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Adam Strangis

I'm a sports fanatic who wears it on my sleeve (seriously, I have a Pittsburgh sports tattoo). I'm just a big scruffy looking nerf-herder who somehow managed to marry an incredible and supportive woman, have a wonderful family and a sweetheart dog. When I'm not at work, odds are I'm watching sports or the latest comic book movie. Life is good, it's just much better with fantasy football in it. The sarcastic and above it all fantasy analysis is overdone, I'm here to bring it back to what you need to know with a terrible sense of humor. Let's win some fantasy titles!

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