Every week I think the Top Ten teams in my NFL Power Rankings will solidify their position, but every week some wacky results throw a wrench in that plan. The […]
Every week I think the Top Ten teams in my NFL Power Rankings will solidify their position, but every week some wacky results throw a wrench in that plan.
The undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers downing the Baltimore Ravens by four points wasn’t the biggest upset, but it was a monumental win for Pittsburgh moving forward. Was it enough to earn the Steelers the top spot in this week’s Power Rankings?
In terms of bigger surprises, the Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans, both coming in to Week 8 with just one loss, dropped games against the lowly Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals.
The Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears also suffered disappointing defeats, and the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans were the beneficiaries in the win column.
Read on as we rank the teams from 1-32 after eight weeks of play.
Two Straight Weeks at the Top: The Kansas City Chiefs hold on to the top spot in this week’s Power Rankings. Simply put, I think the Chiefs would beat the Steelers in a head-to-head matchup. And while Kansas City’s defense has flaws, the Chiefs win games far more handily than Pittsburgh, even if they do have one loss to the Raiders.
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-0) [Last Week: 2]
I’ll admit I was wrong about the Pittsburgh Steelers early in the season. Even after starting 2-0, 3-0, 4-0, I refused to put them in the Top 10, citing the poor quality of their opponents. Well, after beating both Tennessee and Baltimore and remaining a perfect 7-0 has put those qualms to rest. This Steelers team is the real deal after edging out the Ravens 28-24 last week. You can make a case for Pittsburgh at #1, but you can’t really argue they should be any lower.
Seattle Seahawks (6-1) [Last Week: 4]
The Seattle Seahawks rebounded from an overtime loss against the Cardinals with a 37-27 win over the 49ers. Seattle’s defense did let up 20 points in the fourth quarter, but as usual, Russell Wilson and his four touchdown passes were more than enough to help the Seahawks outscore their opponent once again.
Baltimore Ravens (5-2) [Last Week: 2]
The Baltimore Ravens lost a tough game and didn’t get all the offense they wanted against the Steelers. They did lose by just four points, and with a strong record and losses by other teams in the Top Ten, they only slide two spots. The Ravens have lost to the top two teams in this week’s Power Rankings. On one hand, it makes the losses seem more excusable, but on the other hand, if you’re a Super Bowl contender, you’d like to be able to beat the league’s best teams.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2) [Last Week: 7]
Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have liked to move the Tampa Bay Buccaneers up much at all, as they narrowly found victory against a 1-6 Giants team. But again, with losses by other teams in the Top Ten, some against far inferior opponents, Tampa Bay finds themselves rising two spots and into the Top Five with their strong 6-2 record.
Green Bay Packers (5-2) [Last Week: 6]
The Green Bay Packers are one of those teams that experienced a bad loss, a surprising 28-22 defeat against the 1-5 Vikings. They do maintain their #6 spot, however, by virtue of a head-to-head victory over the Saints.
New Orleans Saints (5-2) [Last Week: 8]
The New Orleans Saints defeated the Bears 26-23 in overtime last week to win their fourth straight game. After a shaky 1-2 start, Drew Brees and the Saints are back on track, ready to jockey for positioning in the NFC South with Tampa Bay.
Arizona Cardinals (5-2) [Last Week: 9]
Buffalo Bills (6-2) [Last Week: 10]
Tennessee Titans (5-2) [Last Week: 6]
Biggest Loser of Week 8 (tie): Normally, I would use a head-to-head win to break a tie over two close teams. But Power Rankings are also an in-the-moment picture of the NFL’s landscape. The Tennessee Titans have lost two straight, first to the undefeated Steelers, but then to a one-win Bengals team. They’re still good, but maybe not as dominant as their 5-0 start suggested.
Indianapolis Colts (5-2) [Last Week: 16]
Biggest Winner of Week 8 (tie): Everything clicked for the Indianapolis Colts in a 41-21 win over the Lions. With teams like the Rams, Bears, 49ers, and Browns all losing in Week 8, the Colts find themselves as one of the biggest winners in this week’s Power Rankings.
Los Angeles Rams (5-3) [Last Week: 11]
The Los Angeles Rams 28-17 loss to the Dolphins was disappointing. But with five wins, and some teams behind them losing, the Rams don’t move the needle much: they’re just outside the Top Ten.
Chicago Bears (5-3) [Last Week: 12]
With back-to-back losses, the Chicago Bears have certainly squandered their one-week stay in my Top Ten. But this week’s loss wasn’t so bad: a 26-23 overtime defeat at the hands of a hot New Orleans Saints team.
Las Vegas Raiders (4-3) [Last Week: 14]
Miami Dolphins (4-3) [Last Week: 20]
Biggest Winner of Week 8 (tie): Tua Tagovailoa didn’t exactly shine in his NFL debut, Miami’s 28 first half points were more than enough to dispatch the-then 5-2 Rams. The Dolphins have won four of five, and haven’t lost by more than one score since Week 1. If Miami keeps it up, they’ll be firmly in both the AFC East and AFC Wildcard races.
Cleveland Browns (5-3) [Last Week: 15]
The Cleveland Browns are still fortunate to have five wins this early in the season. But they certainly don’t show up every single week.. not after last week’s 16-6 loss to the Raiders.
San Francisco 49ers (4-4) [Last Week: 13]
Biggest Loser of Week 8 (tie): The San Francisco 49ers looked so good against the Patriots, but largely went backwards against the Seattle Seahawks. The final score, 37-27, isn’t horrible against an elite Seattle team. The drop in the rankings is more due to Jimmy Garroppolo being sidelined for the next few weeks. He’s no Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes, but having him healthy helps San Francisco win football games.
Los Angeles Chargers (2-5) [Last Week: 18]
It was another heart-breaking, last-second, one-score loss for a talented Los Angeles Chargers that just can’t finish games last week. Drew Lock and the Broncos walked away with a 31-30 win in Denver.
Carolina Panthers (3-5) [Last Week: 17]
Denver Broncos (3-5) [Last Week: 22]
While the Denver Broncos’ three wins are weak (Jets, Patriots, Chargers,) the team is certainly competitive with Drew Lock at quarterback. Denver’s gritty 31-30 win over the Chargers gave the Broncos their third win in their last four games, with a single loss to the Chiefs.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1) [Last Week: 21]
The Philadelphia Eagles are inching towards a .500 record, but beating the Cowboys last Sunday night did nothing to improve Philadelphia’s Power Ranking.
Detroit Lions (3-4) [Last Week: 19]
Minnesota Vikings (2-5) [Last Week: 26]
Atlanta Falcons (2-6) [Last Week: 25]
Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1) [Last Week: 27]
The Cincinnati Bengals surprising upset of the Titans sees them move up two spots.
Houston Texans (1-6) [Last Week: 24]
New England Patriots (2-5) [Last Week: 23]
Biggest Loser of Week 8 (tie): In being tied for Biggest Loser of Week 8, the New England Patriots have dropped the most spots in thee consecutive weeks now. They weren’t horrible against the Bills, losing 24-21 with Cam Newton fumbling on the final possession. But for an offense that looked so promising through Week 2, there’s nothing else to think but disappointment when you see the Patriots 2-5 record.
New York Giants (1-7) [Last Week: 30]
The New York Giants are slowly getting better, even with turnover-machine Daniel Jones at quarterback. They nearly forced overtime against Tom Brady and a great Buccaneers team, losing 25-23 with a questionable pass inference flag but no call on the decisive two-point conversion attempt.
Washington Football Team (2-5) [Last Week: 28]
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6) [Last Week: 29]
Dallas Cowboys (2-6) [Last Week: 31]
New York Jets (0-8) [Last Week: 32]
Six Straight Weeks at the Bottom: It’s hard to believe there was a time that I wasn’t sure the New York Jets were the NFL’s worst team. But since Week 3, New York has clearly been abysmal. The only team that could give the Jets a run for their money? The quarterback-less Cowboys, who haven’t scored a touchdown in two weeks.
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