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NFL Power Rankings: Week 8

The Cardinals are undefeated no more, the Cowboys beat the Vikings without Dak Prescott, and the Lions continue as the bottom dwellers of the NFL

The Cardinals are undefeated no more, the Cowboys beat the Vikings without Dak Prescott, and the Lions continue as the bottom dwellers of the NFL
Stacy RevereAFP

Well this all got very interesting very quickly. Our top two teams from last week’s Power Ranking fell in Week 8 and that means we have to toss everything in the blender and see what we come out with. So here they are: AS English’s Power Rankings after Week 8.

1) Dallas Cowboys: 6-1 (up from 3rd)

There’s a new sheriff in town everyone. If the blue star on the helmets weren’t enough to tip you off, it’s America’s team. They went into their bye week on a five game hot streak, but came out of it with out their starting quarterback. Dak Prescott after he strained his calf against the Panthers in Week 6. Cooper Rush stepped in and threw for 325 yards and two touchdowns in his first ever start in the NFL. The defense made Rush’s job easier allowing 16 points, and only a field goal per quarter for the final three quarters.

2) Green Bay Packers: 7-1 (up from 5th)

Packers fans, let me apologize while as you ask yourselves what Aaron Rodgers and the Pack have to do to jump to Number 1. It’s true, Green Bay just took down the previously undefeated Arizona Cardinals and now have a league best 7 game win streak, after dropping their opener 38-3 to the Saints. They have a longest win streak, true. They just knocked off the previous number one ranked team, true. But for me their loss against the Saints, (which looked a lot worse at the beginning of the year, before we knew the Saints were for real) was a big blow, and is the only reason I have them sitting under Dallas, whose only loss came to the Super Bowl champs on a last minute drive in Week 1. Rodgers had a sub-par week, but the defense came to the rescue, intercepting Kyler Murray twice and forcing another fumble.

3) Arizona Cardinals: 7-1 (down from 1st)

The alarm bells aren’t sounding in Arizona just yet. They lost by three points to the Packers, who are the second-ranked team in our power rankings. Now the tough part comes when a young team has to face adversity. How they respond to the loss will show the Cardinals’ true colors. Kyler Murray is still an MVP candidate and they πstill have one of the best defensive units in the entire league. Not much has changed when it comes to the eye test except their record. It was the first time we’ve seen Murray rattled this season, throwing two picks and almost giving up a fumble. Coming up in the next three weeks, they’ve got the Niners, Panthers, and Seahawks - all very winnable games.

4) Los Angeles Rams: 7-1 (at 4th last week as well)

There was no turbulence in Tinseltown as the Rams took care of the Texans for their fourth straight win. Their lone loss came in week four against the then-undefeated Arizona Cardinals. Since then, the defense has given up under 18 points a game. Matthew Stafford looks like he’s going through a renaissance. The former Lion has thrown 22 touchdowns and just four picks. He’s second only behind Tom Brady with just 2,477 yards passing.

5) Buffalo Bills: 5-2 (up from 6th)

A week one loss and a last second slip are the only two blemishes of their season. The Bills won an ugly one in a divisional rivalry week, but they got the job done in the fourth quarter. The defense did the dirty work for three quarters, adding to the rhetoric that they are the most complete team in the league. They have the top offense in the league, scoring 32.7 points per game, and their defense has pitched two shutouts and allows a league best 15.6 points per game. Josh Allen continues his career best season, he had 249 yards and two touchdowns against the Dolphins.

6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 6-2 (Down from 2nd)

Tom Brady and the Bucs tasted defeat for just the second time this year and just the second time since the Chiefs beat them last November. No one said it was going to easy for the Bucs, who look much better at this point of the season than they did last season around this time. They have had their fair share of adversity this season, with COVID issues and injury problems but they have taken everything in stride so far. Tom Brady is Tom Brady, so that’s something they will always be able to take comfort in. At 44 years old he is leading the league in passing yards. His 375 yards a four touchdowns weren’t enough to top the next team on our rankings.

7) New Orleans Saints: 5-2 (Up from 13)

I don’t know if many people thought the Saints were for real up until about a week or two ago. They have been the recipients of an terrible light schedule. The only teams with winning records that they have faced, the Bucs and the Packers, were teams they defeated. Their losses make you scratch your head. An over time loss at home to the Giants came two weeks after taking a pounding from the Carolina Panthers in Week 2. The quality of their wins can’t be argued. A win over the Bucs is always going to serve as a magnet for attention and a tendency for hyperbole, but you still don’t know what Saints team is going to show up on a week to week basis. And with the recent news that Jameis Winston will likely be out for the remainder of the season the Saints will have it very tough to keep the momentum alive.

8) Tennessee Titans: 5-2 (down a spot from number 7)

The Titans are one of the hottest team in the league. The have rattled off four straight wins, including a tight one over the Bills and then laid it on the Chiefs last week, but bad news has rocked the Titans. Their NFL MVP candidate Derrick Henry looks like he may miss the rest of the season after needing surgery to repair a broken foot. They shouldn’t have too much trouble winning the AFC South, but competing for home field might be tough with out their running back who had rushed for almost 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in 8 games is not going to be easy.

9) Las Vegas Raiders: 5-2 (stayed at 9)

The Raiders enjoyed a much needed bye week after a couple of distracting weeks in Vegas. The Raiders have showed a tremendous amount of character after losing their head coach and being constantly bombarded by the media circus surrounding the scandal. What have the Raiders done since? They won two straight heading in to the bye week. They have some winnable games, but what kind of of effect will the pause have on the Raiders and Derek Carr? Carr is one of the top passers in the game with 2,269 and 12 touchdowns. Hope he got some R&R because he’ll have the fate of the franchise on his shoulders coming out of the bye next week.

10) Baltimore Ravens: 5-2 (stay at 10)

The Baltimore Ravens were forced to go into their bye week with a bad taste in their mouth after losing to the Bengals in Week 7. Considering what they went through before the season even started, losing their top three running backs for the rest of the year what they have been able to manage is nothing short of amazing. An opening week loss to the Raiders in overtime, and a loss to the much too underrated Cincinnati Bengals has John Harbaugh’s side in the mix for the AFC North and they will also be eyeing a bid at home field through out the playoffs if this keeps up. Lamar has to keep doing Lamar things and every thing else will follow suit.

Power Rankings Bottom 5:

28) New York Giants: 2-6 (down 4 since last week)

They have just two wins on the season, even though one albeit is against a top 10 team in our power rankings, things are not looking up for the Giants. They missed Saquan Barkley for a third straight week in Arrownhead on Monday night, and the Giants are too prone to making silly mistakes that cost them ball games. On Monday night they had a chance to close out the game in the fourth, but a taunting call, and then an offsides flag before intercepting the ball and then a rough the passer penalty gave the Chiefs the game late in the fourth quarter.

29) Houston Texans: 1-7 (same spot as last week)

There are more than a handful of problems for the Houston Texans who still have Davis Mills at quarterback since Tyrod Taylor went down with injury early in the season. The Texans' most magnifying and eyeopening problem is on the offensive end. They can’t score. A consolation 22 point fourth quarter meant very little as the Rams were up 38-0 after the third quarter on Sunday. Before the Rams game they had scored just 30 points in their four previous games before that.

30) Miami Dolphins: 1-7 (same as last week)

The Dolphins sit at the bottom of the AFC South, and it looks like they will be stuck there for the rest of the season. Before the 26-11 loss to the Bills last week the Dolphins had some relatively good outings. They lost to the Jags on a last second field goal in London and the Falcons needed a game winning last minute drive to top the Fins. Not being able to close out a game is just one of many problems for the Dolphins who are in the bottom four of points scored and points allowed.

31) Jacksonville Jaguars: 1-6 (down three spots from last week)

No one in Jacksonville should be too surprised the Jags are struggling this year. They have a rookie coach and a rookie quarterback who inherited a team on the verge of being historically bad last season. Their 31-7 loss to Seattle was an indicator of just how bad things have gone for Meyer’s guys this season. Geno Smith, a quarterback who hadn’t won a game as a starter since 2016, looked like Peyton Manning against the Jags soft secondary. It’s true that Trevor Lawrence isn’t getting much help from his running game, but the former Clemson quarterback is tasting something he hasn’t been forced to swallow for most of his football career: defeat.

32) Detroit Lions: 0-8 (nothing has changed since last week)

At 0-8 their record precedes them. If were being honest you have to feel somewhat bad for Detroit and the head coach Dan Campbell and his team that have been unfortunate on their way to an eighth straight loss. There was nothing unfortunate or unlucky about their 44-6 home loss on Sunday. The Lions go into most games knowing they are well outmatched, and Sunday’s game was not different. The offense put up a total of 280 yards and the defense that gave up a season high 44 points.


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