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    NFL Power Rankings, Week 8: Teams starting to solidify their status

    Here’s the deal with these Week 8 NFL Power Rankings. They are not predictions. If a team projects to have an easy or difficult schedule ahead of them, that matters not for this exercise. These are very simply a list of how good each team is right this minute. Here’s how all 32 teams rank in my Week 8 NFL Power Rankings.

    NFL Power Rankings: Week 8

    Before we get started with our Week 8 NFL Power Rankings, be sure to check out Mike Tanier’s NFL Week 7 Recap after you take a look through this list of 32 teams. This week, Tanier kicks off the NFL Week 7 Recap looking at the Pittsburgh Steelers and why they should be considered AFC Super Bowl favorites, the Cowboys and their disastrous start to the season, and more.

    32) New York Jets (0-7)

    Guess this is progress for the Jets – ranked last once again in these NFL Power Rankings – as they only lost to the Bills by eight points and held a very good Buffalo offense to just 18 points. However, the Bills did move the football without much resistance. Additionally, the offensive struggles (only 3.7 yards per play) continued for New York even with Sam Darnold back behind center.

    31) Dallas Cowboys (2-5)

    It keeps getting worse for Dallas, and they lost Andy Dalton after a nasty hit to the head. Averaging 2.6 yards per play, this was about as bad an offensive performance we have seen from any team in 2020. This has been the worst team in the league with turnovers by far, but if we are looking for positives, Dallas only lost the turnover battle in this game by one. There’s not much more room for them to drop in our NFL Power Rankings.

    30) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)

    Against the Chargers, the Jaguars fought hard and kept it very interesting, especially after blocking a punt for a touchdown to take the lead. There was a lot of talk of Gardner Minshew being on the cusp of being benched, but this performance should quiet that for the time being. But this isn’t a talented roster and a big reason why the Jaguars are ranked 30th in these Week 8 NFL Power Rankings.

    29) Minnesota Vikings (1-6)

    This is a lost season for the Vikings, who watched from home in Week 7. The 29th ranked team in my Week 8 NFL Power Rankings should get Dalvin Cook back on the field after this bye.

    28) Washington Football Team (2-5)

    The Washington Football Team – ranked 28th in these Week 8 NFL Power Rankings – controlled this game from the start. Two things stand out in this convincing victory: As expected, Washington’s great defensive front just owned the Cowboys offensive line, recording six sacks and keeping Ezekiel Elliott to only 45 rushing yards. Secondly, Washington gouged the Cowboys for 208 yards on the ground.

    27) New York Giants (1-6)

    Against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night, New York played a pretty decent game, but they left many opportunities on the field. The Giants’ record doesn’t reflect it, but there is some progress here both on the field and in my NFL Power Rankings.

    26) New England Patriots (2-4)

    The Patriots – ranked 26th in my NFL Power Rankings – have lost three in a row. It is amazing to say, but this is a bad football team with one of the league’s worst offenses. This offense lacks speed and explosive playmakers. Cam Newton got no help, but he was terrible in his own right, finishing the day with three interceptions and just 98 passing yards on 15 attempts before being pulled for Jarrett Stidham.

    25) Denver Broncos (2-4)

    In the Denver snow against the defending Super Bowl champions, the Broncos got blown out. Drew Lock is an exciting young passer but extremely volatile. He did a few good things, but turnovers were a huge problem for Denver overall, giving them little chance against a team like the Chiefs. They’re 25th in my NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 8.

    24) Cincinnati Bengals (1-5-1)

    How about the Bengals offense scoring 34 points this week?! Well, they allowed 37. Joe Burrow was fortunate that he didn’t throw more interceptions, but he continues to impress every week. Against Cleveland, the first overall pick threw for 406 yards, and the Bengals threw the ball 27 more times than they ran it with Joe Mixon sidelined. Heading into Week 8, they come in 24th in these NFL Power Rankings.

    23) Atlanta Falcons (1-6)

    The Falcons and Lions are rather similar teams, but Detroit sits at .500, and Atlanta just dropped to 1-6. What’s amazing is that Atlanta – ranked 23rd in my Week 8 NFL Power Rankings – isn’t far off from being 4-3 but continues to find new ways to lose games. Matt Ryan had a big day in what was an evenly played game.

    22) Houston Texans (1-6)

    Green Bay jumped all over the Texans, but Houston did show a lot of fight in this game. Yet, they were just overmatched. It was a good day for Deshaun Watson and Houston’s passing game, but they got very little from their ground attack. Houston’s pass-rush was also severely lacking once again and a reason why they are 22nd in my Week 8 NFL Power Rankings.

    21) Philadelphia Eagles (2-4-1)

    Philadelphia – ranked 21st in these NFL Power Rankings – was losing a good portion of the game on Thursday Night Football against the Giants. But to their credit, they battled back to get the win at home. Now with a long week, the Eagles have a chance to get some of their injured players back and at 2-4-1, are in really good shape in the awful NFC East.

    20) Los Angeles Chargers (2-4)

    In yet another close game for Los Angeles, the Chargers pulled this one out against the Jaguars to get their second win of the year and the 20th spot in these NFL Power Rankings. Justin Herbert once again threw some spectacular passes while also making big plays as a runner. He should have Chargers fans extremely excited. Herbert is jiving with Keenan Allen. However, the special teams unit needs to be cleaned up for the Chargers.

    19) Detroit Lions (3-3)

    In dramatic fashion, the Lions defeated the Atlanta Falcons to get their third win of the year. Matthew Stafford and Kenny Golladay had strong outings, and overall, this was a very good performance by the Lions offense. Detroit has won two in a row and is building some momentum both on the field and in these NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 8.

    18) Carolina Panthers (3-4)

    In a fun back and forth game in New Orleans, the Panthers couldn’t quite get it done and fell to 3-4 in a tough division. But there were a lot of positives to take away from this game for Carolina. Running the ball wasn’t one of them, though, as the Panthers could only gain 37 yards on the ground in a game where they could have used it. Christian McCaffrey should be back soon, which will certainly help. Heading into Week 8, the Panthers come in 18th in these NFL Power Rankings.

    17) Miami Dolphins (3-3)

    The Dolphins – ranked 17th in my Week 8 NFL Power Rankings – were off this week, but the big news is moving to Tua Tagovailoa as their starting quarterback. It will be interesting to see if the rookie quarterback can move this offense behind a poor offensive line as well as Ryan Fitzpatrick did for the Dolphins, who now sit at .500.

    16) Las Vegas Raiders (3-3)

    The Raiders had their hands full with Tampa Bay, especially on defense, where they were helpless against Tom Brady for much of the afternoon. The pass rush is particularly concerning. The Raiders – ranked 16th in these Week 8 NFL Power Rankings – also never really had anything to speak of from their ground game. It wasn’t all bad for this team, and they did face an excellent opponent.

    NFL Power Rankings, Week 8: Teams ranked 15-6

    15) Cleveland Browns (5-2)

    What a game in the battle of Ohio! This was a huge bounce-back game for Baker Mayfield, although Cincinnati’s pass-rush was nearly nonexistent. Still, there was a long stretch in which the ball didn’t hit the ground when Mayfield let it fly even though Odell Beckham left this game very early on. This offense averaged a massive 7.8 yards per play against the Bengals and a reason why they are ranked 15th in these NFL Power Rankings.

    14) Chicago Bears (5-2)

    Offense was tough to come by in Los Angeles on Monday night, especially for the Bears. Chicago had nothing going on the ground and the Rams did a nice job containing Allen Robinson. But getting Los Angeles’ front blocked was the biggest problem and Nick Foles showed no ability to elevate those around him in harsh circumstances. Still, the Bears are 5-2 and are ranked 14th in these Week 8 NFL Power Rankings.

    13) Indianapolis Colts (4-2)

    The Colts, sitting at 4-2, had a Week 7 bye. Heading into Week 8, they rank 13th in these NFL Power Rankings. Indianapolis’ defense has been amongst the league’s best this year, but there are many inconsistencies on the other side of the ball. Maybe they can get Jonathan Taylor rolling after the bye week.

    12) Buffalo Bills (5-2)

    This wasn’t a good look for the Bills. The Jets deserve credit for playing their best game of the year, and while it was a divisional game, the Bills struggled to put away New York. That being said, Buffalo moved the ball well, but third down and red zone inefficiency kept this game close. Heading into Week 8, they’re 12th in my NFL Power Rankings.

    11) Arizona Cardinals (5-2)

    Arizona – 11th in my Week 8 NFL Power Rankings – took on the undefeated Seahawks on Sunday night in a game that went to overtime and produced over 1,000 yards of total offense between these two teams. Kyler Murray is starting to really come back around as a passer, DeAndre Hopkins remains amazing and this Cardinals offense is quite difficult to play against. Arizona did suffer several defensive injuries as well as one to Kenyan Drake. More importantly, Arizona is 5-2 after just a giant win over the Seahawks.

    10) Los Angeles Rams (5-2)

    We kick off the top 10 of these Week 8 NFL Power Rankings with the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams led Chicago 10-3 at the half in what everyone expected to be a very low scoring game before taking over the game in the second half. Their defense, led by Aaron Donald, was totally dominant. The Rams did well with their ground game all night while Jared Goff was efficient with his ball distribution.

    9) San Francisco 49ers (4-3)

    The Patriots are in a bad place right now, but San Francisco just took them apart to advance to 4-3. Jimmy Garoppolo wasn’t great and threw two interceptions, but otherwise, he was efficient with the football and used his weapons well.

    Meanwhile, the Niners defense just smothered what looks like one of the worst offenses in the league. The 49ers offense had the ball for over 38 minutes in this game, which is exactly their style. This is a big reason why they are ninth in these NFL Power Rankings.

    8) New Orleans Saints (4-2)

    The Saints got a big divisional win, and Drew Brees did a great job of spreading the ball around with Michael Thomas out of the lineup. New Orleans – ranked eighth in these NFL Power Rankings – ran 24 more plays than the Panthers while owning the time of possession battle by about 10 minutes. This is a good recipe for Brees at this point in his illustrious career.

    7) Tennessee Titans (5-1)

    The Titans defense couldn’t get off the field in the first half, and subsequently, Tennessee got in a big hole early at home against the Steelers. But wow, did this team battle back, and they started having their way with Pittsburgh’s great defense. A.J. Brown was a monster and is on the cusp of being considered a truly elite receiver.

    It wasn’t quite enough, but the Titans still look like a very strong team and can play with anyone in the league. Seventh in these NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 8, they’ll face off against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8.

    6) Green Bay Packers (5-1)

    The Packers bounced back in a big way against Houston and are now in great shape at 5-1. Green Bay didn’t need much from their ground game as Davante Adams owned this game to the tune of 13 catches for 196 yards and two touchdowns. Just looking at the box score, you would think this was a closer game than it was. Heading into Week 8, the Packers sit just outside the top five in these NFL Power Rankings.

    The top 5 NFL teams

    5) Seattle Seahawks (5-1)

    We kick off the top five of the Week 8 NFL Power Rankings with the Seattle Seahawks. On Sunday night, Russell Wilson kept playing like the league’s MVP, but he did throw three costly interceptions. It was Tyler Lockett’s night, to say the least as he just lit up the Cardinals finishing with 15 catches for 200 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Also, DK Metcalf made just a ridiculous play to save a touchdown after a Wilson interception.

    Seattle’s lack of pass-rush remains a major concern. But other than that, it is tough to find holes in this contender and Wilson just erases so many potential problems. That said, the Seahawks did let one slip through their hands on Sunday night and are no longer undefeated.

    4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-2)

    This is a dangerous team that keeps getting better. Tom Brady is already very comfortable and was a precise assassin against Las Vegas finishing the day with 369 passing yards. Rob Gronkowski is rounding back into football shape, and Antonio Brown will see the field with his new team very soon. They’re fourth in my NFL Week 8 Power Rankings.

    3) Baltimore Ravens (5-1)

    The Ravens traded for Yannick Ngakoue to add a speedball pass-rusher to an already outstanding defense. They also got to rest in Week 7 as they prepare for a huge matchup against the Steelers. Their status in these NFL Power Rankings will be updated after their Week 8 matchup.

    2) Pittsburgh Steelers (6-0)

    The Steelers – ranked second in these NFL Power Rankings – got a big lead in Tennessee and held the Titans to just 83 first-half yards. But that far from told the story of this game. Tennessee stormed back and put themselves in a position to win this game.

    However, Pittsburgh was able to hold on in Tennessee after a 46-yard missed field goal to remain undefeated even though they lost the turnover battle 0-3. The Steelers and Titans might meet again, and it would be another great playoff game. A trip to Baltimore looms next week.

    1) Kansas City Chiefs (6-1)

    Kansas City dismantled the Broncos in all phases in Week 8 in a game where Chad Henne got the mop-up duty. The Chiefs had two returns for touchdowns and did a great job of creating turnovers. That makes things too easy for Patrick Mahomes. What else was easy? Slotting the Chiefs in the number one spot once against in my Week 8 NFL Power Rankings.

    Matt Williamson is a Senior NFL Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @WilliamsonNFL.

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