I’m going to try a new style this week. Rather than ramble on about the happenings of Week 8, we’re just going to go straight into the rankings. The top eight remain unchanged from last week and the Colts moved up the most while the Rams dropped the most.
Teams’ previous record in ( ).
1. Atlanta Falcons (1)
Once again the Falcons look impressive. Another couple of wins and it will be time to begin those nonsensical discussions about the potential for an undefeated season.
2. Houston Texans (2)
The Texans should have no problem continuing their winning ways and barring any major injuries, should wind up as the No. 1 overall seed once the playoffs arrive.
3. New York Giants (3)
In the span of just a few quarters, the Giants went from moving up to No. 2, to moving down to around No. 6, to not moving at all, and remaining at No. 3. The defending champs are playing well again and will be one of the favorites come January.
4. San Francisco 49ers (4)
Alex Smith finally had the kind of game the 49ers were looking for. The offense looked good, the defense looked good and San Fran showed why they are the favorite in the NFC West.
5. Chicago Bears (5)
Jay Cutler and the Bears looked extremely shaky on offense, but once again the defense bailed them out with a late defensive score. Chicago stays in first in the NFC North and just one game behind the Falcons for best record in the NFC.
6. Baltimore Ravens (6)
The Ravens need to come off the bye with a sense of urgency. If they don’t, they are in danger of surrendering their division lead and could even struggle to reach the playoffs.
7. Green Bay Packers (7)
The Packers were actually outscored by the Jags, but thanks to a blocked punt recovered in the end zone, Green Bay was able to walk away with the win. If they can get a win next week against Arizona, they will move to 6-3 and have a much-needed bye to get some of their injured stars back.
8. New England Patriots (8)
Well, that was the Patriots offense we’ve become accustomed to. I’ve said it a hundred times, but when they run the ball effectively, they are truly a force on offense.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (10)
The Steelers are starting to round into form on both sides of the ball. They have a big game against the defending champs in Week 9.
10. Denver Broncos (13)
Peyton Manning has played out of his mind over the past four games, and the defense absolutely shut down the Saints on Sunday night. Could they really be a Super Bowl contender?
11. Minnesota Vikings (9)
The Vikings did not look good in their Thursday night matchup against the Bucs. It doesn’t get any easier this week as they must travel to Seattle.
12. Seattle Seahawks (11)
Seattle lost a heartbreaker in Week 8 and it could cost them dearly as the season moves forward. They must bounce back at home against the Vikings or else their division hopes will take a serious blow.
13. Indianapolis Colts (24)
The Colts move up 11 spots with their road win against the Titans. They may not be a top-16 team, but after last year, the fact that they have won four of their first seven is worth something. Andrew Luck is going to be a special player for years to come.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (14)
It’s never good when the home fans are chanting “Fire (insert head coach’s name here).” The Eagles remain at No. 14 more because of their talent and potential. Any more losses and they will take a serious tumble.
15. Dallas Cowboys (15)
The Dallas Cowboys continue to suffer heartbreaking loss after heartbreaking loss. After looking like the worst team in the league through the first 18 minutes, they outscored the defending champs 24-0 to take a one-point lead. As usual, it did not last. Dallas’ playoff hopes are beginning to dwindle.
16. Arizona Cardinals (12)
I’m not always right about football, but when I am, it usually means the Cardinals stink.
17. Miami Dolphins (22)
The Miami Dolphins are 4-3. Think about that for a moment. Not including quarterbacks, can you name five players on their team? No cheating.
18. Detroit Lions (23)
The Lions have won three games this year. One in overtime. One on a TD pass with 10 seconds left, and this past week, a TD pass with 20 seconds left. In other words, they have a flair for the dramatic. And it’s not like their losses aren’t exciting. All four losses have come by just a touchdown or less.
19. Cincinnati Bengals (19)
After winning three straight to move to 3-1, the Bengals lost three in a row heading into their bye. They need to find a way to beat the Broncos at home this week and get some of their mojo back.
20. Washington Redskins (18)
RGIII struggled in Week 8, but it wasn’t his fault. His receivers had dropped 11 passes all season heading into the game. They dropped 10 passes alone on Sunday. That’s just not going to get it done, especially against the Steelers defense.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (27)
Doug Martin broke out in a big way on Thursday night leading the Bucs to a big victory. Tampa won what had to be considered a must-win game and kept their playoff hopes alive. They now sit at 3-4 with three very winnable games in a row, starting with a date with the Raiders.
22. New York Jets (16)
The Jets stink. I’ve always believed this, but I’ve always continued to rank them high. No more. I wish they were good though, because it is only a matter of time until all we hear about is Tebow this, Tebow that.
23. New Orleans Saints (21)
The Saints offense looked human on Sunday night. In fact, it looked even worse than that. The Saints were held to seven points through the first 55 minutes or so and flat out did not look good. Their playoff hopes are once again on life support.
24. San Diego Chargers (20)
Regardless of the weather, if you’re going to be considered a good team, you have to beat the Browns, and you have to score more than six points. The Chargers did neither. Norv Turner’s time is up—what are they waiting for?
25. Oakland Raiders (28)
The Raiders won their third game of the year and moved within a game of first place in the AFC West. Sebastian Janikowski continues to be one of their most valuable players.
26. Buffalo Bills (26)
The Bills rank 31st in run defense this year. So after having a week off this past week, what do they get to come back to? Road games against the Texans and Pats, the No. 6 and No. 5 rushing offenses in the NFL, respectively.
27. St. Louis Rams (17)
The Rams fall 10 spots after their blowout loss to the Pats in London. The last two weeks, the Rams have allowed 74 percent (53-72) completion percentage, as well as 646 yards passing and seven touchdowns.
28. Tennessee Titans (25)
Chris Johnson put together back to back solid running games but it wasn’t quite enough as the Titans fell in OT to the Colts.
29. Cleveland Browns (30)
Trent Richardson is going to start gaining a lot of attention for Rookie of the Year at this pace.
30. Carolina Panthers (29)
Cam Newton was not pleased at his postgame press conference last week. I wonder how he felt this week after his team led for nearly the entire game, only to lose on a last second field goal to move to 1-6 on the year.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (31)
There are no moral victories in the NFL, but hey, the Jags offense outscored the Green Bay offense. That’s got to count for something.
32. Kansas City Chiefs (32)
Just when you think things can’t get worse, they do. The Chiefs need to trade Dwayne Bowe and maybe Jamaal Charles, and begin rebuilding once again.