NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Reaction and Standings After Thursday Night Football

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2017

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 19:  Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders celebrates after they scored a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during their NFL football game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Week 8 edition of Thursday Night Football wasn't destined to reshape league hierarchy by any means. 

So it goes when an AFC battle between the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins plays to a 40-0 result, with the former doing mostly whatever it wanted against a team missing its top two quarterbacks. 

The rest of the Week 8 slate should help shake up the power rankings in a handful of areas. This has been a season of upsets so far, so games such as the Atlanta Falcons visiting the New York Jets and Houston Texans visiting the Seattle Seahawks don't register as predictable. 

Before the true league-changing games unfold over the weekend and into Monday, let's take a look at the power rankings.

              

2017 NFL Power Rankings and Super Bowl Odds

RankTeam
1Philadelphia Eagles (8-1)
2Pittsburgh Steelers (7-1)
3Seattle Seahawks (10-1)
4New England Patriots (4-1)
5Los Angeles Rams (25-1)
6New Orleans Saints (33-1)
7Oakland Raiders (33-1)
8Kansas City Chiefs (8-1)
9Carolina Panthers (25-1)
10Detroit Lions (33-1)
11Denver Broncos (25-1)
12Minnesota Vikings (20-1)
13Washington Redskins (33-1)
14Atlanta Falcons (14-1)
15Buffalo Bills (75-1)
16Chicago Bears (300-1)
17Tampa Bay Buccaneers (66-1)
18Los Angeles Chargers (150-1)
19Green Bay Packers (20-1)
20Baltimore Ravens (75-1)
21Dallas Cowboys (25-1)
22New York Jets (300-1)
23Houston Texans (33-1)
24Cincinnati Bengals (66-1)
25Jacksonville Jaguars (75-1)
26Tennessee Titans (33-1)
27New York Giants (100-1)
28Miami Dolphins (100-1)
29Arizona Cardinals (75-1)
30Indianapolis Colts (150-1)
31Cleveland Browns (5000-1)
32San Francisco 49ers (5000-1)
author's opinion, odds via OddsShark

        

Seattle Seahawks 

As hinted in the intro, those Seahawks have a tough task in Week 8 with the Texans in town. 

It seems the Seahawks have fallen a bit off the radar as of late. The team started the season slowly by losing two out of three and has since turned it on with three consecutive wins.

The sluggish start that is a staple of this team's identity lately seemed misleading, though, as a 17-9 loss at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers and a 33-27 road loss to the Tennessee Titans isn't the worst thing a would-be contender could go out and do. 

Other than the schedule getting easier, ESPN's Josina Anderson pointed out another reason the Seahawks are quietly on a hot streak: 

Indeed, Seattle has younger players stepping up at the halfway point of the season, which is a proposition that should scare the rest of the NFL. 

From a season-long perspective, the Seahawks look good. Russell Wilson (11 touchdowns, three interceptions) isn't getting a ton of help from his offensive line, but he has the team second in the NFC West and boasting a road win against the division-leading Los Angeles Rams. 

Their rematch later in the season in Seattle will decide much about the division. Given the way the Seahawks keep evolving as the season continues, a divisional crown certainly seems within reach. 

          

Minnesota Vikings

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Maybe the biggest winners of the Aaron Rodgers injury are the Minnesota Vikings. 

The Vikings didn't need a ton of help, but beating the Green Bay Packers in Week 6 with Rodgers missing in action provided a bit of insurance considering the team had already dropped a game in the NFC North to the Detroit Lions. 

Now the NFC North is a two-team show. 

Minnesota sits in a good position, too. Both Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray have put up strong games since Dalvin Cook went down with an injury. Combine it with a defense permitting just 17 points and 76.6 rushing yards per game and it isn't too hard to see why the team is winning games with Case Keenum under center. 

It gets better—the team might get former starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater back under center this season, as noted by Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune

Bridgewater will bring some rust with him if he gets back on the field, but it would be another boon for the Vikings at just the right time considering the team has a brutal December stretch featuring opponents such as Atlanta, Carolina and Cincinnati. 

For now, it's hard to knock the Vikings for taking advantage and piling up a three-game tear before a meeting with the Browns in London in Week 8. 

      

Oakland Raiders 

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Maybe the Oakland Raiders aren't dead in the water just yet. 

The AFC West looked like a lost cause all of two weeks ago. The Kansas City Chiefs seemed to have it locked down while the Raiders struggled and the Denver Broncos battled quarterback inconsistency.

Now the Chiefs have lost two in a row, the most recent to the Raiders. 

There, Derek Carr woke up with 417 passing yards and three touchdowns while Amari Cooper caught 11 passes for 210 yards and two scores. 

Call it quite the way to turn around from a four-game skid after two convincing wins to start the season. Carr is healthy now and playing well, something that has his team's next opponent paying close attention. 

"He's one of the best quarterbacks in the league," Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott said, according to ESPN.com's Paul Gutierrez. "I don't think there's any question about that. Their offense goes through him just like a lot of good offenses around the league."

The Raiders get a nice bump in the power rankings thanks to Carr's play and the big win. If the team can roll it into two road wins before a bye, the Raiders are cooking in a big way—especially if the AFC West keeps providing surprises. 

For now, the Raiders are one of the top surprises and will be a mainstay near the top of power rankings if they can prove the win against the Chiefs wasn't a fluke. 

          

Stats courtesy of NFL.com. Odds courtesy of OddsShark.

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