Hock's Take: NFL Power Rankings for Week 8

Matthew HockingCorrespondent IOctober 28, 2009

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 18: Running back Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals smiles during warm ups prior to the game against the Houston Texans at Paul Brown Stadium on October 18, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Texans defeated the Bengals 28-17. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

1. New Orleans Saints
Last Week: 1
Was that Reggie Bush actually being effective? Drew Brees rushing for touchdowns? The Saints aren’t unbeatable, but they’re easily the top team in the NFL.

2. Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 2
Indy has taken advantage of an easy first half of the year to ease in their new receivers and coaching staff. And Anthony Gonzalez is coming back soon.


3. Denver Broncos
Last Week: 5
The Broncos signed punter Mitch Berger this week, proving that Josh McDaniels is willing to try to jinx his team every way possible this season.

4. New England Patriots
Last Week: 6
Old England was a-twitter with love for the New England Patriots, something that I’m sure caused the Redcoats to spin in their graves more than Laurence Maroney in a backfield.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: 7
It was a tough game, but the Steelers got back to winning the Steelers way: Random defensive scores and blown penalty calls.

6. Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 3
After a reporter critiqued the Vikings' decision to pass twice on the goal line, backup fullback Jeff Dugan suddenly burst into the press conference and knocked the guy cold. In Dugan’s defense, that reporter was pretty shifty looking.

7. New York Giants
Last Week: 4
A leak has slowly sprung on the Giants, as they’ve started their regular season fade a little early. Most depressing for the team, however, is the chance they might end up proving Tony Romo right.

8. Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 10
The way Cedric Benson came back from being an awful-back, to beating down the Bears, was so inspiring that Ryan Leaf is going to try out for the Chiefs next week.

9. Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 11
Let’s temper our enthusiasm, it was just the Redskins, and the Eagles are proving to be incredibly injury prone. Again. How long can they really keep this up?

10. Dallas Cowboys
Last Week: 12
DeMarcus Ware signed a big contract this week, ensuring that he’ll be with the Cowboys, at least through the lockout. And maybe in an uncapped year, Jerry can sign players to go alongside that contract.

11. Atlanta Falcons
Last Week: 8
Matt Ryan has had something of a sophomore slump this year, at least in terms of yardage, but the real problem with the Falcons is that opposing quarterbacks are averaging something like four minutes per play in the pocket against them.

12. Green Bay Packers
Last Week: 16
The Packers had a great game. They looked like a million dollars on offense and defense. They finally put together a complete game heading into the biggest game of their season. They…played the Browns.

13. New York Jets
Last Week: 14
If you need a laugh, I’d suggest watching whenever they have Rex Ryan miced up on NFL.com. The guy is like some kind of caricature of a head coach. He should have a sitcom.

14. Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 13
After a hot start, the Ravens entered the bye in a bit of a tailspin. They’re playing fine football, but their schedule does them no favors.

15. Arizona Cardinals
Last Week: 17
The Cardinals are back in the driver's seat of the NFC West, as their defense dragged the offense to 24 points and a win. Wait…really?

15. San Francisco 49ers
Last Week: 15
Sure they lost, but the real story of the game was the sudden resurgence of Alex Smith as the 49ers starting quarterback. Well…he’d have to have had an original surgence for this to be a re, but…he played okay is what I’m trying to say.

16. Chicago Bears
Last Week: 9
You can’t blame this one on Cutler, well you probably could, but the Bears offensive line looks awful. Maybe somebody should’ve told them that Calvin Pace 2009 isn’t even on the same planet as Calvin Pace 1999.

17. Houston Texans
Last Week: 20
Don’t look now, but these Texans are so good, I’m willing to go out on a limb and revise my 8-8 prediction to…9-7!

18. San Diego Chargers
Last Week: 21
The good news is that the Chargers have a lot of winnable games left on the schedule. The bad news is that the Broncos do, too.

19. Miami Dolphins
Last Week: 18
Ricky Williams exploded, but the Dolphins lead went up in smoke in the second half against the Saints. I’m so, so sorry for that joke.

20. Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 25
The Bills are practically on a winning streak, but they don’t really feel like a team that is going to keep this up. Fitzpatrick gives them a different look, but T.O. is still just the league’s most overpaid decoy.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 22
Pretty boring time for the Jaguars, who are just treading water until they can book it to L.A. Still, their win next week over the Titans will give them a winning record this season.

22. Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 19
During the bye, Matt Hasselbeck swore that there was still time to pull the Seahawks together and make a playoff run. I’d say that he’s nuts, but he’s probably right. It’s only the NFC West.

23. Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 23
Tom Cable is off the hook for beating up an assistant, but JaMarcus Russell found himself riding the bench. To Russell’s credit, he says he learned a lot watching Bruce Gradkowski lead the Raiders to a 38-0 loss to the Jets.

24. Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 24
After a couple of mediocre weeks, Jake Delhomme fell off the table again this week, and he’s thrown a total of 13 interceptions this season. On the plus side, at least somebody is catching Delhomme’s passes.

25. Detroit Lions
Last Week: 26
It’s a good week for the bye, because it’s tough to win games when the best answer you can come up with to “Which quarterback gives you the best chance to win this week” is “Uh….”

26. Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 27
Larry Johnson went on Twitter this week, and amongst his homophobia, railed against Todd Haley for not having played football professionally. Which is something they’ve had in common for the past few years.

28. Washington Redskins
Last Week: 28
In a show of defiance and pride, Jason Campbell left the ball on the ground during the game’s final snap as…wait…I actually don’t think he meant to do that.

29. Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 24
Well…At least they didn’t lose a game this week. Join us next week, when, in an attempt to show his good humor and inspire his team, Jeff Fisher dresses as Jim Zorn.

30. Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 30
On the plus side, Browns fans, you get to see exactly how bad Derek Anderson can actually be this season! The Titans posted negative yards one game already, so you have something to shoot for there.

31. St. Louis Rams
Last Week: 31
Well…you don’t have to play the Colts every week. This week’s matchup with the Lions is going to be so epic, I pretty much dare you to find a market where this game is actually going to be aired.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 32
You flew all the way over to England for that?! Seriously, guys? Well, at least Josh Freeman gets to spend the rest of the season on the field learning about disappointment.


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