NFL Power Rankings, Week 8: Pittsburgh Steelers Remain Number One
Week 7 is in the books and was as exciting and unpredictable as usual. This NFL season has been one of the most unpredictable seasons that I can remember. A lot of upsets, a lot of disappointments and a lot of teams that haven't lived up to their preseason hype.
However, there are a few teams that have showed themselves to be serious Super Bowl contenders to this point, such as the Patriots, Jets and Steelers.
At the same time, teams like the Cowboys and Vikings are seeing their Super Bowl dreams disappear like a magic act.
I also want to tell you that I do my power rankings based off of team records, and then I rank those teams. For example, I'll have all the 2-4 teams together, then rank them.
With that being said, I present you my Week 8 power rankings.
Teams 32- 25
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32. Buffalo Bills (0-6) Ryan Fitzpatrick, Harvard's finest, almost lead a big upset over the Ravens, which would have been the first win for the Bills. They are playing hard, which tells you that they really want to win, but they just don't have enough talent.
31. San Francisco 49ers (1-6) Despite a dissipointing 1-6 start, everyone in San Francisco still thinks this team will make the playoffs. I don't see that happening. I see this talented team getting a top five pick in next year's draft.
30. Carolina Panthers (1-5) Will the real David Gettis please stand up? Wow, the Matt Moore-David Gettis connection leads the Panthers to their first win of the season. Good for them. I still think they finish 4-12 at best.
29. Detroit Lions (1-5) I had this team winning seven games this year, and I think they'll come close as long as Matthew Stafford is healthy. They have talent, and I expect a good second half of the season for the Lions.
28. Dallas Cowboys (1-5) One of the most talented 1-5 teams in NFL history, the Cowboys' season likely went down the drain last night as they lost to the Giants. The Cowboys didn't just lose the game, they might have lost Tony Romo for the rest of the season.
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27. Denver Broncos (2-5) A 59-14 loss at home to the Oakland Raiders. Flat-out embarrassing. This team showed a lot of promise in the beginning of the season, but I don't see too many more wins for the Broncos. Maybe it's time to let Tim Tebow play quarterback.
26. Cleveland Browns (2-5) How about them Browns?This is the third straight year that the Browns defeated the defending Super Bowl champions. The team lacks top level talent, but plays hard and is young in a lot of key areas.
25. Cincinnati Bengals (2-4) Another team that's either underachieving or is just flat-out overrated. Maybe it's a little bit of both, but losses to the Bucs and Browns show a lack of focus and leadership. The Bengals could turn things around with a home game against the Dolphins.
24. San Diego Chargers (2-5) Speaking of lacking focus and leadership, here are the San Diego Chargers. A No. 1 offense and defense usually doesn't lead to 2-5. Poorly coached, poorly executed: It's hard to blame just one thing for the Chargers horrid season. Luckily, they don't have that hard of a schedule in the second half of the season, so maybe they can turn it around.
23. Minnesota Vikings (2-4) Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson, Randy Moss, Jared Allen should not equal 2-4. I think Brad Childress is the worst head coach in the league, just saying. Things get tougher for the Vikings, as they head to Foxboro to play the Patriots. Yikes.
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22. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4) How quickly things change in the NFL. It was just two weeks ago when the Jaguars upset the Colts and were tied for the lead in the AFC South. Since then, the Jags got humiliated at home on Monday Night Football and blown out by the Chiefs.
21. St. Louis Rams (3-4) What a tough loss for the Rams. If they would have been able to hold off the Bucs, the Rams would have been in really good position being that the next four games are all winnable. I'm very impressed with the Rams, since I thought three or four wins would be all they were capable of. The future looks good with Sam Bradford.
20. Oakland Raiders (3-4) A 59-14 win in Denver. The Raiders refuse to go away. Now, they get Seattle at home, and if they can win that game, they'll be right back in the race for the AFC West.
19. Arizona Cardinals (3-3) The Cardinals are what they are: a mediocre team. A 32nd ranking in passing shows you how good Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin were. However, they're still in the chase for the division title in the poor NFC West.
18. Miami Dolphins (3-3) The Dolphins lost a very close and very controversial game to one of the best teams in the NFL. I was impressed with the Dolphins offensive line and receivers Davone Bess and Brandon Marshall. However, a loss to the Bengals this week would spell bad news for any playoff chances.
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17. Chicago Bears (4-3) One of the worst 4-3 teams I've seen in a while, the Bears will not make the playoffs this year. I feel confident in that prediction. Jay Cutler continues to struggle, whether he's getting sacked or throwing interceptions. Maybe they can fix their problems over the bye week.
16. Washington Redskins (4-3) The win over the Bears was hardly impressive: 9 turnovers between the two teams. That being said, the Redskins are 4-3 and very much in the playoff hunt in the mediocre NFC. I would be careful, though, of an upset, as the Redskins are in Detroit this week.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) Well, it looks like Kevin Kolb lost his starting job. Even still, I'm not sure he's the one to blame in the loss against the Titans. I think that blame goes to Kenny Britt and whoever was trying to cover him. The Eagles have a bye week, then a huge game against the Colts.
14. Green Bay Packers (4-3) The Packers squeaked by the Vikings in a very close and tough game. The Packers showed very good resilience, being that they have been hit by the injury bug the hardest this year. Unfortunately, they have to play the Jets in New York this week. Good luck.
13. New Orleans Saints (4-3) As a Steelers fan, I know what's it like to lose to teams that you should beat. I think the Saints are quickly learning how hard it is to defend a Super Bowl. The Saints play the Steelers this week on Halloween night, and if they lose, they'll be 4-4.
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12. Seattle Seahawks (4-2) The Seahawks might not be the 12th best team in the league right now, but they are 4-2 and extremely tough to beat at home. How about the turnaround for receiver Mike Williams's career? By the way, the Seahawks feature the second best run defense in the NFL right now.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2) Coach Raheem Morris said that the Bucs are the best team in the NFC. I disagree. The Bucs have beaten the Browns, Panthers, Bengals and Rams. None of those teams have a winning record. Their two losses are to the Saints and Steelers, and they got outscored by a combined 50 points.
10. Houston Texans (4-2) A really good offense and a really bad defense. I'm pulling for the Texans, but I just don't know if this year is the year for them to finally make the playoffs. We're going to learn a lot this week, as the Texans play the Colts on Monday Night Football.
9. Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) I'm sold, at least for now. I really think the Chiefs will win the AFC West this year for two reasons. One, the Chiefs have the NFL's best rushing attack lead by Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles. And two, the Chiefs' schedule is fairly easy. Their next three games are against teams with losing records.
8. Indianapolis Colts (4-2) You can never count out Peyton Manning and the Colts. Over the years, they've overcome a lot. Now, Manning has to do it without his trusty tight end Dallas Clark, who is out for the season. The Colts' season starts getting really tough as they play the Texans and Eagles in their next two games.
7. Atlanta Falcons (5-2) The Falcons enter their bye tied for an NFC best 5-2. If the season ended today, the Falcons would have a bye week. Matt Ryan looks like he's ready to join the upper echelon of quarterbacks. The Falcons can run the ball (and very well) and also feature the sixth best running defense. I'm sold on the Falcons for now.
6. Tennessee Titans (5-2) It doesn't seem to matter who quarterbacks this team, whether it be Vince Young or Kerry Collins. The Titans are playing really good football right now and have won three straight games by a combined 52 points.
The Top 5
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5. New York Giants (5-2) The Giants are the best team in the NFC right now. Sorry, Raheem Morris. Maybe the Cowboys win if Romo doesn't get hurt, but the Giants managed to win their fourth game in a row last night. Hakeem Nicks is unstoppable right now, and the Giants are in the top 10 in pass offense, pass defense, run offense and run defense. Impressive.
4. Baltimore Ravens (5-2) The 37-34 win over the Bills was not impressive at all. However, the Ravens have beaten the Steelers in Pittsburgh and the Jets in New York, and that is impressive. The biggest disappointment for the Ravens is their 15th ranked run defense. Maybe they can fix that over their bye week.
3. New England Patriots (5-1) The Patriots have won four straight games and are not missing Randy Moss so far. The Patriots are very arrogant in that they believe as long as they have Tom Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as their coach, they can win. The most impressive stat for the Pats is their ninth ranked run defense. We'll see if that holds up when Adrian Peterson and the Vikings come to town this Sunday.
2. New York Jets (5-1) The Jets had a bye week so I kept them at two. The Jets have the 27th ranked passing defense and Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers come to town this week, so we'll learn a lot in that game. That being said, the Jets have won five straight games and are healthy. The Jets are serious Super Bowl contenders and are not going away.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-1) The Steelers barely beat the Dolphins in Miami 23-22, thanks in large part to a controversial call at the end of the game. Aaron Smith went down with another season ending injury, which really hurts the defense. That being said, the defense will keep them in every game, and Ben Roethlisberger has been throwing the ball as well as any QB in the league. The Steelers have a big game against the defending champs in New Orleans this Sunday.