Carter's NFL Power Rankings, Week 8: AFC Continues To Dominate
1. Tennessee Titans (5-2) Last Week: No. 1
Twelve-game winning streak over the NFC. Just one of many reasons you shouldn’t sleep on the Titans.
2. New York Jets (5-1) Last Week: No. 2
Well-rested after coming off their bye week. This is a bad sign for Packers fans.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-1) Last Week: No. 3
A lucky but still good win over the Dolphins. Now let’s see how comfortable Drew Brees will be against this feisty Steelers defense.
4. New England Patriots (5-1) Last Week: No. 4
Looking forward to seeing Randy Moss vs. the Pats on Sunday. The Pats should be favored to win, no matter which QB starts for the Vikings.
5. Indianapolis Colts (4-2) Last Week: No. 5
With the Colts being bitten by the injury bug, look for a couple of offensive players that normally don't get a lot of playing time to step up and play well. This should be a close one against the Texans.
6. Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) Last Week: No. 12
I love the way this team runs the ball and the way they can stop the run game. If Matt Cassel can step it up a bit, look for this team to be added into the handful of AFC threats.
7. Atlanta Falcons (5-2) Last Week: No. 8
They need to work on defending the pass, but overall, the Falcons look like the best team in the NFC.
8. Green Bay Packers (4-3) Last Week: No. 9
Aaron Rodgers won another one of the few key games of his career. Not too big of a monkey being taken off Rodgers’ back after beating Brett Favre, but still pretty neat.
9. San Diego Chargers (2-5) Last Week: No. 7
Despite their record, they still have a good football team. The Bolts are ranked first in passing, second in defending the pass and eighth against the run.
10. New York Giants (5-2) Last Week: No. 13
The only team that has been reasonably good in all phases of the game. Eli Manning has been great this year. The running game has been great behind Ahmad Bradshaw. The pass rush is good, and they can defend the run pretty well. Don’t be surprised if the Giants are one of the final four teams left standing.
11. Baltimore Ravens (5-2) Last Week: No. 11
Probably the dumbest win of the year over the Bills. The should’ve never gone to OT just to beat those guys. Overall, their offense is good but not great, and their defense hasn’t been as good as expected so far.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) Last Week: No. 12
The team is more exciting to watch with Michael Vick taking the snaps, mainly because of his ability to run the ball. They have a great passing game and a great running game with LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick. If their defense steps it up a bit, they could make a little bit more noise.
13. Oakland Raiders (3-4) Last Week: No. 26
The Raiders made huge noise against the Broncos on Sunday and look to make more, but I wouldn’t buy into the Raiders just yet. Their three wins have been over opponents with a combined 4-14 record.
14. Seattle Seahawks (4-2) Last Week: No. 16
Not too bad of a start to their season, but I want to see a little more out of Matt Hasselbeck and the offense. Their passing game is still bad, and their running game isn’t too good, either. If it wasn't for their ability to stop the run, this team would be 2-4 or worse instead of 4-2.
15. Chicago Bears (4-3) Last Week: No. 14
The only decent win they’ve had this year was the victory over the Packers.
16. New Orleans Saints (4-3) Last Week: No. 10
Drew Brees threw for 365 yards against the Falcons, 356 against the Browns and 279 against the Cardinals. Those are the top three passing totals he’s had this season, but all three came in games in which the Saints lost.
17. Detroit Lions (1-5) Last Week: No. 15
Even though the Lions have five losses, four of those are by eight points or less.
18. Washington Redskins (4-3) Last Week: No. 19
I wonder what the Redskins pass defense would be like if they didn’t have DeAngelo Hall on their team.
19. Minnesota Vikings (2-4) Last Week: No. 17
Brett Favre is hurting this team on and off the field.
20. Cincinnati Bengals (2-4) Last Week: No. 18
After beating the Ravens and Panthers, the Bengals have lost three games by a combined nine points. They just can’t seem to finish and get over the hump.
21. St. Louis Rams (3-4) Last Week: No. 21
The next two weeks look pretty favorable for the Rams. They have the Panthers on Sunday, then a much-needed bye week with Steven Jackson hurting.
22. Houston Texans (4-2) Last Week: No. 22
Worst pass-defending team in the AFC. It’s not going to get any easier when they go to Indianapolis and face Peyton Manning. The Texans have to use this game to make a statement. It would be nice for the Texans to have two wins over their division foe.
23. Dallas Cowboys (1-5) Last Week: No. 20
So…how 'bout them Rangers?
24. Cleveland Browns (2-5) Last Week: No. 27
The win over the Saints marks the third year in a row where the Browns have defeated the defending Super Bowl Champions.
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2) Last Week: No. 25
Don’t start buying into the Buccaneers' 4-2 start. Their four wins are over teams with a combined 8-18 record.
26. Miami Dolphins (3-3) Last Week: No. 24
Probably the most confusing team in the NFL. All three of their wins are on the road while the three losses are at home. If the Dolphins had about 12 road games and four home games this year, they could be a decent team.
27. San Francisco 49ers (1-6) Last Week: No. 28
Mike Singletary should write a new book: “How to Lose Football Games.”
28. Carolina Panthers (1-5) Last Week: No. 31
Despite the win over the 49ers, all hope is lost for the Panthers. Can’t decide on a quarterback, the running game is terrible, their only win is by a single field goal and they’ve been outscored by a combined 55 points in their first six games.
29. Denver Broncos (2-5) Last Week: No. 23
Can’t run the ball at all, can’t stop the run. They have three losses by at least two touchdowns.
30. Arizona Cardinals (3-3) Last Week: No. 29
No passing game, no running game, can’t stop the run. Very inconsistent team. When they lose, they get crushed. Their losses are by 34, 31 and 12 points.
31. Buffalo Bills (0-6) Last Week: No. 32
Still not a strong passing game even with Ryan Fitzpatrick taking snaps, and they can’t stop the run worth anything. They’ve been outscored by a combined 77 points this season.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4) Last Week: No. 30
Terrible defense. Can’t stop the pass or the run. Been outscored by a combined NFL-worst 79 points through seven games.
Carter's Top 10 Quarterbacks
1. Philip Rivers (SD)
2. Drew Brees (NO)
3. Peyton Manning (IND)
4. Eli Manning (NYG)
5. Kyle Orton (DEN)
6. Aaron Rodgers (GB)
7. Matt Ryan (ATL)
8. Donovan McNabb (WSH)
9. Carson Palmer (CIN)
10. Joe Flacco (BAL)
Carter's Top 10 Running Backs
1. Chris Johnson (TEN)
2. Adrian Peterson (MIN)
3. Arian Foster (HOU)
4. Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG)
5. Steven Jackson (STL)
6. Michael Turner (ATL)
7. Darren McFadden (OAK)
8. Rashard Mendenhall (PIT)
9. Frank Gore (SF)
10. Ray Rice (BAL)
Carter's Top 10 Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
1. Roddy White (ATL)
2. Brandon Lloyd (DEN)
3. Antonio Gates (SD)
4. Hakeem Nicks (NYG)
5. Reggie Wayne (IND)
6. Terrell Owens (CIN)
7. Santana Moss (WSH)
8. Brandon Marshall (MIA)
9. Miles Austin (DAL)
10. Anquan Boldin (BAL)
Carter's Top 10 Defensive Players
1. Clay Matthews (GB)
2. Osi Umenyiora (NYG)
3. DeMarcus Ware (DAL)
4. Shaun Phillips (SD)
5. Jerod Mayo (NE)
6. Stephen Tulloch (TEN)
7. LaRon Landry (WSH)
8. DeAngelo Hall (WSH)
9. Charles Godfrey (CAR)
10. Earl Thomas (SEA)
Top 15 MVP Candidates
1. Philip Rivers (QB, Chargers)
2. Chris Johnson (RB, Titans)
3. Roddy White (WR, Falcons)
4. Clay Matthews (LB, Packers)
5. Drew Brees (QB, Saints)
6. Adrian Peterson (RB, Vikings)
7. Brandon Lloyd (WR, Broncos)
8. Osi Umenyiora (DE, Giants)
9. Peyton Manning (QB, Colts)
10. Arian Foster (RB, Texans)
11. Antonio Gates (TE, Chargers)
12. DeMarcus Ware (LB, Cowboys)
13. Eli Manning (QB, Giants)
14. Ahmad Bradshaw (RB, Giants)
15. Hakeem Nicks (WR, Giants)
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