NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Updated Standings, Predictions Before MNF

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorOctober 22, 2018

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 14: Corey Davis #84 of the Tennessee Titans is tackled by Eric Weddle #32 of the Baltimore Ravens and Jimmy Smith #22 during the third quarter at Nissan Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Six NFL teams are either (a) tied for or (b) within a half-game of an NFL playoff spot after seven weeks.

Granted, 10 more weeks of football must play out, and some of those teams can be out of the playoff picture by Thanksgiving.

However, let's take a look ahead at their future schedules and project where they may end up when the regular season finishes on December 30.

You can also take a look at a projected NFL power ranking following the Monday Night Football game between the Atlanta Falcons (the predicted winner) and the New York Giants.

                 

Projected NFL Power Rankings After Monday Night Football

1. Los Angeles Rams (7-0)

2. Kansas City Chiefs (6-1)

3. New Orleans Saints (5-1)

4. New England Patriots (5-2)

5. Los Angeles Chargers (5-2)

6. Washington Redskins (4-2)

7. Carolina Panthers (4-2)

8. Minnesota Vikings (4-2-1)

9. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2-1)

10. Green Bay Packers (3-2-1)

11. Cincinnati Bengals (4-3)

12. Baltimore Ravens (4-3)

13. Miami Dolphins (4-3)

14. Houston Texans (4-3)

15. Chicago Bears (3-3)

16. Seattle Seahawks (3-3)

17. Detroit Lions (3-3)

18. Tennessee Titans (3-4)

19. Dallas Cowboys (3-4)

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4)

21. New York Jets (3-4)

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4)

23. Denver Broncos (3-4)

24. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4)

25. Atlanta Falcons (3-4)

25. Cleveland Browns (2-4-1)

27. Indianapolis Colts (2-5)

28. Buffalo Bills (2-5)

29. Oakland Raiders (1-5)

30. New York Giants (1-6)

31. Arizona Cardinals (1-6)

32. San Francisco 49ers (1-6)

                      

Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore has some tough matchups (notably road games with the Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs), but the Ravens also play at home versus three teams with .500 or worse records.

A road tilt with the Atlanta Falcons isn't daunting with the 2016 NFC champion struggling on defense. Baltimore could also beat the aforementioned Panthers, who don't have an explosive passing game and may have trouble with the strong Ravens secondary.

Look for the Ravens to make a strong second-half run and hold off the Pittsburgh Steelers by a half-game for the division crown.

Prediction: 11-5, AFC North champion, No. 3 seed

                     

Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins schedule down the stretch is difficult. Not only are three of their next four games on the road, but the team faces the 5-2 New England Patriots and 4-2-1 Minnesota Vikings in back-to-back weeks. Miami also has road tests with the Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans.

Miami still needs to play the 2-5 Buffalo Bills twice, and a home game with the Jacksonville Jaguars doesn't look daunting with the Jags reeling following three straight losses. However, Miami is 1-3 after a 3-0 start and fading fast. 

Prediction: 7-9, Second in AFC East, out of playoffs

         

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Six of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' remaining 10 games come against teams with winning records. Two of the other four matchups are on the road (versus the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys), while a third one is against notorious Bucs dominator Julio Jones and the Atlanta Falcons in a home game that might be a toss-up at best for Tampa.

The Bucs may be favored in just three of their remaining games at best (home vs. San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington). Given the team's defensive struggles (coupled with its tough division), the Bucs are strong contenders to fall into last place.

Prediction: 5-11, Last in NFC South, out of playoffs

                  

Seattle Seahawks

Here's the good news: Five of the Seattle Seahawks' seven final games are at home, where the team has largely dominated this decade.

Here's the bad news: The Seahawks still need to play the 5-2 Chargers, the 7-0 Los Angeles Rams and the 6-1 Chiefs.

The rest of Seattle's outlook looks rosy. The Seahawks have two games left with the 1-6 San Francisco 49ers and another matchup with the 1-6 Arizona Cardinals. They have some tough matchups with a couple of NFC North teams (the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers), but the host Seahawks could actually be favored in both.

Look for Seattle to finish with a winning record, but in a tough NFC, they may fall just outside the playoff picture.       

Prediction: 9-7, Second in NFC West, out of playoffs

      

Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions' remaining schedule is brutal. Their next six games are against teams with .500 records or better, including road matchups with the Vikings and Chicago Bears and a home date with the Rams.

Detroit gets a small break when the team faces the Cardinals and Bills in back-to-back weeks, but the Lions close out their schedule with matchups against Green Bay and Minnesota.

Credit goes to the Lions for turning their season around after an ugly 0-2 start, but the schedule is so tough down the stretch that it's hard seeing them making a serious playoff push.

Prediction: 7-9, Last in NFC North, out of playoffs

            

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears still need to play three of the NFL's worst teams (the Giants, 49ers and Bills). They are also the clear favorite in their upcoming home game with the New York Jets, per OddsShark.

The problem is the Bears also have five tough divisional games remaining, including two with the Vikings. A date with the Rams also looms.

However, if the Bears take care of business in the first four games mentioned, they will need to go just 3-3 in their remaining six matchups to go 10-6 and (presumably) make the playoffs. The guess here is Chicago gets it done and takes down the NFC North.

Prediction: 10-6, First in NFC North, No. 3 seed     

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