NFL Week 8 Power Rankings: The Chiefs remain dominant, as the Packers and Buccaneers struggle

NFL Week 8 Power Rankings: The Chiefs remain dominant, as the Packers and Buccaneers struggle

32. The Houston Texans.

Against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Davis Mills calls for the snap.
Photo by: AP/Gary McCullough

Result: 1-5-1

Week 7 result: a 38-20 loss to the Raiders

Week 8 opponent: vs. Tennessee Titans

Only once in their first six games have the Houston Texans scored more than 20 points, and that was in a 34-24 loss to the Chargers. The Astros are at least in the World Series.

31. Detroit Lions

Result: 1-5

Week 7 result: a 24-6 loss to the Cowboys

Week 8 opponent: vs. Miami Dolphins

After starting the season with one of the top attacks in the league, the Lions have scored a total of six points in their last two games. Their league’s weakest defense at the beginning of the season has remained almost unchanged.

30. Charlotte Panthers

Result: 2-5

Week 7 result: a 21-3 victory over the Buccaneers

Week 8 opponent: @ Atlanta Falcons

The Panthers fired their head coach and traded away more than half of their offensive scrimmage yards, so it is not surprising that they beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home. Football is an odd game.

29. Washington Commanding Officers

Taylor Heinicke signals prior to a Green Bay Packers play.

AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.

Result: 3-4

Week 7 result: Packers were defeated 23-21

opponent in Week 8: at Indianapolis Colts

Taylor Heinicke made his first start for the Commanders, and while his statistics were not spectacular — 201 passing yards, two touchdowns, and one interception — he did enough to lead Washington to a victory over the Packers. Carson Wentz may be unemployed for the third time in three years.

28. Atlanta Falcons

Result: 3-4

Week 7 result: a 35-17 loss to the Bengals

Week 8 opponent: vs. Carolina Panthers

Marcus Mariota has only completed 20 pass attempts once in the last five games, with Atlanta going 3-2 over that stretch. The Falcons are going in the opposite direction of the rest of the league, but they may need to start throwing the ball more at some point, which might mean a larger role for rookie Desmond Ridder.

27. Louisiana Saints

Result: 2-5

Week 7 result: a 42-34 loss to the Cardinals

Week 8 opponent: vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Jameis Winston started the Saints’ first three games before suffering an injury and being forced to leave the game. Veteran Andy Dalton has fared adequately in his place. Now that both quarterbacks are fit to play again, the Saints have not yet determined who will start against the Raiders.

26. Pittsburgh Steelers

Kenny Pickett is jubilant after scoring against the New York Jets.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Result: 2-5

Week 7 result: 16-10 loss to the Dolphins

Week 8 opponent: Philadelphia Eagles on the road

Kenny Pickett, the rookie quarterback, has demonstrated flashes of a promising future, but he needs to find a way to reduce his turnovers. Although he has only participated in half of the Steelers’ games thus far this season, his seven interceptions are presently third in the NFL.

25. The Cleveland Browns are

Result: 2-5

Week 7 result: a 23-20 loss to the Ravens

Week 8 opponent: vs. Cincinnati Bengals

The Browns have dropped four consecutive games and face challenging matchups against the Bengals, Dolphins, and Bills in the near future. By the time Deshaun Watson is eligible to return from suspension, Cleveland may have already been eliminated from playoff contention.

24. Denver Broncos

Result: 2-5

Week 7 result: 16-9 loss to the Jets

opponent in Week 8: at Jacksonville Jaguars

One thing is certain: Nathaniel Hackett’s first season as Denver Broncos head coach is not going well. And with solid candidates like Sean Payton on the market for next season, Denver may decide it’s best to part ways with Hackett sooner rather than later in order to gain a head start on recruiting his replacement.

23. They are the Indianapolis Colts.

Sam Ehlinger prepares for a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars by warming up.

AP Photo/Zach Bolinger

Result: 3-3-1

Week 7 result: a 19-10 loss to the Titans

Week 8 opponent: vs. Washington Commanders

Matt Ryan was benched only seven games into his two-year contract with the Colts before being replaced by Sam Ehlinger. While the flip to Ehlinger makes the Ryan trade appear odd in retrospect, it suggests that the Colts are eager to move forward at quarterback instead of continuing the revolving door they’ve had since Andrew Luck’s retirement. Either Ehlinger must demonstrate he is the right candidate, or a replacement must be found.

22. Jaguars, of Jacksonville

Result: 2-5

Week 7 result: a 23-17 loss to the Giants

Week 8 opponent: vs. Denver Broncos

All five Jaguars losses this season have been by a score of one touchdown or less. This season, both of their victories have been by at least 24 point margins. Despite being the only team in the division to have a positive point differential, their record places them in third place in the AFC South.

21. Patriots of England

Result: 3-4

Week 7 result: a 33-14 loss to the Bears

Week 8 opponent: @ New York Jets

Both Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe saw action at quarterback for the Patriots against the Bears on Monday night, and head coach Bill Belichick has provided no hints as to which quarterback will start moving forward.

20. Chicago Bears

Justin Fields looks up during a game against the Houston Texans.

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Result: 3-4

Week 7 result: Beat the Patriots, 33-14

opponent in Week 8: at Dallas Cowboys

On Monday night, the Bears finally opted to utilize Justin Fields to his best potential by designing many run plays that capitalize on his elusiveness. The outcome? Fields rushed for 82 yards and a score, and his team defeated the New England Patriots with ease. How did it take Chicago so long to realize Fields’ capabilities?

19. Arizona Cardinals

Result: 3-4

Week 7 result: a 42-34 victory over the Saints

Week 8 opponent: @ Minnesota Vikings

One thing to note is that head coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray argued on the sidelines once again. This time, the Cardinals answered with a massive scoring run to eliminate the Saints from contention. Nevertheless, the current level of friction between Kingsbury and Murray does not appear to be permanent.

18. Las Vegas Raiders

Result: 2-4

Week 7 result: a 38-20 victory over the Texans

Week 8 opponent: Saints at New Orleans

Josh Jacobs has been one of the league’s most dominant rushers recently, with 140 yards on the ground in three consecutive games and a stunning six touchdowns in the same time. If the Raiders are able to turn around their season, Jacobs will be one of the primary reasons why.

17. St. Petersburg Buccaneers

After a play against the Carolina Panthers, Tom Brady glances skyward.

AP Picture by Rusty Jones

Result: 3-4

Week 7 result: a 21-3 loss to the Panthers

Week 8 opponent: versus. Baltimore Ravens

One thing to know: Has Tom Brady’s age finally caught up with him? He hasn’t looked terrific, but neither has any element of the Buccaneers offense, as they’ve lost four of their previous five games. This club has a lot to work out if it is to be a threat in the postseason, despite its position atop a weak NFC South division and continued control over its own fate.

16. NFL’s Green Bay Packers

Result: 3-4

Week 7 result: a 23-21 loss against the Commanders

opponent in Week 8: at Buffalo Bills

The Packers are another another perplexing former NFC powerhouse that resembles a shell of their former selves. Aaron Rodgers’s teams have lost in three consecutive weeks to teams headed by Daniel Jones, Zach Wilson, and Taylor Heinicke.

15. Los Angeles Rams

Result: 3-3

Week 7 result: Bye

Week 8 opponent: vs. San Francisco 49ers

The Rams, another club now in limbo, must emerge from their bye week looking strong, as they have two divisional games within the next three weeks. Those victories would put them back in the driver’s seat in the NFC West.

14. Team: Seattle Seahawks

After scoring a touchdown against the Detroit Lions, Geno Smith celebrates.

AP Picture by Duane Burleson

Result: 4-3

Week 7 result: a 37-23 victory over the Chargers

Week 8 opponent: vs. New York Giants

Geno Smith has outperformed the departing Russell Wilson in his first season as the Seahawks’ starting quarterback. I doubt anyone who follows football would have predicted this outcome. Perhaps Pete Carroll and the Seattle front office are more intelligent than we believed.

13. San Francisco 49ers

Result: 3-4

Week 7 result: a 44-23 loss to the Chiefs

Week 8 opponent: @ Los Angeles Rams

A team that isn’t even starting the quarterback they planned to start this season made a rather shocking all-in move by trading for Christian McCaffrey. With a dominant defense and a wide-open NFC playoff picture, the 49ers felt it was time to move their chips to the middle of the table.

12. Los Angeles Chargers

Result: 4-3

Week 7 result: a 37-23 loss to the Seahawks

Week 8 opponent: Bye

The Chargers appear to have lost wide receiver Mike Williams for a few weeks with a high-ankle sprain, just as wide out Keenan Allen is becoming healthy enough to return to the field. When Los Angeles eventually has both members of their explosive combo on the field at the same time, they will be formidable, but until then, they will need to piece together their offensive.

11. Miami Dolphins

Result: 4-3

Week 7 result: Steelers victory, 16-10

Week 8 opponent: at Detroit Lions

Tua Tagovailoa appeared adequate in his first game back after suffering a concussion earlier in the season, and the Miami Dolphins have yet to lose a game with him at quarterback. With upcoming contests against the Lions, Bears, and Browns, the Dolphins could be poised for a run.

10. Tennessee Titans

A touchdown scored by Derrick Henry against the Indianapolis Colts.

AP Foto/AJ Mast

Result: 4-2

Week 7 result: a 19-10 victory over the Colts

Week 8 foe: visiting Houston Texans

During the Titans’ current four-game winning streak, running back Derrick Henry has averaged 107.3 yards per game with four touchdowns. As long as Henry remains in peak condition, the Titans will remain threatening.

9. New York Yankees

Score: 5-1

Week 7 result: a 16-9 victory over the Broncos

Week 8 opponent: vs. New England Patriots

The Jets have lost rookie running back Breece Hall for the season due to a ruptured ACL, which is a setback for one of the NFL’s most surprise success stories to date. However, rather than sit back and suffer the hit to their roster, the Jets made a move by acquiring running back James Robinson from the Jaguars. New York is not prepared to surrender this success just yet.

8. Cincinnati Bengals

Result: 4-3

Week 7 result: Falcons were defeated 35-17.

Week 8 opponent: Cleveland Browns on the road

After a shaky start to the season, Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense have put on a show over the past two weeks, with Burrow throwing for 781 yards and six touchdowns to lead Cincinnati to consecutive victories.

7. Big Apple Giants

Result: 6-1

Week 7 result: Jaguars victory, 23-17

Week 8 opponent: Seattle Seahawks on the road

Undoubtedly, this Giants club continues to find ways to win. They are one of only two NFL teams with six victories at this stage in the season, and all six of their games have been decided by a touchdown or less. It may feel somewhat unsustainable, but the Giants will continue to climb the standings until they actually drop a game.

6. Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson prepares for a game against the Buffalo Bills by warming up.

AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.

Result: 4-3

Week 7 result: a victory over the Browns by a score of 23-20.

Week 8 opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road

The Ravens’ three losses have been decided by a total of 11 points. In their upcoming road games against the Buccaneers and Saints, they have the opportunity to solidify themselves as Super Bowl contenders despite their early setbacks, or to fail once more.

5. Minnesota Vikings

Result: 5-1

Week 7 result: Bye

Week 8 opponent: vs. Arizona Cardinals

Justin Jefferson is third in the NFL in receiving yards and poses a chance to gain a first down virtually every time he touches the ball. If neither Adam Thielen nor K.J. If Osborn — can also inspire fear in the hearts of opposition defenses, the Vikings will be a formidable opponent in the playoffs.

4. The Dallas Cowboys.

Score: 5-1

Week 7 result: a 24-6 win over the Lions

Week 8 foe: versus the Chicago Bears

Dak Prescott is back at quarterback for the Cowboys, and their defense remains one of the best in the league, having just shut down a Lions offense that has shown the ability to score points. With a bye week coming following this week’s game against the Bears, Dallas appears poised to be a factor in the month of January.

3. They are the Kansas City Chiefs.

Patrick Mahomes is jubilant after scoring against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

AP Photographer: Reed Hoffmann

Score: 5-1

Week 7 result: 49ers were defeated 44-23.

Week 8 opponent: Bye

In case anyone needed a reminder, Patrick Mahomes is demonstrating once again that he is the finest quarterback in the NFL, leading the league through seven weeks in passing yards, touchdowns, and quarterback rating. Apparently, the Chiefs are also using video games to maintain team cohesion on the field. If it works, it works.

2. Philadelphia Eagles

Perfect record: 6-0

Week 7 result: Bye

Week 8 opponent: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Philadelphia is currently humming due to the Eagles’ unbeaten start to the season, the Phillies’ unexpected run to the World Series, the Flyers’ good 4-2-0 start, and the Union’s spirited performance in the MLS playoffs. Someone communicated with the Philadelphia 76ers.

1. Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen celebrates against the Pittsburgh Steelers after scoring a touchdown.

AP Image: Joshua Bessex

Result: 5-1

Week 7 result: Bye

Week 8 opponent: vs. Green Bay Packers

The Buffalo Bills are so good that they are noticeable even during their bye week. Watching football last weekend when both the Bills and Eagles were on their bye week, the level of play appeared to decline. This is the best football squad, so anything less than a Super Bowl appearance will feel like a squandered chance.

»NFL Week 8 Power Rankings: The Chiefs remain dominant, as the Packers and Buccaneers struggle«

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