32. The Houston Texans.
Against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Davis Mills calls for the snap.
Photo by: AP/Gary McCullough
Week 7 result: a 38-20 loss to the Raiders
Week 8 opponent: vs. Tennessee Titans
31. Detroit Lions
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.