NFL Sports

NFL Power Rankings: Week 8

Each week members of The Game Haus will collaborate to determine our NFL Power Rankings. We rate teams from 1-32 and add the points received to give us our final answer.

Our voters: Zac Stone, Ben Hendricks, Joe DiTullio, Michael Packard, Victoria Horsley, Pranay Malempati, Savannah Dean, Jacob Gilbert

It appears that week 8 is the week teams are finally starting to find their identity, with the exception of the Lions who decide when they want to be good or bad.

The Saints and Panthers are going to go down to the wire for the battle for the NFC South. Unlike Le’veon Bell, the Steelers are back. The NFC North can go to any of the four teams, but the Packers and Vikings both proved they can compete for the NFC with the Rams. The Jaguars have problems, not just Blake Bortles, but the team as a whole. The team thought to make a second appearance in the AFC Championship Game would settle for just a win at this point.

Perhaps the most exciting part for football fans everywhere, FitzMagic is back. Although the Bengals got the win, it seems that would not be the case if Fitz was in for four quarters. If he pulls off an upset in Carolina next week, we can only hope he wears Desean Jackson’s clothes again postgame.

The moves in the rankings may not make sense to some, but sometimes the final result does not tell the whole story, sorry Chicago and you’re welcome Green Bay. We look at the performance as a whole and how their future projects. With that said, here are TGH’s week 8 power rankings.

1. Los Angeles Rams – 255 (High: 1. Low: 2. LW: 1)

The Rams had their biggest scare of the season over the weekend facing Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Greg Zuerlein knocked in a 34-yard field goal with just over two minutes left before the defense shut down the Pack to secure the win. Jared Goff and Todd Gurley continue to be the best quarterback-running back duo in the league, with Goff throwing for 295 yards and three touchdowns, while Gurley racked up 195 total yards and a touchdown. The Rams are in for another good matchup next week in New Orleans.

– Zac Stone

2. New Orleans Saints – 244 (High: 1. Low: 4. LW: 3)

Since last year’s playoff loss, the Saints have had their rematch with Minnesota circled on their schedule. They made sure to not let this one get away. The Saints took the lead at the end of the first half and did not look back from there with a convincing victory in Minnesota. The weirdest part of this game was the lack of offense that still scored 23 of 30 points. Brees threw for just 120 yards and Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara combined for just 108 yards. New Orleans will face their biggest test of the season as the undefeated Rams come to town next Sunday.

– Zac Stone

3. Kansas City Chiefs – 243 (High: 2. Low: 3. LW: 2)

Kansas City completed a sweep of the Denver Broncos and moved to 7-1, with their only loss by three points at Foxborough. This week, it was Sammy Watkins who had a huge game with 108 yards and two touchdowns. Patrick Mahomes now has an incredible 26 touchdowns halfway through the season and is currently the MVP frontrunner. Most importantly, the Chiefs defense seems to be coming around; if it becomes reliable, the Chiefs will be solidified as the best team in the AFC.

– Pranay Malempati

4. New England Patriots – 230 (High: 2. Low: 7. LW: 4)

This was a ho-hum performance by the New England Patriots. Their offense was off its game and offered almost nothing on the ground which left Tom Brady to throw far too many times. In the end, the defense held up its end of the bargain against a terrible Buffalo Bills attack. Even notching a touchdown of their own that ended all hopes of a Bills’ comeback.(If there ever was any)

– Jacob Gilbert

5. Carolina Panthers – 221 (High: 4. Low: 7. LW: 7)

The Panthers allowed an opening drive touchdown to the Ravens, but after that Carolina went into cruise control. Cam Newton and the Panthers’ offense made the league’s top defense look like one of the league’s worst. The Panthers are rolling on both sides of the ball and January football looks more and more likely each week, despite the Saints playing in their division. They still control their own destiny in the division with two late-season games against New Orleans. The Panthers will host Tampa Bay next week and expect to improve to 6-2.

– Zac Stone

6. Los Angeles Chargers – 218 (High: 4. Low: 8. LW: T5)

The Chargers had a helpful bye week with Joey Bosa still on the mend and Melvin Gordon hurt as well. Bosa, who is nearing his return and season debut, might be back against the Seahawks this week. The Chargers simply need to keep winning games because they are only one game behind the Chiefs in the division race. LA has a chance to put itself in good position in the playoff race over the next four games, of which only one is against a team with a winning record.

– Pranay Malempati

7. Washington Redskins – 203 (High: 4. Low: 11. LW: 9

(Photo Courtesy: ESPN)

As expected, Washington took care of business against a miserable Giants team. The chip on Adrian Peterson’s shoulder is clearly only getting larger, as he rushed for 149 yards and one touchdown. They have their identity, they have a good defense and they have sole possession of first place in the division. Look for it to continue in a home game against a terrible Falcons’ defense.

 

– Ben Hendricks

8. Pittsburgh Steelers – 192 (High: 6. Low: 16. LW: T11)

Pittsburgh silenced the Browns Sunday after the tie Week 1. The Steelers have bounced back quite well after the first few weeks of the season. Big Ben hit seven different receivers in the game, including Antonio Brown for two touchdowns. This team is heating up midseason. They are now on a three-game winning streak that includes victories over two division teams. They can add to that streak next week against the Ravens.

– Savannah Dean

9. Minnesota Vikings – 182 (High: 7. Low: 15. LW: T5)

This week was the hyped up game against the Saints. It was the rematch from last year’s amazing win during the playoffs. Unfortunately, this game had a bit of a different ending. The Vikings need to kick their run game into gear. Their top rusher, Latavius Murray, had a measly 56 yards. Two of their top four rushers were a quarterback and a wide receiver. If this team could take some of the pressure off of Kirk Cousins and his receiving core, we could maybe see another rematch against the Saints in the postseason.

– Victoria Horsley

10. Cincinnati Bengals – 171 (High: 9. Low: 14. LW: 10)

This Cincinnati team seems to be going up and down all season. They were about blow the Buccaneers out of the water before ‘FitzMagic’ made his return. This team is shaky at best and was lucky to come away with the win. Although they have five wins on the season, they still struggle. A.J. Green and Joe Mixon are life savers. The bye next week comes at a good time.

– Savannah Dean

11. Houston Texans – 169 (High: 10. Low: 16. LW: 14)

NFL Power rankings
Deshaun Watson (Photo by usatoday.com)

Playing on a short week, the Houston Texans took care of business at home, beating the Miami
Dolphins 42-23. Quarterback Deshaun Watson was efficient, throwing five touchdowns while
only having four incompletions Running back Lamar Miller had another big game (18 carries,
133 yards and a touchdown) and the Texans put the game away when they scored on three
consecutive drives in the second half. Houston travels to the Mile High city when they take on a
hit-and-miss 3-5 Denver Broncos team.

– Michael Packard

12. Green Bay Packers – 169 (High: 8. Low: 17. LW: 13)

They were so close to becoming the first team to beat the Rams for the 2018 season. Unfortunately, Aaron Rodgers didn’t have his fourth-quarter magic this week. This is not a bad football team though. They are simply having too many games where they were “so close” to winning. If this team can consistently get Aaron Rodgers to have 300+ passing yards and Aaron Jones to have 100+ rushing yards, they’ll be able to compete well for the division crown.

– Victoria Horsley

13. Chicago Bears – 161 (High: 8. Low: 15. LW: T11)

The Bears had a convincing win against the hit or miss Jets this week. However, the defense wasn’t as outstanding as we have been seeing in previous weeks. Mitchell Trubisky also only had 220 yards passing, but at least added 51 with his legs. Jordan Howard had less than 100 yards and the quarterback of the team was close behind him in yards. This offense has shown some weaknesses, and so did their defense this week. They are going to need to perform better against higher tier teams, but this team is not one to take lightly.

– Victoria Horsley

14. Philadelphia Eagles – 153 (High: 11. Low: 16. LW: 15)

The Eagles took care of business across the pond, which is admirable. Even so, it was against a Jaguars team that looks directionless this season. The defense is still hurt, the running game is still a gigantic question mark, and their best offensive lineman suffered a sprained MCL and was carted off of the field. Philly is back at .500, but they are certainly not out of the woods yet.

– Ben Hendricks

15. Baltimore Ravens – 150 (High: 9. Low: 15. LW: 8)

The Ravens fell flat this week against the Panthers. The number one scoring defense allowed a total of 36 points, 17 points in the second quarter. The offense looked strong coming out on their opening drive with a touchdown, but it went south from there. Two interceptions and a fumble led to this downfall. Baltimore has a lot to figure out before facing the Steelers next week.

– Savannah Dean

16. Seattle Seahawks – 138 (High: 13. Low: 19. LW: 19)

It appeared the NFC West only had one quality team in it, but that is not the case anymore. The Seahawks only have three losses on the season, two on the road to the Broncos and Bears, and one at home to the best team in football, the Los Angeles Rams. Seattle has taken care of business in their other games including last weeks 28-14 win in Detroit and will most likely be in the wild card mix at the end of the season. Their next two weeks they will see both Los Angeles teams and could make or break their season.

– Zac Stone

17. Atlanta Falcons – 119 (High: 12. Low: 22. LW: T21)

NFL Power Rankings
Julio Jones (Photo by thefalcoholic.com)

Except for getting smacked in Pittsburgh, the 3-4 Falcons have only played in one-score games, win or lose. Atlanta has a quality team, but still have games at Washington, New Orleans, Green Bay and Carolina and also host the Ravens. In a tough NFC South, they have a mountain to climb to reach the playoffs. Hopefully the bye will help them prep when they take on the top team in the NFC East next week.

– Zac Stone

18. Detroit Lions – 111 (High: 12. Low: 24. LW: 16)

Does anybody know how to predict the outcome of Lions’ games anymore? Every week is different with this team. One thing stands constant, and that is the fact that their game through the air is top tier. On the ground is a very different story. They totaled a terrible 34 rushing yards this week. You heard that right, 34 rushing yards. If they cannot become efficient on the ground to battle teams with better cornerbacks and safeties, they are in for some disappointment. A loss to the Seahawks should not alarm any Lions fans, as they are 4-1 in the last five weeks, with their only loss in that time coming from the Rams. They are one game behind first for their division, so this remains an intense toss up.

– Victoria Horsley

19. Dallas Cowboys – 108 (High: 17. Low: 26. LW: T21)

Dallas is at home against the Titans off of their bye week. This will be a true litmus test for the Cowboys, as their vaunted front seven goes up against Tennessee’s run-first offense. The NFC East is up for grabs, and this team has plenty to prove after dropping a divisional game against Washington.

– Ben Hendricks

20. Miami Dolphins – 105 (High: 18. Low: 25. LW: 17)

Clearly, after losing three of their last four games, Miami is in a bit of a rut. Osweiler was still serviceable this week however the offense is clearly limited with him as the quarterback. The Dolphins are looking more like a 7-9 team by the week. Their defense could not do anything to stop the Houston Texans and ended up allowing 42 points. Against Miami, Houston Texans’ quarterback DeShaun Watson finished with five touchdowns and a passer rating of 156. The Dolphins need to shape up and fast if they want to compete for a wild-card spot.

– Jacob Gilbert

21. Denver Broncos – 101 (High: 17. Low: 24. LW: 18)

The Broncos are sitting at 3-5 with slim hopes of making the playoffs in a talented AFC. The rumors keep rolling about Denver trading previously key pieces such as Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Chris Harris Jr. and Bradley Roby. At this point, they might want to trade at least one of them, specifically Demaryius Thomas and gather some draft ammunition. Quite a few teams are looking for receivers and/or cornerbacks so Denver should be able to receive solid compensation.

– Pranay Malempati

22. Tennessee Titans – 92 (High: 20. Low: 26. LW: 23)

You could argue that the Tennessee Titans had their bye week come at the right time, as they
were winless in the month of October. The Titans travel to Dallas on Monday night to take on
the 3-4 Cowboys sitting a game back in the AFC South of the first place Houston Texans.

– Michael Packard

23. Jacksonville Jaguars – 85 (High: 19. Low: 25. LW: 20)

The Jacksonville Jaguars were competitive for 60 minutes for the first time in a month, but the
outcome was the same as they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 24-18 in London. Quarterback
Blake Bortles, one game after being benched, had sort of a bounce-back game (24/41, 286
yards and a touchdown). However, the Jags only ran the ball two times in the second half (not
they were doing a good job anyway) and the defense couldn’t get off the field when it needed
to while the game was within one possession. The Jaguars are on their much-needed bye week,
and will have an uphill battle to get back into possible playoff contention starting with an 3-5
Indianapolis Colts team that is starting to hit their stride.

– Michael Packard

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 79 (High: 20. Low: 25. LW: 24)

It is time for the Buccaneers to acknowledge former number one overall pick James Winston is not the quarterback of the future. After an absolutely miserable performance in Cincinnati with four interceptions, some unforgivable, Winston is second in the league in picks, despite missing three and a half games. FitzMagic was back however. The Harvard graduate almost led the Buccaneers to a comeback that seemed insurmountable, with a late touchdown and two-point conversion. A last second field goal ended the comeback though. The Buccaneers will need all the FitzMagic they can get next week against a tough Panthers team.

– Zac Stone

25. Indianapolis Colts – 67 (High: 23. Low: 27. LW: 27)

(Photo Courtesy: The Indianapolis Star)

For the second week in a row, The Indianapolis Colts had an easy match-up and won their game
against the lowly Oakland Raiders 42-28. Down 14-13 going into halftime, the Colts turned on
the afterburners and steamrolled the Raiders 29-7 in the second half. Running back Marlon Mack had
another impressive day (25 carries, 132 yards, and two touchdowns) as the Colts scored on all
but one of their drives and out-possessed Oakland by 13 minutes. The Colts have momentum
going into their bye week as they have now won two straight games.

– Michael Packard

26. New York Jets – 64 (High: 25. Low: 28. LW: 25)

New York was dominated by the Chicago Bears on Sunday. The Jets normally strong running game was battered by the Bears strong front seven. Lead back Isaiah Crowell only managed 25 yards on 13 carries. That is a heinous 1.9 yards per carry. In addition, the Jets are still not strong enough through the air. While rookie quarterback Sam Darnold avoided throwing any picks this week, he only completed 48% of his passes and threw for a mere 153 yards.

– Jacob Gilbert

27. Cleveland Browns – 53 (High: 25. Low: 28. LW: 26)

Heading into Week 8 the Browns already had more wins then they did over the last two seasons, yet they still fired their head coach and offensive coordinator. The Browns fell down on the job at Heinz Field. They still can’t convert on their take aways or convert in the red zone. This Cleveland team has a lot to work on if they want to add another win to their record this season.

– Savannah Dean

28. Buffalo Bills – 43 (High: 21. Low: 31. LW: 28)

Buffalo still showed no signs of life on offense. Using their third different quarterback of the year Derek Anderson avoided many of the costly mistakes that Nathan Peterman would have likely made. However the offense remained just as inept and despite a valiant performance by the Bills’ defense Buffalo was blown out 25-6.

– Jacob Gilbert

29. Arizona Cardinals – 29 (High: 28. Low: 31. LW: 32)

The Cardinals have been criticized for starting Josh Rosen too early with too little experience. While he did not have the best game, he played well enough to move the Cardinals out of last place in the NFC West. He led the team to a game winning drive with under a minute left, the second of his two fourth quarter touchdowns. David Johnson still can’t figure out how to be the running back that made him one of the best in the league.

– Zac Stone

30. San Francisco 49ers – 24 (High: 28. Low: 32. LW: 29)

On the bright side, the Giants led the Diamondbacks 5-3 at halftime. Wait, wrong sport. The battle of the basement was quite the snore believe it or not. There is not many bright spots for the 49ers in the absence of Jimmy G. George Kittle is a nice piece, but without a quarterback the offense is inept. I do not condone tanking usually, but at this point that is their best bet.

– Zac Stone

31. New York Giants – 16 (High: 30. Low: 32. LW: 30)

The Giants got even worse after trading away Damon Harrison and Eli Apple. Eli Manning looks as bad as ever, as he threw more picks than touchdowns again. At this point, they are gunning for the first overall pick, and if they aren’t careful, they may just get it.

– Ben Hendricks

32. Oakland Raiders – 13 (High: 29. Low: 32. LW: 31)

Oakland probably thought they had a chance to win on Sunday since they were playing another losing team. But they really didn’t, and ended up losing to the Colts by 14. On the bright side, possibly the most important day for them this week is today, the trade deadline. They have a chance to trade more players Jon Gruden doesn’t want and compile more draft picks. In other news, the battle of the bay area is coming up on Sunday with Oakland vs San Francisco. If you’re going to the game, stay safe.

– Pranay Malempati

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