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2017 NFL power rankings: Week 8

2017 NFL power rankings: week 8

There is a new number one team in the National Football League and the state of Pennsylvania is flying. The only question is Pittsburgh or Philadelphia the new number one? The rest of the rankings are seeing a ton of shifting as well. It is a very unpredictable league and that is what is making it such an entertaining season. No other sport is duplicating the parody the way the NFL is. Each week there could be a new number one but for now here is the 2017 NFL power rankings: Week 8.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-7)

Last week: 32 (no change)

Next game: (London) vs. Minnesota

The Browns just keep losing while quarterbacks they passed on keep winning. Although during the draft it seemed like the Browns were heading in the right direction, they aren’t. In their last 22 games, they are 1-21. The pain may never end for Cleveland and looking at their schedule, they may fall to 0-16 this season. This week they take on the Vikings in London and maybe, just maybe, they find a way to pull of a miracle upset across the pond.

31. San Francisco 49ers (0-7)

Last week: 31 (no change)

Next game: @ Philadelphia

The 49ers might be 0-7 but they have lost five games by three points or less. San Francisco may not be winning now but the future looks brighter than the other winless team. They won’t find a way to win this week because they are traveling to Philly. At some point, they will win a game or two but this season is about gaining experience for their young players.

30. New York Giants (1-6)

Last week: 30 (no change)

Next game: Bye

Another loss for the New York team that everyone thought would be contenders. It is time for the Giants to just hit the reset button and rebuild. New York should just trade Eli Manning and build the defense and offensive line. Once they accomplish that they can find running backs and their quarterback.

29. Indianapolis Colts (2-5)

Last week: 29 (no change)

Next game: @ Cincinnati

Indianapolis should throw this season away. Andrew Luck hasn’t played and they aren’t really in the thick of the divisional or playoff races. This is a rare chance to get a high draft pick that can help Luck out. Imagine the Colts being able to get a player like Saquon Barkley, Calvin Ridley or a top offensive lineman. This can help them long term and with Andrew Luck close to entering his prime they would be wise to not waste his talent.

28. Baltimore Ravens (3-4)

2017 NFL power rankings: week 8
(Photo Credit: https://sportsblogmovement.wordpress.com)

Last week: 27 (-1)

Next game: Vs. Miami

That Baltimore offense is really hard to watch. Joe Flacco is not and has never been elite and he can’t carry this team to the playoffs. Defensively, the Ravens can’t stop the run at all ranking 32nd in the NFL allowing 145.3 yards per game. Latavius Murray had a field day, and his best game of the season this past week. Baltimore is trending down and the Flacco era may over sooner rather than later.

27. Arizona Cardinals (3-4):

Last week: 17 (-10)

Next game: Bye

After an impressive debut for Adrian Peterson, the entire Cardinals team went missing. Arizona was shut out 33-0. Peterson not only had a bad game (11 carries for 21 yards) but they lost Carson Palmer who broke his arm. It seems like Arizona was doomed from the start with the loss of David Johnson. It just isn’t their year and they are going to struggle with the loss of Palmer. The defense is ranked 24th in the NFL and can’t make up for the deficiencies they will have on offense.

26. New York Jets (3-4)

Last week: 26 (no change)

Next game: Vs. Atlanta

The Jets blew a 14-point fourth quarter lead to the Miami Dolphins who had to call on Matt Moore. That is two weeks in a row that the Jets blew a 14-point lead. They are starting to resemble the team most of us predicted at the beginning of the season. Moving forward they take on the Falcons who are going through their own slump. The Jets should lose this game which means they will probably end up winning it.

25. Chicago Bears (3-4)

Last week: 25 (no change)

Next game: @ New Orleans

It is extremely baffling to see a team complete just four passes yet win the game. The reason the Bears were able to win a game that way is with two defensive scores of 75 plus yards while holding the Panthers to just three points themselves. Chicago isn’t doing anything flashy but they have won three games. They won’t make the playoffs this year but with a defense that promising and a running game they could be dangerous next season. If they find a way to beat New Orleans on the road then maybe this is the year they make a run at the wild card.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4)

Last week: 20 (-4)

Next game: Vs. Carolina

Tampa Bay is really underachieving. They are in a tough division but few expected them to be in last place. Jameis Winston was even considered to be a darkhorse for league MVP. The offense is in the top 10 in scoring averaging 24.2 points per game. It is the defense that is really letting the team down. Tampa Bay is 30th in total defense and if that continues all of that preseason playoff talk can be tabled as the Bucs look destined for another year without making the playoffs.

23. Cincinnati Bengals (2-4)

Last week: 23 (no change)

Next game: Vs. Indianapolis

The Bengals are coming off an expected loss to divisional rival Pittsburgh. Because of that, they didn’t move up or down in this week’s rankings. However, if they lose at home to the Colts they will drop significantly and it will be time to send Marvin Lewis packing. This is another team that is underachieving and has way too much talent to be 2-4. They look better than Baltimore yet the Ravens sit ahead of them in the standings. This is a big week for them because a win keeps their playoff hopes alive while a loss spells doom.

22. Denver Broncos (3-3)

Last week: 19 (-3)

Next game: away vs. Kansas City

Denver is the worst team in its division. The Chargers completely manhandled them 24-0. The offense is putrid with Trevor Siemian running it. He has had enough time to prove what he is capable of. One thing is for certain, Denver will not win a Super Bowl with him under center. This week they get the luxury of traveling to Kansas City for another beatdown. Pretty soon the Broncos will fall even further in these rankings.

21. Green Bay Packers (4-3)

Last week: 21 (no change)

Next game: Bye

Green Bay didn’t look too bad in their game against the Saints. Brett Hundley used his feet to keep the game close before the Saints ultimately won. The Packers head into the bye with a chance to heal up as most of their secondary, and a few lineman, are banged up. Hundley said it would be a mistake to count the Packers out but the way the Vikings keep winning it is going to be very hard to catch them for the top spot in the NFC North. The rest of the wildcard race is pretty crowded as well and it looks very likely that the Packers miss the postseason.

20. Miami Dolphins (4-2)

Last week: 22 (+2)

Next game: @ Baltimore

Miami is easily one of the most confusing teams this season. They are 4-2 yet they are not as good as their record. The crazy thing is they may win again this week because the Ravens are a relatively weak opponent. 5-2 would be an awesome record but they would still not make the playoffs. The running game is too inconsistent to keep this team winning without a true starting quarterback. Opposing defenses will stack to box and neutralize this offense. The Dolphins may have a playoff record now but by the end of the season, they won’t have more than eight wins.

19. Oakland Raiders (3-4)

2017 NFL power rankings: week 8
(Photo Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Last week: 24 (+5)

Next game: Vs. Buffalo

Oakland got a season-saving win last week in against the Chiefs. The offense looked good as Derek Carr had a season-high 417 yards. Carr had a big game because  Amari Cooper finally showed out for 210 yards and two touchdowns. That may have been the spark the Raiders were looking for. Now they can get rolling and become the AFC contender many predicted they would be. This week they have to travel across the country to face a vicious Bills defense.

18. Atlanta Falcons (3-3)

Last week: 12 (-6)

Next game: @ New York Jets

The hangover is starting to rear its ugly head on the defending NFC champions. After a 3-0 start, they have completely fallen apart and lost three straight. The offense is hurting with the loss of offensive coordinator Kyle Shannahan. In their last three games, the Falcons are averaging 13.7 points per game. Last season they averaged 34.1. They should be able to get back on track this week against the Jets or maybe they blow a big lead and lose.

17. Los Angeles Chargers (3-4)

Last week: 23 (+6)

Next game: Vs. New England

Los Angeles is just two plays away from being 5-2 so seeing them beat the Broncos 24-0 isn’t too surprising. The defensive line can get after the quarterabck and it makes life easier on the rest of the defense. The offense is running through Melvin Gordon as it should. As long as Philip Rivers protects the ball this team will be competitive. This week, however, they will be traveling to Foxborough to face Tom Brady and the Pats who are in midseason form. A win on the road against this team could show the rest of the league that the Chargers are for real.

16. Washington Redskins (3-3)

Last week: 16 (no change)

Next game: Vs. Dallas

Washington is still a mess of a franchise but when they win games people forget that. Well they have fallen to 3-3 and do not look like a team capable of making the playoffs. No matter how you want to slice it Kirk Cousins can’t win big games. Last week’s game against Philly was a big game. This week the Redskins face another division rival, the Cowboys. THere is a good chance they lose this game and fall even lower in the standings and rankings.

15. Detroit Lions (3-3)

Last week: 14 (-1)

Next game: Vs. Pittsburgh

Detroit had two weeks to prepare for the Pittsburgh Steelers but it still might not be enough to get a win. Detroit is a solid team with a really good quarterback but is held back by an inconsistent rushing attack. The defense has shown flashes of greatness as well but like their run game is inconsistent. The Lions will float around .500 all season making them a middle of the pack, average team.

14. Carolina Panthers (4-3)

Last week: 4 (-10)

Next game: @ Tampa Bay

The Panthers looked pathetic against the Chicago Bears. Carolina only scored three points and allowed the Chicago defense to score two touchdowns. Cam Newton has been super inconsistent this season and the offense can’t get rolling because of it. The defense has been missing their leader Luke Kuechley. Carolina must win this week if they are serious about making the playoffs.

13. Tennessee Titans (4-3)

Last week: 13 (no change)

Next game: Bye

Tennessee struggled against the Browns which is rather concerning. The Titans are still 4-3 and are heading into a bye to get everything regrouped. Coming out of the bye week this team will be prepped to make a midseason run that sets them atop the AFC South division. If they continue running the ball well (9th best in the NFL) they will win a lot of games by controlling the clock. For now, they sit at 13 but will likely trend up.

12. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-3)

Last week: 18 (+6)

Next game: Bye

Jacksonville will also head into their bye week at 4-3 just like their rival Tennessee. The Jaguars are also in a great position to make a run at winning the division. Their defense is elite and the strength of the team. Jacksonville is tied for first with points allowed per game at 15.7 and they also have the second-best pass defense allowing just 161.7 yards per game. The offense helps out by leading the NFL in rushing, averaging 169 yards per game. After the bye, Jacksonville will be poised to make a run at the postseason.

11. Houston Texans (3-3)

Last week: 9 (-2)

Next game: @ Seattle

Houston dropped two spots while on a bye because there are other teams that just looked really good last week. So good that they looked like a better team than Houston. The task is tall for rookie DeShaun Watson this week who must head to Seattle to take on the Legion of Boom. Winning this game will keep Houston tied for first with Jacksonville and Tennessee but it won’t be easy.

10. Dallas Cowboys (3-3)

Last week: 15 (+5)

Next game: Vs. Washington

Dallas smacked San Francisco last week to the tune of 40-10. Ezekiel Elliot ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns to lead the way. The Cowboys looked like they finally got a spark they needed to get on a roll. This week the Cowboys must travel to Washington to take on one of their biggest rivals. If Dallas can get back to their form from last season they will easily remain a top 10 team that will be a huge obstacle in the NFC playoff picture.

9. New Orleans Saints (4-2)

2017 NFL power rankings: week 8
(Photo Credit: http://973thedawg.com)

Last week: 10 (+1)

Next game: Vs. Chicago

The Saints are one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now with a four-game win streak. Drew Brees has this offense clicking on all cylinders and they are averaging 28.5 points per game, fifth-most in the NFL. Brees himself has thrown for 1,652 yards, 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. At age 38, Brees is still playing at an elite level that is leading his team to wins. The biggest factor in the Saints four-game win streak is the defense though. In the last three games, the Saints defense is only allowing 18.3 points per game. If this defense keeps this up then the Saints could win their division and find themselves in the playoffs.

8. Seattle Seahawks (4-2)

Last week: 11 (+3)

Next game: Vs. Houston

The Seahawks are often thought of as the NFC version of the Patriots. No matter who is on the roster they will be a playoff team capable of making it to the Super Bowl. This year they are 4-2 despite having one of the worst offensive lines in football. Seattle is 18th in rushing and 11th in passing yards which are both pretty average. It is well known that this team succeeds because of their defense. They rank first in scoring defense yet again, allowing just 15.7 points per game. At the end of the season, the Seahawks will likely be a playoff team.

7. Buffalo Bills (4-2)

Last week: 8 (+1)

Next game: Vs. Oakland

Buffalo is one of the most surprising teams in the NFL this season but they are challenging the Patriots for their division, which doesn’t happen very often. Like most of the top teams in the league, they are doing it with defense. Buffalo is in the top five in scoring defense even though they rank 21st in total defense. They control the clock by averaging 31.8 rush attempts per game and with this gameplan, and a strong defense, it is a formula for success. They have a tough game against the Raiders this week but it is at home.

6. Los Angeles Rams (5-2)

Last week: 7 (+1)

Next game: Bye

Los Angeles is another candidate for surprise team of the year. They are heading into their bye week with a 5-2 record and are in first place in the NFC West. Todd Gurley is the engine of this team and should be a candidate for league MVP. Gurley has 627 yards rushing, 293 yards receiving and eight total touchdowns. Jared Goff has also stepped up in his second season and these two players have led the Rams to the number one scoring offense.

5. Minnesota Vikings (5-2)

Last week: 6 (+1)

Next game: (London) vs. Cleveland

Few believed the Vikings would be leading the NFC North after seven weeks but they are 5-2 thanks to their elite defense. Minnesota is only giving up 17 points per game. The Vikings do a great job getting to the quarterback with the fourth most sacks as a team in the league. The biggest key to the Vikings defensive success is their third-down defense which is allowing opponents to convert only 27.3 percent of their third downs. Minnesota gets off the field nearly 75 percent of the time which is astonishing. The big knock on the Vikings is their offense. Ironically, Minnesota is 12 in the NFL in total offense and scoring 21 points per game. This team is quietly one of the most dangerous in the league.

4. New England Patriots (5-2)

Last week: 5 (+1)

Next game: Vs. Los Angeles Chargers

The Patriots will just keep on winning. By the end of the season, they will have between 12-14 wins and the road to the Super Bowl will run through them. This year the defense has been one of the worst in the Bill Belichick era but have improved as of late. In their last three games, they are allowing just 12.7 points per game. Tom Brady is still doing his thing under center throwing for 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions. This team is one of the best and everyone knows it.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)

Last week: 1 (-2)

Next game: Vs. Denver

It still isn’t time to panic in Kansas City but the Chiefs have lost two straight. It has opened the door for other teams to show they are better than Kansas City. Still, the Chiefs score 29.6 points per game and have an explosive offense that will win a lot of games and lead this team to the playoffs. This week they will be at home to take on a reeling Denver team. It should be a win that keeps Kansas City atop the AFC West and in firm control of a playoff spot.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2)

Last week: 3 (+1)

Next game: Vs. Detroit

Pittsburgh seems to have shaken off the rust and are at 5-2. The defense is locking down all air attacks allowing just 147 yards per game, the best mark in the NFL. This is why the Steelers have the second-ranked total defense. All of this is what has caused Pittsburgh to allow the second-fewest points per game at 16.6. Offensively, the Killer B’s are doing just enough to win games. The saying goes that offense wins games and defenses win championships. Based off of their defensive statistics, the Steelers could find themselves in Minnesota for Super Bowl LII.

1. Philadelphia Eagles (6-1)

Last week: 2 (+1)

Next game: Vs. San Francisco

Philly is the best team in the NFL as of now. The Eagles have only lost one game and it was a road loss at Arrowhead, one of the toughest places to play. The Eagles offense is being led by MVP candidate Carson Wentz who has already thrown for more touchdowns this season in seven games, 17, than he did all of the season, 16. Wentz is also protecting the ball throwing just four interceptions.

The defense balances the team out allowing just 20.9 points per game. The Eagles also have the best rush defense in the NFL allowing just 67 yards per game on the ground. Philly is in control in the NFC and the best team in the NFL. One let down though and this could change.

 

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