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NFL Power Rankings: Big Risers And Fallers In The West In Week 8

Week 8 saw a several big upsets, some unexpected blowouts, and a decisive victory in a clash of undefeated teams at Mile High Stadium. The West divisions saw some big movements, with the Raiders and Chiefs both rising five spots, while the Chargers fell by the same amount, more than any other faller in Week 8. Two other big risers came out of the NFC South, with the Saints also rising five places, and the Bucs having the biggest jump of this week by rising six spots.Check out how the rest of the league did in our power rankings!  

Check out how the rest of the league did in our power rankings!

1. New England Patriots (7-0)

Last week: #1

GS = 1, DV = 1, EH = 1, RC = 1, TD = 1, BH = 1

Thoroughly beat down a confident Dolphins to remind the NFL world who dominates the AFC East, if we needed any more reminding. They look unstoppable, and Tom Brady is inching ever-closer to another MVP award. (DV)

2. Cincinnati Bengals (7-0)

Last week: #2

GS = 2, DV = 2, EH = 2, RC = 2, TD = 2, BH = 4

The Bengals made a statement in the AFC North with a narrow win over Pittsburgh. The Bengals are now in firm control of the division and are major playoff contenders. They need to get better against playoff calibre defenses though after Pittsburgh held their own for much of the game. (EH)

3. Denver Broncos (7-0)

Last week: #5

GS = 4, DV = 3, EH = 4, RC = 3, TD = 3, BH = 2

The bye week did wonders for Peyton Manning, it seems. He torched the Packers defense for 340 yards, while the league-leading defense stifled Aaron Rodgers into playing one of his worst games as a professional. The Broncos are starting to close the gap on the Bengals and the Patriots above them. (DV)

4. Carolina Panthers (7-0)

Last week: #4

GS = 3, DV = 4, EH = 3, RC = 4, TD = 5, BH = 3

Cam Newton is having a season worthy of MVP candidacy and the defense is as great. The linebackers are as good as they have been for the last few years, the secondary has gotten a huge boost from Josh Norman, who’s throwing his name into the defensive player of the year debate. (RC)

5. Green Bay Packers (6-1)

Last week: #3

GS = 5, DV = 6, EH = 6, RC = 5, TD = 4, BH = 5

Wide receiver injuries are killing Green Bay’s season. Aaron Rodgers can only do so much and carry the team so far on his own. The defense is good, but has to take up more of the load until the receiving corps gets healthy. Don’t count the Packers out, but Mike McCarthy may start getting worried. (EH)

6. Arizona Cardinals (6-2)

Last week: #6

GS = 6, DV = 5, EH = 5, RC = 6, TD = 6, BH = 7

Overcame a 14-point deficit to the Cleveland Browns to run out as winners, making them 2-for-2 over AFC North opponents in the past week. One knock on the Cardinals over the past few weeks is the way they have allowed other teams to hang around in games. They will need to tighten up over the the remainder of the season to really cement their dominance of the NFC. (DV)

7. Minnesota Vikings (5-2)

Last week: #9

GS = 9, DV = 7, EH = 9, RC = 9, TD = 8, BH = 8

The Vikings have reeled off 3 wins in a row and, thanks in part to the Broncos, are just 1 game behind the Packers in the NFC North. Stefon Diggs’ emergence and chemistry with Teddy Bridgewater is very promising. Better play from Bridgewater will make this team a real threat in the NFC. (RC)

8. Atlanta Falcons (6-2)

Last week: #8

GS = 8, DV = 9, EH = 10, RC = 7, TD = 7, BH = 10

The Falcons are rapidly losing ground to the Panthers in the NFC South race, but were the better team for much of Sunday’s loss against the Buccaneers. They outgained Tampa Bay by 206 yards, but unlucky turnovers cost them a win. Dan Quinn’s squad needs to find some consistency if they are to contend for the playoffs. (EH)

=9. New York Jets (4-3)

Last week: #7

GS = 7, DV = 12, EH = 8, RC = 10, TD = 14, BH = 11

After a heart-breaking loss to the Patriots last weekend, the Jets never really got going against the Oakland Raiders. Geno Smith served us a reminder as to why Ryan Fitzpatrick was made the starter in the preseason with or without Smith’s bust jaw, while the secondary allowed Derek Carr to pass all over them. (DV)

=9. Oakland Raiders (4-3)

Last week: #14

GS = 12, DV = 8, EH = 7, RC = 15, TD = 11, BH = 9

The Raiders are for real. Derek Carr threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns without an interception against the Jets’ All-Star calibre defense. Latavius Murray rushed for 113 yards against New York’s league-best run defense. The Raiders now have a tie-breaker over New York in the AFC wild-card race and could be playing football in January for the first time since 2002. (EH)

11. St Louis Rams (4-3)

Last week: #13 GS = 10, DV = 11, EH = 11, RC = 11, TD = 10, BH = 12 The Rams have found their identity and it is working: play good defense, run the ball as much as possible with Todd Gurley, and throw in some Tavon Austin ever now and again. The Rams are second in the NFC West.

12. Seattle Seahawks (4-4)

Last week: #11

GS = 13, DV = 13, EH = 16, RC = 8, TD = 13, BH = 6

Won a close battle against the Dallas Cowboys to send them to .500. Ricardo Lockette’s injury was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen on a football field, despite the hit looking fairly innocuous. Kudos to the Seahawks team to regain their focus and come out of Arlington with the victory. (DV)

13. New York Giants (4-4)

Last week: #10

GS = 11, DV = 14, EH = 14, RC = 14, TD = 15, BH = 14

The Giants lost in the most incredible game of the year thus far, and it was all on the defense. The defense needs a pass rush, desperately, above all else, luckily for them, they have Jason Pierre-Paul returning soon. If he is still the player he was then this will be a big boost for this team. (RC)

14. New Orleans Saints (4-4)

Last week: #19

GS = 16, DV = 10, EH = 13, RC = 22, TD = 12, BH = 13

Remember when we all thought the Saints were dead and buried? Well they’ve flipped that narrative on its head. They prevailed in a shootout with the New York Giants to send them to .500, and in the thick of the NFC playoff race. Defensively, there are still concerns, but if the offense can keep putting points on the board in bunches, this team can trouble anyone. (DV)

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4)

Last week: #12

GS = 15, DV = 15, EH = 17, RC = 12, TD = 9, BH = 19

The Steelers finally got Roethlisberger back but they lost LeVeon Bell for the season to a bad MCL tear. Luckily DeAngelo Williams filled in well at the beginning of the season but this could be a killer for the Steelers, especially as they lost to the roaring Bengals. (RC)

16. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4)

Last week: #16

GS = 14, DV = 18, EH = 24, RC = 17, TD = 16, BH = 15

No change for the Eagles on a bye week. Can they take advantage of the Cowboys and Giants slipping up next week? (DV)

17. Buffalo Bills (3-4)

Last week: #15

GS = 18, DV = 17, EH = 20, RC = 13, TD = 19, BH = 20

The Bills had a very welcome bye this week, giving them a chance to get some key players back from injury. Next week they are expected to have Tyrod Taylor, Sammy Watkins and Karlos Williams back. (RC)

=18. Indianapolis Colts (3-5)

Last week: #18

GS = 17, DV = 16, EH = 23, RC = 16, TD = 17, BH = 21

Colts fans will have to hope Luck’s decline in play is completely down to the fact he apparently has several cracked ribs. The Colts have not been good this year and are failing to take advantage of being in the worst division in the NFL. (RC)

=18. Kansas City Chiefs (3-5)

Last week: #23

GS = 25, DV = 19, EH = 12, RC = 18, TD = 18, BH = 18

Found their mojo in London, though it was hard to say how much of their success came from the abjectness of the Detroit Lions. Alex Smith reminded 49ers fans of what they lost when he scrambled for 78 yards and a touchdown, while throwing two more, looking like not only a better QB than Colin Kaepernick, but also the better athlete. The Chiefs also recorded five sacks in the first half alone, preying on a rattled Matthew Stafford and his porous offensive line. (DV)

20. Miami Dolphins (3-4)

Last week: #17

GS = 19, DV = 21, EH = 19, RC = 21, TD = 20, BH = 16

The Dolphins were dismantled by the Patriots on Thursday night. They have looked better in the last few weeks but they are certainly not the team everyone thought they’d be. (RC)

21. Washington Redskins (3-4)

Last week: #21

GS = 20, DV = 20, EH = 18, RC = 23, TD = 22, BH = 23

A bye week for the Redskins, meaning we never got a chance to see if they could capitalise on their momentum from their ‘like that’ win. (DV)

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4)

Last week: #28

GS = 22, DV = 25, EH = 27, RC = 28, TD = 24, BH = 17

The Buccaneers knocked off the Falcons their second win in 3 weeks. What’s more, Winston is showing consistency and Doug Martin is having a comeback player of the year type season. The defense still needs to improve though. (RC)

23. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5)

Last week: #25

GS = 28, DV = 24, EH = 15, RC = 26, TD = 28, BH = 24 

fter getting the win in Wembley, the Jags get a bye week. Will the week’s rest give the Jaguars a platform for the rest of the season to go and win the weak AFC South? (DV)

24. Dallas Cowboys (2-5)

Last week: #22

GS = 23, DV = 26, EH = 28, RC = 20, TD = 29, BH = 22

The Cowboys kept the Seahawks close, despite their injured stars. Though they did get Dez Bryant back and Tony Romo is on schedule to return soon. If this team get just win a few games before Romo returns and this team will still have a shot at the playoffs in a weak NFC East. (RC)

=25. Chicago Bears (2-5)

Last week: #26

GS = 26, DV = 27, EH = 21, RC = 24, TD = 23, BH = 28

The Bears managed to stay in the game right until the end against a much better Vikings team. Jay Cutler has been playing fairly well this season, and with Alshon Jeffery healthy again Chicago will be dangerous over the second half of the season. Both the Vikings and Bears need to capitalise on Green Bay’s struggles and make a play for the division. if the defense can play a little better, expect Chicago to finish around .500 this year. (EH)

=25. San Diego Chargers (2-6)

#Last week: #20

GS = 27, DV = 29, EH = 22, RC = 19, TD = 27, BH = 25

The Chargers lost a close one to the Ravens and suffered even more on the injury front with Keenen Allen leaving the game before halftime. Their defense hasn’t been that good either. The Chargers will possibly be saying bye to San Diego in very disappointing fashion. (RC)

27. Cleveland Browns (2-6)

Last week: #24

GS = 21, DV = 28, EH = 25, RC = 27, TD = 21, BH = 29

Failed to hold onto a 14-point lead over the Arizona Cardinals, with injuries to the secondary hampering their efforts. Quarterback Josh McCown had a quietly efficient game, but reinjured his shoulder in the second half. It may be time to let Johnny Manziel have a run in the team, if just purely to let McCown heal. (DV)

28. Baltimore Ravens (2-6)

Last week: #27

GS = 24, DV = 22, EH = 29, RC = 25, TD = 26, BH = 26

The Ravens finally got another win but it was at a cost. The Ravens lost Steve Smith Sr. for the year to a torn Achilles. This could be a disaster for a Ravens offense already lacking playmakers. (RC)

29. Houston Texans (3-5)

Last week: #32

GS = 29, DV = 23, EH = 26, RC = 30, TD = 25, BH = 27

It is incredible to think that this Texans team, so bad for so much of the season, are still right in the race for a playoff spot. I guess that’s what you get for playing in the AFC South. However, you still need to beat who is put in front of you, and thanks to J.J Watt and co, the Texans got a division win against the Titans on Sunday. (DV)

30. San Francisco 49ers (2-6)

Last week: #29

GS = 30, DV = 30, EH = 32, RC = 31, TD = 30, BH = 30

Torrey Smith going berserk when Colin Kaepernick missed him wide-open just about sums up the 49ers. Kaepernick is not a starting NFL quarterback, as deduced by many of us at the NFL Media events this week, and they have frankly one of the worst groups of players in the 49ers rich history. And just when it could not get any worse, Carlos Hyde and Reggie Bush will be missing from the top of the running back depth charts, and Jarred Hayne is now sitting on the practice squad. (DV)

31. Tennessee Titans (1-6)

Last week: #31

GS = 32, DV = 32, EH = 31, RC = 29, TD = 31, BH = 31

The Titans need Mariota back. Though his last 6 quarters may not have been great, he’s certainly better than Mettenberger. The Titans clearly need more help around Mariota. (RC)

32. Detroit Lions (1-6)

Last week: #30

S = 31, DV = 31, EH = 30, RC = 32, TD = 32, BH = 32

An offensive coordinator change can’t mask the problems that plague Matthew Stafford and the Detroit offensive line. Stafford constantly stares down his receivers, has no pocket presence, and makes irrational decisions all too slowly. His offensive line couldn’t stop a nosebleed. Then the defense goes and blows up, making a pedestrian-at-best Chiefs offense look like the Greatest Show on Turf. Caldwell’s seat is on fire. (DV)

Gur Samuel

Hi! I'm Gur and I'm RealSport's Editor-in-Chief. I'm also currently the site's tennis editor, and contribute to our NFL, wrestling and Formula 1 coverage as well. I'm also an NFL analyst for CNN International and contributor to SB Nation, and have contributed to, or been interviewed by, various print, broadcast and online media, including the BBC, Mail Online, ABC, NBC, CBS, the Boston Globe, and Yahoo! Sports.

NFL Power Rankings: Big Risers And Fallers In The West In Week 8

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