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NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Fly, Eagles, Fly!

There is a new #1 team in town and a lot of change at the top of our rankings. Not so much at the bottom though...


It was a busy Week 7 in the NFL. New England came out on top in a Super Bowl LI rematch, and the Chiefs lost their second straight game in a wild Thursday Night Football finish against Oakland. We had one bye team gain in our standings and one lose ground, while the biggest fallers were Green Bay, as the reality of being without Aaron Rodgers set in.

1. Philadelphia Eagles (Previous: #2)

The Eagles left Week 7 with the best record in football and a commanding lead in the NFC East. Another four-touchdown performance has Carson Wentz among the early favorites for the MVP and there is a sense of expectation building around this Eagles team. Can the team survive the pressure at the top though? (Toby Durant)

2. Kansas City Chiefs (Previous: #1)

The Chiefs took another loss in Oakland after an undefeated start to the season. They now have a two-game losing streak thanks to Michael Crabtree’s late TD after three flags in the last minute in the Raiders end zone. Frankly, they could have put the game out of reach early but unfortunately this loss means they will say goodbye to their #1 spot in the RealSport power rankings. (Kyle Pineda)

3. New England Patriots (Previous: #7)

In the rematch of Super Bowl LI the New England Patriots coasted home to an easy win vs the Falcons. The ghost of the night in Houston still looms over the Falcons as the Patriots have rebounded after a rocky start. With the rest of the NFL faltering, the Patriots are trending upwards.(Kyle Pineda)

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (Previous: #3)

Pittsburgh is back. They’re 3-0 vs AFC North teams for the 1st time since 2008. They’re officially back as a top 5 team in football and will look to continue it next week in Detroit. (Cameron Lingle)

5. Minnesota Vikings (Previous: #4)

Another good defensive display brought the Vikings home despite a lack of production at quarterback. They also found good success with Latavius Murray on the ground against a tough Baltimore front. The question is can their season survive the instability under center? So far, so good. (Toby Durant)

6. Los Angeles Rams (Previous: #6)

The Rams looked great across-the-board against the Cardinals in London as they shut out their division rivals in a 33-0 rout. The offense was efficient without being electrifying as Jared Goff once again distributed the ball expertly, giving six of his receivers at least two catches. The defense had a fantastic game and looks like it is starting to click under Wade Phillips’ 3-4 system after making the transition from 4-3. The only blight on the night was a Jared Goff interception that came on a throw typical of a young quarterback that is really nothing to be concerned about. The Rams possess the league’s highest scoring offense and have what is turning out to be a formidable defense to back it up; more than a good enough recipe for success. (Daniel Michel)

7. Houston Texans (Previous: #10)

The Texans rise on their week off thanks to others stumbling. There was some good news in Houston, with left tackle Duane Brown agreeing to return to the team. If he can bed in quickly and play up to his 2016 form then this offense just got a lot better. (Toby Durant)

8. Jacksonville Jaguars (Previous: #14)

Another ten-sack day from the defense was incredibly impressive, but the best sign for the Jaguars future was their offensive success without Leonard Fournette. Chris Ivory and TJ Yeldon were able to cover for the rookie’s absence, and the offense looked good albeit against poor opposition. (Toby Durant)

9. Carolina Panthers (Previous: #5)

The defense looked very solid vs the Bears even without Luke Kuechly but the offense has major problems. Cam Newton has a 9:10 TD to INT ratio, and only scored three points in Chicago. Losing to the Bears like that is unacceptable. (Kyle Pineda)

10. New Orleans Saints (Previous: #15)

The Saints are on a 4-game win streak, it’s not yet a hot streak, but it’s warming up nicely as they marched to the top spot in the NFC South. After the defensive fireworks in Week 6, Week 7 offered a much more understated affair in a win against the Hundley led Packers. Despite falling behind early, a methodical Saints approach got them the win in a game they never really looked like losing. (Martin Hill)

11. Buffalo Bills (Previous: #13)

Another tight victory for the Bills has them right in the thick of the playoff hunt, and even the division race. LeSean McCoy was dynamic, Tyrod Taylor was efficient, and the “no name” receiving corps is getting open. They are a legitimate threat to the Patriots this year. (Toby Durant)

12. Seattle Seahawks (Previous: #17)

The Seahawks are a quiet 4-2 in the NFC West and starting to round into form. The defense remains terrifying and Russell Wilson’s athleticism and cannon of an arm is keeping the offense ticking over. Can they lean on the Legion of Boom for another playoff run? We’re about to find out. (Toby Durant)

13. Atlanta Falcons (Previous: #8)

The fog in Foxborough was a taunting metaphor for the Falcons season so far. Super Bowl LI still looms over everything they do, and the loss of Kyle Shanahan has been even more damaging than everyone thought it would be. Steve Sarkisian has not been up to the task of marshalling a varied and dynamic offense, which despite a continuously great running attack is struggling to score points. Expect a change of playcaller soon. (Toby Durant)

14. Detroit Lions (Previous: #12)

The Lions were on a bye and got to see Green Bay lose more ground in the division. It looks like it will be between them and the Vikings for the NFC North crown, and with a head-to-head win over Minnesota already and the Lions are very much in the hunt. (Toby Durant)

15. Dallas Cowboys (Previous: #19)

The Cowboys found their offensive rhythm by the bay as they raced to a 40-10 win against San Francisco. The importance of Ezekiel Elliott was on full display as he made flawless reads and devastating cuts to put a young front seven to the sword. Dallas have a very tough next four weeks, including visits from our top two teams, their playoff hopes will hinge on how November goes. (Toby Durant)

16. Washington Redskins (Previous: #18)

The Redskins are 3-0 against opponents not called “Eagles” or “Chiefs”. Unfortunately, their schedule so far has seen them face the two in-form sides of 2017, and that has been a problem. They get Dallas, Seattle, and Minnesota next so there is no respite for Kirk Cousins & co. (Toby Durant)

17. Oakland Raiders (Previous: #20)

A huge win for the Raiders on Thursday kept them in the divisional race, and Amari Cooper rediscovering his form was a vital step for an offense that has been mis-firing all season. Next is a big trip to Buffalo where they could get back to .500 or see their road to the playoffs get even tougher. (Toby Durant)

18. Tennessee Titans (Previous: #16)

It was an extremely disappointing display from the Titans on Sunday. Maybe it was the short week that had the offense underperforming, but they averaged just 4.0 yards per play on Sunday in a game which saw their usually brilliant ground game get completely halted. Still, a win’s a win and it keeps their noses ahead in the AFC South, though maybe not for long. (Toby Durant)

19. Denver Broncos (Previous: #11)

The Denver Broncos started out on a good foot. They were average and won a few games. However, the entire year they have struggled in the red zone. They seem just fine marching up the field but once the endzone is in sight, the Broncos offense chokes. The defense is unable to carry an underperforming Trevor Siemian, and there seems to be no solution in-house for the Broncos broken offense. (David Payne)

20. Green Bay Packers (Previous: #9)

Without Rodgers, Green Bay were unable to do much of anything against the Saints on Sunday. Brett Hundley completed just 12 of 25 passes for 87 yards, and while Aaron Jones was able to run consistently, the lack of a passing game killed their chances. Rodgers may be able to make it back in just six weeks, but at the moment there doesn’t seem to be any point in rushing him back, because by then the Packers will almost certainly be out of the playoff race. (Toby Durant)

21. Los Angeles Chargers (Previous: #27)

Los Angeles made Denver look terrible on Sunday. Winning their 3rd straight game. They’re proving the ability to not only win close games, but also beginning to show the ability to take a lead and run with it. The AFC West is officially on notice. (Cameron Lingle)

22. Miami Dolphins (Previous: #22)

Matt Moore saved the day and got the win. However evil it might sound, perhaps Dolphins fans cheered a bit when Jay Cutler went down. Moore has some experience with the team since Miami has a recent history of injured QBs. Maybe Moore will steal the starting spot and lead Miami to more consistent offensive performances. (David Payne)

23. New York Jets (Previous: #21)

The Jets should have taken Sunday’s game against Miami to overtime, but a careless interception from Josh McCown ended their hopes. Gang Green have been surprisingly competitive so far this season, but it’s starting to hurt their draft stock in a class loaded with quarterback talent. (Toby Durant)

24. Baltimore Ravens (Previous: #23)

Baltimore have no skill players left, and an already poor offense is starting to disintegrate without ball-carrying talent. The defense is still good, but it’s not enough to win games consistently, and it might not be enough to keep John Harbaugh out of the firing line. (Toby Durant)

25. Chicago Bears (Previous: #28)

Chicago’s strategy of limiting Mitchell Trubisky is working. The rookie QB has completed just 12 passes in the last two games, but the Bears have won both. Jordan Howard is shouldering the bulk of the offense as they lean on a productive and opportunistic defense. (Toby Durant)

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Previous: #24)

Tampa are one of the most disappointing teams this season. Despite plenty of yards on offense, the return on the scoreboard has been a let down. Defensive injuries and an inability to run the ball have been the main culprits, but that won’t stop Jameis Winston coming under fire. (Toby Durant)

27. Cincinnati Bengals (Previous: #25)

The Bengals ran out of steam against Pittsburgh and looked distinctly bad in the second half of a must-win game. Their season is petering out quickly, as is the Marvin Lewis era (hopefully). (Toby Durant)

28. Arizona Cardinals (Previous: #26)

Well, the Cardinals’ trip to London could not have gone much worse. Not only were they completely embarrassed by the Rams to the tune of 33-0 – only the second team in the history of the London games to not put a single point up on the board – but Carson Palmer is out for eight weeks with a broken arm, an injury that essentially ends his 2017 season. How do the Cardinals continue? They’ll have to show a much better run-pass balance – Adrian Peterson had less than ten carries before Palmer exited the game. Going forward, the only thing this team may have to fight for is Bruce Arians’ job. (Gur Samuel)

29. New York Giants (Previous: #30)

The Giants were powerless against Seattle, with the only offensive production coming on a short field thanks to a turnover. Without any offense, the defense wore down and were soon exposed by Seattle’s outside speed. At 1-6 the Giants season is as disappointing as anyone’s, and their future is very, very uncertain. (Toby Durant)

30. Indianapolis Colts (Previous: #29)

Indy’s poor offensive line was abused by Jacksonville’s pass rush and then by TY Hilton after the game. The receivers comments are indicative of a team that is falling apart at the seams. Chuck Pagano needs to get a hold of them, and quickly. (Toby Durant)

31. San Francisco 49ers (Previous: #31)

The 49ers were handled comfortably by Dallas on Sunday in CJ Beathard’s first start. It was pretty clear that despite a few good throws he is not going to be the long-term answer, but that isn’t the only problem for the 9ers this season. The Lynch-Shanahan era is not off to a great start. (Toby Durant)

32. Cleveland Browns (Previous: #32)

Despite taking the Titans to overtime, the Browns are still very much in the dog house. DeShone Kizer was once again benched and the great Joe Thomas missed snaps for the first time in his 11-year career as he tore a tricep. Hue Jackson’s seat is incredibly hot and it might be time to hit the reset button. Again. (Toby Durant)

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Toby Durant

A passionate and opinionated writer, I am currently the NFL editor for RealSport. However, I also contribute to F1, WWE, Football, and other sections of the site, and I have covered the NFL International Series for RealSport and previously contributed to SB Nation.

 

I also have 10 years playing and coaching experience in American football, starting at the University of Nottingham and including a stint as defensive coordinator at Oxford Brookes University. I may be a Patriots fan but all aspects of the sport interest me, from guard play to special teams.

NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Fly, Eagles, Fly!

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