Sunday, October 23, 2011

NFL Power Rankings Week 8

I promise that this blog won't turn into a "power ranking" blog (which is hard to believe since the last 3 posts have been that), but that's what I feel like writing about.

1. Green Bay Packers: 329 (311)
Previous Week: 1
Notes: They didn't win in a blow out like expected against the Vikings, but at 7-0 they're still the best team in the NFL. However, the hopes of a perfect season seems to be less likely after Sunday's narrow victory over the struggling Vikings.

2. San Francisco 49ers: 231(227)
Previous Week: 4
Notes: Easily the best surprise in the NFL this season. Curious to see how this team will do after the bye week.

3. New Orleans Saints: 227 (164)
Previous Week: 9
Notes: A win against the Colts is anything but impressive this season, but the fact that the Saints dominated as much as they did is a testament to how great this team is just as much as how horrible the Colts are.

4. New England Patriots: 225 (221)
Previous Week: 5
Notes: Still the division favorites by far, but a win by the Jets over the Chargers means that this team has a way to go before being confident that the AFC East is theirs.

5. Detroit Lions: 224 (253)
Previous Week: 3
Notes: The two losses in a row by the Lions likely indicates that they aren't a top 3 NFL team as thought in previous weeks, but the Lions are still one of the best in the league. They'll need to win against the Broncos next week on the road to get back on track.

6. Baltimore Ravens: 222 (255)
Previous Week: 2
Notes: Apparently the AFC South are the Ravens' kryptonite. I still think they're the strongest team in the AFC North.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers: 219 (187)
Previous Week: 7
Notes: This team is benefiting from a lack of elite teams this year in the NFL. A 5-2 Steelers team might seem like par for the course, but they've been struggling to win games against teams that they should easily beat. If they want to be taken seriously this year they'll need to keep it close against the Pats next week at home.

8. Houston Texans: 195 (128)
Previous Week: 13
Notes: If there was any doubt who was the team to beat in the AFC South, the Texans silenced critics with a convincing road win against the Titans. 10-6 will almost definitely win the division and the Texans seem like they can reach that with a subpar division.

9. San Diego Chargers: 171 (203)
Previous Week: 6
Notes: Would have been a big win on the road against the Jets. Luckily for the Chargers, the Raiders also lost meaning that the team is still in first place in the division. The Chargers have yet to beat anyone good (the best team they beat were the Chiefs barely at home). I would be less than surprised if they lose big to the Chiefs next week.

10. Cincinnati Bengals: 170 (170)
Previous Week: 8
Notes: They lost 2 spots in the Power Rankings due to big wins by the Texans and Saints. This team still hasn't won critics over. Even if they win the next two games (which is likely with games against the Titans and the Seahawks) they'll likely need to win against the Steelers to convince everyone they're legit.

11. Buffalo Bills: 151 (153)
Previous Week: 10
Notes: The Bills will need to recover from their loss against the Giants last week in order to stay competitive all season. A home game against a struggling Redskins team should help give them a confidence boost.

12. New York Giants: 135 (135 )
Previous Week: 11
Notes: As stated in previous weeks, the Giants are one of the more difficult teams in the NFL to read. Wins against the Eagles and Bills were impressive, but a loss against the Seahawks and an almost lost against the Cards makes it difficult to have confidence in this team yet.

13. Dallas Cowboys: 123 (92)
Previous Week: 16
Notes: Nothing unexpected with a big win against the Rams at home. Expect a great game next week against the Eagles.

14. New York Jets: 118 (58)
Previous Week: 20
Notes: They needed that comeback victory against the Chargers. The difference of being at 4-3 instead of 3-4 in the AFC is huge with potential wildcards coming from more than half of conference.

15. Chicago Bears: 108 (63)
Previous Week: 19
Notes: The Bears are quietly making their way back into contention. The Buccs I think are one of the weaker +.500 teams in the league but it doesn't make a road win against them any less impressive.

16. Atlanta Falcons: 94 (51)
Previous Week: 21
Notes: After their bye week next week they go on to play the Colts on the road before facing the Saints at home.

17. Washington Redskins: 93 (134)
Previous Week: 12
Notes: This team is on the verge of falling apart big time. I still am against replacing Grossman. He had one bad game, but before it lead the team to 3-1. Now with an inexperienced quarterback (Beck) and Hightower out for a while, the team has two difficult games against the Bills and the 49ers.

18. Oakland Raiders: 78 (126)
Previous Week: 14
Notes: Hopefully Carson Palmer will bring new life into the team after a horrific loss at home against the Chiefs.

19. Philadelphia Eagles: 68 (68)
Previous Week: 18
Notes: The Eagles have a lot to prove at 2-4. They have a must win home against the Cowboys following the bye.

20. Cleveland Browns: 60 (34)
Previous Week: 22
Notes: Their first win against a non-winless team was anything, but impressive (home win 6-3 against the Seahawks), but they still managed to get it done without Hillis.

21. Tennessee Titans: 46 (122)
Previous Week: 15
Notes: Ouch. It's not surprising that the Titans lost against the Texans, but when you get slaughtered like that against a team you're fighting for a division title against at home it says a lot about your team.

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 45 (78)
Previous Week: 17
Notes: Even with a win against the Saints, I think they're the worse +.500 team in the league. After the bye week, they will face the Saints on the road who will be looking to redeem themselves.

23. Carolina Panthers: 23 (-11)
Previous Week: 24
Notes: A nice win for Cam Newton and staff. Not a playoff team by any means, but don't be surprised to see the Panthers improve to 7-9 or even 8-8 on the season.

24. Kansas City Chiefs: 16 (-43)
Previous Week: 27
Notes: The Chiefs have made their way back into playoff contention with a nice road win against the Raiders. Because of how awful they played the first 3 games of the season, they sit at #24 in the Power Rankings. A win against the Chargers next week will likely knock them out of the bottom 20.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars: -17 (-83)
Previous Week: 29
Notes: Might be too late to save their season, but their defense was solid against the Ravens Monday night in an impressive win.

26. Seattle Seahawks: -19 (-2)
Previous Week: 23
Notes: I guess they couldn't build up off of the momentum from their road win against the Giants prior to the bye week.

27. Denver Broncos: -32 (-58)
Previous Week: 28
Notes: Tebow looked pretty good and was clutch in helping the Broncos rally with a win against the Dolphins. He will be put to the test against the Lions' D next week.

28. Minnesota Vikings: -53 (-43)
Previous Week: 26
Notes: I was more impressed with the Vikings than I was with the Packers this week. They made the game competitive and life without Mcnabb might put some life into this team.

29. Arizona Cardinals: -66 (-26)
Previous Week: 25
Notes: It's bad news when you're the 2nd to last team in the NFC West.

30. Miami Dolphins: -130 (-111 )
Previous Week: 30
Notes: So close, but couldn't pull off a victory. They'll likely be the first winless team to win a game, however they face a pretty tough schedule for the remainder of the season. A home game against Washington in week 10 seems like their best bet.

31. St. Louis Rams: -219 (-164)
Previous Week: 32
Notes: A loss by 27 still moves them up in the rankings due to the horrific performance by the Colts.

32. Indianapolis Colts: -226 (-161)
Previous Week: 31
Notes: Wow..just wow. One of the worst losses I've seen in a while. Since the Rams, Colts, and Dolphins don't play each other at all this season, there's a chance that they can all be 0-16. The Colts seem like the best bet for this to happen even with two games against the Jags and a home game against the Panthers.

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