NFL Power Rankings 2021: Where Patriots stand after Week 8 win over Chargers

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NFL Power Rankings: Where Pats stand after win over Chargers originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

We're officially halfway through the 2021 NFL season as Week 8 is in the books.

It was yet another eventful week across the league as we were treated to a plethora of wild highlights and thrilling matchups. Among them was the New England Patriots-Los Angeles Chargers showdown, which resulted in a 27-24 Pats upset that brought them to 4-4 on the campaign.

The New Orleans Saints added to the fun with a 36-27 win over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Tennessee Titans were able to squeak out a 34-31 win over the Indianapolis Colts in overtime.

How Mac Jones fared in Week 8 win over Chargers

Here's a recap of all of the action from Week 8, plus how all 32 teams stack up in our updated NFL Power Rankings.

32. Detroit Lions (0-8)

Previous ranking: 29

The Lions head into their bye week still winless after a putrid 44-6 loss to the Eagles. This sure looks like a team that wants that No. 1 overall pick.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6)

Previous ranking: 31

The Jaguars just can't get a win outside of London. They couldn't get anything going against the Geno Smith-led Seahawks on Sunday as they fell, 31-7.

30. Houston Texans (1-7)

Previous ranking: 30

That's seven straight losses for the Texans as they were dominated by the Rams on Sunday, 38-22. All 22 of Houston's points came in garbage time.

29. Miami Dolphins (1-7)

Previous ranking: 28

The Dolphins defense actually made it a long day for Josh Allen and the Bills... until the fourth quarter, at least. Buffalo scored 16 points in the fourth to run away with the 26-11 win.

28. New York Jets (2-5)

Previous ranking: 32

Mike White got the start under center for the Jets with Zach Wilson out due to injury, and he led his team to an improbable victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. The Western Kentucky product finished with three touchdown passes and 405 passing yards to become the first Jets QB with 400 yards since Vinny Testaverde in 2000 vs. Baltimore.

27. New York Giants (2-5)

Previous ranking: 27

The Giants will head to Arrowhead Stadium on Monday night to take on the struggling Kansas City Chiefs.

26. Washington Football Team (2-6)

Previous ranking: 26

Washington has now lost four straight games after falling to the Broncos on Sunday, 17-10. The WFT will have a bye next week, followed by a tough matchup vs. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

25. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5)

Previous ranking: 25

The Eagles' running game steamrolled the Lions in their 44-6 victory. Boston Scott and Jordan Howard stepped up in Miles Sanders' absence to combine for 117 yards and four touchdowns. Jalen Hurts added 71 rushing yards of his own.

23. Atlanta Falcons (3-4)

Previous ranking: 23

Atlanta finds itself at the bottom of the NFC South after a 19-13 loss to Carolina. It won't get any easier for the Falcons going forward as they'll be without Calvin Ridley for the foreseeable future. The star wide receiver announced Sunday he is stepping away from football to address his mental health.

22. Chicago Bears (3-5)

Previous ranking: 22

With Bears head coach Matt Nagy out Sunday due to COVID-19, Justin Fields had his best game yet as a pro. The rookie QB rushed for a team-high 103 yards and a touchdown, but it wasn't enough as Chicago fell to San Francisco, 33-22.

24. Seattle Seahawks (3-5)

Previous ranking: 24

Geno Smith threw for 195 yards and two touchdowns as the Seahawks cruised to a 31-7 win over Jacksonville. Seattle will have a bye next week and could have Russell Wilson back under center when they return for Week 10 vs. Green Bay.

21. San Francisco 49ers (3-4)

Previous ranking: 21

The Niners were able to pull away in the fourth quarter and top the Bears on Sunday, 33-22. Chicago had no answer for San Francisco running back Elijah Mitchell, who rushed for 137 yards and a TD.

20. Indianapolis Colts (3-5)

Previous ranking: 20

Despite Michael Pittman Jr.'s best efforts (86 yds, 2 TDs), the Colts came up just short vs. the Titans on Sunday. Indianapolis fell 34-31 in overtime after two costly picks by quarterback Carson Wentz. They'll look to rebound from the loss when they host the Jets on Thursday Night Football.

19. Denver Broncos (4-4)

Previous ranking: 18

Denver put an end to its four-game losing streak with a 17-10 win over the Washington Football Team. Broncos safety Justin Simmons picked WFT QB Taylor Heinicke twice in the defensive showdown.

18. Carolina Panthers (4-4)

Previous ranking: 17

The Panthers edged out the Falcons on Sunday, 19-13. The win was sealed with an interception by ex-Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore in his Carolina debut. Unfortunately for the Panthers, QB Sam Darnold exited with a concussion and his status for Week 9 vs. New England is up in the air.

17. New England Patriots (4-4)

Previous ranking: 19

The Patriots earned their biggest win of the season so far, a 27-24 road upset vs. the Los Angeles Chargers. It was a statement victory for a New England team looking to prove it belongs in the playoffs after a sluggish start to the campaign. Now, it'll be interesting to see how Bill Belichick and Co. approach Tuesday's NFL trade deadline.

Next up for the Patriots is a Week 9 meeting with former Pats cornerback Stephon Gilmore and the Carolina Panthers.

16. Cleveland Browns (4-4)

Previous ranking: 13

The banged-up Browns couldn't muster enough momentum on offense to top the Steelers on Sunday. Baker Mayfield toughed out a brutal shoulder injury and Nick Chubb returned to the backfield, but it wasn't enough to propel Cleveland to victory as it fell 15-10.

15. Minnesota Vikings (3-3)

Previous ranking: 16

The Vikings will host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)

Previous ranking: 15

It wasn't the prettiest win -- just ask kicker Chris Boswell, who got absolutely walloped on a fake field goal pass attempt -- but the Steelers were able to beat the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday, 15-10. Next up for Pittsbugh is a Monday Night Football matchup vs. the Bears.

13. Kansas City Chiefs (3-4)

Previous ranking: 14

The Chiefs will look to bounce back from a brutal loss to the Titans when they host the Giants on Monday Night Football.

12. Cincinnati Bengals (5-3)

Previous ranking: 10

The Bengals hype train came to a screeching halt Sunday as they were beaten by the Mike White-led Jets on Sunday, 34-31. RIP to all of those NFL survivor pools out there, including my own.

11. Las Vegas Raiders (5-2)

Previous ranking: 11

The Raiders are enjoying their bye week and will visit the Giants next Sunday.

10. Los Angeles Chargers (4-3)

Previous ranking: 9

The Patriots simply know how to keep Justin Herbert in check. The Chargers quarterback went 18 for 34 with 223 yards, two TDs and two INTs including a costly pick-six in the fourth quarter. The result was a 27-24 defeat nearly a year removed from his 45-0 loss to New England.

9. New Orleans Saints (5-2)

Previous ranking: 12

Even with Jameis Winston going down with a knee injury, the Saints were able to hold off Tom Brady and the Buccaneers to earn a thrilling 36-27 victory. Trevor Siemian did a solid job in relief, throwing for 159 yards and a TD. New Orleans' defense stepped up when it mattered most as P.J. Williams' pick-six sealed the win late in the fourth quarter.

8. Buffalo Bills (5-2)

Previous ranking: 8

They sure did make it interesting, but the Bills were able to come out on top vs. the Dolphins on Sunday, 26-11. They'll visit the lowly Jaguars next Sunday.

7. Baltimore Ravens (5-2)

Previous ranking: 6

The Ravens are on their bye week. They'll host the Vikings next Sunday.

6. Tennessee Titans (6-2)

Previous ranking: 7

Tennessee came out on top in its AFC South showdown in Indianapolis thanks to Randy Bullock's game-winning field goal in overtime. A pair of costly Carson Wentz interceptions, plus a huge day for A.J. Brown (155 yards, 1 TD) propelled the Titans to their dramatic 34-31 win.

5. Dallas Cowboys (5-1)

Previous ranking: 5

The Cowboys are set to take on the Vikings on Sunday Night Football.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2)

Previous ranking: 1

Usually, giving Tom Brady two minutes to storm down the field and complete a comeback is a terrible idea. It worked out for the Saints this time, however, as Brady tossed a pick-six to seal New Orleans' 36-27 win.

The Bucs will have two weeks to think about the crushing loss as they'll have a bye in Week 9, followed by a meeting with the Washington Football Team.

 

3. Los Angeles Rams (7-1)

Previous ranking: 4

Another week, another dominant showing from Cooper Kupp. The Rams wideout tallied a team-high 115 receiving yards and a TD to help L.A. to a 38-22 win over the Texans.

 

2. Arizona Cardinals (7-1)

Previous ranking: 2

If A.J. Green simply turned around in the end zone, the Cardinals very well could have found themselves at the top of this list. But after a crushing 24-21 loss to the Packers, Arizona's undefeated season comes to an end and Green Bay jumps them in this week's power rankings.

1. Green Bay Packers (7-1)

Previous ranking: 3

The Packers earned a hard-fought win over the previously-undefeated Cardinals on Thursday night, marking one of the most entertaining games of the season thus far. Next week's matchup vs. Kansas City should be a fun one as well.