NFL Power Rankings entering Week 8

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·10 min read
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The Cardinals roll on and on as Week 7 comes to a close

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Did anyone figure the Arizona Cardinals as the last unbeaten team in the NFL in 2021? It’s hard to believe! Yet, they continue to knock off opponents, standing at 7-0 and looking ahead to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on Thursday. How do both teams and the rest of league stack up as we head into Week 8? Let’s take a look…

32. Detroit Lions (0-7, lost to Los Angeles Rams)

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The Lions pulled out every trick in the book and threw a scare into the Rams. Unfortunately, there are no such things as moral victories. Next: vs. Philadelphia Eagles

31. Miami Dolphins (1-6, lost to Atlanta Falcons)

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

If you had Brian Flores as a coach on the hot seat before the midpoint of the 2021 season, you are brilliant. The Miami Dolphins have fallen apart. And for those who love to follow the road to the top pick in the 2022 NFL draft, the Dolphins’ pick belongs to the Philadelphia Eagles. Next: at Buffalo Bills

30. New York Jets (1-5, lost to New England Patriots)

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

And now, Robert Saleh understands what it is like to be humiliated by Bill Belichick and the Patriots. The good news is the Jets don’t play the Patriots again this season. Next: vs. Cincinnati Bengals

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5, Bye Week)

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A week to savor a victory. Any win in Jacksonville is good. However, Miami continuing to lose weakens its merit. Next: at Seattle Seahawks

28. Houston Texans (1-6, lost to Arizona Cardinals)

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans were dismantled by Arizona. Their reward? Houston gets to host the Los Angeles Rams. Next: vs. Los Angeles Rams

27. New York Giants (2-5, defeated the Carolina Panthers)

Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com

The Giants had an unfair advantage in Week 7: everyone knows Sam Darnold doesn’t do well at MetLife Stadium. This was a good victory, though, as Big Blue was dominant and thorough. Next: at Kansas City Chiefs (Monday Night Football)

26. Philadelphia Eagles (2-5, lost to Las Vegas Raiders)

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Things are looking bleak with the Philadelphia Eagles. Speaking of that feeling, how about the NFC East—other than the Dallas Cowboys—is a combined 6-15. Next: at Detroit Lions

25. Washington Football Team (2-5, lost to Green Bay Packers)

MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

One of the biggest disappointments in 2021 continues to flail. The WFT loses to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. This is the same team that won the NFC East last year? Something is missing. Next: at Denver Broncos

24. Denver Broncos (3-4, lost to Cleveland Browns)

Phil Masturzo/ Beacon Journal

Good thing Vic Fangio’s seat is getting hotter in Denver because we all know how cold winters can be in the Mile High City. Next: vs. WFT

23. Atlanta Falcons (3-4, defeated the Miami Dolphins)

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Give the Falcons credit. Beating the Miami Dolphins isn’t much, but this Atlanta team knows how to pick on weaker foes. The victories have come against the New York Giants, New York Jets, and Fish. Combined record: 4-16. Next: vs. Carolina Panthers

22. Carolina Panthers (3-4, lost to New York Giants)

Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com

There was a time this season when the Carolina Panthers were 3-0. Exit Christian McCaffrey with a bum hamstring, and a four-game losing streak has followed. Now, Matt Rhule is assuring everyone Sam Darnold is still his starter. Sure. Next: at Atlanta Falcons

21. Seattle Seahawks (2-5, lost to New Orleans Saints)

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s be blunt. Geno Smith should not be starting in Seattle—or anywhere else in the NFL. Cameron Newton would have been a better option. The falloff from Russell Wilson is beyond dramatic, and this Seahawks team is in trouble and would be sinking if its next game weren’t against … Next: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

20. Chicago Bears (3-4, lost to Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The excitement about Justin Fields has been silenced. Have to figure Matt Nagy is one of those, like former assistant Fangio, to be glad to have a warm spot to rest as we head toward a Chicago winter. Now Nagy could miss this game due to COVID issues. Next: vs. San Francisco 49ers

19. San Francisco 49ers (2-4, lost to Indianapolis Colts)

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The 49ers were expected to be healthier and better than they were in 2020. Kyle Shanahan’s team is playing sadly. Beginning to wonder if the trip to the Super Bowl was the exception rather than the rule. Next: at Chicago Bears

18.. Minnesota Vikings (3-3, Bye Week)

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The Vikings get the week off, and they will be glad to have plenty of studying time. Week 8’s test is a visit by the Dallas Cowboys. The Purple have trouble winning easy and now they face a red-hot team also coming off a bye. Next: vs. Dallas Cowboys

17. New England Patriots (3-4, defeated the New York Jets)

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How much does Bill Belichick love to torture the New York Jets and Gang Green fans? A lot. Next: at Los Angeles Chargers

16. Kansas City Chiefs (3-4, lost to Tennessee Titans)

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Something is definitely wrong with the Kansas City Chiefs. They were throttled by the Tennessee Titans. Patrick Mahomes looks off every week. The magic has vanished from Andy Reid’s game-planning. A chance to get healthy in Week 8 comes with a visit from the NFC East. Next: vs. New York Giants (Monday Night Football)

15. Indianapolis Colts (3-4, defeated the San Francisco 49ers)

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The Colts have gotten things together and managed to outplay the dismal 49ers in the rainstorm on SNF. Hate to say their hopes rest on one game, but Halloween is huge in the AFC South. Next: vs. Tennessee Titans

14. New Orleans Saints (4-2, defeated the Seattle Seahawks)

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Alvin Kamara is wonderful. The New Orleans defense is splendid. Jameis Winston is simply … ordinary. This team isn’t going anywhere with Winston at the controls. A lucky break (encroachment) during a field goal attempt late in the fourth quarter made the win over Seattle a lot easier than it really was. Next: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

13. Cleveland Browns (4-3, defeated the Denver Broncos)

Phil Masturzo/ Beacon Journal

The Browns were without their quarterback and top two running backs, and still found a way to win the Thursday Night Football game. It helped the opponent was Denver, but a win is a win. The AFC North is going to be a tough haul because the Bengals are far better than anyone expected. Cleveland had high hopes and needs to find ways to continue to win while the ailing players try to recover. Next: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

12. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3, Bye Week)

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The Steelers get ready for a trip to Cleveland, a team that suddenly gives it problems. Next: at Cleveland Browns

11. Baltimore Ravens (5-2, lost to Cincinnati Bengals)

Sam Greene/The Enquirer

The Ravens had the Bengals at home, and that meant they would roll through Cincy. Surprise, surprise. Baltimore was handled and routed by the Bengals. A stunner if there ever was one. The AFC North is going to be a wild scramble and the Ravens will have to eventually go to Cincinnati. Who thought that would be a challenge? Next: Bye Week

10. Los Angeles Chargers (4-2, Bye Week)

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

A week off for the Chargers and they wake up behind the Raiders in the AFC West. That’s the bad news. The good news is the Chiefs and Broncos both lost and the shape of the division could be changing drastically from past seasons. Next: vs. New England Patriots

9. Las Vegas Raiders (5-2, defeated the Philadelphia Eagles)

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Raiders were 3-0, then lost two in a row and their coach Jon Gruden. Now, they have won a couple of games and are in first place in the AFC West. What a strange trip 2021 has been for the Silver & Black. Next: Bye Week

8. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2, defeated the Baltimore Ravens)

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The first-place Cincinnati Bengals after 7 weeks of the season—go figure that! What’s more surprising, though: Arizona being undefeated or the Bengals in first in the AFC North? This vote goes to Cincy. Next: at New York Jets

7. Tennessee Titans (5-2, defeated the Kansas City Chiefs)

George Walker IV / Tennessean.com

The Titans have to be considered a force in the AFC. They took care of the Bills and the Chiefs. Derrick Henry is unstoppable and Ryan Tannehill has talented receivers to create balance on the offense. This upcoming game could help create major breathing room. Next: at Indianapolis Colts

6. Buffalo Bills (4-2, Bye Week)

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

A week off to get rid of the bad taste of the loss to Tennessee, which doesn’t look so awful anymore. And some Fall Fishing is on tap in Week 8. Look for the Bills to catch plenty. Next: vs. Miami Dolphins

5. Los Angeles Rams (6-1, defeated the Detroit Lions)

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The Rams fell behind the Lions, but were talented enough to catch up and win by nearly double-digits. The Matthew Stafford-Jared Goff game wasn’t as emotional as many believed it might be. However, Los Angeles is rolling and the trade is looking better every week. By the way, how great is Cooper Kupp? Next: at Houston Texans

4. Dallas Cowboys (5-1, Bye Week)

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Dallas had a week off to heal and get ready for a chance to run away with the NFC East when it returns to the field in Week 8. Next: vs. Minnesota Vikings

3. Arizona Cardinals (7-0, defeated the Houston Texans)

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals remain perfect. That set up a perfect game for FOX on Thursday as Aaron Rodgers battles Kyler Murray. Next: vs. Green Bay Packers (Thursday Night Football)

2. Green Bay Packers (6-1, defeated the Washington Football Team)

Wm. Glasheen USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

The Packers have won six in a row since the opening debacle against New Orleans. Wonder if any coach in their first three seasons has won 13 or more games in each? Matt LaFleur is on track to accomplish that feat. Next: at Arizona Cardinals (Thursday Night Football)

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-1, defeated the Chicago Bears)

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Super Bowl champs destroyed the Chicago Bears. It took less than a half for Tom Brady to teach Justin Fields why Michigan quarterbacks are better suited for the NFL than those from Ohio State. Next: at New Orleans Saints

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