NFL Week 8 Power Rankings: Can anyone take down the Patriots?
Join BetAmerica Extra columnist Zack Rhodes as he fearlessly slices and dices all 32 teams and ranks them in order according to their Week 7 performance and Week 8 outlook.
New England Patriots (7-0 SU and 5-2 ATS)Bill Belichick couldn’t help but to enjoy himself as New England celebrated Halloween by having young Sam Darnold seeing ghosts on Monday night. The Patriots have now outscored their opponents by 175 points this season, which is the highest point differential through seven games since the NFL’s first season in 1920. Historic stats for what has been a historic season so far. Next up are the Browns and there’s no doubt that Belichick is licking his chops as he studies film of Cleveland’s porous offensive line.
2. New Orleans Saints (6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS)New Orleans showed exactly what kind of team they are in winning all five games in which Drew Brees was out. Now it looks like they will get their leader back this week as they welcomƒe Kyler Murray and the suddenly streaking Cardinals to town. It may take a quarter or two for Brees to get comfortable again, but the good times should continue to roll on Bourbon Street for the rest of the season.
3. Green Bay Packers (6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS)With Russell Wilson having a sub-par game against the Ravens, Aaron Rodgers thrust himself into the MVP race by passing for 429 yards and five touchdowns in a flawless performance against a bad Raiders secondary. Rodgers finished with the first perfect passer rating of his career and he did it without top target Devante Adams. Now the Packers head to Arrowhead this week in what would have been must-watch TV if Patrick Mahomes was healthy.
4. San Francisco 49ers (6-0 SU and 4-2 ATS)The Niners overcame a difficult spot in the mud in Washington and did what they had to do in remaining undefeated. This week, they return home and welcome the Panthers and the red-hot Kyle Allen to town in what should be a barometer type of game for both teams.
5. Minnesota Vikings (6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS)Although they didn’t cash at the window last night, the Vikings did what they had to do in beating the Reskins. Dalvin Cook continues to be a major key for Minnesota, as the former Florida State star is now the NFL leader in yards from scrimmage. Really looking forward to Minnesota’s game at Dallas in two weeks.
Next up: Kansas City Chiefs (Week 9)
6. Indianapolis Colts (4-2 SU and 4-1-1 ATS)The Colts once again proved that they are a Top 10-worthy team in getting a big divisional win over the Texans last week. Jacoby Brissett proved that he is indeed worth that $30 million extension, as Chris Ballard deserves a medal of some kind for the job he’s done in Indianapolis since taking over in 2017.
7. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2 SU and 4-3 ATS)We all know that Patrick Mahomes is special, but he’s officially not human if he comes back this week after suffering a dislocated kneecap only days ago. Although we’d all love to see the showdown between Mahomes and Rodgers on Sunday night, the Chiefs would be smart to play the long game and allow the reigning MVP to really get right before stepping back on the field.
8. Los Angeles Rams (4-3 SU and 5-2 ATS)As expected, the Rams got back on track last week against the reeling Falcons and the train should continue to roll this week, especially offensively, against the bungling Bengals.
9. Buffalo Bills (5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS)The Bills may not have covered the big number against the Dolphins last week, but they still took care of business as the underrated Tre’Davious White forced two second half turnovers. Stephon Gilmore and Jalen Ramsey get all the hype, but White is right there and deserves to be mentioned in the same breath. The Bills/Eagles game is one of the better match-ups this weekend.
10. Baltimore Ravens (5-2 SU and 2-4-1 ATS)It can be bumpy at times as Lamar Jackson continues to develop as an NFL quarterback, but the former Heisman Trophy winner showed why he is so special in the Ravens’ big win in Seattle last week. No one is more electric in the open field and he does it all with a natural charisma that is both humble and supremely confident.
Next up: New England Patriots (Week 9)
11. Carolina Panthers (4-2 SU and 4-2 ATS)Kyle Allen has resuscitated this Panthers team in a way that was almost unimaginable when news broke several weeks ago that Cam Newton would be sidelined. However, this week may be the true test, as Allen faces a San Francisco defense that’s proven it’s one of the better units in the league right now.
12. Seattle Seahawks (5-2 SU and 3-4 ATS)Considering four of Seattle’s five wins this season have come by a combined eight points, it’s no surprise that reality caught up with them a bit in their home loss to Baltimore last weekend. But much like their divisional foe in the Rams, the Seahawks travel to Atlanta this week to get back on track as Russell Wilson looks to continue his MVP-caliber season.
Next up: Atlanta Falcons
13. Dallas Cowboys (4-3 SU and 4-3 ATS)Speaking of getting back on track, the Cowboys recaptured the magic that made them one of the favorites in the NFC at the beginning of the season in their decisive win over the Eagles on Sunday night. This team goes as Zeke goes and it looks like the star running back is finally getting his legs underneath him after a somewhat slow start to the season.
Next up: New York Giants (Week 9)
14. Detroit Lions (2-3-1 SU and 4-2 ATS)The Lions may have lost three in a row, but a lot of teams would lose to the Chiefs, Packers and Vikings in consecutive weeks. And it wasn’t like Detroit embarrassed itself in those losses, as they easily could have beaten the Chiefs and they should have beaten the Packers. Finally, they get a break in the schedule as they look to get back in the win column this week against a bad Giants team.
15. Houston Texans (4-3 SU and 4-3 ATS)The Texans are coming off a disappointing divisional loss to the Colts, but Deshaun Watson & Co. should be in for a big bounce back game against a Raiders defense that had absolutely no answer for Aaron Rodgers.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4 SU and 4-3 ATS)The Jaguars beat up on the lowly Bengals last week and they get another bottom-feeder again this week in the Jets. Like I wrote in my Jets write-up, it’ll be fascinating to see how young Sam Darnold responds to his humiliating performance against the Patriots. One thing’s for sure, this tough Jags D won’t make it easy on him.
17. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4 SU and 2-5 ATS)It’s been a frustrating up and down season so far for Philly and it’ll be very interesting to see how they respond after perhaps their lowest moment of the season in getting pounded by the Cowboys. Doug Pederson’s group has had their championship mettle tested all season and this week will be no different as they travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills.
18. Chicago Bears (3-3 SU and 2-4 ATS)The boo birds were heard loud and clear Sunday as Mitch Trubisky struggled in his return against the Saints. You would think a depleted Chargers secondary would be the remedy, but Los Angeles will be in full desperation mode as the Chargers try to save their season. Unfortunately, the Bears and this supremely talented defense will find themselves in a similar situation if they can’t start to find answers on offense.
19. Tennessee Titans (3-4 SU and 3-4 ATS)Ryan Tannehill was actually pretty good in the Titans’ much needed win over the Chargers and I don’t expect anything different this week against a Bucs team that is terrible against the pass. Tennessee is a very good football team as long as they can continue to get productive play from the quarterback position.
20. Arizona Cardinals (3-3-1 SU and 5-2 ATS)Several weeks ago I questioned whether Kyler Murray was second guessing his decision to play football instead of baseball. Fast forward three weeks and the Cardinals suddenly find themselves on a three-game winning streak. Of course, those wins have come against the Bengals, Falcons and Giants, three of the worst defenses in the league. This week it’s back to reality as Arizona travels to New Orleans to take on the mighty Saints.
21. Oakland Raiders (3-3 SU and 3-3 ATS)After two rather impressive wins over the Colts and Bears, the Raiders were embarrassed and exposed last week by Aaron Rodgers. I expect Deshaun Watson and the Texans to do the same this Sunday.
22. Cleveland Browns (2-4 SU and 2-4 ATS)Freddie Kitchens vs. Bill Belichick. Yikes. I wrote that last week and I don’t know how much more needs to be said. The Patriots defense should have a field day with Cleveland’s terrible offensive line. You have to think Baker is going to be in for another long day.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4 SU and 2-4 ATS)Although things have been up and down to start the season, I’m still optimistic about this Bucs team. We’ll get a better idea of just how good this Tampa Bay team is after their game this week against the Titans.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4 SU and 3-2-1 ATS)With Mason Rudolph returning this week, the Steelers will look to continue to turnaround their season with a gimme this week against the Dolphins. However, Pittsburgh gets the Colts and Rams the following weeks in what could be the real make or break part of their season.
25. New York Giants (2-5 SU and 2-5 ATS)So much for the Danny Dimes hype. Getting crushed by the Vikings and Patriots was expected, but losing to the lowly Cardinals was another reminder that Dave Gettleman’s man-crush has a long way to go in his development as an NFL quarterback.
26. Los Angeles Chargers (2-5 SU and 1-5-1 ATS)The Chargers have been desperate to get a win for two weeks now and this week it doesn’t get any easier as they travel to Chicago to take on a Bears team that is also fighting to save its season.
27. Denver Broncos (2-5 SU and 3-4 ATS)As they showed two weeks ago in their shutout win over the Titans, this is not a terrible Broncos team. But they will have to be much better than they were against the Chiefs last week if they want to compete with the Colts this weekend. I’m interested to see if Denver can bounce back after getting a long week to get right.
28. New York Jets (1-5 SU and 2-4 ATS)Within a week, Sam Darnold went from beating the Cowboys and saying the Jets offense could be unstoppable to seeing ghosts and looking like a lost puppy against the Patriots. Such is life for a young quarterback in the NFL. Darnold and this Jets team is better than the pathetic performance they put on on Monday night, so it will be interesting to see how they respond as they go on the road this week to face another tough defense in Jacksonville.
29. Atlanta Falcons (1-6 SU and 1-6 ATS)I wanted to rank the Falcons lower, but the bad teams in the league this year are historically bad. Dan Quinn and Atlanta needed a win in the worst way last week and they got absolutely destroyed by the Rams. It’s crazy to think that it was only two and a half years ago that it was 28-3 in the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, nothing has gone right since then and it will likely cost Quinn his job.
Next up: Seattle Seahawks
30. Cincinnati Bengals (0-7 SU and 3-4 ATS)Somewhere in Arizona, Marvin Lewis is sipping his morning coffee and laughing to himself as he reads about the dysfunction that continues to define this Bengals organization. Lewis may have never won a playoff game, but he worked miracles in getting Cincinnati to the playoffs seven times during his 16-year tenure.
31. Washington Redskins (1-7 SU and 3-5 ATS)Speaking of dysfunction, that is the undeniable common trait for all three franchises that find themselves in the bottom of the rankings. Amazingly, Bill Callahan says Case Keenum will be the starter if he’s healthy enough to play next week. Unreal. At 1-7, what’s to gain by having your possible QB of the future stay on the sideline? Absolutely nothing. But of course, trying to make sense of the Redskins organization is a fool’s errand.
Next up: Buffalo Bills (Week 9)
32. Miami Dolphins (0-6 SU and 2-4 ATS)The nightmare season in Miami continues this week in Pittsburgh and it will be on display for the entire nation as we watch in horror on Monday night. Fitting that it comes on the same week as Halloween.