Thursday 22 March 2018 / 11:06 AM


There were some big movers on the NFL Power Rankings after a sizzling round of action in Week 8.

1. New England Patriots (7-1) –

The Patriots continued their march toward the Super Bowl on Sunday, claiming their latest victim in a revenge game against the Bills. The defense was lights out, limiting Tyrod Taylor and the normally explosive offense to nothing. Brady also did what he does. As long as both sides of the ball are clicking like this, NE is the favorite.

2. Dallas Cowboys (6-1) +1

It was a battle, but the Cowboys got things done in a big way Sunday, taking care of the Eagles in dramatic fashion. The win separated the Cowboys in the NFC East, providing a two-game cushion. And they need it: the next five weeks are a brutal stretch, and may be the time where Dak and company fall back to earth.

3. Denver Broncos (6-2) +1

A revenge game for the Broncos yielded better results Sunday, as the Chargers offense was stymied behind that brutal Denver pass rush. The offense is still struggling, though, and they may need a little more production to hang with better teams going forward. Still, they look like a Super Bowl favorite.

4. Oakland Raiders (6-2) +2

You can keep dismissing them, but the Raiders keep winning. And against Tampa Bay, it was despite themselves. Oakland’s 23 penalties were the most in NFL history, but the offense still managed to pull out a win over Jameis and the Bucs. The defense is starting to play better, which means this team could be scary come playoff time.

5. Minnesota Vikings (5-2) -3

Losing on the road isn’t so unforgivable, but losing to Chicago is. Two straight losses have the Vikings reeling, and while I don’t think it’s too much of a concern (see them only losing three spots), the offense is becoming a problem. Luckily for them, it may not matter if the division keeps being inconsistent and weak.

6. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2) +3

Kansas City is quickly forgotten about in their stacked division, but they want to make sure you don’t forget about them. It was the Colts attack that was the victim of the secondary this time, and they look ready to slow down anybody. But the Alex Smith injury is concerning.

7. Atlanta Falcons (5-3) +4

I will admit that I was ready to hit the panic button on the Falcons as the fourth quarter started on Sunday. Right as they looked ready to take their third straight loss, the Falcons eked one out and kept a firm grip on the division. Still, this isn’t the same offense in the second half that we’re used to.

8. Houston Texans (5-3) +5

Brock Osweiler seemed to turn things back around on Sunday, getting a much-needed confidence boost in the win at Detroit. It’s not anything to write home about, but as long as they can keep some separation in the division, they can afford to keep riding the defense.

9. Seattle Seahawks (4-2-1) -4

I can’t figure the Seahawks out. New Orleans has a solid attack, but the way the Seattle defense looked in patches Sunday was really out of character. Also, the offense just had too many lapses. This team is still the commander of the division, but that kind of play won’t get them far in the postseason.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) –

The Steelers got a chance to rest their legs over the break, and with it saw the rest of the division blow any chance to catch up to them. They still lead, and will face stiff competition to keep it going forward. But let’s not kid ourselves: getting Ben back is the top priority.

11. Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) -4

That one just stings. The Eagles offense led the way all night, along with strong play from the defense. But the fourth quarter told a different tale, and a breakdown in the endzone on the final play gave the death nail for the Eagles chances in Dallas. Two games back, there’s not a lot of room for error going forward.

12. Green Bay Packers (4-3) -4

Green Bay fought Atlanta about as hard as you could possibly hope, but it was a late surge by Matt Ryan that did them in. While the loss dropped the Packers further, a loss by Minnesota kept them right in the division race, and it seems that Aaron Rodgers may have remembered how to play football.

13. New York Giants (4-3) -1

A week off for the Giants should give some clarity and some prep time for the next lofty opponent: a pissed off Philly team reeling from a heartbreaking loss to Dallas. This game could define a lot for each team going forward.

14. Washington Redskins (4-3-1) –

The Skins dropped another opportunity, this time across the pond against the Bengals. Kirk Cousins and company had many chances to win the game, but ultimately settled for the tie. It’s not the ideal result, but doesn’t sting like a loss would. Still, they need to make up some ground.

15. Buffalo Bills (4-4) –

You can’t fault Buffalo for doing what any team would do and losing at New England. They still are sitting at second in the division, and they were missing LeSean McCoy. While I’m not the biggest Bills believer, after their string of wins I’m not counting them out yet either.

16. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1) +5

This seems like a big jump for a team based on a tie, but it has just as much to do with how many teams ahead of them lost. And with the Steelers still just a game ahead of them, any result other than a loss is a good one. The Steelers are still in it, but it’s time for the offense to figure this thing out.

17. Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1) -1

The Cardinals were being asked a lot of to go on the road and take on a rested Panthers team all the way across the country. Still, the loss takes them down another notch on their quest for the postseason. The division is still in reach, but the margin for error is getting tighter every week.

18. Tennessee Titans (4-4) +7

A big move up, but it’s not so much about who the Titans beat. While the win over Jacksonville was convincing, it was more so to do with just how legit of a challenger the Titans may be for the division. The Texans are insanely beatable, and the Titans have put together a competent season. It’s time to ride the young QB.

19. Detroit Lions (4-4) -2

The Lions suffered a setback in their recent surge, dropping one to the Texans in a game they probably would like to have back. The offense was a shell of what we’ve come to expect of it, and the defense played a little worse than the score showed. Still, the Lions have the tools to rebound.

20. New Orleans Saints (3-4) +6

Speaking of a threat to the division, let’s not go to sleep on the Saints. After beating Carolina, New Orleans got beat by KC. I was ready to write them off, but an upset against the Seahawks has kept them alive. Maybe things aren’t yet over?

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) -1

The Bucs dropped one to a clearly better team, so we can’t fault them too hard. What we CAN fault them for is losing a home game to a West Coast team, and falling to 0-3 AT HOME this season. Seriously, think about that: 3-1 on the road, and 0-3 at home? Maybe Tampa should just defer going forward.

22. Baltimore Ravens (3-4) +1

A week off to rest their legs and reset the offense, the Ravens will try and get back to a level of competition. And they needed the rest: their next four games are the probable return of Big Ben, a Thursday night against Cleveland, @ Dallas, and a home stand against Cincy. Yikes.

23. San Diego Chargers (3-5) -5

The Chargers are the worst team record-wise that could easily be 6-2. I don’t think I’ve seen a team get so close to getting wins but fall flat so consistently. This team isn’t nearly as bad as their record, but the loss to Denver probably ends their division dreams. The playoffs aren’t’ far-fetched though.

24. Indianapolis Colts (3-5) -5

I keep holding off on calling Indy dead, but it’s getting harder to keep seeing a realistic chance for the playoffs. Only the struggling Jags are having a worse time, and as good as Andrew Luck is, he can’t play defense too. This team needs some help, and needs to notch some wins ASAP.

25. Los Angeles Rams (3-4) -1

A BYE week for the Rams gave them some time to mull over a potential guard change at QB. Jared Goff looks to be the guy going forward, and it’s a good thing: the offense was stagnating under Keenum, and this team still has a shot at the postseason. Time to see what this kid can do.

26. Miami Dolphins (3-4) -3

Miami rested up this week, and there is reason for optimism for them. The next four games are entirely winnable, and riding a two game winning streak has renewed some confidence in Tannehill. Still, this defense is pretty bleh, and the offense just isn’t what it should be. But a string of wins may change that.

27. Carolina Panthers (2-5) +1

Carolina got a win that it desperately needed. Cam looked good and polished, and the defense looked improved. They still have secondary problems, but it’s something they’ll just be living with, it seems. Now we’ll see if the win was a blip, or if they’ve turned things around.

28. Chicago Bears (2-6) +2

Chicago scored a big upset over the Vikings in primetime, but I’m hesitant to say they’ve really turned a corner. Jay Cutler was sharp and good, but this team just isn’t deep. This feels like a flash in the pan, but I hope not.

29. New York Jets (3-5) –

Beating the Browns close is a win, but it was an ugly one. The offense is still struggling, and poor Fitzpatrick has lost favor with the fanbase. Maybe they can get back to winning some, but this team is a dumpster fire waiting to happen.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5) -3

Speaking of dumpster fire, the Jaguars are heading down the ladder to the bottom. Gus Bradley’s days appear numbered as his OC is on his way out. Blake Bortles will be watched closely going forward to see if he fits the next page or not.

31. San Francisco 49ers (1-6) –

An off week thankfully saved us from 49ers football. Chip Kelly says his team got some much needed improvement in practice this week, but I don’t think that will correlate to wins. Just not as lopsided blowouts.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-8) –

The Browns are getting close every week, and showing fight. But 0-8 is still winless, and they need to notch one going forward. The Cowboys are waiting next week though, and you look at their schedule and tell me where you see a W.

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About the author

Austin Albertson

Austin is CBS' senior NFL and NBA analyst, bringing you commentary on everything between the lines and inside the hashes, from the film room to the scoreboard.

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