2011 NFL Power Rankings – Week 8

NFL Power Rankings 2011 Pre 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Playoffs

Our rankings heading into Week 8. The Packers remain on top after continued dominance and the Colts fall to a 32, after an absurd beatdown at the hands of Drew Brees and the Saints. We might just rank 31 teams next week:

Rank Team Comment
1 Green Bay Packers A win was expected against the Vikings, but a win by just 6 points was not. It’s hard to criticize a 7-0 team, but opposing QBs of various abilities have had some success moving the ball through the air against the Packer D.
2 New England Patriots At 5-1, the Patriots hold sole possession of first place in the AFC East at their bye week. Next week, they travel to Pittsburgh for an afternoon game against the Steelers in a game with potential playoff home field implications (already).
3 New Orleans Saints Depending on who you ask, the Saints either pounded or ran up the score on the Colts last week winning 62-7. It wouldn’t be shocking to see them put up 50+ again this week as they take on the lowly Rams.
4 San Francisco 49ers The surprise team of the NFL, the 49ers had a bye last week and come back to face the Browns with a 3 game cushion in the NFC West. Considering their remaining schedule, the 49ers look to have a good shot of having the second best record in the NFC at the end of the season.
5 Detroit Lions Detroit dropped its second straight home game, this time to the Falcons. For as good of pass rush the Lions have, they have a lot of trouble stopping the run and will try to get back on track against the run focused Denver Tebows…Broncos.
6 Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh has had 3 easy wins in a row to move to the top of the AFC North. Their real tests will come in the next few weeks with games against the Patriots, Ravens and Bengals.
7 Baltimore Ravens The Ravens came out flat on Monday Night and lost what looked to be an easy game. A game against the Cardinals will give them a chance to rebound, establish some offensive consistency, and keep up a playoff pace.
8 San Diego Chargers After jumping off to a big lead in New York, San Diego fell apart and ended up giving away a win to the Jets, 27-21. It might not hurt the Chargers in the standings right now, but a loss like this might have after-effects in games to come. A big AFC West game against the Chiefs awaits next Monday night.
9 Buffalo Bills Buffalo fell one game behind New England heading into their bye week, and next up they’ll be hosting the Redskins across the border in Toronto. In order to keep their AFC East hopes alive, a win against a sub-par Washington squad will be vital.
10 Houston Texans In a meeting between this year’s AFC South leaders, Houston ran wild for a 41-7 win over Tennessee. The victory allows the Texans to re-take the AFC South lead as they prepare to host the Jaguars next week.
11 New York Giants Eli Manning’s Giants are not as exciting as the Cowboys or Eagles, but through 7 weeks they find themselves at the top of the division standings. A brutal second half schedule will really test them.
12 Oakland Raiders A two-headed monster at QB–Kyle Boller and Carson Palmer–threw three passes each to Kansas City defenders; as a result, the Raiders’ winning streak against AFC West rivals came to an end with a 28-0 loss. At least Oakland has a bye week to figure out there situation under center before they play the Broncos in Week 9.
13 New York Jets It was an ugly start for the Jets, but an uglier game by the Chargers allowed New York to rally back for a 27-21 home win. At 4-3, the Jets are going to need to continue to string together wins; but first, they get a bye week to rest before they meet divisional rival Buffalo.
14 Tampa Bay Bucs Tampa Bay lost in London to the Bears and in the process lost their share of the NFC South lead with the Saints. They did beat the Saints in their first matchup and now have the bye week to prepare for the second meeting with them in week 9.
15 Atlanta Falcons Atlanta came up with a big win against the Lions and are tied for second in the NFC South with Tampa Bay. They have some games coming up after their bye that they should be favored in, and need to chalk up those wins to help compensate for the rough start.
16 Chicago Bears Da Bears got a good win against a quality Tampa Bay team in the NFL’s annual London game. Matt Forte is going out there and padding his resume as he continues to show why Bears fans want him to get paid now. After two Detroit losses, the Bears are still in the mix.
17 Cincinnati Bengals The Bengals have won 3 straight games and face a terrible Seattle team this weekend. They have a pretty easy schedule the rest of the way, and 10+ wins could be a possibility.
18 Tennessee Titans Not a good day for the Titans. Tennessee had the opportunity to take first in the AFC South with a win over Houston but barely factored into the 41-7 loss. The good news is that next up are the Colts; a win against Indy would help keep the Titans in the hunt.
19 Dallas Cowboys The Cowboys beat the Rams badly this weekend, as they should. Rooking running back DeMarco Murray looks like he might be the real deal, a good sign considering that Felix Jones his hurt again.
20 Philadelphia Eagles This weekend’s game against the Cowboys is huge for the Eagles. They don’t want to lose 5 of their first 7.
21 Washington Redskins After a 3-1 start, the Redskins look to be back to their evil ways. A team with a quarterback controversy like this will not be a serious contender.
22 Cleveland Browns I’m still not sure what to make of the Browns after a sloppy 6-3 win over the Seahawks, but it will be hard to compete with the Ravens, Steelers and surging Bengals.
23 Kansas City Chiefs With injuries piling up in the first few games of the year, many left the Kansas City Chiefs for dead. After a 28-0 win over division rival Oakland, the Chiefs have a chance to tie San Diego for the AFC West lead if they beat the Chargers on Monday Night Football next week.
24 Carolina Panthers The Panters took out the Redskins and now face the Vikings in a matchup of two first round rookie QBs. The hype surrounding Cam Newton continues to grow and he may shine against a notoriously poor Vikings secondary.
25 Denver Broncos With only minutes to play, the Broncos were down 15-0 in Miami behind a terrible Tim Tebow performance. By the time the day was over, Denver had put up 18 points and prevailed 18-15 in overtime. With Detroit up next, a more solid Tebow performance will be needed for the Broncos to get another win.
26 Seattle Seahawks Seattle lost in an ugly 6-3 game versus the Browns. Seattle has won two of their last four, and their two losses were close, so they have some good things going but with some tough games coming up (Ravens, Cowboys, 49ers), Seattle could soon find themselves out of the playoff race.
27 Jacksonville Jaguars Few expected the Jaguars to put up much of a fight on Monday Night Football, but fight they did for a 12-7 victory over Baltimore. Now the test is to see if they can continue their hard work at the Texans next week.
28 Minnesota Vikings The Christian Ponder era didn’t start with a win, but losing by just six to the Packers in a close game was the next best thing. Peterson ran all over the Packers racking up 175 yards which happened in part because Ponder took some deep shots and teams may now have to respect the pass game to an extent.
29 Arizona Cardinals Arizona lost to the Steelers and now get to face an angry Ravens team coming off of a loss. With just one win on the year, there is starting to be some talk about the draft and Andrew Luck. Considering that Kolb has not been all he was advertised to be so far, that rumbling is going to get louder with each loss.
30 Miami Dolphins The only explanation for the Dolphins coughing up a 15-0 lead in the waning minutes of their game against Denver has to be the “Suck for Luck” phenomenon. If the team truly is as bad as they looked, then they’ll not sniff anything close to a win for the rest of the season. Next up: the New York Giants.
31 St. Louis Rams The NFC West houses the most surprising team (49ers) and the most disappointing team (Rams). From playoff hopefuls to an 0-6 disaster start, the Rams could very well have a big decision if they wind up with the top draft pick.
32 Indianapolis Colts It’s hard to imagine whether Indianapolis would have fared any better even with Peyton Manning on the field, given how easily the Saints rolled them over en route to a 62-7 result. A match-up with division rival Tennessee awaits in a season already lost for the Colts.

Commentary breakdown: Alex (AFC North, NFC East), Brian (AFC East/South/West), Pat (NFC North/South/West).

Alex Chalupka - Originally from the Baltimore-Washington area, Alex is a huge Baltimore Ravens and Maryland Terrapins fan who currently resides in Little Rock, Arkansas. He’s also an Orioles fan and follows the NBA and other sports as objectively as possible. He enjoys writing about all sports and is the founder/editor of theSportsGeeks.com. - Follow him on Twitter here - Visit his personal website

Brian Parker - Born in Maine, a state with no professional sports team, Brian Parker is nonetheless a huge statistics nerd and fan of the NFL and NHL, with some passing interest in the MLB. Regional ties see him as a Patriots and Red Sox fan, though a childhood of watching Patrick Roy tend the net as a Montreal Canadien puts him on the opposite side of his fellow New Englanders for that NHL rivalry. Brian has both an M.A. and a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Maine. - Follow him on Twitter here - Visit his personal website

Pat Lussenhop - Pat was born and raised in rural Minnesota and is currently living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He graduated from St. John's University (MN) with a degree in psychology and went on to get his masters in school psychology at the University of Northern Iowa. He's a lifetime sports fan and follows basketball and football the most. His favorite teams include any team that has "Minnesota" in it's name and he enjoys sports statistics and any good sporting debates. - Follow him on Twitter here

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