From London to the West Coast, it wasn’t exactly a banner week of great football in the NFL. Still, there were a few surprising wins and a handful of disappointing losses to cause a little shuffling in the pecking order among teams.
Factoring in everything from overall roster strength, to quarterback play, to the coaching staff, here is the latest edition of NFL power rankings and where every team stacks up from 1 to 32.
Week 8 NFL Power Rankings
1. New England Patriots
Last week: 2
They did catch a break facing the Steelers without Ben Roethlisberger but this is still the best team in the league and only getting better since Tom Brady returned. Next Sunday’s game against Buffalo could help New England practically wrap up the AFC East before the halfway point of the season.
2. Minnesota Vikings
Last week: 1
The first loss of the year came in a game they were simply beat up in all three phases of the game. It doesn’t change how good Minnesota is but reaffirms that Sam Bradford and company can’t rest if it wants to win the NFC North and secure home-field advantage.
3. Dallas Cowboys
Last week: 3
After a week off, all eyes will be on Big D. And that’s not just because of the big game upcoming but because of the impending talk about the Cowboys’ decision at quarterback.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
Last week: 9
Great response to the two-game losing streak in beating the previously unblemished Vikings. Carson Wentz’ play is stuck in neutral however, which is something that needs to be corrected before the Eagles take on Dallas.
5. Seattle Seahawks
Last week: 4
Let us never speak of that game (or comedy of errors?) with the Cardinals again. This is still the best squad in the NFC West but the amount of pressure Russell Wilson faces on each snap is the biggest concern if you’re a Seattle coach.
6. Denver Broncos
Last week: 7
The Broncos made sure Brock Osweiller’s return went in their favor thanks to defensive pressure and a solid offensive outing. Things might be much tougher in the AFC West given some of the improvements in San Diego and Kansas City however.
7. Green Bay Packers
Last week: 10
Yes it was just the Bears but you have to be impressed at the result on a short week in which Aaron Rodgers looked more like Aaron Rodgers. The running back spot remains a concern though, especially when the competition level ramps up.
8. Atlanta Falcons
Last week: 5
Despite taking a loss in a game it certainly could have won, this is still a team rounding into form and easily the class of the otherwise unimpressive NFC South. Now the Falcons just need to ask the league office what it will take for Julio Jones to draw a flag.
9. Kansas City Chiefs
Last week: 12
The Chiefs have four very winnable games before their trip to Denver after Thanksgiving and you can start to see the beginnings of a little run as they’ve been much sharper since the bye week.
10. Oakland Raiders
Last week: 13
Because it was against the Jaguars, you do have to question if the defensive improvements this week were mainly due to the competition or actual adjustments. Still, it was Oakland’s most complete win of the year on Sunday with the potential for more.
11. Arizona Cardinals
Last week: 14
Let us never speak of that game against Seattle again, but especially since it puts the defending NFC West champions further behind in the division.
12. Washington Redskins
Last week: 6
One stop is all they needed to keep pace in the NFC East and yet despite a pretty solid performance, Washington lost and now has to compound that with another road game — in London.
13. Buffalo Bills
Last week: 8
The hottest team in the NFL finally ran into a bad game. Sure it was on the road and in a possible look-ahead situation with the Patriots coming to town. Still, there’s no excuse for allowing Miami’s offense to do that.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers
Last week: 11
All things considered with the Steelers situation at quarterback, the game against New England could have gone a lot worse.
15. Detroit Lions
Last week: 19
Giving up that many yards to Washington is a little concerning but this team understands how to win a shootout. It will be interesting to see if the Lions can keep things going as they hit the road for the first time in a while though.
16. New York Giants
Last week: 15
The team needed to go all the way to England to get its defense back to looking how it did earlier this season. The question is will the Giants continue that level of play when they come back across the pond and face a more dangerous offense?
17. Houston Texans
Last week: 17
The offense is a hot mess and that’s being nice right now. Too bad it tends to always hamper a good effort on defense.
18. Cincinnati Bengals
Last week: 16
Tyler Eifert looked good in his return as the offense rounded back into form. You just have to wonder if the Bengals can keep up the momentum from the win over the Browns as they head to London though.
19. San Diego Chargers
Last week: 23
Those early-season, second-half struggles have been turned on their head with the way the Chargers have finished the game the past two weeks, even if they needed a bit of luck in Atlanta too.
20. Indianapolis Colts
Last week: 26
Bless Andrew Luck, who is having a career year despite getting hit on every drop back. You wonder if this team would be in contention for the No. 1 overall pick again if he weren’t behind center given the talent around him.
21. New Orleans Saints
Last week: 20
There’s no margin for error with this team, especially on the road, and you come up short in most games if you make the mistakes the Saints did in Kansas City. Injuries are a factor for sure but this just isn’t a great team away from home.
22. Miami Dolphins
Last week: 24
Jay Ajayi finally looks like the tailback we thought he could be upon getting drafted and given the upcoming schedule, you have to think he can help get the Dolphins back over .500 before December rolls around.
23. Baltimore Ravens
Last week: 18
A four-game losing streak has a lot to do with the fact that the team’s inactive list is one of the longest in the league. A bye week comes at the perfect time but this is still a team that is hard to get a read on.
24. Los Angeles Rams
Last week: 21
Jared Goff watch is officially on no matter what Jeff Fisher will insist about Case Keenum.
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last week: 27
Traveling across the country and getting a win is usually impressive except when it’s at San Francisco. Still, those are the types of games a young team needs to look impressive in and that’s just what the Bucs did after a slow start.
26. Tennessee Titans
Last week: 22
Another close game that the Titans just couldn’t pull out in the end. If Marcus Mariota can get a handle on his turnover issues, you have to think the team can still remain in contention in the AFC South.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars
Last week: 25
It seems like every week there’s something you can point to about the Jaguars regressing instead of progressing and that’s a reason why this team still can’t make noise in the weakest division in football.
28. Carolina Panthers
Last week: 28
The good news for the Panthers is they get to come off a bye and face a Cardinals team that has to fly across the country after getting beat up for five quarters against Seattle.
29. New York Jets
Last week: 29
There’s no such thing as a drama-free week in New York and the latest example of that is getting a win despite Geno Smith tearing his ACL in his first start. Still, the schedule is going to get lighter over the coming weeks so you should expect some more progress on both sides of the ball.
30. Chicago Bears
Last week: 30
It’s a good thing all the attention is on the Cubs right now because this team is not fun at all to watch and that’s not even getting to the quarterback situation, which is downright depressing.
31. San Francisco 49ers
Last week: 31
It’s pretty tempting to move the team down a spot after another dreadful performance, this one coming at home in front of about 15 people against Tampa Bay.
32. Cleveland Browns
Last week: 32
Things are going so well in Cleveland between the Cavaliers’ season starting and the Indians reaching the World Series that the revolving door at quarterback for the Browns is the furthest thing from the city’s mind.
— Written by Bryan Fischer, an award-winning college football columnist and member of the Athlon Contributor Network. You can follow him from coast-to-coast on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @BryanDFischer.