NFL Power Rankings ahead of Week 8 with the Eagles, Patriots and Steelers coming in 1-3.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (6-1) Def. Washington 34-24. Last Week: 1
Chants of MVP followed Carson Wentz out of the stadium following the quarterback’s primetime performance that included a career high in rushing yards (64) and setting the Eagles record for touchdown passes through the first seven games (17.) His magic in the pocket, lofting an end zone fade to Corey Clement under duress and somehow emerging from a pile of pass rushers to dash up the middle for 17 yards and a first down, will need to be even more present after Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters left the field with an expected MCL tear.
2. New England Patriots (5-2) Def. Atlanta 23-7. Last Week: 3
The Patriots scored the final 31 points in Super Bowl LI and the first 23 points in the rematch with the Falcons before Julio Jones’ late score. The Patriots' defense allowed an average of 31 points per game through their first four games of the season while compiling a 2-2 record. In the three games since they have yet to allow an opponent to reach 20 points, and are 3-0.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) Def. Cincinnati 29-14. Last Week: 4
While the Martavis Bryant situation is certainly deteriorating off the field, the Steelers are looking fine on it. JuJu Smith-Schuster got the third touchdown of his rookie year and Darrius Heyward-Bey caught his first pass of the season on a 44-yard fake punt. The Steelers are sitting pretty a game-and-a-half above Baltimore with a victory already in their pocket over the Ravens.
4. Minnesota Vikings (5-2) Def. Baltimore 24-16. Last Week: 7
The Vikings rushing attack hasn’t missed Dalvin Cook since the rookie’s impressive season ended early. This week it was Latavius Murray leading the charge instead of Jerrick McKinnon, but the two combined for 169 yards against the Ravens while the passing game stuttered. The defense remains as fearsome as ever, sacking Joe Flacco five times and forcing three fumbles from the Baltimore quarterback.
5. New Orleans Saints (4-2) Def. Green Bay 26-17. Last Week: 5
The Saints absorbed the best shot of a Green Bay team that came out looking vastly different than anything they’d displayed on tape and adapted, with the help as always of their extremely potent offense. Ted Ginn’s 141 receiving yards were his most in a game since 2008. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram each topped 100 total yards from scrimmage.
6. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2) Lost to Oakland 31-30. Last Week: 2
The 85-yard drive they allowed at the end of the game will be remembered more, but the Chiefs had their own 99-yard drive capped by Tyreek Hill’s 64-yard touchdown in the first half. As crazy as this game’s ending was, neither that final drive nor indeed the night at large was what we’ve come to expect from the Kansas City defense. Now with two straight losses after a 5-0 start, they’ll try to right the ship against similarly reeling Broncos.
7. Los Angeles Rams (5-2) Def. Arizona 33-0. Last Week: 8
The Rams weren’t much of a hometeam, half the world away, but they played like it while dominating Arizona and staying in first place in the NFC West. Todd Gurley had his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the last five after notching zero such games in all of 2016. Things look rosy in the future, with a bye next week followed by the 1-6 Giants on the horizon.
8. Buffalo Bills (4-2) Def. Tampa Bay 30-27. Last Week: 9
LeSean McCoy got his first two touchdowns in a season where he’s again provided the majority of the Bills’ offense. It looked like this game might be heading the other direction late and that Buffalo would have their second loss in as many games before rookie Tre’Davious White forced and recovered a fumble and Steven Hauschka kicked a field goal to keep pace with the Miami Dolphins in the AFC East.
9. Seattle Seahawks (4-2) Def. NY Giants 24-7. Last Week: 13
The Seahawks appear to have evolved into a passing team, if they want to win games. Russell Wilson led a second-half comeback with three touchdown tosses to Paul Richardson, Jimmy Graham, and Doug Baldwin. Meanwhile, the injury ridden run game saw Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy each take 11 carries for less than 40 yards.
10. Miami Dolphins (4-2) Def. NY Jets 31-28. Last Week: 15
The Dolphins have a minus-20 point differential to go with their 4-2 record this season. They recovered from a 17-0 hole a week ago and a 14-point fourth quarter deficit this week. Unlike a week ago, this time it was Matt Moore throwing two touchdowns and leading the comeback in his first game action since the 2016 playoffs. With Jay Cutler suffering cracked ribs, he’ll get more time next week.
11. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-3) Def. Indianapolis 27-0. Last Week: 17
No Leonard Fournette, no problem for the Jaguars against their division rivals. T.J. Yeldon ran for 122 yards on just nine carries in relief of their injured rookie star, Chris Ivory added 47 and the Jaguars sacked Jacoby Brissett 10 times. Yannick Ngakoue led the way with 2.5 sacks, giving him 6.5 on the season. They’ve all come over just
12. Carolina Panthers (4-3) Lost to Chicago 17-3. Last Week: 6
The Panthers may feel hard done by after losing a game where they gained almost twice as many yards as their opponents, but they turned the ball over three times and the Bears made them pay dearly. Three losses in four games have left the Panthers staring up at the Saints in the NFC South standings, who already hold a 34-13 victory over Carolina this season.
13. Dallas Cowboys (3-3) Def. San Francisco 40-10. Last Week: 23
The Cowboys will be glad to have had Zeke in this one, as he racked up 219 total yards and 3 touchdowns. Initial reports are that he will be eligible in Week 8 as well. Dallas faces a gauntlet the rest of the season, with an out-of-division schedule featuring Kansas City, Atlanta, Oakland, and Seattle.
14. Los Angeles Chargers (3-4) Def. Denver 21-0. Last Week: 22
Once 0-4 and mired at the bottom of this list, the Chargers have won three straight and now have their first home victory in Carson, California thanks to Travis Benjamin scoring on a punt return and long pass play and a defense that sacked Trevor Siemian five times and forced three turnovers while pitching one of three NFL shutouts Sunday.
15. Atlanta Falcons (3-3) Lost to New England 23-7. Last Week: 10
In addition to allowing 51 straight points to the Patriots, Atlanta, which surrendered the final 20 points a week ago to lose to Miami after running out to a 17-0 lead, surrendered 43 straight points between Miami’s run to close that game and New England’s run to open this one. Three losses in a row have this squad looking more like the 2015 Falcons than the Super Bowl edition.
16. Green Bay Packers (4-3) Lost to New Orleans 26-17. Last Week: 12
The Packers, as might be expected, looked like a different team without Aaron Rodgers. That team turned out to be one interested in ground-and-pound football, and almost to great success. 181 yards rushing, 131 of them from Aaron Jones, had them in the game until late, when Brett Hundley’s 87 passing yards on 25 attempts caught up to them.
17. Detroit Lions (3-3) Bye. Last Week: 16
The Lions watched the Vikings pull another half-game ahead while on their bye, but with a victory over Minnesota in hand, all's not lost. After a tough matchup hosting the Steelers this week, they’ll take on their division in three out of four games, starting with the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers.
18. Houston Texans (3-3) Bye. Last Week: 18
The biggest news of the bye for Houston was the return of their prodigal left tackle Duane Brown from a holdout that lasted into Week 7. Brown will get right to work protecting DeShaun Watson from the Seahawks’ pass rush as the Texans look to keep up with Tennessee and Jacksonville.
19. Washington (3-3) Lost to Philadelphia 34-24. Last Week: 14
Washington’s offensive line was besieged by both the Eagles’ pass rush and injuries Monday night: Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff, and Morgan Moses all left the game, Scherff and Moses multiple times. They now sit two-and-a-half games behind the Eagles, a team they’ve already dropped two games to in this young season.
20. Denver Broncos (3-3) Lost to LA Chargers 21-0. Last Week: 11
After beginning the season with six touchdown passes in the first two games, Trevor Siemian has thrown just two scoring strikes against five interceptions in the four games since. The Broncos, surprise losers a week ago at home against the Giants, repeated the disappointment suffering their first shutout loss since 1992.
21. Oakland Raiders (3-4) Def. Kansas City 31-30. Last Week: 29
Headlines split between the negative - Marshawn Lynch’s shove of a ref and subsequent ejection and suspension, and the positive - the re-emergence of Oakland’s offense in general and Amari Cooper in particular Thursday night. But it’s hard for either one to overshadow a game featuring four final plays.
22. Tennessee Titans (4-3) Def. Cleveland 12-9 (OT.) Last Week: 21
The Titans remain in first place in the division thanks to their 37-16 September victory over Jacksonville, but their efforts in Cleveland were far from convincing. Ryan Succop’s NFL record of consecutive kicks made inside 50 yards was extended to 55 as he accounted for all of Tennessee’s points in the victory.
23. New York Jets (3-4) Lost to Miami 31-28. Last Week: 20
The Jets watched a 14-point lead slip away for the second time in as many weeks and lost their second straight following a three game win streak. Bilal Powell and Matt Forte split touches and the offensive load against Miami. Each player had 40 rushing and 40 receiving yards, with no other player surmounting either total.
24. Chicago Bears (3-4) Def. Carolina 17-3. Last Week: 25
The Bears knocked off the Panthers despite little offensive success on the back of rookie safety Eddie Jackson’s 75-yard fumble return touchdown and 76-yard pick six. On offense, the Bears ran just 37 plays, threw just seven passes, and accumulated just 153 yards. Almost half of those came on one play, a 70-yard pass to another rookie, Tarik Cohen.
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4) Lost to Buffalo 30-27. Last Week: 24
Jameis Winston rebounded from the injured throwing shoulder that knocked him out of last weeks loss to throw for 384 yards, his fourth 300-plus yard game this season. Surprisingly, the Bucs are just 1-3 in those games, and turnovers are a major reason why. Winston threw an interception and lost a fumble Sunday, his fourth and sixth respectively of each this season.
26. Cincinnati Bengals (2-4) Lost to Pittsburgh 29-14. Last Week: 26
The Bengals lost this game in the second half, which had more in common with their 0-3 start to the season than their recent wins. The running game disappeared again, with Joe Mixon leading the team with seven carries for 48 yards, and the passing game was ineffective in its absence.
27. Baltimore Ravens (3-4) Lost to Minnesota 24-16. Last Week: 27
While which Ravens running back has had success has changed weekly this season, generally one always has. That didn’t happen in Minnesota, where Alex Collins led the team with 10 carries for 30 yards.
28. Arizona Cardinals (3-4) Lost to LA Rams 33-0. Last Week: 19
Things snowballed quickly for the Cardinals in London. They lost Carson Palmer for at least most of the rest of the season, the game, and all the momentum returned by Adrian Peterson’s debut a week ago.
29. New York Giants (1-6) Lost to Seattle 24-7. Last Week: 28
For a half it looked like the Giants might shock the world again, and they led 7-3 at halftime thanks to their defense. Evan Engram remained their most capable receiving threat, and scored the lone touchdown from five yards out.
30. Indianapolis Colts (2-5) Lost to Jacksonville 27-0. Last Week: 30
The Colts lose their second division game in as many weeks and fall three games below .500. They remain the only team in the AFC South with a losing record.
31. San Francisco 49ers (0-7) Lost to Dallas 40-10. Last Week: 31
Last week San Francisco became the first team ever to lose five straight games by three points or less. That wasn’t a problem this week. C.J. Beathard’s debut at quarterback saw the rookie scramble for a score, but get sacked five times and lose two fumbles.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-7) Lost to Tennessee 12-9 (OT.) Last Week: 32
Left tackle Joe Thomas became the latest NFL superstar to be lost for the season this week. Cody Kessler replaced DeShone Kizer in this loss and may become the Browns third starter at qb this season.