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2014 NFL Power Rankings After Week 8
Broncos take over top spot
1. Denver Broncos (6-1) - With Peyton Manning putting together the effort necessary to break the all time touchdown mark, the Broncos have been on a roll since losing to the Seahawks in week three. With wins over the 49ers and Chargers the past two weeks, the Broncos have established themselves as the best team in football through eight weeks of the season. A week nine matchup in Foxboro will be another tough test that the Broncos look to pass on the way to meeting their goals.
2. Arizona Cardinals (6-1) - The Arizona Cardinals have been the model of consistency in the NFC West this season as they have overcome injuries. Wins the past two weeks against the Redskins and Eagles have them out to a significant two game lead in their division through seven games. A road game in Dallas, will be another tough test for the Cardinals as they look to establish themselves as the top team in the NFC.
3. New England Patriots (6-2) - After a 2-2 start to the season, the Patriots and Tom Brady have been playing great football as of late. Wins against the Bills and Bears the past two weeks have put the Patriots into first place in the AFC East. With 88 points in their last two games, the Patriots are now among the highest scoring offenses in football. A week nine matchup at home against the Broncos should prove to be a great ballgame once again.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (5-2) - Coming off the bye week, the Eagles played a very competitive game in Arizona against the Cardinals. Mistakes doomed them in that ballgame though, as they fell 24-20. A week nine matchup against the Texans on the road is a game where this strong football team will look to bounce back.
5. Detroit Lions (6-2) - With the top scoring defense in the league, the Lions have been able to overcome a rash of injuries lately to put together an impressive run. Late game rallies for victories against the Saints and Falcons have the Lions in first place in the NFC North after eight games. A week nine bye week for the Lions comes at an opportune time with the Lions now having a chance to get healthy before they return to play in week 10.
6. Dallas Cowboys (6-2) - The Dallas Cowboys currently sit atop the NFC East standings at the halfway mark of their season. A division win over the Giants had the Cowboys off to a strong start within the NFC East, but a stumble against the Redskins has them searching for answers as to what went wrong. With matchups against the Eagles looming, the Cowboys head into a tough week nine matchup with the Cardinals as they look to establish themselves as the top team in the NFC.
7. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2-1) - After losing 27-0 to the Colts, the Bengals bounced back in week eight to sweep the season series against the Ravens. Their record currently has them good enough to sit atop the AFC North by the strength of their tie. The Bengals face the Jaguars in week nine as they will look to build on the momentum they have from sweeping the season series against the Ravens.
8. Indianapolis Colts (5-3) - After an impressive shutout victory against the Bengals in week seven, the Colts ran into trouble in Pittsburgh. While the Colts offense played well, they were unable to match up in the passing game defensively after losing Vontae Davis early in that ballgame. The Colts will look to bounce back in week nine as they head on the road to face the Giants.
9. Baltimore Ravens (5-3) - Going 1-1 in their last two games has allowed the Ravens to hold their place in the rankings with efforts from their great scoring defense. A big win against the Falcons was followed up by a late game loss against the Bengals. The Ravens head on the road this week for a key divisional rivalry game in Pittsburgh, where they will be going for the season series sweep.
10. San Diego Chargers (5-3) - Two losses in divisional play in the last two games have halted the Chargers strong start to the season. They physicality of the Chiefs and Broncos proved to be too much for the Chargers in their first opportunity to play each team this season. The Chargers will look for a bounce back effort when they head on the road to face a good Dolphins team this Sunday.
11. Green Bay Packers (5-3) - The Packers were able to put together a four game winning streak after starting the season 1-2, but all that came to an end Sunday night in New Orleans. The Packers inability to stop the Saints running game, hurt them significantly in their loss at New Orleans. With their bye week coming up in week nine, the Packers will look to regroup and get back on track in their week 10 matchup.
12. Seattle Seahawks (4-3) - A late deficit on Sunday after back to back losses to the Cowboys and Rams, had many down on the Seahawks. A late come from behind win on the road against Carolina may have saved the Seahawks season though, as they still sit two games back of the division leading Cardinals. A week nine matchup against the Raiders should provide the Seahawks with the opportunity to put together a winning streak.
13. San Francisco 49ers (4-3) - After getting blown out on Sunday night football against the Broncos in week seven, the 49ers had a much needed bye week in week eight. They return from the bye week closer to the point where their defense will be healthy again. Aldon Smith returns from suspension soon, and will provide a much needed boost to the 49ers pass rush. A home game against the Rams in week nine, will give the 49ers the opportunity to get back on track.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3) - After getting blown out by the Browns in week seven, the Steelers hit rock bottom when they were down 13-0 late in the first half against the Texans. From that point on, they have made plays on defense along with putting on a strong display of offensive execution. As a result they have 81 points to show for it in their last seven quarters of football played. The Steelers are home for a third straight game in week nine, as they will look to avoid being swept in the season series by the division rival Ravens.
15. Buffalo Bills (5-3) - The Buffalo Bills were able to extend the Jets woes this season just a week after dropping a divisional matchup with the Patriots, that took them out of the early season division lead. Quarterback Kyle Orton has played efficiently since taking over for EJ Manuel, and he has been able to find his primary offensive weapon in Sammy Watkins. The Bills head into the bye week in week nine, where they will look to rest up for a late season playoff run.
16. Kansas City Chiefs (4-3) - The Chiefs have been on a roll since coming off their bye week. A close win against the Chargers, and a blowout win against the Rams have the Chiefs right back in the middle of the AFC playoff picture. A week nine home game against the Jets, gives the Chiefs the opportunity to sustain their momentum in the AFC playoff chase.
17. Miami Dolphins (4-3) - For most of the season the Dolphins have played competitive football, which continued with a strong defensive effort on Sunday against the Jaguars. The Dolphins' play has mirrored that of their quarterback so far this season, and will likely continue to do so. A home game against the Chargers in week nine should be a significant test for the Dolphins as they look to stay in the AFC playoff race.
18. New York Giants (3-4) - The Giants lost two in a row heading into their bye week, and the news broke that they lost middle linebacker Jon Beason for the season. Coming out of the bye week though, the Giants have the opportunity to get back on track offensively that led to three straight wins earlier this season. Its not going to be easy for them in week nine though, as they face the Colts in a home game, after Indianapolis lost on Sunday.
19. Cleveland Browns (4-3) - The Cleveland Browns bounced back from a bad road loss to the Jaguars, by handling the Raiders in Oakland. Brian Hoyer put together an efficient and solid effort in the win for the Browns as their win gave the AFC North four teams with winning records through week eight. The Browns return home to face the Buccaneers on Sunday, as they look to continue their strong play this season.
20. Houston Texans (4-4) - After letting a lead get away against the Steelers, JJ Watt and the Texans defense did allow the Titans to rally. While the Texans still have question marks at the quarterback position, they have plenty of talent on their roster. A week nine matchup at home against the Eagles will be tough, as a strong Eagles team is coming off a loss.
21. Carolina Panthers (3-4-1) - The Carolina Panthers let a late lead get away from them on Sunday when they were hosting the Seahawks. Overall the Panthers defense has not been able to match what they were able to accomplish last year. The good news is that they are still in first place, and they have a chance to build on their division lead in week nine, if they are able to defeat the Saints on Thursday night football.
22. New Orleans Saints (3-4) - After a tough loss to the Lions, the Saints bounced back with a blowout win against the Packers in week eight. Mark Ingram had a career game in the win with over 150 yards on the ground. In week nine the Saints head on the road to face the Panthers, as they look to take possession of the division lead after eight games of play.
23. Chicago Bears (3-5) - The Bears struggles continued the past two weeks as they lost at home to the Dolphins, and followed that up with a road loss to the Patriots. The frustration from some of the Bears' offensive players, tells the story of their season so far. The defense has not been there to help them out either. A bye week in week nine may be what the Bears need in order to rest up and get on track.
24. Minnesota Vikings (3-5) - The Vikings earned their third win of the season on Sunday, with a defensive touchdown in overtime. What has been a tough season this year for the Vikings, has had some highlights with the rookies playing well for their team. Anthony Barr and Teddy Bridgewater are the Vikings future, and they were a significant part of the Vikings latest win. A home game against the Redskins on Sunday is an opportunity for the Vikings to put together a winning streak.
25. Washington Redskins (3-5) - Colt McCoy led the Redskins to a win in his first start for the team, just a week after they earned a win against the Titans. A big win against the division leading Cowboys has the Redskins thinking they can get their season back on track. They have a chance to extend their winning streak if they play well on the road against the Vikings in week nine.
26. Atlanta Falcons (2-6) - The Falcons have not made plays in big situations this season, and haunted them again on Sunday against the Lions. Squandering a 21 point first half lead, gave the Falcons their sixth loss in what may be a lost season for them in 2014. The Falcons head into their bye week for week nine, as they look to regroup in order to make things interesting in the second half.
27. St. Louis Rams (2-5) - The Rams jumped out to a 7-0 lead in Kansas City after earning a big win against the Seahawks the week before. That was their only strong offensive possession of the ballgame, as they allowed 34 unanswered points in their fifth loss of the season. St. Louis hopes to bolster their secondary with the addition of Mark Barron in a trade with the Bucs, as they head into their week nine matchup in San Francisco.
28. Tennessee Titans (2-6) - The Titans week eight matchup with the Texans brought some controversy in the loss. A selfie-sack celebration by JJ Watt demonstrated the dominance that the top two teams in the AFC South have had over the Titans so far this season. Tennessee heads into their bye week in week nine, but they hope to return to action strong with Mettenberger leading the way in week 10.
29. New York Jets (1-7) - Seven straight losses and the benching of quarterback Geno Smith, tells the story of the Jets season. The Jets have been competitive in many ballgames this season, but they just don't have enough playmakers to bring home the wins. The Jets have another tough matchup when they go on the road to face the Chiefs in week nine.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-6) - The Buccaneers made a bid for their second win of the season on Sunday against the Vikings, but it was Anthony Barr of the Vikings who became the hero of that ballgame with a defensive touchdown to win it in overtime. The Bucs are looking to unload multiple players at the trade deadline, as they face another rebuilding year.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) - The Jaguars followed up their first win of the season with a poor effort by their quarterback in a loss to the Dolphins. Multiple turnovers by Blake Bortles were capitalized on by the Dolphins in the Jaguars seventh loss of the season. The Jaguars have some of their players for the future in place, but the effort from the has been inconsistent.
32. Oakland Raiders (0-7) - Quarterback Derek Carr attempted 54 passes in an effort to try to get the Raiders their first win of the season on Sunday. Even with Carr's effort though, the Browns defense made enough plays to prevent the Raiders from earning that elusive win. A week nine matchup in Seattle means that a win is not likely for the Raiders until at least week 10.