My 2016 NFL Power Rankings Week 8
NFL Power Rankings
Halloween is over and I am back from the grave! Well, sort of. I didn’t die. I did, however, miss a few weeks because I got married. Kind of a big life step there. So there you have it. The reason I’ve been gone for much of the past month. Wedding. Honeymoon. All that good stuff. I kind of lost track of the sports world for a while but the past few days have given me a refresher course. It’s time to talk NFL and I am oh so ready to do so.
*Note ~ Since it has been a few weeks I won’t bother to list the last ranking each team had.
- New England Patriots (7-1) ~ As Tom Brady goes, so goes the Gronk. Rob Gronkowski has exploded since Brady returned to the lineup averaging over five catches a game for over 118 yards and he has found the end zone in three straight. New England is once again the class of the NFL.
- Dallas Cowboys (6-1) ~ Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL in rushing with 799 yards in just seven games. Dak Prescott continues to lead the way for, as much as it pains me to say this, the best team in the NFC. There are rumblings that Tony Romo may be given his job back as he returns from injury but I cannot see any reason to make that change.
- Denver Broncos (6-2) ~ C.J. Anderson has been lost for the season so the lead back in Denver is now rookie fourth rounder Devontae Booker. He was held to just 2.8 yards per carry in his first start, however, he is still averaging over four yards per carry on the season.
- Oakland Raiders (6-2) ~ I am all in on the Raiders. Derek Carr is putting up MVP-like numbers and with stud receivers like Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree that is likely to continue. A win this weekend against Denver would have Oakland alone atop the AFC West. Just win baby!
- Minnesota Vikings (5-2) ~ Two straight losses in which they have totaled just 20 points have to have the fans in Minnesota a little worried. The defense is one of the best in the business but Sam Bradford is all of a sudden very unsteady and there is no running game to speak of.
- Seattle Seahawks (4-2-1) ~ The defense looks great, the offense looks terrible at times, yet Seattle was just barely handed their second loss of the season. I have to believe this team is capable of being one of the better teams in the league. They just haven’t put it all together for a full 60 minutes yet.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) ~ Ben Roethlisberger is back to practicing and may be able to return this week after tearing his meniscus just over two weeks ago. As someone who sprained a meniscus earlier this year, I can’t imagine coming back to play the quarterback position in the NFL three weeks after tearing it. A lot can be said about the dude but you cannot question his toughness.
- Green Bay Packers (4-3) ~ Green Bay has been ravaged by injuries yet they still get the benefit of the doubt, at least from me, that they are a legit title contender. As long as Aaron Rodgers remains under center this team can beat any team at any time.
- Atlanta Falcons (5-3) ~ The offense is as good as it gets as their 262 points is best in the business. The problem is they’ve allowed 231 points on the year. The only team to allow more is Cleveland.
- Kansas City Chiefs (5-2) ~ If you want to know how good the AFC West is, just know that at 5-2 the Chiefs are in third place in their own division. Yikes. Their path just got a little tougher as well with injuries to quarterback Alex Smith and running back Spencer Ware. It will be interesting to see who will be in the starting lineup come this weekend.
- Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) ~ As an Eagles fan I can’t quite tell if the team is good or bad. The defense is good. The receivers are pretty bad. The running game is OK. The special teams are great. What I can tell you is that if they lose to the New York Giants this weekend, and fall to 0-3 in the division, that would be very, very bad.
- Washington Redskins (4-3-1) ~ Do you know what I hate in the NFL? Ties. Ties are ridiculous. A week after Seattle and Arizona tied, the Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals joined the tie party. Ugh. At least they didn’t get the win. That’s what this Eagles fan has to say.
- New York Giants (4-3) ~ The battle for second place in the NFC East is this weekend when the Giants play Philadelphia. Eli has been inconsistent, the running back carousel has been less than productive and their defense doesn’t strike fear into anyone. That said, why do I have a bad feeling about this game?
- Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1) ~ A.J. Green leads the NFL with 896 receiving yards yet the Bengals can’t seem to get out of their own way this year. Perhaps going through the bye week after a tie will wake them up out of their funk.
- Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1) ~ David Johnson is truly a special player. He has surpassed 100 yards from scrimmage in every game this year, is third in the NFL in rushing (705), has added another 407 yards on 35 receptions and has found the end zone eight times. It’s hard to imagine where the Cardinals would be without him.
- Houston Texans (5-3) ~ At the halfway point of the season the Texans lead the AFC South so they would be in the playoffs. The fact that they are the only division leader to have a negative point differential (-30) leads me to believe that at the end of the season they will be watching the playoffs from home just like me.
- Detroit Lions (4-4) ~ When Calvin Johnson retired at a young age most people figured Detroit’s offense would suffer greatly. Marvin Jones Jr. has done his best to offset that loss. While nobody is comparing him to Johnson, Jones does lead the team with 656 yards and four scores.
- Buffalo Bills (4-4) ~ Percy Harvin has come out of retirement to join the Bills. He will certainly need some time to ramp up to game speed but this move doesn’t make any sense to me. With his injury history he can’t be counted on to be a productive player going forward.
- New Orleans Saints (3-4) ~ A home win over Seattle restores a little faith in the Saints for me. I thought this was going to be the Jimmy Graham show as the star tight end returned to face his former team, however, he was held to a pedestrian line of three catches for 34 yards.
- Baltimore Ravens (3-4) ~ Four straight losses after three straight wins to open the season. The wheels are off in Baltimore. Joe Flacco has just five touchdown passes. The team is scoring a meager 19 points per game and the ground game is nearly non-existent. At least the defense still comes to play for the Ravens.
- San Diego Chargers (3-5) ~ Rookie Joey Bosa has just 11 tackles on the season but he does have four sacks. After a lengthy contract holdout the former Ohio State standout is showing flashes of the talent that got him drafted third overall.
- Tennessee Titans (4-4) ~ DeMarco Murray looks like he will be the comeback player of the year. After a lost season in Philadelphia Murray’s 756 rushing yards trail only Dallas’ Elliott. Looks like the Titans got a steal with that trade.
- Carolina Panthers (2-5) ~ Cam Newton is great. He won the MVP last year for a reason. He may also have a point that the refs are missing an illegal hit or two on him, but he needs to stop crying about it through the media. He needs to be back to his fun-loving, jovial self. I’m sick of Crybaby Newton.
- Los Angeles Rams (3-4) ~ During L.A.’s three game losing streak quarterback Case Keenum has four touchdown passes and seven interceptions. Meanwhile number one overall pick Jared Goff continues to hold a clipboard. Coach Jeff Fisher has said Keenum is still his starter but that has to change at some point, doesn’t it?
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) ~ Mike Evans ranks in the top eight in the NFL in receptions (44), receiving yards (595), yards per game (85) and touchdowns (6). It’s safe to say he is a top tier wideout who will only get better as second year quarterback Jameis Winston progresses.
- Indianapolis Colts (3-5) ~ Adam Vinatieri is a perfect 18-for-18 this season on field goals and has made his last 43 attempts which is an NFL record. The 43-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down even if he is the oldest player in the league.
- Miami Dolphins (3-5) ~ Can Jay Ajayi make it three straight 200-yard rushing efforts? Stranger things have happened I suppose. With Arian Foster’s sudden retirement at least Ajayi knows the job is his.
- New York Jets (3-5) ~ Ryan Fitzpatrick was playing mad and his team nearly lost to the winless Cleveland Browns. No matter what mood he is in his play needs to improve or he could be benched again.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5) ~ I want so badly for this team to be good but, they simply aren’t. Blake Bortles has regressed and that has hurt Allen Robinson’s numbers. Neither T.J. Yeldon or Chris Ivory seem to know how to run the ball. Just another typical Jacksonville mess.
- Chicago Bears (2-6) ~ Jay Cutler returned to the lineup and the Bears returned to the win column with a big upset over the visiting Vikings. If Cutler can continue to play turnover-free football he could bring this team back to respectability.
- San Francisco 49ers (1-6) ~ After pitching a shutout in Week One the 49ers have allowed at least 24 points in every game since, including 33 or more a whopping five times. That, um, isn’t very good.
- Cleveland Browns (0-8) ~ Hey, at least the Indians could clinch the World Series tonight in front of the hometown fans.
That's all she wrote folks. Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave them right here. Or if that's not good enough you can follow/harass me on Twitter @therichwhiteguy. It wouldn't be the biggest waste of your time.