Welcome to the post-Week 8 edition of triggering power rankings.
No. 32: New York Jets (+0)
The Jets only lost by 26 points to the Chiefs.
No. 31: Dallas Cowboys (+0)
The Cowboys are the NFL’s biggest example of how much bad quarterback play can derail a squad.
No. 30: Jacksonville Jaguars (-2)
The Jaguars were on their bye. They slide down because of uncertainty around Gardner Minshew moving forward. He is far from great, but he is likely better than any other option.
No. 29: Washington Football Team (+1)
The Football Team was on their bye.
No. 28: New York Giants (+1)
The Giants are a similar team to the 2019 Dolphins. They lack talent on much of the roster, but they play hard. Joe Judge will be a future stud head coach.
No. 27: New England Patriots (-2)
The Patriots have lost four games in a row, and it seems they are at rock bottom. They will beat the Jets on Monday Night Football to potentially salvage the season.
No. 26: Atlanta Falcons (+0)
No. 25: Detroit Lions (-7)
Outside of Matthew Stafford, the Lions are a mess. Matt Patricia is likely coaching his final NFL games.
No. 24: Los Angeles Chargers (-4)
The first half Chargers could beat the 1972 Dolphins. The second half Chargers could not beat a deck of cards.
No. 23: Minnesota Vikings (+4)
Dalvin Cook had one of the most dynamic games of the season, and the Vikings punched Green Bay in the mouth. Impressive.
No. 22: Denver Broncos (+2)
The beneficiaries of another Los Angeles choke, the Broncos have a sturdy defense and enough Drew Lock volatility to be a decent team most weeks.
No. 21: Carolina Panthers (-2)
The Panthers had an opportunity to make a significant push toward the playoffs with a victory. Instead, they lost.
No. 20: Houston Texans (+1)
Houston was on their bye.
No. 19: San Francisco 49ers (-9)
The author was recruited to play wide receiver for the 49ers. He sends his sincerest apologies for being unable to provide a recap.
No. 18: Philadelphia Eagles (+4)
It was ugly, but the Eagles won on Sunday Night Football.
No. 17: Chicago Bears (+0)
The Bears are pushing the limits of how much one side of the ball can carry an organization.
No. 16: Cincinnati Bengals (+7)
The Bengals were able to close out a victory against a superior Titans team. Joe Burrow is teetering on elite quarterback play. Cincinnati, congratulations, you have found your franchise savior.
No. 15: Los Angeles Rams (-4)
Jared Goff played like Jared Goof.
No. 14: Cleveland Browns (+1)
Few conclusions can be drawn from Cleveland’s loss to Las Vegas. Even with the loss, the Browns are still in a playoff spot.
No. 13: Las Vegas Raiders (+0)
The Raiders won a gritty game in Cleveland. Jon Gruden is continuing to be one of the better coaches in the NFL.
No. 12: Miami Dolphins (+4)
Tua Tagovailoa’s starting debut was underwhelming, but the rest of the team played one of the most complete games of the season. Brian Flores is an elite head coach. Miami may not make the playoffs this season, but they will be firmly entrenched in a battle for the AFC East as long as Flores is patrolling the sidelines.
No. 11: Buffalo Bills (+1)
Josh Allen’s pixie dust from the first month of the season has worn off, and the Bills have descended to Earth.
No. 10: Indianapolis Colts (+4)
The Colts are one of the most well-rounded teams in the NFL. Defensively, they are sound. Offensively, while limited, they can move the ball.
No. 9: Tennessee Titans (-3)
No matter how efficient the offense can be, the defense is currently lacking. The Titans will receive reinforcements in the form of Desmond King, but the Colts are ready to pounce on the AFC South crown.
No. 8: Green Bay Packers (-1)
Green Bay failed to add any offensive weapons at the trade deadline. The Packers have ugly warts (lack of a secondary pass catcher and a porous run defense), but Aaron Rodgers will win some games by himself.
No. 7: Baltimore Ravens (-3)
Lamar Jackson has lost five regular-season starts. This is the first one that cannot be blamed on the defense, his receivers, or playcalling. Jackson was responsible for four giveaways, but it does not end there. He had another pass directly to a Steeler that was dropped, and he fumbled while scrambling but recovered. The 2019 MVP needs to re-evaluate his performance. Jackson’s turnover worthy play percentage (5.0 percent) is not only one of the worst marks in the NFL, it is even higher than his rookie season.
To compound matters, 2019 All-Pro Ronnie Stanley will miss the rest of the season. Any hope of Baltimore winning the Super Bowl left on the injury cart.
No. 6: Arizona Cardinals (+3)
The Cardinals were on their bye.
No. 5: New Orleans Saints (+3)
The Saints had a gritty victory in Chicago. Drew Brees did not have his most polished game of the season, but the defense played much better than it had had for the first two months of the season.
No. 4: Seattle Seahawks (+1)
Seattle had one of their safest victories in several seasons as they controlled the 49ers. The division is Seattle’s for the taking as the Rams and 49ers are floundering while Arizona must beat Seattle in Seattle to maintain their tiebreaker. For as many defensive flaws as Seattle might have, Russell Wilson is the ultimate trump card. D.K. Metcalf is blossoming into a genuine superstar, and Tyler Lockett is always available to dismantle a defense. With Carlos Dunlap in the mix, Seattle will have a slightly better pass rush.
No. 3: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1)
Tampa Bay had an ugly win on Monday Night Football. If they had been facing any team besides the Giants (or Jets, or Cowboys), the Buccaneers likely lose. The Buccaneers have had some impressive wins (importantly smacking the Packers by 28), but wins such as Monday’s win leave the audience wanting more from the performance. The Buccaneers will be adding Antonio Brown to the mix for their Week 9 clash against the Saints. Tampa Bay has a few kinks to iron out, but they have one of the best rosters in the NFL.
No. 2: Pittsburgh Steelers (+1)
The Steelers are the lone remaining unbeaten team. They have consecutive wins against two teams that were in the top five of the power rankings, and the defense suffocated the reigning MVP into four turnovers. Offensively, James Conner is having his most productive season. Ben Roethlisberger has significantly reduced his turnovers from 2018. The pass-catchers have been terrific at accumulating yards after the catch.
So, why are they not leading the power rankings?
Two words. Patrick Mahomes.
No. 1: Kansas City Chiefs (+0)
One could argue that beating the Jets is not impressive. However, the Jets defense is not the worst part of the team. The Jets have a real NFL-caliber defense.
Well, it was an NFL-caliber defense. Mahomes turned the Jets into 11 tackling dummies as he fired over 400 yards and five touchdowns to demolish New York. He is back, folks.
Tyreek Hill is also back.
However, the underrated cog of the team is the defense. They have allowed more than 20 points once in eight games (Las Vegas). Over the last two seasons, Kansas City is allowing under 20 points per game. Since losing in Nashville during Week 10 of the 2019 season, the Chiefs have allowed more than 25 points just twice. It is time for the defense to be considered elite.
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