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Week 8 NFL Power Rankings:

Steve Shoup

1. Green Bay Packers: The Packers offense just keeps looking better and better. I still am a naysayer in the 16-0 argument, but this team should win 13-14 games easily.

2. San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers were off this week, but I see no reason for them not to be considered the 2nd best team. Sure their QB situation isn’t ideal, but they are winning some of toughest games so far, and they have probably the easiest schedule to go.

3. New England Patriots: The Pats take the top spot in the AFC with the Ravens falling. New England needs to come out of this bye week and show that they have fixed their issues on defense

4. New Orleans Saints: I dropped the Saints down after last week, but I was curious to see how they’d respond. Well they did so in a big way (even if it was against the Colts), and really could be making a run.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers are creeping back up, and while it isn’t great their offensive line is looking better and giving Roethlisberger some time back there. Pittsburgh isn’t perfect, but they have a lot of talent and are extremely well coached.

6. Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens looked just awful on MNF, and they need to get that passing attack fixed fast if they want to really challenge for a SB.

7. Detroit Lions: The Lions have dropped two in a row now, but they have been to a couple tough teams. The interesting thing to watch will be Matt Stafford’s health. If he is fine then I think this team is okay, if not this year could collapse fast.

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs lost to the Bears this past week, but the team was dealing with some injuries and with the game being played in London it is hard to really knock them for that loss.

9. Buffalo Bills: The Bills had a bye, but they look to be very much in the wild card mix still. They’ve played really good football overall and have a fairly easy schedule going forward.

10. Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys trounced the Rams (not exactly an accomplishment) to improve their record to 3-3. While their record isn’t too impressive, they’ve had a tough schedule that gets easier from this point on, and are still the team to beat in the East.

11. Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons have been playing much better football of late. They still don’t look to be a real contender, but I could see them making the playoffs as a wild card.

12. Houston Texans: The Texans were simply explosive this past week against the Titans and really showed that they can survive with a couple major injuries. I like this team to win the South, and they could be one year away from being a really good contender.

13. New York Giants: The Giants are atop the NFC East, but they’ve had a fairly easy schedule so far. Things toughen up from here on out so it will be interesting to see how they respond.

14. New York Jets: The Jets had a nice come from behind win vs the Chargers, but they still lack the consistency this year to really impress me. Given how competitive the AFC is, it will be tough for them to go to the playoffs.

15. San Diego Chargers: the Chargers had a 21-10 lead against the Jets, but couldn’t hang on. I see some serious holes on the Chargers team and think that they have been exposed when playing good teams. They could win the West this year and make the playoffs, but I don’t see them as a team to fear.

16. Oakland Raiders: The Raiders need to figure out their passing game and hope and pray that Darren McFadden is fine after the bye week.

17. Chicago Bears: Chicago has looked better these last two weeks, but I still wonder if their offensive line or secondary will hold up this year. I think they are about an 8-8 team right now, but a little luck could push them back into the playoff hunt.

18. Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals are 4-2 right now, and while that isn’t sustainable, they could end up with 7 or 8 wins, which is a nice jump for them.

19. Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles have the talent to climb this list quickly and it will be interesting to see how they do after the bye. They should be healthier, and if they rattle off a few wins they are right back in the Division race.

20. Tennessee Titans: The Titans fell to 3-3, and it wasn’t pretty. But given their weak division and fairly easy record I think they could look at 7 wins this year.

21. Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs are looking better of late, but I still don’t like their odds of making a run at the division. I think they’ve lost too much fire power and talent this year, and are going to be a 6-8 win team.

22. Carolina Panthers: The Panthers looked pretty impressive on Sunday against the Redskins, and definitely have the foundation in place to build on for next year.

23. Washington Redskins: While the Skins’ weaknesses of stopping the run, and effectively moving the ball have been exposed these past two weeks, they are even worse shape now considering their injuries. Tim Hightower, Kory Lichtensteiger, and Chris Cooley are now on injured reserve, with Santana Moss out for at least the next 5 weeks. Add in injuries to Trent Williams, London Fletcher and O.J. Atogwe, and things aren’t looking good in Washington. The lack of depth on this team is being exposed, and the Redskins have some tough games coming up.

24. Cleveland Browns: The Browns picked up their 3rd win, but it wasn’t pretty over Seattle this past weekend. Cleveland needs to get more out of their offense going forward.

25. Minnesota Vikings: The Christian Ponder Era has started and it should be the right move for this team going forward. He looked well in a tough start versus Green Bay, and should scratch out a few extra wins for them.

26. Denver Broncos: Denver is rolling the dice with Tim Tebow and while it could get ugly at times, it is smart to figure out what they have long term.

27. Arizona Cardinals: It’s been a rough year so far in Arizona, and it won’t get any easier this week playing @ Baltimore, but this team still has some pretty decent talent. With some divisional games coming up I think they could move their record back up a bit.

28. Jacksonville Jaguars: That was a nice win over Baltimore, but I still question if this team has the offense to really win many more games. Their defense is nice, but not every team will play as poorly as Baltimore did.

29. Seattle Seahawks: This is a rebuilding plan without a doubt in Seattle, but it isn’t easy to watch. They need a few pieces this offseason and it could be an ugly rest of the way.

30. St. Louis Rams: With Sam Bradford hopefully back and receiver Brandon Lloyd in the mix, the Rams could end up with a win or two year year. Other than that there isn’t much to look forward to.

31. Indianapolis Colts: The Colts looked pathetic Sunday night, and this year is going to be pretty painful for them as they will need to rebuild.

32. Miami Dolphins: Another ugly week by Miami as they dropped a 15-0 lead to the Broncos with just a few minutes remaining. On the plus side their “Suck for Luck” strategy is working out brilliantly!

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