Another week of NFL action is in the books as we get ready for the showdown Sunday between the Pats and the Colts in Indy. Here we go with our week eight power rankings. If a team was ranked a week ago, their ranking will be next to their name.
NFC Top 5
1. Dallas (1) – Tony Romo gets a fat new deal, the Cowboys get a week off, and things seem smooth in Dallas. The Cowboys had better watch their backs though, as the Giants are coming on strong, and the two play each other in two weeks in New York. Before that though the big game in the NFC East this week has the Cowboys going to Philly for a Sunday night showdown with the Eagles.
2. Green Bay (2) – What a way to wrap up the week, with Packers QB Brett Favre and WR Greg Jennings connecting on an 82-yard score to lead the Pack to an OT win over the Broncos on Monday night. The Packers O-line controlled this game, as they had a big night running the ball and Favre hit two big plays. A big game awaits them in KC this weekend.
3. New York Giants (3) – In that slop of a field in London, the Giants did what they had to do to pull out an ugly 13-10 win and go into the bye at 6-2. They’ve been here before, only to collapse in the second half. This year though the injuries have not beaten them up like in years past, and the defense is still playing well. The Cowboys game in two weeks will be very interesting.
4. Detroit (-) – Yes Jon, we were all wrong, and you were right. Remember when Jon Kitna said they would win 10 games? Well, unless this team goes in the tank, the Lions look like a 10-win team at least with a very real shot at either a division title or at least a wild card spot in the not so solid NFC. The return of Kevin Jones was big for this team, and they are sky high after sweeping the Bears with a win this past weekend.
5. Seattle (-) – The Hawks move into the 5th slot with a bye last week, and they have a one game lead over the Cardinals in the NFC West. This week they have a shot to get some big numbers put up on offense when they play in Cleveland against a Browns team that is sitll struggling on defense. Their defense though will be tested and can’t fall asleep against the improving Browns offense.
NFC Bottom 3
1. St.Louis (1) – This was the week for the Rams, they had it all going their way when, as usual, the bottom dropped out. They were up 14-0, had the running game going, and had the Browns on the run. Then Steven Jackson left with a lower back injury, and QB Marc Bulger also left the game, and the defense went backwords. 20 points should be enough to win at home, but some questionable play calling at the end sealed their fate to fall to 0-8.
2. Atlanta (2) – The Falcons had the bye this week, but most of the talk around town was about the release of DT Grady Jackson and the fallout from that. DeAngelo Hall was as outspoken as ever, and Monday he and coach Bobby Petrino tried to settle their issues in a metting. This Sunday’s game at home vs the 49’ers is a very winnable game.
3. San Francisco (3) – San Fran continues to go the other way after starting the season 2-0. They have lost 5 in a row, and this past week even had the embaressment of kicker Joe Nedney flipping off the fans after a kickoff went out of bounds. Alex Smith’s return to the lineup did little for an offense that is still wheezing to find points anywhere on the field.
AFC Top 5
1. New England (1) – Let the video game season continue for the Pats, as this past Sunday they made a joke of the Redskins, winning 52-7. Here’s some numbers to chew on: 41.4 points per game on offense, 15.9 allowed on defense, 439 yards per game on offense, 268 allowed on defense. I have no clue as to how the Colts are going to be able to stop them.
2. Indianapolis (2) – This would be the best team in the league by far if the Pats were not around. This week they have a shot to prove to everyone what they are made of when they meet in Indy. No question that the Pats are playing better, but the Colts have not really had many issues of their own. We’ll see if they have the defense to put a dent in Tom Brady’s armor.
3. Pittsburgh (3) – Too bad the Steelers were not in the NFC, they would be the favorites to make it to the Super Bowl. Nevertheless, Mike Tomlin is making fools out of everyone who thought he was a bad pick, as the Steelers are clearly the 3rd best team in the conference. Sunday they put the rest the thought of the Bengals getting back in the race, and with home games the next two weeks vs the Ravens and Browns, they can basically clinch the AFC North by Thanksgiving.
4. Tennessee (4) – They don’t look pretty doing it, but the Titans got a huge 13-9 home win vs the Raiders and are on pace for a wild card in the AFC in 2007. The defense is sick, and the running game is very good, but the passing game simply has to get better if they are going to get to the next level. Vince Young has to start playing better, botom line, if the Titans are going to make some noise in January.
5. Jacksonville (-) – The Jags stunned a lot of people with a 24-23 win in Tampa Bay Sunday. Their defense helped out the offense with a couple of turnovers, and give credit to Quinn Gray, as he didn’t make mistakes to lose the game. If Gray and the team can weather the storm till David Garrard gets back, the Jags will also be looking good for a playoff spot in the conference.
AFC Bottom 3
1. Miami (1) – A “home game” in London turned into the Muck Bowl, as with rain falling the Dolphins offense was stuck in the mud, and didn’t score till late in the third quarter of their 13-10 loss. About the only thing this team has to look forward to is when they finally push rookie John Beck in the lineup at QB. Cleo Lemon is showing why he’s not the QB of the future, and this team is going to challenge St.Louis for the #1 pick in April.
2. New York Jets (2) – The Jets finally made the move they should have made 2-3 weeks ago, naming Kellen Clemens as the starter for Sunday’s game vs Washington. This past week the offense was again held in check by a Bills team that they on paper look better than. 3 points?! Eric Mangini is starting to feel a little heat after a honeymoon that saw this team win 10 games a season ago.
3. Cincinnati (3) – For a team with as much talent as they have, the Bengals cleary may be the league’s most underachieving bunch. Sunday they allowed way too many key plays to the Steelers, who have beaten the Bengals seven straight times in Cincy. The offense still makes big mistakes, and even coach Marvin Lewis threw in the towel with his decision to kick a field goal with a 4th-and-1 from the Steelers two.