At this rate, the NFL is going to run out of bodies. Pretty soon they’ll have to bring in arena football players to finish the season. Miles Sanders, Josh Jacobs and plenty more high-profile players went down in a week where the unexpected could be found across the league. The winless Detroit Lions stuck with the Los Angeles Rams all game, the Tennessee Titans blew out the Kansas Coty Chiefs and the New England Patriots dropped 54 on the New York Jets. With plenty of big teams in bye, let’s try to put all the injuries and storylines into a league-wide perspective. Here are your updated NFL Power Rankings.
NFL Power Rankings: Week 8
1) Arizona Cardinals (7-0) (Last Week: 1)
Was this game ever in doubt? The Arizona Cardinals fell behind early before rattling off 31 unanswered to mpve to 7-0. There was some worry for Arizona, as Kyler Murray was briefly injured. However, he looked just fine when he returned to the game. The Cardinals would normally face a big challenge at home, with the Green Bay Packers on Thursday. However, with Packers star receiver Davante Adams placed on the COVID list Monday, there is little chance he plays. The Packers don’t have enough weapons to make up for it, likely paving the way to an 8-0 start for the Cardinals.
2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-1) (5)
The most interesting thing about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week was wide receiver Mike Evans giving the ball from Tom Brady’s 600th career touchdown pass to a fan. The Buccaneers surprised nobody by stomping the Chicago Bears this week, as their defense completely destroyed the Bears’ offense. With the New Orleans Saints on deck for Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers can create even more separation at the top of the NFC South.
3) Buffalo Bills (4-2) (4)
The Buffalo Bills fell victim to an unfortunate early Week 7 bye this week and did not play. They get an entire extra week to prepare for an already bad Miami Dolphins team. Seeing Miami lost 35-0 last time out at home, there isn’t much hope this week, and the Bills should improve to 5-2. The Bills have an incredibly easy schedule the two weeks after that as well, with the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets on tap. With every other team in the AFC also having at least two losses, the Bills can put themselves in a nice position to grab a first-round bye for the playoffs.
4) Los Angeles Rams (6-1) (2)
It didn’t look good, but the Rams got it done. The defense capitalized on Lions’ quarterback Jared Goff’s errors and survived a quick 10-0 deficit to beat the lowly Detroit Lions, 28-19. There is no doubting the talent this team has on paper, but this was far from a pretty win. Goff threw two picks, Matthew Stafford was excellent and the Rams still needed a late Lions turnover to seal a victory. With the Texans on deck, the Rams have one more game to get their act together before a tough Week 9 assignment against Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans.
5) Dallas Cowboys (5-1) (6)
Like the Bills, the Dallas Cowboys also had an early bye. However, theirs was much more appreciated. Quarterback Dak Prescott got an extra week to rest his leg and Dallas should get back as close to full health as you can get in the NFL. Dallas will travel to Minnesota this week for a Sunday night matchup that pits them against the underwhelming Minnesota Vikings. It may only be Week 8, but the NFC East is already theirs to lose.
6) Green Bay Packers (6-1) (7)
Sound the alarms. After surrendering a touchdown in 15 straight red zone trips to opponents, the Packers stopped Washington four times in a row on Sunday. Although they won 24-10, it’s hard to argue that they needed every single one of those stops. The Packers defense let quarterback Taylor Heinicke run wild, which doesn’t bode well for a Thursday night matchup against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals. With Davante Adams out, the Pack will need to get big games from the rest of their receiving corps to be able to match the firepower of Arizona.
7) Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) (10)
Many were curious how the Cincinnati Bengals would bounce back following their heartbreaking loss to the Packers in overtime. We thought that their cakewalk of a win over the Lions was simply due to how bad the Lions are, but clearly that’s not the whole story. The Bengals beat the Baltimore Ravens to a pulp on Sunday, 41-17, and left little doubt who is currently the best team in the division. In Baltimore, Cincinnati made Lamar Jackson and the Ravens look like the 0-7 Lions, even with Jackson running for over 85 yards. With the Jets on deck, the Bengals should be able to keep the train rolling.
8) Tennessee Titans (5-2) (14)
The same team that lost by 25 to Arizona and to the Jets in overtime just beat the hell out of Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. It didn’t matter where the game was played, the result wasn’t going to change, as Tennessee beat Kansas City in a 27-3 drubbing. By the time Mahomes got knocked out of the game in the fourth, this game was already over. The Titans scored on their first five possessions and held the Chiefs to their fewest points since the 2012-13 season. The Titans don’t have the best resume overall, but they have just beat the Bills and Chiefs in back-to-back weeks. Watch out, NFL.
9) Baltimore Ravens (5-2) (3)
Just when the Ravens make you think they’re new and improved, they pull the rug out from under you. It seems that the close wins over teams like Detroit and Indianapolis weren’t flukes, but their dominant win over the Chargers was. With the Chiefs already 3-4, the Baltimore resume is questionable at best, as that was their biggest win. Was it really that big of a win, or was it us blindly assuming Kansas City was still elite? Either way, the Ravens will have a week to gather their bearings as they are on bye this week.
10) Cleveland Browns (4-3) (9)
There is a pretty steep drop-off after the Ravens, so forgive me if you disagree with the Cleveland Browns at 10. While they only beat the Broncos 17-14, they did so without quarterback Baker Mayfield or running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Third-string running back D’Ernest Johnson was an absolute problem for Denver, as he amassed over 145 rushing yards on just 22 carries. If this team can get healthy, they certainly have the talent to make a deep run. With the Pittsburgh Steelers on deck, it’s time for Cleveland to show the league they are a true contender in the AFC North even with a 4-3 record.