WHERE EACH TEAM STANDS HEADING INTO WEEK 9
Week 8 is in the books – what a blast! Shootouts, defensive gems and some key injuries defined what was one of the more intriguing weekends of the year so far. Who saw the Packers/Broncos result coming? Liar! Who saw the Falcons losing to the Bucs? Double liar!
NFL Spreads & Matchup Insight
There has been some significant shakeup in the Power Rankings this week – the Packers exit the top 3 and the Bengals sneak closer to the top spot. Will anyone touch the Patriots in this year’s Power Rankings?
Where does your favorite team sit heading into Week 9?
Let’s take a look.
1. New England Patriots (7-0) Last Week – 1
There is absolutely no doubt about the top dog this week – the Patriots look to be on a path toward an undefeated season. With Tom Brady playing the way he is, with Rob Gronkowski absolutely dominating opposing defenses and with Bill Belichick looking to humiliate the league the Pats stand alone.
In Week 8 they make a red-hot Dolphins team look like amateurs – impressive indeed.
2. Cincinnati Bengals (7-0) Last Week 3
The Bengals laid a bit of a dud on Sunday against the Steelers but as all good teams do they found a way to win. It looks like the Bengals gave grown up! On the road in Ben Roethlisberger’s return from injury Cincinnati posted the “W” thanks to a great defensive effort. The Bengals are an incredibly well rounded team – scary as we head into the second half of the season.
3. Denver Broncos (7-0) Last Week – 5
Whew! Never saw this result coming! The Broncos were better than the Packers in every aspect of the game in Week 8 – that’s saying something. Denver’s defense looks like the best in the game, the running game finally showed up and Peyton Manning had his best game of the year. Denver finally looked like a top 5 team and deservedly jumps into the top 3!
4. Carolina Panthers (7-0) Last Week – 4
The Panthers needed overtime to beat the Colts in Week 8 but a win is a win! Cam Newton looks to be in total control and Carolina’s defense, although it sputtered at times Monday night is still one of the very best in the game.
5. Green Bay Packers (6-1) Last Week – 2
The Packers were seriously exposed in Sunday night – they couldn’t get anything going at all on either side of the ball. Aaron Rodgers threw for 77 yards, Eddie Lacy was a disappointment and the previously stout defense was steamrolled.
There is reason for a bit of concern in Green Bay but my thought is that Sunday’s loss will act as a wake-up call for this team.
6. Arizona Cardinals (6-2) Last Week – 7
The Cardinals started slowly on Sunday but were able to put it all together in the second half en route to a win at Cleveland in Week 8. Carson Palmer threw four more TDs on Sunday and the defense locked down in the second half. Arizona is a tough team when they put it all together – just wish they could do it every week!
7. Minnesota Vikings (5-2) Last Week – 9
The Vikings continue their Cinderella run up the Rankings but it wasn’t easy this week – the Bears made life miserable for this team. Still, the defense looked good, Adrian Peterson looked OK and Teddy Bridgewater was able to hit rookie Stefon Diggs who is the biggest difference maker on this team right now. I’m expecting a Vikings fall but right now they are a legit top 10 team!
8. Atlanta Falcons (6-2) Last Week 6
The Falcons haven’t been all that impressive the last three or so weeks – they have lost two of their last three including against the Titans and Zach Mettenberger and the Bucs – not good. At 6-2 the Falcons are still a top 10 team but they are certainly in danger of falling.
9. Seattle Seahawks (4-4) Last Week – 10
The Seahawks have been disappointing – true but two straight wins has them where they should be – firmly in the top 10. We haven’t seen the best of Seattle yet but things are definitely starting to come around. The defense should carry this team into the playoffs again (7 total yards allowed in the 4th quarter in the last 2 games) – let’s hope the offense can shake their slump and finally live up to expectation.
10. New Orleans Saints (4-4) Last Week – 12
The Saints put up an astounding 52 points against the Giants on Sunday for their second straight win. How good was Drew Brees? How about 7 TD passes! The Saints have won two straight games all of a sudden and could make a run at a Wild Card spot in the NFC.
11. New York Jets (4-3) Last Week – 8
Yikes! The Jets not only lost the game Sunday but they also lost Ryan Fitzpatrick. That leaves the underwhelming Geno Smith to carry the load. Teams can now stack the box and take away New York’s biggest weapon – Chris Ivory who has been underwhelming the last couple of weeks. New York is better than they’ve been playing –hopes are that Geno can somehow get off the schnide and live up to his second round hype!
12. St. Louis Rams (4-3) Last Week – 17
As long as Todd Gurley is healthy the Rams will be a threat. He has single-handedly changed the Rams around. He takes pressure off the rest of the offense- heck – even Tavon Austin has been a reliable and dangerous threat. With a stout defense and an emerging offense the Rams could jump into the top 10 in the not-too-distant future.
13. New York Giants (4-4) Last Week – 11
14. Buffalo Bills (3-4) Last Week – 13
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4) Last Week – 14
16. Oakland Raiders (4-3) Last Week – 20
17. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) Last Week – 16
18. Indianapolis Colts (3-5) Last Week – 18
19. Kansas City Chiefs (3-5) Last Week – 19
20. Miami Dolphins (3-4) Last Week – 15
21. Dallas Cowboys (2-5) Last Week – 21
22. Baltimore Ravens (2-6) Last Week – 25
22. Washington Redskins (3-4) Last Week – 23
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) Last Week – 28
24. Chicago Bears (2-5) Last Week – 22
26. Cleveland Browns (2-6) Last Week – 26
27. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5) Last Week – 27
28. San Diego Chargers (2-6) Last Week – 24
29. Houston Texans (3-5) Last Week – 31
30. Tennessee Titans (1-6) Last Week – 32
31. San Francisco 49ers (2-6) Last Week – 30
32. Detroit Lions (1-7) Last Week – 29
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