Tampa Bay Buccaneers Examiner J.J. Rodriguez breaks down Week 8 action and adjusts his power rankings accordingly.
(previous rank in parentheses)
1. New England (4) 6-1–Top dog for now, but they’ll have their hands full in the second half of the season with notable games against Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Green Bay and the Jets still to come.
2. Baltimore (3) 5-2–They host road-warriors Miami this weekend, who are a perfect 4-0 away from S. Florida this season.
3. Indianapolis (6) 5-2–The Colts were clearly the better team in their rematch against Houston, which is scary when you consider Peyton is working without several of his usual targets.
4. Pittsburgh (2) 5-2–Big Ben was going to struggle at some point this season, so the poor performance against New Orleans isn’t very alarming.
5. N.Y. Jets (1) 5-2–Getting shutout at home is never a good thing, especially when you’re coming off a bye week.
6. N.Y. Giants (5) 5-2–Four straight wins have quieted the critics and have helped the Giants to the NFC’s best record.
7. Atlanta (7) 5-2–The Matt Ryan-Roddy White tandem has proven to be difficult to contain, as the Falcons have the NFL’s 6th-best offense.
8. Green Bay (9) 5-3–Didn’t score very much against the Jets last weekend, but won thanks to a stout defensive showing.
9. New Orleans (10) 5-3–Their win over the Steelers showcased what kind of team most expected the Saints to be this season.
10. Kansas City (11) 5-2–It didn’t look pretty waiting until the closing seconds of O.T. to seal the deal against Buffalo, but a win is a win.
11. Houston (8) 4-3–For a team that seems unstoppable at times, when the Texans have lost this season they have looked lost and unprepared.
12. Miami (16) 4-3–The Dolphins continue to prosper away from home, winning all four road games this season.
13. Philadelphia (13) 4-3–The Eagles will have their hands full against the surging Colts this weekend, although the return of WR DeSean Jackson should help.
14. Tennessee (12) 5-3–RB Chris Johnson has had a very good year, but has fallen well short of his own expectations of running for 2,500 yards this season.
15. Tampa Bay (18) 5-2–All of that “best team in the NFC” talk will have to be backed up this weekend, as they face the Falcons in Atlanta with division bragging rights on the line.
16. Washington (14) 4-3–Let me get this straight coach Shanahan: QB Rex Grossman gives you a better chance of winning late in the game than Donovan McNabb? Rex Grossman? Really?
17. Chicago (15) 4-3–The Bears better figure things out quickly before the Packers run away with the division. First order of business: figuring out how to protect QB Jay Cutler.
18. St. Louis (19) 4-4–QB Sam Bradford has instantly made the Rams contenders in the wide-open NFC West.
19. Oakland (20) 4-4–Don’t look now, but the Raiders believe in what they’re doing and have won their last two games by a combined score of 92-17.
20. Jacksonville (21) 4-4–QB David Garrard put together the type of game against Dallas that Jags fans have been yearning for, throwing for 260 yards and four TDs.
21. Seattle (17) 4-3–They have been outscored in their three losses by 64 combined points, or 21 points per. Next up? The Giants this weekend…good luck with that.
22. San Diego (25) 3-5–Arguably the most talented team in the NFL, which makes their 3-5 record all the more baffling. Tough road test this weekend in Houston.
23. Arizona (24) 3-4–Turnovers last weekend against the Bucs cost them a chance to win the game, including the decisive INT late in the game.
24. Detroit (29) 2-5–The return of QB Matthew Stafford makes the Lions a dangerous team to face in the second-half of the season.
25. Cincinnati (22) 2-5–T.O. hauled in two TDs, but it still wasn’t enough to stop the Bengals’ losing streak, now at four games.
26. Cleveland (26) 2-5–Not all is lost for football in the state of Ohio. After all, they still have the Buckeyes.
27. Minnesota (23) 2-5–Brett Favre can only be to blamed for so much. At some point the rest of the team will have to own up to their collective shortcomings.
28. San Francisco (31) 2-6–It took an international game in London to get their second win of the season.
29. Denver (27) 2-6–QB Kyle Orton and WR Brandon Lloyd continue to put up video game-like numbers, but it hasn’t been enough to win more than two games.
30. Dallas (28) 1-6–What else can be said that hasn’t already been opined about the disappointing Cowboys?
31. Carolina (30) 1-6–32nd ranked scoring offense (12.1/gm), 32nd ranked total offense (251.4/gm) and 31st ranked passing offense (165.9/gm). In otherwords, they are as bad their record indicates.
32. Buffalo (32) 0-7–The poor Bills have lost back-to-back road games in overtime against much better teams (Baltimore, K.C.). But for all the games they’ve lost this season, they have found themselves a QB in Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has thrown for 1,200 yards and 12 TDs in five starts.
Questions? Comments? Hate the rankings? Submit your thoughts below or e-mail J.J. at BucsExaminer@gmail.com