As we approach week 8 in the NFL, things are looking more and more like we expected them to. 2010 playoff teams like the Jets, Falcons and Chiefs have all played themselves back into contention over the last few weeks, while the surprise teams like Washington, Detroit and Oakland have started to regress.
Of those teams, the Lions are probably the most concerning. I think we knew Washington was a bit of a fluke and while the Raiders weren't it's not surprising to see them collapse without a viable quarterback (which Carson Palmer really wasn't and probably won't be this season). The Lions are talented, but we've now see them fail two big tests against NFC contenders at home. That's not how a true contender handles its business.
So, here are week 8 power rankings after the jump.
2) New England Patriots - They travel to Pittsburgh this week for what should make for the most intriguing matchup of this Sunday. LW (2)
3) New Orleans Saints - It may have been against the worst team in the league, but anytime you put up 60+ on a team, that's impressive. (LW 8)
4) San Francisco 49ers - Held their place in the ranks during the bye as several of the other top teams around them lost. (LW 4)
5) Pittsburgh Steelers - They face Baltimore, New England and Cincy in the next three weeks. We'll know a lot about this team at the end of that stretch. (LW 9)
8) Detroit Lions - The Lions have now dropped two straight at home and have been exposed after their great start. (LW 5)
9) San Diego Chargers - It wasn't a terrible loss to the Jets this week, but did affirm my fear that this Charger team is just kinda ok. (LW 6)
10) New York Jets - Two straight wins and the Jets are showing some signs of life. (LW 13)
14) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Just as some teams like Atlanta and the Jets are starting to get consistent, the Bucs are still erratic. (LW 7)
15) Cincinnati Bengals - Did you know the Bengals are 4-2? Probably not right? This was another team many saw as a #1 pick contender. But before Bengals fans complain too much about the lack of respect, three of their wins have come against teams with a combined 3-13 record. (LW 14)
18) Oakland Raiders - They completely fell apart at the QB position and Carson Palmer looked every bit like a guy who hadn't played football in a year. (LW 12)
19) Philadelphia Eagles - After a bye week, they get Dallas at home in a game that can really be a signal that they've turned things around. (LW 18)
20) Kansas City Chiefs - The Chiefs have won three straight and seem to have righted the ship after their awful start. They could actually find themselves in first place next week. (LW 27)
23) Cleveland Browns - They won ugly at Seattle and I mean ugly. Like, hideously. (LW 26)
24) Jacksonville Jaguars - You have to be impressed by the way they played defense against the Ravens Monday night. The Baltimore offense has been good this year and the Jags nearly shut them out. (LW 25)
29) Minnesota Vikings - Not a particularly good first start for Christian Ponder, but it was against the best team in the leauge. Plus, they might as well have him go through growing pains now. (LW 29)
30) Miami Dolphins - Of the three winless teams so far, Miami needs Andrew Luck the most. (LW 30)