Week 8 of the 2020 NFL season is in the book and now it’s time for everyone’s favorite meaningful exercise: NFL Power Rankings! Let’s take a look at how all 32 teams stack up. (Don’t forget to hear me talking about the league’s landscape on my national podcast: The ODDcast!)
BLG’S NFL WEEK 9 POWER RANKINGS
1 - Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week: 1) - The Steelers are 7-0 for the second time in franchise history. The last time they started this hot, they went on to beat Dallas in Super Bowl XIII. Pittsburgh’s defense didn’t have their best day with 457 yards allowed but they did come up with four takeaways and a big fourth down stop late in the fourth quarter.
2 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 2) - They covered a 20-point spread against the NFL’s only winless team. Patrick Mahomes threw five touchdowns to bring him up to 20 on the year … and just one pick. Turns out he’s still kinda good.
3 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 3) - Seattle was on track to have their lowest opponent scoring output of the season before allowing a garbage time touchdown. Russell Wilson rebounded nicely from last week’s struggles by throwing four touchdowns to zero interceptions in this one. Loss to Arizona was a blip on the radar.
4 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 5) - Trailed a one-win NYG team for most of the night and almost got taken to overtime. Hardly made their case as the NFC’s best team. On the bright side, they’re currently the No. 2 seed.
5 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 8) - The Saints sure aren’t scoring many style points. Their last five games have been decided by one possession. Their last three were decided by three points and two of those games went into overtime. They are ultimately finding ways to win but there are real questions about just how good this team is. Big opportunity ahead to go 2-0 against the Bucs this year and hold that tiebreaker atop the NFC South.
6 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 7) - They moved the ball well on Pittsburgh’s tough defense and had a legitimate shot to knock off the NFL’s top team. But Lamar Jackson is eventually going to have to come up bigger in a really big moment. Four turnovers, including a pick-six, obviously isn’t gonna cut it.
8 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 4) - Two straight losses for the Titans has them dropping out of the top five. They were down by as much as three possessions in this one. Things don’t get much easier coming up: vs. Chicago, vs. Indy, at Baltimore, and vs. Indy again. Going to need to bounce back to avoid a bigger losing streak.
9 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 10) - Good bye week for Arizona in terms of the NFC playoff picture. They saw key losses from LAR, Chicago, San Fran, Detroit, and Carolina. They’ll return from their week of rest to host Miami.
10 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 11) - Josh Allen was on fire for the first four weeks of the season. Then he was bad for the next four. Buffalo still has the AFC East lead going for them but it’s hard to take the Bills seriously as a real championship contender.
11 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 16) - Tua Tagovailoa’s debut wasn’t very impressive: 12/22 (54.5%), 93 yards (4.3 average), 1 TD, 0 INT, 80.3 passer rating, 1 fumble lost. And yet the Dolphins comfortably beat LAR anyway. Brian Flores certainly belongs in Coach of the Year conversation. Just going to need Tua to be better to make a serious playoff push … if that’s even truly the goal.
12 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 9) - Tough spot for the Rams. Had to travel to the East Coast on short rest to face a team coming off their bye. Still, Jared Goff’s struggles are concerning. 78.3 passer rating through his last three starts.
13 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 15) - Philip Rivers has six touchdowns to just one interception in his last two starts. Still got something left in the tank after all. Meanwhile, Indy’s defense held Detroit’s running backs to just eight yards on 11 carries. Pretty impressive.
14 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 14) - The Raiders won a game in which their leading receiver had 28 yards. Josh Jacobs going off for 128 yards and one touchdown helped out. Big win for Vegas to stay in the playoff hunt.
15 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 12) - Loss to Las Vegas could be costly in the AFC playoff picture. One would’ve thought Cleveland’s rushing attack would’ve aided them in a game where extreme wind limited passing opportunities but they got beat at their own strategy.
16 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 13) - The 49ers have been a weird team to figure out. With Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle set to miss more time, though, one would expect more losses are on the way. They’ve got some tough games coming up.
17 - Chicago Bears (LW: 17) - Nick Foles since taking over as a full-time starter: two wins, three losses, five touchdowns, six interceptions, and a 78.1 passer rating. Losses to NO and LAR could damage Chicago’s playoff positioning based on tiebreakers. No guarantee they even make the postseason.
19 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 24) - Kirk Cousins only had to throw the ball 14 times with Dalvin Cook rushing for 163 yards and three touchdowns on his 30 carries. Cook also had two receptions for 63 yards and another score. Beast.
20 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 18) - Weekly entry: it’ll be interesting to see what Matt Rhule can do when he has a real franchise quarterback to work with. I like Gregg Rosenthal’s comparison of Rhule’s Teddy Bridgewater to Andy Reid’s Alex Smith in KC. Carolina needs to find their version of Mahomes.
23 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 21) - The Eagles only scored 15 offensive points against an NFL-worst defense that was surrendering 33 offensive points per game. Carson Wentz turned the ball over four times against the NFL’s worst team at taking the ball away. The defense did their part against Ben DiNucci but this was a pretty uninspiring win. Hence the Eagles dropping two spots.
24 - Denver Broncos (LW: 26) - Still not a big believer in Drew Lock but he did lead a nice comeback to keep Denver’s season on life support. Denver might be able to get to .500 with Atlanta up next.
25 - New England Patriots (LW: 22) - Cam Newton has four times as many turnovers (eight) as touchdown passes (two) this season. His red zone fumble cost the Pats a chance to at least go to overtime, if not win the game outright. Massive loss that cost them the chance of staying alive in the AFC East.
27 - Washington Football Team (LW: 27) - Washington returns from their bye to host the G-Men, who are coming off short rest. They only narrowly lost to New York a couple weeks ago. They’ll be 3-5 and in the mix for the NFC East lead if they can find a way to win this time.
28 - New York Giants (LW: 31) - We’ll give the Giants a moral victory here since they played relatively well against the Bucs and almost took them to overtime. They’re looking more competent than some of the NFL’s very worst teams.
29 - Houston Texans (LW: 25) - Their only win this season came over the Jags. Decent chance they’ll be able to pick up another of those over Jacksonville this week.
30 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 29) - Well, the defense wasn’t a total disgrace this week! But that was probably more about Philly being inept. The offensive outlook still isn’t encouraging even if Andy Dalton is able to return. The Cowboys are staring 2-7 in the face with Pittsburgh up next.
31 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 30) - With Gardner Minshew injured, the Jags will be starting sixth-round rookie Jake Luton against Houston. On track for seven straight losses.
32 - New York Jets (LW: 32) - Zero wins through the first half of the season. Need to stay the course to lock up the No. 1 pick. Joe Douglas has been doing his part to assist tanking by selling veterans for draft picks.