Week Eight Rankings

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A formerly unbeaten team finally met its match and there are no longer any teams with perfect records this season, leveling the playing field a little bit more whereas rankings are concerned anyway. Who dominated this week and who was dominated? There’s a new number one in town, or rather one that has returned to form thanks to a foe’s loss. Let’s take a gander at what I’ve got in store today.

First-Rate Kings:

  1. New England Patriots- The Patriots got lucky here because the Cowboys could’ve very well vaulted into the lead if they hadn’t been on a Bye this week. As it was Tom Brady and his crew didn’t have the greatest showing (essentially just meaning Brady didn’t pass for four touchdowns and 400+ yards at this point). They stuffed the Steelers in the second half, but bear in mind that’s a conference rival that was captain-less with Big Ben on the sidelines. +1 6-1
  2. Dallas Cowboys- What a week for the Boys. They didn’t even have to play and they moved up one spot nonetheless thanks to the Vikings getting manhandled by the Eagles. I’m as interested as anyone else is to see how Dak and Zeke perform in the upcoming week, especially since it could be one that sees the return of key offensive players such as Dez (or Romo?). +1 5-1
  3. Minnesota Vikings- Small dip for these guys now that they’re no longer undefeated. They could’ve dropped lower if it hadn’t been for the majority of teams close to them also losing. The team that was supposed to have the greatest defense of them all ironically found themselves losing the defensive match to the Eagles. Meanwhile Sam Bradford passed a LOT and wasn’t so bad but wasn’t really great either. Things still look fine even after their shock. -2 5-1
  4. Arizona Cardinals- Arizona moves up big in part thanks to their absolute domination of Seattle in a game that inevitably ended in a tie thanks to two ineffective offenses and hit or miss (literally) special teams units. It was a historic game, but not necessarily for the reasons most teams would like. Still, David Johnson literally carried his team and although it ended in a tie, it wasn’t a loss at least. +3 3-3-1
  5. Seattle Seahawks- The only reason Seattle moves down one in a week they didn’t lose is because Arizona would’ve definitely won the game if it had come down to statistics alone. While games rarely do, the Seahawks were definitely hurting for yards thanks to costly penalties and their own share of mistakes as well. -1 4-1-1
  6. Philadelphia Eagles- Carson Wentz may not have had quite the statistical day he would’ve liked but the Eagles won regardless. The real reason and the real hero to thank however was surprisingly the Eagles D which came up in a big way and won the defense matchup with the talented Vikings force. It was slow going at times but the Eagles outscored the Vikings 21-10 in their victory. +2 4-2
  7. Atlanta Falcons- The Falcons take a slight dip this week after their second consecutive loss, this time to a team that also knocked off the talented Broncos team which has lost two consecutive games and looks to break that streak. They were dominating the Chargers but eventually gave too much ground away and lost by a frustrating field goal in overtime. Julio Jones was definitely the star here with less than ten receptions for over 170 yards. -2 4-3
  8. Oakland Raiders- The Raiders hop and skip their way into the top ten finally off of a strong performance over the Jacksonville Jaguars who admittedly aren’t a very good team this year, much less a disciplined one (Ramsay?). Michael Crabtree certainly showed the clutch connection he and Derek Carr have been establishing this year and why he’s such a good receiver to trust. +5 5-2
  9. Washington Redskins- I’m leaving the Skins in place as they are even off of a very disheartening loss to the Lions that came quite literally down to the wire. They had completed an already impressive fourth quarter comeback when the Lions (Matt Stafford) completed his own comeback and sealed the deal. Josh Norman is out with a concussion right now but the Skins have been rolling even with this minor setback now. +/- 4-3
  10. Buffalo Bills- The Skins weren’t the only team with a broken streak at the end of the day. The Bills found their four game streak ended thanks to a Miami Dolphins team that has literally run teams over in back to back weeks. To be fair, Tyrod Taylor and the Bills tried even without LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and made it a close game, ultimately losing 28-25. -4 4-3

The B-Movie Crowd:

  1. Denver Broncos- For the time being Denver is staying put even with a solid victory over the Texans in which they prevented the team from scoring a single touchdown. CJ Anderson finally broke one hundred again and Devontae Booker came close to it. Von Miller and Chris Harris Jr. had their way with Brock Osweiler’s mind and the defense came on strong. Still, the play at quarterback wasn’t anything special and offensively they didn’t put many numbers up. +/- 5-2
  2. Green Bay Packers- They may not have started to roll until the fourth quarter where they put the game away against a divisional rival, but the Pack is still getting things together as they go. So whatever issues you might have with Aaron Rodgers and his consistency this year, celebrate the win and Davante Adams’ career day while you’re at it. +/- 4-2
  3. Detroit Lions- Another week and another close one for the Lions who came out on top in a truly clutch fashion. Matt Stafford has always been very hit or miss but for the moment he is hitting all the right notes and looks to be on pace for a career season if he can keep it up and stay healthy as well as consistent. Veteran receiver Anquan Boldin secured yet another win for the Lions in this one. +3 4-3
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers take quite a drop this week in due part because of their loss to the Patriots (which could’ve and should’ve been a lot worse) and also in part thanks to Big Ben’s injury which rendered him unable to play this week as he recovered from leg surgery. This loss was a lot more understandable than last week’s but it still left a lot to be desired offensively with the exception of performances by Brown and Bell. -4 4-3
  5. New York Giants- The Giants won against the Rams but drop one spot thanks to teams leapfrogging them this week. Landon Collins had QUITE the day on defense and personally accounted for two picks of Keenum’s four as well as one of the Giants’ touchdowns which were in short supply and higher demand. Landon had a day in London and the Giants ultimately stuck it out to stay on top of a now floundering team. -1 4-3
  6. Cincinnati Bengals- Sure it was the Browns who have now lost every game so far this season, seriously haven’t even won a single game, but the Bengals notched a divisional win regardless. And it wasn’t close as a lot of the Browns games have been so far. It was a 31-17 affair. So a proper congratulations to the Bengals for beginning what is a somewhat easier second half of the season. +1 3-4
  7. Kansas City Chiefs- Being one of three teams seeking to gain the lead and pull away in the AFC West isn’t a bad thing and neither was another win today for the Chiefs. However they are dropping this week thanks to a poor second half where they accounted for only 6 points to the Saints’ 14 and almost let the team come back and defeat them on the wings of yet another Brees performance. -2 4-2
  8. San Diego Chargers- The Chargers move up in what may be their largest shift all season and it is thanks to yet another good victory over an even better team. This week’s victim was the Falcons whom they roughed up in an overtime victory by three. Even with injured players missing Philip Rivers and his defense is getting things done on both sides of the Chargers’ ball. +6 3-4
  9. New Orleans Saints- The Saints move up even though they lost by a touchdown to the Chiefs this week. It was another Michael Thomas and Drew Brees heavy performance and it was a close one until the end. Drew Brees and Philip Rivers truly know how it is to be on teams that are nearer to the .500 mark each season and yet they still manage to perform at such a high level year to year. +3 3-3
  10. Houston Texans- It was a big night in Mile High but not for the likes of Brock Osweiler’s Texans, nor for the quarterback for that matter. He turned the ball over, failed to scored a single touchdown, and finished the game with a paltry 131 yards on 41 attempts. The Texans couldn’t stop the Broncos’ ground game or their defense and it hurt them all night. +/- 4-3

Third Time Charmless:

  1. Indianapolis Colts- Off of yet another strong performance from both Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton (as well as special guest star Jack Doyle) the Colts secured a victory. Luck and his team have been no doubt frustrated with their offensive line and defensive issues leading to losses early in the season, however they’ve reversed their fortunes for the time being. The Colts pulled away from the Titans to lead by two scores to end the game. +4 3-4
  2. Miami Dolphins- Big leap for these sea creatures as they swam up from the depths for yet another week on the strength of a Jay Ajayi 100×2 showing (again) as well as some special plays from Kenny Stills (black magic no doubt). They edged out a (probably) better Bills team and also put an end to a dour game win streak to boot because what better way to snub a divisional rival? +4 3-4
  3. Tennessee Titans- The main reason the Titans dropped to this spot and not lower off of a busted fourth quarter giveaway to the Colts is because the Ravens were bested by Fitzpatrick and the Jets and the Titans didn’t play quite THAT bad. The so-called “Exotic Smashmouth” showed some neat offerings including an offensive tackle making his way into the endzone but it was little more than that. -4 3-4
  4. Baltimore Ravens- Even with Joe Flacco back this season the Ravens look like they could have a repeat off year if things keep going the way they’re going. After a 3-0 start they’ve now lost four consecutive games which is exactly the kind of streak a team doesn’t want to have at this time or any time in the season. Turn it around somehow guys. -6 3-4
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Congratulations to the Bucs for winning a game and for not having a lightning delay and then subsequently losing the game in the fourth quarter. Granted they played Kap and the struggling 49ers but wins are wins. Jameis and Mike Evans had a good showing as did the ground game even in Doug Martin’s absence for yet another week. +2 3-3
  6. Los Angeles Rams- Case Keenum what were you doing out there? FOUR picks. FOUR. But hey, Ryan Fitzpatrick plays worse so I’ll give you that. The Rams couldn’t really catch a break although they were in the game until the very end in London. Todd Gurley wasn’t able to get much going as his offensive line continues to struggle to provide for him. Put Jared Goff in already and see how he fares. -5 3-4
  7. New York Jets- The Jets are moving back up again! Mind you, they’re far from soaring after just one more win… But Geno Smith went back out with an injury and Ryan Fitzpatrick game in to collective groans but surprisingly played for his job and won the game over the floundering Ravens 24-16. Matt Forte played some very, very good ball. So that’s probably the real reason for the win. +3 2-5
  8. Jacksonville Jaguars- Another loss for the Jags even after last week’s victory boosted their spirits a little bit undoubtedly. This one came at the hands of Derek Carr and the talent in Oakland. Quite honestly I’m surprised the Jags scored as many points as they did but then I’d forgotten Oakland’s struggles in the secondary. Bortles looked a bit better but the team needs to work on its overall discipline as well. -5 2-4
  9. Carolina Panthers- Ouch, not even playing for a week could keep the Panthers from dropping down in the rankings. If they can’t catch a break on a Bye Week then I wonder how they will continue to fare in the weeks to come. Surely they can win at least three more games? Then again only time can tell. At least Newton has his fashion sense and at least Olsen has his stats. -1 1-5
  10. Chicago Bears- In the eternal switch between the Bears, 49ers, and Browns this week’s switchup sees the Bears moving slightly up on the strength of a (mostly) okay battle and loss to the Packers. Mainly, they just didn’t get outscored as badly as the 49ers did nor was it by a worse team. So have at it Bears. Bad news however as Brian Hoyer now has a broken arm. +1 1-6

The Bottomless Pit Club:

  1. San Fransisco 49ers- If I could do it in good conscience I would put these guys below the Browns but of course I can’t seeing as they’ve at least won a game. Honestly the Browns should’ve won several of their closer matchups but then that’s a topic for when I get to them momentarily. Kap had nearly as many rushing yards as passing but this team struggled the whole way and the Bucs just picked that apart. -2 1-6
  2. Cleveland Browns- Well the Indians made it to the World Series so there’s that. And Lebron and crew aren’t looking too shabby either. But the ball club known as the Browns continues to face issues and lose games. They have such talent and potential if only they can stay healthy and stay disciplined. +/- 0-7
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