Thursday, October 24, 2013

2013 NFL Power Rankings: Week 8

At the beginning of October, when I made my October season predictions, I decided to make the super bold prediction of predicting a perfect season for the Denver Broncos. Oops. It appears that Jim Irsay knew exactly what to do this week in order get inside Peyton's head and help the Colts get the victory. You have a feeling that we'll see a rematch of that game come playoff time, and that game should be fantastic. Meanwhile, a Broncos loss means we have a new number one this week. We also have a whole slew of mediocre teams that makes you think we already know what the playoff picture is going to look like come January.

1- Kansas City Chiefs - 7-0 (+1) - I don't actually know how long this is going to last with the Chiefs being number one. It'll at least last the next three weeks as they play the Browns and Bills before taking their bye week. But hey, the Chiefs have been winning with defense and a good running game, which many say is the recipe for a championship. As the only undefeated team, they definitely deserve this top spot.

2- Denver Broncos - 6-1 (-1) - It turns out the Broncos are human after all, but I won't drop them too far after a tough loss to a good Colts team. Tides have turned, though, and now they are chasing the Chiefs for the AFC West title. They get the Chiefs in weeks 11 and 13, which will be surrounded by games against the Chargers and Patriots. The Broncos will get the chance to make up some ground here.

3- New Orleans Saints - 5-1 (+1) - The Saints got a week off to try to figure out what happened in Foxboro. Now they are up and running again and will get games against the Bills, Jets, and Cowboys. That should push them to 8-1 going into their big matchup with the Niners in week 11.

4- Seattle Seahawks - 6-1 (+1) - Thursday night in the desert went well like was expected and now they get to travel to St. Louis after having a few extra days off to face a suddenly depleted Rams team. And really they won't get challenged again until week 13 when the Saints come to town, so that should help their bid to make the NFC go through Seattle.

5- Indianapolis Colts - 5-2 (+1) - That was a huge statement win for the Colts on Sunday and now it looks like that AFC South is a done deal. If it weren't for them disappearing against the Chargers the week before, I would've been tempted to put them higher.

6- San Francisco 49ers - 5-2 (+1) - The Niners are now riding a four game winning streak and they will take that streak into the first of two straight bye weeks that they have coming up. Oh wait, that first bye week is actually against the Jags, but same thing right?

7- Green Bay Packers - 4-2 (+4) - No Randall Cobb, no James Jones, no problem, right? Or are the Browns just that bad? Probably a bit of both. One thing's for sure, the Packers really need to retire those putrid retro jerseys.

8- Cincinnati Bengals - 5-2 (+2) - Once again, the Bengals find a way to win a close game, which was impressive against a good Lions team. They'll ride that luck right to the division title because there really is no other competition. Come playoffs, though, if they don't want to get blasted out of the water, they will need to actually put up impressive performances.

9- New England Patriots - 5-2 (-6) - Ouch. I certainly had this Patriots team way too high last week and after that loss against the Jets, I'm feeling generous by keeping them in the top 10. They play Miami and Pittsburgh in the next two weeks, so maybe they will be able to gain some confidence back.

10- Detroit Lions - 4-3 (-2) - Tough loss against a decent Bengals team. They could've really used that when to keep them afloat in the NFC North. The Cowboys will be in town as Dez tries to walk the walk after claiming he's just as good as Megatron.

11- Chicago Bears - 4-3 (-2) - Where on earth did the legendary Bears defense go on Sunday? It's a rare occasion when you witness the Bears give up over 40 points in a single game. What's worse is that Jay Cutler has once again gone down with injury. With the Packers and Lions looming on the horizon, that was bad timing.

12- Dallas Cowboys - 4-3 (+3) - Well the Eagles team really didn't show up against the Cowboys, so that was a freebie win. But given that the Eagles were the Cowboys' only competition for the divisional crown, that was a pretty good freebie to get.

13- San Diego Chargers - 4-3 (+4) - For the first time this season, the Chargers got two wins in a row. Or maybe just 1 1/2, since that second win was against the Jags. There's going to be no catching the Broncos or the Chiefs, but perhaps the Chargers can make it three from the AFC West to make the playoffs. Their only competition right now for that seems to be the Jets. Strange world.

14- New York Jets - 4-3 (+7) - Yeah, you read that last paragraph right. Could the Jets make the playoffs? It's actually possible. Especially if they have more games like Sunday's game. If they can somehow make it through the Bengals and Saints in their next two games, their remaining schedule is all against non-playoff teams.

15- Buffalo Bills - 3-4 (+7) - Leading our slew of mediocre teams in this weeks power rankings is the Bills of Buffalo. That was an impressive win in Miami. They better enjoy this spot while it lasts, though, because next on the schedule is the Saints and the Chiefs.

16- Tennessee Titans - 3-4 (-3) - The Titans played decent in about a quarter and a half in that game against the Niners. But they are going to have to do better than that if they want to actually start winning these tough games that they have been surprisingly competitive in. They could also really use Chris Johnson right now. He seems to have forgotten how to play running back.

17- Carolina Panthers - 3-3 (+6) - After knocking Sam Bradford out of the Rams game, the panthers picked up their first back to back win of the season.They have huge divisional games up next against the Bucs and the Falcons that they desperately need to win because after that their schedule starts to be super mean to them.

18- Baltimore Ravens - 3-4 (-4) - The Ravens and Steelers game is always close, but unfortunately a Ravens loss in that game has made catching the Bengals seem like an impossible task. That last wild card spot is still up for grabs, though, so they need to pick things up they want to avoid missing the playoffs following their inspiring Super Bowl run.

19- Miami Dolphins - 3-3 (-7) - It seems like so long ago when I had the Dolphins close to my top 5, with the idea in mind that they could fight the Patriots for the division title. And now they are on a dangerous three game slide after allowing the Bills to take advantage of them. If they want to get back on track, a win in Foxboro this upcoming Sunday is a must.

20- Arizona Cardinals - 3-4 (-1) - It wasn't a bad loss for the Cards on Thursday night football, but a loss is a loss and it looks like the Cards will continue to stay stuck in the basement of the NFC West.

21- Cleveland Browns - 3-4 (-5) - Jason Campbell will get his first go as starter for the Browns on Sunday and surely he can't be much worse than the ancient Brandon Weeden, right? Although it may be tough to judge him in his first Browns start. Browns will be travelling to Arrowhead to play the Chiefs on Sunday.

22- Philadelphia Eagles - 3-4 (-4) - The Eagles really need Michael Vick back because it has just been a disaster without him. Matt Barkley looked awful in his pro debut. The loss to the Cowboys hurt pretty bad, but the division is still in reach if they can somehow wake up.

23- Houston Texans - 2-5 (+1) - After starting 2-0, the Texans have now lost five straight games. And although the game against the Chiefs was a loss just like the other four, at least they didn't throw a pick six. And have they found something with Case Keenum? He actually looked really good against the Chiefs.

24- Oakland Raiders - 2-4 (-1) - The Raiders got a week off after getting torched by the Chiefs. Good news for them is that they get the Steelers, Eagles, and Giants in their next three games,  so it's time for Terrelle Pryor to have some fun.

25- Atlanta Falcons - 2-4 (+1) - Sunday was a step in the right direction for the Falcons, although it was only the Bucs that they beat and the second half wasn't too pretty. They get a two game road trip against the Cardinals and Panthers. They really need to take those two games if they want to get some confidence again.

26- St. Louis Rams - 3-4 (-6) - And just like that, the Rams' season is over. They already didn't have a running back, but now with Sam Bradford out for the season, they will have Kellen Clemmens, Brady Quinn, and Andrew Davis at quarterback to lead that running back-less team. On a worse note, the Seahawks will be in town to give them a good old-fashioned beatdown.

27- Washington Redskins - 2-4 ( +1) - Wow! Where did that offensive performance come from? I'm not ready to shoot them up the board because I want to see them do that again before I declare the old RG3 of last year back again. The other side of that game was that they had no defense show up against the Bears, which is troublesome, since Jay Cutler got knocked out early on.

28- Pittsburgh Steelers - 2-4 (+1) - Well, the Steelers now have two straight wins. With a trip to Oakland on the schedule next, can they make it three in a row? It's too little, too late, but at least they have a bit of Steeler pride again.

29- New York Giants - 1-6 (+1) - Do the Giants get credited for the win on Monday night or just doing enough to not lose? But hey, it sure must feel good for the G-Men to finally be out of that winless hole, even if it did come against an awful Viking team.

30- Minnesota Vikings - 1-5 (-3) - What in the Josh Freeman happened Monday night? Josh Freeman better be grateful that I am not the GM for the Vikings, because I would send him right back on the streets after a performance like that.. I could've played quarterback on Sunday and done a better job than Freeman.

31- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 0-6 (+0) - Not much to say here except for another loss given to the Buccaneers. And when it rains it certainly pours. Not only do they not really have a quarterback, but they also lost their running back for the next several games at least.

32- Jacksonville Jaguars - 0-7 (+0) - After looking like somewhat of a decent football team against the Broncos that actually might figure out how to win a football game, it was back to nothing against the Chargers. Seriously, I think 0-16 is possible for this team.

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