2014 NFL Power Rankings: Week 8

Already, the season is nearing it's halfway point.


1. Denver Broncos (2) (5-1). The Broncos are an offensive machine. They have ran through two injured NFC West defenses, scoring 41 points each against the Cardinals and 49ers. The upcoming Thursday Night game against the Chargers could go a long way towards sealing up the AFC West.

2. Dallas Cowboys (3) (6-1). The Cowboys continue to lead the NFL in time of possession and DeMarco Murray set a record for 100 yard games to begin the season. Dallas doesn't really face any strong run defenses, so this could be a truly special regular season for the Cowboys if they stick with their philosophy.

3. Baltimore Ravens (8) (5-2). Perhaps no team in the NFL is playing as well on both sides of the ball as Baltimore. They lead the NFL in points per game allowed and are sixth in the league in points per game scored.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (6) (5-1). Bye.

5. Indianapolis Colts (4) (5-2). With perhaps the easiest remaining schedule in football, it would be a major disappointment if the Colts did not win 11 or 12 games. This offense is built to hang with the big boys, but is the defense?

6. San Diego Chargers (1) (5-2). The Chargers have struggled against the Raiders and Chiefs, and now have a big time challenge against the Broncos. In an ever improving AFC, a two game losing streak would sting.

7. Detroit Lions (9) (5-2). This was only the second time the Lions have allowed more than 17 points. Good teams find ways to win when they play bad, and this was a game the Lions teams of the past would not have won. Once they get Calvin Johnson back the offense should be just fine. This team is for real.

8. Green Bay Packers (11) (5-2). Since getting shut down by the Lions during week 3, the Packers have averaged 36 points per game, and three of those four victories were by at least 21 points. Aaron Rodgers is up to 18 touchdowns against 1 interception on the year.

9. Seattle Seahawks (5) (3-3). Seattle's defense has not been playing well recently, and the Seahawks fell victim to a couple crazy trick plays, but it is too early for me to write them off yet. Getting Marshawn Lynch more involved on offense will help, especially without Percy Harvin.

10. Arizona Cardinals (13) (5-1). Larry Fitzgerald is a clear third on the offensive pecking order in Phoenix behind Michael Floyd and Andre Ellington, and could fall to fourth if John Brown continues to improve. That is as much of a compliment on a talented offense as it is as Fitzgerald's declining skills.

11. New England Patriots (12) (5-2). The Patriots traded for Akeem Ayers in an attempt to stop the bleeding caused by the loss of Jerod Mayo. This team will have to continue to rely on their offense, which has been on point these last few weeks.

12. Kansas City Chiefs (20) (3-3). The Chiefs are a good team and will compete for the playoffs, but I cannot see this team advancing very far. Alex Smith just refuses to throw the ball down the field and attack defenses, and it is hard to win in the playoffs with such a one dimensional attack.

13. Miami Dolphins (18) (3-3). What a difference a year makes. The Dolphins offensive line has vastly improved, opening holes for a determined Lamar Miller and keeping Ryan Tannehill upright.
14. San Francisco 49ers (7) (4-3). The 49ers have simply not been good this year. The secondary has major issues and the offense is not explosive enough to win many shootouts.

15. Cincinnati Bengals (10) (3-2-1). How good is AJ Green? The Bengals managed 150 yards and zero points without him. This defense has fallen apart in a hurry, and a 3-0 start seems like ages ago.

16. Buffalo Bills (17) (4-3). There is a strong possibility CJ Spiller's Buffalo career has come to an end with a thud. The Bills coaching staff never quite learned how to use the upcoming free agent's dynamic talent.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers (21) (4-3). The Steelers defense is a mess, but Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell continue to impress, and Martavis Bryant could be a key contributor in the second half. This offense will keep the Steelers in the mix all season.

18. Carolina Panthers (14) (3-3-1). What happened to the great Panthers defense from 2013? Since their impressive 2-0 start, they have given up 37, 38, 24, 37 and 38 points. Yikes. Luckily for them it looks like 7 or 8 wins can win this division this year.

19. New York Giants (19) (3-4). The Giants started out terribly, turned it on, and have now put up two clunkers in a row. This team is impossible to figure out, but you can never count out another big run with this team.

20. Cleveland Browns (15) (3-3). The Browns would probably be 4-2 right now if Mike Pettine did not pull the bonehead coaching decision of the season and go for it instead of giving the Browns a possible 9-0 lead.

21. Chicago Bears (16) (3-4). With perhaps the most talented set of skill position players in football, it is baffling that the Bears are in the middle of the pack in most offensive statistical categories.

22. New Orleans Saints (22) (2-4). The Saints offense is just not that good without All Pro Jimmy Graham. Fortunately for the Saints their division is still very winnable. Unfortunately, they cannot win on the road and their playoff stay will likely be a very short one.

23. Houston Texans (23) (3-4). The Texans last three losses have come by seven points or less. They have good talent on both sides of the ball, but without solid quarterback play, they will not win many close games.

24. St. Louis Rams (29) (2-4). The Rams had an NFL record 1 sack through their first five games, but got to Russell Wilson 3 times on Sunday. St. Louis has played the Cowboys, Eagles and 49ers pretty tough, but a brutal schedule and even more brutal defense will mean the rebuilding project marches on.

25. Washington Redskins (26) (2-5). Kirk Cousins sure went from Lou Gehrig to Robert Griffin III's Wally Pipp to career backup in a hurry. When you lose your starting job to Colt McCoy, you know you will never be starting material.

26. Minnesota Vikings (25) (2-5). The Vikings dropped 34 and 41 points in their two wins. Other than that, they have failed to score more than one touchdown. The coaching staff has completely failed to get their only explosive weapon on offense, Cordarrelle Patterson, involved.

27. Atlanta Falcons (24) (2-5). The Falcons struggle to win unless they score 30 points. So 20 points in two weeks is not going to get the job done. Roddy White and Julio Jones are probably the best wideout duo in the NFL, but there is little else on this team to get excited about.

28. Tennessee Titans (27) (2-5). The Titans have found ways to lose close games, with their last two losses by 2 points each. Bishop Sankey is an upgrade on Shonn Greene, but he has failed to top 3.5 yards per carry this season.

29. New York Jets (28) (1-6). The Percy Harvin trade reeks of desperation. He is unlikely to make much of an impact this year, and the Jets have to decide if they want to pick up a large option on his contract this off season.

30. Oakland Raiders (30) (0-6). It is hard to envision an 0-16 team for anybody, but the Raiders only have one game remaining against a team currently with a losing record (@ St. Louis). Three wins would be a huge accomplishment at this point.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (31) (1-6). The Jaguars managed to beat a terribly coached Browns team, but they have still been out scored almost 2 to 1 this season. Will take more than that to move out of the bottom two of my rankings.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (32) (1-5). Bye. And somehow they still gave up 38 points.

Jonathan Carrano

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