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NFL Power Rankings Week 8

Photo: William Purnell/Icon SMI

Fans are ecstatic about the Chiefs' undefeated start a year after the team had the worst record in the NFL.

Trick or Treat.

The Chiefs can't be beat.

Will any team knock them off their feet?

We've reached the halfway point of the NFL's regular season -- every team either has played eight games already or will play their eighth this Sunday. And though it has not been all that pretty (close home wins over sub-.500 teams with backup QBs and all), the Chiefs are 50 percent of the way to a perfect regular season.

MORE COVERAGE: Mediocre Cowboys | Week 8 injury report | Fantasy Risers/Sliders

That's enough to move the AFC West leaders to the top of the list here, but beware: This is the time of year when things go bump in the night, ghosts and goblins appear on every corner and Week 9 road trips to Buffalo can be a little tricky.

Our latest Power Rankings are getting into the spirit of Halloween. Rather than go the usual route of breaking down teams, we're taking a holiday detour into the world of scary movies, with an assist from the fine folks at IMDB.com.

Which Halloween flick best represents each of the 32 NFL teams?

NFL Power Rankings
1Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 2
Movie: Carrie

IMDB plot summary: "A young, abused and timid 17-year-old girl discovers she has telekinesis, and gets pushed to the limit on the night of her school's prom by a humiliating prank."

Why it fits: The Chiefs -- and more specifically their ravenous fan base -- have been clamoring for recognition of their unblemished start. Well, here ya go: the No. 1 spot on Power Rankings for the first time in 2013. Heads up for falling buckets of blood.
 
2New Orleans Saints
Last Week: 3
Movie: Candyman

IMDB plot summary: "The Candyman, a murderous soul with a hook for a hand, is accidentally summoned to reality by a skeptic grad student researching the monster's myth."

Why it fits: Candyman can't harm anyone unless summoned (a more violent Beetlejuice, if you will). And the Saints were powerless in 2012, when Sean Payton had to watch from afar and wait for his chance to return. Payton's here now, and the Saints are making opponents pay.
 
3Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 1
Movie: The Blair Witch Project

IMDB plot summary: "Three film students go missing after traveling into the woods of Maryland to make a documentary about the local Blair Witch legend leaving only their footage behind."

Why it fits: Seattle's well-documented home-field advantage is brilliant to watch on television. Actually play a road game in front of the 12th Man, though, and there's a decent possibility you'll end up standing catatonic in a corner, wondering what just happened.
 
4Denver Broncos
Last Week: 4
Movie: Frankenstein

IMDB plot summary: "Horror classic in which an obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses."

Why it fits: OK, so I went for the obvious bolts-in-the-neck Peyton Manning association here. The Broncos also struck fear into the rest of the NFL with their ferocious beginning, leaving them fending off a mob of challengers.
 
5Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 5
Movie: Young Frankenstein

IMDB plot summary: "Dr. Frankenstein's grandson, after years of living down the family reputation, inherits granddad's castle and repeats the experiments."

Why it fits: Colts owner Jim Irsay made it pretty clear that he doesn't want his team to repeat any of the mistakes it made during the Peyton Manning era. Of course, he happens to be building around a potential once-in-a-generation QB again.
 
6San Francisco 49ers
Last Week: 6
Movie: Saw

IMDB plot summary: "With a dead body lying between them, two men wake up in the secure lair of a serial killer who's been nicknamed 'Jigsaw.' The men must follow various rules and objectives if they wish to survive and win the deadly game set for them."

Why it fits: Because it is Jim Harbaugh's way or the highway in San Francisco. Fortunately, the 49ers bounced back from a tough start, saving us from having to talk about how Saw II is nowhere near as good as the original.
 
7Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 7
Movie: Poltergeist

IMDB plot summary: "A family's home is haunted by a host of ghosts."

Why it fits: "They're heeeeere ..." As in, the Bengals have become a title contender, after spending the past couple seasons dropping signs of their impending arrival.
 
8Green Bay Packers
Last Week: 8
Movie: Friday the 13th

IMDB plot summary (for the original): "Camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp that was the site of a child's drowning."

Why it fits: Friday the 13th is the "Next man up!" of horror movies -- (spoiler alert) Jason Voorhees isn't even the killer in the first version, because he's already dead. And just as Jason's mom stepped into the rampaging role, the Packers have received ample production from second- and third-stringers on offense, in the absences of some stars.
 
9New England Patriots
Last Week: 9
Movie: The Evil Dead

IMDB plot summary: "Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons."

Why it fits: Anonymous demons from out of nowhere? Sounds perfect for this rag-tag group.
 
10Detroit Lions
Last Week: 13
Movie: The Nightmare Before Christmas

IMDB plot summary: "Jack Skellington, king of Halloweentown, discovers Christmas Town, but doesn't quite understand the concept."

Why it fits: I don't have to spell out a joke about the Lions not quite understanding the concept of winning a playoff game, do I?
 
11San Diego Chargers
Last Week: 11
Movie: The Hitcher

IMDB plot summary: "A young man who escaped the clutches of a murderous hitchhiker is subsequently stalked, framed for the hitcher's crimes and has his life made into hell by the same man he escaped."

Why it fits: With each additional San Diego victory (and each time Philip Rivers lights up an opposing defense), the blame for the past few seasons falls a little more squarely on the shoulders of former head coach Norv Turner.
 
12Dallas Cowboys
Last Week: 10
Movie: Psycho

IMDB plot summary: "A Phoenix secretary steals $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother."

Why it fits: No, not a Dez Bryant joke. Instead, let's cast Jason Garrett as Norman Bates, and Jerry Jones as the overbearing mother. "A boy's best friend is his mother," after all.
 
13Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 14
Movie: Gremlins

IMDB plot summary: "A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town."

Why it fits: Aww, those cute, harmless Panthers. Rule 1: Don't let Cam Newton get out of the pocket. Rule 2: Don't underestimate the front seven on defense. Rule 3: Never, ever feed Steve Smith after midnight.
 
14New York Jets
Last Week: 12
Movie: Pet Sematary

IMDB plot summary: "Behind a young family's home in Maine is a terrible secret that holds the power of life after death. When tragedy strikes, the threat of that power soon becomes undeniable."

Why it fits: Rex Ryan was all but done, head on the chopping block as this season began. And now, at 4-4 and with a promising rookie quarterback, he might have second life.
 
15Chicago Bears
Last Week: 15
Movie: The Shining

IMDB plot summary: "A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future."

Why it fits: The ghosts of the past always follow the Bears (and any team with longstanding tradition) around. It's more problematic during difficult seasons -- this team is no Monsters of the Midway and even Lovie Smith's defense is but a phantom.
 
16Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 16
Movie: House of Wax

IMDB plot summary: "An associate burns down a wax museum with the owner inside, but he survives only to become vengeful and murderous."

Why it fits: The real summary (spoiler alert again) is that the owner begins turning his victims into wax statues. And with the Ravens trying to recreate their Super Bowl run with different players -- but some stubborn coaching -- well, this thing's starting to melt to the ground.
 
17Arizona Cardinals
Last Week: 25
Movie: An American Werewolf in London

IMDB plot summary: "Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists."

Why it fits: The Cardinals can't be a playoff contender, can they? Impossible! And yet ...
 
18Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 18
Movie: Tremors

IMDB plot summary: "Natives of a small isolated town defend themselves against strange underground creatures which are killing them one by one."

Why it fits: The Titans are lurking a bit right now, kind of hidden in the AFC playoff picture after a short-term injury to Jake Locker and three straight losses. Those defeats, though, came against teams with a combined 21-3 record. Don't forget about the Titans, because they could jump up and surprise some folks.
 
19Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 27
Movie: House of 1,000 Corpses

IMDB plot summary: "Two teenage couples traveling across the backwoods of Texas searching for urban legends of murder end up as prisoners of a bizarre and sadistic backwater family of serial killers."

Why it fits: Have you seen The Black Hole? It's terrifying. (And, yes, I passed on just choosing The Black Hole as the movie comparison.)
 
20Miami Dolphins
Last Week: 17
Movie: April Fool's Day

IMDB plot summary: "A group of nine college students staying at a friend's remote island mansion begin to fall victim to an unseen murderer over the April Fool's day weekend."

Why it fits: Not to spoil another movie you'll probably never see if you haven't watched it already, but April Fool's Day is 90 minutes of campy murders that turn out to be practical jokes. Which makes it the perfect complement for Miami's 3-0 start.
 
21Washington Redskins
Last Week: 20
Movie: Ghostbusters 2

IMDB plot summary: "The discovery of a massive river of ectoplasm and a resurgence of spectral activity allow the staff of Ghostbusters to revive the business."

Why it fits: Still fun. Still entertaining. Not nearly as enjoyable as the original -- in this case, the original being the pre-RGIII knee injury 2012 Redskins. I'm also working on a theory that it is because of his secret use of ectoplasm that every athlete gets Dr. James Andrews to perform his or her surgery.
 
22Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 21
Movie: The Thing

IMDB plot summary: "Scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills."

Why it fits: Kevin Kolb, Matt Leinart, EJ Manuel, Jeff Tuel, Thaddeus Lewis. Maybe the alien that has hold of the Bills' quarterbacks can transform into someone who stays healthy for longer than two games.
 
23New York Giants
Last Week: 28
Movie: The Fog

IMDB plot summary: "A Northern California fishing town, built 100 years ago over an old leper colony, becomes shrouded by a killer fog containing zombie-like ghosts seeking revenge for their deaths."

Why it fits: Insert your own zombie movie selection here. That the Giants have somehow stumbled their way back into the NFC East race clearly indicates some supernatural force at work.
 
24St. Louis Rams
Last Week: 24
Movie: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

IMDB plot summary: "The Peanuts gang celebrates Halloween while Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin."

Why it fits: Somehow, the image of Linus holding a blanket, sucking his thumb and waiting in vain for the Great Pumpkin to arrive brought to mind Brian Schottenheimer's play calling.
 
25Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: 22
Movie: Nosferatu

IMDB plot summary: "Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife. Silent classic based on the story Dracula."

Why it fits: This silent picture came out in 1922, which just happens to be the year that the Steelers drafted 25 percent of their current roster.
 
26Atlanta Falcons
Last Week: 19
Movie: Scream

IMDB plot summary: "A killer known as Ghostface begins killing off teenagers, and as the body count begins rising, one girl and her friends find themselves contemplating the 'Rules' of horror films as they find themselves living in a real-life one."

Why it fits: Scream was a satire of the horror genre, much the same way that the Falcons are an increasingly comic representation of a contending team.
 
27Houston Texans
Last Week: 29
Movie: Halloween

IMDB plot summary: "A psychotic murderer institutionalized since childhood for the murder of his sister, escapes and stalks a bookish teenage girl and her friends while his doctor chases him through the streets."

Why it fits: The Oilers left town in 1996 after 27 seasons without a Super Bowl berth. Six years later, the Texans returned football to Houston ... and their sudden downturn has the fans there jittery.
 
28Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 23
Movie: Re-Animator

IMDB plot summary: "A dedicated student at a medical college and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue when an odd new student arrives on campus."

Why it fits: Bizarre experiments! Odd new student! There was no other choice for Year 1 of the Chip Kelly saga.
 
29Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 26
Movie: Cujo

IMDB plot summary: "A friendly St. Bernard named "Cujo" contracts rabies and conducts a reign of terror on a small American town."

Why it fits: The Dawg Pound tie-in came together nicely here, though there's more synchronization between movie and team in that Cujo puts up a brutal, grueling, torturous fight ... then dies.
 
30Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 30
Movie: The Exorcist

IMDB plot summary: "When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter."

Why it fits: Here's the thing about this movie (do I need to keep using the "spoiler alert" warning?): Both priests brought in to help possessed Regan wind up dead. Somewhere in there is a metaphor for Christian Ponder's, Matt Cassel's and Josh Freeman's attempts to get Adrian Peterson a Super Bowl ring.
 
31Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 31
Movie: Something Wicked This Way Comes

IMDB plot summary: "In a small American town, a diabolical circus and its demonic proprietor prey on the townsfolk."

Why it fits: Coincidentally, that IMDB plot summary also happens to be how the Buccaneers are describing the Greg Schiano era.
 
32Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 32
Movie: The Happening

IMDB plot summary: "A strange, horrible and unprecedented crisis begins in Central Park. A high school science teacher, his wife and a young girl do what they can to survive it."

Why it fits: This is possibly the worst horror movie ever made. Draw your own conclusions.

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