NFL Power Rankings Poll Week 8: Vikings Break into Top Five, Eagles Continue to Slide

Also, the Cowboys and the Colts climb in the rankings after taking the lead in their respective divisions, and after a tough loss to the Titans, the Chargers take their spot near the bottom.
Author:
Publish date:
Dalvin Cook

This week’s voters:

Andrew Brandt, Business of Football Columnist
Mitch Goldich, Producer/Writer
Gary Gramling, Senior Editor
Kalyn Kahler, Writer/Producer
Bette Marston, Associate Editor
Conor Orr, Staff Writer
Jenny Vrentas, Senior Writer

Skinnies for each team written by Jake May.

1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (7-0)

Previous rank: 1
Points in poll: 223
Highest-place vote: 1 (6 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 2 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Jets, 33–0
This week: vs. Cleveland

The Patriots completely shut down the Jets on Monday Night Football, and then the team announced Tuesday morning that it was trading a second-round draft pick for receiver Mohamed Sanu. Was Bill Belichick negotiating trades on the sideline at MetLife Stadium?

2. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (6-0)

Previous rank: 2
Points in poll: 213
Highest-place vote: 2 (4 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 4 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Washington, 9-0
This week: vs. Carolina

Tough to find takeaways from a professional football game played on a mud pit (Washington, figure it out), but the defense dug in and locked up an admittedly pathetic Redskins O, avoiding what would have been a classic trap game loss.

T-3. GREEN BAY PACKERS (6-1)

Previous rank: 4
Points in poll: 201
Highest-place vote: 2 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 6 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Oakland, 42-24
This week: at Kansas City

Aaron Rodgers had his first Aaron Rodgers game of the season (25-of-31, 429 yards, 5 TDs, 158.3 rating) against a below-average defense. He and new head coach Matt LaFleur finally appear to be clicking, which could be trouble for the Patrick Mahomes-less Chiefs and their finicky defense.

T-3. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (6-1)

Previous rank: 3
Points in poll: 201
Highest-place vote: 2 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (1 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Chicago, 36-25
This week: vs. Arizona

Teddy Bridgewater rebounded from his poor outing against Jacksonville by dicing up a tough Bears unit, but Latavius Murray wins Saints MVP of the week for his 119 yards and two touchdowns in relief of Alvin Kamara as Drew Brees readies to return.

5. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (5-2)

Previous rank: 8
Points in poll: 193
Highest-place vote: 4 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 10 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Detroit, 42-30
This week: vs. Washington (Thurs.)

Another good outing for Kirk and co., albeit against another meh defense. Stefon Diggs once again led the way at receiver (seven receptions, 142 yards), but the Vikes will be likely be without Adam Thielen on a short week against the Redskins. Good thing it’s the Redskins.

6. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (5-2)

Previous rank: 6
Points in poll: 187
Highest-place vote: 5 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 10 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Denver, 30-6 (Thurs.)
This week: vs. Green Bay (Sunday night)

Luckily the win was in hand by the time Patrick Mahomes went down, and Matt Moore looked serviceable in relief. All reports leaving KC on the knee are positive, and all is not lost for the Chiefs. Next week might be, but Mahomes should be back soon.

7. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (4-2)

Previous rank: 10
Points in poll: 179
Highest-place vote: 6 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 9 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Houston, 30-23
This week: vs. Denver

Jacoby Brissett (26-of-39, 326 yards, 4 TDs) outdueled Deshaun Watson, the Colts defense chipped in two picks and three sacks, and Indianapolis continues to grind out quality wins against quality opponents. The AFC South race should be a good one.

8. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (5-2)

Previous rank: 5
Points in poll: 167
Highest-place vote: 7 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 15 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Baltimore, 30-16
This week: at Atlanta

A bit of a stinker for Russell Wilson was lowlighted by Marcus Peters zipping down the sideline with Russ’ first interception of the season for a pick-six before halftime. Seattle never led again, but the fountain of youth for offenses–the Falcons defense–is up next.

9. BALTIMORE RAVENS (5-2)

Previous rank: 9
Points in poll: 164
Highest-place vote: 7 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Seattle, 30-16
This week: Bye

Lamar Jackson ran all over the Seahawks on a gross day in the Pacific Northwest and Marcus Peters debuted by taking Russell Wilson’s first pick of the year to the house for a key score. The AFC North is Baltimore’s to lose as they hit the bye.

10. DALLAS COWBOYS (4-3)

Previous rank: 16
Points in poll: 162
Highest-place vote: 7 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 13 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Philadelphia, 37-10
This week: Bye

Big, big win for the ‘Boys, and they did it in convincing fashion by jumping on the Birds with 27 first half points. Once again, the narratives flip on Dak, Jason and Dallas as they head into the bye in the driver’s seat in the NFC East.

11. BUFFALO BILLS (5-1)

Previous rank: 11
Points in poll: 153
Highest-place vote: 1 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 16 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Miami, 31-21
This week: vs. Philadelphia

Nervous, nervous afternoon for Buffalo as this horrendous interception and inexcusable lost fumble from Miami kept the shiny one in the Bills’ loss column. Josh Allen was effective (16-of-26, 202 yards, 2 TDs) and, more importantly, hung onto the ball.

12. LOS ANGELES RAMS (4-3)

Previous rank: 15
Points in poll: 151
Highest-place vote: 10 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 14 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Atlanta, 37-10
This week: vs. Cincinnati

Atlanta was just what the doctor ordered–on both sides of the ball. While Aaron Donald did this, Dante Fowler Jr. collected three sacks and Jared Goff (22-of-37, 268 yards, 2 TDs) reappeared. Up next? An even worse team at home.

13. HOUSTON TEXANS (4-3)

Previous rank: 7
Points in poll: 148
Highest-place vote: 8 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 14 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Indianapolis, 30-23
This week: vs. Oakland

Tough one to drop for the Texans, as 10 penalties, three sacks and two Deshaun Watson INTs kept Houston just a step behind Indy. The Texans will be chasing in the AFC South but get to run this one back on the road during Week 12.

14. DETROIT LIONS (2-3-1)

Previous rank: 12
Points in poll: 135
Highest-place vote: 12 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 15 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Minnesota, 42-30
This week: vs. N.Y. Giants

The Lions’ defense ran out of gas in the fourth quarter, and Detroit was dealt their second crushing loss in a row in the NFL’s toughest division. A win against the Giants is a must for this group.

15. CAROLINA PANTHERS (4-2)

Previous rank: 13
Points in poll: 131
Highest-place vote: 12 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: at San Francisco

A quiet week in the Carolinas concluded with Ron Rivera sticking with Kyle Allen as the starter. Can he take down the undefeated Niners in San Francisco?

16. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (3-4)

Previous rank: 14
Points in poll: 131
Highest-place vote: 9 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Dallas, 37-10
This week: at Buffalo

We knew the defense was bad, but Carson Wentz and the offense didn’t do themselves any favors by losing two first half fumbles during the most watched SNF game in five years. Doug Pederson’s confidence appears to be been badly misplaced.

17. CHICAGO BEARS (3-3)

Previous rank: 16
Points in poll: 105
Highest-place vote: 15 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 23 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to New Orleans, 36-25
This week: vs. L.A. Chargers

Maybe the Double Doink shouldn’t have dominated Chicago’s offseason. Maybe Mitch Trubisky is an issue. Maybe Matt Nagy isn’t a cure-all. Maybe the defense is feeling the weight of carrying the offense and starting to crack (36 points to a backup QB with two weeks to prepare at home). Or maybe, just maybe, this team was never that good in the first place.

18. CLEVELAND BROWNS (2-4)

Previous rank: 19
Points in poll: 97
Highest-place vote: 18 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: at New England

An oddly–nay, blissfully–quiet weekend in Cleveland is over, and the Patriots await in New England on Sunday. 2-5 seems likely for one of the NFL’s biggest underachievers.

19. TENNESSEE TITANS (3-4)

Previous rank: 25
Points in poll: 92
Highest-place vote: 17 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat L.A. Chargers, 23-20
This week: vs. Tampa Bay

Ryan Tannehill politely remind us he’d be an upgrade for several teams at the QB position, going 23-of-29 for 312 yards, 2 TDs and a pick. A monster goal line-stand now has Tennessee dreaming of .500 with Tampa visiting this weekend.

20. OAKLAND RAIDERS (3-3)

Previous rank: 18
Points in poll: 87
Highest-place vote: 18 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Green Bay, 42-24
This week: at Houston

It was tough for the 23-ranked Oakland defense to do much of anything about Aaron Rodgers on Sunday. On the bright side of the black hole, Derek Carr continued a sneaky good season with his second-best game of the year (22-of-28, 293 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT).

21. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (3-4)

Previous rank: 23
Points in poll: 82
Highest-place vote: 18 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Cincinnati, 27-17
This week: vs. N.Y. Jets

Andy Dalton gift-wrapped this one for the Jags, but credit to them for taking advantage. Gardner Minshew (15-of-32, 255 yards, 1 TD) kept it clean and the defense showed off its sticky fingers with three picks in the fourth quarter.

22. NEW YORK JETS (1-5)

Previous rank: 22
Points in poll: 77
Highest-place vote: 17 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to New England, 33-0
This week: at Jacksonville

An ugly game all around for the Jets on primetime against the NFL’s best team—so much so that the broadcast caught Sam Darnold saying that was seeing ghosts.

23. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (2-4)

Previous rank: 21
Points in poll: 64
Highest-place vote: 21 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: vs. Miami (Mon.)

Mason Rudolph is back at practice, and Mike Tomlin said he would start over Duck Hodges. Miami’s defense should help him find his groove.

24. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (2-4)

Previous rank: 26
Points in poll: 63
Highest-place vote: 19 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 28 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: at Tennessee

A quiet bye for a team that doesn’t appear to be going anywhere too quickly. Tennessee away is a tough but winnable matchup for the Bucs.

25. DENVER BRONCOS (2-5)

Previous rank: 24
Points in poll: 62
Highest-place vote: 20 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 28 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Kansas City, 30-6 (Thurs.)
This week: at Indianapolis

Whatever momentum this team gained is gone, as is their shot to reenter the division race. Joe Flacco isn’t the answer at quarterback, and the Oct. 29 trade deadline should be an interesting one in Denver.

26. ARIZONA CARDINALS (3-3-1)

Previous rank: 28
Points in poll: 61
Highest-place vote: 21 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat N.Y. Giants, 27-21
This week: at New Orleans

It may be time to take the training wheels off as Kyler Murray rolled through his third bad team in three weeks. Credit to the Cards D for shutting down the Giants late, but a much stiffer test on both sides of the ball awaits next week in the Superdome.

27. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (2-5)

Previous rank: 20
Points in poll: 60
Highest-place vote: 23 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Tennessee, 23-20
This week: at Chicago

For a game with more on the line than records suggested, the Chargers could not lose. And they absolutely could not, under any circumstances, lose like that. Blame the refs if you want, but all the Chargers needed was one yard. Joey Bosa said it best: “We can find out who wants it pretty quick now.”

28. NEW YORK GIANTS (2-5)

Previous rank: 27
Points in poll: 36
Highest-place vote: 27 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 29 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Arizona, 27-21
This week: at Detroit

Danny Dimes tried, but the swarming Arizona defense never gave him a chance on the final two drives. A definite letdown from a week ago for the Giants, especially considering the returns of Barkley and Engram.

29. ATLANTA FALCONS (1-6)

Previous rank: 29
Points in poll: 27
Highest-place vote: 28 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to L.A. Rams, 37-10
This week: vs. Seattle

Mina Kimes said it best about the Falcons defense, but Matty Ice coming up gimpy after eating his fifth sack of the afternoon can’t help. Also, this was a tough sequence for Devonta Freeman. Another good team coming off a bad loss awaits this weekend.

T-30. CINCINNATI BENGALS (0-7)

Previous rank: 30
Points in poll: 17
Highest-place vote: 30 (5 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Jacksonville, 27-17
This week: vs. at L.A. Rams

The Bengals scored 17 points…but gave up 18 points off turnovers. Andy Dalton threw three fourth-quarter interceptions. Cincinnati has lost seven games in a row. These numbers all mean bad things for the Bengals.

T-30. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (1-6)

Previous rank: 31
Points in poll: 17
Highest-place vote: 29 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (5 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to San Francisco, 9-0
This week: at Minnesota (Thurs.)

The Redskins are one of the worst teams in the league, have the worst name in the league and play on the worst field in the league. But Case Keenum lives to fight another week thanks to the miserable DMV weather. Ugh.

32. MIAMI DOLPHINS (0-6)

Previous rank: 32
Points in poll: 10
Highest-place vote: 30 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (5 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Buffalo, 31-21
This week: at Pittsburgh (Mon.)

Another milestone in a lost season for Miami–their first halftime lead of the year! Truth be told, this game was close throughout, but second-half errors cost the Dolphins the upset.

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