B&T Power Rankings – Week 8
By Luke Sims
Welcome to the B&T Power Rankings. The place where we rank the teams on their record, front office actions, and overall craziness. Expect some arbitrary explanations, some in-depth analysis, and your fair share of surprises.
Turns out the Texans can be beaten. Browns vs Bengals rivalries die hard. The Minnesota Vikings may be shown as pretenders. It’s all coming into focus after a crazy NFL week.
Hate ‘em? Love ‘em? Agree? Disagree? Leave it in the comments.
#1 . Atlanta Falcons, 6-0: Coming out of the bye the Falcons have the chance to prove that they still deserve to be undefeated.
#2  . Houston Texans, 6-1: The Texans beat down the Ravens and made it look easy. They set a franchise record for points scored. This defense demolished the any chance the “new-look” Ravens offense.
#3 . New York Giants, 5-2: The game against the Redskins was closer than they would like, but RGIII is a dynmic threat and division games are always much more unpredictable than other games. The Giants know that winning, no matter how is what matters most.
#4 . Chicago Bears, 5-1: There is always a positive feeling coming away from a division game on top. The Lions put up more of a fight than anticipated but ultimately the Bears defense ended up making enough plays to put the Bears over the Lions.
#5 . New England Patriots, 4-3: They’re only 4-3 but this team is much better than their record. Also, they still have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
#6 . Green Bay Packers, 4-3: Aaron Rodgers has been lights out the last couple weeks. This team plays as well as their quarterback so they better hope that Rodgers doesn’t end up in a funk again.
#7 . San Francisco 49ers, 5-2: Responding to the Giants beat down last week is big for the Niners. The Seahawks are much more than a speed bump. That game was big for this team.
#8 . Baltimore Ravens, 5-2: You can’t win championships if you can’t compete against the primary competition. Maybe this defense isn’t good enough to help them win. Maybe this offense isn’t good enough either.
#9 . Denver Broncos, 3-3: The coming weeks will show if the Broncos can actually get it done. This defense has been tested each week, it’s a wonder if they can keep it up. It may be time for the offense to start pulling its weight.
#10 . Minnesota Vikings, 5-2: Christian Ponder has been playing great, but this game showed that he doesn’t have to do it all by himself.
#11 . Seattle Seahawks, 4-3: It’s a wonder that this team has flown under the radar this long. Even after the loss on Thursday night they still aren’t in the talk as one of the better teams in the NFL. I think they are.
#12 . Washington Redskins, 3-4: The Redskins are radically different than they have been in years past. They have a weapon in RGII that can change games and that makes them a threat whenever they are on the field.
#13 . Dallas Cowboys, 3-3: Fun games are good…especially when you win. The Cowboys looked like they enjoyed playing their game on Sunday. When your players relax (even in a close one) the wins tend to come. Especially when you have talent like the Cowboys.
#14 . Pittsburgh Steelers, 3-3: And then the rushing offense exploded. Well done to the Steelers for getting back on track in a big way. They’re still in the hunt and need to topple some division foes to get atop the division and set themselves up for another run to the playoffs.
#15 . Arizona Cardinals, 4-3: Three straight losses and September is looking more and more like a distant memory for the Cardinals. They need to find a way for their defense to win games and/or get their offense to make them more competitive. It’s tough when your stout defense allows Adrian Peterson to run for 153 yards.
#16 . Miami Dolphins, 3-3: Sitting at 3-3 the Dolphins are in a much better spot than we would have anticipated before the season.
#17 . Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 3-3: Josh Freeman made people realize that he’s got what it takes to be the franchise quarterback for the Bucs. This team could get dangerous. That said, they are one of the weaker 3-3 teams on the whole. Unless Vincent Jackson and company can continue to bolster Freeman they probably won’t lift much higher than .500.
#18 . New York Jets, 3-4: The game against the Patriots was much closer than expected and Mark Sanchez actually looked like an effective quarterback. This team is negative right now but I think they’re on the rise.
#19 . Cincinnati Bengals, 3-4: Cincinnati is sliding, fast. Their defense is usually good but failed to limit the rushing attack of the Steelers. That needs to change if they wish to remain competitive.
#20 . New Orleans Saints, 2-4: They’re coming off a two game winnning streak and we’ll see how they look when Joe Vitt return for week eight.
#21 . Tennessee Titans, 3-4: This team has the opportunity to do something now that they have pulled themselves up to 3-4. They have a legitimate shot at .500 if they can beat the Colts.
#22 . Detroit Lions, 2-4: The Lions were the toast of the NFC North at one point last year. They quickly lost that and have become the traditional pile of excrement that they usually are. It makes it tougher that they play some very good division rivals six weeks out of the year.
#23 . St. Louis Rams, 3-4: You can’t win if you don’t have the talent. That’s rapidly becoming apparent for the Rams.
#24 . San Diego Chargers, 3-3: I don’t think you want your bye week to come right after you blow a 24 point lead to lose on the national stage. These guys have either moved past it or are still dwelling on it. I can’t see the latter as a benefit.
#25 . Philadelphia Eagles, 3-3: Maybe their defense is suddenly better after their bye week. I doubt it. It doesn’t help that their quarterback will continue to give it away so the opposition has a short field.
#26 . Indianapolis Colts, 3-3: If the Colts beat the Titans then they may have enough momentum to keep second place in the AFC South for the rest of the season.
#27 . Buffalo Bills, 3-4: Reality bites. It bites harder when you lose games because your vaunted defense isn’t what is should be.
#28 . Cleveland Browns, 1-6: In a battle with the Colts the Browns proved that their continual rebuilding is no where near year two for Indy.
#29 . Carolina Panthers, 1-5: An obvious lack of talent led to the firing of their GM. Unfortunately it’s too little too late in a season that has gotten away from the Panthers.
#30 . Kansas City Chiefs, 1-5: Brady Quinn will be starting for the Chiefs. That actually made them go up two points.
#31 . Oakland Raiders, 2-4: In beating the Jaguars the Raiders practically guaranteed they won’t get the first pick in the 2013 draft. They won the game but lost the Toilet Bowl.
#32 . Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-5: Getting kicked while they’re down, the Jaguars lost both Blaine Gabbert and MJD in their game against the Raiders. Jones-Drew could be gone for a while.