2012 NFL Power Rankings: Week 8
2012 NFL Power Rankings Week 8
Through seven weeks of NFL action I have come up with a few conclusions; for starters I don’t think the replacement referees can be blamed any longer for the mediocre play which was displayed during their run because there is still plenty pedestrian play continuing now four weeks after their disappearance. Second of all some of the surprising teams who jumped out and played well during the initial weeks of the season are now beginning to come back to earth and reveal who they truly are.
Third, now that the surprise teams are starting to fade some of the traditional powers who began slowly to start the season are now gaining ground in the league thanks to somewhat improved play from them and slipping from the teams who were ahead of them. Fourth, the bottom feeders in the league seem as if they will stay that way no matter who they compete against and fifth the teams at the top of the league will probably remain there until the end of the season which means unless a team goes on a miraculous run during the final couple of weeks of the season then there are truthfully just six legitimate Super Bowl contenders and just two of them come from the AFC.
If this holds true to form then the AFC playoffs will be just a formality until the title game and the NFC playoffs will probably be the best thing since the invention of indoor restrooms. It’s still early however so there is a chance for a few teams that are hovering around the .500 mark (like many of the teams are) to get their acts together and become one of the top teams in the league. With all of that being said here are my power rankings entering week eight of the season.
#32 Kansas City Chiefs (1-5)
The Kansas City Chiefs come off of their bye week needing to get a victory this week, that for them may be considered mission impossible based on the way they have looked this season. Brady Quinn has been named the full-time starter at QB; will this translate into wins or not remains to be seen but anybody's got to be better than Matt Cassell.
Last week: #32 This week's opponent: vs Oak
#31 Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)
The Jacksonville Jaguars had an opportunity to earn their second victory of the year last week but once again they proved that terrible teams always fold under pressure. In the process their best player Maurice Jones-Drew may be out for extensive time due to what the team fears as a possible Lisfranc foot injury.
Last week: #31 This week's opponent: at Green Bay
#30 Cleveland Browns (1-6)
The Cleveland Browns have the worst record in the league but they are competitive in each outing that they play in and because the Jags and Chiefs have had their bye weeks and Cleveland hasn't yet. They have a chance to win a few games this season where it doesn't seem like Jacksonville and Kansas City will get off of one.
Last week: #30 This week's opponent: vs San Diego
#29 Carolina Panthers (1-5)
Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are the most disappointing story through seven weeks of the NFL season; their offense not only looks stagnant but even worse Newton doesn't resemble anything close to a leader of men on or off the field. Possibly the shocking story to come out of Carolina is that they fired their GM as a scapegoat move.
Last week: #29 This week's opponent: at Chicago
#28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers almost came out of last week with a much needed victory however their juvenile tactics may have cost them yet again. On another note the ruling that if a receiver gets pushed out of bounds makes him ineligible needs to be changed this off-season; if he runs out himself yes he's ineligible but pushed out that's something totally different.
Last week: #24 This week's opponent: at Minnesota
#27 Oakland Raiders (2-4)
The Oakland Raiders came away last week with a come from behind, overtime victory over a team which they should have handled much easier than they did, the Carson Palmer experiment doesn't seem to be working out there.
Last week: #28 This week's opponent: at Kansas City
#26 Detroit Lions (2-4)
The Detroit Lions offense flat out stinks period, point blank. They scored seven points on Monday Night Football, seven points and those came when the game was pretty much decided.
Last week: #19 This week's opponent: vs Seattle
#25 Buffalo Bills (3-4)
The Buffalo Bills once again allowed a team to run through their defense has if they were made of tissue instead of flesh and blood; on the season they are allowing an average of 176.9 rushing yards per game which is dead last in the league.
Last week: #18 This week's opponent: Bye Week
#24 Cincinnati Bengals (3-4)
The Cincinnati Bengals can't expect to win if quarterback Andy Dalton continues to throw an interception in every single game that they play; Cincy has some things to figure out during their bye week like how to hold on to the football.
Last week: #17 This week's opponent: Bye Week
#23 New York Jets (3-4)
For the third consecutive week the New York Jets find themselves sitting 23rd in the rankings; they have improved on the offensive side of the football but have regressed playing defense. If they can find a balance with both then they still have a shot to win the AFC East with every other team in that division looking as mediocre as they are.
Last week: #23 This week's opponent: vs Miami
#22 Miami Dolphins (3-3)
The Miami Dolphins are yet another team from the run of the mill division which is the AFC East. They are coming off of a bye week and if Ryan Tannehill has improved on his game during that extra practice time that could be extremely beneficial to a team that doesn't seem to have much of a direction.
Last week:#22 This week's opponent: at New York J
#21 Tennessee Titans (3-4)
Don't look now but the Tennessee Titans have put together consecutive victories and Chris Johnson had a monster game while doing so. The defense is still allowing a ton of points but the team is responding well with having the veteran Matt Hasselbeck behind center instead of the second-year youngster Jake Locker.
Last week: #26 This week's opponent: vs Indianapolis
#20 New Orleans Saints (2-4)
The New Orleans Saints have now won two games in a row but their same problems continue to plague them which is not being able to stop anyone on defense. New Orleans is a Malcolm Jenkins touchdown saving tackle and a questionable ruling on the final play of the game away from losing yet again while allowing a ton of points in the process.
Last week: #27 This week's opponent: at Denver
#19 Indianapolis Colts (3-3)
Through six games the Indianapolis Colts have already won more games this year than they did last season; now that they have gotten that out of the way can they compete to finish the season with a .500 record or dare I say contend for a playoff spot in what is a very weak AFC this season.
Last week: #25 This week's opponent: at Tennessee
#18 St. Louis Rams (3-4)
The St. Louis Rams need to get there offense together before the efforts which their defense has put up all season goes in vain; that wasn't the issue last week as their defense allowed 30 points but it is the reason they are just 3-4 this year.
Last week: #15 This week's opponent: New England
#17 Washington Redskins (3-4)
The Washington Redskins are yet another team that has lopsided units; the offense looks incredible is probably one of the best in the league while the defense is deplorable and without question one of the worst in the league. That horrific defense cost Robert Griffin III the first fourth quarter game winning touchdown drive of his career last week.
Last week: #14 This week's opponent: at Pittsburgh
#16 Arizona Cardinals (4-3)
The Arizona Cardinals have fallen faster than any other team in the league this season. They started the year off winning their first four games only to lose their last three; someone toss this team a life raft quickly because the are drowning and the waters ahead look even rougher.
Last week: #12 This week's opponent: vs San Francisco
#15 Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3)
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been up and down all season long; one week they win and look impressive and the next week they lose to a team that has many including themselves scratching their heads trying to figure out how. If this pattern continues that means that this week they'll probably lose.
Last week: #21 This week's opponent: vs Washington
#14 Dallas Cowboys (3-3)
Attempting to figure out the Dallas Cowboys offense is similar to attempting to solve a rubix cubic while hanging upside down and being heavily inebriated at the same time. It's good thing for them that Rob Ryan's defense has come to ball this season.
Last week: #20 This week's opponent: vs New York G
#13 San Diego Chargers (3-3)
The San Diego Chargers moved up three spots in the rankings in large part because the teams who were ahead of them last week stunk up the joint last week and because they themselves didn't play; now with their bye week in the rear view will they gain any ground next week own their merit?
Last week: #16 This week's opponent: at Cleveland
#12 Philadelphia Eagles (3-3)
The $100 million question for the Philadelphia Eagles is; is Michael Vick finished giving the NFL his best Tony Romo impression? If he is then maybe the Eagles can show the rest of the league that they are a serious threat, if not then Juan Castillo won't be the last person in Philly to lose their job this year.
Last week: #13 This week's opponent: vs Atlanta
#11 Denver Broncos (3-3)
Coming off a bye week has Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos figured out how to play 60 minutes of high quality football instead of just bringing it for the final 30? If they have then they could be one of the more dangerous teams in the NFL.
Last week: #11 This week's opponent: New Orleans
#10 Seattle Seahawks (4-3)
The Seattle Seahawks have displayed that they are one of the toughest teams in the league so following a tough loss to a divisional rival last week how will they bounce back this week versus a team who they should beat if they truly are this good.
Last week: #6 This week's opponent: at Detroit
#9 New England Patriots (4-3)
Maybe it's just me but the New England Patriots don't really look that good to me this season. Even though the record is 4-3 they could easily be 2-5 or 1-6 on the season with a bounce of the football going a little different in certain situations. This defense looks pretty weak and the offense isn't as good as the numbers say they are either. Bill Belichick has his work cut out for him this year attempting to right this ship before the end of the year.
Last week: #10 This week's opponent: at St. Louis
#8 Green Bay Packers (4-3)
The Green Bay Packers finally jumped off of the merry-go-round and put together consecutive victories for the first time this season. Maybe now they have put the inconsistency behind them and are ready to compete like the Super Bowl contenders that many figured they would be at the beginning of the season.
Last week: #8 This week's opponent: vs Jacksonville
#7 Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
Elite quarterback huh? Joe Flacco didn't show he resembled anything close to that last week as the Baltimore Ravens got shellacked without Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb. Terrell Suggs returned and even registered a sack but if the Ravens are going to stay towards the top of the AFC they're going to need Flacco to be what he says he is and for Ray Rice to get more touches.
Last week: #2 This week's opponent: Bye Week
#6 Minnesota Vikings (5-2)
The Minnesota Vikings continue to show they are going to be a force in the NFC this season and Adrian Peterson is displaying that he doesn't need the normal recovery time from an ACL injury. With the running game thriving the way it is and the defense playing the way it is in Minnesota they should be able to mask Christian Ponder's inadequacies for a little while longer, but eventually a quarterback has got to be a quarterback.
Last week: #9 This week's opponent: vs Tampa Bay
#5 San Francisco 49ers (5-2)
The San Francisco 49ers earned a huge divisional victory last week and took over first place in the NFC West in the process. The defense looked amazing again but the offense was once again missing in action. Can this team win a Super Bowl with Alex Smith behind center or is it time to let Colin Kaepernick have his shot at running this offense?
Last week: #7 This week's opponent: at Arizona
#4 New York Giants (5-2)
Once again Eli Manning's late game magic led the New York Giants to an improbable comeback victory and the G-Men look as if they are the best team in the NFC East. This week they'll have a tough test on the road against a divisional foe who has already defeated them this season at home.
Last week: #5 This week's opponent: at Dallas
#3 Chicago Bears (5-1)
The Chicago Bears defense is simply amazing and for weeks now I have been telling readers they resemble the Chicago D from the '06 season when they went to the Super Bowl. The Bears are first in the NFL in points allowed per game (13 points), interceptions (14), defensive touchdowns (5) and total turnovers forced (20), not to mention their second in rushing yards allowed per game (71.3 yards). The Bears are who I knew they were, everyone else needs to stop letting them off the hook.
Last week: #4 This week's opponent: vs Carolina
#2 Houston Texans (6-1)
After the Houston Texans dismantled the AFC's other supposed top team 43-13 last week they have proven once again why they are in the argument for the NFL's most completely team. J.J. Watt is an absolute monster and has recorded 34 tackles, a league leading 9.5 sacks, seven tackles for a loss, 10 pass deflections (4 have resulted in interceptions) and two fumble recoveries; he's got my early vote for Defensive Player of the Year. Mario Williams who?
Last week: #3 This week's opponent: Bye Week
#1 Atlanta Falcons (6-0)
The Atlanta Falcons remain in the number spot in the rankings however if they have another shaky showing this week as they had in the two weeks prior to their bye then not only will they get their first loss of the season but will also find themselves lower in the rankings also.
Last week: #1 This week's opponent: at Philadelphia