We’re almost at the halfway mark of the NFL season, and everything is a complete mess. While a few teams appear to be locks to play deep into January, the rest of the teams oscillate between impressive wins and infuriating losses. Yes, we’re talking about you Carolina Panthers.
Here’s a look at where each team stands in NESN.com’s NFL power rankings as we head into Week 8. (To see our Week 7 power rankings, click here.)
1. Philadelphia Eagles (6-1; last week’s rank: 2): The Eagles grabbed the top spot after thumping the Washington Redskins 34-24 on “Monday Night Football.” Philadelphia should continue to roll against the San Francisco 49ers next week.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2; 1): Two straight losses have brought the Chiefs back to the pack in the AFC, but we still aren’t worried about Alex Smith and Co.
3. New England Patriots (5-2; 4): The much-anticipated Super Bowl LI rematch with the Atlanta Falcons was all Patriots from the opening kickoff. New England looks like it’s beginning to become a complete team after the defense shut down Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ aerial attack.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2; 8): The Steelers were left for dead following a Week 6 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguar but have rebounded by winning two in a row to take a commanding lead in the AFC North. Le’Veon Bell finally looks like the best back in the NFL, which makes the Steelers a threat to win the AFC.
5. Los Angeles Rams (5-2; 10): We bought into the Rams early, and it looks like the correct decision after L.A. smashed the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. The Rams’ defense has begun to dominate over the last three weeks, allowing the fourth-lowest total QBR (26.3), the eighth-fewest yards (274.3 per game) and the fourth-fewest first downs (14.7 per game) over that span.
6. Seattle Seahawks (4-2; 9): Seattle struggled early against the New York Giants’ stout defense, but Russell Wilson eventually took care of business, throwing for 334 yards and three touchdowns in a 24-7 win.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-3; 13): “Sacksonville” dominated the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday to remain tied with the Tennessee Titans atop the AFC South. The Jags sacked Colts QB Jacoby Brissett 10 times, but they will need rookie running back Leonard Fournette to get healthy if they plan to win the division.
8. New Orleans Saints (4-2; 15): Don’t look now, but the Saints have four straight wins and sole possession of first place in the NFC South. New Orleans’ defense has looked much better during its winning streak, and the Saints can move to 5-2 with a win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
9. Washington Redskins (3-3; 6): Kirk Cousins fell to 0-6 in his career on “Monday Night Football” and 0-2 against the Eagles in 2017, but the Redskins still are much better than their record indicates.
10. Minnesota Vikings (5-2; 12): Minnesota’s offensive line dominated the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, as Latavius Murray rushed for 113 yards (75 before contact) in a 24-16 win. The Vikings are the team to beat the NFC North, and if Teddy Bridgewater can return to lead the offense, Minnesota could make some noise in the playoffs.
11. Houston Texans (3-3; 11): Deshaun Watson will face his toughest test yet Sunday when the Texans travel to CenturyLink Field to face the Seahawks.
12. Carolina Panthers (4-3; 4): Cam Newton was abysmal Sunday against the Bears, as the star QB turned the ball over three times in a 17-3 loss. Carolina will look to get back on track against the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 8.
13. Denver Broncos (3-3; 7): The Broncos didn’t look like anything resembling a playoff team in a 21-0 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. Denver’s offense has struggled to run the ball in recent weeks, which has put too much pressure on QB Trevor Siemian who has turned the ball over four times in the last two weeks.
14. Dallas Cowboys (3-3; 14): Dallas pulverized the lowly San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, giving them three wins over three bad teams (49ers, Giants and Cardinals) in 2017. We’ll learn more about the Cowboys when they face the Redskins at FedEx Field in Week 8.
15. Atlanta Falcons (3-3; 8): Atlanta was completely outclassed by the Patriots on “Sunday Night Football,” and has looked like a shell of itself so far in 2017. If the Falcons’ offense can’t get back on track, Atlanta won’t have an opportunity to defend its NFC crown.
16. Buffalo Bills (4-2; 17): No one thought the Bills would be 4-2 after six games, and it certainly has the Bills Mafia fired up. Beating the revitalized Oakland Raiders in Week 8 would solidify Buffalo as a serious contender.
17. Los Angeles Chargers (3-4; 22): Three straight wins vaulted the Chargers back into the playoff conversation, but a Week 8 date with the Patriots awaits them.
18. Detroit Lions (3-3; 16): Detroit has a host of issues on offense that it needs to remedy in order to challenge the Vikings for the NFC North. The Lions’ offensive line has been atrocious, and an injury to Golden Tate won’t make Matthew Stafford’s life any easier.
19. Oakland Raiders (3-4; 23): Oakland got the better end of the craziest finish of the NFL season when Derek Carr hit Michael Crabtree for a game-winning touchdown to beat the Chiefs 31-30. A win over the Bills in Week 8 will put the Raiders back into the AFC’s playoff picture.
20. Tennessee Titans (4-3; 20): Marcus Mariota continued to look hobbled in an overtime win over the Cleveland Browns. The Titans will need him to heal up during their Week 8 bye before they face the Ravens on Nov. 5.
21. Miami Dolphins (4-2; 19): The Dolphins are the worst team above .500 in the NFL. That’s all.
22. Green Bay Packers (4-3; 18): Brett Hundley didn’t look awful, so that’s something positive for the Packers.
23. Arizona Cardinals (3-4; 20): Carson Palmer broke his arm and the Cardinals were crushed 33-0 by the Rams in London. Without Palmer, it’s curtains for the desert birds.
24. Baltimore Ravens (3-4; 24): The FCC should ban TV networks from showing the Ravens’ offense.
25. Chicago Bears (3-4; 28): Mitchell Trubisky threw the ball just seven times, but the Bears still cruised to a win over the Panthers behind a dominating defensive performance.
26. New York Jets (3-4; 27): The Jets led the Dolphins 28-14 heading into the fourth quarter Sunday before proceeding to throw up on themselves, allowing 17 fourth-quarter points in a 31-28 loss.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4; 25): Jameis Winston threw for 204 yards and three touchdowns in the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Bills. That’s the only good news for Tampa Bay.
28. Cincinnati Bengals (2-4; 26): The Bengals aren’t going anywhere with Andy Dalton and Marvin Lewis leading the ship.
29. New York Giants (1-6; 29): New York is in a position to draft either Saquon Barkley or a top QB in the 2018 NFL Draft, so there is a silver lining in the Meadowlands.
30. Indianapolis Colts (2-5; 30): There’s no reason for the Colts to ask Andrew Luck to return this season.
31. San Francisco 49ers (0-7; 31): The 49ers’ streak of moral victories ended Sunday, as the Cowboys hammered San Francisco 40-10.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-7; 32): Look up dumpster fire in the dictionary, and you’ll see a picture of the 2017 Browns.
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images