There were at least two surprising Week 8 outcomes with the Minnesota Vikings taking down the Green Bay Packers and the Cincinnati Bengals defeating the Tennessee Titans.
Throw in the Miami Dolphins handing the Los Angeles Rams a loss, and the New York Giants giving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quite a scare on “Monday Night Football,” and there was some entertaining football being played.
Here’s how all that impacted our NFL Week 9 Power Rankings, which feature a new team taking over the top spot with the unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers getting the best of the Baltimore Ravens. (In case you need a refresher, here’s our Week 8 rankings.)
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-0, last week: 2)
The Steelers got an impressive divisional win over the Baltimore Ravens, extending their AFC North lead to two games. The Pittsburgh defense is very legit, as evidenced by four Baltimore turnovers.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (7-1, 1)
Patrick Mahomes threw for five touchdowns and the Chiefs handled the New York Jets like you would expect. Kansas City will face the Panthers, Raiders and Buccaneers over the next four weeks.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2, 4)
Tom Brady continues to gain separation over the New England Patriots, even though it wasn’t exactly what we would expect with the Bucs-Giants squaring off on “Monday Night Football.” (Oh, yeah … and hello, Antonio.)
4. Seattle Seahawks (6-1, 5)
The Seahawks returned from their bye week to earn a commanding lead over NFC West rival San Francisco. Adding Carlos Dunlap, and the return of Jamal Adams should help the defense moving forward.
5. Baltimore Ravens (5-2, 3)
Baltimore’s loss to Pittsburgh moves them back a few spots, but the Ravens were dealt another loss with left tackle Ronnie Stanley set to miss the remainder of the season.
6. New Orleans Saints (5-2, 8)
The Saints needed overtime, but were able to pull out a win over the Chicago Bears. They should have Michael Thomas back Sunday for a crucial NFC South clash with Brady’s Bucs.
7. Green Bay Packers (5-2, 6)
The Packers were run over in Minnesota, allowing 173 yards on the ground in a momentum-killing loss to the 2-5 Vikings. Green Bay now enters its house of horrors, San Francisco, without most of its running back room.
8. Tennessee Titans (5-2, 7)
The Titans have lost two straight, and while their loss to Pittsburgh was forgivable, their Week 8 defeat to Cincinnati is not. Tennessee now is hoping it doesn’t impact them too much when it comes to playoff seeding.
9. Buffalo Bills (6-2, 9)
There’s a lot of season left, but there’s no denying the Bills put themselves in a good position in the AFC East. They did so while earning both Josh Allen and Sean McDermott their first win over the New England Patriots.
10. Arizona Cardinals (5-2, 11)
The Cardinals move into second in the NFC West, one game back of the division-leading Seahawks. We’ll see how they fare against the Miami Dolphins, coming off their bye week.
11. Indianapolis Colts (5-2, 13)
Phillip Rivers (371 yards passing, three touchdowns) showed up again as the Colts earned a 20-point win over the Lions. Indianapolis has a brutal four-game stretch on the horizon with Baltimore, Tennessee (twice) and Green Bay.
12. Los Angeles Rams (5-3, 10)
Jared Goff was under consistent pressure, and it helped the Dolphins force two fumbles and intercept two passes. The Rams will have to shake it off to close the gap in the NFC West race.
13. Miami Dolphins (4-3, 18)
Head coach Brian Flores is bringing the Dolphins defense to life, and scoring a pair of non-offensive touchdowns is certainly a recipe for success. If Miami can get more from QB Tua Tagovailoa (12-for-22, 93 yards), they could be right there to win the AFC East.
14. San Francisco 49ers (4-4, 12)
The 49ers can’t catch a break when it comes to injuries. Now, San Francisco will be without QB Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle for what could be the remainder of the season.
15. Chicago Bears (5-3, 14)
The Bears forced overtime before falling to New Orleans, but on a positive note are just 1/2-game back of the Packers for the division lead.
16. Las Vegas Raiders (4-3, 16)
It wasn’t exactly pretty, but the Raiders earned a crucial win with playoff implications over the Browns, holding Cleveland to just six points.
17. Cleveland Browns (5-3, 14)
The Browns currently hold a 1/2-game lead over the Raiders for the seventh and final playoff spot. But Cleveland’s three upcoming games against the Texans, Eagles and Jaguars, could really allow them to assert themselves.
18. Carolina Panthers (3-5, 17)
Teddy Bridgewater and Co. couldn’t move the ball through the air against a Falcons defense which allowed teams to do just that all season long. Carolina had impressed without Christian McCaffrey, but Thursday’s loss wasn’t a good one.
19. Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1, 24)
The Bengals had been competitive in every game (besides Week 5 loss to Ravens), and took a major step forward with an 11-point win over the Titans.
20. Minnesota Vikings (2-5, 26)
Behind running back Dalvin Cook’s four touchdowns, the Vikings earned a shocking win over Packers.
21. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1, 22)
Carson Wentz threw two interceptions (fifth game with multiple picks) and fumbled the ball twice more, but the Eagles’ defense did enough to help Philly pull out a NFC East win over the Cowboys.
22. Denver Broncos (3-4, 23)
The Broncos scored 21 fourth-quarter points to mount an impressive comeback win over the Chargers.
23. Los Angeles Chargers (2-5, 19)
The Chargers did their best Falcons impression, finding another way to lose Sunday. But this time it wasn’t against the Chiefs or Bucs or even Saints, it was to the Broncos, who they led by 21 points in the third quarter. Brutal.
24. New England Patriots (2-5, 20)
The Patriots lost their fourth consecutive game, and with it being an AFC East contest, their hopes to win the division for a 12th consecutive year took a major hit.
25. Detroit Lions (3-4, 21)
The Lions had their win streak snapped with a 20-point loss to Colts. But with the Vikings, Washington, Panthers and Texans taking up their next four weeks, there are some potential wins ahead.
26. Atlanta Falcons (2-6, 29)
The Falcons actually closed out a fourth-quarter lead with their “Thursday Night Football” verdict over the Panthers.
27. Washington Football Team (2-5, 25)
Washington had its bye week while a number of the teams ranked closely pulled out wins.
28. Dallas Cowboys (2-6, 27)
Kendrick Perkins told his kids to go to bed instead of watch “Sunday Night Football” because he didn’t want them to pick up bad habits from the Cowboys. That’s where we’re at.
29. Houston Texans (1-6, 28)
We will quickly see if Houston sold enough at the deadline, based on their Week 9 result against Jacksonville. If they lose, they probably should have sold more.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6, 30)
The good news is the Jaguars didn’t lose for a seventh consecutive weekend. The bad news is they didn’t win either. We’ll see how they look after their Week 8 bye.
31. New York Giants (1-7, 31)
The G-Men gave the Buccaneers all they could handle, but in the end QB Daniel Jones missed too many throws to outduel the GOAT.
32. New York Jets (0-8, 32)
Shockingly enough, the winless Jets weren’t able to upset the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs.