NFL Power Rankings: Raiders almost Top 5; 49ers didn't lose on bye
From 32 to 1...
Eight weeks are in the books...
32) Cleveland (0-8)
Another week, another close loss for the Browns. If Hue Jackson had any hair, he would’ve torn it out by now.
31) 49ers (1-6)
The Santa Clarans didn’t play and therefore couldn’t lose. That’s a plus. Sort of.
30) Jacksonville (2-5)
It looks like the Jaguars have quit, buckling under great expectations and few good results. Frustration gushed out in a loss to the Raiders. They showed zero fight on Thursday night against Tennessee, and offensive coordinator Greg Olson was sacrificed as a result. Too bad. Good guy deserved better.
29) Chicago (2-6)
The Bears beat the Vikings on Monday night with a solid, albeit boring game plan ESPN didn’t appreciate. Jay Cutler’s return gave his team a lift, and the Bears showed signs of life. Still don’t think they’re that good.
28) Carolina (2-5)
Cam’s complaining after a win. Nobody’s happy in Carolina.
27) N.Y. Jets (3-5)
Jets have won two straight but still have a lot of problems, especially with animosity between coach and quarterback.
26) Los Angeles (3-4)
The Rams still have a quarterback problem. As long as that’s the case, Aaron Donald’s wasting great effort.
25) Indianapolis (3-5)
Andrew Luck blamed himself for offensive struggles in the latest Colts loss. Nah. Let’s try everybody else but him.
24) Baltimore (3-4)
A bye week meant the Ravens couldn’t lose five straight. They were paper tigers at 3-0.
23) San Diego (3-5)
The Chargers have lost several close ones, and came out of a three-game stretch against Denver twice and Atlanta 2-1. Bolts won’t go down without a fight.
22) Miami (3-4)
Football folks always say the bye week comes at a great time. Maybe not for Miami, who was surging when forced to take respite. Jay Ajayi certainly didn’t want a break.
21) New Orleans (3-4)
Saints showed some resolve on defense in beating Seattle. Drew Brees keeps his teams in it. He just needs a little help.
20) Tampa Bay (3-4)
The Bucs couldn’t put the Raiders away. Khalil Mack and Derek Carr made sure of that. Tampa isn’t quite well rounded enough.
19) Tennessee (4-4)
The Titans have been running strong all season. They’re old school, with Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray in the midst of a career renaissance.
18) Buffalo (4-4)
Bills are streaky. Lose two. Win four. Lose two more. Rex Ryan admits the division title is no longer realistic. We agree.
17) Detroit (4-4)
The Lions impress at times thanks to Matt Stafford, underwhelm most others. They’re making a beeline to 8-8.
16) Arizona (3-4-1)
The Cardinals haven’t made things easy this season. Playing a stretch without Tyrann Mathieu, and Jared Veldheer the rest of the year makes things a whole lot harder.
15) Cincinnati (3-4-1)
The Bengals are a top offense, but 20th in scoring. There’s something wrong with that.
14) N.Y. Giants (4-3)
Wake us when they beat someone of significance. And, no, clipping Dallas in Dak Prescott’s professional debut doesn’t count.
13) Washington (4-3-1)
Washington made a late charge in London but could only tie Cincinnati. Result could cost this team down the stretch in a tightly wound NFC East.
12) Pittsburgh (4-3)
Every game Big Ben misses is trouble for the Steelers, but nobody’s running away with the AFC North. They’ll be back up when their quarterback returns.
11) Houston (5-3)
Texans owner says Brock Osweiller is ‘basically still a rookie.’ He’s pretty comfortable at home and made clutch plays for the second straight week.
10) Philadelphia (5-3)
The Eagles aren’t winning at the same clip. Bumps and bruises happen to rookie quarterbacks, but Carson Wentz is gonna be fine.
9) Green Bay (4-3)
Packers lost a close one, but Aaron Rodgers looked really good, and the Packers are carrying on without Eddie Lacy.
8) Minnesota (5-2)
Maybe all the injuries have caught up with Minnesota. Only 20 points the last two weeks.
7) Atlanta (5-3)
It was around this time last season where the Falcons got their wings clipped. Started 6-1 and finished with a face plant. Things could’ve gone south after two straight last-minute losses, but Matt Ryan didn’t let it happen.
6) Raiders (6-2)
5) Seattle (4-2-1)
Seahawks are all over the map, though they’re in every game and have an extremely talented defense that makes ‘em scracy come winter time.
4) Kansas City (5-2)
Chiefs beat a bad Indianapolis team by two scores, without Jamaal Charles or Spencer Ware or even Alex Smith for stretches. This team’s legit. And deep.
3) Denver (6-2)
Denver’s on another roll after putting San Diego down. They join the Raiders atop the AFC West, with a big game Sunday at Oakland. Coliseum’s gonna be rockin’...
2) Dallas (6-1)
Remember back in the day, like, a whole year ago, when Tony Romo got hurt and Dallas’ season fell apart? Dak Prescott has made that a distant memory. He doesn’t do much for three quarters against Philly, then hits the gas and surges to another win. He’s making it harder to go back to the ol’ man, if not impossible.
1) New England (7-1)
The Tom Brady revenge tour made a stop in Buffalo and embarrassed a rival. It seems the Patriots quarterback throws a pretty good ball at proper PSI. Especially when Rob Gronkowski is the intended target, though he spikes the ball so hard after touchdowns some air must escape.