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PFT’s Week Eight 2021 power rankings

After the Packers' Week 7 win over Washington, Aaron Rodgers told reporters about back pain from an unexpected source that almost kept him out of the game.

1. Cardinals (7-0, last week No. 1): Green Bay’s sudden COVID issues make 8-0 a very real possibility.

2. Buccaneers (6-1, No. 2): Beat the Saints, and the Bucs may enter the Bills game at 12-1.

3. Rams (6-1, No. 4): The Lions threw the kitchen sink at the Rams, and the Rams somehow held on.

4. Packers (6-1, No. 5): No Davante? Big problem.

5. Bills (4-2, No. 6): Plenty of winnable games are on the docket.

6. Cowboys (5-1, No. 7): They’ll keep it going as long as Dak Prescott can keep going.

7. Bengals (5-2, No. 8): These aren’t your father’s Bengals. Or your grandfather’s. Or your uncle’s. Or your cousin’s. Or anyone’s.

8. Titans (5-2, No. 9): if they can stay focused each week, they can stay among the top of the conference.

9. Ravens (5-2, No. 3): Plenty of questions suddenly arise as the Ravens embark on their bye week.

10. Chargers (4-2, No. 10): The demise of the Chiefs is great news for the Chargers, who can take over the division.

11. Raiders (5-2, No. 13): Derek Carr is better without Jon Gruden’s constant haranguing.

12. Saints (4-2, No. 12): They finally have two wins in a row, but the team that barely beat the Seahawks will have a hard time beating the Bucs.

13. Browns (4-3, No. 14): We’ll learn a lot about the Browns in their next two games, against the Steelers and the Bengals.

14. Vikings (3-3, No. 15): The post-bye schedule gets a lot more difficult.

15. Steelers (3-3, No. 17): Never, ever write off the Steelers.

16. Patriots (3-4, No. 18): Never, ever write off the Patriots.

17. Chiefs (3-4, No. 11): The Chiefs have lost their swagger, and their opponents have yet to believe that they’ve lost their swagger. The only way out of this mess then is for the Chiefs to get their swagger back.

18. Panthers (3-4, No. 16): David Tepper made his money by buying low and selling high. When it comes to quarterbacks, he’s doing the opposite.

19. Colts (3-4, No. 24): If they lose to the Titans, there’s virtually no chance of winning the division.

20. Falcons (3-3, No. 23): They’ll be hanging around for a wild-card berth.

21. Seahawks (2-5, No. 19): Will Russell Wilson’s agent be publishing a list of the teams to which Wilson would accept a trade before next Tuesday’s deadline?

22. 49ers (2-4, No. 20): Take out 2019, and the five-year Kyle Shanahan/John Lynch era should get one or both of them fired.

23. Bears (3-4, No. 21): The record is starting to match the perception.

24. Eagles (2-5, No. 22): Why not give Gardner Minshew a shot?

25. Broncos (3-4, No. 25): Where have you gone, Trevor Siemian?

26. Giants (2-5, No. 29): The fish suddenly smells a little bit better.

27. Jaguars (1-5, No. 27): They got their win. How many more are out there this year?

28. Washington (2-5, No. 26): Who else’s jersey can they quickly retire?

29. Jets (1-5, No. 28): The decision to add a veteran quarterback was only about six months late.

30. Dolphins (1-6, No. 30): Is the Tua Mafia actually resisting the idea that Deshaun Watson would be an upgrade?

31. Texans (1-6, No. 31): Tyrod Taylor can win just enough games to screw up their draft position.

32. Lions (0-7, No. 32): The Dan Campbell approach will work, if he gets enough time to get enough players who are built for it.