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Week Eight power rankings

Patriots Big Test Football

FILE - At left, in an Oct. 23, 2014, file photo, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning calls a play against the San Diego Chargers during the first half of an NFL football game in Denver. At right, in a Sept. 29, 2014, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady points on the line of scrimmage during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo. New England has little time to savor its fourth straight win, a 51-23 pounding of the Chicago Bears. The Patriots must get ready to host Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos next Sunday in the first of five straight games against top teams.(AP Photo/File)


1. Denver Broncos (Last week No. 2; 6-1): Good news -- they can handle the best the NFC has to offer. Bad news -- they may not be able to handle the Patriots.

2. Arizona Cardinals (No. 3; 6-1): How good would this team be if it had Dansby, Dockett, and Darryl Washington?

3. Dallas Cowboys (No. 1; 6-2): Tony Romo says he’s fine. Which means that the announcement of season-ending surgery should be coming any minute now.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (No. 4; 5-2): Last year, Nick Foles carried the Eagles. This year, he could be holding them back.

5. New England Patriots (No. 9; 6-2): To get a full measure of revenge against the Bears for Super Bowl XX, the Pats should have let Vince Wilfork score a touchdown.

6. Detroit Lions (No. 10; 6-2): In a year with plenty of viable candidates for coach of the year, Jim Caldwell deserves serious consideration.

7. San Diego Chargers (No. 5; 5-3): Philip Rivers is an MVP candidate, but the Chargers may not have enough other VPs to get them where they want to be.

8. Green Bay Packers (No. 6; 5-3): Aaron Rodgers will spend the next two weeks telling his hamstring to R-E-L-A-X.

9. Indianapolis Colts (No. 7; 5-3): As they prepare for the latest installment of the Greatest Game Ever Played, maybe the surviving members of the ’58 Colts would do a better job of playing defense.

10. Baltimore Ravens (No. 8; 5-3): Another game against the Bengals, another late lapse in pass defense.

11. Seattle Seahawks (No. 11; 4-3): We’d believe that all was well in Seattle if players and coaches didn’t spend so much time trying to convince us of it.

12. Cincinnati Bengals (No. 12; 4-2-1): Andy Dalton finally proves he can win without A.J. Green, thanks to Mohamed Sanu.

13. San Francisco 49ers (No. 13; 4-3): The over/under of owners plotting for a run at Jim Harbaugh is currently 5.5.

14. Buffalo Bills (No. 14; 5-3): Sammy Watkins’ premature celebration could end up being a metaphor for his team’s 2014 season.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 18; 5-3): It’s a good thing they didn’t listen to Snoop Dogg. (That’s a sentence that probably has never been inaccurate.)

16. Kansas City Chiefs (No. 16; 4-3): Maybe they should rename the battle of Missouri the Governor’s Cupcake.

17. Cleveland Browns (No. 17; 4-3): If they’re still hovering around .500 in three weeks, it’ll be interesting to see what Josh Gordon can do for the stretch run.

18. New Orleans Saints (No. 20; 3-4): Rob Ryan is suddenly doing a little better than Rex.

19. Miami Dolphins (No. 19; 4-3): The next four games (Chargers, Lions, Bills, Broncos) will go a long way toward shaping the fate of the team and its coach.

20. Carolina Panthers (No. 15; 3-4-1): And yet they somehow still have a good chance of getting to the playoffs.

21. Houston Texans (No. 22; 4-4): Selfies are “high school.” Letterman jackets and post-game attire exposing half of a guy’s muscle mass aren’t.

21. Chicago Bears (No. 21; 3-5): Giving up 51 points is way more unacceptable than being 3-4.

23. New York Giants (No. 23; 3-4): G.M. Jerry Reese thinks Eli Manning needs to be more aggressive. Eli probably felt the same way about Reese back in March.

24. Washington (No. 27; 3-5): See, I told you they could get a first-round pick for Colt McCoy.

25. Minnesota Vikings (No. 29; 3-5): The combined record of the three teams they’ve beaten is 5-17.

26. St. Louis Rams (No. 24; 2-5): The All-IR team would be dominated by Rams.

27. Atlanta Falcons (No. 25; 2-6): If that “home” game had actually been played at home, that 21-0 lead likely wouldn’t have been blown.

28. Tennessee Titans (No. 28; 2-6): Somewhere, Mike Munchak is cackling.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 30; 1-7): Somewhere, Mike Mularkey is cackling.

30. New York Jets (No. 26; 1-7): Somewhere, Rich Kotite is cackling.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 31; 1-6): Somewhere, Greg Schiano is cackling.

32. Oakland Raiders (No. 32; 0-7): Somewhere, Dennis Allen, Hue Jackson, Tom Cable, Lane Kiffin, Art Shell, Norv Turner, and Bill Callahan are cackling.