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NFL Power Rankings Following Week 8 Games: PFN Jinx?



A.J. Brown and the Philadelphia Eagles top this week's NFL Power Rankings

For the last three weeks in a row the top team in the NFL Power Rankings has lost. First it was the San Francisco 49ers, who were followed by the Detroit Lions. Last week the Kansas City Chiefs were ranked first, and appeared safe. They faced their AFC West rival, the Denver Broncos, who were down at 29 on the power rankings. But the Broncos pulled off the upset, so there is a new number one in town.

So will this week’s new number one continue the trend this weekend? Is there a PFN jinx?

Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers registered their first win of the season on Sunday, and have escaped spot 32 in the rankings. The Arizona Cardinals are now the third team to occupy that place this season, joining the Panthers and Bears..

Once again, these NFL Power Rankings are not based on hypotheticals, potential or feelings. These rankings are based on reality. As Bill Parcells noted, “you are what your record says you are.” The two teams with one loss deserve to take the top spots in the rankings. Likewise, the lone team without a win should take up the rear, which they do.

With that in mind, the NFL Power Rankings from Patriots Football Now

32. Arizona Cardinals (1-7)

With their fifth straight loss, the Cardinals now find themselves in last place on the NFL Power Rankings. QB Joshua Dobbs started his final game for Arizona, as he was traded to the Vikings at the NFL Trade Deadline. It is still unknown if Kyler Murray will return to start this weekend, or if rookie Clayton Tune will get his first career start. One positive for the Cardinals was the performance of TE Trey McBride, who finished the game with 10 receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown.

31. Carolina Panthers (1-6)

The Panthers emerged from their bye week and recorded their first win of 2023. Carolina defeated Houston 15-13. QB Bryce Young easily outplayed his fellow rookie C.J. Stroud. He finished 22-of-31 for 235 and a touchdown. Most important, no turnovers for Young. The defensive was led by LB Frankie Luvu, who was all over the field. He recorded 12 tackles (seven solo), a sack, two tackles for loss and had two passes defended. It also happened to be the first game Luvu’s mom traveled from America Samoa to watch him play.

30. New York Giants (2-6)

It is hard to believe this Giants team made the playoffs just a year ago. It appears they have officially thrown in the towel on 2023 after trading DL Leonard Williams at the NFL Trade Deadline. On Sunday they lost to the New York Jets 13-10 in overtime. With starting QB Daniel Jones still out (expected to return this weekend) and Tyrod Taylor getting injured in the game, New York turned to UDFA rookie Tommy DeVito (Syracuse/Illinois) but the passing attack struggled badly. The quarterbacks went a combined 6-for-14 for seven yards (not a typo). DE Kayshon Thibodeaux was a defensive force with 3.0 sacks.

29. Chicago Bears (2-6)

Chicago started rookie QB Tyler Bagent in place of the injured Justin Fields on Sunday. It was a rude awakening to being a starting NFL quarterback, as Chicago got steamrolled 30-13 by the L.A. Chargers. Bagent threw two interceptions in the loss. The Bears fell behind 17-0 early and could never compete. TE Cole Kmet emerged as Bagent’s favorite target, with 10 receptions for 79 yards. LB T.J. Edwards had 12 tackles, including to TFL for Chicago.

28. New England Patriots (2-6)

New England drops another spot in the rankings after another loss, this time to the Dolphins. Mac Jones threw two touchdown passes, but also had a very costly interception. Turnovers continue to be an issue in every Patriots loss this season. However, their defense did have a couple of takeaways of their own. The defensive effort was led by DB Kyle Dugger, who led the team with nine tackles (seven solo) while adding an interception and a sack.

27. Green Bay Packers (2-5)

Beating the Saints in Week 3 made started the Jordan Love Era in Green Bay off on a 2-1 start. But five weeks later, the Packers have yet to record another win. The Packers were supposed to have one of the league’s better running attacks this season with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon, but being banged up has prevented either from looking their best. Both were in the lineup on Sunday, but combined for just 40 yards on 13 carries. Love was their leading rusher (34 yards) which helped Minnesota dominate the time of possession. The Packers defense was led by LB Preston Smith, who had five tackles, 2.0 sacks, one TFL and a pass defended.

26. Indianapolis Colts (3-5)

The Colts were looking good at 3-2, but three straight losses find them near heading in the wrong direction. RB Jonathan Taylor (12 carries, 95 yards) had his most effective game of the year. QB Gardner Minshew did not play poorly (215 yards, two touchdowns, one interception) but the turnover was costly. But regardless of the offense, when the opposition scores 38 points as the Saints did on Sunday, it is tough to walk away with a win.

25. Denver Broncos (3-5)

Beating the Bears and Packers may not have been overly impressive, but last Sunday Sean Payton’s team took down the #1 team in the NFL Power Rankings. If anyone saw the Broncos 15-point win over the Chiefs coming, hopefully they placed a healthy wager on it. The 24-9 Denver win was easily their best performance of the season and it came against their toughest opponent. That’s why they play the games! QB Russell Wilson only threw for 114 yards, but he tossed three touchdowns and no interceptions. The Broncos had two interceptions and recovered three fumbles. Not even Kansas City can overcome five turnovers. LB Baron Browning had 2.0 sacks and a forced fumble.

24. Washington Commanders (3-5)

After starting the season 2-0 it has been downhill for Washington. The Commanders loss to the Eagles made it five-of-six games without a win since their surprising start. Although they gave Philadelphia a fight, ultimately it was not enough as they fell 38-31. QB Sam Howell had a great game, throwing for 397 yards and four touchdowns to four different receivers. WR Jahan Dotson led the receiving corps with eight receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown. The Commanders defense had no answers for the Eagles offense however. DE Montez Sweat recorded a sack in his final game before being traded to Chicago.

23. Las Vegas Raiders (3-5)

The Raiders were riding a two-game win streak after defeating the Patriots three games ago, but consecutive losses to the Bears (by 18) and the Lions (by 12) put an end to any good vibes in Vegas. Head coach Josh McDaniels has lost his job because of it, along with GM Dave Ziegler and OC Mick Lombardi. The loss on Monday Night Football saw WR Devante Adams finally boil over with frustration. QB Jimmy Garoppolo completed 10-of-21 passes for 126 yards, no touchdowns and an interception in the 26-14 loss. He lost his starting job in the process, as rookie Aidan O’Connell was named the Raiders new QB this week by new HC Antonio Pierce.

22. Los Angeles Rams (3-5)

The Rams loss to the Cowboys was not even as close as the 43-20 final score. Dallas led 17-3 after the first quarter and 33-9 at halftime. All facets of the games struggled for L.A. the offense failed to move the ball, and allowed a touchdown of their own on a pick-six thrown by QB Matthew Stafford. Special teams allowed two points on a safety, when Dallas blocked a punt out of the end zone. And the defense failed to get any stops in the first half. All Pro DT Aaron Donald was his usual dominant self with 2.0 sacks, a rare bright spot for L.A. in a game where Stafford was also injured.

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4)

The Buccaneers entered the bye week with a 3-1 record. Since coming out of their bye things have gone straight downhill. Thursday’s loss to Buffalo was their third straight, dropping Tampa Bay to 3-4 on the season. QB Baker Mayfield played well, completing 25-of-42 passes for 237 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Tampa Bay got very conservative in the second half and it did not pay off. They largely relied on a running game, which ha snot been effective. Once they finally let the ball fly, they scored in the fourth quarter (fourth down pass to Mike Evans) but it was too little too late at that point.

20. Los Angeles Chargers (3-4)

Chargers QB Justin Herbert reminded people why he is considered among the elite quarterbacks in the league. His numbers on the day:  31-for-40, 298 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. RB Austin Ekeler had a very up-and-down day. He rushed for only 29 yards on 15 carries and lost a fumble. But Ekeler also brought in seven receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown.

19. Tennessee Titans (3-4)

Tennessee had not won since Week 4 but they came out of their bye week with a victory. Maybe head coach Mike Vrabel stepping away to be celebrated in New England helped recharge everyone in the Titans locker room. Rookie QB Will Levis was very impressive. He finished the day 19-of-29 passing for 238 yards. Levis threw four touchdowns (one in each quarter) and no interceptions. RB Derrick Henry topped the 100-yard mark for the second time this season. DeAndre Hopkins made the most of his four receptions, amassing 128 yards and three touchdowns.

18. Houston Texans (3-4)

Rookie QB C.J. Stroud is the betting favorite for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year but on Sunday he got outplayed a fellow rookie. Number one overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, Panthers QB Bryce Young, helped Carolina take down Houston 15-13. The offense only committed one turnover (a fumble) but was never able to generate any traction. RB Dameon Pierce suffered an ankle injury that Houston hopes will not keep him out long. DE Jonathan Greenard led the defense with 2.5 sacks on the afternoon.

17. Atlanta Falcons (4-4)

QB Desmond Ridder was replaced at halftime in the Falcons 28-23 loss to the Titans. After fumbling three times the week before, Ridder lost a fumble in the first half. He was also sacked five times. Taylor Heineke was much more effective in the second half, passing for 175 yards and a touchdown. He will start this weekend for Atlanta. Rookie RB Bijan Robinson had 62 yards rushing and a touchdown on just 11 carries. It seems getting him more involved should be a focus of the Falcons offense moving forward, regardless of who is playing quarterback.

16. New Orleans Saints (4-4)

The quarterbacks had a big day for the Saints on Sunday. Derek Carr threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Taysom Hill completed a 44-yard pass and also ran a 20-yard  QB draw in for a touchdown. Hill finished with 63 yards rushing (two touchdowns), 44 yards passing and 16 yards receiving. RB Alvin Kamara had 110 total yards and two touchdowns.

15. Minnesota Vikings (4-4)

After the Week 5 NFL Power Rankings, the Vikings were all the way down to 31. But after three straight wins, Minnesota is back to .500 and ranked in the top half of teams. Unfortunately, there is a lot to overcome if the Vikings are going to keep their winning ways going. During Sunday’s 24-10 win over Green Bay, Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins was injured. Cousins ranks second in the NFL in passing yards and is tied for first in passing touchdowns. He will be replaced by rookie Jaren Hall. Will their turnaround continue with a rookie backup quarterback taking over?

14. San Francisco 49ers (5-3)

Just three games ago San Francisco was undefeated and the top team in the NFL Power Rankings. After losses to Cleveland, Minnesota and Cincinnati, they have come back to the middle of the field. RB Christian McCaffrey (118 yards from scrimmage, two touchdowns) had another solid game. He set an NFL record by scoring from scrimmage in 17 straight games. QB Brock Purdy, who was error-free when the 49ers were rolling, threw two interceptions. And the San Francisco defense struggled to slow down the Cincinnati all afternoon. They will need to turn this around soon if they want to get back to being the dominant team everyone was expecting, and saw in the first five weeks.

13. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)

Pittsburgh’s two-game winning streak came to a halt with a 20-10 loss to Jacksonville. QB Kenny Pickett was injured near the end of the first half for the Steelers. Mitchell Trubisky came on in relief, and threw two second half interceptions in the comeback attempt. The offense struggled to generation much traction with 261 yards in total offense and only 25:44 in time of possession. Former Patriot Elandon Roberts (1.5 sacks) led a defense that forced two fumbles int he loss.

12. Cincinnati Bengals (4-3)

The Bengals began the season 1-3, but three straight wins has them looking like the dangerous team everyone was expecting. The offensive was clicking on all cylinders against the 49ers on Sunday. QB Joe Burrow completed 28-of-32 passes for 283 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. WR JaMarr Chase had a well-rounded day (pun intended) with 10-100-1 totals. LB Logan Wilson led the defensive effort with 10 tackles and an interception.

11. Cleveland Browns (4-3)

A close loss to the Seahawks doesn’t move the Browns too far in the standings, especially with starting QB Deshaun Watson still out. P.J. Walker struggled on Sunday, completing only 15-of-31 passes for 248 yards and two interceptions. He did find TE David Njoku for a touchdown, but the turnovers were too much to overcome in a 24-20 loss. DT Maurice Hurst II. did his best impersonation of his father Maurice Hurst with his second career interception. The big man now trails his father 27-to-2 in their NFL careers.

10. Buffalo Bills (5-3)

A short week after a loss to the New England Patriots paid dividends for the Bills. They rebounded on Thursday Night Football with a 24-18 win over Tampa Bay. It was not necessarily an impressive performance, but it got the job done. QB Josh Allen was 31-of-40 passing for 324 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. WR Gabe Davis was very solid for Buffalo. He finished with nine receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown.

9. New York Jets (4-3)

After the Jets lost three straight games to fall to 1-3, it was tough to imagine them working their way into the top ten of the NFL Power Rankings. Yet after not losing in a month (3-0 with a bye) here they are. The Jets outlasted the Giants 13-10 in an ugly overtime win on Sunday, but ugly wins are certainly better than pretty losses. QB Zach Wilson didn’t throw any interceptions, but did lose two fumbles. RB Breece Hall struggled running (12 carries, 17 yards) but was an effective receiver out of the backfield (six receptions, 76 yards, touchdown). DE Jermaine Johnson II had the first two-sack game of his NFL career.

8. Dallas Cowboys (5-2)

Every aspect of the Cowboys team was clicking in their 43-20 win over the Rams. The offense, defense and special teams all put points on the board. QB Dak Prescott completed 24-of-31 passes for 304 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. WR CeeDee Lamb caught 12 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns. CB DaRon Bland had a pick-six for his third touchdown of the season (Patriots fans probably remember the others).

7. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-2)

A very business-like win for Jacksonville while knocking off Pittsburgh 20-10. QB Trevor Lawrence led a conservative offensive attack that controlled the clock. He finished completing 24-of-32 passes for 292 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. The highlight came on a 56-yard touchdown pass to RB Travis Etienne. TE Evan Engram (10 receptions on 10 targets for 88 yards) was the favorite target, though he did lose one of the two Jaguars fumbles. DE Josh Allen (2.0 sacks) continues his dominant season for the Jacksonville defense.

6. Kansas City Chiefs (6-2)

The Chiefs kept the PFN jinx alive and well on Sunday. For the third straight week the top team in the NFL Power Rankings lost. Kansas City followed in the footsteps of San Francisco and Detroit when Denver scored the 24-9 upset. QB Patrick Mahomes had arguably the worst game of his NFL career. He accounted for no touchdowns, while being responsible for three of the five Chiefs turnovers. Even with a heavily favored team like Kansas City, ball security is still crucial. DE George Karlaftis (2.5 sacks, forced fumble) was one of the few bright spots in the loss.

5. Detroit Lions (6-2)

Detroit lost their top ranking after getting dominated by Baltimore, but rebounded nicely. They took care of the Las Vegas 26-14 and cost several Raiders their jobs in the process. Rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs was the star of the show. He rushed for 152 yards and a touchdown to lead the offensive attack. If the Lions run game is that effective moving forward, it will really open things up for QB Jared Goff and WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, who both had solid games as well. LB Alex Anzalone led the defensive effort with seven tackles, two sacks and three tackles for loss.

4. Seattle Seahawks (5-2)

Pete Carroll’s squad continues to win and continues to hang around the top of the rankings. Seattle overcame two Geno Smith interceptions to pull off the 24-20 win over Cleveland. Not all went poorly for Smith, who completed 23-of-37 attempts for 237 yards and two touchdowns. WR Tyler Lockett led the way with eight receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown. Rookie TE Jake Bobo continues to be a great story for Seattle. The New England native (Belmont Hill School graduate) already had two touchdowns receptions this season, and on Sunday the UDFA registered his first NFL rushing touchdown. The Seattle defense continues to impress, led by veteran LB Bobby Wagner (13 tackles). Their throwback uniforms were also awesome.

3. Baltimore Ravens (6-2)

Three straight wins for the Baltimore Ravens, despite a bit of a letdown this weekend. After dominating the Detroit Lions a week ago, Baltimore struggled to hold off a one-win Arizona team on Sunday. Nevertheless, the Ravens escaped with a 31-24 road win for their sixth win. RB Gus Edwards rushed for 80 yards and three touchdowns. Safety Kyle Hamilton continues to play like an All-Pro, registering nine tackles, including one for a loss.

2. Miami Dolphins (6-2)

The Dolphins earn top spot among the two-loss teams. One of their only two losses came against the top-ranked team. Miami still has something to prove however, as their six wins have come at the expense of the Chargers, Broncos, Giants, Panthers and Patriots (twice). None of the teams they have defeated have a winning record this season. That said, their offense continues to look awesome, led by a couple of NFL MVP candidates in QB Tua Tagovailoa and WR Tyreek Hill, along with Pro Bowl WR Jaylen Waddle. The dynamic duo of wide receivers combined for 15 receptions, 233 yards and two touchdowns in the Dolphins 31-17 win over the Patriots on Sunday.

1. Philadelphia Eagles (7-1)

Philadelphia surprisingly had their hand’s full with Washington last weekend, but they still managed to pull out the 38-31 win. It is difficult to beat any division rival twice in a season, but the Eagles completed the feat against the Commanders. QB Jalen Hurts had hit best game of the season. He completed 29-of-38 passes for 318 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. October’s NFC Offensive Player of the Month A.J. Brown had another big game. Brown recorded eight receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns. WR DeVonta Smith chipped in with seven receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown of his own.

A.J. Brown and the Philadelphia Eagles top this week's NFL Power Rankings

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) celebrates his touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)