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NFL Power Rankings through Week 8

Tim Tebow bows his head in remembrance of the trend formerly known as "Tebowing." (Photo courtesy of NY Daily News)

Week 8 brought the trend of Tebowing to an end (I hope), gave us one less team without a win, caused me to scold Chris Johnson, and led to losses by three of my top ten teams. (I’ll get over the Patriots loss eventually hopefully please don’t talk about it.)

Plus, I bring you the good news and the bad for teams with a bye, as well as inform you what some of those teams did for Halloween! I have my sources.

Last week’s rankings are in parentheses.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the second half of the season with my NFL Ranks of the good, the bad and the fugly:

32 (31). Indianapolis Colts (0-8)

Curtis Painter led the Colts to almost 400 yards of offense but couldn’t find the end zone. Two turnovers certainly didn’t help. Move over, St. Louis, there’s a new sheriff in town!

31 (30). Miami Dolphins (0-7)

Reggie Bush ran for over 100 yards and Steve Slaton (remember him?) scored his first touchdown in two years. To no avail, though, as the Dolphins choked away another lead. It’s cute how they take after the Miami Heat in that regard.

30 (32). St. Louis Rams (1-6)

With their win over New Orleans, the Rams finally move out of last place in my weekly Power Rankings! All sorts of St. Louis fans informed me via email that this meant more than being the 2011 World Series Champions.

29 (29). Arizona Cardinals (1-6)

The Cardinals aren’t to blame for this week’s loss. The media confused them with all the coverage of how they won the World Series, leaving Arizona to wonder how they could have done so as a football team, and why people thought they were located in St. Louis.

28 (25). Denver Broncos (2-5)

No Tim Tebow miracle this week as the Denver quarterback was sacked seven times in a 35-point loss. Tebow spent so much time on his back that curling up in the fetal position is now the new Tebowing.

27 (27). Seattle Seahawks (2-5)

Tarvaris Jackson threw for over 300 yards in the loss, but my gut tells me you don’t want Jackson throwing the ball 40 times if you want to win. Well if your goal is winning, in that case you probably don’t want him attempting a single pass as your quarterback.

26 (26). Cleveland Browns (3-4)

After the loss, Browns wide receiver Joshua Cribbs pleaded with Browns fans, saying, “Back home, I hope they don’t go into a frenzy like the world is going to end.” It’s not that the world is going to end, it’s that they live in Cleveland. There’s a difference.

25 (24). Washington Redskins (3-4)

The Redskins mustered all of 178 total yards (a mere 26 yards rushing), 10 first downs, and zero points. John Beck might be better off trying to replace the one-man band “Beck” than continuing to masquerade as an NFL quarterback.

24 (23). Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6)

In previous Power Rankings, I seem to have suggested that Blaine Gabbert might be talented. After going 10-30 for 97 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs (a ghastly 26.7 passer rating) on Sunday, I would like to kindly ask SoB to erase any record of those articles. Thank you.

23 (21). Carolina Panthers (2-6)

Still within three points after the Vikings scored 14 points off two first-half fumble recoveries, the Panthers lost 24-21 when kicker Olindo Mare’s 31-yard field goal attempt sailed wide. Quarterback Cam Newton said of the loss, “Whoever thinks this game came down to the last possession is a fool.” Call me a fool, but when you lose on a missed field goal with less than a minute left, I’m pretty sure that means the game came down to the last possession.

22 (28). Minnesota Vikings (2-6)

Aided by 162 yards from scrimmage by Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder threw for 236 yards and one touchdown in his first NFL win. Since now we apparently call the act of praying “Tebowing,” can Christian looking thoughtful be known as “Pondering?”

21 (20). Tennessee Titans (4-3)

Chris Johnson put up another putrid performance, essentially getting benched in the fourth quarter in favor of back-up running back Javon Ringer. From now on, I will refer to him as “Christopher Duan Johnson!” in the same way his mother would if he broke her favorite flower vase. Given how bad he is at running, that actually makes sense.

20 (19). Oakland Raiders (4-3)

The good news is that Carson Palmer has a chance to learn the playbook over the bye. The bad news is Oakland doesn’t get those draft picks back when Palmer still inevitably stinks.

19 (22). Kansas City Chiefs (4-3)

The Chiefs are on a four-win tear after losing their first three games and now find themselves with a share of first place in the AFC West. It all started four weeks ago when head coach Todd Haley decided to stop shaving until his team lost. I love a good “Fear the Beard” story, but please don’t turn this mere coincidence into some unwarranted, Brian Wilson-esque love fest.

18 (17). Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-3)

The Bucs are still very much in the race for the NFC South division title after the Saints lost, which is good news. However, the Bad News Bucs unoriginally decided to dress up as pirates for Halloween.

17 (12). Dallas Cowboys (3-4)

Rob Ryan’s trash talk came back to haunt him as the Eagles roughed up the Dallas defense. I am just as surprised as you are that it took me this long to utilize a cheap Halloween pun.

16 (16). Chicago Bears (4-3)

The good news for Jay Cutler was that the bye week allowed him to dress up as the Grinch for Halloween. The bad news for the rest of the Bears is that Cutler has never seen the end of the movie, so he just acts like a dick. Even when he isn’t dressed in green.

15 (18). Philadelphia Eagles (3-4)

The Eagles held the ball for 42 minutes in their Sunday night win over Dallas as LeSean McCoy galloped for 185 rushing yards and two scores, and the defense finally played up to expectations. Andy Reid’s mustache was quivering with excitement, although it was unclear whether it was over his team’s dominant win or the postgame buffet in the locker room.

14 (15). Houston Texans (5-3)

With Sunday’s win, Houston is off to its best eight-game start in franchise history. I’m so impressed that this is the first time ever that the Texans have managed to reach the halfway point of the season with a winning percentage over .500.

13 (14). Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)

The Bengals sealed the win when ex-Patriot Brandon Tate took a punt 56 yards to the house with 3:22 left. The important part was that he replaced Adam “Pacman” Jones. The Pacman! Why was I not made aware that he is still in the league?

12 (6). San Diego Chargers (4-3)

Philip Rivers fumbled away a snap in the red zone with under a minute to play to cost the Chargers a victory. It was his 14th giveaway of the season, three more than any other quarterback. Congratulations, Philip Rivers, Rex Grossman is better at holding onto the ball than you! Granted, that’s probably because he spent the last two games on the bench, but still.

11 (13). New York Jets (4-3)

The good news for the Jets is that they are just one game back in the AFC East after New England’s loss. The bad news is that Mark Sanchez ranks 28th in completion percentage, tied with benchwarmer Rex Grossman. I’m cackling like that guy at the end of “Thriller.”

10 (11). Atlanta Falcons (4-3)

Good news, Falcons! You basically have a double bye week because you play Indianapolis next week. The bad news would be that you still have to play in the Deep South.

9 (10). New York Giants (5-2)

Eli Manning swooped in with 349 passing yards and two touchdowns to save his team from the jaws of defeat. I hate déjà vu.

 8 (4). New Orleans Saints (5-3)

After racking up 62 points last week, the Saints struggled against a previously pathetic St. Louis squad. We should have predicted this outcome. It didn’t even matter that they were baseball players; the Cardinals had all the momentum coming off their World Series victory.

7 (9). Buffalo Bills (5-2)

Ryan Fitzpatrick signed a six-year, $59 million contract extension in the week leading up to the Bills’ 23-0 win in Toronto. Thanks to the current exchange rate, Buffalo ownership got maximum value out of their new franchise quarterback.

6 (8). Baltimore Ravens (5-2)

The Ravens were good enough to scrape by with a win, but simultaneously bad enough for the home fans to boo. I think fans were paraphrasing Edgar Allan Poe when he wrote “The Raven.”

5 (7). Detroit Lions (6-2)

The Lions had a host of highlights in romping to 45 points during their Week 8 win, but the best of all was when linebacker Stephen Tulloch celebrated a sack by Tebowing next to its namesake.

4 (2). New England Patriots (5-2)

Could the New England defense be any worse? Actually, scratch that. I don’t want to give them any ideas. Instead, let’s have a moment of silence for the Patriots secondary.

3 (3). San Francisco 49ers (6-1)

Frank Gore ran for over 125 yards and a touchdown for the fourth straight game, leading the 49ers to their sixth win. Alex Smith went 15-of-24 for 177 yards and one touchdown with a 98.8 passer rating. I will always resent Alex Smith for officially ruining passer rating as a meaningful statistic.

2 (5). Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)

Everything went right for Ben Roethlisberger as he assaulted took advantage of found holes in picked apart the Patriots pass defense for two touchdowns.

1 (1). Green Bay Packers (7-0)

The good news is that Green Bay looks like a lock to return to the Super Bowl. Since the Packers are 7-0 and have the best QB in the league (I’m sorry, Tom!), the only bad news is that insurance companies are ripping off Rodgers’s touchdown celebration. I don’t understand how it signifies a discount double check, either.

About Nick Bohlen - @ndbohlen

Nick is an editor and regular contributor for the Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox sections of SoB. (Despite growing up in Vermont, just a short drive from Canada, hockey never really caught on with him.) Follow him on twitter: @ndbohlen

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2 comments for “NFL Power Rankings through Week 8”

  1. Hilarious article, I laughed the entire time and it was all true. good work

    Posted by John | November 2, 2011, 1:17 pm
  2. chargers at 12? they have too much talent to be 4-3. no way should the be top 15, more like 19 maybe even 20. rivers has lost 2 games on final drives and blew a lead against the jets. i think they will turn it around but for now they are not the 12th best team in the league

    Posted by bobby doherty | November 3, 2011, 8:25 pm

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