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NFL 2018 SQ NFL Power Rankings: Week 8

NBC

With a win across the pond, where do the LA Chargers find themselves as we near the midway point of the season?

Don’t look now, but Philip Rivers is down late in the rankings and is charging with no timeouts. Jokes aside, this Chargers team looks different. They’ve lost only twice and those losses have been to the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs who have combined through seven weeks for one total loss. 

The question for the Chargers will be whether they can sustain this level of play or whether they will fade as they have in years past. 

Find out below where they and your favorite team have landed.

   Ranking (Change)

1 (-)

Los Angeles Rams (7-0)

Los Angeles Rams (7-0)

Los Angeles continues to find new ways of dominating in their wins. Jared Goff and Todd Gurley didn’t have huge yardage games, but the defense was able to force multiple turnovers, which was an area they actually had struggled in. Aaron Donald played his best game of the season with 4 sacks and he will need to continue this trend this coming Sunday when Aaron Rodgers comes to town. (Max Vukelich)

2 (+1)

Kansas City Chiefs (6-1)

Kansas City Chiefs (6-1)

Kansas City’s offense continues to play at a historical level, with Patrick Mahomes breaking the record for most touchdowns through seven games. The story for them however was the way to defense played. Holding the Bengals offense that had been playing well to only 10 points is very impressive. If they continue to play the way they did on Sunday night, the Chiefs could become even better than they already are. (Max Vukelich)

3 (-1)

New England Patriots (5-2)

New England Patriots (5-2)

The Pats survived a nightmare of a schedule in their first seven weeks, finishing 5-2 amidst suspensions and injuries to star players. Their balanced attack will carry them through the second half of the season and we will almost certainly see them playing in January. Their real test will come in the playoffs against a much-improved gauntlet of AFC teams. (Hunter Bonge)

4 (-)

New Orleans Saints (5-1)

New Orleans Saints (5-1)

Saints quarterback Drew Brees is on track for 35 touchdowns and zero interceptions, recently broke the record for career passing yards, and could win the MVP this year. His supporting cast has been great, too. It has taken a decade for this team to build back up to its Super Bowl XLIV level of play, but no one should be surprised to see this team in Atlanta at the end of the season. (Hunter Bonge)

5 (+1)

Minnesota Vikings (4-2-1)

Minnesota Vikings (4-2-1)

After a rough start to 2018, Minnesota has bounced back to win three straight games. The Vikings will be tested against the Saints, Patriots, and tough divisional opponents (including the Bears twice), and will have to fight until the end to secure the division, but this team has the roster and coaching to last deep into the NFC playoffs. (Hunter Bonge)

6 (+4)

Los Angeles Chargers (5-2)

Los Angeles Chargers (5-2)

The Chargers were able to sneak out of London with a 20-19 victory over the Tennessee Titans. They didn’t play all that well in this game, but it’s the sign of a good team that can win games they didn’t play their best in. If the Chargers want any chance of catching the Chiefs in their division then they had to take care of the Titans and they did just that. (Max Vukelich)

7 (+1)

Baltimore Ravens (4-3)

Baltimore Ravens (4-3)

Justin Tucker‘s highly improbable missed extra point was the difference between a loss and OT for the Ravens, but against an NFC power like New Orleans, they shouldn’t hang their heads. Baltimore’s rest of season schedule is daunting, but with a defense that’s top ten in nearly every major category, the Ravens will be in every game. The question is if Joe Flacco, who is on pace for the most passing yards of his career, can continue his unusually effective play. (Nick Cardozo)

8 (+4)

Carolina Panthers (4-2)

Carolina Panthers (4-2)

Wow, what a comeback. The Panthers entered the fourth quarter trailing 17-0 before “Superman” Cam Newton engineered an improbable comeback — the biggest in franchise history — that saw Carolina score 21 unanswered points to steal a win from Philadelphia. It’s hard to tell whether it was more of an impressive win by the Panthers or a disgruntling loss by the Eagles, given that each team dominated a portion of the game — Carolina was just able to capitalize on poor situational football by Philadelphia down the stretch. Nonetheless, Newton was superb — in the fourth quarter at least — ultimately finishing with 269 yards and two touchdowns through the air, and an additional 49 yards on seven carries on the ground. The Panthers have struggled with consistency as of late. If they can figure out how to put together four complete quarters of solid football together, Ron Rivera and company will be back in the playoffs this season. (Ryan Grube)

9 (-)

Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2-1)

Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2-1)

Le’Veon Bell has yet to return to the team, but the Steelers shouldn’t be losing sleep over it. James Connor hasn’t skipped a beat, and watching the Ravens, Bengals and Browns lose on their bye week couldn’t be better for Pittsburgh. The Steelers are in first place in the division and look to be ready to make a run. This team should keep moving up the rankings as they catch fire down the stretch. (Matt Fowler)

10 (-3)

Cincinnati Bengals (4-3)

Cincinnati Bengals (4-3)

Although it was the Chiefs — arguably the best offensive team in the NFL right now — that 45-10 thumping was a pretty disappointing showing from the Bengals Sunday night. Andy Dalton and company were only able to muster a measly 10 points against Kansas City’s last-ranked defense (435.4 total yards allowed per game). Against a team that averages over 37 points per game, that’s simply not going to get it done. Dalton was anything but efficient, completing just 15-of-29 passes for 148 yards (117 to A.J. Green alone), one touchdown, and an interception. Meanwhile, in the rushing department, it didn’t get much better, as Joe Mixon rushed for a season-low 50 yards on 13 carries. Sunday marked two straight losses for the struggling Bengals. The good news is that Cincinnati will get an opportunity to rebound this week against a Buccaneers team that’s 1-3 over their last four games. (Ryan Grube)

11 (-6)

Philadelphia Eagles (3-4)

Philadelphia Eagles (3-4)

Through three quarters on Sunday, the Eagles looked like they were returning to Super Bowl form. Unfortunately for them, they forgot that football games have a fourth quarter. The epic collapse at home against the Panthers has people wondering if this is still a good team? The defense disappeared and the offense stalled in the final 15 minutes as Cam Newton found his form. If the defense can’t stop Bortles/Kessler next week, their season could be finished. (Matt Fowler)

12 (-1)

Green Bay Packers (3-2-1)

Green Bay Packers (3-2-1)

The Packers were off in Week 7, and the break couldn’t have come at a better time with multiple players on the mend. Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison have been working their way back from injury, and the duo appears likely to play this week. That’s a blessing for Aaron Rodgers, who has been banged up himself this season; he’ll need all the help he can get with a matchup against the Rams looming. (Kyle Trapp)

13 (+2)

Washington Redskins (4-2)

Washington Redskins (4-2)

Washington has its first winning streak of the season after a satisfying win over their division rivals this past week. The Redskins offense seems like it will be very limited this year. They rank 25th in points per game and rely very heavily on a run game that is 14th in the league. The real key though has been their defense, particularly the run defense. They have held David Johnson to 37 yards rushing, Alvin Kamara to 53 yards rushing, Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey to 63 yards rushing, and Ezekiel Elliot to 33 yards rushing. They’ll have another tought test in Saquon Barkley but should be up to the task. (Adrian Nelson)

14 (-)

Chicago Bears (3-3)

Chicago Bears (3-3)

What a game, what a finish, but what a heartbreaking loss for the Bears. As time expired with Chicago trailing by a touchdown, Mitchell Trubisky heaved a Hail Mary towards the end zone, which was miraculously caught by Kevin White — only to come up a yard (yes, one yard) short. That’s two straight weeks of last-second losses for the Bears, who entered Sunday still atop the NFC North, but now find themselves in last place in the division. On the bright side, Trubisky continued his solid sophomore campaign, throwing for 333 yards and two touchdowns, while adding an additional 81 yards (on six carries) and another score on the ground. Moreover, tight end Trey Burton continued his successful season, hauling in nine passes for 126 yards and a touchdown. If there’s one thing this Bears team has demonstrated thus far, it’s that they are a contender. With a serviceable offense and a dominant defense, Matt Nagy and company aren’t going anywhere come January. (Ryan Grube)

15 (+4)

Houston Texans (4-3)

Houston Texans (4-3)

Many were quick to write the Texans off after an 0-3 start to the season, but after four straight victories they now sit atop the AFC South. The wins haven’t been always been pretty, but their 20-7 triumph over the Jaguars may have been their best overall performance to date. Deshaun Watson and the rest of the Houston offense turned in a solid performance against a formidable Jacksonville defense, protecting the ball and taking what was given to them. On the less glamorous side of the ball, the Texans forced 3 turnovers and forced Blake Bortles to the bench. (Kyle Trapp)

16 (-3)

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4)

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4)

After starting the season strongly, the Jaguars are facing a potential make-or-break game in London this Sunday. Going up against the defending Super Bowl champs won’t be an easy task for their defense and if Blake Bortles continues to play the way he has the past few games, the Jaguars playoff hopes could slip away. (Max Vukelich)

17 (+1)

Atlanta Falcons (3-4)

Atlanta Falcons (3-4)

Atlanta looks to be back on track after a MNF victory against the Giants. The team still has issues in the secondary but is keeping itself in the wild card discussion even if New Orleans may run away with the division. Unfortunately for the Falcons, six of their final nine games are on the road. Matt Ryan can’t win every game by himself so until Atlanta can balance out their offense and shore up the back end of the defense, it will be tough to string together wins. (Nick Cardozo)

18 (+2)

Seattle Seahawks (3-3)

Seattle Seahawks (3-3)

After a very slow start to the season, the Seahawks find themselves back at .500 through six games. Unfortunately for them, that still has them 3.5 games behind the NFL’s only remaining undefeated team in the Los Angeles Rams. Although they’ve lost the core of their Super Bowl defense, Seattle has quietly rebuilt a solid unit. They are ranked 5th best in points surrendered per game. The only issue is that their offense cannot be trusted. Maybe the return and reintegration of Doug Baldwin will provide a spark, but as currently constituted this team doesn’t have the offense to seriously compete. (Adrian Nelson)

19 (-2)

Tennessee Titans (3-4)

Tennessee Titans (3-4)

Tennessee has now lost three straight games, after failing to convert a two point conversion from the one yard line. The Titans have beaten some quality teams, stacking up wins against the Jaguars and Eagles, but they’ve also lost to the Bills. The only thing consistent about this team, aside from their Week 6 dismantling at the hand of the Baltimore Ravens, is the fact that they play teams tight. 6 of their 7 games have finished with a one score margin of victory with 5 of those games being determined by 3 points or less. Titans fans, take your heart medicine, because it’s going to be a long season. (Adrian Nelson)

20 (-4)

Miami Dolphins (4-3)

Miami Dolphins (4-3)

The Dolphins have done a lot this season on offense with smoke and mirrors. They have built their team, Frank Gore aside, around speed. That has helped get them to 4-3, but with Albert Wilson their speediest WR finding his way now on the IR, there could be tough seas ahead for the Dolphins. And despite being 4-3 and second in the AFC East, they have a -26 point differential which suggests that they have overpeformed. Injuries will accelerate their fall back to earth soon, but at least the start to the season was fun. (Adrian Nelson)

21 (-)

Dallas Cowboys (3-4)

Dallas Cowboys (3-4)

Man, the comeback that could’ve been. After trailing by 10 with just under five minutes remaining in the game, Dallas managed to pull within a field goal, force Washington to a three-and-out, and drive down the field again to within Brett Maher’s range. However, Cowboy fans’ hopes came crashing down, as they watched Maher’s 52-yard attempt — after a questionable snap infraction penalty — sail off the left upright. Brutal. In another game where Dak Prescott was impressive, Ezekiel Elliott was not, as the Redskins — with the draft additions of Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne — were finally able to stop what-had-been their Achilles Heel in the two team’s previous three match-ups. Elliott rushed for just 33 yards on 15 carries. On the plus side, Dallas just traded for Pro Bowl receiver Amari Cooper to potentially fill the void left by Dez Bryant. Perhaps, it’s also an attempt to take some of the weight off Elliott’s shoulders. (Ryan Grube)

22 (+2)

Detroit Lions (3-3)

Detroit Lions (3-3)

For the first time in a long time, the Lions have a legitimate running game, and the results speak for themselves. Across the past four matchups, Kerryon Johnson has averaged 14 carries for 96 yards per contest, and in that span Detroit is 3-1 while putting up over 28 points per game. In Sunday’s meeting with the Dolphins, the rookie had his best performance to date, rumbling for 158 yards as part of a 32-21 victory. The NFC North is as tight as any division in football, and the Lions are proving they shouldn’t be forgotten. (Kyle Trapp)

23 (-1)

Denver Broncos (3-4)

Denver Broncos (3-4)

The Broncos were in action Thursday night against the Cardinals, and Josh Rosen and company proved to be the perfect antidote for Denver’s recent woes. The defense forced five Arizona turnovers, while limiting them to just 10 points and 223 total yards. On offense, undrafted rookie Phillip Lindsay continues to be a revelation, and if the Broncos want to build upon this victory, they need to get the ball into his hands more. (Kyle Trapp)

24 (+1)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3)

It took a few field goal attempts and overtime, but the Bucs held on to beat the Browns and return to .500 on the season. This win snaps a 3 game losing streak and marks Jameis’ first win as the starter this year. This team has always been confusing. They have all the pieces on offense but have historically not been able to put them together or not had the defense behind it. This season appears to be no different. They are 8th in points scored and last in points against. They will likely play a lot of close games this year but by the end, expect the, end up at around 8-8. (Adrian Nelson)

25 (-2)

Cleveland Browns (2-4-1)

Cleveland Browns (2-4-1)

In what turned out to be their fourth overtime game of the season, the Browns were unable to capture their second victory in such scenarios, as they fell to the right foot of Chandler Catanzaro, who kicked the game-winning 59-yard field goal in overtime. Baker Mayfield’s reaction said it all — yet another gut-wrenching loss for Cleveland, who could very well be 6-1 to this point. Instead, it’s a disappointing 2-4-1 record for a team who is clearly on the cusp of success. Baker Mayfield impressed once again, throwing for 215 yards and two touchdowns, while Nick Chubb was dominant in his starting debut rushing 18 times for 80 yards and a touchdown. There will be better days in Cleveland, but if they want to salvage their dwindling playoff hopes, they’ll need to figure out how to finish games. (Ryan Grube)

26 (-)

New York Jets (3-4)

New York Jets (3-4)

After posting a 90.5 QBR last week against the Colts, Sam Darnold followed that up with a 5.9 QBR against the Vikings. The inconsistency from the rookie quarterback is not a surprise, but it’s hurting the Jets offense. It’s hard to win in the NFL when you throw three interceptions to a hot offense. Recently signed Rishard Matthews should provide some help, but the Jets will hover around this ranking for a majority of the season. (Matt Fowler)

27 (-)

Indianapolis Colts (2-5)

Indianapolis Colts (2-5)

The Colts were absolutely reeling heading into their Week 7 matchup against the Bills, but Derek Anderson and the Buffalo defense made sure to make Indianapolis feel good about themselves. Results against the NFL’s perennial punching bag should be taken with a grain of salt, but perhaps the most promising takeaway was the performance of Marlon Mack. The second year running back ran for 126 yards while finding pay dirt twice, and if he can become a consistent go-to back, the Colts’ offense would become much more dangerous. (Kyle Trapp)

28 (-)

San Francisco 49ers (1-6)

San Francisco 49ers (1-6)

San Francisco played incredibly well in the Monday night game in Green Bay, but on a short week they looked unprepared and flat out pathetic in their blowout loss to the Rams. A matchup with the 1-6 Cardinals on Sunday, who themselves are coming off a blowout loss, could go a long way in deciding who ends up with the first overall pick. (Max Vukelich)

29 (-)

New York Giants (1-6)

New York Giants (1-6)

Amidst new rules favoring offensive playmakers, the Giants’ offense can’t get off the ground. Their shining star Saquon Barkley, was overdrafted. Their franchise quarterback Eli Manning was kept a season too long as the team passed on rookie quarterback Sam Darnold. Left tackle Nate Solder is overpayed. Flashy wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is at it yet again, making more of a mark off of the field than on it. The Giants are a mess and face an uphill battle this offseason. (Hunter Bonge)

30 (-)

Buffalo Bills (2-5)

Buffalo Bills (2-5)

The Bills surrendered 220 rushing yards to the Colts on Sunday, a team that had been averaging just 83.1 rushing yards per game prior. Derek Anderson clearly wasn’t going to get the job done for Buffalo, and you have to wonder how in the world they have two wins. The team’s outlook is terribly bleak considering the severe lack of talent on offense without a real solution at QB. (Nick Cardozo)

31 (-)

Oakland Raiders (1-5)

Oakland Raiders (1-5)

Oakland is having a firesale and hoping to acquire every first round pick in the 2019 draft. After dealing Khali Mack to the Bears, Oakland dumped Amari Cooper on the Cowboys for a first round pick, solidifying its spot at the bottom of these rankings. The Raiders should tunr their attention to the 2019 Draft sooner rather than later because this season is a lost cause. (Matt Fowler)

32 (-)

Arizona Cardinals (1-6)

Arizona Cardinals (1-6)

Many will blame Josh Rosen and his five turnovers for why the Cardinals were destroyed by 35 at home, but Arizona’s offensive line never gave him a chance, and now Rosen is in a walking boot as a result. The Cardinals’ offense has now failed to exceed 268 total yards in a game so far. On top of that, Patrick Peterson is demanding a trade and leaving will leave Arizona even more bereft of talent. At the very least, the team can look forward to the top three pick it will almost certainly have come season’s end. (Nick Cardozo)

Edited by Brian Kang.

SQuiz
What is Philip Rivers' career December winning percentage?
Created 10/23/18
  1. 48%
  2. 55%
  3. 61%
  4. 67%

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