Week 8 of the NFL season saw multiple crazy finishes, especially from the early window of the action last Sunday afternoon. The Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions pulled out last-second wins in their games, and the Pittsburgh Steelers held on to defeat the previously-undefeated Tennessee Titans on a last-second field goal. Here are the top-10 NFL teams entering Week 8.
10. Buffalo Bills (5-2)
Previous Ranking: 9
The Bills rebounded from two consecutive losses in unimpressive fashion, defeating the winless New York Jets 18-10. Despite gaining 442 yards of total offense, the Bills offense could not find the endzone, settling for six field goals from rookie kicker Tyler Bass. While every win carries equal weight in the NFL, it was a lackluster performance coming off two losses. However, they look to put their stranglehold on a weak AFC East as they face the struggling New England Patriots.
9. Los Angeles Rams (5-2)
Previous Ranking: N/A
The Rams played in primetime for the second week in a row and this time, they looked impressive as they shut down the 5-1 Chicago Bears, winning 24-10 as the defense kept the Bears offense out of the endzone (the Bears’ lone touchdown was a defensive touchdown late in the game). At 5-2, the Rams are in the thick of the loaded NFC West title race as they are now 5-0 against NFC opponents not in their own division. They head out of conference to Miami as they face the Dolphins, whose rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will make his debut on Sunday.
8. Arizona Cardinals (5-2)
Previous Ranking: 10
The Cardinals engaged the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football in the game of the year to date so far in the 2020 NFL season. Despite trailing most of the game, Kyler Murray and the Cardinals rallied to force overtime. In overtime, Zane Gonzalez made for his miss early in the period by kicking the game-winning field goal with under a minute to play in the game, giving Arizona a 37-34 win. The Cardinals’ offense kept up with Russell Wilson and the defense even intercepted three of his passes, including one in overtime to set up the winning field goal. The Cardinals are 5-2 and have proven themselves to be contenders in this league this season. They head into their bye week, looking to rest up after an emotional win.
7. Green Bay Packers (5-1)
Previous Ranking: 7
Davante Adams and Aaron Rodgers are one of the NFL’s most dangerous QB-WR combinations as they are lethal when clicking. In Sunday’s 35-20 win at Houston, Adams caught 13 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns. The Packers cruised to a comfortable win, a nice bounceback win after getting trounced at Tampa Bay last week. The Packers head back home as they play their second matchup with the Minnesota Vikings this season on Sunday.
6. Tennessee Titans (5-1)
Previous Ranking: 5
The Titans are the worst third-down defense in the NFL, allowing opponents to convert 60.98% of their third down attempts. In their 27-24 loss against the Steelers on Sunday, this was on full display as the Steelers went 13-18 on third downs, including four on their last drive in the fourth quarter. The drive, while resulting in a turnover, burned 7:38 off the clock, forcing a desperation drive from the Titans to tie the game. The Titans need to work on their third-down defense if they are able to win shootouts against elite teams. The Titans look to rebound at Cincinnati against the Bengals on Sunday.
5. Seattle Seahawks (5-1)
Previous Ranking: 3
The Seahawks are the worst defense in the NFL as they ranked dead last in total defense and pass defense. They allow 479.2 total yards per game, forcing Russell Wilson to be magnificent every game and carry the team to victory. Against the Cardinals, Wilson threw three interceptions and since the defense failed to stop the Cardinals when it mattered most, the Seahawks dropped their first game of the season, losing 37-34 in overtime. The Seahawks stay in the division as they welcome the battered San Francisco 49ers to town on Sunday.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-0)
Previous Ranking: 4
The Steelers may have beaten the previously undefeated Titans on the road 27-24, but the way they won was concerning. Yes, they were 13-18 on third down. However, they allowed the Titans to make it a close game after leading 27-7 and QB Ben Roethlisberger threw three interceptions, including one late to give the Titans a chance to tie the game. The Steelers escaped with a close victory. This Sunday, their status as the lone undefeated team in the NFL will be in question as they head to Baltimore for a heated matchup with their bitter rivals in the Ravens.
3. Baltimore Ravens (5-1)
Previous Ranking: 2
Speaking of the Ravens, they are coming off their bye week and are rested for their matchup with the Steelers. New acquisition in defensive end Yannick Ngakoue will make his debut on Sunday as the Ravens look to take back control of the division.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-2)
Previous Ranking: 6
Tom Brady continues to defy age as the 43-year old QB lit up the Las Vegas Raiders defense for 369 yards and four touchdown passes. What is even scarier about the Buccaneers is tight end Rob Gronkowski is starting to look like his old self with five catches, 62 yards and a touchdown, on top of the defense ranking third in total defense. The Bucs are clearly the team to beat in the NFC right now and should continue to roll as they face the 1-6 New York Giants on Monday Night Football.
- Kansas City Chiefs (6-1)
Previous Ranking: 1
As great as the Buccaneers are, the Chiefs are still the class of the NFL as they continue to find different ways to win. The last two weeks saw the Chiefs battle the elements as this Sunday, they face the Denver Broncos in the snow. The offense was decent but it was the defense and special teams that led the Chiefs to their 43-16 win. Daniel Sorensen returned an interception for a touchdown and Byron Pringle returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown. The fact Patrick Mahomes isn’t lighting teams up weekly and the Chiefs are still winning is terrifying. The Chiefs return home and face the winless Jets on Sunday.