NFL Week 8 Power Rankings

$1.6 billion is a lot of money.

Still in search of a winner, Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot will become the largest in history. And I, for one, need a piece of that. In fact, I need the whole thing.

I've never really considered myself unlucky in my everyday life, but I've always been a terrible gambler. I've been beat on the river more times than I can remember. I have nightmares about 00 hitting with my savings account on Red. I'm down about a grand on Fan Duel.

I don't really play the lottery either, whether scratch offs or big powerballs. I'm a realist more than anything, and I understand the probability, or lack thereof, of ever making a buck on near scams. However, for some reason, I felt like this is different. This is the largest lottery in history. This is vacations in the Caribbean. This is an instant two-week notice. This is hope.

For NFL franchises and fan bases, hope is all you need. And hope is there, even when everything feels lost. Cleveland isn't winning, but they're competitive, and have perhaps the franchise quarterback they've missed on so many years prior. The Giants are rebuilding, though Saquan Barkley is already a star. The first-place Texans were dead in the water three weeks ago, and the trash Cowboys are only a game out.

For ticket buyers, hope is everything as well. Forget the odds and percentages. This is your time. I know that it's likely I won't win the Mega Millions jackpot on Tuesday. Or maybe I will. With much money comes much responsibility, but I think it's something I'll be able to manage. Here are your Power Rankings following Week 7.

1. Los Angeles Rams (7-0) — Another week, another win for the Rams- who were again paced by Todd Gurley and his three scores. The defense reappeared and the special teams got in on the action with a blocked punt. There aren't too many holes in this team right now, who are 7-0 for the first time since 1985. Jeff Fischer is boggled; he specifically crafted this team to get 7 wins max.

2. New England Patriots (5-2) — Max Kellerman may have written off Tom Brady and the Patriots every year since 2014, but they sure don't seem to be falling off a cliff any time soon. Now I'm angry because I'm thinking about Max Kellerman's face. He's gotta be top three most punchable faces. Ted Cruz and Martin Shrekli probably round out the top three. The Patriots have a bye next week against the Bills.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (6-1) — The Chiefs offense makes it look easy, and they celebrated by literally doing the BASEketball dance from the opening scene. Whether it is Pat Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce, or Sammy Watkins, they have so many guys that can hurt you. It's kind of like Tinder's archives.

4. New Orleans Saints (5-1) — The Saints are in the zone, and have proven able to win both shootouts and defensive battles. The Rams deserve the top spot at the moment, though the Saints are my pick to come out of the NFC (subject to change hourly). Let's all accept that Drew Brees is just going to break another record every game. It's like he's Ashirta Furman. Google it, and then be thankful you don't have to live with that creep.

5. Minnesota Vikings (4-2-1) — That's three straight wins for the Vikings after the Rams lit them up in September. It's weird to think that the Vikings have never beaten the Jets in franchise history prior to Sunday. Snapple should be paying me for this shit. Actually I just heard that on TV and decided it was a useable stat.

6. Carolina Panthers (4-2) — On this episode of "It's Always Windy in Philadelphia," the Panthers score 3 fourth-quarter touchdowns after being blanked through three. Cam Newton and his comrades could have called it quits, but instead fought back and inspired some bleacher fights of their own. Eagles fans fighting Eagles fans is always a pleasure to watch.

7. Los Angeles Chargers (5-2) — It's not like the Chargers are being showered in affection at the StubHub Center, and now they're forced to travel to London for a "home" game to be greeted by fans in Giants and Broncos jerseys. You got to love those Londoners, though I'd rather you the typical British rain jacket and boots combo to the game than old jerseys from teams that aren't even playing. Either way, the Chargers escape with a win without their best player. If anybody deserves a two-week bye, it's Melvin Gordon.

8. Baltimore Ravens (4-3) — This really is the year of the kicker. Justin Tucker, who we thought was immune to the outbreak, kicked Ravens fans in the gut after missing a game tying extra point at the end of regulation. We had a chick kicker in high school who did the same thing. She was kind of hot, too, but that didn't stop me from booing her off the field after she blew the game. That was more so because she didn't poke me back, though.

9. Green Bay Packers (3-2-1) — This defense gave up 30 points to C.J. Bethard, and now travels to Los Angeles to face the Rams and the best offensive attack in the league. This seems like one of those games where the Packers are going to have to score every time they touch the rock. That's the Mamba mindset, even if Smush Parker has a wide-open layup.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (4-3) — There is nothing more Cincinnati Bengals than the Cincinnati Bengals putting up a dud in primetime. The Chiefs are in a different class, though the Bengals have to put up a fight if they want us to take them seriously. I haven't decided if they are frauds yet.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers- (3-2-1) — Le'Veon Bell said he would be there for Week 1. He wasn't. Le'Veon Bell said he would show up during the Steelers bye week. He didn't. Maybe we should stop believing anything this guy says, and judge the Steelers by the guys who are actually on the field. This team still has the tools to make a Super Bowl run.

12. Chicago Bears (3-3) — After falling victim to Brocktoberfest a week ago, the Bears defense had to face another Hall of Famer this week. Mitch Trubisky and the offense stood tall, and even though it wasn't enough by about six inches, he's turned the corner these past few weeks. Now for those of you who don't know Mitch, he's the very successful, very disease-free gentleman standing by the minibar. And if you don't understand that reference, then try turning on TBS any Sunday at 8.

13. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4) — What the hell is going on in Jacksonville? Leonard Fournette still can't get right, Jalen Ramsey is sending coded messages, and the locker room was evidently about to have a battle royal post-game. Replacing Blake Bortles with Cody Kessler is like trying to cure your chlamydia by getting herpes. The AFC South is a mess.

14. Washington Redskins (4-2) — I don't think that illegal snap penalty was a D.C. conspiracy, but I'm just saying if there was going to be some sort of illegal snap penalty conspiracy, it would probably be coming out of D.C. The Redskins somehow scamper away with an important division win.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) — After going up 21-0, the Eagles were dancing on the filed prior to the ensuing kickoff. It was Soulja Boy, so I'll give them a pass, but damn, the Eagles just collapsed like Joe Camel's lung after 15 minutes on the elliptical. At least Carson Wentz is beginning to look like himself again, as is Alshon Jeffrey. I think the Birds will be fine.

16. Houston Texans (4-3) — The Texans are suddenly a contender. Lamar Miller topped 100 yards, which is strange, because he's usually so pedestrian that Lindsay Lohan tries to hit him with her Porsche. If he can continue that pace, the Texans may emerge in a division that nobody wants to win. Still, I trust Lamar Miller like I trust that Jess from billing is going to leave any Boston Crème donuts left for the rest of the office on Fridays. She's really starting to piss me off.

17. Miami Dolphins (4-3) — The defenses inability to stop the Lion's ground attack cost the Dolphins any shot at escaping with a win. Brock Osweiler isn't the problem for two straight games now. That's more than we can say about his career prior to that. If he keeps this up, Pantene is going to be ringing his doorbell. That hair is divine.

18. Detroit Lions (3-3) — Carry on, Keryon Johnson. The rookie paced Detroit with over 150 rushing yards, and even though their defense is still giving up too many big plays, Detroit has actually looked pretty good since Week 2. They've only had one division matchup thus far, so the main course is forthcoming. Matt Stafford looks like he should be wearing Greek letters at all times.

19. Tennessee Titans (3-4) — I don't understand going for two there, when you could have waltzed into overtime in a game that you had taken control of. I guess I respect Mike Vrabel's confidence in his team and his willingness to gamble, but a lot of raggedy old men with cardboard signs and fake veteran stories also liked to gamble. Nonetheless, give Derrick Henry the rock instead of pretending Marcus Mariotta is a pocket-passer for the conversion.

20. Denver Broncos (3-4) — Amidst trade talks and Vance Joseph on the hot seat, the Broncos came out and played their most complete game of they ear. They now have 10-full days to prepare for Kansas City, a team they should have beaten in September. I still think this team can make a run.

21. Atlanta Falcons (3-4) — Eighteen straight pass completions for Matt Ryan to end the game. This team is riddled with injuries, but saved their season with a win on Monday night. I heard good things about those Chic-Fil-A sandwiches.

22. Seattle Seahawks (3-3) — For a team used to being under a microscope, maybe the middle of the pack mentality is actually a positive for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. They are actually right in contention for a wild card spot, though their schedule starts to heat up soon. They're still out there playing 12 on 11 every other week.

23. Cleveland Browns (2-4-1) — The Browns went out there looking for a tie, but they settled for the next best thing. The Browns are like the cute girl at the bar that flirts with you all night, and then leaves with someone else. There's room for optimism in Cleveland, and these fans should be excited about that at least.

24. Dallas Cowboys (3-4) — The Cowboys went conservative and they were rewarded with an L. How many times are we going to give Jason Garrett the benefit of the doubt before he's placed on the waiver wire? He looks like he draws Hitler mustaches on everything.

25. Indianapolis Colts (2-5) — Written in Andrew Luck's voice and overly politically correct attitude. "The Bills are a darn good team, but our offense went out there and executed today. Marlon [Mack] had a heck of a game, and T.Y. [Hilton] and the rest of the guys were getting open for me."

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3) — And with Chandler Catanzaro's 59-yard game winner, the ghost of Robert Aguayo is officially lifted (forget the missed extra point and would-be game winning 40 yarder earlier in the game). The Buccaneers win the battle of the past two Hard Knocks participants. Unfortunately for the Bucs, there will be more hard knocks to come.

27. New York Jets (3-4) — This is all part of the growing and maturing process for Sam Darnold. If this were puberty, Darnold's performance against the Vikings would be like when your voice cracked terribly during your social studies presentation. You don't know how taxes work, but at least you can talk about the Mayans for two hours.

28. Buffalo Bills (2-5) — Derek Anderson came back from the dead to finish sucking the life out of the city of Buffalo. As if it wasn't already tough enough being from a city that's only known for wings and efficient snow removal. A Monday night appearance for the Bills next week should at least boost RAW's ratings.

29. New York Giants (1-6) — This team is frustrating. There isn't much more analysis needed. Pat Schurmur looks like a coordinator rather than a head coach. What was the point in going for two there?

30. San Francisco 49ers (1-6) — This went pretty much how we thought it would go. Injuries to key offensive players have all but wasted this season for San Francisco. They have the leagues worst turnover differential at -15.

31. Oakland Raiders (1-5) — Amari Cooper is off to Dallas, Khali Mack has been gone, and there are talks about getting rid of Derek Carr as well. I get that you have to tear things down before you can rebuild them, but sometimes you're too tired from all of the destruction that rebuilding seems impossible. Should we start the annual "can Alabama beat them" debate?

32. Arizona Cardinals (1-6) — The Broncos knocked, and the Cardinals did not answer the door on Thursday night. If this were Trick or Treat night, there would be an omelet on your siding. At least put out a "take one" bin with a decent mix of candy. That's home-owning etiquette 101. Josh Rosen has nowhere to hide, and Arizona doesn't seem to care. Carson Palmer got out at the right time. Larry Fitzgerald probably wishes he followed suit.

Comments and Conversation

October 23, 2018

Anthony Brancato:

The Birds as you call them will NOT be fine unless they trade for a legitimate deep threat (J.J. Nelson?) before next Tuesday’s trading deadline: They rank 30th in the league in yards gained per completion - and to demonstrate how massive a correlation this stat has with winning and losing, the Rams are #1 in yards per completion, while the two teams that are behind the Eagles (the Cardinals and the Colts) are a combined 3-11. And with the Jags having won in London three years in a row, and the fact that when teams blow games by allowing a big streak of unanswered points more often than not see that streak carry over into the next game, I see Jacksonville jumping out to a big early lead and never looking back in what I have dubbed the “One-Year Flash In The Pan Bowl.”

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