NFL Power Rankings: Week 8 | Football | CBC Sports

NFLNFL Power Rankings: Week 8

Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 | 09:40 AM

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With lineman Max Starks helping supply the protection, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, left, dismantled New England's shaky defence in a 25-17 home win by Pittsburgh. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) With lineman Max Starks helping supply the protection, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, left, dismantled New England's shaky defence in a 25-17 home win by Pittsburgh. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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The Pittsburgh Steelers, fresh off an impressive win over New England and now preparing for an AFC North grudge match against Baltimore, rise to No. 3 this week as CBCSports.ca's Tony Care breaks down the balance of power in the National Football League.

Once a week, CBCSports.ca's Tony Care breaks down the balance of power in the National Football League.

1. GREEN BAY PACKERS [unchanged]
Overall record: 7-0
Streak: Won seven
In looking at what transpired this past weekend, it's clear that the Packers are the class of the NFL, and they didn't even play.
2. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS [up from 3]
Overall record: 6-1
Streak: Won five
It's the same formula every week: strong running game, solid defence and just enough of a passing game to keep things running smoothly.
3. PITTSBURGH STEELERS [up from 6]
Overall record: 6-2
Streak: Won four
The Steelers gave the Patriots a dose of their own medicine. Ben Roethlisberger put the ball in the air 50 times, completing mostly short passes while chewing up clock.
4. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS [down from 2]
Overall record: 5-2
Streak: Lost one
This was the second consecutive game the Patriots' receivers were overmatched at the line of scrimmage. Without a deep threat more teams are going to use this strategy, daring New England to beat them with no receiver who can stretch the field.
5. BALTIMORE RAVENS [unchanged]
Overall record: 5-2
Streak: Won one
Let's fast forward to Sunday night's big rematch at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The Ravens have been stressing the need to play home playoff games for the last few years. Well, if they want to host at least one post-season game at M&T Bank Stadium this season, then they must put away a team like the Steelers.
6. DETROIT LIONS [up from 7]
Overall record: 6-2
Streak: Won one
So some Lions felt "bored" playing the Broncos and Tim Tebow. I'm quite sure traveling to Chicago after a bye week won't have the same, tedious feeling, boys.
7. BUFFALO BILLS [up from 9]
Overall record: 5-2
Streak: Won one
Ryan Fitzpatrick celebrated his new $59-million US contract with a convincing win against the Redskins. Life is good right now in Western New York.
8. N.Y. GIANTS [up from 10]
Overall record: 5-2
Streak: Won two
The Giants' "soft" part of the schedule has officially ended. The team has a Murderers' Row of opponents for the next six weeks.
9. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS [down from 4]
Overall record: 5-3
Streak: Lost one
The way in which the Rams were easily able to get after Drew Brees should set off alarm bells in New Orleans.
10.CINCINNATI BENGALS [up from 13]
Overall record: 5-2
Streak: Won four
I can't keep this team out of the top 10 anymore. However, the Bengals still have to face Pittsburgh and Baltimore a total of four times in the last nine games. Let's see how they do against those division rivals before crowning them a legitimate contender.
11. HOUSTON TEXANS [up from 14]
Overall record: 5-3
Streak: Won two
The Texans have passed one of the early hurdles in pursuit of the franchise's first post-season appearance. They lead the division after the first half of the season and the team isn't faltering when adversity hits.
12. OAKLAND RAIDERS [down from 11]
Overall record: 4-3
Streak: Lost one
There is no better way for Carson Palmer to ease into his first start in almost a year than having the Broncos come in for a visit.
13. N.Y. JETS [down from 12]
Overall record: 4-3
Streak: Won two
The Jets' season has come down to this: three huge AFC East contests (@Buf, NE, Buf) in their next four games.
14.CHICAGO BEARS [up from 15]
Overall record: 4-3
Streak: Won two
All things considered, the Bears are in a pretty good spot, as long as they take care of their own business.
15. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS [down from 8]
Overall record: 4-3
Streak: Lost two
And the Tony Romo award for Week 8 goes to Philip Rivers. Seriously, Philip, all you had to do was take the clock down to the final seconds, give your field goal kicker a better angle and you botch the snap? Suggestion: Call Tony and see if he can give you advice on how to handle embarrassing moments. He's got a million of them.
16. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS [unchanged]
Overall record: 4-3
Streak: Lost one
Running back LeGarrette Blount is picking a good time to come back from a knee sprain. Maybe he can help take the load off his inconsistent quarterback.
17. ATLANTA FALCONS [unchanged]
Overall record: 4-3
Streak: Won two
A nice little break for the Falcons just got better. They will visit winless Indy, which should give them a third straight win. Isn't that like two bye weeks?
18. TENNESSEE TITANS [unchanged]
Overall record: 4-3
Streak: Won one
The Titans kept pace in the AFC South, but boy does Chris Johnson look clueless out there. You can't blame the offensive line for every bad run, Chris.
19. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS [up from 21]
Overall record: 4-3
Streak: Won four
We all know Philip Rivers gift-wrapped a win to the Chiefs. Still, you can't discount the outstanding play of OLB Tamba Hali and CB Brandon Flowers. Both were exceptional against the Chargers.
20. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES [up from 22]
Overall record: 3-4
Streak: Won two
If RB LeSean McCoy continues his stellar play and the Eagles cut out the turnovers, this team will contend in the NFC.
21. DALLAS COWBOYS [down from 19]
Overall record: 3-4
Streak: Lost one
Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said the loss to the Eagles is on him. Head coach Jason Garrett admits the coaches need to execute better - a tired line he's been spinning for weeks. And owner Jerry Jones said he's not pushing the panic button. Yeah, right! Who are you trying to fool, Jerry?
22. WASHINGTON REDSKINS [down from 20]
Overall record: 3-4
Streak: Lost three
The Bills should get all the credit for their shutout win against the Redskins, but this injury-riddled offence would have trouble scoring on a college team right now.
23. CLEVELAND BROWNS [unchanged]
Overall record: 3-4
Streak: Lost one
The Browns have only scored more than 20 points once in seven games. So how has this team won three games?
24. MINNESOTA VIKINGS [up from 28]
Overall record: 2-6
Streak: Won one
Christian Ponder was very efficient in getting his first career win in Carolina. Ponder has the added luxury of dumping the ball off to Adrian Peterson when he has no one open down field.
25. CAROLINA PANTHERS [unchanged]
Overall record: 2-6
Streak: Lost one
I don't blame Cam Newton one bit for turning away in disgust after his kicker, Olindo Mare, missed a gimme field goal that likely would've sent the game against the Vikings into overtime.
26. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS [down from 25]
Overall record: 2-6
Streak: Lost one
It can't be fun being rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert. The kid, who some had ranked as the best QB prospect of the 2011 draft, is struggling in a bad offence while guys like Cam Newton, Andy Dalton and Christian Ponder are prospering.
27. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS [down from 26]
Overall record: 2-5
Streak: Lost two
Pete Carroll has to know Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst aren't the answer at quarterback. But why did he allow himself to get into this mess in the first place?
28. ST. LOUIS RAMS [up from 30]
Overall record: 1-6
Streak: Won one
The Saints had no answer for DE Chris Long, who was a one-man wrecking crew as he sacked Drew Brees three times, had three tackles for losses and registered another three quarterback hits.
29. DENVER BRONCOS [down from 27]
Overall record: 2-5
Streak: Lost one
Looks like that Tim Tebow bandwagon got a whole lot smaller.
30. ARIZONA CARDINALS [down from 29]
Overall record: 1-6
Streak: Lost six
Hey, the Cardinals should get props just for jumping out to a 24-6 halftime lead in Baltimore. They just came up short.
31. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS [unchanged]
Overall record: 0-8
Streak: Lost eight
Defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis only have eight sacks between them. It's just one of a myriad of reasons why this team is winless.
32. MIAMI DOLPHINS [unchanged]
Overall record: 0-7
Streak: Lost seven
You didn't really think the Dolphins would hold onto a 14-3 lead against the Giants, did you?

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