NFL Power Rankings, Week 8: Cardinals Crack Top 10

Every Wednesday, SB Nation's NFL bloggers rank every team, 1-32. We aggregate the results and present them to you here.

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SB Nation's Week 8 NFL Power Rankings

With the NFL season nearing the halfway mark, SB Nation's NFL Power Rankings are beginning to develop some week-to-week consistency: the Saints and Colts are at the top, while the Titans, Bucs, and Rams have established themselves as cellar dwellers.

The Cardinals were this week's biggest riser, as they moved up six spots after their win over the Giants in the Meadowlands reminded our bloggers that the Cards were one miraculous Santonio Holmes catch away from winning the Super Bowl last season. The Bears take the award for steepest drop, falling nine spots - laying an egg and letting your former draft bust run roughshod over you tends to lower peoples' opinion of you.

And Jim Zorn should take heart: while the Skins stayed steady at 28th, the four teams our bloggers ranked below the Skins have one fewer win combined than the Skins have. So at least Zorn has that going for him.

NFL Power Rankings

Team Rank (LW) Record Comments
1 (1) New Orleans Saints 6-0 Reggie Bush thinks the Saints will go 16-0...and that he'll eventually win an MVP award. While Reggie certainly shows flashes of the brilliance that made him a Heisman winner, he's not even the most valuable player in the Saints' backfield. Someone might want to explain this to him.
2 (2) Indianapolis Colts 6-0 Did the Colts get an Easy Button for last week's win? And are the Broncos and Patriots the only teams that can stop the Colts from marching to the Super Bowl, for a potential matchup against Peyton's hometown (and father's) team, the Saints?
3 (4) Denver Broncos 6-0 Dan Snyder, take note: the Bronocos "lost" the offseason, with the Cutler trade and Brandon Marshall's intransigence dominating the headlines. But now that the games have started, the Broncos have proven to be a tough, efficient team that doesn't beat itself with turnovers or penalties. That formula can take you a long way in the NFL. It's almost as if Josh McDaniels learned from someone who knew a thing or two about football.
4 (3) Minnesota Vikings 6-1 Vikings fans can take solace in the fact that absent a Sidney Rice touchdown being called back on a dubious tripping penalty, and a fluky interception return, the Vikings would have beaten the defending champs on the road. Also, the Vikings still have Adrian Peterson. And he does things like this.
5 (6) New England Patriots 5-2 The Pats put on quite a show for the Brits, blowing out the Bucs across the pond. With Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Wes Welker back to their usual tricks, look for the Pats to run away with the AFC East.
6 (8) Pittsburgh Steelers 5-2 With Troy Polamalu back flying around, the Steelers' defense is back to dominating opponents. Despite Adrian Peterson's monster hit last week, the Steelers largely shut down the Vikings' All Pro back on the ground. You've been forewarned: watch out for the defending champs.
7 (9) Cincinnati Bengals 5-2 While Cedric Benson stole the headlines with his 189 yards of revenge against the Bears, the bigger story for Bengals fans was Carson Palmer's nearly flawless game. Palmer had been sneakily mediocre despite the team's winning record, before last week's demolition of the Bears. If Palmer is fully back and Benson continues his tear, the Bengals should have one of the top offenses in the league.
8 (5) New York Giants 5-2 Uh-oh Giants fans. After Eli Manning and his receiving corps looked unstoppable through the first five weeks, the Giants' passing game has struggled mightily in the last two. Take away Hakeem Nicks' fluky touchdown off the deflection, and Eli's night would have been that much worse. The schedule doesn't do them any favors, as they've played nearly all of their cupcakes already.
9 (13) Philadelphia Eagles 4-2 Despite taking care of business against the Skins, plenty of questions persist for the Eagles on offense. Donovan McNabb had one of his patented "one-hop-every-throw" games and the offensive line didn't protect or run-block very well. If Brian Westbrook is out any extended period of time, the Eagles could be in for a second half swoon. But at least the Phillies won the pennant!
10 (16) Arizona Cardinals   4-2 Remember the defending NFC champs? Our bloggers certainly do after last week's eye-opening win in the Meadowlands. While the Cards continue to fling the ball around on offense, their top-ranked rushing defense is the real story in Arizona. Safeties Adrian WIlson and Antrel Rolle have dominated the line of scrimmage in run support, as the Cardinals have dared teams to beat them in the air. So far, it's working.
11 (15) Dallas Cowboys   4-2 Terrell who? Miles Austin has breathed life into a seemingly moribund passing game, just as injuries to Marion Barber and Felix Jones had hampered the Cowboys' ground game. If Austin can continue anything close to his recent tear, the Boys could be a formidable team down the stretch.
12 (12) Green Bay Packers 4-2 While the Packers easily dispatched another bottom feeder last week (this time it was the Browns), the bigger question is whether they can protect Aaron Rodgers enough against the better teams in the league. They'll get a stiff test this week when Jared Allen (and a certain former quarterback) come to town. 
13 (7) Atlanta Falcons 4-2 The Falcons' offense isn't working. Michael Turner's YPC is way down from last year, the passing game is struggling, and the playcalling is too predictable. If the Falcons are going to make the leap into the league's elite, they'll need to open things up. 
14 (10) Baltimore Ravens 3-3 After dropping three straight, the Ravens face a gut-check game this weekend when they host the undefeated Broncos. And for the first time in a decade, it's the defense that needs to pick up its game.
15 (18) Houston Texans 4-3 Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels might be stealing all the headlines, but the Texans' defense has quietly improved against the run, going from being a laughingstock to a solid unit. Now, if they can just figure out how to cover tight ends on post routies, they could be very dangerous...
16 (19) New York Jets 4-3 Don't blame Mark Sanchez for eating a hot dog on the sidelines of last week's blowout win over the Raiders. He probably didn't realize that was actually an NFL game. Rookie mistake.
17 (20) San Diego Chargers   3-3 The good news: the Chargers beat up on a team they should beat up on. The bad news: LaDainian Tomlinson couldn't do the same. The artist formerly known as LT failed to score despite receiving nine carries from inside the 10 yard line, and only averaged 3 YPC against a toothless Chiefs' defensive front. 
18 (17) Miami Dolphins    2-4 The Dolphins have to be one of the more impressive 2-4 teams in recent memory. They had both the Colts and the Saints on the ropes before letting those games slip away. Their ball-control offense and stout rushing defense are enough to keep them in most game. Now if they could just get some receivers who can actually catch passes...
19 (14) San Francisco 49ers 3-3 While the Niners didn't get the win last week, they may have gotten something even more important: a quarterback. It's back to the future for Niners fans, as Alex Smith will try to become the team's franchise quarterback. If he keeps playing like he did last week, the Niners could challenge for the NFC West crown.
20 (11) Chicago Bears 3-3 The Bears couldn't do diddly poo last Sunday. They couldn't run the ball, couldn't pass the ball, couldn't stop the run, and couldn't stop the pass. Playoffs? Don't talk about playoffs.
21 (21) Jacksonville Jaguars 3-3 No harm no foul for the Jags coming off their bye.
22 (24) Buffalo Bills 3-4 Break up the Bills! With the pride of Harvard, Ryan Fitzpatrick, quarterbacking them, the Bills have begun the long climb back to respectability. Maybe Dick Jauron will hold onto his job until the offseason after all. 
23 (23) Seattle Seahawks 2-4 The Seahawks need to figure out how to keep Matt Hasselbeck upright if they are to have any chance of getting back into the NFC West race.
24 (22) Carolina Panthers    2-4 The Panthers are sticking with NFL interception leader Jake Delhomme at quarterback. While their other options at quarterback aren't too exciting, methinks this might be more about the bottom line: they're trying to salvage something out of their $42.5 million (with $20 guaranteed!) investment in Delhomme this past offseason. Someone should explain the concept of a sunk cost to them. 
25 (25) Oakland Raiders 2-5 Last week DE Richard Seymour said the Raiders would be a playoff team. This year. Now, Seymour is telling reporters that the Raiders couldn't even beat a high school team. To be fair, maybe Seymour meant that the Raiders would make the high school playoffs. 
26 (27) Kansas City Chiefs 1-6 The Chiefs may cut Larry Johnson within the next week for his critical tweets about the coaching stuff and use of a gay slur. How will they ever replace his 2.7 YPC? 
27 (26) Detroit Lions 1-5 For the first time since Week 1 of last year, the Lions are favored to win a game. And that's with Calvin Johnson potentially sidelined. That's how bad the Rams are. 
28 (28) Washington Redskins   2-5 Our bloggers were going to say something negative about the team's management, but Dan Snyder censored it. On a positive note, bingo caller Sherm Lewis acquitted himself quite well calling plays, and the defense continues to play at a high level.
29 (29) Cleveland Browns 1-6 Is there anything Derek Anderson could do to get benched? What if he went 2 of 17 for 23 yards with an interception? What's that? That happened? And he's still the starter? Ouch, moving on...
30 (31) Tennessee Titans 0-6 Wildcat, meet Vince Young and Chris Johnson. At this point, what is there left to lose for the Titans? At least moving to the Wildcat would make the Titans interesting. And heck, maybe it could revive VY's career. 
31 (30) Tampa Bay Bucs 0-7 How can an 0-7 team get even worse? How about starting a rookie quarterback! The Bucs have decided to trade in one Josh for another, with Freeman replacing Johnson. While Johnson wasn't exactly lighting the world on fire, rushing Freeman to the field when the team is in such disarray is a bit of a risky move. 0-16 could be firmly within the Bucs' grasp.
32 (32) St. Louis Rams 0-7 It can't get much worse. That's the only consolation. Maybe one of these weeks the Rams will cover. 
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