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2012 NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Falcons Still On Top, Cardinals Sinking

The top ten teams remained the same in this week's NFL power rankings from SB Nation Arizona. However, the Arizona Cardinals continue to fall from grace. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the week's biggest riser.

Rob Carr

1. Atlanta Falcons (7-0) - Remember that whole thing where Andy Reid was 13-0 after a bye week? Well the Falcons don't as they thumped the Eagles 30-17. Matt Ryan did whatever he wanted on the Eagles defense and the Falcons defense contained Michael Vick. Previous Ranking: 1

2. Houston Texans (6-1) - The Texans remain at number two after have the week off. Previous Ranking: 2

3. San Francisco 49ers (6-2) - The 49ers have not allowed a touchdown in three of their past five games. Their defense smothered the Arizona offense to the tune of seven rushing yards for the Cardinals. Alex Smith also played a pretty good game against Arizona, or so I heard. Previous Ranking: 3

4. New York Giants (6-2) - The Giants almost coughed it up in Dallas on Sunday, but the G-men were able to hold out for a 29-24 victory. They are the only team in the NFC East above .500 and should cruise to the division title. Previous Ranking: 4

5. Chicago Bears (6-1) - Although it wasn't pretty, the Bears beat Carolina 23-22 on Sunday. The Bears defense scored a touchdown, again. The Bears lead the league in passing defense and rank 9th in the NFL in rushing. The Bears lead what is the NFL's most competitive division, the NFC North. Previous Ranking: 5

6. Baltimore Ravens (5-2) - The Ravens had a bye week this week an are one of only three teams in the AFC with five wins or more. Previous Ranking: 6

7. New England Patriots (5-3) - The Patriots embarrassed the St. Louis Rams 45-7 on Sunday in London. The New England offense looked unstoppable and the defense wasn't too shabby either. Previous Ranking: 7

8. Green Bay Packers (5-3) - Green Bay has one three games in a row since starting 2-3 and are now tied with Minnesota for 2nd in the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers was a quiet 22/35 with 186 yards and 2 touchdowns against Jacksonville. Previous Ranking: 8

9. Denver Broncos (5-3) - Denver easily handled the New Orleans Saints and Peyton Manning seems to be finding his groove and Dever should have zero competition in the AFC West the rest of the season. Previous Ranking: 9

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) - The Pittsburgh defense smothered Robert Griffin III and Ben Roethlisberger continues his solid 2012 campaign. The Pittsburgh QB threw for 222 yards and 3 TD's while Jonathan Dwyer had his second straight 100-yard rushing game against Washington. Previous Ranking: 15

11. Miami Dolphins (4-3) - Yes the Miami Dolphins are almost a top-ten team in the NFL. The defense is playing great and Ryan Tannehill is not making too many mistakes. The Dolphins beat the Jets in all three fascists of the game on Sunday. Previous Ranking: 14

12. Minnesota Vikings (5-3) - Despite looking awful against Tampa Bay, the Vikings still have a good shot at making the playoffs. The schedule is very tough though, two games against Chicago and Green Bay and road games against Houston and Seattle. Previous Ranking: 11

13. Seattle Seahawks (4-4) - Seattle lost a chance to at least keep pace with San Francisco with their 28-24 loss against Detroit. Seattle has not lost two in a row and are just 1-4 on the road this season. Previous Ranking; 10

14. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) - The Eagles fell to under .500 with their loss against Atlanta. Things are a mess in Philly, as their defensive coordinator was fired and they may be changing quarterbacks. Andy Reid may be coaching his final season in Philadelphia. Previous Ranking: 12

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) - The Bucs did what San Francisco and Arizona couldn't, win a road game against the Minnesota Vikings. Tampa Bay has lost four games by 22 points and could get on a bit of a roll, as they play Oakland, San Diego and Carolina in their next three games. Previous Ranking: 25

16. Indianapolis Colts (4-3) - The Colts have doubled their win total from 2011, jumping from two to four. The Colts beat the Titans in OT last week and have a legit shot at making the playoffs this year. Previous Ranking: 23

17. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4) - The Benglas were off this week after a disappointing performance against Pittsburgh. Previous Ranking: 21

18. Dallas Cowboys (3-4) - Usually when you spot a team 23 points, the end result is not going to be good. The Cowboys were inches (literally) away from beating the Giants on Sunday. Many are starting to question whether Tony Romo and Jason Garett can lead Dallas to the promise land. Previous Ranking: 17

19. Arizona Cardinals (4-4) - The Cardinals continue to fall in our rankings, after their 4-0 start, Arizona has lost four straight and the schedule only gets more difficult with Green Bay and Atlanta looming. Previous Ranking: 18

20. New York Jets (3-5) - The Jets got beat in all three phases to the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins scored on offense, defense and special teams in the 30-9 victory. Of course, without anyone from New York saying it, there is a QB controversy. Previous Ranking: 13

21. Detroit Lions (3-4) - Matt Stafford looked like his 2011-self on Sunday against the Seahawks. Stafford threw for 352 yards and 3 touchdowns in Detroit's 28-24 victory over Seattle. Previous Ranking: 27

22. Washington Redskins (3-5) - Washington's offense slowed down against Pittsburgh, only gaining 215 passing yards. The Redskins are still 2nd in the NFL in rushing offense, Alfred Morris continues his productive season. Previous Ranking: 19

23. St. Louis Rams (3-5) - The Rams traveled across the pond to take on the New England Patriots. The Rams faired about as well as America did during the War of 1812, getting pounded 45-7. Tom Brady was 23/35 with 4 touchdowns, and the Rams gave up 473 total yards. Previous Ranking: 20

24. Buffalo Bills (3-4) - The Bills had a bye this week after losing to Tennessee at home last week. The good news for Buffalo is they are not in last place in the AFC East anymore. Previous Ranking: 26

25. Tennessee Titans (3-5) - The Titans have been playing well since Matt Hasselbeck took over for Jake Locker. Two wins over Pittsburgh and Buffalo, however the Titans fell in OT to the Colts 19-13 on Sunday. Previous Ranking: 22

26. New Orleans Saints (2-5) - The Saints had a nice two-game winning streak going, and then they went against Peyton Manning. 305 yards and 3 touchdowns later, and the Saints now fall to 2-5. The Saints defense is 30th against the pass and 31st against the run. Previous Ranking: 27

27. San Diego Chargers (3-4) - When the calendar switched from September to October, the Chargers were 3-1 and in first place in the AFC West. My how things have changed, as San Diego has lost to Cleveland and New Orleans. Not to mention that meltdown on Monday Night Football against the Broncos. Previous Ranking: 16

28. Oakland Raiders (3-4) - Oakland showed a balanced offense in their 10 point victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Run DMC had over 100 yards on the ground and the Raiders now have a winning streak going. Previous Ranking: 28

29. Cleveland Browns (2-6) - The Browns beat the Chargers 7-6 in what must not have been the most exciting game to watch. Trent Richardson continues to prove he is the real deal, racking up 122 yards on 24 carries against San Diego. Previous Ranking: 30

30. Carolina Panthers - (1-6) - The wheels are coming off the tracks in Carolina as the Panthers continue to find ways to lose games. The Panthers allowed 16 points to the Bears in the fourth and lost by one point. I wonder who Cam Newton will blame now? Previous Ranking: 29

31. Kansas City Chiefs (1-6) - The Chiefs are 0-4 at home after losing 26-16 to the Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs defense made Carson Palmer look good, and this team is a mess right now. Previous Ranking: 31

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6) - Jacksonville gave Green Bay a valiant effort and Blaine Gabbert is not as bad as we thought he was. However, with no MJD, Jacksonville is the worse team in the NFL. Previous Ranking: 32