1.) New Orleans (7-0) [no change]
Atlanta played tough to the end, but the Saints held on and got an impressive win. They'll be on the lookout for Coy Wire the next time they play.
2.) Indianapolis (7-0) [no change]
No TD's for Peyton Manning, and the winning score is thrown from Joseph Addai to Reggie Wayne. A weird week for the Colts, but they'll take the win anyway.
3.) Minnesota (7-1) [+4]
Brett Favre went back to Lambeau and played well in another win against his former team.
4.) Pittsburgh (5-2) [no change]
The Steelers maintain their position thanks to the bye week.
5.) New England (5-2) [no change]
The Patriots got the bye at the perfect time after their London excursion.
6.) Cincinnati (5-2) [no change]
The Bengals are also well-rested after a week off.
7.) Dallas (5-2) [+2]
Dallas took advantage of their schedule, beating a bad team and setting up an important game against Philadelphia next week.
8.) Denver (6-1) [-5]
Despite losing to the Ravens, the Broncos aren't out of the Rankings just yet. Truth be told, they're still one of the best teams in the league...they just had to slide after the loss.
9.) Philadelphia (5-2)
The Eagles return to the Rankings after a strong showing against division rival NY Giants. As stated above, they have another important division game next week.
10.) Houston (5-3)
The Texans enter the Rankings for the first time (possibly ever, as far as mine are concerned) after an impressive display against Buffalo. Ryan Moats could be the go-to guy for the next couple weeks if Steve Slaton doesn't learn the Tiki Barber ball protection method.
A Look at Week 8:
Week 8 was a bit odd and unpredictable. Good teams lost, teams we thought were good but maybe aren't lost, and plenty of bad teams played as badly as we figured they would. As far as the Rankings go, Arizona's loss was a big one. Not only are they 4-3, but they have a problem with winning at home. The expectation after last week was that they were ready to take off and go on a long run of winning. Obviously, that didn't happen, as they lost to Carolina. It's really an inexcusable loss. And the way they lost it was particularly bad: the run defense that had served them so well in previous weeks crumbled. Other than Arizona, Green Bay and Atlanta losing meant that a three-loss team had to go into the Rankings for the first time. I'm never really a fan of that until it's completely necessary. This year it's been necessary in a couple weeks to do things that I don't really care for as far as the Rankings are concerned. It goes hand-in-hand with how I do them, though, so I got no one to blame but myself for being too stubborn to change. Of course, I can always blame teams for losing....
A further recap of Week 8's best.
Denver (3) at Baltimore (unranked):
Well, what do you know. The consensus was right, for once. The desperate team that had just lost three in a row got it done, even without a Herculean effort from Joe Flacco.
San Francisco (unranked) at Indianapolis (2):
I was concerned about this game for good reason, as it turns out. The offense was mostly Matt Stover kicking FG's for the Colts, which surprised the hell out of me. Peyton Manning threw for almost 350 yards, but no TD's. As big a surprise as anything that happened in Week 8, easily.
Minnesota (7) at Green Bay (10):
Aaron Rodgers couldn't complete the comeback, again, but both QB's played well in this one. I do have to say that Rodgers must be frustrating the hell out of fantasy owners who have his top two receivers, Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. While Rodgers is throwing TD's to no-names like John Kuhn, Spencer Havner, and James Jones, Jennings and Driver are languishing. And don't even get me started on Ryan Grant.
Atlanta (unranked) at New Orleans (1):
New Orleans overcame a late fumble and an inexcusable muff of an onside kick to win. That right there sums up a #1 team. Yes, it's terrible that they fumbled and screwed up the onside kick recovery, but the fact that both those things happened and the Saints still won anyway speaks volumes about their greatness.
The best games coming up next week.
Baltimore (unranked) at Cincinnati (6):
I really do hope Cincinnati is well-rested, because this return match is going to be killer.
Miami (unranked) at New England (5):
The Wildcat vs. Tom Brady's right arm. Miami is already 3-0 vs. the AFC East, but they haven't played the Patriots yet.
Houston (10) at Indianapolis (2):
Houston's run defense had been the major bugaboo for them until the last couple weeks. Now they don't have to worry about it much, since they get Peyton Manning and the Colts. I'm sure Manning will be raring to throw some TD's. Like, five or six.
Carolina (unranked) at New Orleans (1):
This game begins the easy stretch of New Orleans schedule before they play New England at home. Good luck.
Dallas (7) at Philadelphia (9):
First place in the NFC East, anybody? Bring it!
Pittsburgh (4) at Denver (8):
Game of the Week? Possibly. The Steelers are a tougher nut to crack than Baltimore, and we already saw what happened when Denver took them on.