Week 8 NFL Power Rankings: What’s Wrong with the Saints?

By WESLEY KAMINSKY
Contributor — wkaminsky@highhopesblog.com
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What's wrong with the Saints? The should be powerhouse is falling fast in the rankings. (AP)

In a season full of surprises, week 7 was once again filled with the unexpected. The Raiders put up 59 points, the Browns went into New Orleans and won, Kenny Britt had 225 yards receiving, Deangelo Hall had four interceptions, and to top it all off, the Cowboys season got even worse with Tony Romo breaking his collarbone  Should I keep going?

One thing is clear: The NFC is wide open. When I say wide open, I mean it. No team has looked dominant. In the AFC it’s a different story with the Steelers, Jets, Patriots, and Ravens.

Here is my attempt to sort out the madness.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (1): 5-1. The Dolphins were in trouble as soon as they gave the ball to Ben Roethlisberger at midfield with five minutes to play. There’s no other quarterback I’d rather have with the game on the line. EXTRA POINTS: Ben Roethlisberger, 19-27, 302 yards, 2 TDs.

2. New York Jets (2): 5-1. The Jets come out of their bye week having won five in a row and are the hottest team in football.

3. New England Patriots (4): 5-1. The Patriots avoided a fourth quarter collapse and held on in San Diego. Next up, Randy Moss returns to New England. EXTRA POINTS: Tom Brady, 19-32, 159 yards, TD.

4. Baltimore Ravens (3): 5-2. The Ravens were lucky to win that game against the Bills. They have problems on defense that need to be addressed. EXTRA POINTS: Joe Flacco, 16-31, 250 yards, 3 TDs.

5. Indianapolis Colts (5): 4-2. The Colts got bad news over their bye week when Dallas Clark was announced out for the season. That hurts, big time.

6. New York Giants (8): 5-2. In a wide open NFC, the Giants look like the best team in the conference. Hakeem Nicks is a beast. EXTRA POINTS: Hakeem Nicks, 9 catches, 102 yards, 2 TDs.

7. Atlanta Falcons (9): 5-2. They were lucky to hang on to that one against the Bengals. The defense must improve. That’s the second straight week they’ve struggled. EXTRA POINTS: Roddy White, 11 catches, 201 yards 2 TDs.

8. Tennessee Titans (10): 5-2. Thanks to a huge fourth quarter and a monster performance out of Kenny Britt, the Titans were able to improve to 5-2. This team is very good. EXTRA POINTS: Kenny Britt, 7 catches 225 yards, 3 TDs.

9. Green Bay Packers (13): 4-2. Finally, the Packers won a close game, and it gets tougher next week in New York against the red hot Jets. EXTRA POINTS: Aaron Rodgers, 21-34, 295 yards, 2 TDs, INT.

10. Houston Texans (11): 4-2. The Texans come out of their bye week and are on the road in a rematch against the Colts. I can’t even explain the significance a win would be here.

11. Kansas City Chiefs (15): 4-2. The Chiefs are for real, and that two headed monster of Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles is dangerous. The AFC West is theirs to lose. EXTRA POINTS: Thomas Jones, 20 carries, 125 yards, TD.

12. New Orleans Saints (6): 4-3. That’s now losses to the Cardinals, and Browns two of their last three games. That’s not the sign of a good team. EXTRA POINTS: Marques Colston, 10 catches 112 yards, TD.

13. Philadelphia Eagles (7): 4-3. The Eagles let that game slip away, and they have major problems in the secondary. Remember when I said Kevin Kolb should be the starter? He had his chance to take it back, he didn’t want it. EXTRA POINTS: Kevin Kolb, 26-48, 231 yards, TD, INT.

14. Washington Redskins (12): 4-3. Deangelo Hall single handedly won that game for the Redskins. McNabb had a rough game, but he isn’t complaining with a victory. EXTRA POINTS: Deangelo Hall, 4 interceptions, TD.

15. Miami Dolphins (14): 3-3. What is the deal with the Dolphins that they can’t win at home? Next week they are on the road against the Bengals, where they are 3-0. EXTRA POINTS: Davone Bess, 6 catches 66 yards, TD.

16. Seattle Seahawks (17): 4-2. Another week, and another Mike Williams double digit catch game. How did Pete Carroll do it? EXTRA POINTS: Mike Williams, 11 catches, 87 yards, TD.

17. Minnesota Vikings (16): 2-4. That would have been a huge win for the Vikings, but it’s tough to win when you throw three interceptions. Brett Favre looks like he’s really hurting. EXTRA POINTS: Adrian Peterson, 28 carries, 131 yards TD.

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (25): 4-2. You’ve got to love Josh Freeman, he was great during that last drive to lead the Bucs to a huge win. At 4-2, are they for real? EXTRA POINTS: Josh Freeman, 23-40, 212 yards, TD.

19. St. Louis Rams (21): 3-4. That’s a tough loss for the Rams, they did everything right except stop the Bucs in the final drive. Sam Bradford is still searching for his first win on the road. EXTRA POINTS: Steven Jackson, 22 carries, 110 yards.

20. San Diego Chargers (19): 2-5. At 2-5, the Chargers have been one of the most disappointing teams of the season. Whatever happened to Ryan Matthews showing so much promise? EXTRA POINTS: Phillip Rivers, 34-50, 336 yards, TD, INT.

21. Chicago Bears (18): 4-3. The Bears lead on the NFC North is slowly, but surely fading away. You can’t win games with an offensive line like that. Oh yeah, and it doesn’t help to throw four interceptions to Deangelo Hall. EXTRA POINTS: Johnny Knox, 6 catches, 86 yards, TD.

22. Oakland Raiders (29): 3-4. Raise you’re hand if you predicted the Raiders to unload on the Broncos to the tune of 59-14. Darren McFadden is showing why he was the fourth pick in the draft. EXTRA POINTS: Darren McFadden, 16 carries, 165 yards, 3 TDs, 2 catches 31 yards, TD.

23. Cleveland Browns (30): 2-5. The Browns defense was so good that Colt McCoy only had to throw it 16 times. Crazy stat: This is the third straight year the Browns have beaten the defending super bowl champions. EXTRA POINTS: David Bowens, 2 interceptions, 2 TDs.

24. Cincinnati Bengals (26): 2-4. For the first time all season, both Terrell Owens, and Chad Ochocinco played well, but it didn’t matter. The Bengals have major problems, it’s only a matter of time before Owens explodes. EXTRA POINTS: Carson Palmer, 36-50, 412 yards, 3 TDs.

25. Arizona Cardinals (20): 3-3. If only the Cardinals had a quarterback. Oh, how dearly they miss Kurt Warner. EXTRA POINTS: Beanie Wells, 14 carries, 54 yards, TD.

26. Dallas Cowboys (23): 1-5. Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse for the Cowboys they lose Tony Romo to a broken collarbone. Stick a fork in them, they’re done. EXTRA POINTS: Jason Witten, 9 catches 95 yards, TD.

27. Detroit Lions (27): 1-5. Matthew Stafford will return this week to an offense that is already explosive. The Lions are a fun team.

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (24): 3-4. Todd Bouman struggled, but nobody expected anything out of him. The Jags secondary is pitiful. EXTRA POINTS: Maurice Jones Drew, 16 carries, 47 yards, 5 catches, 74 yards, TD.

29. Denver Broncos (22): 2-5. And the award for the most embarrassing performance of the NFL season goes to the Denver Broncos. 59 points to the Raiders, really? EXTRA POINTS: Knowshon Moreno, 14 carries, 53 yards, 3 catches, 37 yards, 2 TDs.

30. Carolina Panthers (31): 31. 1-5. Matt Moore brought a spark to the Panthers, and did enough for them to get off the schnide. Can they build on it next week in St. Louis? EXTRA POINTS: David Gettis, 8 catches, 125 yards, 2 TDs.

31. San Francisco 49ers (28): 1-6. The excuses are done for the 49ers, their season is over. It’s just going to keep going downhill if Alex Smith is seriously injured. EXTRA POINTS: Frank Gore, 19 carries, 102 yards.

32. Buffalo Bills (32): 0-6. That was a heart-breaker for the Bills, Ryan Fitzpatrick played the game of his life. They are still searching for their first win of the season. EXTRA POINTS: Ryan Fitzpatrick, 29-43, 374 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs.

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