Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The top spot in ESPN.com's NFL power rankings for Week 8 could be yours for the taking, New Orleans Saints.
Voting will not commence until after the Falcons-Saints game Monday night, but I've pretty much made up my mind on New Orleans. If the Saints beat the Falcons, they'll overtake Indianapolis as the top-rated team on my ballot.
The Colts found a way to win against the 49ers on Sunday, but it wasn't pretty or convincing.
The chart shows power rankings votes from last week. Red lettering identifies teams that lost in Week 8.
The power rankings for Week 9, scheduled to appear here Tuesday, could very well validate Paul Kuharsky's choices in the top three spots one week ago. Kuharsky had the Saints, Colts and Vikings as his top three teams, respectively.
That sounds about right, provided the Saints win Monday night.
The Cardinals and Giants will almost surely drop from the top 10, replaced by the Eagles and Ravens. The Falcons have a chance to join them with an upset victory over the Saints.
And now, the power rankings revisited ...
The reckoning: Six games featured lower-ranked teams defeating higher-ranked teams:
(32) St. Louis 17, (26) Detroit 10. Steven Jackson deserved your early Pro Bowl vote even before his latest inspired performance. This game left no doubt.
(24) Carolina 34, (10) Arizona 21. The Cardinals' run defense fell from No. 1 to No. 9 in one Sunday. No wonder strong safety Adrian Wilson avoided reporters after the game.
(19) Miami 30, (15) New York Jets 25. Nice postgame quotes, Rex Ryan. Delivered like a future defensive coordinator.
(14) Baltimore 30, (3) Denver 7. The Ravens did not score an offensive touchdown until the second half.
(12) Philadelphia 40, (8) New York Giants 17. That Cardinals victory at Giants Stadium seems a little less impressive.
Still to play: (11) Atlanta at (2) New Orleans on "Monday Night Football."
Welcome to Loserville: The Broncos, Bills, Browns, Seahawks, Giants and Jaguars lost by a combined score of 199-64. The winning teams scored at least 30 points in nine of 12 games Sunday. The Giants and Seahawks allowed a combined 78.
Doing 120 in the southbound lane: Giants, Jets, Seahawks, Lions. The idle Bucs could fall into the 32nd spot, but how far should the Lions fall after losing to the Rams? They were 26th last week.
Northbound in a hurry: Philadelphia, Baltimore, Houston, Carolina.
My early favorite for the No. 1 spot: New Orleans, provided the Saints beat the Falcons.