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NFL Week 8 Power Rankings 2022: 1-32 poll, stats to know

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Rex Ryan: Lamar Jackson's contract is weighing on him (0:39)

Rex Ryan weighs in on how Lamar Jackson's contract situation is affecting his play. (0:39)

Welcome to Week 8 of the NFL regular season.

Our power panel -- a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities -- evaluated how teams are stacking up through seven weeks.

The New York Jets and New York Giants continue to win, while the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to suffer head-scratching losses. While unexpected, it sure does make for an interesting Power Rankings list.

In addition to our updated rankings, we checked in with NFL Nation reporters across the league and asked them to pick a season-defining stat -- one that helps explain where each team sits so close to midseason. Good or bad, these stats help tell an important part of every team's performance.

Let's get to it.

Jump to a team:
ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN
CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND
JAX | KC | LV | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF
SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

1. Buffalo Bills (5-1)

Week 7 ranking: 1

The Bills' early-season success could be described in many ways, but point margin encapsulates how the team has been winning. The team leads the league with a plus-95 point margin, which is 39 points more than the next closest team -- the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles at plus-56. The Bills have found great success despite the sixth-hardest strength of schedule, according to ESPN's Football Power Index. In games against last year's playoff teams, the Bills are 4-0 and have won by an average margin of 23.5 points. -- Alaina Getzenberg


2. Philadelphia Eagles (6-0)

Week 7 ranking: 2

The Eagles are the runaway leaders in turnover differential at plus-12 -- with the Cowboys the next closest at plus-6. It speaks to how effective the defense has been at generating takeaways (it's tied for the league lead with 14) and how well Jalen Hurts and the offense have protected the football, committing just two turnovers in six games. Philadelphia has rushed the ball 225 times -- the third most -- and has yet to lose a fumble. -- Tim McManus


3. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)

Week 7 ranking: 3

The Chiefs are doing many good things on offense, but that's nothing new. However, the defense is tied for sixth in the league in sacks with 19 -- and that is new. The Chiefs had just 31 sacks all of last season. Chris Jones per usual is leading the team with five sacks, but Frank Clark had his best game of the season against the 49ers with 1.5 sacks. The Chiefs are also getting productive pass rushes from many of their defensive backs and linebackers, most notably cornerback L'Jarius Sneed and linebacker Nick Bolton. -- Adam Teicher


4. New York Giants (6-1)

Week 7 ranking: 5

The Giants have four fourth-quarter comebacks this season. And they rallied in the second half of a fifth victory. That means five of New York's six wins this season have been in come-from-behind fashion. This team is following in the footsteps of new coach Brian Daboll and clearly believes it can make plays late in games. Daniel Jones and several other players have referred to it as their "competitive spirit," noting a mental toughness with this group that hadn't been there in previous seasons when they regularly lost these kind of games. -- Jordan Raanan


5. Minnesota Vikings (5-1)

Week 7 ranking: 4

Coach Kevin O'Connell has stressed the importance of elevated play in key moments of the game, including the moments before halftime when outcomes can be tipped in hidden ways. In maximizing that sliver of the game, through playcalling and clock management, O'Connell helped the Vikings lead the NFL through seven weeks with 59 points scored in the final four minutes before halftime. The accomplishment is symbolic of how the Vikings started the season 5-1 by, in O'Connell's words, winning "in the margins." -- Kevin Seifert


6. Dallas Cowboys (5-2)

Week 7 ranking: 6

Through seven games this season, the Cowboys have allowed just eight touchdowns -- compared to the 19 touchdowns allowed through seven games in 2021. And they have allowed more than one touchdown in a game just once -- the 26-17 loss to the 6-0 Eagles. They also rank second in points allowed per game (14.9), have a league-high 29 sacks and have registered 12 takeaways. Scoring matters most, and teams can't find the end zone against Dallas. -- Todd Archer


7. Baltimore Ravens (4-3)

Week 7 ranking: 7

There are two teams that have held double-digit leads in every game this season: the Ravens and the Eagles. But Philadelphia is undefeated at 6-0 and the Ravens are 4-3. Why? Baltimore has been outscored by a league-worst 46 points in the fourth quarter. The Ravens would rank among the NFL's best if not for fourth-quarter meltdowns against the Dolphins, Bills and Giants. -- Jamison Hensley

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1:07

Riddick: Matt Ryan is just part of the problem with the Colts

Louis Riddick contends something is wrong with the Colts even after the benching of Matt Ryan.


8. New York Jets (5-2)

Week 7 ranking: 9

The Jets have the league's best scoring margin in the fourth quarter at plus-54. They pride themselves on being strong finishers, and they've backed it up with two come-from-behind wins over the Browns and Steelers. Then, in the last four games, they've outscored their opponents 51-7 in the fourth quarter. The secret formula? Strong defense, no giveaways, situational awareness and sound coaching. Another key factor: They've faced backup QBs in four of the aforementioned five games. -- Rich Cimini


9. Cincinnati Bengals (4-3)

Week 7 ranking: 13

The Bengals have a plus-10 touchdown differential, only second to the Bills, who were idle this week. Cincinnati's offense has found some quality form in back-to-back weeks, with QB Joe Burrow spearheading the attack. Defensively, the Bengals have yet to surrender a second-half touchdown this season, the first team since the 1997 Chiefs to accomplish that feat through the first seven weeks. That trend has enabled the Bengals to weather an early-season lull and stay in the mix to win the AFC North for the second straight season. -- Ben Baby


10. Miami Dolphins (4-3)

Week 7 ranking: 17

The Dolphins have 61 pressures through seven games, ranking 27th in the NFL -- a whopping 22 of those came against the Bills in Week 3. Miami is blitzing often, as it's been known to do over the past few years, but its pass rush isn't generating the type of pressure it's accustomed to seeing. The middle-of-the-pack sack numbers (14, 19th in the NFL) could be forgiven if the pressures were there, but it appears opponents have figured out the Dolphins' tactics. Opposing quarterbacks are getting the ball out at the ninth-fastest rate in the league (2.7 seconds), and in turn, Miami allows the fourth-highest completion percentage in the league. Whether the rush or coverage is more at blame, it's something the Dolphins need to figure out if they're to make a final playoff push come November and December. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques


11. Tennessee Titans (4-2)

Week 7 ranking: 16

The Titans have won four straight games by a combined margin of 22 points. They have also given up more yards than they've gained in all four wins, but more importantly they have found a way to win even if it is by one score or less. Sometimes it's a 76-yard interception return like on Sunday against the Colts. Other times it's a tipped pass like when reserve linebacker Dylan Cole's fingertips redirected a Derek Carr pass that was intended for Darren Waller on a failed two-point conversion to tie the game. -- Turron Davenport


12. Los Angeles Rams (3-3)

Week 7 ranking: 11

The Rams have started nine different offensive linemen this season, which has been reflected in quarterback Matthew Stafford's protection. The Rams' 22 sacks allowed are the fifth most in the NFL this season. Los Angeles is hoping that the return of center Brian Allen will bring some stability to an offensive line who has had just one player start all of the Rams' first seven games. The Rams' offense has struggled to move the ball consistently this season, and the performance of the offensive line is a big reason. -- Sarah Barshop


13. Seattle Seahawks (4-3)

Week 7 ranking: 18

The Seahawks' run game has been among the best in the NFL and their defense has gone from awful to excellent, but Geno Smith has been their MVP. He has the fourth-best Total QBR at 66.8, which is indicative of how he's been so much more than merely the game manager who many expected him to be. That's more than 23 points higher than Smith's Total QBR over his first nine seasons, and it's more than 31 points higher than the guy he replaced in Seattle. Russell Wilson ranks 28th at 35.2. -- Brady Henderson


14. San Francisco 49ers (3-4)

Week 7 ranking: 12

Let's not complicate this, the 49ers are at their best when they take care of the ball and play good defense. Their 12 giveaways are tied for fourth-most in the NFL and a direct line can be traced from that category to their record. In their three wins, they have one turnover. In their four losses, they have 11. -- Nick Wagoner


15. Los Angeles Chargers (4-3)

Week 7 ranking: 8

The Chargers invested in their defense over the offseason in attempt to keep opponents out of the end zone. The changes, which included supposed upgrades on the edge, interior and secondary, have so far yielded similar results as 2021. The Bolts have allowed an average of 27 points per game, which ranks 30th in the NFL. Injuries, including Joey Bosa being placed on injured reserve following Week 3, have played a role in the defense's inefficiencies. However, if the Chargers want to realize a goal of earning their first playoff trip since 2018, they must quickly figure out a way to come together. "It's a sense of urgency for everyone," defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day said. "Not just the players, but also the urgency the coaches put on the players. Once we do all that, then it's all going to get figured out." -- Lindsey Thiry


16. Green Bay Packers (3-4)

Week 7 ranking: 14

Aaron Rodgers has not been able to complete passes down the field. He averaged just 3.2 air yards on his completions in Sunday's loss to the Commanders. Even before that, he entered the day with the second-fewest air yards per completion in the NFL at 4.3. As impossible as Davante Adams has been to replace, they also miss the deep threat that was Marquez Valdes-Scantling. -- Rob Demovsky


17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4)

Week 7 ranking: 10

The Bucs' scoring production has fallen off, going from averaging 31.4 offensive points a game through the first seven weeks last year to 16.71 points a game this year. It's not even just the red zone anymore -- they've been there only 19 times in 77 drives so far this season (24.6%). In the first seven games last year, it was 39 times in 79 drives (44.3%). -- Jenna Laine


18. New England Patriots (3-4)

Week 7 ranking: 15

When the Patriots were 1-2 and Mac Jones was struggling, they had eight turnovers and a minus-4 turnover differential. The eight turnovers were the second-highest total in the NFL, and Jones had five interceptions. Since that point, the Patriots have successfully limited mistakes and entered Week 7 with a plus-1 turnover differential. It's no surprise that their season turned around as a result of it, although they backslid with a minus-3 ratio in Monday's loss to the Bears. -- Mike Reiss


19. Atlanta Falcons (3-4)

Week 7 ranking: 19

It does not matter who it is. It does not matter the time of game. Arthur Smith will do his best to run the ball again and again. The Falcons, even after a blowout loss to Cincinnati on Sunday, have the No. 3 rushing attack in the NFL. It's simply about how Atlanta's head coach can control the game and be competitive every week. What's impressive is that they are doing it with a converted receiver (Cordarrelle Patterson), a fifth-round pick (Tyler Allgeier), a player who started the year on the practice squad (Caleb Huntley) and a converted cornerback (Avery Williams). If Atlanta ends up as a surprise division winner this season, it'll be on the strength of its ability to shorten games and be productive on the ground. -- Michael Rothstein


20. Arizona Cardinals (3-4)

Week 7 ranking: 26

DeAndre Hopkins' was targeted on 48% of the Cardinals' passes in his season debut on Thursday night. It showed just how crucial he was to Arizona's offense, which struggled mightily without him. The Cardinals were 2-4 without Hopkins and now are 1-0 with him. He was missed and missed a lot. With him back, the Cardinals have their WR1 back, and it is instantly paying off. -- Josh Weinfuss


21. Washington Commanders (3-4)

Week 7 ranking: 28

Washington ranks 24th in the NFL, averaging 17.57 offensive points per game. Since Week 3, that number drops to 13.60 per game. The Commanders were supposed to be energized this season with quarterback Carson Wentz and a healthy -- and upgraded -- set of receivers. Instead, it's been a key reason they are only 3-4 despite having won two in a row. Injuries and an ineffective interior offensive line have played a part, but there's no way they anticipated this level of struggle on offense. If the Commanders want to keep building on their win streak, they must become more consistent on offense. -- John Keim


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1:04

Clark: The Packers can't win a championship

Ryan Clark breaks down why the Packers' championship hopes are over.

22. Indianapolis Colts (3-3-1)

Week 7 ranking: 20

The Colts are averaging just 16.1 points per game, and it isn't good enough. QB Matt Ryan has now been benched in favor of Sam Ehlinger. The Colts have a viable defense that on Sunday didn't allow a touchdown against the Titans. But they have been so anemic on offense that almost nothing else matters. Time will tell whether the newly promoted starter can spark the team, but if the likes of Ryan and Jonathan Taylor can't transcend the Colts' offensive line play, who can? -- Stephen Holder


23. Las Vegas Raiders (2-4)

Week 7 ranking: 27

Josh Jacobs has rushed for 441 yards with six touchdowns in Las Vegas' past three games, averaging 6.4 yards per carry in that time frame. His ascendance has helped the Raiders right their oft-slow starting offense and win two of their past three games after an 0-3 start under new coach Josh McDaniels. They have now also put themselves in position to go on a run of sorts, with the schedule easing up and Jacobs producing like an All-Pro. -- Paul Gutierrez


24. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5)

Week 7 ranking: 22

The Jaguars' defense had seven sacks in the first two games, and people started to wonder if this was going to be a repeat of the 2017 defense, which led the NFL with 55 sacks that season. Nope. It has posted just six since, including just two in the past three games. Without the pressure, the Jaguars aren't forcing the turnovers they did early in the season -- nine turnovers in the first four games and none since. The lack of pressure and turnovers is a big reason the Jaguars have lost four in a row. -- Michael DiRocco


25. Cleveland Browns (2-5)

Week 7 ranking: 23

The Browns haven't been consistently good defensively in any quarter this season. But in the fourth quarter, Cleveland has been at its worst. The Browns rank 30th in the league in fourth-quarter defensive expected points added (minus-45.43), underscoring the fourth-quarter collapses that have put Cleveland's season already on the brink. The Browns played better defensively Sunday in Baltimore, including in the fourth quarter. But after yet another loss, it might end up being too little, too late. -- Jake Trotter


26. New Orleans Saints (2-5)

Week 7 ranking: 21

The Saints have a minus-10 giveaway/takeaway ratio and have intercepted only one pass this year. Their seven fumbles and nine team interceptions are worst in the league, and they have turned the ball over in critical times. Andy Dalton's two first-half pick-sixes against the Cardinals turned a tie game into a hole they couldn't escape in an eventual loss, and it's just one of many games where turnovers defined the eventual outcome. -- Katherine Terrell


27. Denver Broncos (2-5)

Week 7 ranking: 24

There are two players in the league right now -- Austin Ekeler and Nick Chubb -- who have scored as many touchdowns (eight) as the entire Broncos team has. That dismal scoring performance means the Broncos are 2-5 -- despite a defense that has surrendered just eight touchdowns all season. Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy leads the team in touchdowns -- with just two -- and the running backs have scored just two rushing touchdowns in seven games. -- Jeff Legwold


28. Chicago Bears (3-4)

Week 7 ranking: 29

Justin Fields has been under constant duress, which is exhibited by the Bears owning the league's worst pressure (46.2%) and sack percentage (13.5%) entering Monday's game. Those numbers reflect a combination of deficiencies along the offensive line in protecting Fields and the quarterback holding on to the ball too long (a league-high 3.03 seconds). Defenses have been using those things to their advantage to dial up more pressure on the second-year QB. No quarterback has been blitzed more (39%) this season than Fields. -- Courtney Cronin


29. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5)

Week 7 ranking: 25

The Steelers are averaging 15.3 points per game, and that's simply not enough. Only the Denver Broncos (14.3) are scoring fewer points per game. The team switched to Kenny Pickett at quarterback in hopes he could provide a spark, and while there are flashes of potential for an explosive offense, the team is still averaging a league-worst 4.8 yards per play -- the same paltry mark it averaged in 2021. The AFC North is weaker than expected, and the Steelers could somehow be in the mix after a 2-5 start -- but their offense has to quickly and drastically improve for that to happen. -- Brooke Pryor


30. Carolina Panthers (2-5)

Week 7 ranking: 32

The Panthers entered Sunday's game ranked last in the NFL in third-down conversion rate at 23.6% and did little to improve that with a 4-for-12 day. The last team with a conversion rate of 24% or worse was the 2005 San Francisco 49ers, who went 4-12. -- David Newton


31. Detroit Lions (1-5)

Week 7 ranking: 31

The Lions' defense has been really bad. Yes, they've seen improvement week-to-week, but they're still allowing a league-high 32.33 points per game. The offense and defense have failed to get on the same page this season, but even if they're putting up big points, the defense has to stop the other team -- this is a big reason for the 1-5 record. -- Eric Woodyard


32. Houston Texans (1-4-1)

Week 7 ranking: 30

The Texans' rush defense is allowing 164 yards per game, and that ranks last in the NFL. It's holding back the defense from being a great unit because their pass defense is forcing quarterbacks into a passer rating of 74, the seventh-lowest mark among defenses. The defense allowed Colts' RB Jonathan Taylor to produce 161 yards in Week 1, the Bears to run for 281 yards in Week 3 and Raiders RB Josh Jacobs to total three touchdowns in Week 7. This is an area the Texans can improve. -- DJ Bien-Aime