NFL

2020 NFL Power Rankings: Week 8

How far have the Patriots fallen in our algorithm-based power rankings?

A majority (65%) of teams stayed more-or-less put in our NFL Power Rankings this week and moved up or down no more than two spots.

There was still one team, however, that took a rather large plunge.

Cam you guess which team? They are pretty Newton to being so low in our rankings, as they never quite fit the Bill before. If you still don’t know, keep reading to Belichick it out.

Let’s see how this week’s action shook up our rankings.

Risers and Fallers

Ok, those were bad jokes. But were they worse than how the New England Patriots played at home against the San Francisco 49ers? Probably. Anyway, the Patriots’ worst home loss since 1998 cost them 11 spots in the rankings (they are now 16th) and 3.83 points in the nERD ratings.

The Washington Football Team's drubbing of the Dallas Cowboys bumped them up 8 spots in the rankings and 3.34 points in the nERD ratings (both the largest jumps of the week). Dallas’ nERD rating took a slightly bigger hit than the Patriots’, dropping by 3.87 points.

Here are our Week 8 NFL Power Rankings:

Teams Ranked 32nd to 23rd

Rank Team nERD Record Playoff
Odds
Rank
Change
Off. NEP
Rank
Def. NEP
Rank
32 New York Jets -13.41 0-7 0.00% 0 32 24
31 Jacksonville Jaguars -11.42 1-6 0.00% 0 29 31
30 New York Giants -9.17 1-6 1.60% 0 30 23
29 Dallas Cowboys -8.41 2-5 6.50% -1 17 32
28 Cincinnati Bengals -6.02 1-5-1 0.40% 1 18 28
27 Houston Texans -5.65 1-6 4.00% -4 15 30
26 Atlanta Falcons -4.82 1-6 0.30% 0 19 25
25 Detroit Lions -4.09 3-3 9.70% 0 22 21
24 Philadelphia Eagles -3.24 2-4-1 52.80% 0 20 22
23 Denver Broncos -3.08 2-4 6.30% -3 31 6


One of these playoff odds is not like the others...the Philadelphia Eagles are 2-4-1 and have only a half-game lead over Washington to lead an extremely weak division. numberFire’s playoff model gives Philadelphia the highest playoff probability in the NFC East at 52.8%.

I might need to rename this section after NFC East, as three of the four teams from that division are in the bottom-10 of our rankings (New York Giants at 30, Cowboys at 29, and Eagles at 24).

The Denver Broncos are the newcomers to our bottom-10 after losing handily (43-16) to the Kansas City Chiefs in Denver. Struggling since his return from injury, Drew Lock ranks last in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back and Passing Success (for quarterbacks with at least 80 drop backs).

Teams Ranked 22nd to 13th

Rank Team nERD Record Playoff
Odds
Rank
Change
Off. NEP
Rank
Def. NEP
Rank
22 Cleveland Browns -2.61 5-2 62.40% 0 9 29
21 Las Vegas Raiders -2.27 3-3 31.10% -3 12 27
20 Minnesota Vikings -1.74 1-5 3.40% 1 23 17
19 Washington Football Team -1.01 2-5 39.80% 8 28 7
18 Indianapolis Colts -0.85 4-2 40.70% 1 27 12
17 Buffalo Bills -0.17 5-2 58.50% -1 5 26
16 New England Patriots 0.27 2-4 27.90% -11 25 11
15 Miami Dolphins 0.96 3-3 46.10% -2 16 10
14 Chicago Bears 1 5-2 68.90% 1 26 4
13 Seattle Seahawks 1.65 5-1 80.90% -4 7 20


The Cleveland Browns (ranked 22nd) and the Cincinnati Bengals (28th) put on a fourth-quarter show in the Battle of Ohio. Baker Mayfield completed 10 of 11 passes (the only incompletion came from a spike to stop the clock), and posted 17.37 Passing NEP in the fourth quarter alone. All of Mayfield’s completions qualified as Passing Successes (when NEP is positive).

Joe Burrow's fourth-quarter Passing NEP of 12.32 was second to only Mayfield’s across the league in Week 7.

Teams Ranked 12th to 1st

Rank Team nERD Record Playoff
Odds
Rank
Change
Off. NEP
Rank
Def. NEP
Rank
12 Carolina Panthers 1.67 3-4 13.10% 0 11 15
11 New Orleans Saints 2.41 4-2 71.50% -1 8 19
10 Los Angeles Chargers 2.56 2-4 38.90% 7 24 3
9 Tennessee Titans 2.63 5-1 89.50% -2 4 18
8 Green Bay Packers 2.92 5-1 91.30% 3 10 16
7 Arizona Cardinals 3.87 5-2 67.40% 6 2 14
6 Pittsburgh Steelers 5.67 6-0 98.70% -2 14 5
5 San Francisco 49ers 5.84 4-3 40.50% 3 6 13
4 Los Angeles Rams 6.68 5-2 67.80% 2 3 9
3 Baltimore Ravens 7.26 5-1 97.00% 0 21 2
2 Kansas City Chiefs 8.2 6-1 98.50% 0 1 8
1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10.27 5-2 84.50% 0 13 1


The Pittsburgh Steelers controlled the first half of their game against the Tennessee Titans and were leading by 20 points five minutes into the third quarter. Tennessee battled back but came up short when Stephen Gostkowski missed a game-tying field goal from 45 yards.

The most surprised person by the miss may have been Ben Roethlisberger.

Derrick Henry has been on a bit of a tear lately, but the matchup between him and the Steelers’ run defense (which is now ranked second against the run according to Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play) went the Steelers’ way. They limited Henry to his lowest number of Rushing Successes (7) and his lowest Rushing Success Rate (35.0%) over this season.

The Titans’ defense has been an ongoing issue this season and hasn’t seen an above-14th ranking in Adjusted Defensive NEP since Week 1. Their defense has been particularly poor on third and fourth downs. The Tennessee defense is giving up successful plays on these downs at a league-high rate of 59.1%.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are again on top of our rankings after pulling away from the Las Vegas Raiders to win 45-20 (thanks to 5 Tom Brady touchdown passes).

The Buccaneers take on the Giants on Monday night and are favored by 10.5 points on FanDuel Sportsbook. The gap in the two teams’ nERD rating currently sits at 19.4 points.