Week 8 power rankings: Saints climb to No. 2

1.) Ravens — Bye came at great time. Donte¬†Stallworth’s return might help some of their issues vs. Cover 2.

2.) Saints — Big, big win for them, and Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas will be back sooner rather than later. This defense is much more sound than last year, and the offense will come around.

3.) Steelers — It’s a two-horse race in the AFC North. No shame in losing that game Sunday night.

4.) Patriots — Five straight wins over some very stout competition. Randy who?

5.) Packers — If they win like that on Aaron Rodgers’ worst day, then I continue to like their chances.

6.) Giants — Looking a lot like the Super Bowl team of a few years back.

7.) Titans — Lost to a desperate team, but I think they’ll be playing postseason football.

8.) Jets — Amid all the hype, I feel like I’ve been the only one saying the QB still barely completes half his passes, he will definitely start turning it over, and I can’t see L.T. keeping this pace all season. That’s just me.

9.) Colts — Not sure they will ever get healthy enough to be what we’re used to from them. But always in contention.

10.) Falcons — Want to see them bring it against more physical opponents.

11.) Eagles — I expect them to make a nice second-half push.

12.) Texans — Sweeping the Colts was always gonna be tough.

13.) Dolphins — If they could only play as gritty at home as on the road.

14.) Chiefs – Seem to be a team of destiny, getting lots of breaks. Oakland provides an interesting test.

15.) Bucs – They do it the hard way … but they do it. 5-2? That’s pretty amazing.

16.) Raiders – I believed in the offseason. I’m starting to believe again. 500 more yards on offense? Darrius Heyward-Bey has a pulse?

17.) Chargers — A statement win, without any receivers to speak of against a very physical opponent. Didn’t think they had that in them.

18.) Vikings — I like them more with¬†Tarvaris Jackson at the helm.

19.) LionsMatt Stafford is gonna light it up. If they could just win on the road. Oh, and Ndamukong Suh is a total beast.

20.) Rams Sam Bradford has gone almost 100 passes between picks. If they could just win on the road …

21.) Seahawks – Horrible loss, but in the NFC West that kind of stuff can be quickly forgiven.

22.) Jaguars — Playing against Dallas makes everyone look better, but man, Davis Garrard, Mike Sims-Walker and MJD looked like the triplets Sunday.

23.) Redskins — Been winning with smoke and mirrors — offense is “garbage” as Chris Cooley calls it. Defense is ridiculously porous, and now they have a QB controversy on top of it.

24.) Bengals — Remind me, which one is Batman, again? And is Marvin Lewis “The Riddler”?

25.) Bears — I think this team implodes in the second half. I think they lose to Buffalo in Toronto on Sunday.

26.) 49ersTroy Smith to the rescue? Dare I say they might not be dead yet?

27.) Cowboys – If a pass catcher could have held on to the ball every now and again Sunday, they could have stayed in that game.

28.) Browns — Have a hard time seeing them finish strong with that QB situation.

29.) Cardinals — They have an even worse QB situation.

30.) Broncos — The last 12 months have been a complete free fall. But hey, they’ve got Tim Tebow!

31.) Bills — I know they’re still winless. But they’ve got more going for them right now than the Panthers.

32.) Panthers — At what point do you go back to Jimmy Clausen?

– Jason La Canfora

Follow me on Twitter @JasonLaCanfora and follow the NFL Network @nflnetwork.

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