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NFL Power Rankings, Week 8: Philadelphia Eagles hit No. 1 spot

What a weekend of football, bookended by Thursday night madness and a solid Monday nighter, with many notable happenings in between. A few big items:

You can read about the last two in the 49ers and Browns blurbs, respectively. Of course, the way those two teams' seasons are going, you'll need to do some serious downward scrolling.

Those weren't the only intriguing happenings in Week 7. The Dolphins mounted an improbable comeback with their backup quarterback. Drew Brees and Philip Rivers, forever linked as former teammates, keep winning. Le'Veon Bell got the football 38 more times on another huge day for the league's bell cow. Dez Bryant tied an old Cowboys record. And Mitch Trubisky won a game throwing seven passes.

Y'all had some thoughts about this ranking exercise ...

That's a whole lotta respect for the Eagles coming from Chiefs Kingdom. Must be a Kevin Curtis fan. (Best wide receiver mustache of the 2000s.)

Yep, fun blowing up my rankings -- and seeing my word count mushroom -- every week.

On that note, much movement in the top 10. Every spot sports a new team. Which sums up the state of NFL parity these days. Trying to make sense of what we've seen thus far, though your take is welcome: @HarrisonNFL is the place.

Let the dissension commence!

PROGRAMMING NOTE: For more in-depth analysis on the updated league pecking order, tune in to NFL Network every Tuesday night at 6 p.m. ET for the "NFL Power Rankings" show. Want to add YOUR voice? Call (888) 553-7436 and leave a message with your opinion, and your comments could be played on the air.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The lineup below reflects changes from our Week 7 Power Rankings.

There's a new No. 1, and it's not a familiar one. When was the last time the Eagles were the best team in pro football? Maybe in the first two months of the 2004 campaign, when Andy Reid's squad started the season 7-0 on the way to the franchise's second-ever Super Bowl berth. The 2017 team could be headed in the direction of Super Sunday, especially if Carson Wentz plays like he did Monday night. The 64-yard bomb to rookie Mack Hollins was a dime. Even more difficult? His throw on the corner route to Zach Ertz to set up a score before half. Impossible would describe Wentz's heave to Corey Clement on a little wheel route in the end zone. On a 1-10 scale, the difficulty on that toss was a thousand. Wentz's mobility is what gets me. MVP?

Impressive showing from the Rams overseas, fueled by a calm Jared Goff, consistent performance from the biggest star on offense (Todd Gurley) and more improvement from Wade Phillips' defense. The latter shut down the Cardinals, even when Goff's biggest mistake provided Arizona with excellent field position late in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Gurley continues to churn out yards and touchdowns -- 920 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns in seven games this season. Not bad.

Much is made about how much of the Steelers' offense Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown account for, but Sunday's win was mostly about defense. It helps when Bell carries the football 35 times, ensuring his defensive teammates can grab a little air. That said, defensive coordinator Keith Butler deserves much credit. After allowing 14 points in the first half, Pittsburgh's defense caged in the Bengals' offense during the second half. That speaks to adjustments made. Two tipped interceptions didn't hurt. Nor did Bud Dupree sprinting toward Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton with reckless abandon a few times.

Offensive coordinators are going to continue to target Terrance Mitchell. Broadcasters will talk about it during every Chiefs game, too. On "Thursday Night Football," Eric Murray and the safeties were the issue. The touchdown Mitchell allowed one-on-one to Raiders receiver Amari Cooper early included a clear push-off. While Mitchell has allowed much yardage (615, per Next Gen Stats, along with five touchdowns and a passer rating of 99.6), it's also because opposing quarterbacks don't want to throw on his fellow corner, Marcus Peters. Meanwhile, on the all-important throw to Jared Cook late, Murray has to turn around and at least try to locate the ball. It should've never been resting in Cook's paws. There's your quick Kansas City analysis.

The Patriots' leading man for the last couple of weeks has been the guy with the backwards baseball hat, Michael McDonald beard and laminated playsheet. Coordinator Matt Patricia has spearheaded a New England defensive renaissance. The Pats gave up 128 points in their first four games of 2017, a staggering clip of 32 per contest. Patricia drowned out all the criticism and made the necessary tweaks for his unit to allow 14, 17 and seven points in New England's last three games. In fairness, the Bucs' allergic reaction to field goals and a curious call on Austin Seferian-Jenkins slightly helped those totals, but no one was backing up Patricia when the breaks weren't going his team's way.

That was some vintage Dan Quinn/Gus Bradley-era defense from the Seahawks on Sunday in New Jersey. Now under Kris Richard's direction, the "Legion of Boom" dominated the Giants' depleted WR corps. New York's running game (?) couldn't get anything going against the Seattle front, either. Unsung hero: DT Jarran Reed, who posted seven solo tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Sung hero: Russell Wilson, who threw for 334 yards and three touchdowns, continually doing it by himself when Jimmy Graham can't catch.

No defense is playing better than the Vikings' right now. Minnesota is allowing 17 points per game. Only the Steelers have scored more than 20 points against Mike Zimmer's better side of the ball this season, and that was Case Keenum's first start when the offense couldn't stay on the field. No opponent has even hit the 350-yard barrier against these guys. The Vikes dominated Baltimore so badly on Sunday that they made the Ravens' offense look like ... look like ... the Ravens' offense. Baltimore's total yardage: 208. Wow.

The Saints keep on winning. Sunday's triumph in Green Bay didn't go off without a hitch, though, as Drew Brees threw two bad balls to ensure the Packers would stay in the game. While some folks might point to the opposing QB -- Brett Hundley, who was making his first career start in place of Aaron Rodgers -- to temper enthusiasm for this New Orleans group, keep in mind how well coordinator Dennis Allen's defense has been playing for weeks now. New Orleans' four-game win streak has been fueled by defensive play, not necessarily Brees airing it out (although he's had a fine campaign).

In case you were wondering, the Saints have only beaten the Packers in Wisconsin two other times -- and only once at Lambeau, in 2006, when Brees, in his first year under center for New Orleans, bested Brett Favre. The other road win? It came back in 1971, at Milwaukee County Stadium. A rookie named Archie Manning and Bart Starr played in that sucker. That was Starr's last year.

Picked up to the Bills' broadcast team toward the end of Buffalo's close call against the Bucs. They really get their money's worth out of Steven Hauschka: He's Hausch-money ... The Bills are playin' with Hausch-money ... It's the game-winner from Hausch-money. Tyrod Taylor to Nick O'Leary made the Bucs' defense look like ... wait for it ... a Hausch of cards. That was a heckuva effort from Buffalo's full-Hausch backfield, with LeSean McCoy, Mike Tolbert and Taylor. Newly signed receiver Deonte Thompson proved to be quite the rental ... Hausch ... OK, I'm done. #BillsMafia

The Redskins drop, but not below the Jaguars and Cowboys. Washington actually controlled the engagement for most of the first half Monday night, but the game took a turn on Carson Wentz's 64-yard touchdown heave with just a few minutes remaining in the second quarter. That's when the secondary got exposed. The second half didn't get better. Then again, remember that the Redskins will be getting Josh Norman back soon. Not to mention, their three losses all came against top-five teams: the Eagles, Chiefs and Eagles again. Jay Gruden's group will be in the postseason chase.

The Jags aren't going away. Call Sunday's 27-0 shutout a quiet romp, as no one outside of Jacksonville (or Indy, unfortunately) seemed to pay much attention. Maybe Blake Bortles enjoying one of the better games of his career doesn't get the networks all hot and bothered. T.J. Yeldon doesn't lather 'em up, either. Yet, both were keys to the win, complementing a secondary that wouldn't give Jacoby Brissett anything most of the afternoon. Yeldon gained more in two carries (a 58-yard touchdown and a 21-yard run) than Colts running backs gained all day (65). Bortles went 18 of 26 for 330 yards, a touchdown and, most importantly, no picks. That's almost 13 yards per throw.

Not sure where that Cowboys offense came from against the 49ers, but my guess is straight out of last year. For the first time all season, the Dallas offensive line played like, well, the Dallas offensive line. Dak Prescott flexed his mobility, while Ezekiel Elliott's touchdown on a screen pass screamed 2016, at Pittsburgh. Jason Witten made a play straight out of 2007, justifying every announcer calling him a future Hall of Famer on literally every game broadcast. ( SEE it again. A real beaut of a catch, man.) Then there was Sean Lee, back in the lineup for the Cowboys, where his presence is palpable. One of my favorite follows pointed out Lee's value rather astutely ... and stats-ily.

The Texans were off last week, unfortunately. Who doesn't want to watch Deshaun Watson play right now? The dude is on an Aaron Judge-esque rampage through the NFL. Sure, Houston's roster might have gotten healthier with the bye week. Unfortunately, the big injuries on this team are of the IR variety. All of which is to say that bye weeks kind of suck sometimes, at least for a streaking offense like this group. Looking ahead: A major NFC West run is on the horizon, as the Texans go to Seattle, face the Colts at home, head out to the Coliseum to face the Rams, then return home again for the Cardinals.

Healthy move up for the Chargers, who looked dominant on defense Sunday. Add a pinch of special teams and a tablespoon of offense, and all of a sudden, the Bolts have won three in a row while evening their divisional record. At 3-4 (and 2-2 in the division), Anthony Lynn's outfit is right back in the AFC West race, especially with the Chiefs losing in Oakland. If the defense plays like it did versus the Broncos -- 252 yards allowed, 18.8 percent conversion rate on third and fourth downs (3 of 16), five sacks -- then who knows? Next up: at Patriots. Juicy. Not the sweat pants, the matchup.

Score two tugs on defense, and you lessen the burden on your rookie quarterback. One week after only throwing the football 16 times, offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains didn't let Mitchell Trubisky stretch his sea legs, er, Lake Michigan legs against the Panthers. Trubisky attempted seven passes. The last Bears quarterback to attempt seven passes in a start? Jim McMahon -- in 1984. And McMahon didn't even play the whole game. Sid Luckman threw more than that. Trubisky was the beneficiary of the same brand of defense both McMahon and Luckman enjoyed, however, as Chicago made Carolina look inept on offense all day. Vic Fangio's unit didn't merely score, his guys got to Cam Newton five times and held Carolina to 293 total yards.

The Panthers might be the most maddening team in the NFL to watch. When they win, their fans are all over this here writer for not putting them higher. But how do you explain the performances versus the Saints and Bears? Every team drops games we thought they'd win. Losses like the Week 6 defeat to the Eagles make sense. But with 10 days rest, that was the best Carolina could do? For all of the talent Cam Newton has, and as capable as he is of putting the Panthers on his back, these valleys are awfully low. Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky attempted seven passes and his team won by two scores.

The season is going to start slipping away fast if the Lions didn't make a few adjustments in their bye week. The offense can't sleepwalk through the first half of games anymore, or wait until Detroit's down, like, 38-zip to wake the #%$^ up. Much of the problem is the offensive line, which let Matthew Stafford get certifiably pounded (five sacks against the Saints) in Week 6. Left tackle Taylor Decker -- who has been out all season with a torn labrum -- is now eligible to come off the PUP list. When Decker returns, Ameer Abdullah will be eligible to have a great game whenever he's ready. Like, seriously, it's OK; he can start putting up 100-yard games. Anytime. Anytime he's ready. Like. OK. The season has started already. It's not preseason anymore. Go, go, go.

Whale of a response by the, uh, Dolphins on Sunday. Backup QB Matt Moore's poise was off the charts while stepping in for an injured Jay Cutler versus the Jets, especially in coming back from an interception on his second series. Or how about coming back to Kenny Stills in the end zone after what would have been the latter's second touchdown reception was called back on a ticky-tack pick call? Cutler is likely to miss Miami's upcoming "Thursday Night Football" clash against Baltimore with cracked ribs. If you compare the numbers of Moore and Cutler from 2016 until now, they're not close. In that span, Cutler has 11 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 6.48 yards per attempt and a 78.5 passer rating in 11 games. Moore in that span: 10 touchdowns, four picks, 8.42 yards per attempt and a 105.1 passer rating in five games. Surprising! (Not.)

The offense will be fine. That's what we heard about the Falcons all offseason. With Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones in place, what difference would it make to go from Kyle Shanahan to Steve Sarkisian in the offensive coordinator role? Not much. Who needs 12.4 points per game, anyway? That's how many fewer points per game these Falcons are scoring under Sarkisian this year. The entire stable of skill players was a nonfactor against the Patriots, lost in the fog of making up for *28-3*. Or the Falcons were just lost in a fog. Still, with two other teams in the NFC South falling this past weekend, it's not panic time. Yet.

If winning in the NFL is about surviving from week to week, the Titans certainly qualify as winners. One week after Marcus Mariota couldn't move in a hard-fought victory over the Colts, the offense couldn't advance a lick against the Browns -- the Browns. Tennessee produced a grand total of 269 yards and 12 points in five quarters of football, with 13 carries for 13 yards by Derrick Henry and zero catches by Eric Decker. Oof. The Titans' defense deserves credit, though, for shutting the door on Cleveland's offense twice in overtime.

Not much to glean from Sunday's game against the Chargers. Well, other than the fact that the Broncos actually managed to do worse than they did in their 20-3 debacle versus the Giants in Week 6. How about getting blanked 21-zip by the Bolts? Shocking. The theory was that Denver overlooked New York. The Broncos must have not even heard of the Chargers. (That's OK; half of L.A. hasn't, either.) The last time Denver got shut out was way back in 1992. That game was also in L.A. Rookie Tommy Maddox started in place of John Elway. Wonder what the former QB thinks of his current offense from the GM's seat.

The Raiders are on the (slow) move upward. The only thing that could've made Thursday night's thriller any better is if Oakland had needed another down to score again. I was almost rooting for the Michael Crabtree touchdown to get called back. That was one of those raved-about games actually worth all the raving. Loved the uni matchup, too. (Although all Raiders- Chiefs uni matchups are sweet.) While I might be in the minority here, I feel the light-gray-numbers-on-the-white-jersey is the sweetest Oakland uni ever. I was just watching footage of the 1970 AFC Championship Game for a #TBT piece I'm working on, and I couldn't get over how incredible those Raiders jerseys looked.

The Brett Hundley era, for however long it will last, started and then stalled (often) on Sunday. The defense kept the Packers in their game against the Saints throughout (with two early picks of Drew Brees), but Hundley simply could not get the Green Bay machine moving. Rookie running back Aaron Jones did his part, piling up 131 yards on 17 carries. Twitter was raving about the explosion on Jones' first run from scrimmage. Hundley showed burst of his own on that long touchdown scamper. But a severely reined-in game plan, combined with an underwhelming line (12 of 25 for 87 yards) from Hundley, doomed the Pack.

 **Side note:** Agree with colleague Chris Wesseling -- 
 Blake Martinez has become a nice player at ILB for Mike McCarthy. 

Andy Dalton was jussst off on a couple of throws in the second half against Pittsburgh, but the narrow misses were enough to thwart the Bengals. A slant to A.J. Green in the third quarter was a hair out in front of the star receiver, and the ensuing Joe Haden pick led to the Steelers padding their lead with a field goal. Then Dalton was slightly off the mark again, on a play that resulted in a deflection-turned-interception. Cincy stayed with Pittsburgh throughout the first half, yet couldn't get out from under Chris Boswell's leg in the second. That's 11 Boswell field goals in these two teams' last two meetings -- enough to make Cincy fans kick themselves in the head.

Just when it looked like Josh McCown deserved some MVP love for the way he's kept the Jets afloat (an exaggeration for sure, but come on), he threw an interception into the belly of Miami corner Bobby McCain. It appeared as though McCown was throwing to a spot where he thought Jermaine Kearse was going to be, not seeing McCain slip underneath in clear position to make a play on the ball. That sucker floated out there like a David Wells curve. Such a lost opportunity for New York to seriously get in the thick of the AFC East race, too.

The season, which looked promising when the Cardinals were a viable 3-3 after Adrian Peterson rumbled for over 100 yards last week, fell apart Sunday. Starting quarterback Carson Palmer will be out at least eight weeks with a broken arm. Meanwhile, the way the offensive line was manhandled, the Cardinals wouldn't have been able to run even if they'd had Earl Campbell in the backfield. Now it's up to Drew Stanton, who is 6-3 as a starter filling in for Palmer. Sorry, but those Cardinal teams Stanton relief-pitched for were much stronger than this 2017 unit. The group still misses David Johnson.

Tampa made it interesting on Sunday in Buffalo. Once again, the defense left much to be desired, specifically with regard to stopping the run ... or, at least, trying to stop the run. One week after a 50-year-old Adrian Peterson ran through the Bucs, the Bills plowed for 173 yards at 5.2 yards per carry. Buffalo seemingly tried to do everything it could to give this game away, and almost did after LeSean McCoy's fumble in the fourth quarter. Yet, Tampa still couldn't make ends meet, allowing Buffalo to go on two late drives to tie and then win the game. The first march took all of 46 seconds. This is the Tyrod Taylor-led Buffalo attack we're talking about here, not Jim Kelly and Co. Bright spot: O.J. Howard's performance (six catches, 98 yards, two scores) reflected his draft stock -- even on his own fumble, when the 19th overall pick showed the presence of mind to beat out three Bills for the ball.

Another game, another truly *offensive* showing by the offense. The Ravens are stuck in neutral, at best, and were left without their turbo when Mike Wallace exited with a concussion. When the defense tightens down on the Baltimore offense, Joe Flacco simply hasn't been able to loosen things up as he has in years past, when the likes of Torrey Smith or even Steve Smith Sr. were catching the football in purple. In 44 dropbacks against the Vikings on Sunday, Flacco and the Ravens' air "attack" generated 144 net passing yards. That's awful. In case you were wondering, the ground game slugged its way to 64 yards on 20 carries. Slugged as in, worms moving around and stuff.

So much for the Giants going on a run after upsetting Denver in Week 6. Big Blue was the lesser of the teams clad in that hue at the Big Snoopy on Sunday, as the offense could only muster 177 yards against Seattle. Eli Manning couldn't do much with the cadre of backup wideouts at his disposal, but at least the runners made up for it with 46 rushing yards -- total. The sad part was that Steve Spagnuolo's defense played well for much of the game, stamping out a "Lord of the Rings"-length goal-to-go possession that was resuscitated multiple times via penalties. By the second half, though, the unit was simply gassed. The Seahawks had the football for 35-plus minutes.

The Colts were no match for the Jaguars on Sunday. The absence of Leonard Fournette from Jacksonville's ground game was supposed to provide Indy with an opportunity to stay relevant in the AFC South. No dice. As predicted, the Jags' secondary was a tough matchup for Jacoby Brissett. The Colts can't sustain any consistency or continuity on the ground, no matter how much fans and fantasy owners want Marlon Mack to get more time in the huddle. Not sure a healthy Andrew Luck would've won this game, either. Even Blake Bortles was out there ballin'.

Not a game to remember for the current 49ers, as rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard's first start resulted in a 40-10 loss at home. Beathard made a few nice plays, including with his legs, though it became clear early on that San Francisco -- particularly Kyle Shanahan's defense -- was overmatched against the Cowboys.

For the 49ers of the past, however, the day was most memorable. Dwight Clark was honored by the 49ers on Sunday, as the former wide receiver and local legend fights his battle against ALS. You might know that Clark authored the most clutch grab in postseason history, a play that launched the 49ers' dynasty. What you might not know is what a fantastic player Clark was outside of "The Catch." He led the NFC in receptions in 1981, then paced the NFL in that same category in the strike-shortened 1982 season. An injury late in the 1983 campaign forced him to miss the playoffs. Had he played, there's a good chance San Francisco would've bested the Redskins in the NFC Championship Game (instead of losing, 24-21) and faced off against the Raiders in Super Bowl XVIII. Clark finally relinquished his status as Joe Montana's WR1 in 1985. That probably had more than a little to do with a guy Bill Walsh drafted that year: Jerry Rice. Clark was honored by a large gathering of former teammates Sunday, a group he said he wanted to see "one last time." A wonderful, and incredibly touching, sentiment from a man who altered the course of the NFL.

So defensive coordinator Gregg Williams stonewalled the vaunted Titans running attack all game long and came up short Sunday. Well, the Browns' offense did the coming up short part. Another mixed-bag showing from rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer -- mostly bad -- with Cody Kessler trying to do his best Cody Allen impression. Nada. While the overtime loss was gut-wrenching, the season-ending injury to Joe Thomas was unfortunate. The torn triceps he suffered Sunday snapped his consecutive snaps streak at 10,363. I've been watching football for three decades and I've studied the NFL's history profusely. I've never seen anything like Thomas' run. The closest thing you can point to would be Brett Favre's 297 straight starts at quarterback, or Vikings legend Jim Marshall playing 282 straight games without missing any. Marshall, a defensive end, pulled that off while playing in the trenches in the 1960s and '70s. Unbeknownst to many people, Marshall launched his career in 1960 ... in Cleveland.

*Follow Elliot Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonNFL. And be sure to tune in to the "NFL Power Rankings Show" on NFL Network every Tuesday night at 6 p.m. ET. *

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