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Week 8 NFL power rankings

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Syndication: Florida Times-Union Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Unio / USA TODAY NETWORK

NFL power rankings following Week 7 of the 2022 season -- where I tell you when it is and isn’t okay to fall under the spell of recency bias.

The prompt: if a playoff game at a neutral site were played tomorrow, who would win?

1. Buffalo Bills (5-1)

2. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)

3. Philadelphia Eagles (6-0)

4. Dallas Cowboys (5-2)

Last week: 7

5. Baltimore Ravens (4-3)

6. San Francisco 49ers (3-4)

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4)

Last week: 4

Did the Jaguars dodge a bullet in not hiring Byron Leftwich...?

8. Miami Dolphins (4-3)

9. Minnesota Vikings (5-1)

10. Seattle Seahawks (4-3)

Last week: 13

Geno Smith’s offense is third (3rd) in DVOA. I’m interested to see if Seattle buys defense at the trade deadline.

11. New York Giants (6-1)

12. Cincinnati Bengals (4-3)

Last week: 17

Joe’s been dealing.

13. Green Bay Packers (3-4)

Last week: 10

14. Los Angeles Chargers (4-3)

Last week: 12

15. New England Patriots (3-4)

16. Los Angeles Rams (3-3)

17. Tennessee Titans (4-2)

Last week: 22

18. New York Jets (5-2)

Last week: 24

19. Las Vegas Raiders (2-4)

Last week: 25

20. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5)

21. Cleveland Browns (2-5)

22. Denver Broncos (2-5)

Last week: 18

23. New Orleans Saints (2-5)

24. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5)

Last week: 14

Aggregate power rankings:

From The Ringer’s Austin Gayle:

Jacksonville has the worst record of the 14 teams with a positive point differential this season after losing four straight one-score games to the Eagles, Texans, Colts and Giants. In that four-week stretch, Trevor Lawrence and the offense have been middle-of-the-pack in efficiency, but the defense has fallen off a cliff. Through the first three weeks of the season, the Jaguars ranked fifth in defensive EPA per play (0.15); since then, the unit ranks 26th by the same measure (-0.09).

From ESPN’s Mike DiRocco:

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.

Mike Caldwell’s defense “has allowed a 10-play fourth-quarter possession in every loss this year” (per me). The offense does deserve a share of the blame, but Jacksonville has allowed some devastating points and possessions near the end of games this year.

The biggest question for this team moving forward is the same as last year: can the defense make adjustments?

25. Atlanta Falcons (3-4)

Last week: 19

26. Detroit Lions (1-5)

27. Indianapolis Colts (3-3-1)

28. Arizona Cardinals (3-4)

29. Washington Commanders (3-4)

30. Chicago Bears (3-4)

31. Carolina Panthers (2-5)

32. Houston Texans (1-4-1)