NFL power rankings, 2020 post-Week 8 edition (previous rank in parentheses):
1. Steelers (1): Pittsburgh has never started 8-0 but seems a good bet to reel off another three wins (Dallas, Cincinnati, Jacksonville) heading into a Thanksgiving rematch against Baltimore at Heinz Field.
2. Chiefs (2): More impressive – QB Patrick Mahomes posting an unprecedented 21-1 TD-to-INT ratio to start this season or whipping underhand passes for six to TE Travis Kelce? I’m not sure, either.
3. Seahawks (6): QB Russell Wilson is nearly on pace for a 60-TD season. More important, Seattle is on pace for its first No. 1 seed since 2014, when it lost Super Bowl XLIX.
4. Buccaneers (5): They’ve been unimpressive in two prime-time appearances (at Bears, at Giants). Let’s see how they do under the lights at home Sunday night vs. Saints with the NFC South lead on the line … and AB in uniform.
5. Ravens (3): Anyone else notice QB Lamar Jackson rarely plays well in marquee matchups? He’s now 0-3 against Patrick Mahomes, 0-2 in postseason and now 0-1 against Ben Roethlisberger.
32 things we learned:From Week 8 of the 2020 NFL season
6. Cardinals (8): Kyler Murray has seven rushing TDs through seven games, obviously putting him on pace for 16. Cam Newton has the record among QBs with 14 in his 2011 rookie campaign.
7. Packers (7): Time for defense to tighten up after surrendering 86 points and notching just one takeaway over last three weeks. A little revenge against Niners on Thursday night would be a good start.
8. Titans (4): A.J. Brown and Corey Davis could be Tennessee’s first tandem of 1,000-yard receivers since … Drew Bennett and Derrick Mason in 2004.
9. Bills (10): They’ve surrendered 20+ points in six games this season … matching last year’s total, which included Buffalo’s playoff loss at Houston.
10. Raiders (13): A half-game out of AFC’s No. 7 seed, they now enter a crucial three-week stretch when they’ll face all of their divisional foes.
11. Saints (9): In a nip-and-tuck season, they’ve won each of their last three games – all against middling competition – by a field goal. They’ll likely need more TDs and less of K Wil Lutz in Tampa.
12. Browns (11): Jekyll and Hyde, anyone? Cleveland is averaging 37.4 points in its five 2020 victories… but just 6.3 in its three defeats.
13. Colts (12): QB Philip Rivers has six TD passes last two games, LB Darius Leonard is back in fine form, and Indy is suddenly tied for first atop AFC South.
14. Dolphins (14): Well look who’s allowing the fewest points in the league (18.6 ppg). It’s also first time in six years Miami has won by 10+ points in three successive games.
15. 49ers (15): It may seem like virtually all of their key players are sidelined, but San Francisco has time to heal given it plays once in 24 days following this week’s Thursday night date with Green Bay.
16. Rams (16): They swept the NFC East portion of their schedule but are now in danger of getting swept by the AFC East … but should be favored against Pats and Jets.
17. Bears (17): This offense had been basically punchless all season … until (now suspended) WR Javon Wims did his best to change that.
18. Lions (18): They’ve scored first in all seven of their games this season … but haven’t scored enough in four of them.
19. Broncos (20): OLB Bradley Chubb appears to be all the way back, posting at least one sack in each of his past four outings.
20. Falcons (25): For a team so frequently waylaid by injuries in recent years, Atlanta has only two players (DBs Darqueze Dennard and Damontae Kazee) on injured reserve this season.
21. Vikings (26): Pretty simple formula – give RB Dalvin Cook 25 touches, and Minnesota is going to win. When Vikes haven’t met that threshold this year? Welp …
22. Panthers (19): Few name players on this defense, but keep an eye on S Jeremy Chinn – just crowned league’s defensive rookie of the month for October.
23. Bengals (24): Please, NFL, relax your alternate helmet rules and allow Cincinnati to wear white ones with their alternate white tiger look.
24. Eagles (23): According to Pro Football Focus, second-year WR Travis Fulgham is Philly’s top-rated player. Four TDs and 87 receiving yards per game out of nowhere will do that for you.
25. Patriots (21): No team has fewer passing TDs than New England’s three – and only one of those has gone to a wideout, also a league low.
26. Chargers (22): Can’t pin their remarkable inconsistency on rookie QB Justin Herbert, the only player in Super Bowl era to pass for 250+ yards in each of his first six starts.
27. Texans (27): If you’re wondering who runs the ball less effectively than Houston (84.9 yards per game), the answer is nobody.
28. Giants (28): The average margin of victory in their last four contests has been 1.75 points … unfortunately for New York, it’s only prevailed once in that stretch.
29. Washington (29): All four opponents the Football Team will face in November have sub-.500 records. Don’t count Washington out of NFC East just yet.
30. Cowboys (31): If nothing else, Dallas seems to have successfully addressed the kicking game given Greg Zuerlein’s performance this year.
31. Jaguars (30): Enter sixth-round rookie QB Jake Luton, who comes to Jacksonville via Idaho and Oregon State. He posted nifty 28-3 TD-to-INT ratio as senior for Beavers.
32. Jets (32): Still mired at bottom of this poll, one of their (former) players rockets to the top – ILB Avery Williamson traded to Pittsburgh on Monday.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis
If you love talking football, we have the perfect spot for you. Join our Facebook Group, The Ruling Off the Field, to engage in friendly debate and conversation with fellow football fans and our NFL insiders. Do the right thing, sign up now!