NFL Power Rankings, Week 8: 49ers Another Spot Up, Raiders Drop

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 23: Safety Kendrick Lewis #23 of the Kansas City Chiefs returns an interception for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter on October 23, 2011 at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

We break down week 8 of the NFL season through our NFL Power Rankings. The 49ers climb a spot in spite of being on a bye, while the Raiders drop after a tough loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. For more on the 49ers, check out Niners Nation. For more on the Raiders, check out Silver & Black Pride.

The NFL managed to make its way through one of the more hideous weeks of football in recent memory, capped by the Jacksonville Jaguars stunning the Baltimore Ravens 12-7. The game was in fact as ugly as the score might indicate. This week's byes actually featured five teams with winning records and the Philadelphia Eagles who are still a high profile team in spite of their inconsistencies. That might explain the awful football this weekend. That and my 49ers being on a bye!

As we look ahead to week eight, the power rankings feature a few sizable changes. I think it is safe to say I underrated the Pittsburgh Steelers for much of this season. They got off to a wildly inconsistent start but have quickly rectified that with three wins. Defeating Arizona is not exactly a monster victory, but they went on the road and handled their business. Given their strong play lately, I made a fairly drastic bump, moving them from No. 16 to No. 5. I'm not a big Ben Roethlisberger, so consider it begrudging respect.

The 49ers make a one spot move up to No. 3 as the bye week really was an improvement week for the team. All three of the 49ers division-mates lost on Sunday and the Ravens came up surprisingly empty-handed in losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Raiders dropped seven spots as the reality of losing Jason Campbell set in against the Chiefs. When your quarterbacks combine for six interceptions with two returned for touchdowns, things are not going to end well. The Raiders unloaded a pair of high draft picks to add Carson Palmer and will look to use the bye week to figure out how to get some of the rust off him.

On to the Week 8 NFL Power Rankings (previous week in parenthesis). As always, feel free to tweet your disagreements to @sbnbayarea

1. (1) Green Bay Packers (7-0)
2. (2) New England Patriots (5-1)
3. (4) San Francisco 49ers (5-1)
4. (8) New Orleans Saints (5-2)
5. (16) Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2)
6. (3) Baltimore Ravens (4-2)
7. (10) Atlanta Falcons (4-3)
8. (11) New York Giants (4-2)
9. (7) San Diego Chargers (4-2)
10. (6) Detroit Lions (5-2)
11. (9) Buffalo Bills (4-2)
12. (5) Oakland Raiders (4-3)
13. (14) Houston Texans (4-3)
14. (17) Chicago Bears (4-3)
15. (15) Dallas Cowboys (3-3)
16. (19) Cincinnati Bengals (4-2)
17. (13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-3)
18. (21) New York Jets (4-3)
19. (20) Cleveland Browns (3-3)
20. (12) Washington Redskins (3-3)
21. (22) Philadelphia Eagles (2-4)
22. (18) Tennessee Titans (3-3)
23. (24) Carolina Panthers (2-5)
24. (27) Kansas City Chiefs (3-3)
25. (25) Denver Broncos (2-4)
26. (28) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5)
27. (23) Seattle Seahawks (2-4)
28. (29) Minnesota Vikings (1-6)
29. (26) Arizona Cardinals (1-5)
30. (30) St. Louis Rams (0-6)
31. (31) Indianapolis Colts (0-7)
32. (32) Miami Dolphins (0-6)

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