2017 NFL Power Rankings: Week 8
It’s been a good NFL season for fans in Pennsylvania.
With seven weeks of action in the books, the teams with the highest Super Bowl odds -- per our models -- are the Steelers (15.0%) and Eagles (12.7%). After taking care of business against the Bengals on Sunday, Pittsburgh has risen to number-two in our nERD power rankings, continuing their climb.
Our numbers were actually comparatively low on the Steelers before the season, ranking them 14th in the league prior to Week 1. We liked their offense enough, projecting it to be a top-10 unit, but had their defense rated 21st.
The offense is starting to perform as expected (after a less-than-stellar start), ranking sixth in opponent-adjusted Net Expected Points, but the defense has actually matched this performance. It also ranks sixth in NEP, and as mentioned last week, they have performed well against both the run and the pass.
While the Steelers' ranking has risen since the start of the season, the Eagles’ rating has remained pretty consistent. After starting the season ranked ninth, they have spent the whole year ranked in the top 10, including spending the last three weeks ranked in the top six.
The defense has somewhat surprisingly lagged behind, ranking just 19th in NEP. Still, given how the unit performed last season (when it tied for fifth in NEP per play), it is possible they could improve here.
Both teams are looking up at the Jacksonville Jaguars, who retained their number-one spot after beating up on the last-ranked Colts. The Jags' Super Bowl odds are lower than Pittsburgh’s and Philadelphia’s in part because they already have three losses, but the Jaguars still boast the league’s top NEP differential. They are also one of two teams with an offense and defense that both rank eighth or better, with Pittsburgh being the other.
Here is how the rest of the league breaks down.