Power Rankings: It's No. 1 Pats vs. No. 2 Colts
So it's finally here. No. 1 Pats vs. No. 2 Colts. Will the Pats win Sunday's showdown and continue to reign atop the Power Rankings? Or will the Colts win to force a change (we presume) at the top next week?
Up to this point, it's easy to pinpoint which team has been more impressive. Or is it?
Yes, the Patriots are obliterating opponents, winning by an average margin of 25.5 points. Yes, they're on so many record paces that we can't keep up with them all. Yes, we could be watching the greatest single-season performance in the history of the NFL.
But consider what the Colts have done. They've won all seven of their games -- against statistically better opposition than the Pats -- despite their all-time leading receiver, Marvin Harrison, scoring just one touchdown. Who would've predicted that going into this season?
Harrison has missed two games with a bruised left knee and hasn't produced that low a TD total in the first seven games since his rookie season in 1996. But Reggie Wayne, who is averaging only two fewer receiving yards a game than Randy Moss this season, has picked up the slack.
While it's hard to ignore what Tom Brady & Co. have done through the air, they've also done it against some of the worst pass defenses in the league (five of their opponents currently rank in the bottom seven in the league in passing yards allowed, albeit thanks in part to getting shelled by the Pats).
So should we be dazzled by the gaudy numbers the Pats are putting up, or should we appreciate the grittiness displayed by the Colts? Of course, we can do both -- and then wait for Sunday's outcome to tell us which one should have more influence on the Rankings.
So how would you rank the teams after Week 8? Click here to access SportsNation's ranking tool.
BIGGEST RISE: Cleveland Browns from 19th to 13th. BIGGEST DROP: Carolina Panthers from 12th to 18th.
(Editor's note: LW indicates each team's ranking last week.)