NFL Films Interns Top 15 Teams Week 8 Edition

Intern Files, Kevin Joyce, Teams, Top 15 Teams, Twitter
Could this Week 11 match-up be an AFC Championship preview?

Could this Week 11 match-up be an AFC Championship preview?

We’re close to the halfway mark of the 2013 NFL regular season, and slowly but surely, the true contenders for the Vince Lombardi Trophy are making themselves known through their play. Eight teams boast at least a 5-2 mark going into Week 8, and most of those teams are the one’s we’d expected to shine coming into the season: the Broncos, Colts, Seahawks, 49ers, Bengals, Patriots, Saints . . . there is one team, however, that lies atop our Top 15, a squad that perhaps no one saw being as good as they have been. The Kansas City Chiefs, who went a league-worst 2-14 in 2012, have already put together one of the more remarkable turnaround seasons in NFL history. With a sparkling 7-0 record and a lead atop the AFC West, a division most thought the Super Bowl-favorite Denver Broncos would handily run away with, the Chiefs are easily the biggest surprise of this NFL season. Now we have a truly exciting race, as, in Arrowhead Stadium, the Chiefs have perhaps the most intimidating homefield advantage in the AFC (they recently broke the record for loudest crowd noise in an outdoor stadium), and have proven to be a threat to Denver in claiming that coveted #1 seed in the conference. The Week 11 match-up between the two juggernauts could very well decide who plays at home throughout the playoffs and who must go on the road for Wild Card Weekend (we also could very well have our first 13-win Wild Card team since the 1999 Tennessee Titans, who made it all the way to the Super Bowl that year). Only time will tell, but already this NFL season has given us something we’ve never seen before. Here are the interns that contributed to this week’s Top 15:

Kevin Joyce – Producers Department, Inside the NFL

Kyle Toot – Producers Department, NFL Turning Point

Tim Yingling – Producers Department

Jacob Snyder – Producers Department, NFL Replay

Some interesting facts about our Top 15 this week:

  • The Top 15 is as split between conferences as it could be, with 8 teams from the AFC and 7 from the NFC
  • However, the former dominates the top of the rankings, with AFC teams holding each of the top 3 spots
  • This is the first time in the Top 15 that the Broncos are not in the top spot
  • The biggest fall – New England, from #3 to #8, after rising the same number of places from Week 5 to Week 6

Without further ado, here are the Top 15 teams in the NFL as they stand going into Week 8:

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (7-0) – The Chiefs belong in this spot. Despite playing a relatively easy schedule (the only team they’ve played so far with a winning record has been the Dallas Cowboys, who they beat by one point), they deserve to be #1 because the brand of football they play is the type that can beat any team. They get takeaways (19, #1 in the league), get to the quarterback (35 sacks, #1 in the league), hold offenses to field goals (11.6 ppg allowed, #1 in the league) and don’t turn over the ball often (+11 turnover differential, #1 in the league). That’s a formula that’ll win you championships. (Kevin Joyce)
  2. Denver Broncos (6-1) – It appears that the only way to beat Peyton Manning is to score a lot of points. Tony Romo came up just short in a first to 50 shootout, and Andrew Luck scored 39 but still needed a late Ronnie Hillman fumble to take down the Sheriff. (Kyle Toot)
  3. Indianapolis Colts (5-2) – They’ve beaten the #2, #4 and #6 teams on these rankings, the three teams most people had as the three best in the league coming into this year. The sky’s the limit for this resilient bunch. (Joyce)
  4. Seattle Seahawks (6-1) – Seattle is in beast mode and looking dominant in the NFC West following an impressive showing against the Cardinals on Thursday night. (Toot)
  5. New Orleans Saints (5-1) – New Orleans rounds out the Top 5 because it isn’t fair to them to drop them too much after a bye week. They still only have one loss after getting “Bradied” in New England in Week 6 (Toot).
  6. San Francisco 49ers (5-2) – The 49ers keep winning, and have quietly put together a 4-game win streak that has them one game back from the Seahawks (two if you count the head-to-head tiebreaker). The defense is rounding into form after a shaky three-game start to the season, averaging 12.8 ppg allowed during their win streak. (Joyce)
  7. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) – The Bengals, much like the 49ers, have put together a laudable string of victories without much fanfare, taking down three teams with winning records in total this season (Packers, Patriots, Lions). (Joyce)
  8. New England Patriots (5-2) – The Patriots were outplayed most of the game by the Jets, but the game still came down to a controversial penalty at the end of the game that will be scrutinized for some time. Regardless, at 5-2 and with two winnable games before their bye week, the Pats are still in a good position to take a vice grip on the AFC East. (Joyce)
  9. Dallas Cowboys (4-3) – The Cowboys now look to be the class of the NFC East, and after going toe-to-toe with the team many still consider to be the best in the league, they could be a dangerous bunch to face in the playoffs. (Joyce)
  10. Green Bay Packers (4-2) – The Packers have righted the ship after winning three games in a row, including a hard-fought victory over the defending champs. Aaron Rodgers has returned to MVP form and is back to lighting up the scoreboard to the delight of Wisconsinites. (Joyce)
  11. Detroit Lions (4-3) – Despite falling to the Bengals in a close contest, the Lions still remain very much in the chase for the NFC North crown, or if not, in prime position for a Wild Card spot. (Joyce)
  12. San Diego Chargers (4-3) – The Chargers are over .500 after 7 games, and have beaten the team that has perhaps the most impressive winning record thus far in the Colts. Philip Rivers’ marvelous season is being overshadowed by Peyton’s dominance. (Joyce)
  13. New York Jets (4-3) – The Jets pulled off their most impressive (and important) win of the season in upending the division leading Patriots, and all of a sudden, through 7 games, seem like the new threat to the Patriots’ stranglehold on the AFC East. The next two games on the slate (at Bengals, vs. Saints) will be very telling as to how far this team can go. (Joyce)
  14. Carolina Panthers (3-3) – The Panthers are perhaps the most under-the-radar team in the NFL at the moment. Taking a look at their schedule, a 9-7 or 10-6 record is not out of the question for this team when all is said and done. (Joyce)
  15. Baltimore Ravens (3-4) – The Ravens suffered a tough defeat to the rival Steelers, but remain just two games back in their division, with a lot of football left to play. (Joyce)

Well there you have it. Those are the Top 15 teams in the NFL as the NFL Films Interns see them going into Week 8. If you have anything to add or disagree with anything, let us know what you think in the comments section!

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