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NFL power rankings, Week 8: Finally, a victory to recap

The Giants finally move up a few spots

“Quarterback controversy” is the buzz word in this week’s NFL power rankings, though it’s likely most writers are just latching onto the easy narrative now surrounding the New York Giants.

We’ve already detailed why there should be no controversy, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Giants snapped a four-game losing streak with Tyrod Taylor under center on Sunday.

Accordingly, this is the first time since Week 2 that the Giants have risen in our aggregate power rankings. That might seem like a given, but it wasn’t guaranteed. The Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos also improved to 2-5 on Sunday, meaning the Giants still aren’t inarguably moving away from the pack.

With winnable games coming up against the New York Jets and Las Vegas Raiders, perhaps this is the start of a trend.

Aggregate ranking: 27

Last week: 29 (30)

I am not ready to entertain the idea of keeping Daniel Jones on the bench even after he’s medically cleared, but it’s hard not to notice how much more open the offense has been with Tyrod Taylor under center. Either way, it appears Andrew Thomas is close to returning, and there’s a decent argument to be made that he’s New York’s MVP, given how poorly left tackle has been manned in his absence. The 14-7 triumph over the Commanders was a good win for the Giants, with both the offense and defense slaying some demons. The G-Men won’t have a lot more six-sack games, but I’ll be shocked if their pass rush going forward isn’t closer to what we witnessed Sunday than everything we’d seen previously. And suddenly, there are some winnable games lying ahead.

ESPN (26)

Young riser: CB Deonte Banks

The No. 24 overall pick has lived up to the hype so far. He has allowed only 50% of the passes with him as the nearest defender to be completed, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. Banks has allowed just a 67.8 passer rating against and has shown good ball skills (five passes defended and an interception). This has come with being, at times, the Giants’ No. 1 cornerback. The future looks bright for the rookie. — Jordan Raanan

Yahoo Sports (30)

Darren Waller posted a 7-98-1 line on Sunday, easily his best game of the season. That’s a great sign. The Giants need that version of Waller the rest of the season to have any hope on offense.

FOX Sports (26)

It’d be easy to dismiss such a forgettable win, but it could be a season-saver. Sure, the Giants’ prospects still look bleak. But beating Washington at least brings them within shouting distance of .500, with Daniel Jones and Andrew Thomas expected back soon. If New York manages to put together some kind of run, no one’s going to care that this was a total snooze fest.

Bleacher Report (25)

At the very least, the Giants shouldn’t feel any pressure to rush Jones back. But benching their $40 million quarterback would certainly give the sports talk radio hosts in the Big Apple something to talk about.

CBS Sports (30)

Tyrod Taylor has done a nice job in his two games as quarterback, including beating the Commanders. Is there a quarterback controversy when Daniel Jones comes back? Not yet.

Sportsnaut (24)

Saquon Barkley makes quite a difference for the New York Giants offense, which is why we’ll hold off any quarterback controversy jokes for a week. The Giants have delivered two consecutive impressive performances in a row and left tackle Andrew Thomas is close to a return, as is Daniel Jones. Up next, a Giants vs Jets matchup in Week 8 that has far more intrigue than anyone expected a few weeks ago.

Sports Illustrated (25)

The positives are there for the Giants, who are developing some of their core players for the future, even if this season isn’t quite shaping up to be what they’d hoped for. I know Barkley doesn’t want to leave New Jersey (who does?), but man, would he be a nice piece for a contender.

New York Post (27)

Through seven mostly miserable seasons, one consistent positive for the Giants is beating the Commanders. More of the same happened as the offense snapped a 220-minute touchdown-less streak by scoring two off the arm of Tyrod Taylor in the second quarter, and the defense recorded five first-half sacks in a 14-7 victory on Sunday. The Giants are 8-4-1 in the rivalry since 2017.