2017 NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Rams climb after shutting out Cardinals in London

(Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

18. Carolina Panthers (5)

A few weeks ago, the Carolina Panthers were seen as the team to beat in the NFC thanks to back-to-back wins on the road over the New England Patriots and Detroit Lions. Since then, the Panthers have taken a major step back with two losses in a row to the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears.

While the loss to the Eagles was more understanding when considering they have the best record in the NFL at the moment, Sunday’s disappointing performance against the Bears is one of those games that could come back to haunt Ron Rivera’s squad down the road. What’s even more frustrating is other than the one field goal converted by Connor Barth, Chicago’s other points in the game came from two defensive touchdowns in the first half.

In other words, if only the Panthers had found a way to play a little better on offense, they could have easily won on the road against the Bears since the defense played well for the most part by keeping them out of the end zone. Instead, Carolina suffered their third loss of the season to show once again they are far from the team to beat in the NFC, and still have a lot of areas in need of improvement moving forward.