NFL Power Rankings: Week 7

Week 7 was relatively predictable compared to the first six weeks of the season. There were no major upsets to report and I guarantee that everyone picked Atlanta to still be undefeated at the conclusion of the weekend (they had a bye week of course).

Still, there were many exciting finishes across the league. Eli Manning saw RGIII’s 30-yard, seemingly game-winning TD pass to Santana Moss and raised him a 77-yard TD pass to Victor Cruz, again proving that he is the best clutch quarterback since the 2001-2004 Tom Brady.

Speaking of Tom Brady, the Patriots escaped what would have been their second straight loss after holding a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter, thanks to the nostalgic play of the aforementioned Brady and the leg of Stephen Gostowski. After outlasting the Jets in overtime, New England now holds sole possession of first place in the AFC East.

The most impressive result of the weekend was Houston’s drubbing of a down-trodden Baltimore squad. A week after being embarrassed by Green Bay, the Texans reaffirmed their position as the kings of the AFC. Undoubtedly, though, the NFC has thus far proved to be the stronger conference.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr/DFLAdmin

Team Rank Previous Rank Record Thoughts

Atlanta Falcons

1

1

6-0

The Falcons certainly do not have a very difficult schedule remaining as they come out of their bye week. They should be favored in every game, save for perhaps Week 15’s matchup with the Giants.

 

Chicago Bears

2

2

5-1

The fact that this team can beat you with offense (i.e. their 34-18 win at Dallas), or with defense, makes them incredibly scary. The real question though, is what it will take for Jay Cutler to smile.

 

Houston Texans

3

4

6-1

On the strength of their demolition of Baltimore, Houston leap-frogs the Giants into the third spot this week. Yes, Baltimore has been decimated by injuries on the defensive side of the ball. But holding the seventh ranked offense to just 13 points is noteworthy.

 

New York Giants

4

3

5-2

I hate to admit it, but Eli Manning is an elite quarterback. The guy is as cool as the other side of the pillow. He is the definition of clutch. The Giants are on my short list of teams that can win it all.

 

San Francisco

5

6

5-2

Like Houston, San Francisco proved that they are an elite team by bouncing back from a bad loss. Still though, while some contenders have the likes of Rodgers, Brady and Manning, San Francisco fans have to wonder if Alex Smith can take them to the promise land.

Green Bay Packers

6

7

4-3

Green Bay finally looks like the team we thought they were at the start of the season. The offense that struggled over the first three weeks of the season has now scored 27 points or more over the past four weeks.

 

New England Patriots

7

9

4-3

Are there such things as “feel-bad” wins? Over the past three games, the Patriots have been outscored 34-6 in the fourth quarter; a far cry from the team that used to pride itself on closing out games.

 

Minnesota Vikings

8

10

5-2

Seven weeks into the season there is no denying that the Vikings are legitimate. Adrian Peterson looks like the guy who led the league in rushing in 2008.

 

Baltimore Ravens

9

5

5-2

A bye week could not have come at a better time for Baltimore. The injuries have clearly demoralized a defense that shockingly ranks 28th in the league.

Denver Broncos

10

11

3-3

The opponents remaining on Denver’s schedule have a combined record of 21-42. I would be surprised if the Broncos do not coast to the AFC West title at the end of the year.

 

Seattle Seahawks

11

8

4-3

Just two years ago the NFC West was the laughing stock of the league after these same Seahawks won the division with a 7-9 record. Oh how the times have changed. The NFC West may be the best division in football and Seattle could certainly be there till the end.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

12

15

3-3

The Steelers seem poised to take advantage of Baltimore’s struggles. Despite key injuries on defense, they still rank 2nd against the pass, and 9th against the run.

 

Dallas Cowboys

13

19

3-3

I really want to believe that this is a good football team. They played poorly against Carolina, but it’s encouraging that they actually found a way win; something they’ve struggled with in the past.

 

Arizona Cardinals

14

12

4-3

The Cardinals want to avoid becoming the 2012 version of last year’s Buffalo Bills, who started the season 5-0, but finished only 8-8. On the heels of a three game losing streak, they must now face San Francisco’s vaunted defense.

 

Philadelphia Eagles

15

14

3-3

Philadelphia cannot continue to give the ball away almost three times a game and expect to win. A home game against undefeated Atlanta will give the Eagles a chance to prove if they are really as good as we thought they could be.

 

Miami Dolphins

16

16

3-3

Ryan Tannehill has a passer rating of 98.6 in wins, and 59.8 in losses. Although Miami has established itself as a ground and pound team, they seem to go as their rookie QB goes.

 

Washington Redskins

17

13

3-4

Oh what could’ve been for a team with loads of potential. If Brian Orakpo, Adam Carriker, and Brandon Meriweather were healthy, this passing defense would certainly not be the worst in the league.

 

San Diego Chargers

18

18

3-3

It continues to baffle me how Norv Turner still has his job. No coach has done less with more than Turner. San Diego better win their next three games against inferior opponents, or he could be unemployed come Thanksgiving.

 

St. Louis Rams

19

17

3-4

St. Louis is a solid team, but unfortunately they find themselves in one of the best divisions in football. Next Sunday’s game against New England in London should be fun to watch.

 

New York Jets

20

21

3-4

The Jets have performed admirably the past three weeks despite the disheartening injuries to Revis and Holmes. Mark Sanchez needs to play more consistently moving forward.

Indianapolis Colts

21

24

3-3

The Colts have alternated losses and wins all season. We’ll see if this young team can secure their first road win at Tennessee next week.

 

Detroit Lions

23

20

2-4

Some responsibility certainly falls on head coach Jim Schwartz for Detroit’s 7-11 record, since starting 5-0 last season. The undisciplined mistakes continue for this frustrating-to-watch team.

New Orleans Saints

22

25

2-4

Although the Saints have won two games in a row, not much has changed since their 0-4 start to the season. The offense can score, but the defense is unable to stop anyone. Now their schedule gets incredibly difficult.

 

Cincinnati Bengals

24

22

3-4

A three game losing streak ruined what was a promising start to Cincinnati’s season. Andy Dalton has made costly mistakes, but the lack of a running game has put too much pressure on his shoulders.

 

Tennessee Titans

25

27

3-4

Despite continuing to rock the league’s worst point differential (-89), Tennessee has won two games in a row. Chris Johnson is a large reason why.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

26

23

2-4

Tampa Bay suffered yet another loss by seven points on Sunday. They simply do not possess the talent to grind out close games.

 

Buffalo Bills

27

26

3-4

The Bills lack an identity. They aspire to be a ground-and-pound team, yet their defense has not been nearly good enough to fit this mentality.

 

Oakland Raiders

28

29

2-4

I was honestly surprised when Sebastian “Seabass” Janikowski missed a 64-yard field goal at the end of regulation. Luckily, he redeemed himself with a game winning kick in OT.

 

Carolina Panthers

29

28

1-5

The Panthers are not very good, but at least Cam Newton’s post-game press conferences are always entertaining.

 

Cleveland Browns

30

30

1-6

Cleveland’s six losses have come by an average of about seven points. Unfortunately, win-loss records are not sympathetic to close losses.

 

Kansas City Chiefs

31

31

1-5

It seems that the Brady Quinn era has arrived in Kansas City, as he was named the starter last week. Even so, the Chiefs have a lot more problems than just their quarterback.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

32

32

1-5

It’s hard to believe how bad Jacksonville’s stats are across the board. With injuries to Jones-Drew and Gabbert, will the Jags win another game this season?

 

 

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