NFL Week 7 Power Rankings
The Pittsburgh Steelers are the last undefeated team in the NFL, which is probably not something you expected to hear at the beginning of this season. Several teams picked up their most important or biggest wins of the season, like the Cardinals topping the Seahawks, the 49ers taking down the Patriots, and the Saints beating the Panthers.
This week of the NFL was, well, fine I guess. I’ll admit, I didn’t get to see any of the 1:00 games because I was busy being a cog in the capitalist machine, but I was able to watch everything else. Fortunately, that is my last Sunday having to work, so I hope to be able to watch every game in the future. Let’s get into it!
32. New York Jets (LW: 32) =
I did honestly contemplate moving the Jets up after they were ahead of the Bills for nearly the entire game, but I couldn’t quite do that. They’re 0-7 and have looked completely dead in every game except for this last one, but even this game wasn’t a good game for them. They weren’t in it because they played well, they were in it because the Buffalo offense couldn’t really move the ball. And they couldn’t do much of anything against a defense that has struggled mightily over the past four weeks, which is not a good sign.
31. New York Giants (LW: 29) -2
The loss wasn’t that bad for the Giants, and I know they’re still within striking distance of first place in the division, but this is mostly because of that one run by Daniel Jones. A beautiful run that looked destined for a touchdown turned into one of the worst bloopers in NFL history, as Jones tripped over himself on the 10 yard line. The other reason I dropped them was because the other teams that I could consider putting at 31 had good games that didn’t merit a drop like this.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 31) +1
The Jaguars lost, but they stayed in it against one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. A moral victory is not a victory, but for a team this bad, it’s the best they’re gonna get for a while. Plus, Dede Westbrook is looking like he’s out for a while, if not the whole season, which hurts this offense immensely. James Robinson has been the only consistent player for this team, and he’s actually having a very good season. He might be a player to build around in the future, so long as they can get a quarterback and a few defensive players to actually keep this team afloat.
29. Atlanta Falcons (LW: 26) -3
Atlanta really just lost in the most Atlanta way possible. They lost...by scoring a touchdown. Down by two with under a minute to go, the Falcons just needed a field goal to win the game. But the Detroit defense let Gurley go into the end zone, something he realized too late and tried to pull back before crossing the plane. It didn’t work. It gave Matt Stafford enough time to make it down the field and score before time expired. Julio also went out mid game and is questionable for next week. At this point, it’s just sad to watch Atlanta play.
28. Washington Football Team (LW: 30) +2
The Football Team demolished the Cowboys and now honestly have a chance to win the division. Who expected that (besides me, of course)? But they won’t be able to win it on the back of Kyle Allen. It needs to be Dwayne Haskins or Alex Smith, the two quarterbacks on this roster that have the skills to win games by themselves. I really hope that Washington trades Haskins, because he is much better than third string on a bad team. There are a lot of teams that could use him right now.
27. Minnesota Vikings (LW: 23) -4
Minnesota is in a tough place right now. It’s clear that offense is the reason that they’re struggling, specifically quarterback, but they also just extended Kirk Cousins this offseason to give more money to an already overpaid player, which means they can’t just cut him. Plus, with the way he’s playing, it won’t be easy to trade him if they want to get a new quarterback. They might need to pull a Brock Osweiler type deal where they give his contract to another team along with a draft pick to make up for it. But knowing this team, they’re going to keep him and all of his flaws.
26. Dallas Cowboys (LW: 18) -8
Dak Prescott has got to be happy right now. Obviously it’s terrible that he got injured, but the world is now seeing how truly awful this team is with anyone else at quarterback. Even Andy Dalton, who is a solid player, can’t score any points with a loaded offense. Dak is going to be getting a big contract this offseason if the Cowboys are smart. The problem now is what to do with this season. Dak is gone and the team isn’t gelling offensively, which was already a problem on defense. Zeke, Amari, and Lamb are struggling with Dalton at quarterback. Is it time to sell? Or just take the losses and hope that next season is better?
25. Detroit Lions (LW: 28) +3
The Lions shouldn’t have won, but they did. I don’t know if that “let the Falcons score” call was his, but if it was, it was the best call of his time as head coach (though that’s not saying much). Detroit should also be much better than they are, and I’m still confused as to why they haven’t been able to win more games. Sitting behind two five-win teams, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to make the playoffs, but the next few seasons aren’t completely out of reach.
24. Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 25) +1
Another team with a moral victory, the Bengals managed to keep pace with an explosive Browns offense and forced Baker Mayfield to pull out some last-second heroics to win the game. The offense really got rolling, and while the defense had a tough time, it was good to see the unit work cohesively. Plus, Burrow threw for over 400 yards and three touchdowns, an impressive stat line from a rookie who’s had an up and down season.
23. Denver Broncos (LW: 22) -1
Denver followed up their gritty win over New England by...getting blown out by the Chiefs. The defense isn’t entirely to blame, and they actually played pretty well all things considered. They held Mahomes to 200 yards passing and just one touchdown, and CEH and Le’Veon Bell combined for under 100 yards. The problems came on a 102 yard kick return touchdown and a pick six, which had to hurt. The offense still has a lot to work on, but it’s a good start for a young team.
22. Houston Texans (LW: 21) -1
The Texans lost, but no one really expected them to win this game the way their season has gone so far. They failed to score a point in the first half, but made the game look respectable by scoring 20 in the second. Davante Adams also torched the defense for nearly 200 receiving yards. I’m not about to say the Texans should be proud of anything, but they at least know what parts of their team needs to be improved.
21. Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 27) +6
Philly escaped by the skin of their teeth after looking pretty bad most of the game against the Giants. Carson Wentz was alright most of the game until the last minute, and it honestly might save him his job. The reason the Eagles vaulted up so much is because that win put them in first place of the NFC East, which is not that great of an accomplishment, but it at least means they’re the best of the worst.
20. Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 24) +4
Although the Chargers are just 2-5 and in second to last place in the division, Justin Herbert got his first win and the Chargers finally got a breath of life. Yeah, it was against a terrible team, but the squad has nowhere to go but up from here. Herbert is a stud, and I know he will be one of the best quarterbacks in the league in a few years. And because he’s playing so well, the Chargers front office should know what they need to do to take this team to the playoffs soon.
19. Carolina Panthers (LW: 20) +1
The Panthers only lost because Joey Slye was about a yard short of hitting a 65-yard field goal, which should feel good for this team that managed to stay in the game against one of the best (if underperforming) teams in the league. Teddy Bridgewater might be one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the league and he’s effectively leading this Panthers team that has not looked great since 2015. I don’t think they’re ready to get back to that form quite yet, but they could be soon.
18. Miami Dolphins (LW: 19) +1
I moved up the Dolphins during their bye week because of New England’s loss. The Dolphins are only 3-3, but they’re in second place in the division with a surprisingly high chance of winning the AFC East. The Bills and Patriots have had a lot of struggles the past few weeks, and we all know the Jets are not winning it this year, so Tua could be able to lead Miami to a playoff berth if he can keep the team playing as solid as they have been.
17. Chicago Bears (LW: 17) =
Chicago lost, but they are still sitting pretty with 5 wins and a good shot of at least getting a Wild Card spot. But that doesn’t really matter right now when they’ve barely won every single one of those five games. I know, a win is a win, but they can’t keep scraping by and hoping for the best, and we saw that this week. They played a very good team and couldn’t keep up at all. I still think Trubisky is the better choice at QB, but I don’t think they’re switching any time soon.
16. New England Patriots (LW: 14) -3
The Patriots look awful. There’s no sugarcoating it. Getting blown out 33-6 by a team that has more injuries than healthy players is embarrassing, especially for a Bill Belichick team. I don’t think this team is completely dead yet, but if they lose to the Bills, the season is essentially over. 2-5 without the tiebreaker against the division leader is not a good place to be in. I hate to say it, but it might be time for the Patriots to start selling the team for future picks.
15. Cleveland Browns (LW: 15) =
Cleveland escaped with a win, but it came at a cost, as OBJ went down with a season ending injury. This isn’t a death sentence for the Browns, of course, but it does hurt a team that was finally clicking on offense after years and years of being awful. I think this team has what it takes to make it to the playoffs in a pretty weak AFC, but I can’t see them making a run without their best offensive player. Plus, Chubb is out right now, which further hurts their odds.
14. Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 10) -4
To be completely honest, the Raiders looked terrible against the Buccaneers. John Gruden failed to get a win against his former team, and Tom Brady looked like his former self against the broken secondary. But while Las Vegas has had its fair share of struggles this season, there have been a lot of bright spots. I don’t think it’s entirely out of the question for this team to make a run at the playoffs, but they won’t be winning the West.
13. Buffalo Bills (LW: 9) -4
After two straight losses, the Bills basically lost again. Beating the Jets 18-10 is not a victory, it’s a flat out embarrassment. The defense played well for the first time in a few weeks, but again, it’s not something that’s super impressive considering their opponent. Josh Allen, who was an MVP contender early in the season, has plummeted back to reality. The fact that the Dolphins still could win this division says a lot, and not in a good way.
12. Indianapolis Colts (LW: 12) =
The Colts have been a weird team this season, but they’re not too far away from winning the division after the Titans loss this week. Philip Rivers has had a nice comeback, and Jonathan Taylor has been one of the best rookies in the league, putting up consistently good numbers through the first half of the season. The defense has been stellar, and is really what’s keeping this team afloat, but they haven’t been perfect. I hope the offense can get to their level so they don’t have to rely on defense every single game.
11. San Francisco 49ers (LW: 16) +5
The 49ers got back to their old selves with a 33-6 shellacking of the Patriots, an important win to stay alive in the division. That’s a weird thing to say to a team that’s 4-3, but this division is so insanely strong that realistically all four teams could make the playoffs this year. The only thing stopping that from happening might be the Saints/Bucs and the Packers/Bears fights, but I don’t see either of them being truly close at the end of week 17. The Niners needed a win and they got one. Hopefully they’ll get healthy soon.
10. Los Angeles Rams (LW: 13) +3
Similarly to San Francisco, Los Angeles really needed a win this week if they wanted to keep up with the Seahawks and Cardinals, and they got it. The defense really stepped up, but I think the most impressive player was Johnny Hekker (#puntersarepeopletoo), who placed three punts inside of the 11-yard line. I know, it’s stupid, but I thought it was cool. Anyway, the Rams offense has not been as good as it was in 2018, but the team looks very well rounded and ready to get back to the playoffs.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 11) +2
Tom Brady looked great, but I still don’t really believe in this Tampa Bay team. They’re only ahead of New Orleans by half a game, and they don’t own the tiebreaker. I still don’t completely believe in this “dream team”, and they still have some very important games coming up. Tom Brady has been off and on, so it’s good that the defense has been lights-out. But like the Colts, you can’t rely on defense to win every single game.
8. Tennessee Titans (LW: 5) -3
Although the Titans lost their first game of the season, they’re still one of the best teams in the league. But a week after snatching a close win, they let the Steelers beat them in an even closer loss. The secondary has had some troubles, though the run defense has been relatively solid the entire season. The offense, meanwhile, is scary. Ryan Tannehill is no superstar, but he’s good enough that teams can’t just focus on stopping Derrick Henry.
7. Green Bay Packers (LW: 7) =
A big win for the Packers doesn’t net them a spot up this week, and I don’t regret it. I couldn’t reasonably drop any of the teams above them, so they stay in place for now. I will admit, even without Aaron Jones, Green Bay was able to produce offensively, which is scary to other NFC teams. Davante Adams had an amazing game, racking up nearly 200 yards, but I do want to put it all into perspective: it was against the one win Texans.
6. New Orleans Saints (LW: 6) =
This was an ugly win, but a win nonetheless for New Orleans. Playing without their top two receivers, the Saints still managed to look solid through the air. Alvin Kamara had a great game and deserves most of the credit for this win. But as it’s been all season, the secondary had some problems stopping the deep ball. I think the Saints should try to target a cornerback before the trade deadline, because that could be the piece they’re missing to make that Super Bowl run before Brees’ time runs out.
5. Arizona Cardinals (LW: 8) +3
Arizona had one of the most impressive wins of the week, beating the Seahawks in overtime. The final minutes of the game were crazy, but overtime was crazier. The Cardinals almost blew it when Kliff Kingsbury iced his own kicker on the game-winning field goal on the second possession of OT, but thanks to some defensive stops (and a lucky penalty), Arizona was able to come out on top in an important divisional game. I still think they could win this division.
4. Baltimore Ravens (LW: 3) -1
The Ravens are not the team they were last year, but they still are contenders. Lamar Jackson’s novelty has worn off a bit, making it easier for teams to defend the run and force him to pass. I’m worried that this team tries too hard to make Lamar run the ball, which leads to him losing confidence when he has to throw it. Outside of Jackson, the team is playing solid. The defense has been playing as good as always, and the run game is pretty good. But these receivers need to stop dropping passes if they really want to take the division.
3. Seattle Seahawks (LW: 1) -2
It was an unfortunate loss for Seattle, but it wasn’t that bad. Russell Wilson struggled a bit, throwing three picks, including one at the end of overtime that the Cardinals scored on, but his numbers were great otherwise. Meanwhile, Tyler Lockett saved my fantasy team by getting 15 receptions for 200 yards and all three of Wilson’s touchdown passes. The defense is still having a tough time, though, and that’s likely going to be their downfall. They’ve allowed too many teams to stay in the game, and they’re lucky it’s only cost them one loss so far.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 2) =
Kansas City blew out Denver, but I couldn’t move them up over the last undefeated team in football. So, instead, they stay put for now. The Chiefs have been playing some great football on all sides of the ball, illustrated more this week than ever by scoring on a pass, rush, interception, and kick return. And while Le’Veon Bell’s debut was quiet, that piece makes this team even more dangerous than ever before. I don’t think the Chiefs will be staying at 2 for much longer.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 4) +3
And finally, the only team with a zero in the L column, the Pittsburgh Steelers. I expected them to be better than last year, but I can’t say I expected them to start the season 6-0. Their defense is the best in the league, but what’s really carrying them to victory right now is the resurgence of Big Ben and JuJu, aided by some great performances by Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool. The offense is loaded with a lot of underrated talent, and it’s going to be the key to them being successful moving forward.