NFL POWER RANKINGS - WEEK 7
by Jonny Gaunt
1. Arizona Cardinals (7-0)
A win against the Texans isn't much of a statement, however, it was meaningful for several former players. A huge collision awaits with Green Bay visiting next week for first place on the line. Losing J.J. Watt for the season will hurt.
2. Los Angeles Rams (6-1)
Great teams find ways to win when they don't play their very best. The Lions out-schemed, tricked, and perhaps outworked the Rams, yet in the end the LA stars made plays to win down the stretch.
The Cardinals are still undefeated, but losing Watt for the year will hurt.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-1)
Brady had this game circled after the debacle last year in the loss against the Bears. The offense was brilliant yet again, but the defense's pressure on Fields all day was a welcome sight, even against a terrible offensive line.
4. Tennessee Titans (5-2)
Henry should be at the top of the MVP debate. Tannehill has played brilliantly in the play action game and finally the defense is getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Dominating the Chiefs after their victory over Buffalo is impressive.
Derrick Henry is running over everyone in an MVP-Caliber season
5. Buffalo Bills (4-2)
In a riveting game, the Bills came up just short on a 4th and 1 that would've nearly clinched the contest. No need for concern with this team as most can't stop Derrick Henry from running the ball. Expect the Bills to convert next time. Now, bye week time.
6. Dallas Cowboys (5-1)
It was a fight, but the Cowboys found a way to get out of New England with an overtime win. Strong performances by their young stars lead the way in a thrilling fourth quarter that saw several lead changes. Dallas will now rest with the upcoming bye week.
7. Green Bay Packers (6-1)
Despite six straight wins for the Packers, they have been somewhat underwhelming in most of their games this season. Thursday night without a host of top players against the undefeated Cardinals provides the chance for a statement win.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)
A blowout win over Baltimore on the road was unexpected. Chase was clearly the proper pick in the draft, as Burrow has thrived with his LSU teammate in the fold. The win was impressive, but could just be the start as the upcoming schedule is very manageable.
9. Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
Lamar can't save this team every week considering that the Ravens would eventually into a defense who could limit his production. Enter Cincinnati. The Bengals not only held Lamar in check but thrashed the proud Raven defense.
Burrow, Chase, and a solid defense has turned the Bengals into competitors.
10. Las Vegas Raiders (5-2)
Carr and the Raiders have played their best ball and have been even more impressive since the departure of Gruden. Another dominating win has the Raiders in the lead of the AFC West and looking like a legitimate threat.
11. Los Angeles Chargers (4-2)
It was a disappointing loss after a couple of franchise-building wins the weeks prior. The Chargers simply were not ready to play Baltimore two weeks ago and they made them pay. Throw this tape out and move on if you are Head Coach Staley.
12. Cleveland Browns (4-3)
A gutsy win by a depleted Browns team showcased the brilliance of the coaching staff. Many unheralded players and backup QB Case Keenum saved the season for the Browns behind their league-best offensive line. Cleveland needs to get healthy, and fast.
13. Minnesota Vikings (3-3)
Once again, Minnesota wins a game that they desperately attempted to lose. The Vikings have enough to perhaps challenge in the NFC North, but this level of late game success will not be sustainable. Next week is a bye week.
Case Keenum led the injury-depleted Browns to a critical victory on Thursday.
14. New Orleans Saints (4-2)
Nothing but praise for the Saints defense dominating the entire game against the Seattle Seahawks. Jameis Winston has been solid at quarterback so far this season, but he needs more weapons if New Orleans wants to be a threat to the elite teams.
15. Kansas City Chiefs (3-4)
Mahomes has reverted back to his wild Texas Tech days when he needed to score 50 points a game for his team to have a chance. The defense is terrible, but if the turnover problem isn't fixed, the Chiefs won't make the playoffs.
16. Indianapolis Colts (3-4)
Potentially season-changing wins the last few weeks for the Colts have kept them in play for the playoffs. Wentz haas played well enough, but next week against the Titans will show how far along his reclamation project truly is.
The Chiefs are 3-4. Worse, Mahomes will miss time.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3)
T.J. Watt might be the best defensive player in the entire NFL. There are few players who can takeover a game and win it almost single-handedly. The season was in the balance this week and the defense came through. Bye week for the Steelers.
18. New England Patriots (3-4)
Bill absolutely hates the Jets. Running up the score on one of the league's worst teams is a little harsh, but proves the Patriots are not to be put in the same category with the bottom of the conference.
19. Carolina Panthers (3-4)
Carolina, much like Denver, has shown their early start was a bit of false hope. While improved overall, Darnold's continued critical mistakes have hurt his team immensely over their four-game losing streak.
20. Atlanta Falcons (3-3)
Atlanta has climbed back to .500 thanks in part to rookie TE Kyle Pitts. The last few weeks have been against poor competition, but they have taken care of business. unfortunately, this is a below average team so the success won't last.
21. Chicago Bears (3-4)
Chicago is trying their best to kill Field's career before it has a chance to begin. This team has a little 2020 Bengals vibe to it, where you just hope the young QB (Fields) makes it out of the season healthy and still confident.
22. New York Giants (2-5)
Easily the best total team performance of the season for the Giants should provide some confidence going forward. The division is long gone, but there is still much to gain and learn about Jones as the quarterback of the Giants' future.
Behind a porous O-line, Justin Fields committed 5 turnovers in the loss.
23. San Francisco 49ers (2-4)
Surprisingly, the NFC West will only be a two team race. The 49ers have been a disappointment. Sunday night provided an opportunity to stay in the race, but now their season is on life support.
24. Seattle Seahawks (2-5)
Pete's stubbornness to run the ball each and every first down is really dragging this team down. Without Russell Wilson to create plays out of thin air, the Seahawks have nearly fallen out of the playoff race already.
25. Philadelphia Eagles (2-5)
The score differential was not a good indicator of how much Philly got beat down last week. The inconsistency of the Eagles has to be frustrating this season, but this is what happens with a young and inexperienced head coach.
26. Denver Broncos (3-4)
Denver has been exposed as a fraudulent one-time undefeated team. There is no explosiveness on offense, which is a shame considering the defense has been fantastic. Clearly, the quarterback position will need to be addressed.
27. Washington Football Team (2-5)
Little production outside of McLauren on offense and the defense falling off a cliff this season has Washington's season already done. How they will address the quarterback position in the offseason with current underwhelming options will be interesting.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)
The Jags had a bye week following their first win (finally). Urban Meyer coached dangerously near the end and made some risky play calls. This team is improving, but still years away from making a difference in the AFC.
29. Miami Dolphins (1-6)
Tua made a good run at the end of the game against the Falcons, but the Dolphins already appear to have given up on the young quarterback as they have been rumored to be involved in the controversial Deshaun Watson sweepstakes.
30. New York Jets (1-6)
Zach Wilson is hurt and there appears to be no real plan in New York. The Jets' staff just seems too inexperienced and therefore completely overwhelmed in most of their matchups, but certainly against the best coach (Bill Belichick) ever.
31. Detroit Lions (0-7)
Detroit threw the kitchen sink at Matt Stafford and the Rams and came up just short again. A win is coming, maybe even multiple wins this season. The Lions just play too hard and have been in too many tight contests for it not to happen eventually.
32. Houston Texans (1-6)
When the Lions eventually win a game, there will be a tight race for the top pick in the 2022 Drafat. Houston may have a win, but they easily could be the worst team in the league. Perhaps worse, they aren't even interesting.