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NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Week 7

The Arizona Cardinals top our NFL Power Rankings as the ony undefeated team in the league. The winless Detroit Lions round out the bottom of the list.

Update:
The Arizona Cardinals top our NFL Power Rankings as the ony undefeated team in the league. The winless Detroit Lions round out the bottom of the list.
Christian PetersenAFP

The seventh week of the NFL regular season is a wrap, and we take you up and down the league's Power Rankings through Week 7.:

1) Arizona Cardinals: 7-0

Was there ever a doubt? Not only does their record speak for itself, but they are playing the best, most complete football of any team in the league. The defense has given up more than 20 points just once this season, and MVP favorite to this point of the season, Kyler Murray, has the red birds flying high. Watch out for the game this Thursday when Aaron Rogers and the Packers come to town.

2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 6-1

The Bucs have dealt with their fair share of adversity this year, but like a true champion they have shaken aside Covid issues, secondary problems, and the infamous “championship hangover” that hasn’t seemed to hit Tampa Bay and their 22 returning starters from last years team. You can’t hide the fact that of the Bucs seven games so far they have only played two teams with winning records, and they lost one of those games to the Rams in LA.

3) Dallas Cowboys: 5-1

I was so tempted to put the Cowboys above the Bucs at #2, but in the end Brady and Tampa Bay did beat the Boys, albeit the first game of the season. Dak was sensational in that game, and hasn’t slowed down since. Their bye week came at the right time, as they looked like a team that needed a break in last week’s overtime time win over the Patriots.

4) Los Angeles Rams: 6-1

The Arizona Cardinals were the only team that were able to defeat the Rams to this point of the season. That came on the back end of a tough back to back series against two of the best teams in the league. LA first took down the defending champion Tampa Bay Bucs in Week 3, but had a let up against the division leading Cardinals the week after. Looking at their schedule, those are the only teams with winning records they have played this season, They will be put to the test over the next month, having to host the Titans and then travel to Green Bay at the end of November.

5) Green Bay Packers: 6-1

The Packers look like they have moved on from the off season soap opera between Aaron Rodgers and the front offices at Lambeau Field. In week one there were some apparent issues that had yet to be sorted, and it showed on the field. A 38-3 loss to the Saints had the Cheeseheads panicking on the Frozen Tundra. Since then they have rattled off six straight wins and Rodgers looks like the same quarterback that won the MVP of the league last season.

6) Buffalo Bills: 4-2

The Bills are a firm foot and a yard away from being 6-1 on the year, with the best record in the AFC. Instead they are 4-2 and in the midst of their bye week. Their defense is the best in the game, and had pitched two different shut outs against the Texans and Dolphins. And Josh Allen is even better than he was last year when he led the Bills to the AFC title game. They look like a completely different team from the one who lost to the Steelers in Week 1, and they’ll come back from their bye with a pretty light schedule, taking on the Dolphins, Jags, Jets and Colts.

7) Tennessee Titans: 5-2

The Titans are coming off of back to back wins over the Bills and the Chiefs. They are 5-2 and have the most unstoppable force in the game in Derrick Henry. I know they beat the Bills, so if we go by my Bucs-Cowboys logic Tennessee should be above Buffalo, but you can’t overlook the loss against the New York Jets they inexplicably suffered in Week 4. Secondary problems have also been a reoccurring issue for the Titans although they looked more than fine against the Chiefs in their 27-3 win on Sunday.

8) Cincinnati Bengals: 5-2

Probably the shock of the season up until this point of the season. They have a top five defensive unit and Joe Burrow is flourishing in his second year under center for the Bengals.Their 41-17 win over the Ravens was a warning shot to the rest of the league. This is a team that is only getting better as the season goes on. They lost their only two games of the season by a field goal each, a 20-17 loss to the and then an OT loss to the Packers in Week 5.

9) Las Vegas Raiders: 5-2

Just when the all the pieces seemed to be coming together for the Raiders, the Jon Gruden scandal shook the franchise. Vegas has defied the odds and continued to cruise through a midseason coaching change and a constant media circus surrounding the team after Gruden’s departure. Las Vegas has bounced back from the scandal and two straight losses with convincing victories the Broncos and the Bears to get back on track. They now get a chance to take a week off and come back from their bye week refreshed and refocused.

10) Baltimore Ravens: 5-2

The Ravens preseason was a disaster. They lost their top three running backs before the first snap of the regular season, but since then they have been one of the leagues most exciting teams (that’s to be expected with Lamar Jackson as your QB). They lost in OT against the Raiders in the opener, then beat the Chiefs by a point in Week 2, and they needed a 66 yarder to beat the Lions at the buzzer in Week 3. Their demolition of the Chargers in Week 6 was a statement game against a contender in the AFC, but their loss to the Bengals this week brought them back down from cloud nine.

11) Los Angeles Chargers: 4-2

The Chargers had a fantastic start to the season, but went to their bye week with a terrible taste in their mouth after the 34-6 loss to the Ravens in Week 6. They have had a meat grinder of a schedule. Five of their six opponents have winning records, and they still stand at 4-2 on the season. Justin Herbert is loving life in LA, he’s got 14 TDs and just 4 interceptions.

12) Cleveland Browns: 4-3

The Browns were a dark horse in the AFC coming into the season. A Baker Mayfield with playoff experience, a top rushing game in the league, and Odell Beckham Jr. with another year under his belt in Cleveland made for a potentially promising season. Injuries have decimated the Browns, especially on the offensive end.

13) New Orleans Saints: 4-2

The Saints continue to find ways to win despite James Winston eclipsing the 1,000 yard mark for the season in Week 7 of the regular season. Their 38-3 win over the Packers sounded the alarms around the NFL after the opening week of the season. This is not the same Saints team that had Drew Brees under center for the better part of a decade, but they are continuing win on the shoulders of their stout defense.

14) Pittsburgh Steelers: 3-3

The Steelers needed overtime to beat the Russell Wilson-less Seahawks before heading to their bye week. The beat the Bills in the opening game of the season, but three straight losses and some sub par offensive performances put Ben Roethlisberger in the cross hairs of his critics in Pittsburgh. They bounced back with a win over the Broncos and then the Seahawks and now have a week focus the game in Cleveland on Sunday. Lets see how vets Mike Tomlin and Roethlisberger respond after the bye week.

15) Kansas City Chiefs: 3-4

The Chiefs have been shockingly disappointing this year, and capped are coming off of their worst showing of the season against the Titans on Sunday. The have had a tough schedule playing five teams with winning records over the course of the first seven games. They are just 1-4 against those teams. The KC defense has been the sore spot all year long but Mahomes and the offense were called into question after posting just three points against the Titans.

16) Minnesota Vikings: 3-3

Minnesota gave the Cardinals their toughest test of the season, losing 34-33 in Arizona. That loss came on the back end of an 0-2 start, but since then they are 3-1 and looking to keep up the good run of form, but they have a meaty part of their schedule coming up with games against the Cowboys, Ravens, Chargers and Packers.

17) Indianapolis Colts: 3-4

The month of October has been quite kind to the Indianapolis Colts. After an 0-3 start The Colts have bounced back winning three of their last four, and their only loss of the month was an overtime thriller against the Baltimore Ravens. It’ll be hard to keep up with the Titans in the AFC South, but they could make a case for a wild card spot if they continue the good spell of form.

18) Chicago Bears: 3-4

It’s been a trying start to the season for the Bears, who had to turn to their rookie quarterback Justin Fields after Andy Dalton was hurt in the second game of the season. Chicago has some impressive wins under their belt, they beat the reeling Raiders just before Gruden was let go and topped the Bengals in the second week of the season. Six of the seven teams Chicago has faced have winning records, including the Bucs who spanked them 38-3 on Sunday.

19) Atlanta Falcons: 3-3

Not much was expected from the Falcons this year, but they have clawed a few wins that were perhaps unexpected for a team that had the fourth pick in the draft last spring. They have been the beneficiaries of an easy schedule to this point in the season, playing just one team that has a winning record. But their three wins are maybe more than some expected for the entire season.

20) New England Patriots: 3-4

The Patriots have certainly seen better days, but they are 3-4 on the year, which is better than any other team that started the season with a rookie QB under center. The are coming off a 54-13 waxing of the Jets after taking the Cowboys to overtime the week before. They also played the Bucs tight, giving up a last minute Brady game winning drive, but hey he does that against everyone. If those games end the other way, we would be talking about Mac Jones being the second coming of Tom Brady after just seven games.

21) Denver Broncos: 3-4

The Teddy Bridgewater era couldn’t have started in a more perfect fashion. They opened the season with three straight wins against and the fans in the Mile High City were soaring. The wins came against the Giants, Jags, and Jets, three teams that have a combined four wins this year. Four straight losses to the to the Ravens, Steelers, Raiders and Browns have the Broncos at the bottom of the AFC West.

22) Carolina Panthers: 3-4

The Panthers trails and tribulations were highlighted on Sunday after a 25-3 pounding suffered at the hands of the the New York Giants. They, like the Broncos, started their new era with a new quarterback 3-0 but have since sunk to 3-4 after four straight losses. People are starting to get restless in Carolina, where the fans are looking for any sort of consistent play from their quarterback. Sam Darnold has not been too convincing as of now.

23) Seattle Seahawks: 2-5

The Seahawks are reeling with out starting quarterback Russ Wilson. He still has the pin in his finger after dislocating it against the Rams in Week 5. Since then Seattle has been in each of the games with Geno Smith at quarterback, but they can’t close out games. The Seahawks defense can only do so much, they need to start getting help from their offense.

24) New York Giants: 2-5

Spots 24-26 are essentially interchangeable. You can shift the three teams at 2-5 in the NFC East anyway you’d like and I wouldn’t get offended. The Giants are coming off a win against the Panthers this week, so by default they are above Washington and Philly.

25) Philadelphia Eagles: 2-5

They gave a good show against the Tampa Bay Bucs in the second half of Week 6, but another disappointing start against the Raiders on Sunday saw them go down 30-7, and had to fight back back in the fourth quarter just to make the scoreline look respectable.

26) Washington Football Team: 2-5

They are having a real problem on the offensive side of the ball. They are averaging just 15 points in their last three games (all losses) and for a team that can’t stop anyone, that’s a big problem. Their two wins on the season came by a combined 5 points.

27) San Fransico 49ers: 2-4

After winning their opening two games against the Lions and Eagles, they have dropped four straight. Let’s not over look the fact that three of those four losses were one possession games, but a change is need in the Bay Area. If the 49ers are going to loss, they might as well do it with their quarterback of the future under center.

28) Jacksonville Jaguars: 1-5

The Jags got to enjoy their week off on the heels of their first win in in 20 games. No one said it would be easy for Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence in their first year in the NFL, but a narrow loss to the Bengals in Week 4, and a respectable performance against the undefeated Cardinals are signs that this team is heading in the right direction.

29) Houston Texans: 1-6

I had Jacksonville below the Texans, until I looked at their recent games, and saw they have lost their last six since beating the Jags, and in three of their last four games they have a combined total of 8 points (0 @ Buffalo, 3 @ Indy, 5 @ Arizona).

30) Miami Dolphins: 1-6

The Dolphins have been dreadful. I get that their starter Tua Tagovailoa went down for a few weeks with injury, but they have lost their last six games. Their last two were very winnable games, but there is no end of the bleeding in sight for a team that is getting all too used to being at the bottom of Power Rankings lists.

31) New York Jets: 1-5

They had an inexplicable win over the Tennessee Titans, who all of the sudden look like one of the top teams in the AFC, but that doesn’t overshadow the fact that this team simply cannot score. Zach Wilson knew what he was getting into when the Jets drafted him, but New York has struggled mightily up until their Week 7 bye. Let’s see if they can rebound after a week off, but they have the Bengals, Colts and Bills coming up after their pause.

32) Detroit Lions: 0-7

At 0-7 you can’t really argue that the Lions should be or could be higher on this list. They did suffer a heartbreaking loss in Week 3 at the hands of Justin Tucker and the Baltimore Ravens and two weeks later they lost to the Vikings which sent head coach Dan Campbell into an emotional press conference where he couldn’t contain his tears. He won a lot of fans after that game, but the Lions have yet to win a game nearly half way through the season.

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