NFL Week 7 Power Rankings

By Geoff Ratliff

This week was a great measuring stick to see where a lot of contenders are at through the first third of the season.

  1. Green Bay Packers (6-0) – Expected a bigger blowout against the Rams but easy to see why this team mentally checked out early.
  2. New England Patriots (5-1) – Cowboys executed a great defensive game plan but giving Tom Brady the ball back with almost 3 minutes left on the clock? At home? You’re begging for a loss!
  3. Baltimore Ravens (5-1) – Sure Houston has injury issues, but the Ravens beat them the way they should have given the circumstances.
  4. San Francisco 49ers (5-1) – HARBAUGH!!!!!!
  5. Detroit Lions (5-1) – Jim Schwartz needs to be less concerned with Jim Harbaugh’s antics and be sure not let this loss allow his team to slip into a funk.
  6. Buffalo Bills (4-2) – You had to expect a bounce back from a veteran Giants team so the Bills have nothing to be ashamed of losing a close game in a tough road environment. This still looks very much like a wild card team.
  7. New Orleans Saints (4-2) – Not so shocking that they lost, but the 3 INTs and injury to Head Coach Sean Payton are a little discouraging.
  8. San Diego Chargers (4-1) – A cross country trip against a still formidable Jets team will be a good test for the Chargers, but the bye week has not been kind to teams thus far.
  9. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) – Expected a more dominant performance at home against a woeful Jacksonville team, but maybe Coach Tomlin is right; the jury is still out on this team.
  10. Oakland Raiders (4-2) – Another big win for the Silver and Black, and while the Jason Campbell injury seemed disastrous, it could be a blessing in disguise if Carson Palmer can rediscover his former All-Pro form in a dream scenario for him.
  11. New York Giants (4-2) – This is the type of bounce back victory you’d expect from a mostly veteran squad, but doing it despite a ton of injuries makes this team the favorite to win a disappointing NFC East.
  12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2) – That’s more like the Tampa team we expected to see this year, but this team still is in the driver’s seat to win the NFC South. It’d be nice if Mike Williams showed up this year though.
  13. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) – The defense is insane and Dalton is managing games impressively. This is basically a pro version of his TCU teams so maybe it shouldn’t be that surprising.
  14. Dallas Cowboys (2-3) – This may look like a homer pick, but that’s the most impressive defensive game plan we’ve seen executed against the Patriots in a couple of years! If Romo can quickly regain the trust of his head coach, this team could go on a nice run during the middle of the season.
  15. Washington Redskins (3-2) – We all knew it was just a matter of time before the Evil Rex Grossman showed up. The big question is for how long is he here?
  16. New York Jets (3-3) – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a less impressive 24-6 win in the NFL. Revis validated his worth, but the offense still isn’t where it needs to be to make the playoffs, let alone advance if they get there.
  17. Atlanta Falcons (3-3) – This was an important victory against a Carolina team with a lot of fight and some talented offensive weapons. Hopefully Julio Jones isn’t out for an extended period of time.
  18. Chicago Bears (3-3) – Well I guess there’s always some chance if you have Devin Hester on your team. Playing the Vikings helps too.
  19. Houston Texans (3-3) – The road is not getting any easier for the wounded Texans with a trip to Tennessee this week.
  20. Tennessee Titans (3-2) – I still have no idea what to make of this team and I’m not sure how much we’ll learn from this home game against the Texans – Unless they lose.
  21. Philadelphia Eagles (2-4) – Have to be concerned about the second half disappearing act by the offense, but the D finally played up to expectations, especially against the run.
  22. Cleveland Browns (2-3) – Apparently my “trade Peyton Hillis” advice fell on deaf ears, but maybe the hamstring injury affected his value. Man that Madden Curse is a bitch!
  23. Seattle Seahawks (2-3) – While not quite as impressive as a win over the Giants, back to back road wins in the Eastern Time zone would be an impressive feat for this team and give them faint hopes in the NFC West.
  24. Denver Broncos (1-4) – The trade of Brandon Lloyd makes it official: the Suck for Luck campaign is in full gallop. They got some stiff competition in this week’s opponent, the Miami Dolphins.
  25. Arizona Cardinals (1-4) – Not sure a visit from the Steelers is the elixir the Cardinals need, but this is exactly the type of game I can see them winning and building off of.
  26. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3) – A road trip against their hated, but resurgent rivals in Oakland might give the Chiefs an outside shot at getting back into the Luck sweepstakes, or it could put them squarely back into the AFC West race.
  27. Carolina Panthers (1-5) – All of the close losses this year – every loss has been by 7 points or less – are going to build a tremendous amount of character for this team later this year and beyond. Don’t be shocked if they are this year’s Detroit and start rattling off wins late in the season.
  28. Minnesota Vikings (1-5) – If there were ever a time to be upset about the conditions attached to a $100 million extension, this would be it. At least Larry Fitzgerald has the Arizona weather working in his favor.
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) – This team put up a good fight on the road against the Steelers. At least there’s something to be excited about on the defensive side of the ball.
  30. Indianapolis Colts (0-6) – It’s still hard to believe that losing one player can have this big of an impact on a team, but wow.
  31. St. Louis Rams (0-5) – The Brandon Lloyd trade will be great for next year if they can resign him in the offseason, because the Mike Sims-Walker deal sure didn’t pan out. The schedule has been tough but this was completely unexpected.
  32. Miami Dolphins (0-5) – Brandon Marshall probably wishes that he would have stuck with his vow to get kicked out because as tough as that game was to watch, it had to be worse to be a part of. Why exactly did Jason Taylor go back to Miami this year?

Follow Geoff on Twitter @snglemarriedguy

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