NFL Power Rankings Week 7

October 14, 2008 | Thyrl Nelson

Here are the week 7 NFL Power Rankings. Again, there is no scientific formula or panel of expert consultants, just my opinion based on what we’ve seen so far this season. Last week’s ranking is in parenthesis.


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Well, week 6 was certainly tough on those at the top of last week’s rankings, with Buffalo, Tennessee and Pittsburgh as the only top 10 teams from last week to escape defeat, and all did it courtesy of a bye. Speaking of the bye, in one of the often-overlooked caveats of the schedule teams are 8-4 so far this season after their bye weeks. Included in the improbable wins were Cleveland over the Giants, St. Louis over the Redskins, and Miami over the Chargers; while the losses include hapless Detroit overmatched with Chicago, hapless Oakland overmatched against the Saints, the Texans, whose bye was forced unexpectedly upon them in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, and the Seahawks, who faced a Giants team coming off their bye too.


The NFC East took a beating this weekend too, and it looks like the power in that division may shift from week to week. Meanwhile in the NFC West, and AFC North, the Cardinals and Steelers may find themselves in the most enviable positions as both look to be clearly in control of those divisions.


NFL Power Rankings Week 7


  1. Tennessee Titans (2) – 5-0 -The schedule has been good to the Titans so far, and that didn’t change in week 6, as Tennessee had a scheduled week off when all of the other top teams seemed to take one off on their own. Plus the Titans have the benefit of getting the bye week to prepare for the resurgent Colts. Next week: vs. IND


  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (6) – 4-1 – The Steelers also benefited from the bye this week, and should have an easy time with the Bengals in week 7 before their schedule gets really hectic. Next week: @ CIN


  1. Buffalo Bills (8) – 4-1 – The Bills should benefit from coming off of the bye and facing a Chargers team that has to travel across the country this week, after that they’ll have a chance to put a stronghold on their division. Next week: vs. SD


  1. Arizona Cardinals (14) – 4-2 – The Cardinals have established themselves as the class of the NFC West for what that’s worth, and they’re playing much better defense than their ppg. would indicate. They’ve also knocked out Trent Edwards and Tony Romo in consecutive weeks, beware Jake Delhomme owners. Next week: BYE


  1. Dallas Cowboys (4) – 4-2 – Good luck figuring out this division. The Cowboys seemed to have the toughest loss to the best team of the 3 major NFC East upsets this weekend. They’ll be glad they have a Superbowl proven QB at the backup, and for some reason I think they’ll be better for having played without Romo, once he’s able to get back. Next week: @ ST.L


  1. Denver Broncos (5) – 4-2 – The Broncos are looking like one of the tougher teams to predict this season, and had better take advantage of their schedule in the coming weeks. One bad call against the Chargers is all that has them in control of the division right now, and the Chargers seem to be gaining momentum while the Broncos look to be losing it. Next week: @ NE


  1. Washington Redskins (3) – 4-2 – Of all of the week 6 upsets, the Redskins might be most deserving of a mulligan. Their offense isn’t built to be explosive, it’s meant to be efficient but it was neither on Sunday. The Rams may have been up to the task no matter who was in front of them this week, and the Skins may have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Next week: vs. CLE


  1. New York Giants (1) – 4-1 – Sure they still have the best record in the division, and sure they beat the Redskins head to head in week 1, but the Giants were dominated on Monday night, where Dallas and Washington lost on a couple of big plays. If the Browns found the Giants’ blueprint, they’ll have work to do in coming weeks. Next week: vs. SF


  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13) – 4-2 – The Buccaneers have their destiny in their own hands, and Jeff Garcia seems to be back in favor with Jon Gruden. With 3 winnable games before their bye, the Bucs have a chance to make a statement at the midway point. Next week: vs. SEA


  1. San Diego Chargers (23) – 3-3 – Momentum seems to be swinging the Chargers’ way, and the relative power of their division is diminishing too. You know that they’re going to get LT going sooner or later. Next week: @ BUF


  1. Indianapolis Colts (24) – 3-2 – The Colts and Chargers are back up the rankings with a bullet it seems. Both teams surely know by now that it’s not about being the best team in September. Next week: @ GB


  1. Carolina Panthers (7) – 4-2 – The Panthers aren’t really tough to figure out, just bet the opposite of what it looks like they’ll do each week and you’ll have them pegged. They could be George Costanza’s favorite team. Next week: vs. NO


  1. Philadelphia Eagles (15) – 3-3 – They pulled off a big win without Brian Westbrook this week, but haven’t done themselves any favors so far. But Andy Reid teams are notoriously good after the bye, so we’ll see if the Eagles can get things going in the coming weeks. Next week: BYE


  1. New York Jets (11) – 3-2 – I’m not sure how to justify dropping the Jets in the rankings in a week where they won and so many of the top teams lost, but the AFC East looks like Buffalo’s to lose, and everyone else may be also rans. Next week: @ OAK


  1. Minnesota Vikings (12) – 3-3 – Like the Jets, the Vikings find themselves down in the rankings after getting a week 6 win. Unlike the Jets, I don’t feel quite the same need to explain this one. Next week: @ CHI


  1. Atlanta Falcons (19) – 4-2 – Okay, so I’m not quite sold on the Falcons yet, but they’re certainly fun to watch. They’re second half schedule will go a long way toward proving their mettle. In case you haven’t heard it said a million times already, the last place team in the NFC South has gone on to win the division the following season every year since the inception of the division. With that riding in their favor, who am I to doubt them? Next week: BYE


  1. Green Bay Packers (21) – 3-3 – The Packers haven’t taken advantage of what looks like a favorable early schedule, they may pay for it with the stretch they have upcoming. Their week 7 match up looks like a good old-fashioned shootout. Next week: vs. IND


  1. New Orleans Saints (17) – 3-3 – Drew Brees is putting up unbelievable numbers at the QB, but the Saints keep finding ways to lose. A win against the hapless Raiders didn’t do much to shake that reputation, but the Saints will have their chance to prove themselves in the weeks ahead. Next week: @ CAR


  1. Chicago Bears (9) – 3-3 – The Bears have been better than their record indicates, but not much better. Unless they figure out how to put teams away, they’ll likely lose a lot more games like the one they lost on Sunday. Next week: vs. MIN


  1. Jacksonville Jaguars (22) – 3-3 – The Jags let some games get away from them that may catch up with them in the ultra competitive AFC South, and looking up at the Colts and Titans is a bad place to be just over a third of the way through the season. The rest of the schedule looks favorable for Jacksonville though with only Indy and Tennessee above .500 on their remaining schedule. Next week: BYE


  1. Miami Dolphins (18) – 2-3 – Just when I was starting to believe in Miami, they drop one they had to have on paper. Still, with his innovative wildcat schemes and competitive team, Tony Sparano has earned the right to stick around for a while in Miami. Next week: vs. BAL


  1. Baltimore Ravens (16) – 2-3 – For the fans who said they’d rather lose blowouts than to lose games like the Ravens had been, you got your wish. The games the Ravens seemed to dominate and still lose will most certainly come back to haunt them. With the Dolphins, Raiders, Browns and Texans up next the Ravens are at the break or don’t break part of their schedule. Games after that with the Giants, Philly, Pittsburgh, Washington, Dallas and Jacksonville means that this stretch won’t make the team but could definitely break them. Championships can’t be won in October, but they can be lost there. Next week: @ MIA


  1. Cleveland Browns (26) – 2-3 – A win over the undefeated Giants probably should have resulted in a bigger jump for the Browns, but I’m not sold yet. If the Browns are for real, their schedule over the next 5 weeks will prove it. It’s definitely not too late for them to become a factor in the AFC North. Next week: @ WAS


  1. New England Patriots (10) – 3-2 – I keep reminding myself that once upon a time, Tom Brady wasn’t Tom Brady yet, and if anyone could build a winner around Matt Cassel it’s probably Bill Bellichick. It’s still hard to imagine this team going very far, or Randy Moss being quiet and content for much longer. Next week: vs. DEN


  1. San Francisco 49ers (20) – 2-4 – A couple of weeks ago the NFC West looked to be up for grabs, and the Niners as good a candidate as any. Three straight losses have changed that quite a bit, and a date with the Giants after their disaster this week could be ugly. Next week: @ NYG


  1. Houston Texans (28) – 1-4 – One thing’s for sure about Gary Kubiak and these Texans, they won’t go away, no matter what’s thrown at them. They probably have more heart than talent, but there’s some talent there too. The Texans will be a tough draw for some good teams this season. Next week: vs. DET


  1. Seattle Seahawks (25) – 1-4 – Seattle’s opportunity to send Mike Holmgren out with a playoff appearance isn’t dead yet, but it’s getting colder by the minute. Next week: @ TB


  1. Oakland Raiders (27) – 1-4 – There’s no question that this team has been more talented then their record has indicated over the past few seasons. But there’s also probably no question that switching coaches every year isn’t the answer either. Next week: vs. NYJ


  1. Kansas City Chiefs (29) – 1-4 – It looks like Tony Gonzalez’ hopes of being dealt to a contender won’t materialize this season, which means he’ll also be stuck in KC for the brutal stretch of games they have in store after the bye. It looks like things could get a whole lot uglier in KC soon.  Next week: BYE


  1. St. Louis Rams (32) – 1-4 – Jim Haslett’s debut either gave the team a needed lift, or a chance to justify the whining they had been doing all season. Tough, but winnable games in the coming weeks will tell if Haslett has circled the wagons or if this was just a “dead cat bounce”. Next week: vs. DAL


  1. Detroit Lions (31) – 0-5 – The Lions let one get away this week in one of the only winnable looking games on their remaining schedule, if they can’t get past the Texans this week, the Lions may be hard pressed to find a team that they can beat this season. Next week: @ HOU


  1. Cincinnati Bengals (30) – 0-6 – The state of this team went beyond comical a long time ago, and with one of their only reliable players both on and off the field nursing a bad wing, Marvin Lewis may want to resign before they have a chance to fire him. Next week: vs. PIT