NFL Power Rankings Week 7 | Tier 2: The Cleveland Browns
They’re an incredibly talented team, but key injuries crushed them in Week 6, and Baker Mayfield is not playing consistent football.
10) Cleveland Browns
I’m still unsure of what to do about this football team. We’ve seen this before. A team’s starting quarterback goes down. In the next game, the defense plays dominant ball, and they get the win, making everyone momentarily forget about their starter.
It’s silly, and you mustn’t allow that to creep into your minds, Browns fans. Your offense still only managed 5.6 yards per play on offense, and they were nearly as good in the run game against Denver as they were passing the ball. We’re in a holding pattern with Cleveland until we get more clarity on Baker Mayfield’s future availability.
Losing Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt for multiple weeks doesn’t feel like a super sustainable recipe, but they got away with it against the spiraling Broncos.
NFL Power Rankings Week 7 | Tier 1: Super Bowl contenders
9) Kansas City Chiefs
They dominated Washington today in the second half after struggling for 30 minutes. Still, they don’t feel like the Chiefs we’ve seen the past few seasons. The offense can’t seem to stop shooting itself in the foot, and the defense is still a travesty, no matter their statistical performance against Washington.
The Chiefs need to take care of business and clean some things up in the next two weeks against the Titans and Giants before facing Green Bay in what should be a high-scoring offensive affair.
8) Los Angeles Chargers
It had to happen eventually. After a massive, emotional victory against the Cleveland Browns in Week 5, the Chargers laid a stinker against the Baltimore Ravens. They traveled thousands of miles east for a 1 PM game a week after a hard-fought win.
Every team has a bad day, and that was today for the Chargers. They weren’t a tremendous run-defending team to begin with, and the Ravens are a terrible matchup in that respect. Nevertheless, it was an exciting game. The Chargers’ defense either got the Ravens off the field immediately or allowed long drives for points, and there was no real in between.
7) Buffalo Bills
I still believe this team has what it takes to be the best in the NFL. However, on Monday Night Football, the Tennessee Titans’ offense finally woke up, scoring 34 points against this vaunted Bills defense.
Buffalo allowed the Tennessee offensive line to bully them into submission. The Titans ran the ball right down the Bills’ throats, averaging 6.6 yards on the ground, with Derrick Henry accounting for 7.2 yards per carry. The Bills went for it on fourth-and-inches late instead of settling for the field goal and heading for overtime — I applaud the aggression.
6) Green Bay Packers
The Packers’ game against the Bears was a slow-paced slugfest devoid of big plays through the air from Aaron Rodgers, which is both a testament to the Bears’ defense and evidence of the injuries on the Packers’ offensive line.
However, Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon had themselves some days. They both had big runs against this Bears defensive line without Khyiris Tonga and a banged-up Akiem Hicks.
Their more significant questions remain on the defensive side of the ball, as the Bears really didn’t have much to offer offensively with no offensive line or either of their top two running backs. And Khalil Herbert still had his way with Green Bay’s defense. Their linebackers remain an issue.
5) Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson is your early MVP front-runner, and you’re lying to yourself and everyone around you if you believe otherwise. The Ravens are one of the most unhealthy teams in the NFL, and Jackson is either willing them to victory when they underperform against bad teams or leading the charge against the better teams in the NFL.
The Ravens have played down to their competition a few times now. But they also have wins against Kansas City (which admittedly doesn’t look outrageous anymore) and a decisive victory in Week 6 against the NFL darling Los Angeles Chargers.
4) Dallas Cowboys
This was an awkward performance from the Dallas Cowboys. They gave up big plays consistently through the air, despite receiving some pass-rush help from Randy Gregory in the form of 2 sacks. The Cowboys also struggled against the run, allowing a touchdown drive dominated by the ground game late in the fourth quarter.
Furthermore, Dallas struggled mightily in the red zone. Dak Prescott was once again controversially called short on a QB sneak at the goal line, and then he fumbled it on the next attempt. The offense didn’t run the ball as efficiently as they had throughout the season to date, but Prescott had a good enough game through the air to secure the win.
Trevon Diggs got interception No. 7 of the season, which is the quickest pace since Rod Woodson.
3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers sleepwalked through their Thursday Night Football game. It was never a contest until the very end, breaking the hearts of gambling addicts everywhere that took Tampa Bay -6.5.
It was 28-7, and it never even felt that close until the defense allowed a few consecutive scores late. Tom Brady and the offense hit a dry spell in the second half. It looked like a team that knows it’s a long season, and they tempered their attack for a while.
They need to get some of their cornerbacks back, but that didn’t hurt them against a Philadelphia passing attack that lacks both imagination and execution.
2) Los Angeles Rams
This offense is a well-oiled machine. It’s structurally sound, and now it has a quarterback that doesn’t just drive the bus but is its navigation system and engine. Matthew Stafford and Sean McVay have unleashed a Cooper Kupp that has flashed in the past but is flourishing.
There are still defensive questions surrounding this team, but they have the defensive playmakers to stifle opposing offenses, as they did to the New York Giants’ defense.
1) Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals are the only undefeated team in the NFL. They’ve’ beaten two top-10 teams and the 49ers, who fall just outside of the top 10. The Cardinals were dominant against Cleveland, but they were also gifted very favorable field position for a majority of the game. Heck, they scored 6 points on -10 net yards of offense.
The Bills had a letdown on Monday night, and I definitely deserved that karma for allowing them to usurp the Cardinals for the top spot in these Week 7 NFL Power Rankings before they played against the Titans. The Cardinals have been wildly impressive through six weeks and are more than deserving of the top spot.
They have to take care of business next week against the Texans, and then they have another test against Green Bay in Week 8. But if they can get through the Packers unscathed, their schedule opens up nicely leading up to their Week 12 bye.