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NFL Power Rankings, Week 7: Teams moving up and down the board

NFL Power Rankings, Week 7: Teams moving up and down the board
TAMPA, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 18: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws a touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski #87 during the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Raymond James Stadium on October 18, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Here’s the deal with these Week 7 NFL Power Rankings. They are not predictions. If a team projects to have an easy or difficult schedule ahead of them, that matters not for this exercise. These are very simply a list of how good each team is right this minute. Here’s how all 32 teams rank in my Week 7 NFL Power Rankings.

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NFL Power Rankings: Week 7

Before we get started with our Week 7 NFL Power Rankings, be sure to check out Mike Tanier’s NFL Week 6 Recap after you take a look through this list of 32 teams. This week, Tanier kicks off the NFL Week 6 Recap looking at potential trade deadline deals, playoff contenders throughout the NFL, the Patriots offensive struggles, and more.

32) New York Jets (0-6)

Just like the last three weeks, the Jets are last in my NFL Power Rankings. It really doesn’t get much worse than this at the NFL level. It was another pathetic performance by the New York Jets. The Joe Flacco-led offense converted just two of 17 third down opportunities in what was one of the worst offensive showings of the year by any team. Adam Gase has now coached 22 games for the Jets but has won just seven. Will he get to 23? PFN Insider Tony Pauline has more information on Gase’s future.

31) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)

The Jaguars’ seven-point win over Indianapolis in Week 1 seems like a long time ago. This is a very bad football team as most expected this offseason. DJ Chark ended this game with seven catches for just 45 yards. That isn’t easy to do, but that is still one yard more than Jacksonville was able to produce on the ground. We’ll see how they rebound next week and if they can make a move up the NFL Power Rankings list.

30) Washington Football Team (1-5)

Washington and the Giants battled hard, but the Football Team ended up on the losing end…which might come in handy come draft time. If these teams played 100 times, you get the feeling that it might end up 50-50. At least Washington did a nice job of possessing the ball and overall, their defense has promise with an elite defensive front. They come in 30th in my NFL Power Rankings for Week 7.

29) New York Giants (1-5)

The Giants come in 29th in this week’s NFL Power Rankings list. It wasn’t against great competition, but the Giants did get their first win of the season and are now tied with Washington at the bottom of the NFC East. We can blame the offenses, but both of these defenses played well and the Giants are starting to build something on this side of the ball. Still, it is a bit alarming that Daniel Jones was only asked to throw the ball 19 times and finished the day with only 112 passing yards. His running was the difference, though.

28) Denver Broncos (2-3)

The Broncos sit at 28th in my Week 7 NFL Power Rankings. Drew Lock returned behind center and pulled off the upset in New England. The Patriots came back to make this game interesting, but it is still something positive to build off for Denver. Vic Fangio’s defense was extremely solid against the run and pass, but it was Brandon McManus that was the star of the show for Denver.

27) Minnesota Vikings (1-5)

The Vikings got crushed by Atlanta in a game that was never close. This is just one reason why they are toward the bottom of my NFL Power Rankings headed into Week 7. Kirk Cousins put up big numbers but also threw three interceptions. Having Cousins throw 36 times isn’t a winning recipe, but it was the Vikings’ total ineptitude on the ground (minus Dalvin Cook) that was most startling as they possessed the football for under 20 minutes. At least Justin Jefferson continues to show superstar traits.

26) Cincinnati Bengals (1-4-1)

Heading into Week 7, the Bengals are 26th in these NFL Power Rankings. The Bengals jumped all over Indianapolis but allowed the Colts to come storming back. Like last year, Cincinnati is finding ways to lose close games. The Joe Burrow-to-Tee Higgins connection is sure exciting going forward and AJ Green awoke from his several-year slumber.

25) Atlanta Falcons (1-5)

The Falcons jumped all over Minnesota, leading that game 20-0 at the half, and never looked back as they blew out the Vikings. As usual, Matt Ryan still threw the ball a lot ending the day with 371 yards and four touchdown passes with Julio Jones, who was obviously quite healthy. In fact, Jones accounted for 137 of those yards and two of the touchdowns. The Falcons ran 79 plays in this game! They’re 25th in my Week 7 NFL Power Rankings.

24) Detroit Lions (2-3)

The Lions are 24th in my NFL Power Rankings list. Coming off their bye, Detroit went south to dispose of the Jaguars in a game that was never close. It was against a dismal Jacksonville defense, but Lions fans should be optimistic that this offense is coming around and beginning to fulfill their potential.

And it was great to see what very well could be a breakout game and a sign of good things to come from D’Andre Swift. It should be his backfield going forward. The Lions defense also deserves credit, showing more playmaking ability than before their bye.

23) Dallas Cowboys (2-4)

On Monday night against Arizona, the Cowboys struggled mightily. The Dallas offensive line is in shambles and lost Zach Martin during this game while Ezekiel Elliott’s fumbling problems this year showed up yet again. Michael Gallup dropped a touchdown at the end of the first half and very little went right for Dallas. Not to mention that the Cowboys defense is clearly amongst the worst in the NFL. The Cowboys come in 23rd in the Week 7 NFL Power Rankings.

22) Los Angeles Chargers (1-4)

The Chargers were on bye in Week 6. They can’t seem to get wins this year, but they did find their quarterback in Justin Herbert. Even though Los Angeles is 1-4, they have only been outscored by 15 points and like last year, they continue to find ways to lose close games. The Chargers are 22nd in these NFL Power Rankings.

21) Carolina Panthers (3-3)

Yardage was tough to come by for both the Bears and Panthers and there were 18 penalties and four turnovers in this game. But Carolina losing the turnover ratio (3 to 1) was the root of their demise as the Panthers fell to 3-3. They sit just outside the top 20 in these NFL Week 7 Power Rankings.

20) Miami Dolphins (3-3)

The Dolphins are 20th in these week’s NFL Power Rankings. Miami jumped all over the hapless Jets and controlled the game against an overmatched opponent. The defense was especially noteworthy as they not only shut down New York but also limited them to an embarrassing 3.8 yards per play average. The Dolphins are now .500 and the playoffs are not out of the question.

19) Houston Texans (1-5)

The Texans come in at number 19 in my Week 7 NFL Power Rankings. It is clear that Houston is a better team than what we saw from them to begin the season against just an awful schedule. And Deshaun Watson is a great player that will make his new coach very happy in 2021 and beyond. Even though they took the Titans to overtime, Houston is now 1-5 and their defense allowed Tennessee’s offense to average 8.6 yards every time they snapped the ball on Sunday.

18) Philadelphia Eagles (1-4-1)

The Eagles can play with the big boys. Philadelphia roared back in Baltimore to give the Ravens all they could handle late in that game by scoring three fourth quarter touchdowns. Carson Wentz keeps battling and Travis Fulgham looks like a keeper.

The Eagles haven’t played that poorly over the past several weeks, but are 1-4-1 nonetheless. Making matters worse, Miles Sanders, who started this game very strong, injury is a big concern for a team that simply can’t afford it. The Eagles are 18th in these NFL Power Rankings headed into Week 7.

17) New England Patriots (2-3)

I ranked the Patriots 17th in this week’s NFL Power Rankings. Even coming off their bye and with Cam Newton returning to the lineup, this was a disaster for the Patriots. With the exception of Newton, New England got nothing going on the ground and it is very clear that this offense really lacks big-play receivers.

Newton is nearly the entire offense and every defense will key on him heavily. Turning the ball over three times didn’t help the cause either and the Patriots now have a losing record.

16) Las Vegas Raiders (3-2)

The Raiders sit just outside the top 15 in my Week 7 NFL Power Rankings. This was Vegas’ bye week and there is a lot to get excited about with this team right now. After a huge win over the Chiefs, Las Vegas is in the playoff mix in the AFC and Derek Carr is playing very well.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 7: Teams ranked 15-6

15) Cleveland Browns (4-2)

We kick off the top 15 of our Week 7 NFL Power Rankings with the Cleveland Browns. The Browns were physically dominated in Week 6 and their offense averaged a paltry 4.1 yards per play. In Pittsburgh, the Browns’ pass protection was a huge issue and Baker Mayfield (who left this game after taking a beating) already had injured ribs coming into this contest.

But at 4-2, the Browns are very much in the playoff mix, even though they are in third place in their division and lost their head to head matchup (badly) to Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

14) Chicago Bears (5-1)

Okay, the Bears are 5-1 and now must be taken seriously in the NFC. They won in Carolina despite rushing for 63 yards and Nick Foles passing for just 198. The box score shows a very even game, but the turnover differential in Chicago’s favor reveals a more telling story. Without question, the Bears defense was excellent and made life really difficult for Teddy Bridgewater. This is just one of the reasons why they come in 14th in my Week 7 NFL Power Rankings.

13) Arizona Cardinals (4-2)

Kyler Murray had a tough time completing passes early but settled in nicely as the game in Dallas on Monday night went along and the Cardinals ran away with the game. An awful lot went right for the Cardinals in Dallas as Arizona advanced to 4-2. All four NFC West teams are now in the thick of the playoff race. They come in 13th in this week’s NFL Power Rankings.

12) Indianapolis Colts (4-2)

The 12th team in my Week 7 NFL Power Rankings are the Indianapolis Colts and wow, did things start terribly for them against Cincinnati. Philip Rivers did more than his share of good and bad in this game but ultimately brought his team back to get the win.

It is a little alarming that, even though they were in catchup mode, the Colts could only muster 59 rushing yards. However, Indianapolis’ run defense was as impressive as their rushing attack was inept. The Colts averaged 1.7 more yards per play than they allowed, but still lost the time of possession battle by nearly 10 minutes.

11) Los Angeles Rams (4-2)

Los Angeles – ranked 11th in this week’s NFL Power Rankings – really wasn’t in sync on Sunday night. They have done a ton of traveling to the east coast and were matched up against a divisional rival that needed this game in the worst way. Oh, they also happened to play in the Super Bowl last year, so let’s not overreact.

10) San Francisco 49ers (3-3)

In a game the Niners had to have to keep up in their conference and division, San Francisco came out hot and maintained a pretty high level of play basically from start to finish. A healthy Deebo Samuel makes a big difference to this offense and speaking of health, it is clear that Jimmy Garoppolo, who barely got hit in this game, is in a better place now than a week ago.

Garoppolo was really sharp on Sunday night and consistently got the ball out of his hands quickly and on time. On defense, the 49ers actually finally had NFL caliber cornerbacks. Raheem Mostert’s injury could be a problem, however, so that is something to keep an eye on for the tenth-ranked team in this week’s NFL Power Rankings.

9) New Orleans Saints (3-2)

Coming in ninth in the Week 7 NFL Power Rankings are the New Orleans Saints. The Saints had their bye in Week 6 but should have Michael Thomas at their disposal going forward. At 3-2 with a scoring differential of just +3, things haven’t gone to plan quite yet for New Orleans this season.

8) Buffalo Bills (4-2)

Coming off their worst game of the year, the Bills hosted Kansas City on Monday Night and really had a tough time stopping the run while struggling to score points on offense. The weather didn’t help matters, but the Bills inability to throw the ball was alarming. This two game losing streak hasn’t been a good look by the Bills, and a reason why they have taken a fall in these NFL Power Rankings.

7) Green Bay Packers (4-1)

Uncharacteristic Aaron Rodgers interceptions, including a pick-6, put Green Bay behind the eight ball early, but this game really was never in doubt for the Buccaneers. The Packers defense, who have been extremely fortunate with who they have played against this year, was exposed. But, it was the Packers’ awful 3.3 yards per play (only 201 yards on 61 plays) on offense that was most startling.

Green Bay – ranked seventh in these NFL Power Rankings – also lost stalwart left tackle David Bakhtiari in this game. It was a terrible day in Tampa Bay, but the Packers should stay in the thick of things all year long.

6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2)

The Buccaneers come in sixth in my NFL Week 7 Power Rankings. Todd Bowles’ defense continues to impress and is clearly one of the top units in the NFL. It is a complete defense, but the Bucs really have an outstanding pair of linebackers in the incumbent Lavonte David and star-in-the-making Devin White.

Even though Chris Godwin was back to pair with Mike Evans, little was needed from these two. Tom Brady and Tampa’s passing game made it look easy against Green Bay. The Bucs are in first place in the NFC South.

The top 5 NFL teams

5) Tennessee Titans (5-0)

We begin our five best teams of the Week 7 NFL Power Rankings with the Tennessee Titans. This was a heck of a game and a heck of an overtime win for Tennessee over the Texans. Ryan Tannehill threw for 364 yards and Derrick Henry ran for 212 while also chipping in with two catches for 52 yards.

Houston’s defense is far from great (and that can be said about Tennessee’s as well), but the Titans offense is on fire right now. They host the also undefeated Steelers next week in what could be one of the best games of the 2020 NFL season. Tannehill is creeping into the MVP discussion.

4) Baltimore Ravens (5-1)

The Ravens – fourth in these Power Rankings – had this game in total control, but they allowed Philadelphia to storm back. Penalties (12 for 132 yards) had a lot to do with that Eagles comeback, but that is also selling Carson Wentz and company short for their great effort in the second half.

It was good to see Lamar Jackson breaking off long runs and Baltimore owned the football for 36:30 of this game. But, Jackson’s struggles in the passing game are becoming more and more worrisome and the Ravens allowed too many long runs while not creating a consistent run game of their own.

3) Seattle Seahawks (5-0)

The Seahawks are third in this week’s NFL Power Rankings. The Seahawks are rolling along and there is no reason to think that won’t continue coming off their bye week. Just one of three undefeated teams with the Titans and Steelers, Seattle sits atop the NFC.

2) Pittsburgh Steelers (5-0)

The Steelers come in as the number two team in this week’s NFL Power Rankings. This was as impressive of a win as we saw on Sunday. The Browns have one of the league’s very best offensive lines and running games – Pittsburgh destroyed both. Devin Bush’s knee injury is quite worrisome though, as Pittsburgh’s second level depth is a real concern and could open up a weakness in their great defense.

1) Kansas City Chiefs (5-1)

After coming off a loss, the Chiefs traveled to Buffalo on Monday for an odd 5:00 PM ET start time. But how about the performance on the ground Kansas City put on? Did anyone see 245 rushing yards coming from the Chiefs in a game in which they possessed the ball for nearly 38 minutes? And in a game in which the Bills were playing from behind, Kansas City held Josh Allen to 122 passing yards. That’s why they are once again the number one team in my NFL Power Rankings.

Matt Williamson is a Senior NFL Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @WilliamsonNFL.

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