This NFL power rankings for Week 7 reflect the dynamic nature of the NFL. One undefeated team lost, and good teams kept up their winning ways while bad teams mostly stayed that way.
1. Denver Broncos (6-0) Denver pulled out a win against the Jaguars but their victory was marred by needless turnovers, including a Peyton Manning pick-6, that kept Jacksonville in the game. Expect Manning and crew to shore up their turnover mistakes in the next few games.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (6-0) The Chiefs crushed Oakland’s Terrelle Pryor, sacking him 10 times. Alex Smith didn’t play especially well, throwing for only 128 yards and no touchdowns, but he didn’t turn the ball over. Jamaal Charles netted 128 total yards and scored twice. The Chiefs’ defense may be the best in the league this season.
3. New England Patriots (5-1) Tom Brady pulled out a 1-minute touchdown drive with no timeouts to snatch a win from the Saints, proving that with Brady under center, the Patriots are always a contender. The defense also played fairly well also, intercepting Drew Brees once and limiting him to 236 yards, while keeping tight end Jimmy Graham out of the game.
4. Seattle Seahawks (5-1) The Seahawks pulled out the win against the Titans after some relatively sloppy play, which included a muffed field goal that turned into a touchdown. Seattle has now won 11 straight home games.
5. New Orleans Saints (5-1) The Saints suffered their first loss of the season against the Patriots in a nail-biter. They couldn’t get Jimmy Smith involved but got more than 100 yards from Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson combined. Their defense played reasonably well in Foxboro, intercepting Tom Brady once.
6. San Francisco 49ers (4-2) Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers got back to their roots with ground-and-pound, clock-management-oriented football. Frank Gore ran for more than 100 yards and the defense picked off Arizona’s Carson Palmer twice. Vernon Davis had a massive game with receiving 180 yards and two touchdowns. The defense, with all its injuries, sill needs to make some improvements.
7. Green Bay Packers (3-2) With both wide receivers James Jones and Randall Cobb out, the Packers were able to get the win against the Ravens. Running back Eddie Lacy has been a good addition to their offense, generating 120 rushing yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Jordy Nelson also stepped up, with four receptions and 113 yards. But the unifying factor was the play of Aaron Rodgers, who showed that he can put up good numbers with just about anyone.
8. Indianapolis Colts (4-2) The Colts have beat some good teams in the 49ers and Seahawks, but they couldn’t muster up a touchdown to the Chargers, whose defense hasn’t played particularly well this season. Before Monday night, Chargers’ defense hadn’t held a team to zero touchdowns in a game since 2010.
9. Detroit Lions (4-2) Matthew Stafford might have a new weapon in tight end Joseph Fauria, who caught three touchdowns on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Reggie Bush continued to pour it on, with 135 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. However, Calvin Johnson was limited.
10. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) With a win over Buffalo, the Bengals are now first in the AFC North. Andy Dalton carved up the Bills’ secondary for 337 yards and three touchdowns and led early. But the Bengals’ vaulted defense let Buffalo back in the game, going to overtime.
11. Chicago Bears (4-2) The Bears halted a two-game losing streak after a 3-0 start against the Giants. Tim Jennings and Chicago’s secondary feasted on the Giants’ Eli Manning with a few interceptions. The Bears’ offense also appears to be improving each week, with Jay Cutler appearing to have his best year in Chicago.
12. Baltimore Ravens (3-3) Ray Rice rushed for only 34 yards and while Joe Flacco threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns, the Ravens are still struggling to find their identity. Their offense has been too inconsistent to string together wins.
13. Miami Dolphins (3-2) The Dolphins had a bye week this Sunday but are still second in the NFC East. They have a winnable game against the Buffalo Bills next week in Miami. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is showing marked improvements in his game this season, posting an 85.5 passer rating over five games. Miami’s defense–and especially the secondary–has also been strong.
14. Tennessee Titans (3-3) The Titans put up a fight against the Seahawks on their home turf and if it wasn’t for one bobbled fumble that fell into Russell Wilson’s arms, Tennessee could have easily taken the game. Ryan Fitzpatrick also threw two interceptions and nearly lost a fumble, and the Titans could never get it together offensively. Their defense and special teams proved more than capable, though.
15. San Diego Chargers (3-3) Beating a good team like the Colts at home should boost the team’s morale.
16. Dallas Cowboys (3-3) Tony Romo didn’t post another monster 500-yard game but he didn’t have to. The Cowboys defense shut down Washington (bad joke) and limited its offense to one touchdown and three field goals.
17. Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) Nick Foles stepped up and put up 296 yards and three scores and LeSean McCoy rushed for 116 yards, allowing the Eagles to roll over the Buccaneers for a second win in a row. The Eagles, however, need to keep improving on defense as they allowed Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Glennon to operate with too much time in the pocket. Winless Tampa was also able to string together an eight-minute drive at one point; that’s not going to cut it.
18. New York Jets (3-3) Despite posting 30 points a week ago, the Jets again proved to be inconsistent. Geno Smith was intercepted twice against the Steelers, who were coming off a bye week.
19. St. Louis Rams (3-3) The Rams pummeled the free-falling Texans 38-13, capitalizing on the multitude of mistakes Houston made, getting two scores from a fumble return and an interception. Sam Bradford only threw for 117 yards but scored three touchdowns.
20. Arizona Cardinals (3-3) The Cardinals played hard against the 49ers in a loss–especially its defense, which can hang with anyone in the league. Carson Palmer threw two interceptions in the first quarter and took a safety, but played better throughout the rest of the game. The Cardinals also fumbled twice. Takeaway the turnovers, and Arizona could have won this game on their defense alone.
21.Cleveland Browns (3-3) The Browns have two very tough road games ahead at Green Bay and Kansas City, and they must get their offense on track. Brandon Weeden was intercepted in the final minutes of the game after playing well in the first half. The Browns had too many three-and-outs, putting even more pressure on the Browns’ defense.
22. Carolina Panthers (2-3) The Panthers are now second in the NFC South. Cam Newton was efficient against the listless Vikings, completing 20 of 26 for 242 yards and three touchdowns.
23. Atlanta Falcons (1-4) In an already grim season, the Falcons recently lost top receiver Julio Jones for the season to a foot injury. Atlanta had a bye week and didn’t play. They have a winnable game next week against Tampa.
24. Oakland Raiders (2-4) The Raiders have continued to get quality quarterback play from Terrelle Pryor, but his interceptions ended up costing them. Oakland was competitive for most of the game and even led at one point until Kansas City opened it up late in the second half.
25. Houston Texans (2-4) The Texans right now are in a free-fall, losing by 25 points at home against the Rams. Quarterback Matt Schaub hasn’t played well but can’t be blamed for all his team’s problems. His backup, T.J. Yates, threw two costly interceptions in the second half. The bright spot was Arian Foster, who ran for 141 yards.
26. Buffalo Bills (2-4) The Bills lost a nail-biter at home in overtime to the Bengals. With E.J. Manuel out, backup Thad Lewis performed relatively well after being signed off the practice squad a week ago. The Bills defense, however, was shredded for 284 yards in the first half. In upcoming games against the Dolphins and Saints, a poor defensive showing simply won’t cut it.
27. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4) Ben Roethlisberger scored the only touchdown in a grind-it-out affair with the New York Jets and its defense flustered Geno Smith and the Jets offense, who managed only 6 points. Sunday’s win seemed to restore a sense of normalcy for the Steelers after posting wildly inconsistent games over the past several weeks. Pittsburgh also got its first turnover of the season.
28. Washington Redskins (1-4) Washington’s near-historically bad defense was better this week, holding Dallas to 213 yards. Robert Griffin III had more pop in his step, rushing for 77 yards but his passing game threw a number of bad passes, completing less than half of them. The Redskins also failed to convert its three red-zone opportunities into touchdowns.
29. Minnesota Vikings (1-4) Expect Josh Freeman to start next week or the week after that. Matt Cassel threw two interceptions and the Vikings couldn’t achieve any consistency on offense. Adrian Peterson ran only 10 times, while the defense was gashed by Cam Newton and Brandon LaFell.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-5) Tampa is in disarray and can’t string anything together offensively or defensively. Mike Glennon played well at times but he sealed the game for the Eagles when he threw an interception in the third quarter. This team appears to be competing for the first overall draft pick next year.
31. New York Giants (0-6) – Eli Manning threw two more interceptions against the Bears, including one on the final Giants drive. The Giants are 0-6 for the first time since 1976.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6) The Jaguars were surprisingly competitive against the Broncos, narrowing Denver’s lead to 2 points. Starting late in the third quarter, Denver piled it on and Jacksonville had no answer.