NFL WEEK 7: POWER RANKINGS
It’s time to kick off our Week 7 of NFL nerditry the best way we know how, by an arbitrary ranking of all 32 NFL franchises.
- BUFFALO BILLS (5-1)
The Bills came out on top in the battle of AFC supremacy, knocking off the Kansas City Chiefs at home and also from the top spot in the rankings. Josh Allen was phenomenal again, throwing for 329 yards and three touchdowns in the victory. While Buffalo can claim the early advantage, this one probably won’t be settled until the playoffs, Again.
Last week: No. 2
- PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (6-0)
The Eagles aren’t just undefeated, they are seriously undefeated after knocking off another 2021 playoff team in the Dallas Cowboys last week. The game got a little close in the fourth quarter, but never felt in any danger.
Last week: No. 3
- KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (4-2)
Before anyone starts handing the Bills the keys to the AFC, you might want to remember that Buffalo also took last year’s regular season match up too, only to fall to KC when it counted the most.
Last week: No. 1
- LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (4-2)
If the Chargers’ tight victory over the Denver Broncos proves anything, it’s that Denver has a legit, playoff caliber defense, because holding this team to under 20 is a real feat. Of course, it didn’t matter because LA’s defense is pretty good too.
Last week: No. 5
- TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (3-3)
Last Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers was just the fourth time in Tom Brady’s entire career that he fell to the team from the Steel City. Nothing is looking easy in Tampa Bay this season, but it’s not like they haven’t had their share of distractions in “Acts of God” and “Acts of Gisele” both. On the bright side, Antonio Brown quitting the team in New York last season looks more like a blessing every single day.
Last week: No. 4
- MINNESOTA VIKINGS (5-1)
Six weeks into the season and the Vikings have a commanding 2.5 game lead over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North. I’m thinking this whole Kevin O’Connell hire has worked out pretty well.
Last week: No. 8
- NEW YORK GIANTS (5-1)
Speaking of great coaching hires, Brian Daboll might as well start working on his NFL Honors speech for accepting the 2022 Coach of the Year Award. We all expected the Giants to be better under his watch, but nobody expected this.
Last week: No. 15
- SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (3-3)
Do you think that Kyle Shanahan watched Marcus Mariota dominate his team last Sunday and realized he would be the perfect quarterback to run his San Fran attack and he could have brought him in off the street instead of giving up three first round picks for Trey Lance?
Last week: No. 7
- LOS ANGELES RAMS (3-3)
While the Rams got back into the win column, they took another hit on the most injured offensive line in football. Starting left tackle Joe Noteboom went down with a torn Achilles and will be out for the rest of the season. Los Angeles should have some guys back in time for their rematch with the 49ers (as well as some new signings prepared to play), but no team in the league needed a bye week more than the defending champs.
Last week: No. 10
- GREEN BAY PACKERS (3-3)
The Packers made the worst kind of history in losing to the New York Jets last week. It was the first time since 1998 where they lost back to back games in which they were favored and it was the first home loss for Aaron Rodgers in 16 games.
Last week: No. 6
- DALLAS COWBOYS (4-2)
Dak Prescott should be on the field Sunday when the Cowboys host the Detroit Lions. There is no quarterback controversy in Dallas after Cooper Rush’s performance last week. What the team must do, though, is continue running that style of offense. No reason to expand the playbook when what you were doing was working so well. It’ll work even better with a more talented QB at the helm.
Last week: No. 9
- TENNESSEE TITANS (3-2)
The Titans won three straight heading into their bye and while they had the week off, cut a deal with Nashville for a new $2 billion stadium, with $500 million of that money coming from the state of Tennessee. And as someone who lives in Tennessee, I do have to ask where they hell they think they’re going to get that $500 million?
Last week: No. 12
- CINCINNATI BENGALS (3-3)
The Bengals have gotten no help from their schedule and there’s plenty of season to go, but this has been a disappointing start for a team and a fanbase who hoped to have buried the “Bungles” for good. Barely holding off a New Orleans Saints team QBed by Andy Dalton, their former signal caller, doesn’t make it feel that much better.
Last week: No. 13
- BALTIMORE RAVENS (3-3)
Here’s an interesting tidbit — Sunday’s loss to the suddenly potent New York Giants was the first by Lamar Jackson to an NFC team in his career.
Last week: No. 11
- NEW YORK JETS (4-2)
This has already been the best Jets season since 2015 and they’re two games over .500. So, of course, they’ve got some self centered disgruntled wide receiver complaining about his touches as asking for a trade. New York should happily eject Elijah Moore from the team. The last guy that made noise like that on a winning team was Deshaun Jackson last season with the Rams. They went on to win the Super Bowl. He went on to catch a handful of passes with the Raiders and watch the Super Bowl on his Barcalounger.
Last week: No. 16
- MIAMI DOLPHINS (3-3)
Just in time for a match up with a pesky Pittsburgh Steelers team, the Dolphins should get Tua Tagovailoa back under center. We’ll all be watching how that works out with our fingers crossed for the kid.
Preseason: No. 14
- NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (3-3)
The Pats have won two straight that they should have lost on paper, in great part to the performance of rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe. Now, word comes that Mac Jones might be ready for Monday night’s game against the Chicago Bears, and he’s also pretty disgruntled over the whole 2022 New England offense. Oh, and it’s his first head to head match up with fellow 2021 rookie QB class member Justin Fields. Speaking of Zappe, he’s the only QB of the Super Bowl era to post a 100-plus QB rating in his first two starts.
Last week: No. 22
- ATLANTA FALCONS (3-3)
I don’t know if Russell Wilson is completely cooked, but Matt Ryan looks, in every way, like a quarterback who’s gone over the cliff. The Falcons shipped him off just in time and Marcus Mariota is a significant upgrade. This could be a playoff team.
Last week: No. 24
- INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (3-2-1)
Speaking of Matt Ryan, the good news for the Colts is that they’re still in it. The bad news is, Matt Ryan is not the long term answer and probably not the short term solution either. In fact, he might only be good enough to keep them out of the draft position to nab one of the 2023 top QBs.
Last week: No. 25
- SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (3-3)
Another week, another pretty solid performance from Geno Smith. Not only is he keeping Seattle’s season alive week by week, he’s outperforming the guy he replaced, Russell Wilson, by a mile.
Last week: No. 28
- NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (2-4)
Andy Dalton is slated to start again Thursday night as Jameis Winston remains on the DL. The Saints have been blasted by injuries across the board, with Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry both expected to miss Thursday’s game.
Last week: No. 17
- PITTSBURGH STEELERS (2-4)
Mitchell Trubisky got the call from the bullpen and delivered not only the biggest win of the young season for the Steelers, but just the fourth for the team over Tom Brady. If Pickett can’t go again, Trubisky should be more than ready to step back into the role against Miami.
Last week: No. 27
- LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (1-4)
The Raiders needed their bye in the worst way. They can still salvage their season, but it must begin Sunday against the Houston Texans. Unfortunately, they have their own off the field distraction as Devante Adams is facing some trouble for choke slamming a photographer after their loss to the Chiefs.
Last week: No. 23
- WASHINGTON COMMANDERS (2-4)
A this point, any win for the Commanders is a big one, but the drama surrounding the team’s ownership, and the fact that Colts owner Jim Irsay said that he thinks the NFL should make Dan Snyder sell the team, is an albatross holding a millstone for this season.
Last week: No. 31
- DENVER BRONCOS (2-4)
The Broncos are paying Russell Wilson $245 million over the next seven years to put them in the Super Bowl hunt. For that investment, they’re two games below .500 and are No. 32 in points per game. Money well spent.
Last week: No. 18
- CLEVELAND BROWNS (2-4)
For the first month, it looked like the Browns would manage to stay in the hunt with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. Now, facing the Baltimore Ravens on the road, they look like a team that will deliver a very high draft pick to the Texans come next April thanks to the Deshaun Watson trade.
Last week: No. 19
- ARIZONA CARDINALS (2-4)
The good news for the Cardinals is that suspended wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will be back this week. The bad news is that a new Call of Duty is coming out this weekend. A disaster could be in store for Thursday night.
Last week: No. 20
- JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-4)
All four of the Jaguars’ losses have been by a single score. That kind of thing will sting this year, but it’s how you build a winner for 2023. This team will be formidable for a while.
Last week: No. 21
- CHICAGO BEARS (2-4)
After looking competent on offense in Week 5, the Bears turned back into a pumpkin in Week 6. If Justin Fields is the guy (and I hope he is. I like him), the team needs to figure out how to use him. Whatever this is, it’s not working.
Last week: No. 26
- HOUSTON TEXANS (1-3-1)
There’s terrific news for Houston’s future as they fired executive vice president and Jim Jones wannabe Jack Easterby this past week. Unfortunately for the 2022 Texans, his stink is still over the team.
Last week: No. 29
- DETROIT LIONS (1-4)
The Lions had the best offensive in the league through Week 4 and laid a goose egg against the Patriots in Week 5. If they have any chance against the Dak Prescott led Dallas Cowboys, they better rediscover that magic or Dan Campbell might want to dust off that resume. It doesn’t matter how hard you play or how many kneecaps you bite when you can’t put a game in the win column.
Last week: No. 30
- CAROLINA PANTHERS (1-5)
Steve Wilks is a significant upgrade at head coach over Matt Rhule, but the team needs to start looking at what they can sell off for draft capital. There’s a story out there that they want multiple first round picks for Christian McCaffery. While I have no doubt there’s a market for the running back, no one is hearing that price without doing a cartoon spit take.
Last week: No. 32
Follow Adam Greene on Twitter @TheFirstMan.