Seven weeks in and there’s teams who are already looking to the spring’s NFL Draft, and all the undefeated teams have had an equal amount of games to go by, are 6-0, and will be looking to top this week’s rankings as the best team in the NFL, according to yours truly.
32. Tennessee Titans (1-5) — This team has made the plunge from 28 to 32 this week. Why? Well, it doesn’t help last week’s 32 (Jaguars) and 31 (Chiefs) won, but I came to a realization yesterday afternoon… The only team Tennessee has beaten, were the Buccaneers, and now they’ve lost five straight, the longest active streak in the NFL. Not a streak you want to have.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4) — Good job, Bucs! You went on the road and gave up 31 points to the Redskins. I didn’t think they’d win, but they gave the game away late. Did you expect to be ranked high at all? It’s astounds me that Lovie Smith isn’t filing for unemployment yet.
30. Detroit Lions (1-6) — If the catch/no-catch debacle with Golden Tate didn’t go in their favor a couple weeks ago, they would be on pace for another 0-16 season. Then they lose a division home game to the Vikings by double-digits. Are they trying to get the #1 pick?
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5) — They went to London and beat the Bills, who I still respect as a defensive unit, so that’s enough to push them up three spots out of rock bottom. Most importantly, Gus Bradley’s job is safe for another week.
28. San Fransisco 49ers (2-5) — The Niners have the worst point differential in the entire league, at -77, and there’s a 16-point gap with the second-worst. I knew the decision to part ways with Jim Harbaugh would be bad, but who expected it to be like this?
27. Baltimore Ravens (1-6) — They’ve dropped three straight and it’s ugly… Speaking of Harbaughs, do you think John Harbaugh is on the hot seat? I don’t see why he wouldn’t be.
26. Kansas City Chiefs (2-5) — Apparently, beating a third-string QB in his first NFL start at home warrants a five spot promotion? There’s just really, really bad teams this year. The Chiefs did accomplish establishing homefield advantage again, while winning a game without Jamaal Charles against a team who was hot, even without Big Ben. That was an important win for Andy Reid.
25. Chicago Bears (2-4) — Perfect bye week for the Bears! You don’t have to play, and you get moved up two spots in the most desired #D46 Power Rankings.
24. Houston Texans (2-5) — They not only lost their game against the Dolphins, but they also lost Arian Foster. Then there’s also talks that Bill O’Brien wanted to release Ryan Mallett? I know one thing, the Texans need to get the 10th overall pick instead of the 1st. Do they want a JJ Watt, or do they want a Jadeveon Clowney, who just now got his first NFL sack on Sunday?
23. San Diego Chargers (2-5) — I know it’s a division game, and anything can happen, but they got shown up by the Oakland Raiders. Definitely one of the more disappointing teams this season. The Chargers, who are 27th in PPG allowed, will drop from sixteen to twenty-three in these ranks. Can you blame me?
22. Cleveland Browns (2-5) — No move whatsoever for the Browns, even after losing 24-6 to the St. Louis Rams. The Browns are forever grateful for the Chargers’ woes, or else they’d be 23 right now.
21. Dallas Cowboys (2-4) — No Dez, No Romo, No Wins. Four straight losses, even after the changes made during their bye week. Run game was effective, Matt Cassel looked better than Weeden, and the defense wasn’t horrendous. However, despite all this, the special teams and three costly interceptions got the Cowboys down here. They have the Seahawks and Eagles at home, so they need to focus on winning those two games. If they can, they’ll be able to get back to .500 and get in the much-winnable NFC East race, and get back in the top twenty teams.
20. Indianapolis Colts (3-4) — I’m being generous in moving them up one. They came back and made the Saints sweat towards the end, or else Chuck Pagano would be done and the Colts would likely be in the bottom three or four teams. They end up losing, but at least this team shows some fight for their coach.
19. Washington Redskins (3-4) — Let’s not mistaken things. This team beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by one in Landover. Can we really move them up that far? Their defense is slipping through the cracks, as rookie Jameis Winston could attack the Redskins with his receiving core getting medication on the sidelines, and they let this Sims guy run all over their defense. However, Kirk Cousins led them on a game-winning drive, and leads them to number 19.
18. Miami Dolphins (3-3) — I’d love to rank this team higher after just how much they’ve taken to interim coach Dan Campbell these past couple weeks. Easy competition, yes, but the way they’ve handled their opponents is amazing. They’ve outscored the opposition 82-36 last week, while 26 of those came in the 2nd half of the Texans game, which was basically over, 41-0 at halftime. If the Dolphins can upset the division rival Patriots this week, they’ll shoot up even further.
17. Oakland Raiders (3-3) — This team went to San Diego and owned the rival Chargers in dominating fashion. The Raiders held nothing back, and made the Chargers look ugly in every aspect of the term. Derek Carr and Amari Cooper are gelling better and quicker than I ever imagined this year, and this is why they’re at the .500 mark, and are second in their division because of it.
16. New Orleans Saints (3-4) — They move up two spots, but I’m still unsure about this team. They handled the Colts early, but couldn’t finish the deal. It would’ve been a huge deal to beat the Colts 41-0, but instead, they win 27-21. Their November looks easy with the Giants, Titans, Redskins, and Texans. NOLA can easily be 6-5 at the end of it.
15. Buffalo Bills (3-4) — This team has officially plummeted and lost my vote of confidence. Yes, they were out of country with backup quarterback EJ Manuel, but could you not beat the Jaguars? It gets worse as they give up 34 points to Blake Bortles and that offense. Explain? Try to excuse yourself, but you’re out of my top ten this week.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) — They lose, but I’ll be nice and keep them where they are. For the record, they had the undefeated Panthers on the road, who were coming off a huge road win against the Seahawks. The Eagles have a great chance on winning this division, because after their bye week, they have the Cowboys, Dolphins, Buccaneers, and Lions. This stretch they can break the “.500 team” I’ve described them as all year.
13. St. Louis Rams (3-3) — They finally get out of the rut at 15, and they move up ahead of the Eagles after a 24-6 victory at home versus the Browns. However, it was the Browns at home, so we can’t overreact to the Rams, who have showed to be inconsistent themselves. They can easily connect a second win to it against the 49ers next, but can they follow through?
12. New York Giants (4-3) — They are in sole ownership of the NFC East, but that doesn’t speak of much seven weeks in. Their special teams and secondary proved to win the Cowboys game, and stop what Dallas was doing inside this division, dating back to last year. The Giants have the Saints this week, and should use this new back, Darkwa. New Orleans versus Good Ole Orleans Darkwa. What a story!
11. Seattle Seahawks (3-4) — They move up one spot, now coming back in the right direction. The Legion of Boom has been laughed at by NFL fans because it’s “not the same defense”, and even SAL’s mentioned this. Well, they have given up the fifth fewest points in the league. Offensively, I’m seeing Russell Wilson and Jimmy Graham form a connection, and Tyler Lockett’s emerging as a solid draft choice, which this adds up to scary for the NFC.
10. Minnesota Vikings (4-2) — I’ve been having trouble buying into this Vikings hype in the preseason, with many all over Teddy Bridgewater, Mike Wallace, and the return of Adrian Peterson. On the contrary, they’ve been able to make things work. However, it’s the defense that’s the main reason. The defense only gives up an average of 17 points per game, and with those numbers, any offense could win games! Shoutout to Stefon Diggs, who has come out of the nowhere.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) — Yes, they lost to last week’s 31st-D46-ranked team, but they did have Landry Jones in a startling environment such as Arrowhead Stadium, and Andy Reid hasn’t forgotten how to coach. They’re getting Ben Roethlisberger back, and things are only looking up. You know what happened to Dallas when their star quarterback went down, but that hasn’t happened to the Steelers, as they very much remain in the AFC North contest.
8. Arizona Cardinals (5-2) — They bounced back this week and beat the Ravens, thanks to Chris Johnson’s ability to use a defender to his advantage, as well as the “forward progress” rule. Nonetheless, if they start the season 6-2, they have exceeded my expectations entering the year.
7. Atlanta Falcons (6-1) — They drop one after a 10-7 victory over the Titans. I knew Matt Ryan would struggle outside the Georgia Dome, but 10-7? I expected a 10-point victory in a low-scoring game, but okay… I’ll drop the Falcons one spot, without offense intended.
6. New York Jets (4-2) — This is the real reason I dropped the Falcons, as they and the New York Jets switch places in the top ten… Who could’ve seen that scenario in June? Basically, the Jets lost this week, but they showed incredible fight against the Patriots in the Foxborough. The Jets are the real deal with a top five defense, and they showed up against the rival Patriots. They couldn’t win, but they showed me they are a playoff team, and they belong in the hunt.
5. Denver Broncos (6-0) — The Broncos had their bye, giving their top five defense some reprieve. I’m still amazed the defense has compensated so well for the terrible on-field play of Peyton Manning. This defense has the case for being not only the best today, but the best defensive unit ever in Broncos history… They at least have a case.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (6-0) — Cincy was on their bye, and they’ll drop one spot. No offense, but they get the Steelers up next! If the Bengals can drop the Steelers to .500 and take full control of the division, they might just move back up.
3. Carolina Panthers (6-0) — I move the Panthers up one spot this week, and it’s quite simple why. They beat the Seahawks in Seattle, and they come back in a primetime game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The game versus the Eagles would’ve been exactly the perfect situation of them riding in on their high horses, only to be humbled and humiliated in front of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth. Instead, the Panthers came to play against Chipadelphia and win to have the best start in franchise history. This defense is legit, and Cam Newton’s matured. I can’t say Super Bowl bound, but the Panthers are playing amazing right now. They almost remind me of an old school ball team.
2. Green Bay Packers (6-0) — The Packers were one of the three teams of the five unbeatens to spend their bye week in Week 7. Green Bay still remains a favorite to win the NFC with Aaron Rodgers at the helm, as well as a spectacular defense. Unfortunately for the Packers, it’s not the easiest schedule coming out of the bye. They have the undefeated Denver Broncos on the road at Mile High, and then have the (for now) undefeated Panthers on the road right after. If Green Bay can win those two games and end the winning streak of both teams, they might just dethrone the Patriots, even if Terrific Tom doesn’t lose. That would be impressive to beat the Broncos and Panthers right now.
1. New England Patriots (6-0) — The Patriots were faced with their toughest task this season and were able to overcome the surprisingly competitive division foe, the New York Jets. This brought me back to the days the Patriots had to defend Mark Sanchez and LaDainian Tomlinson. I was afraid they’d lose their fire, but they are still undefeated as of now. New England’s November is full of mediocre teams, so they can come out of this month unscathed, but will have to be convincing in their victories.
So much interesting moves in the #D46 Power Rankings this week. Do you agree or disagree? Comment below your contentment levels with these ranks!