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NFL Power Rankings Week 7

  1. Kansas City Chiefs 5-1 +1 

In the pouring rain, it was the Chiefs defense and run game that propelled to a win past Buffalo. QB Patrick Mahomes completed 80% of his passes as the Chiefs more than doubled up Buffalo in terms of total yardage (466 to 206). Although the weather helped, this defense took a big step forward this week after being picked apart by Derek Carr a week ago. 

Next: @ DEN

  1. Baltimore Ravens 5-1 +1 

The Ravens looked absolutely dominant in the first half. The Eagles first five possessions resulted in four 3&outs and a fumble. Patrick Queen continues to fly around and offseason acquisition Calais Campbell created issues all day for Philly with three sacks. However, they slowly started to crumble in the second half against QB Carson Wentz. A truly gutsy performance from Philadelphia but it wasn’t enough as the Ravens prevented a 2-point attempt to pull out the W. This offense continues to look off; besides a few big runs from Jackson including his one on the ground:

The Ravens just aren’t very consistent in the run game. Moreover, after an early TD pass, Jackson missed a lot of crucial throws and wasn’t able to complete 60% of his throws. Other than a 32-yard catch and run from WR Willie Snead, this offense lacks any explosion in the passing game. It certainly wasn’t pretty but as the saying goes, an ugly win is always better than a sexy loss.

Next: BYE

  1. Seattle Seahawks 5-0 +1 

The Seahawks are now only one of three undefeated teams left in football. Seattle has their first divisional tilt of the season at Arizona next week. Expect a lot of offensive fireworks between Russ and Kyler.

Next: @ ARI

  1. Green Bay Packers 4-1 -3 

Just when we thought that the Packers looked different than the past few seasons, they came up with their worst game of the year. The Packers looked like the dominant team moving the ball with ease as they cruised to a 10-0 lead. However, the game took a huge turn when CB Jamel Dean sat at the depth of the first down chains and intercepted an out route from Rodgers for 6 points. It was Rodgers first interception in 157 pass attempts. He followed that up with another pick and in less than 2 minutes, the Packers went from up to down 4.  Up until this point, the Packers hadn’t faced any stiff defenses. What was viewed as one of the better pass-blocking units in football, looked absolutely lost against Tampa Bay. Even without DT Vita Vea, the Packers just did not have an answer for the pressure that DC Todd Bowles dialed up for the Bucs. Expect the Packers offense to revert back to their elite status against a porous Houston defense. But you can’t help but ask if this is the same Packers team from a year ago that folds against any physical, tough teams (see 2019 49ers games).

Next: @ HOU

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers 5-0 +1  

What was thought to be a rock fight, this AFC North battle was extremely one-sided. The Steelers jumped out to a 24-0 lead in the first half including this pick-six by Minkah Fitzpatrick:

WR Chase Claypool continues to look sensational with 74 receiving yards and another rushing TD. Ben Roethlisberger isn’t delivering the ball down the field like he used to but top to bottom, this team really doesn’t have many holes. The defense now has had 3+ sacks and an interception in each of their first five games. Unfortunately, they lost 2019 first rounder Devin Bush to a season-ending injury; this will be a huge blow to this elite defense.

Next: @ TENN

  1. Tennessee Titans 5-0 -1 

Derrick Henry just continues to terrorize opposing defenses and it isn’t even November yet. A usual slow-starter had 212 yards on the ground where 174 of them came after contact. QB Ryan Tannehill continues to carve up secondaries with 364 yards and 4 touchdowns. This duo looks unstoppable as they look like the most balanced offense in football. Don’t look now, but Tannehill may just be in the too-early MVP conversation. The Titans did receive some awful news when they found out they’d have to go without star LT Taylor Lewan for the remainder of the season (torn ACL). The Titans will have a physical battle on their hands against Pittsburgh next week. 

Next: vs. PITT

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-2 +7 

In America’s game of the week, the Bucs steamrolled by the previously undefeated Green Bay Packers. It was the defense that led the charge in this one as they generated two picks, 5 sacks, and 6 pass break-ups. In the first four weeks, QB Aaron Rodgers was slinging the football around but the Bucs put a stop to that as he didn’t look comfortable all day. RB Ronald Jones continues to shine in this offense with his third consecutive 100-yard rushing output. The biggest takeaway for the Bucs offense was the vintage Gronk performance who hauled in 5 catches for 78 yards and a score. If this offense can stay healthy, they have a chance to be really special.

Next: @ LV

  1. Buffalo Bills 4-2   

Ever since Sean McDermott arrived in Buffalo, one thing they’ve been is tough up front. Usually defensively-oriented, the Bills were once again manhandled in the trenches as they surrendered 245 rushing yards. Moreover, QB Josh Allen has looked like a different player the last two weeks compared to the first month of games. Allen should rebound as the last two weeks were really tough matchups but the Bills need to be careful; after dropping two straight, the Dolphins are now only one game back of first place in the AFC east and are playing solid football. The Bills should get back to their winning ways as they get to play the Jets next week.

Next: @ NYJ

  1. Indianapolis Colts 4-2 +3 

Just a week after I questioned whether the Colts were built to ever mount a comeback with QB Philip Rivers at the helm, the very next week, what do they do? They come back from a 21-0 deficit to sneak by Cincy. Rivers threw for 371 yards as they moved to 4-2 on the season. The defense is really missing LB Darius Leonard as they have not looked nearly as dominant the last two weeks as they did the first four. 

Next: BYE

  1. Los Angeles Rams 4-2 -1 

The Rams looked really flat offensively versus San Fran. Besides a short surge from RB Darrell Henderson in the third quarter, this offense just could not get anything going. After this performance, the question marks of Goff’s ability to show up in tight, highly-contested games will be resurfaced. He has executed the offense at a high level but lacks any real play-making ability outside the confines of the offense. Things won’t get easier for Goff next week as they’ll take on a stout Bears defense.

Next: vs. CHI

  1. New Orleans Saints 3-2  

This offense has left a lot to be desired in the early part of the season. We’ll see if WR Michael Thomas can help revive any of that juice and explosion that previous Saints offenses have been known for as they take on Carolina next week.

Next: vs. CAR

  1. New England Patriots 2-3 -5  

In a surprising outcome, New England really looked like an offense that hadn’t practiced much over the last two weeks. A week after we saw Tennessee absolutely rip apart Buffalo with ongoing COVID issues, the Patriots could not get anything going against Denver. The overall lack of speed and play-making ability is really glaring for this offense as RB James White was their leading receiver this past week. If the Patriots want to be taken seriously in the AFC, they need to shop at the deadline and get Cam Newton some help on the perimeter.

Next: vs. SF

  1. Las Vegas Raiders 3-2     

The Raiders are coming off their biggest win in head coach Jon Gruden’s second tenure with the franchise. They will look to reproduce that high-octane offensive performance from a week ago as they will have their hands full against this stellar Bucs defense. 

Next: vs. TB

  1. Chicago Bears 5-1 +2 

One of the quieter 5-1 teams you’ll ever see in the NFL, the Bears just find ways to win games. Now atop of the NFC North standings, it certainly wasn’t appealing as the Bears offense gained 261 total yards and only had 63 on the ground, but it didn’t matter. This team isn’t the sexiest but this defense continues to play at a high level. Their next three weeks will be very telling as they’ll take on the Rams, Saints, and Titans.

Next: @ LAR

  1. Arizona Cardinals 4-2  

A completely one-sided affair, the Cardinals rolled past Dallas in an easy victory. Kyler Murray was really sporadic as he completed a gross 37.5% of his passes. Nevertheless, his average yards per completion was an astounding 20.9 yards per pass. The biggest difference was the turnover battle as Zeke fumbled the ball away twice and new QB Andy Dalton had two interceptions of his own. Arizona scored 24 of their 31 points off Dallas’ turnovers. Besides their defensive performance, the Cardinals biggest breakthrough was getting RB Kenyan Drake going on the ground. Drake only averaged 3.7 yards per carry going into Monday night and many questioned if he was going to lose his job to backup Chase Edmonds. Drake went out and averaged over 8 yards a carry including this 69-yard score:

You don’t wanna get too excited because it is against Dallas but he looked explosive and looked like the 2019 Drake that Arizona has been looking for.

Next: vs. SEA

  1. Cleveland Browns 4-2 -6

One of their franchise’s more highly anticipated games in quite some time, Cleveland fell flat on their faces. The moment seemed too big for this unit as they were outclassed in every facet of this game. QB Baker Mayfield looked beat up from the start as he was dealing with cracked ribs from the week before. This OL received tons of praise for their play early on but they were not up to the challenge this past week as they allowed four sacks and ran for a desolate 75 yards on the ground. It’s not so bad being 4-2 but those two losses were absolute beatdowns from their divisional foes. This was a very depleted team without Chubb, a healthy Baker, and a beat-up secondary, but this team cannot be considered AFC contenders just yet.

Next: @ CIN

  1. Miami Dolphins 3-3 +4 

You don’t want to get too excited about beating up on the Jets but we’ve alluded to how far along the Dolphins have come these past few weeks.

The Dolphins now have the fourth best point differential in the AFC and will have a chance to be over .500 for the first time since week 14 of 2018 as they take on the Broncos next week.

Next: @ DEN

  1. San Francisco 49ers 3-3   

What a difference a week can make. Just when everyone counted out Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garropolo, they came out and played their best game of the season. The defense looked much better; they’ve been absolutely decimated by injuries. At one time, they were down five cornerbacks, but on Sunday night, they got a huge boost from CBs Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley.

Fred Warner continued to play at an All-Pro level while Deebo Samuel looks back to 100% form as he finished with 66 yards and a TD.

Next: @ NE

  1. Los Angeles Chargers 1-4 -2 

The Chargers have been extremely competitive and showed flashes of promise. Nevertheless, all they have to show for it as a 1-4 record and an inability to finish out games. At this moment, QB Justin Herbert may just be the frontrunner for offensive rookie of the year but he still hasn’t secured his first win as an NFL starter. He will look to tally up his first W versus Jacksonville in week seven.

Next: vs. JAX

  1. Philadelphia Eagles 1-4-1 +3 

After a brutal stretch of games, the Eagles almost escaped week 6 with a win over Baltimore. The offense looked completely disoriented in the first half as the OL was getting eaten alive by the Ravens pass rush and the receivers weren’t getting any separation. The Eagles showed a ton of fight, and put forth a valiant effort in their comeback attempt. However, they fell short and lost even more vital pieces including RB Miles Sanders, TE Zach Ertz, and OT Jack Driscoll. The Eagles may have a tough time fielding a team in the short turnaround for their Thursday night matchup against the Giants.

Next: vs. NYG

  1. Detroit Lions 2-3 +4 

After the bye week, the Lions delivered a much needed victory over a struggling Jags squad. The Lions have a shot to go .500 against Atlanta next week. Kenny Golladay continues to elevate Matthew Stafford’s play as he is now fully back into the equation. The best development for this offense was the emergence of rookie 2nd round D’Andre Swift. OC Darren Bevell was very apprehensive in Swift’s usage the first few weeks. But we saw on full display what this versatile back can bring for this offense. He exploded for over 100 yards and two scores. Swift can add a whole new element to this offense as a dynamic pass catcher with a ton of burst and physicality.

Next: @ ATL

  1. Carolina Panthers 3-3  

After winning three straight, the Panthers suffered their first loss since week two. Their offense looked out of sorts against the Bears stifling defense. Mike Davis’s production the last few weeks put into question just how valuable Christian McCaffrey was to their offense. Well, those questions were put to rest as CMC is needed now more than ever. Davis averaged less than three yards a carry and fumbled the ball away in a crucial drive in the third quarter. Their week 7 matchup against New Orleans is a critical matchup for second place in the NFC south.

Next: @ NO

  1. Dallas Cowboys 2-4 -4  

Well, Andy Dalton certainly isn’t Dak Prescott. There was a lot of anticipation going into Monday night for Dallas without their top signal caller. Dalton has been a nice starter in the past, but with this depleted offensive line (who lost Zack Martin in the first half), it could be really tough for this offense for the remainder of the year. Dak had an ability to extend the play with his feet where Dalton strictly stays in the pocket. Zeke continued to fight through some hardships as he added two more fumbles to his season total. Although the Cards outgained the Cowboys, the only silver lining you could maybe grasp was Dallas’ pass defense was a little better than in the first five weeks. But that isn’t saying anything: they still gave up 38 points including a humiliating 261 yards on the ground. Embarrassingly enough, at 2-4, America’s team is still in sole possession of first place in the NFC east.

Next: @ WASH

  1. Atlanta Falcons 1-5 +2

Well, that’s the Falcons team we’ve been waiting for. They started fast and ended faster as they cruised by Minnesota to an easy 40-23 victory. Matt Ryan returned to his week 1-2 form throwing for 371 yards and 4 touchdowns, but it was the defense that delivered. They held backup RB Alexander Mattison to under 30 yards and turned Kirk Cousins over three times. The Falcons will take on Detroit, Carolina, and Denver over the next three weeks before their bye. They have a real chance to redeem their 0-5 start if they continue to play like that.

Next: vs. DET

  1. Denver Broncos 2-3 +5

The Broncos leaned on RB Phillip Lindsay and K Brandon McManus on their way to a nice upset victory over New England. McManus matched his season total with six field goals and has now made 11 straight dating back to week two. QB Drew Lock was solid in his return but it was Lindsay who knocked off a month’s worth of being sidelined and was the engine for this offense. The passing attack continues to look mediocre but Lindsay filled in accordingly for Melvin Gordon. The Broncos will need to turn those field goals into touchdowns next week if they want to have any chance against Kansas City.

Next: vs. KC

  1. Minnesota Vikings 1-5 -6 

The Vikings looked like they were slowly rebounding the past three weeks but two heartbreakers can sometimes emotionally deflate a team that doesn’t have the look of a 1-4 team. They definitely weren’t ready for this contest as Matt Ryan and Julio Jones had a field day against this defense. Kirk Cousins was absolutely brutal with three interceptions in the first half to put the game out of reach. Cousins now leads the league with 10 interceptions. As the deadline is fastly approaching, the Vikings can explore as sellers after starting 1-5.

Next: BYE

  1. Houston Texans 1-5 -3

A crushing loss for the Texans, they were trailing for the entirety of the first half. They saw a surge late in the third quarter and took control of the game. After a gutsy 4th down call paid off for a score, head coach Romeo Crennel decided to try to put the game away by going for two to go up two possessions. The attempt failed, and the rest was history as the Texans fell in OT. Ever since the departure of head coach Bill O’Brien, this offensive line has put together it’s two best performances of the season, aiding Deshaun Watson in a big way. However, a 1-6 start is looking very possible as they’ll have to face a pissed off Aaron Rodgers in week seven.

Next: vs. GB

  1. New York Giants 1-5 +3 

The offense still has a ways to go but the defense may be legit. This is now their third contest where they held their opponent under 20 points and they delivered the go-away score as 2020 Mr. Irrelevant, LB Tae Crowder scoop-and-scored a Kyler Fackrell strip sack:

They sacked Allen six times and held Washington to under four yards a carry. Remarkably, the Giants can overtake Philadelphia for second place in the NFC east with a win Thursday night.

Next: @ PHI

  1. Cincinnati Bengals 1-4-1 -2 

There are definitely some encouraging signs as QB Joe Burrow continues to deal and WR Tee Higgins is steadily improving to already be one of Burrow’s go-to-guys. The offensive line has been the crux of their issues but they only allowed two sacks against one of the better defensive lines in the league in Indy. It’s the other side of the trenches that is also really struggling as the Bengals DL hasn’t shown any real pass rush all season. The Bengals are now 0-15-1 in their last 16 road contests.

Next: vs. CLE

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-5 -1 

The Jaguars came up short once again as this one really wasn’t close. RB James Robinson wound up with a dismal 29 yards on the ground against the NFL’s worst run defense. Minshew salvaged some of his effort with two late scores but put the Jags in a real hole with two turnovers of his own in the second quarter. The Lions ran all over the Jags who were missing DL Josh Allen, Abry Jones, and lost LB Myles Jack in the middle of the game. 

Next: @ LAC

  1. Washington Football Team 1-5 -3 

The Washington Football Team lost a tight one to New York as QB Kyle Allen failed a 2-point attempt to try to take the lead late in the game. Washington fans may have been relieved as they now secured last place in the NFC east and have put themselves in a prime position to acquire a top spot in the 2021 draft. It’s still early but Washington’s QB situation is a confusing one to say the least. QB Dwayne Haskins was inactive because of an illness but you have to think they need to go back to him at some point. Allen looked like the same backup he was in Carolina, turnover-prone and uninspiring. Alex Smith is a great story but he didn’t exactly inspire much confidence himself from his play last week. We’ll see how riverboat Ron approaches this situation moving forward.

Next: vs. DAL

  1. New York Jets 0-6 —

The Jets really could be one of the worst teams….ever:

We’ve been saying head coach Adam Gase can be fired any day for a few weeks now, and after being shut down against Miami, you’d think his seat is on fire. But it seems like GM Joe Douglas may just ride out with Gase in order to secure that first pick for Trevor Lawrence. The Jets look absolutely lifeless as they were 0 for 11 on third down conversions through three quarters. There are minimal bright spots on this team as Jets fans are just counting down the days until the 2021 draft. 

Next: vs. BUF

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