NFL Week 7 Power Rankings Final Draft

Casey Hartley and Scott Felt

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Seven weeks in and the NFL is as wild as ever. A Colts team is atop the AFC South without Andrew Luck, Antonio Brown has played for three different teams (if you count unemployment as a team), How does each team stack up at this near-midpoint of the season?  Here are our power rankings of all 32 teams:

 

#Rank: Team (Wins-Losses, place in Division)

 

#1: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (7-0, first in AFC East)

The defending Super Bowl Champions have played seven games and outscored their opponents 223-48, a dominant +175 point differential. The deadly combination of giving up less than a touchdown per game and averaging more than two interceptions per game makes even the best offensive coordinators tremble in fear. Brady doesn’t look his best, but the entire NFL can see that the Patriots remain the team to beat.

Photo by  Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

 

#2: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (6-0, first in NFC West)

The 49ers finished second to last season landing them the second pick in the draft. With that pick, they drafted Nick Bosa to add another first-round pick to their defense, which is now featuring six first-round picks, four along the defensive line. Along with just adding Emmanuel Sanders to an already deep wide receiving core, the 49er’s look to roll through the rest of the season.

 

#3: GREEN BAY PACKERS (6-1, first in NFC North)

In the offseason, the Packers went all defense to try and take some of the weight of Arron Rodgers’ shoulders. They added Smith brothers, Adrian Amos, along with drafting Darnell Savage to add to their young secondary. Look for the Packers to struggle in the upcoming weeks without Davante Adams, but once he comes back, they’ll be back to rocking and rolling. 

 

#4: NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (6-1, first in NFC South)

The Saints are without their hall of fame quarterback for at least this week, Teddy Bridgewater has looked like a quality quarterback and led them to wins in every game he has played. Along with Marshon Lattimore stepping up in big games and Von Bell having his moments, this Saints defense needs to be more consistent if they wanna accomplish their goal for the season. The goal for this Saints team is Super Bowl or bust. 

 

#5: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (5-2, first in AFC West)

All of Kansas City practically had a heart attack the moment reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes failed to stand up after a dangerous QB Sneak. The franchise QB had already been dealing with an ankle injury earlier in the season but is now sidelined with a dislocated kneecap. Only time will tell what this will mean for a Chiefs team having lost their last two of three games. The defense has been their main struggle, and the limits of Andy Reid’s coaching will be tested over the next few weeks.

 

#6: BUFFALO BILLS (5-1, second in AFC East)

The Bills have quietly established a method of winning led by a top-three defense and Micah Hyde’s impressive secondary. They aren’t nearly as dominant as their AFC East counterpart Patriots but they find ways to win games (which in case you haven’t noticed, matters in the NFL). Their only loss has come to those Patriots, so being 5-0 otherwise is cause for serious playoff contention. Oh, and that’s not even mentioning the fact that they put up 7s in the red zone nearly 70% of the time.

  

 

#7: LOS ANGELES RAMS (4-3, third in NFC West)

The Rams have quickly gone from hero to zero in the matter of an offseason. They lost all of their offensive linemen and Whitworth looks like he is on his last legs. Gurley looks like he is seeing ghosts and he isn’t a productive as he was last season, which is one of the reasons the Rams were so dominative. The Rams did just add the best corner in the game in Jaylen Ramsey and looked back on track against the Falcons. The only place they can go is up from here. 

 

#8: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (5-2, second in NFC West)

The Seattle Seahawks aren’t the Seattle Seahawks, it’s Russel Wilson and everybody else. They are averaging 127 rushing yards a game behind Cris Carson, but Russel Wilson is making an MVP campaign this season. Wilson is averaging 265 passing yards, a total of 173 rushing yards and 3 rushing TD’s to go along with 15 passing touchdowns and one interception. This Seattle team will go as far as Wilson takes them this season. 

 

#9: BALTIMORE RAVENS (5-2, first in AFC North)

The Ravens are one of the more confusing teams in the league, as every game for the team has been surprising in one way or another. At the beginning of the season, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson looked like the league’s next best passer with the best game of his career against Miami. Seven games in, however, the Ravens have fallen on a ball-control run-game strategy. Their running game, led by Jackson and Mark Ingram, shows to bethe best in yardage in the NFL. It is appropriate to worry, however, about Jackson’s accuracy and the team’s defensive consistency. Will their star-studded secondary awaken as one of the best units? With a Sunday night game against the Patriots on the horizon, many more tests are approaching for this team.

Photo by Will Newton

 

#10: Dallas Cowboys (4-3, first in NFC East)

The tale of two cities are the first thing I think of when I hear the Cowboys. When Dak has a dominant rushing game and when all of his wide receivers are healthy he looks unstoppable. When the rushing game is stuffed and his receivers are covered, he can’t do anything until it’s too late and it’s throwaway time which is why he never seems to have a bad game. Their defense doesn’t look as dominant as last season, their corners and safeties are getting beat and Robert Quinn was supposed to compliment Demarcus Lawrence who hasn’t shown up after getting paid. This team will go as far as their offense will take them this season.  

 

#11: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (4-2, first in AFC South)

Andrew Luck’s retirement rocked the football world and sent the Colts far down everyone’s rankings early. But an impressive bout of passing from Jacoby Brissett and an offensive line to protect him has brought them right back atop the AFC South. Wins over the Chiefs and Texans have proven this team’s ability to contend with the heavyweights. An interesting note is just the slight +5 point differential through six games.

 

#12: HOUSTON TEXANS (4-3, second in AFC South)

Deshaun Watson finally has an offensive line to protect him, and it is paying off. The Texans’ 4-3 record doesn’t do their team justice, but a series of injury-riddled weeks has resulted in a setback for the rising squad. Their performance differs week-by-week, and it should continue like that for the rest of the season.

 

#13: Carolina Panthers (4-2, second in NFC South)

When Cam Newton went down in week two everybody thought the Panthers season was over, that didn’t happen they’ve gone undefeated since Cam Newton went down. How? A lot of people may ask and I have the answers for you. First Kyle Allen has come in and done his job well, very well, in fact, he hasn’t thrown an interception and has a passer rating of 106.6. The next answer is one Christian McCaffrey who has 305 receiving yards, 618 rushing yards and is making a very strong case for MVP this year. The Panthers’ defense has also shown up this season and is making the right plays at the right time and playing together as a team. Look for some QB controversy when Cam comes back but this team is on the rise. 

 

#14: PHILADELPHIA EAGlES (3-4, second in NFC East)

The Eagles have been nothing short of underwhelming, their ether on and they look amazing which hides their lackluster defense or they look awful and every aspect of their team looks awful. The only bright spot on their team is Carson Wentz, everybody else is either hurt or underperforming. Their offensive line is in shambles just like their secondary who let up 239 passing yards against a team that isn’t known for throwing the ball. Once this team gets healthy they will be a major problem.

 

#15: MINNESOTA VIKINGS (5-2, second in NFC North)

The Minnesota Vikings are one of the most interesting teams in football. There are games where their quarterback has ten pass attempts and then a game where he has thirty. The Vikings have finally woken up this season Dalvin Cook is having a spectacular season leading the league in rushing yards(725) and rushing touchdowns(8) after returning from injury and their defensive is back to looking dominant again. This team will only go as Kirk Cousins take them despite all that, which based on past experience isn’t very far.  

 

#16: DETROIT LIONS (2-3-1, fourth in NFC North)

The Lions look like a legitimate team this season which is a shock to just about everybody. Their defense stepped up in a big way which is a surprise because they have the same foundation on their defense as last year. The only addition is Tre Flowers whos been underwhelming this season. Maybe Patricia’s coaching is finally starting to pay off. Another thing that helps is Stafford looking like a quality starting quarterback again. Look for the Lions to challenge a lot of teams throughout the rest of the season but I wouldn’t be surprised if they only won six games.   

 

#17: CHICAGO BEARS (3-3, third in NFC North)

The Bears are another team that had very high expectations going into the season, after finishing 10-6 last season they looked to build on it and finish with an even better record this season. They forgot one thing that would hold them back from doing that, that one thing being Mitchell Trubisky who is playing horrendous this season. The Bears’ defense is back to being dominant I’ve just like last season, but again Trubisky is the one thing holding this team back from being amazing. Trubisky is playing so bad that his backup has a higher Quarterback rating and his quarterback is average more yards per pass. This team will only go as far as their offense can take them, which is based on the first eight weeks that won’t be very far. 

 

#18: CLEVELAND BROWNS (2-4, second in AFC North)

An offseason full of hype has resulted in a chaotic start for the Browns, as their struggles have overshadowed all their big moves made recently. The Browns are evidence that a team without a strong offensive line will struggle no matter their position players. Freddie Kitchens looks inexperienced, which…he is, and Baker Mayfield isn’t throwing as well as he was last year. Lucky for the Browns, they sit in one of the weakest divisions and remain in second place. An easier second half schedule could very well lead to a wild card berth.

Photo taken by Evan Habeeb – USA Today Sports

#19: OAKLAND RAIDERS (3-3, second in AFC West)

John Gruden’s plan still isn’t entirely clear, but he’s played some of his better cards this season. Derek Carr is gaining traction and the defense is playing better. Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack are playing great elsewhere, but the Raiders are staying afloat in the wild card race nonetheless. However, the Raiders still have yet to prove that they belong in the playoffs, and a -38 point differential isn’t good to hear when talking about a .500 team.

 

#20: TENNESSEE TITANS (3-4, fourth in AFC South)

The Titans are consistently inconsistent. Every week my predictions are ruined by the Titans. In week one they destroyed the Browns 43-13 and Marcus Mariota looked like the franchise quarterback the Titans always imagined. However, we’re seven weeks in and Mariota has just been benched for the backup Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill’s no scrub, but he isn’t the long-term plan for the Titans anyhow. What to think of the Titans? They’re only a game and a half back in their division but feel so, so much farther.  

 

#21: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (3-4, third in AFC South)

Minshew Magic is a good meme, but is it realistic? The Jaguars are still in the thick of things but need to prove they’re contenders soon. We’ll see if trading Jalen Ramsey results in addition by subtraction, but even if it doesn’t, adding two more first-round picks in 2020 should pay off in the long run. While the next seasons look promising, a run this season isn’t impossible. Nick Foles going down early hasn’t been as disastrous as expected, as Gardner Minshew has taken over and impressed. The AFC South is well within reaching distance, but the Jags’ inability to compete with top tier teams has to be solved soon.

 

#22: LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (2-5, fourth in AFC West)

The biggest disappointment this season next to the Falcons, the Chargers are at the complete opposite stance compared to last season. They lost only four games the entire season last year but now have lost five of their last seven. What is most remarkable is their -1 point differential so far, a microcosm of this entire season for L.A. Philip Rivers is fourth in the league in passing and the Chargers boast a double-headed backfield of Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler, as well as a top 5 pass defense, and that’s even without Derwin James. There’s no true reason for this team’s record, aside from maybe the fact that they struggle finishing games. Multiple times the team has fallen behind only to make a second-half comeback, but only to come up short when it matters most.

 

#23: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4, third in NFC South)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are again one of the most interesting teams in football. They put up 55 points against the Rams in LA which nobody thought would happen. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are having great seasons once again, but Jameis Winston is once again holding back this offense from being great along with not having a running back. One of the biggest bright spots on this team is Shaq Barret who is having a breakout season who has nine sacks and three forced fumbles in six games. This team is very young and needs time to develop and find replacements for guys who are out the door which is what the rest of the will be used for. 

 

#24: Arizona Cardinals (3-3, fourth in NFC West)

The Arizona Cardinals have one the games they should win and lose games they should have lost. This team right now is just focusing on developing Kyler Murray and his connections with his young receivers. Kyler has shown flashes of what he can do in this league and he will be good for a very long time if the Cardinals can give him a good offensive line and a reliable running game and defense. This team needs to revamp everything except for quarterback and wide receiver in last year’s draft. Look for the rest of this season to be used for development, with one or two upsets thrown in.  

 

#25: NEW YORK JETS (1-5, third in AFC East)

The Jets were hyped before the season as a sleeper playoff candidate, but now they’ll have to play lights out over the back half for any chance at those playoffs. Losing Sam Darnold for three weeks put the Jets in this hole, and with the division hopelessly out of reach, the wild card is their only hope. A dead-last total offense ranking should hopefully be benefitted by Darnold, and the gain of Demaryius Thomas should complement Le’Veon Bell’s run game. Their lone win over the Cowboys has shown their heights, but the rest of their season has shown their lows.

 

#26: PITTSBURGH STEELERS (2-4, third in AFC North)

The Steelers are at the end of an era, it seems. After the departures of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, the team was predicted to remain just as good as always, but they’ve failed to play high-level football so far this season. Ben Roethlisberger didn’t look very good even before he went down with an injury, and backup Mason Rudolph has knocked out just a few games after. Now Devlin “Duck” Hodges has taken the helm, but the jury is still out on if he can put this team back in the hunt. Lucky for them, they play in one of the least competitive divisions.

 

#27: Atlanta Falcons (1-6, fourth in NFC South)

The Falcons have been one of the most underwhelming and disappointing teams this season. They have so much talent and they just can’t seem to put it all together and play winning football which they are very capable of doing. They have arguably the best receiver in the game of football, solid quarterback, solid running back, and a solid offensive line. The only thing holding them back is injuries, they lost Keanu Neal again this season to another injury that will keep him out for a long time. The only thing holding this team back from being great is the ability to stay healthy for the whole season. 

 

#28: DENVER BRONCOS (2-5, third in AFC West)

Joe Flacco entered the fray to try and bring life to a Manning-less offense that has struggled over the past few seasons. Unfortunately, his abilities aren’t as sound as they once were and the receiving core isn’t helping much. Emmanuel Sanders, one of the team’s better receivers, just got traded to the 49ers, which will put even more pressure on Flacco to throw better. A letdown has been their defense, which despite being led by Pro Bowler Von Miller, ranks 16th in sacks after high expectations. Their pass defense has come together, however, but an overall contending Broncos squad will need a good offense.

 

#29: New York Giants (2-5, third in NFC East)

The New York Giants have found their quarterback for the foreseeable future in Daniel Jones. They have one of the best young running backs in the NFL in Saquan Barkley, and their offensive line doesn’t look half bad this season. There are two things that they need to work on, those two things being having no depth at wide receiver and having no defense whatsoever. The one shining light for this season is Daniel Jones and this season will be used to develop him.    

Photo by https://www.sny.tv/giants/news/giants-call-for-players-only-meeting-on-monday-after-loss-to-lions/311303210

#30: Washington Redskins (1-6, fourth in NFC East)

The Washington Redskins need to hit the reset button on their franchise and start all over. They have their quarterback of the future in Dwayne Haskins even though he didn’t look good whatsoever in his first NFL snaps. This team has no promising players anywhere else except for Haskins and their all-pro left tackle is holding out. They need to reset and start from scratch is they want to start winning again in the upcoming seasons.  

 

#31: CINCINNATI BENGALS (0-7, fourth in AFC North)

The Cincinnati Bagels have a bagel in wins so far this season, with no A.J. Green down the field and a Joe Mixon that is struggling to perform up to par. The team is confused and neck-and-neck with the Dolphins for the #1 pick. There isn’t much more to say about them, where the only thing looking good is Andy Dalton’s hair.

 

#32: MIAMI DOLPHINS (0-6, fourth in AFC East)

#TankforTua is in full force at this point for the dolphins, as they desperately look for anything that can save them over the next few years. Luckily they have started to amass an army of early-round draft picks coming up, so while this season is gone and over, we could be seeing a fiery Dolphins squad in the 2020s.

 

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