This week’s power rankings have no changes to the top three but sees Dallas vault into the #4 position after their stellar win at Lambeau Field.
The Packers were joined in the loss column by five other teams in the top 10 after a wacky week, with the Falcons, Broncos, Steelers, Eagles and Raiders all losing.
Buffalo and Washington, who appeared impotent during 0-2 starts, continue their ascendance after each nabbed their fourth consecutive win. The Bills are now ranked #10 with the Redskins two spots behind them.
The Panthers took the biggest tumble in the rankings this week. After giving them the benefit of the doubt last week and ranking them #13 despite a 1-4 start, I dropped them to #24 this time around after they got lit up by New Orleans’ offense. It just seems like everything that can go wrong for Carolina this season is, and they look destined to join the long list of Super Bowl runner-ups who disappointed in the following season.
Now without further adieu, here are the week 7 power rankings.
Week 7’s Top 10 Teams
1. Minnesota Vikings (5-0) (Last Week: #1)
The Vikings had a bye this week and I see no reason to drop them from the top spot. As good as the Patriots were on Sunday, the Vikings have plowed through everybody on their schedule and have earned this coveted position. The Vikings resume play with a visit to Philadelphia on Sunday.
2.New England Patriots (5-1) (#2)
After battling injuries in the early part of the season, Rob Gronkowski returned to all-pro form against the Bengals, accumulating 162 receiving yards and a touchdown in the 35-17 win. Gronk and Martellus Bennett present matchup nightmares for opposing defenses, and the Patriots are once again the team to beat in the AFC. They’ll face the Steelers sans Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh on Sunday.
3. Seattle Seahawks (4-1) (#3)
The Seahawks needed a late Matt Ryan interception to pull out a 26-24 home victory against the Falcons, and while it wasn’t their most dominant performance, they showed a lot of guts. Russell Wilson became the fastest QB to 50 wins in NFL history on Sunday, and continues to look healthier every week. They face the Cardinals in Arizona on Sunday Night Football in what’ll be another stiff test.
4.Dallas Cowboys (5-1) (#7)
While the headlines are about who will be the Cowboys starting QB going forward, Ezekiel Elliot is having maybe the best season for a running back in league history. The Ohio State product has rushed for a league-leading 703 yards so far, including 157 yards in Dallas’s dispatching of the Packers on Sunday. The Cowboys have a bye this week.
5.Atlanta Falcons (4-2) (#8)
Aside from the teams already listed, the rest of last week’s top 10 all lost this week. Of those teams, it was the Falcons who most impressed me, going into Seattle and consistently moving the ball on the vaunted Seahawks defense. They host the Chargers on Sunday afternoon.
The Broncos lost their second straight game this week, falling 21-13 in a sloppy Thursday Night Football game to San Diego. Thursday games are notoriously wonky, so I’m still giving Denver the benefit of the doubt. But if they can’t get the job done at home against Houston on Monday Night Football then I’m going to have to drop them down much further next week.
7. Green Bay Packers (3-2) (#6)
The Packers were thoroughly outplayed in their two-touchdown defeat to Dallas on Sunday. Aaron Rodgers looked more like Jordan Rodgers, but I have to think the former MVP will eventually get back on track. Green Bay won’t have a lot of time to dwell on that loss, because the Bears come to town for Thursday Night Football this week.
Kansas City cruised to a 26-10 win in Oakland on Sunday, and the two-headed monster of Jamaal Charles and Spencer Ware should be tough for teams to handle. While I don’t think this team has enough firepower to go against the AFC’s best, as evidenced by their week 4 spanking by the Steelers, the Chiefs play smart football and should be back in the mix for a playoff spot. The Chiefs next five opponents currently have losing records, starting with the Saints this Sunday.
9.Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) (#5)
It’s difficult to rank the Steelers right now because it’s unclear how long Ben Roethlisberger will be out. While I think they’re New England’s strongest challenger in the AFC with Big Ben, with Landry Jones at the helm it’s doubtful they’ll be able to keep up with the Patriots this week when the two teams get together in Pittsburgh.
When they fired Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman after a 0-2 start, we all thought head coach Rex Ryan would be next. Alas, the offense has improved behind a revitalized LeSean McCoy, and Buffalo has now reeled off four straight wins. The Bills most recently destroyed Colin Kaepernick and the lowly 49ers 45-16, and will look to extend their winning streak to five in Miami on Sunday.
11. Arizona Cardinals (3-3) (#11)
12. Washington Redskins (4-2) (#17)
13. Oakland Raiders (4-2) (#10)
14. New York Giants (3-3) (#18)
15. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) (#9)
16. Houston Texans (4-2) (#19)
17. Baltimore Ravens (3-3) (#16)
18. Cincinnati Bengals (2-4) (#14)
19. Tennessee Titans (3-3) (#22)
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) (#20)
21. Detroit Lions (3-3) (#25)
22. Los Angeles Rams (3-3) (#21)
23. New Orleans Saints (2-3) (#28)
24. Carolina Panthers (1-5) (#13)
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3) (#26)
26. San Diego Chargers (2-4) (#27)
27. Indianapolis Colts (2-4) (#23)
28. Miami Dolphins (2-4) (#30)
29. New York Jets (1-5) (#24)
30. Chicago Bears (1-5) (#29)
31. San Francisco 49ers (1-5) (#31)
32. Cleveland Browns (0-6) (#32)