NFL Power Rankings: Week 7

Todd Gurley and the Rams are the only undefeated team remaining in the league

We’re not quite to the halfway mark of the NFL regular season but we’ve got a good sample size for every team in the league by this point and those playoff races are certainly coming into focus as a result. It was another weekend filled with drama but the final two games, in primetime under the lights, certainly amped up the level of play to send us into Week 7 on quite the high.

 

Factoring in everything from overall roster strength, to quarterback play, to the coaching staff, here is the latest edition of NFL power rankings and where every team stacks up from 1 to 32.

 

Week 7 NFL Power Rankings

 

1. Los Angeles Rams

Last week: 2

 

A trip to snowy Denver proved to be no challenge at all for the Rams, which looked the best they have all year on defense for the most part. The injuries and lack of a pass rush off the edge are still a bit worrisome long term but the NFC’s best remains undefeated and ready for whatever comes their way.

 

2. New Orleans Saints

Last week: 3

 

It’s not yet time to cement this group atop the division given their upcoming, make-or-break stretch but things are certainly trending that way as the Saints sat on their bye week and saw a lot of sub-par play across the NFC South on Sunday.

 

3. Kansas City Chiefs

NFL Power Rankings: ChiefsLast week: 1

 

The flaws in the Chiefs' defense are readily apparent to everybody and getting in high-scoring affairs is going to be the norm against big teams. That first loss to a veteran Patriots team isn’t anything to fret about but could be an issue when it comes to home field throughout the playoffs.

 

4. Minnesota Vikings

Last week: 5

 

Rather ho-hum win at home against the Cardinals was encouraging mostly for the way the defense showed signs of life and for the strong running of Latavius Murray — a sharp departure from being overly reliant on Kirk Cousins’ play.

 

5. New England Patriots

NFL Power Rankings: PatriotsLast week: 7

 

Lost amid the furor of that wild win over the Chiefs was the fact that the Pats rushed for 173 yards. Given the limitations on defense, that’s a trend that will only help make this offense more dangerous and allow them to win shootouts and physical battles all the same.

 

6. Baltimore Ravens

Last week: 11

 

The Baltimore defense straight up suffocated the Titans on Sunday and that pass rush became downright nasty (11 sacks!). Joe Flacco didn’t need to do much as a result but was efficient enough to get the W.

 

7. Los Angeles Chargers

Last week: 9

 

The performance in Cleveland was the Chargers operating at their peak with things firing on all cylinders on both sides of the ball. That rushing attack is no joke and there’s a huge opportunity over the coming weeks to solidify a potential playoff spot.

 

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL Power Rankings: SteelersLast week: 12

 

Antonio Brown was great down the stretch against a leaky Bengals defense and now Le’Veon Bell might be on his way back for real. That victory on the road in the division could be quite the turning point for this group.

 

9. Cincinnati Bengals

Last week: 4

 

When Joe Mixon crossed the goal line late, it felt like the Bengals were on the verge of a massive win. Instead the defense let them down and now there’s plenty of skepticism in Cincinnati about this group once again.

 

10. Philadelphia Eagles

Last week: 13

 

Carson Wentz looked much closer to his MVP form of last year in that romp over the Giants on Thursday night but you still want to see more out of the ground game if the Super Bowl hangover is going to be truly cured.

 

11. Miami Dolphins

Last week: 15

 

It’s Brocktober ladies and gents, and might be for a while judging by all the strange comments about Ryan Tannehill’s health. Nobody was more excited about that OT win than Kenyan Drake given what he did at the door step earlier in the extra frame.

 

12. Washington Redskins

Last week: 16

 

Can anybody make sense of this team? Beat Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers at home but also get sliced up by Drew Brees and a mediocre Colts team. Alex Smith and company are incredibly still in the driver’s seat in the NFC East going into that game against Dallas next week.

 

13. Carolina Panthers

Last week: 6

 

The Panthers can only shake their heads at how they’ve lost twice this season in road games they should have won. It was nice to have guys like Thomas Davis back in the lineup but that’s one of those games that could ultimately keep this group out of the playoffs in the stacked NFC.

 

14. Green Bay Packers

NFL Power Rankings: PackersLast week: 10

 

Maybe this team overlooked the 49ers coming in and didn’t take the game seriously but that effort on Monday night was awful defensively. As good as Aaron Rodgers is, he isn’t able to carry this team every week and that dreadful effort for about three quarters at Lambeau showcased the flaws on this roster.

 

15. Houston Texans

Last week: 19

 

Bill O’Brien has won three times this year and yet has been gifted those victories each time in the form of a puzzling midfield decision against the Colts, DeAndre Hopkins saving the day against Dallas, and Nathan Peterman going full Nathan Peterman for the Bills. This isn’t a great team but three in a row is three in a row.

 

16. Dallas Cowboys

NFL Power Rankings: CowboysLast week: 20

 

Who saw that performance against the Jaguars coming? It was a save your job type of game for Jason Garrett... at least until next week.

 

17. Jacksonville Jaguars

Last week: 14

 

Thirteen turnovers on the season and yet another awful outing by the defense on the road. That huge win over the Patriots is looking more and more like a fluke as a potential commanding grip on the division has turned into a dogfight going forward.

 

18. Chicago Bears

Last week: 8

 

There’s no excuse for that kind of game off a bye and against a team starting a backup QB. The offense had its moments but giving up 380 yards and three scores to Brock Osweiler is inexcusable.

 

19. Tennessee Titans

Last week: 17

 

Poor Marcus Mariota, he will need a week-long immersion in the cold tub after getting beat up with all those sacks against the Ravens. After a promising start, this team is now stuck in reverse and there are no quick fixes available.

 

20. Seattle Seahawks

NFL Power Rankings: SeahawksLast week: 24

 

Successful trip across the pond as Pete Carroll has the left-for-dead Seahawks back at .500. The franchise, however, has to be reeling from the news on Monday that one of the great owners in the NFL, Paul Allen, tragically passed away at the age of 65.

 

21. Cleveland Browns

Last week: 18

 

Baker Mayfield had quite the rookie quarterback type of game against a good Chargers squad. You have to live with those if you’re a Browns fan but all that enthusiasm from last week was zapped a bit.

 

22. Atlanta Falcons

Last week: 26

 

Good news: the red zone problems under Steve Sarkisian appear to have subsided. The bad news? The defense looks like it belongs in a Big 12 game on Saturdays.

 

23. Detroit Lions

Last week: 21

 

The bye week came at a good time but it remains to be seen if the week off will help fix all the issues facing this team heading into a big stretch the rest of the month.

 

24. Denver Broncos

Last week: 22

 

The Broncos got back into that game against the Rams late to make the score look a little better but the bigger news for the franchise was John Elway had a front row seat this weekend to scout possible QB of the future in Oregon’s Justin Herbert.

 

25. Buffalo Bills

Last week: 23

 

That pick-six Nathan Peterman threw felt like it was in slow motion for Bills fans the way the play developed. Josh Allen appears destined for the bench to recover from his injury but the front office should be in no position to rush him back even if his backup remains a huge liability.

 

26. New York Jets

Last week: 29

 

Jets fans have to like how Sam Darnold keeps developing despite the limited supporting cast and lack of a quality offensive line. Back-to-back wins is a nice step in the right direction but the real test comes against the Vikings to see if progress has truly been made in gang green.

 

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last week: 25

 

That game against Atlanta felt like a 7-on-7 matchup at times but the Bucs nearly pulled off a Peach City Miracle on the final play of the game. Even with the dismissal of DC Mike Smith, there are far more questions about the future of this coaching staff, front office and depth chart upcoming.

 

28. San Francisco 49ers

Last week: 32

 

While Aaron Rodgers ripped the team’s heart out at the end, it was actually the perfect result for the 49ers for their trip to Green Bay. The team played well throughout on the road and gave fans enough confidence that even without Jimmy G, there will at least be some entertainment from this group every week the rest of the way. Oh, and that loss will help when it comes to the draft down the road too.

 

29. New York Giants

Last week: 27

 

Lots of focus on Eli Manning being the guy under center going forward but what happened to the G-Men on defense? There’s way too much talent for this group to get sliced and diced like what the Eagles did.

 

30. Arizona Cardinals

Last week: 30

 

As a former defensive coordinator, head coach Steve Wilks had to be sick the way the Vikings were able to run all over the Cardinals. Josh Rosen was okay given the environment but the lack of success for David Johnson was much more concerning on the offensive end.

 

31. Indianapolis Colts

Last week: 28

 

After a few weeks of progress on the defensive side of the ball, a rookie was able to throw all over the Colts. Not a great sign going forward, to say nothing of the turnovers they gifted the Jets throughout the day.

 

32. Oakland Raiders

NFL Power Rankings: RaidersLast week: 31

 

There’s nothing the Raiders are doing right in any phase of the game and they will have to take that long flight home from London wondering what lies ahead. Gruden’s return has been much more of the Chucky variety — and that’s way scarier than anybody could have predicted all of a month ago.

 

 

 

Week 6 NFL Power Rankings

 

1. Kansas City Chiefs

Last week: 2

 

Even on an off day from Patrick Mahomes (who still threw for more than 300 yards) and the offense, the Chiefs dropped 30 points on the Jaguars thanks to an outing from nowhere by their defense. Things don’t get any easier going forward but if that kind of performance becomes something that happens more regularly, Andy Reid and company may be burying a lot of franchise anguish from over the years in Atlanta next February.

 

2. Los Angeles Rams

Last week: 1

 

Divisional games can always be tricky but the porous Rams defense is really becoming a problem that is starting to give those outside L.A. plenty of reason to doubt this team come playoff time. Still, outscoring everybody at will is working just fine in the regular season.

 

3. New Orleans Saints

Last week: 3

 

Great moment seeing Drew Brees become the NFL’s career passing yardage leader on Monday night. Even better seeing the team shake off their regular-season struggles quicker than normal and return to looking like a trendy Super Bowl pick.

 

4. Cincinnati Bengals

Last week: 8

 

This will ultimately be a team judged on if they can get something (really anything) done in the playoffs. But that comeback against Miami put them firmly in control of the AFC North right now and they can put things on lock next week against Pittsburgh.

 

5. Minnesota Vikings

Last week: 12

 

Nobody has had a tougher stretch to open the season than the Vikings have given the number of NFC contenders they’ve played and this group finally closed things out — on the road — against the defending champs. Such an outcome could be a launching point going into this next stretch.

 

6. Carolina Panthers

Last week: 10

 

Graham Gano, dontcha know? That incredible kick to beat the Giants could end up being a season-saver given the way the NFC South is trending but this is a team that needs to start winning second halves instead of just going through the motions at times.

 

7. New England Patriots

Last week: 13

 

It wasn’t long ago that there was concern across the league about this team. Sun rise, sun set and the Patriots are back on top of the division. Things won’t get any easier going forward but the adjustments are being made and the offense looks significantly more dangerous with the receiver corps at full strength.

 

8. Chicago Bears

Last week: 11

 

Bears fans probably were not thrilled about the early bye but they can just repeat "first place in the NFC North" a few times and get over it this week.

 

9. Los Angeles Chargers

Last week: 14

 

It’s not on the national radar like it should be but what a find Austin Ekeler has been for this team to provide a spark and complement an improved version of Melvin Gordon. We still haven’t seen a full 60-minute performance out of this group but the signs are there.

 

10. Green Bay Packers

Last week: 4

 

Poor Mason Crosby, if he didn’t have the history that he does, he would have never even made it on the flight home to Green Bay after that debacle against the Lions. It wasn’t an awful effort by the Packers aside from those missed kicks (and given the injuries) but we still have a lot of questions left for this team to answer.

 

11. Baltimore Ravens

Last week: 6

 

Just when you thought the Ravens were all set to start making a statement in the AFC, they lay that clunker against the Browns in overtime. They had their chances but it was clear early on that it just wasn’t Joe Flacco and the offense’s day.

 

12. Pittsburgh Steelers

Last week: 20

 

They’re not dead yet and that win over Atlanta showed the potential for the Steelers to possibly get back in the division race. It won’t be easy but it’s imminently doable given the upcoming slate in the next few weeks.

 

13. Philadelphia Eagles

Last week: 9

 

The Super Bowl hangover is an extended one apparently. The division is so weak that missing the playoffs isn’t yet a concern but losing Jay Ajayi isn’t going to help ease the frustration many on this team and in this city are feeling right now.

 

14. Jacksonville Jaguars

Last week: 7

 

It really feels like the injuries are piling up for the Jaguars and that keeps putting more and more pressure on Blake Bortles. Against the Chiefs, we saw what happens when he can’t handle things, leading to turnovers upon turnovers and a sense he has to do even more.

 

15. Miami Dolphins

Last week: 16

 

Adam Gase will be preaching about the ability to finish in the fourth quarter after seeing things slip away against Cincinnati. Those woes on offense won’t be fixed overnight which isn’t good considering a few of the units on the upcoming schedule.

 

16. Washington Redskins

Last week: 15

 

It was an awful weekend in the NFC East but nobody can feel worse about how things went than the Redskins given how they were nearly run out the building in New Orleans. At least they remain in first place but you can see that there’s a clear game plan to make Alex Smith uncomfortable and put this team on their heels.

 

17. Tennessee Titans

Last week: 5

 

Just when you thought that head coach Mike Vrabel was ready to lock in this team as one of the pleasant surprises in the AFC, they go out and lose to the Bills. Marcus Mariota has shown zero consistency this season and the team needs better play out of their franchise quarterback because even a mediocre effort would have gotten them a win on Sunday.

 

18. Cleveland Browns

Last week: 25

 

The Browns won! On a Sunday! What’s wild is not that this team is rapidly improving, but the fact that there’s a good case they should be 5-0 after their third overtime in five weeks.

 

19. Houston Texans

Last week: 24

 

The Texans got lucky to beat Dallas thanks to the greatness of DeAndre Hopkins. There’s not a lot to feel good about with the way this team is playing right now even if they have strung together some wins.

 

20. Dallas Cowboys

Last week: 18

 

Jason Garrett hot seat status is officially being bumped up to extra toasty after that Sunday night debacle.

 

21. Detroit Lions

Last week: 27

 

Hope the Lions sent an extra-large gift basket to Mason Crosby.

 

22. Denver Broncos

Last week: 17

 

The offensive issues will generate all the talk in Denver but the Broncos' defense getting torched by a rookie quarterback like that, especially on all the big plays, is the bigger concern for John Elway and company.

 

23. Buffalo Bills

Last week: 30

 

The Bills have a clear blueprint to winning games and brining Josh Allen along: play stout defense then run the ball, run the ball and run the ball. They did that to perfection to upset the Titans and look ever more dangerous.

 

24. Seattle Seahawks

Last week: 23

 

Excellent fight from the Seahawks against their division rival but it just wasn’t quite enough. The edges of this roster are still fairly thin so you’ll see issues down the stretch in every game even if Russell Wilson is still finding the end zone.

 

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last week: 21

 

All eyes on Jameis Winston this Sunday as he gets his first start.

 

26. Atlanta Falcons

Last week: 19

 

Did anybody see 1-4 coming in Atlanta? The defense is bad to be sure, but Matt Ryan getting sacked six times and the inability to run the ball are pressing issues.

 

27. New York Giants

Last week: 26

 

The Giants may have passed on a franchise quarterback in last year’s draft but the way they’re losing games, they could have a shot at another one next spring. The season isn’t ready to be written off just yet given the division standings but it’s going to be a big climb.

 

28. Indianapolis Colts

Last week: 28

 

There are signs of progress with the Colts, especially on defense, but this is still a team not quite ready to make things interesting against top tier opponents.

 

29. New York Jets

Last week: 31

 

Heck of a turnaround from that loss to the Jaguars and most encouraging was the fact that Sam Darnold really made some beautiful throws against the Broncos. If Isaiah Crowell can continue to hurt defenses like that, the rookie QB will have a lot more room to grow.

 

30. Arizona Cardinals

Last week: 32

 

Josh Rosen sure kicked things off with a bang against the 49ers to get the Cardinals out of the ranks of the winless. The rookie class was on full display in the game too, which is a bright spot in the desert despite the ugly nature of that first victory.

 

31. Oakland Raiders

Last week: 22

 

The Jon Gruden experiment is a long-term bet but things sure are rough for the Raiders in their swan song in Oakland.

 

32. San Francisco 49ers

Last week: 29

 

Kyle Shanahan knows there’s not much of a margin for error with this roster but if the 49ers are turning the ball over like that, there’s no chance of getting a win on Sunday.

 

 

 

Week 5 NFL Power Rankings

 

1. Los Angeles Rams

Last week: 1

 

If it wasn’t official before that thriller against the Vikings, it became very clear that Sean McVay is the best play-caller in the NFL. The Rams' offense is what can take them all the way to the promised land, but this group still has to get better on defense and develop more of a pass rush off the edge if they want to hold up the Lombardi Trophy in the end.

 

2. Kansas City Chiefs

Last week: 2

 

The legend of Patrick Mahomes grows even more with that Monday night game for the ages. It felt like there was pressure in his face just about every snap and yet the young QB never let the moment get to him. Maybe the bigger development for Kansas City was how the defense played on the road.

 

3. New Orleans Saints

Last week: 4

 

Alvin Kamara and Drew Brees are the talk of the town but that’s now two of the past three weeks where there have been some signs of life on defense. Good thing too considering the brutal stretch this team is about to go on the next month of a half.

 

4. Green Bay Packers

Last week: 5

 

Aaron Rodgers didn’t seem all that happy about the play-calling in that romp over the Bills but nobody is really complaining after seeing that effort out of the defense in a shutout.

 

5. Tennessee Titans

Last week: 11

 

Mike Vrabel may be a rookie head coach but he might be the NFL Coach of the Year through the first quarter of the year by winning a variety of ways. With Marcus Mariota looking a lot healthier, this is a team that won’t go away in the AFC because of their tenacity and penchant for timely big plays.

 

6. Baltimore Ravens

Last week: 15

 

The Ravens are second in the NFL in point differential and have some of their toughest games left in the division at home. The schedule is manageable but the run game has to start improving considering Lamar Jackson is the second-leading rusher right now.

 

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

Last week: 8

 

The Jags took care of business against an overmatched Jets team but Leonard Fournette’s status continues to put an artificial limiter on how good this team can be. Next week in Kansas City may very well be a huge tiebreaker for home-field advantage come playoff time.

 

8. Cincinnati Bengals

Last week: 19

 

Good Andy Dalton showed up in Atlanta and not surprisingly, A.J. Green did A.J. Green things late. We’ll see how Tyler Eifert’s absence will effect this team going forward as injuries continue to mount but this is your AFC North leader right now.

 

9. Philadelphia Eagles

Last week: 3

 

Are we starting to see that Super Bowl hangover show up in Philly? Kind of seems like it after such an uneven start to the year. Carson Wentz has been okay since returning but his protection has not been, a worrying trend given the slate coming up through Thanksgiving.

 

10. Carolina Panthers

Last week: 10

 

Ron Rivera will grumble about the early bye but it does give the team additional time to get free agent Eric Reid up to speed.

 

11. Chicago Bears

Last week: 17

 

Nobody will ever expect to see that kind of performance out of Mitchell Trubisky again but it was still extremely encouraging if you’re a Bears fan to see that kind of ceiling out of your quarterback. Between him and Khalil Mack looking like the league’s MVP right now, things are not bad at all in the Windy City after this week.

 

12. Minnesota Vikings

Last week: 6

 

Whoever predicted the Vikings would have just one win after the first month of the season better go play the lotto tomorrow. While Kirk Cousins carried this team against the Rams, the continued defensive lapses have to be setting off alarm bells for Mike Zimmer and the rest of his staff in Minnesota.

 

13. New England Patriots

Last week: 16

 

The safest bet in the league on Sunday was for the Patriots to bounce back at home against the Dolphins. It was encouraging to see the run game get going but the bigger development might be that seven spot the defense allowed (which really was a shutout prior to garbage time).

 

14. Los Angeles Chargers

Last week: 14

 

It must be maddening to be a Chargers fan considering the inability for the team to look even competent in the kicking game. The jury still seems like it’s out for this team being an actual AFC contender until something gets figured out on special teams but a nice little run could be in store over the next month against a soft schedule.

 

15. Washington Redskins

Last week: 18

 

This is the most mysterious team in the league right now and the early bye doesn’t help figure out if Washington is closer to the group that beat Green Bay or lost to the Colts.

 

16. Miami Dolphins

Last week: 7

 

The Dolphins ran into a buzz saw in Foxborough but we’ll have a better handle on this team during their upcoming game at Cincinnati. It’s not time to sell all your Miami stock but those flaw became giant cracks this past week against the Patriots.

 

17. Denver Broncos

Last week: 17

 

The Broncos will watch the film on Tuesday and rue a lot of little things that prevented them from beating the Chiefs. This is still a team that can rally to make it to the playoffs but blowing a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter at home is hard to fathom and will only increase the pressure on Vance Joseph in Denver.

 

18. Dallas Cowboys

Last week: 23

 

The Cowboys got the victory over the Lions but it wasn’t pretty (with the exception of Zeke) and did nothing to quiet questions about Jason Garrett. A strong run game and stout defense will still win you a lot of games though.

 

19. Atlanta Falcons

Last week: 9

 

Two weeks in a row, at home, where the Falcons scored 36 points — and lost. Injuries are one thing, the situational football that’s leading to these tough losses is another.

 

20. Pittsburgh Steelers

Last week: 12

 

Is that lackluster offensive outing against Baltimore the impetus Le’Veon Bell needed to report in a few weeks? Given this kind of start by the Steelers to the season, even his return in a few weeks may not be enough to salvage things if this group doesn’t get going in October.

 

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last week: 13

 

The FitzMagic is gone and to nobody’s surprise, the team is now in Jameis Winston’s hands. He can’t play defense however, which is the real issue in Tampa.

 

22. Oakland Raiders

Last week: 29

 

It wasn’t easy — and it took longer than expected — but Jon Gruden finally has returned to the win column. Still, fourth-quarter woes remain and will continue to limit the Raiders if they don’t figure out how to win the final 15.

 

23. Seattle Seahawks

Last week: 22

 

Pete Carroll caught a break down the stretch against the Cardinals to eke out a victory and make it to .500 on the year. This isn’t a great team by any stretch of the imagination and losing their best defensive player for the year in Earl Thomas officially marks the nail in the coffin for the Legion of Boom era.

 

24. Houston Texans

Last week: 28

 

Bill O’Brien needs to send a gift basket to Frank Reich for giving him the Texans’ first win of the year and prevent an angry mob from forming in Houston.

 

25. Cleveland Browns

Last week: 20

 

Baker Mayfield’s first start, in the Black Hole, went about as expected with some ups and some downs. Still, not even the No. 1 overall pick can help Hue Jackson overcome his allergic reaction to winning games on Sunday.

 

26. New York Giants

Last week: 24

 

Pat Shurmur was brought into to help juice the offense but the team has only scored more than 20 points once this year. Considering some of the skill position talent available, that’s not a great sign.

 

27. Detroit Lions

Last week: 25

 

It looks more and more like that effort against the Patriots will be a huge anomaly on the Lions' record by the end of the year. The defense doesn’t get any time off to fix things with Aaron Rodgers coming in on Sunday either.

 

28. Indianapolis Colts

Last week: 27

 

Frank Reich set the league on fire with his decision on fourth down in overtime. While you can admire his attitude in going for it, the losses all count the same and that one was firmly on his shoulders.

 

29. San Francisco 49ers

Last week: 31

 

Inspired effort on the road in the first game without Jimmy G. but it was another brutal week for the 49ers on the injury front down in L.A.

 

30. Buffalo Bills

Last week: 26

 

Back down to earth (hard) against Green Bay for the Bills after their big win. Even the return of LeSean McCoy didn’t help take some of the load off Josh Allen.

 

31. New York Jets

Last week: 31

 

Thirty-four (34) rushing yards isn’t going to help your rookie QB one bit. It was against a stellar defense but there’s no excuse for the Jets being that bad against Jacksonville.

 

32. Arizona Cardinals

Last week: 32

 

Josh Rosen’s debut resulted in a loss but you could see the flashes out of the rookie quarterback, who no doubt gives this team a better chance to win every Sunday.

 

— Written by Bryan Fischer, an award-winning college football columnist and member of the Athlon Contributor Network. You can follow him from coast-to-coast on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @BryanDFischer.

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