Major injuries, some wild finishes and more than a handful of controversial calls highlighted a very interesting Week 6 in the NFL. As the result of some surprising wins and even a few close losses, there’s been a little shuffling in the pecking order among teams, especially at the top of the league.
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. Minnesota Vikings
Last week: 1
The Vikings were off this week and no doubt used that extra time to help get quarterback Sam Bradford even more comfortable in Norv Turner’s offense.
2. New England Patriots
Last week: 2
Against a solid defense, we really saw how devastatingly effective the Gronk/Bennett two-tight end look is from the Patriots as they delivered a perfect homecoming for conquering hero Tom Brady.
3. Dallas Cowboys
Last week: 8
Nobody in Dallas could have predicted a 5-1 record at this point in the year and after beating the Packers in Lambeau, there’s probably not anybody predicting Tony Romo will take over for Dak Prescott at this point either.
4. Seattle Seahawks
Last week: 9
The controversial final defensive play is getting all the press and taking away how good the Seahawks looked for three quarters against one of the hottest teams in the league. Seattle still needs more out of its run game though.
5. Atlanta Falcons
Last week: 4
Even in a loss, the Falcons earned plenty of respect by going toe-to-toe with a tough team like the Seahawks. The ending wasn’t what they wanted it to be but the game could serve Atlanta well in the long term.
6. Washington Redskins
Last week: 11
You put up nearly 500 yards on one of the best defenses in the league coming into the week and you’re going to see a move upward in the rankings. Add in the continued improvement on defense and Washington is back to wondering about making noise in the division again.
7. Denver Broncos
Last week: 6
Short week with no head coach so you can understand a sub-par outing on the road from the Broncos against a division rival. Things need to improve on Sunday night in their grudge match against Brock Osweiler though.
8. Buffalo Bills
Last week: 13
The hottest team in the NFL seems to have found its groove and are suddenly back in contention in the division too. Everybody is talking about the offense clicking but the defensive resurgence is much more encouraging.
9. Philadelphia Eagles
Last week: 7
Was Sunday’s outing against Washington a simple blip on the radar for Carson Wentz or a sign of things to come? It won’t get any easier with the teams on tap — vs. Minnesota, at Dallas, at Giants, vs. Atlanta, at Seattle, vs. Green Bay — through November.
10. Green Bay Packers
Last week: 5
The question being asked around the league is a good one with no obvious answer: What’s up with Aaron Rodgers?
11. Pittsburgh Steelers
Last week: 3
A bad loss at Miami means nothing compared to the health of Ben Roethlisberger’s knee. For the short term it definitely puts a hamper on the showdown with New England, and long term who knows when the Steelers will get back their star signal-caller.
12. Kansas City Chiefs
Last week: 12
If every game were played after a bye, Andy Reid would be talked about in the same air as Bill Belichick. Beating Oakland on the road is great but the team has to keep things rolling with a very winnable stretch of games over coming month.
13. Oakland Raiders
Last week: 10
Neither of the team’s two losses is all that bad but the troubling thing about the game with the Chiefs is how much of a breakdown it was in all three phases for the Raiders.
14. Arizona Cardinals
Last week: 14
A year after leaning on Carson Palmer to lead the team to a playoff berth, it seems the Cardinals have finally found out that leaning on David Johnson is the way to make the same kind of run this season.
15. New York Giants
Last week: 15
New York needed that win against Baltimore in the worst way, especially because the division looks like one of the best in football and keeping pace isn’t going to be easy.
16. Cincinnati Bengals
Last week: 17
An injury to Ben Roethlisberger opens the door a bit in the division but we’re at the point where you have to question if the Bengals can take advantage and get back into the race after the way they’ve played the past two weeks against good teams.
17. Houston Texans
Last week: 18
It took a late comeback and overtime to salvage a win but maybe, just maybe, that will be the spark that quarterback Brock Osweiler needs to get going.
18. Baltimore Ravens
Last week: 16
Even at 3-3, Baltimore is best positioned to take advantage of Big Ben’s absence. You just have to wonder if the Ravens are able to after the way they played against the Giants when everything was on the line.
19. Detroit Lions
Last week: 20
The offense is pretty good and getting better if Golden Tate has more outings like that. Still, as everybody could see on each Case Keenum dropback, the defense needs plenty of work.
20. New Orleans Saints
Last week: 24
Two straight thrilling wins has New Orleans trending upward but there’s still a bit of mystery as to how good this team actually is.
21. Los Angeles Rams
Last week: 19
This could be a make-or-break-type stretch from now until December for the Rams, which will head to London looking to regroup defensively after that outing against the Lions. At least the offense is starting to show signs of life for Jeff Fisher.
22. Tennessee Titans
Last week: 22
It’s crazy to think that Tennessee almost went into Monday tied for the division lead but there’s still plenty to clean up after allowing Cleveland to get back in the game in the fourth quarter.
23. San Diego Chargers
Last week: 26
There may not be much time to celebrate finally holding onto a second half lead but the way Joey Bosa flashed on Thursday night is very encouraging for a team that needs a few bright spots to hold onto.
24. Miami Dolphins
Last week: 29
They soundly beat Pittsburgh even aside from the Ben Roethlisberger injury but the most encouraging sign was Jay Ajayi’s emergence from the Witness Protection Program to have a big game. Perhaps that is enough to get going on a run with some winnable games upcoming.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars
Last week: 23
Two straight wins will help cool Gus Bradley’s hot seat a little but struggling to beat the Bears late isn’t a great look despite finding the win column.
26. Indianapolis Colts
Last week: 21
The win probabilities for the Colts in the fourth quarter hovered in the 90 percent range so of course they ended up losing. The defense did play well in the first half but there’s simply not enough talent in Indy.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last week: 25
The Bucs can benefit from a nicely timed bye week to get healthy and maybe get something going.
28. Carolina Panthers
Last week: 27
It’s times like these that further serve to underscore that the team didn’t use all that money saved from letting Josh Norman walk to upgrade the secondary at all.
29. New York Jets
Last week: 28
Was the brief insertion of Geno Smith a sign of things to come for the Jets’ offense going forward? There’s nothing to lose at this point.
30. Chicago Bears
Last week: 30
Brian Hoyer throwing it 50 times a game and only scoring 16 points isn’t a recipe for success on a roster that just doesn’t have a ton of talent on it.
31. San Francisco 49ers
Last week: 31
It’s incredible that the team is this bad against the run defensively and that’s one reason not even a change at quarterback can help change the fortunes of this team.
32. Cleveland Browns
Last week: 32
Good times in Cleveland between the Indians and upcoming Cavaliers ring ceremony. The way the Browns played down the stretch on Sunday, you probably can’t even count out a surprise win this week either.
— 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.