Another week, another round of big-name injuries popping up all over the place to spoil an otherwise pretty fun slate of action in the NFL. A host of non-offensive touchdowns was one reason why there were a big round of upsets all over, really shaking up the standings and making things as muddled as can be.
Doing as much as one can to sort through all that and 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. Kansas City Chiefs
Last week: 1
The ’72 Dolphins can pop the corks after the Chiefs became the final team to fall from the ranks of the unbeaten. While Kansas City fans may not have liked what they saw against Pittsburgh, the Chiefs are 5-1 and have beaten some of the best quarterbacks in the league.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
Last week: 3
It’s time to start talking about the Eagles as the best team in the NFC, and possibly the league (they would sure love another shot at KC). Beating Carolina on the road, on a short week, is impressive and the continued development of Carson Wentz remains encouraging.
3. New England Patriots
Last week: 6
The Pats still aren’t hitting on all cylinders like they’re capable but the defense seems to be progressing each week after a dreadful start to the year. We’ll find out if it’s been smoke and mirrors or something tangible when Atlanta rolls into town for a Super Bowl LI rematch.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
Last week: 14
The Steelers are 4-2 at this point, as expected. That the two losses came at the hands of the Jaguars and Bears is the unexpected part. We’ll see if the Martavis Bryant trade request (or non-request?) will have any effect on the locker room just as things might be turning a corner.
5. Carolina Panthers
Last week: 5
The losses to the Eagles and Saints don’t look terrible in retrospect but the encouraging news for Carolina has been that Cam Newton looks more and more like himself with each passing week. There are still defensive and ground game concerns but the Panthers have a chance to extend their division lead the next few weeks.
6. Seattle Seahawks
Last week: 10
Nothing like a bye week to recharge and figure things out. Given how open things look in the NFC right now, it will be interesting to see if Seattle can take advantage of a favorable stretch over the next few weeks.
7. Detroit Lions
Last week: 7
What the heck was that Detroit? It’s one thing to lose down in the Superdome, it’s another thing to turn the game into something you’d see on a Wednesday night matchup of MAC teams. We’ll see if the bye will help right the ship because that’s a big test at the end of the month against Pittsburgh.
8. Los Angeles Rams
Last week: 11
It’s never easy going across the country for a West Coast team but the young Rams handled that — and the Jags’ defense — well to continue their hot start. Given how weak the NFC is looking, it’s time to give even more credence to this being a potential playoff team.
9. Washington Redskins
Last week: 8
It’s a bit of a bummer that Washington gets the Eagles twice so early in the season. We’ll see if some of those injuries will hamper the effort next week as the team tries not to be buried further down in the division standings.
10. Houston Texans
Last week: 18
Houston took care of business against Cleveland as Deshaun Watson looks more and more like the real deal under center. We’ll find out much more about the defense — and the team overall — when they take a trip to Seattle though.
11. Dallas Cowboys
Last week: 12
A bye week is normally reserved for a team to rest up and get healthy. For Dallas, it’s reserved for billable hours in the Ezekiel Elliott case.
12. Minnesota Vikings
Last week: 16
Case Keenum has been just what the doctor ordered to go with that nasty defense Mike Zimmer has put together. With Teddy Bridgewater getting cleared this week, one wonders if there’s even greater upside left if he comes back stronger than ever.
13. New Orleans Saints
Last week: 21
Are the Saints the best team in the NFC South? One could make a case, especially after throttling a legitimate NFC title contender in Detroit. We’ll find out when they hit the road if this squad is for real but there are a lot of winnable games coming up to make believers out everybody.
14. Atlanta Falcons
Last week: 4
Were the Falcons looking ahead to next Sunday night for their rematch with the Patriots? It seemed that way in blowing a lead to the Dolphins — coming off a bye no less. Not a great look the past few weeks.
15. Denver Broncos
Last week: 9
An unexpected outing for the offense is compounded by the injury issues just about everywhere on that side of the ball. Still, there should be no excuses for looking like that at home against a previously winless team like the Giants.
16. Arizona Cardinals
Last week: 24
It’s hard to completely take this team seriously until they string together some good performances but that effort by all the aging veterans on offense was extremely impressive.
17. Miami Dolphins
Last week: 27
If you can make sense of this team, please let us know. They looked downright awful offensively against the Jets and Saints, but now seem to have things clicking on a much higher level the past two weeks. We’ll see if they’re as aggressive as they were in upsetting Atlanta going forward.
18. Baltimore Ravens
Last week: 15
It’s still hard to figure what exactly the Ravens are as a team after that terrible home loss to Chicago but the good news is they’re only a game back in the division.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last week: 13
Jameis Winston’s shoulder injury is going to occupy all the top headlines for the Bucs and that’s a good thing for the awful defense, which was very much exposed on the road in the desert.
20. Buffalo Bills
Last week: 23
The bye week comes at a good point to regroup in Buffalo after a surprisingly solid start. The next three games look much more winnable than they did a few weeks ago but we’ll see if the Bills take advantage.
21. Tennessee Titans
Last week: 20
Not the sharpest of performances against the Colts (Derrick Henry’s late TD run skewed the final score), as it’s clear that Marcus Mariota was simply not 100 percent on Monday night. It says plenty about the backup situation that the coaching staff would rush him back with Indianapolis, Cleveland and a bye on the slate.
22. Cincinnati Bengals
Last week: 22
Could the bye week be what rookie wide receiver John Ross needed to get back into the lineup? We’ll see, as he would boost an offense that is improving with each week and could still stay afloat in the playoff race given how average the rest of the AFC has been outside of the top three.
23. Jacksonville Jaguars
Last week: 17
Even when they get a decent performance out of Blake Bortles, other deficiencies start to pop up for the Jaguars. Still, who had that trip to Indianapolis as being a potentially big game in the division?
24. Oakland Raiders
Last week: 19
The return of Derek Carr didn’t help things as the Raiders lost their fourth straight — and going into a short week with the Chiefs coming to town on Thursday night. That’s as rough as the overall record, but the bottom line is there’s too much talent for this team to be playing like this.
25. Indianapolis Colts
Last week: 29
A valiant effort at Tennessee on Monday night, where the Colts were the better team for three quarters. If Andrew Luck was actually healthy by next week, one wonders if the team could flip Jacoby Brissett to the Packers for a second-round draft pick.
26. Chicago Bears
Last week: 25
Lost in the Mitchell Trubisky focus is the fact that this Bears team is now… fun? The roster isn’t the best but there’s creativity on offense and enough players on defense to make things interesting every week.
27. New York Jets
Last week: 26
The Jets are still fuming about that... “call” late in their game against the Patriots but even being in the game at that point is pretty impressive. Given why this roster was constructed, this kind of seems like the NFL version of the team from Major League.
28. Los Angeles Chargers
Last week: 28
Who are these Chargers? Winning two close games in the fourth quarter instead of giving them away isn’t the team we’ve become used to. We’ll see if they’ve truly changed if they can get that elusive home win for the first time in Los Angeles next week.
29. Green Bay Packers
Last week: 2
It goes without saying that the Packers’ tumble down the rankings is the result of Aaron Rodgers’ injury. While it’s possible he could heal super quickly and return, it sure seems like Sunday afternoon was the end of a promising season in Titletown.
30. New York Giants
Last week: 30
The Giants are finally in the win column with an impressive road victory over Denver. Whether the effort was because this team was due? Or was Ben McAdoo giving up play-calling actually the reason New York looked more like the team we all expected in September?
31. San Francisco 49ers
Last week: 31
Kyle Shanahan’s crew may not have a win but they’ve got the best of all worlds: they’re competitive week-in and week-out, plus have done nothing to put a top-two draft pick in jeopardy.
32. Cleveland Browns
Last week: 32
It appears another quarterback flip-flop is coming for the Browns and based on the effort in Houston, that probably won’t matter a whole lot. After some encouraging signs earlier, it seems the team is further from a win than ever before.
— 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.