NFL Power Rankings – Week 7

NFL Power Rankings – Week 7

1-49ers: With OT Trent Williams, WR Deebo Samuel and RB Christian McCaffrey going down with injuries and missing significant amounts of playing time in its first loss at Cleveland, we’ll give San Francisco a mulligan, especially since it should’ve won the game despite those factors. The aforementioned trio are considered day-to-day ahead of Monday Night Football at Minnesota.

2-Dolphins: What a machine of an offense Mike McDaniel has created. His outstanding play calling has helped his offensive line keep Tua Tagovailoa healthy, and the former Alabama quarterback has dynamic weapons galore in WR Tyreek Hill, WR Jaylen Waddle, RB Raheem Mostert and RB Devon Achane, who will be back in mid-November.

3-Eagles: Like the 49ers, the Eagles still should’ve remained unbeaten in Sunday’s loss at the Jets. However, two uncharacteristic drops by WR DeVonta Smith and Jalen Hurts’ three interceptions proved to be too much to overcome. The loss of perennial Pro-Bowl OT Lane Johnson to an injury in the first half and the absence of star rookie DT Jalen Carter were also issues, but both players could be back for Sunday night’s showdown at home vs. Miami.

4-Lions: Detroit was without starting rookie safety Brian Branch and didn’t have its two best RBs for most of Sunday’s road game at Tampa Bay, but the Lions were still dominant in a 20-6 win. They’re 5-1 both straight up and against the spread, with four consecutive wins by margins of at least 14 points. Dan Campbell’s team will try to make another statement in Week 7 at Baltimore.

5-Chiefs: The reality is that Kansas City has won five games in a row and its lone defeat came to Detroit by just one point with Travis Kelce in street clothes. At this point, however, the Chiefs feel extremely vulnerable compared to recent seasons. They’re fortunate to be in an ideal spot Sunday hosting the Chargers, who are off a heartbreaking loss on Monday Night Football, with extra rest after beating Denver this past Thursday.

6-Bills: Buffalo has three wins by 28 points or more, an overtime loss at the Jets, a 25-20 setback to Jacksonville in London and Sunday’s night’s great escape against the Giants at Orchard Park. The G-Men had first-and-goal opportunities in the final minute of each half and got zero points in a 14-9 loss.

7-Ravens: The defense has led this team to a 4-2 start both SU and ATS. The offense is still finding its footing, but rookie WR Zay Flowers has been even better than expected.

8-Bengals: With Joe Burrow clearly struggling in the season’s first month due to the calf injury sustained during training camp, Cincinnati started 1-3 SU and 0-3-1 ATS after getting spanked 27-3 by a mediocre Titans’ club in Nashville earlier this month. But after a 34-20 win at Arizona and a gutsy 17-13 home victory over Seattle, Zac Taylor’s team goes into its bye week only one game back of Baltimore for the lead in the AFC North.

9-Jaguars: A three-game winning streak both SU and ATS, including dominant wins over the Colts and Falcons, has Jacksonville atop the AFC South with a 4-2 record both SU and ATS. If Trevor Lawrence (day-to-day with a knee injury) can’t go Thursday at New Orleans, that’ll be a tough venue to visit on a short week and emerge victorious.

10-Cowboys: Dallas did just enough to capture a key road win over the Chargers last night. With Philadelphia falling in the Meadowlands, the Cowboys are now only one game back in the NFC East race. They get two weeks to prepare for a home game against the Rams before playing at Philadelphia on Nov. 5.

11-Seahawks: With the 49ers going down at Cleveland, Seattle had a chance to gain a game on the NFC West leaders. But the Seahawks managed merely 10 points on five trips into the red zone, and they lost at Cincinnati despite owning advantages of 24-15 in first downs and 381-214 in total yards.

12-Browns: Cleveland appears to have its best defense in decades. Even with a journeyman in P.J. Walker starting at QB, the Browns beat the previously-undefeated 49ers to improve to 3-2.

13-Chargers: The 2-3 Bolts have lost three games by eight combined points and are in a brutal spot at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 7. The good news is that teams like the Patriots, Broncos (twice), Packers and Bears remain on the schedule.

14-Rams: With a 3-3 SU record and a 4-1-1 ATS mark, Sean McVay has undoubtedly done one of the top-five coaching jobs in the NFL to date, and now this team has a healthy Cooper Kupp back in the mix. After missing the first four games, Kupp has 15 catches for 266 yards and one TD.

15-Buccaneers: After losing at home to Detroit, Tampa Bay (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS) still has a half-game lead over both Atlanta and New Orleans for the lead in the NFC South. The Falcons visit Tampa this weekend.

16-Jets: Without its three best cornerbacks, the Jets’ defense created four turnovers and carried them to a monster win over the Eagles. New York improved to 3-3 SU and 4-2 ATS going into its open date, and the next three games (at Giants, vs. Chargers and at Raiders) appear to be winnable.

17-Steelers: Pittsburgh (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS) is right in the thick of the jumbled AFC North standings. Credit defensive stalwarts T.J. Watt (8 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 forced fumbles and 1 TD) and Alex Highsmith (2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 1 TD) for carrying this unit that isn’t getting much help from the offense and has been without Cam Heyward, who hopes to return at some point next month. After going out West to play the Rams, the Steelers get three home games in a row as the weather starts to get chilly.

18-Texans: There’s a lot to like about HC DeMeco Ryans (3-3 SU, 4-2 ATS), QB C.J. Stroud (9/1 touchdown-to-interception ratio), WR Nico Collins (547 receiving yards), WR Tank Dell (324 receiving yards), LB Henry To’oto’o (team-high 26 tackles) and Will Anderson. Stroud, Dell, Anderson and To’oto’o are rookies, and Ryans is one of the NFL’s youngest HCs. After a slew of offseason moves, including eight draft-day trades, GM Nick Caserio appears to finally have this franchise headed in the right direction.

19-Colts: With two losses to Jacksonville, Indianapolis (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS) is now essentially two games behind the AFC South leaders. Nevertheless, I’m confident the Colts would’ve been perfectly fine back in August if you told them they’d be 3-3 in mid-October and have RB Jonathan Taylor signed to a contract for the next several seasons.

20-Saints: There are two pieces of good news coming off a loss at Houston. First, New Orleans might get a home game against the Jags on a short week when their star franchise QB is either in street clothes or playing on an injured knee. Secondly, it appears as if an 8-9 record might be good enough to win the NFC South again.

21-Falcons: With a chance to take sole possession of the lead in the NFC South, Atlanta had a 25-13 advantage in first downs and a 402-193 advantage in total offense at home vs. Washington. Despite that, the Falcons lost 24-16. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 10,000 times in the last three years: If the Falcons want to score TDs and win football games, they have to get Kyle Pitts 12-15 targets per game. He’s averaging 6.3 targets through six games and inexplicably been targeted only four times in the red zone. (How the hell is that even possible?!) If owner Arthur Blank hasn’t seen enough of Arthur Smith’s abysmal play calling and atrocious in-game decisions while he’s racked up a 17-23 record during his 40-game tenure, then he doesn’t know what he’s looking at. Smith is horrible and this team isn’t going anywhere under his leadership. This pink slip is long overdue.

22-Commanders: Washington (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS) ended its three-game losing streak with the win at Atlanta. Now the Commanders get to play the Giants twice and the Patriots once in their next five contests.

23-Raiders: An ugly home win over New England has Las Vegas at 3-3 SU and 3-2-1 ATS. With 22 tackles and 5.5 sacks, DE Maxx Crosby is one of the main reasons why Las Vegas is in second place in the AFC West. With Jimmy G throwing more interceptions (eight) than TDs (seven) and Josh Jacobs averaging only 2.9 yards per carry, owner Mark Davis has to be pleased with a .500 record.

24-Titans: Although QB Ryan Tannehill has an abysmal 2/6 TD-INT ratio, this team’s (already slim) postseason hopes are done if the ankle injury he suffered vs. Baltimore is going to keep him out for a long period of time.

25-Vikings: In six one-possession games, Minnesota is 2-4. The win at Chicago stopped the bleeding. Might the Vikings get to host San Francisco on MNF with Samuel, Williams and McCaffrey in street clothes?

26-Packers: After its open date, Green Bay (2-3 SU, 3-2 ATS) plays at Denver before getting back-to-back home games vs. the Vikings and Rams.

27-Cardinals: The loss of star RB James Conner, who has 364 rushing yards, two TDs and a 5.4 YPC average, to an injury was a killer. Since covering in its first three games, Arizona has now lost three in a row (both SU and ATS) by margins of 19, 14 and 17 points.

28-Giants: That was a game effort at Buffalo with Daniel Jones out with a neck injury. Backup QB Tyrod Taylor’s critical mistake – which was straight out of Mark Richt’s playbook in a Georgia home game vs. Auburn more than two decades ago – at the end of the first half can’t happen – ever!

29-Broncos: I’m still baffled that Sean Payton took this job. Dude could’ve had the Chargers’ gig three months from now with Justin Herbert as his next QB. Now he’s stuck with Russell Wilson and as much as I’m a big fan of the state of Colorado, it’s not that damn cool.

30-Bears: Another long and windy winter awaits fans of Da Bears.

31-Patriots: Seeing Bill Belichick coach this team is like watching Emmitt Smith play for the Cardinals.

32-Panthers: New HC Frank Reich is 0-6 and has already given up play-calling duties. The Reich hire was already a head scratcher, and now it looks like an unmitigated disaster in mid-October.