32 Shots: Week 7 NFL Power Rankings
As the NFL moves into Week 7, we recap where every team ranks in relation to the rest of the league and discuss the key stories surrounding their respective seasons.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (5-1)
The rich get richer?
Chiefs picking up the freshly released Le’Veon Bell is the ultimate boom or bust move. If anyone can unlock the Bell that terrorized the league when he was in Pittsburgh, it’s Big Red himself, Andy Reid. However, we all should temper expectations a bit. Le’Veon hasn’t played good ball in about two years, so he could very well be washed. Let’s not forget that Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the Chiefs 1st pick this past draft, and teams typically don’t give up on assets they spend such high draft capital on. Additionally, with CEH balling out this past Monday evening while posting career highs in rushing, we shouldn’t expect the reincarnation of old Bell just yet.
2. Baltimore Ravens (5-1)
Action Jackson, ladies, and gentleman.
Ravens and Lamar edged out a gusty and desperate Philadelphia team to get to 5-1 on the season heading into their bye week. The scary thing about this team is that they aren’t necessarily playing well on offense just yet. One has to think if they can get things clicking after the bye, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine a Chiefs Ravens rematch from week 2 in the AFC championship later on in the year.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2)
Will the Real G.O.A.T please stand up!
Tom Brady had a few moments where he looked like G.O.A.T-ish vs. the Packers. But he needs to be thanking that defense, specifically Lavonte David and Devin White. The Buccaneers defense itself essentially outscored Aaron Rodgers and the Packers by taking a pick to the house for a score and returning another pick to just outside the goaline where Tom Brady and company quickly converted for another score. Is the league ready for Physco-Tom with an elite defense? P.S. Gronk is starting to look like Old Gronk again.
4. Seattle Seahawks (5-0)
Russ cooking on his off day.
Seahawks were on a bye this week. With Tampa Bay kicking Green Bay’s ass, they now move into 1st place in the NFC as the last unbeaten team. This could deem very important with the new playoff rules this year, where only one team in each conference gets that important bye week.
5. Tennessee Titans (5-0)
Ryan Tannehill went from looking a bust 1st round QB with the Miami Dolphins under current Jets coach Adam Gase (more on him later) to backing up Mariota in Tennessee to now one the highest graded QBs dating back to when he took over the starting role. But let’s not gloss over the fact he has the human wrecking ball in Derrick Henry to keep opposing teams honest. But their formula is working, and are now the last of the 3 unbeaten teams through 6 weeks.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-0)
Can’t teach an old dawg new tricks.
Steelers quietly are now 5-0 on the season after showing the Cleveland Browns that their still little brother. Currently being one of the three unbeaten teams left in the NFL, people will have to start giving them more than just the legacy respect. Their defense looks suffocating but unfortunately also just lost starting middle linebacker Devin Bush which can’t help moving forward. Eventually, they will be tested by better teams, so to know if they are genuinely legit, we will need to see Big Ben and company put up some big offensive numbers.
7. Green Bay Packers (4-1)
In one of the more anticipated matchups of the entire year that put Brady and Rodgers on the field together (which could have very well been the last time the two GOATs faceoff against each other), the Packers just got embarrassed. After coming out the gate with a 10-0 lead, things got out of hand when Rodgers threw only the 3rd pick 6 of his career. One thing to note, the Packers under new head coach Matt LaFleur performed poorly after last year’s bye too by getting embarrassed by the 49ers but ended up in the NFC Championship Game later on that year. Expect better days ahead from them.
8. New Orleans Saints (3-2)
Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.
Another team who was on bye in week 6. While they were at home, I’m sure they took note of what Tom Brady and the Buccaneers did to the Packers. The Week 1 rematch between the Buccs and Saints will more than likely look completely different come Week 9 the way the Buccs look now. Hopefully, a healthy Michael Thomas after the bye can get the Saint rolling back to normal.
9. Los Angeles Rams (4-2)
Normal losing a week 6 game and falling 4-2 isn’t necessarily a bad thing but win you’re in a division with the Seahawks (5-0), Cardinals (4-2), and 49ers (3-3) who just beat you, things can get a bit tough early one. Despite the tough division their off to a decent start but need to play even better to ensure they reach their championship goals. The problem being it’s unclear if Jared Goff is the guy who can take them to the promised land.
10. San Francisco 49ers (3-3)
Typical Bounce Back Game.
Coming off a bad loss to the Philadelphia Eagles a week prior, it was the typical good, well-coached, pissed off team performing 10 times better the following week. The 9ers simply are just too injured to make any real dent this season. They are now down to their 3rd and 4th string RBs with another injury to Raheem Mostert. Already missing essential studs (Sherman, Bosa, Ford, Thomas) their defense, this team will find ways to compete week in and week out because of excellent coaching and scheme but ultimately will not be around late in the year come playoffs.
11. New England Patriots (2-3)
After losing a game to the lowly Broncos, who managed to beat them by only scoring via field goal attempts, the Patriots might be chalking this game up to COVID. Due to the lack of practice time (teams are mandated to close team facilities when there are positive tests amongst staff and/or players), the Patriots just looked uber sloppy. Multiple fumbles and poor execution were the theme of their performance, which can be attributed to the lack of practice time. This is a rare below .500 Bill Belichick Patriots team so expect a huge bounce game this week.
12. Buffalo Bills (4-2)
A slice of humble pie.
In a game that was moved to the rare Monday Evening slot due to COVID-19 contingency rescheduling, the Buffalo Bills got gashed old schooled style by the Chiefs. The Bills Mafia hype train was gaining momentum before this game but despite not living up to the billing, no pun intended, they did go up against the defending Super Bowl Champs, so all is not lost if they can find a way to move on from this one.
13. Indianapolis Colts (4-2)
Quietly stacking success.
Honestly, we didn’t expect much from Colts at the beginning of the year. Fast forward 6 weeks, and this ball club is at a respectable 4-2. Their defense has looked legit and old man Rivers gives the offense just enough spark when needed. But taking a closer look into the opponents they’ve beaten, none are amongst leagues better competition with wins coming against the 1-5 Vikings, 0-6 Jets, overachieving 5-1 Bears, and 1-4-1 Bengals, respectively. With 4 of their next 5 opponents against teams with legit winning records, we will see if they are legit soon enough.
14. Arizona Cardinals (4-2)
Homecomings are always fun.
QB Kyler Murray, a native to Texas, has ironically won 3 State High School Championships and the Big 12 Conference Championship in Jerry’s World aka AT&T stadium. His undefeated record in that stadium continued Monday as the Cardinals beat down the Cowboys to go 4-2. Embarrassing the Cowboys is somewhat of an easy thing to do these days given the state of their franchise, but it’s not hard to be impressed by the 2nd year signal-caller and the dynamic things he continues to do. Tough division matchups are coming up and will prove if this team is the real deal or not.
15. Cleveland Browns (4-2)
The Baker looks Burnt.
Some will say the Browns are going to Brown. Which can be translated into the Browns are going to look like poop, and Sunday they did against the Pittsburgh Steelers. More importantly, there are rumblings that the Dawg Pound is starting to lose faith in Baker as the guy. He and offensive-minded coach Kevine Stefanski need to figure it out soon, or they will be getting little bro’d by the Steelers and Ravens for the remainder of the year.
16. Chicago Bears (5-1)
Can a 5-1 team actually not be good?
The NFL is a week-to-week league, and after 6 weeks, the Bears are a smooth 5-1, claiming 1st place in the NFC North. Can question their actual talent, but you can’t question the results so far to date. Maybe Nick Foles is the catalyst they needed internally to give them the confidence to make good things happen. Week 7 vs the Rams will be a good litmus test for this team.
17. Los Vegas Raiders (3-2)
Life is good…for now.
Another team on bye this past week, but they still had to feel good about themselves after their shocking upset over the Chiefs two weeks ago. However, that high might be wear off pretty quick with Tom Brady and the Buccaneers coming in town this week. That defense made Rodgers look very ordinary. Just imagine how they will make Derek Carr look.
18. Miami Dolphins (3-3)
It’s Tua Time!
The Alabama National Champion rookie QB Tue Tagovailoa sensation has recently been declared the starter for the Miami Dolphins. This comes as a shock to the league, as this was supposed to be a redshirt year for him as he recovers from a career-threatening hip injury. But even more surprising was the fact the team has been beating expectations with Ryan Fitzpatrick aka “Fitzmagic” at the helm. But hey in Brian Flores was trust! This Black head coach doesn’t get the national media attention as some of the other younger coaches in the league, but he needs to been given credit for the strides the Dolphins are making on the field so quickly. Heading into an upcoming bye, we have to wait another week to see the starting debut of Tua.
19. Denver Broncos (2-3)
J.A.T (Just Another Team)
Don’t let the 2-3 Broncos fool you into thinking their anything but Just Another Team. Beating a Patriots team in Foxborough is an impressive feat in itself, but you’re not going to win many other games, just kicking field goals. Over the next few weeks that have to take a hard look in the mirror and determine if the talent at QB, Drew Lock, is good enough to build their franchise around. John Elway handpicked this guy to be the man so he will be given every opportunity to do. This week beating the Chiefs or even competing will be the true validation statement.
20. Carolina Panthers (3-3)
It’s pretty simple with this team. No Christian McCaffery equals not a chance. Now at 3-3, the team looks to be just another middle of the road team. Teddy Bridgewater has to be more dynamic without CMC to real make some noise. Next week versus his former team New Orleans he will get a good ole revenge game. The results of that game will propel them into their remaining trajectory for the rest of the season.
21. Houston Texans (1-5)
Houston, we have a problem!
Earlier in the week, the team decided to fire their then head coach / GM Bill O’Brien after underperforming considering their expectations. Some believe this would have helped spark better play from the team, and via the eye test it did. But unfortunately, Romeo Crennel, who definitely gets respect around the league, made a boned head mistake late in the game, opting to go for a two-point conversion to virtually guarantee a win. They failed at the two-point and proceeded to get ran over by Derreck Henry and the Titans for the reaming 2 mins in regulation and the entire overtime. Hindsight is always 20/20, but if they just kick the normal extra point in regulation, that would have been enough to win the game. Next up a pissed off Packers team. Good luck!
22. Detroit Lions (2-3)
Sometimes J.A.Ts win games too!
At 2-3, there seems to be nothing really to get excited about with this time. In fact, it seems like they roll out the same iteration of this team year in and year out. Ownership seems content on just winning 8 games a year and collecting the NFL shared revenue year to year. It would take something drastic for this franchise to feel like they are a real contender weekly.
23. Dallas Cowboys (2-4)
How ’bout them Cowboys?!
Well, somehow, the Cowboys are sitting on top of the NFC East. At 2-4 they appear to be one of the league’s worst teams, which was only exacerbated by the loss of Dak Prescott. Clearly not where they wanted to be 6 games into the season, but this is a results business, and if the season ended today, they would be hosting a playoff game. Expect them to look better at some point as they adjust to having Andy Dalton lead the way, but Cowboy fans, don’t hold your breath.
24. Philadelphia Eagles (1-4-1)
The 1-4-1 Eagles are once again bitten by the injury bug. It’s unclear what their strength and conditioning program looks like, but it needs to under heavy scrutiny. It seems like they are battling injuries and guys missing games who were projected starter in the offseason for the third year in a row. They took another major blow when starting RB Miles Sanders went down with an ankle injury who is expected to miss at least one game. Injuries are apart of game but what they are dealing with is unprecedented. Luckily for them, they are used to backfilling their rosters with no-name guys, so if anyone can manage, it’s them. Additionally, they just have to beat out the Cowboys for a playoff spot. Giants coming in town this week could be an easy get back on track game.
25. Atlanta Falcons (1-5)
Addition by subtraction.
Sometimes having a new voice in the locker room does so much for a team. Last week, Atlanta fired their Head Coach and GM, respectively, and came out this past week looking refreshed. Suddenly, Julio looks healthy, Matt Ryan is slinging it around, and the defense is making plays. But like the Lions, they need something drastic to change the narrative of the team. Maybe it’s hiring interim Head Coach Raheem Morris full time, making him the 3rd Black head coach in the league. Do the right thing, Arthur Blank!
26. Minnesota Vikings (1-5)
You Can’t Like That!
It’s abundantly clear that when this team asks Kirk Cousins to be their best player, they will struggle. The very first play of the game, Cousins threw an interception, his first of three for the day en route to a loss to, at the time, the winless Falcons. They are a run-first team because of his inability to put the on his back when needed. Sitting at 1-5 and with RB Dalvin Cook hurt, the season is pretty much getting out of hand quickly. With a much-needed bye this week there only hope is a healthy Cook and for their young defense begins to grow up fast.
27. Los Angles Chargers (1-4)
Is Tyrod going to sue?
Nah, but serious QB Tyrod Taylor lost his starting job to Justin Herbert because team doctors “accidentally” poked him in the lung while trying to give him pain medicine. Very unfair for him, but the only silver lining is that Justin looks the part and can be a young QB to build around. However, it should be noted the only game this 1-4 team has won was when Tyrod played. Hey rook, up next Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs. Coming out the bye with extra time to prepare, expect them to play hard, but that’s about it.
28. Cincinnati Bengals (1-4-1)
A Burrow of hope.
It’s hard to take the Bengals seriously given their more recent history, but Joe Burrow is the real deal. There are no moral victories in the league, but you have to be inspired by the fight this young team shows. Coming into the week at 1-4-1, they hope to catch the dysfunctional Browns slipping to earn their 2nd win of the season.
29. Washington Football Team (1-5)
Definition of a train wreck.
The team with no name also has no future at the QB position after unfairly benching and giving up on 1st round draft pick Dwayne Haskins, uncertainty at the head coaching position as their coach undergoes cancer treatment, and what is widely accepted as the worst team owner in the entire NFL. Keep the Washington Football Team in your prayers at night.
30. New York Giants (1-5)
2021 where art thou?
Let’s face it the moment Saquon Barkley went down for the season, their season was over. Daniel Jones has shown flashes, but they don’t have enough talent to win too many more games. If they play teams equally as trash, they will look competent.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)
Two Words: Trevor Lawrence.
While being a J.A.T and losing to another J.A.T in the Lions, it can be just swept under the rug as something we all expected. However, losses can amount to future wins if they can put themselves in a position to draft the #1 QB prospect, Trevor Lawrence. As the season moves along and Garner Minshew continues to prove he’s not their franchise QB, look for them to strategically begin to tank the season to keep pace with the Jets in the race for Trevor.
32. New York Jets (0-6)
How is Adam Gase still a NFL Head Coach?
Jets have released their best player last week and has yet to win a game. Gase is considered to be an offensive guru in the league, but we’ve seen pee-wee football teams look more prepared than his teams at times. Every day this man maintains his job is why people continue to give the NFL the side-eye when it comes to equal opportunity hiring in the coaching industry.