As I said last week, my NFL Power Rankings should become less volatile as the season wears on. One big win or one unfortunate loss carries less weight as the sample size of the season increases. Going from 10-1 to 10-2 is hardly as significant as going from 2-1 to 2-2, for example.
But just like after Week 6, some key results played a role in shaking up Week 7’s Power Rankings.
For starters, the number of undefeated teams has shrunk from three to just one: the 6-0 Pittsburgh Steelers. The Seattle Seahawks, who held the #1 spot for the past two weeks, were outdueled by the Arizona Cardinals 37-34 in overtime, receiving their first loss of the season. Either the Steelers or Tennessee Titans has to have their perfect record tarnished, and it was indeed Pittsburgh handing Tennessee a 27-24 loss.
The Sunday Night Football matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears, the surprising blowout win by the San Francisco 49ers over the New England Patriots, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers explosive win over the Las Vegas Raiders all played a role in shaping this week’s Power Rankings.
MVP Watch: Quarter Season
Post-Week 7 Power Rankings
- Kansas City Chiefs (6-1) [Last Week: 2]
- New Team at the Top/Back at the Top: The reigning Super Bowl champions have had a couple ups-and-downs this season (needing overtime to beat the Chargers, losing to the Raiders.) But they’re still the most consistently dominant team in the NFL, and also have a win over the #2 team. Kansas City is back in the top spot after Seattle held the position for the last two weeks.
- Baltimore Ravens (5-1) [Last Week: 3]
- I feel like people are somehow sleeping on Baltimore. Sure, their loss to the Chiefs doesn’t bode well for the Ravens’ chances in the AFC playoffs. But Baltimore is incredibly tough to beat, with a stellar defense and an unconventional yet high-scoring offense.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (6-0) [Last Week: 4]
- Last Undefeated Team: At 6-0, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the league’s last unbeaten team. Not many people outside of Pennsylvania expected such a hot start, but after defeating the Tennessee Titans 27-24, I’m FINALLY ready to say it: the 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers are for real.
- Seattle Seahawks (5-1) [Last Week: 1]
- Seattle had been winning games by the skin of their teeth en route to a 5-0 start, and this time lost a nail-biter to the Arizona Cardinals in overtime on Sunday Night Football. Seattle didn’t have to slide three spots, but their defense needs to stop giving up so many points.
- Green Bay Packers (5-1) [Last Week: 6]
- Tennessee Titans (5-1) [Last Week: 6]
- Tennessee lost 27-24 to the undefeated Steelers in a high-profile Week 7 matchup. But the Titans don’t lose any ground: they lost a three-point game to a very good team, ranked higher than them. No shame there, Tennessee will be around all season.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-2) [Last Week: 9]
- An explosive 45-20 win over the Raiders allows the Buccaneers to rise above the two teams that beat them this season: the Saints and Bears.
- New Orleans Saints (4-2) [Last Week: 8]
- Arizona Cardinals (5-2) [Last Week: 13]
- After two wins to start the season, followed by two losses, the Arizona Cardinals have rattled off three straight wins. Their 37-34 win over Seattle was an important addition to Arizona’s resume: and the Cardinals are now in play to compete for the NFC West.
- Buffalo Bills (5-2) [Last Week: 10]
- Los Angeles Rams (5-2) [Last Week: 11]
- Chicago Bears (5-2) [Last Week: 7]
- This Chicago Bears team can play with anyone, a testament to their strong defense, which has allowed the least points in the NFC North. However, their offense also lags behind their divisional foes. Chicago’s two losses have come 19-11 to the Colts, and 24-10 to the Rams last week. While they’ve also put up 27 points on the Lions and 30 points on the Falcons, the Bears need to find consistency. After being dubbed the Biggest Winner of Week 6 in my Power Rankings, Chicago finds themselves right back at #12.
- San Francisco 49ers (4-3) [Last Week: 14]
- The 49ers are back on track and hold a winning record after dominating the Patriots 33-6.
- Las Vegas Raiders (4-3) [Last Week: 12]
- Cleveland Browns (5-2) [Last Week: 15]
- Despite a strong 5-2 record, I’m gonna need to see more than a three-point win over the Bengals to push the needle on the Cleveland Browns’ Power Ranking.
- Indianapolis Colts (4-2) [Last Week: 16]
- Carolina Panthers (3-4) [Last Week: 19]
- Moving Up Despite a Loss: While the Carolina Panthers lost 27-24 to the Saints, I like the way they’ve been playing lately, and they have far exceeded my expectations so far. Best of all? They should be getting Christian McCaffrey back soon.
- Los Angeles Chargers (2-4) [Last Week: 20]
- I’ve been adamant all season that the Chargers are a decent-to-good team, Justin Herbert is an above average quarterback, and that Los Angeles is better than their record suggests. They only beat the Jaguars this week, but it feels like a well-deserved return to the win column.
- Detroit Lions (3-3) [Last Week: 24]
- Biggest Winner of Week 7: The Detroit Lions won just one of fifteen games during a span that started Week 4 of the 2019-20 NFL season and ended Week 2 of this current season. Since then, the Lions have gone 3-1, beating the Cardinals, Jaguars, and Falcons, and nearly upsetting the Saints. They still rank in the bottom half of the league, but they’re on the rise, and nowhere near the NFL’s basement of teams.
- Miami Dolphins (3-3) [Last Week: 18]
- Philadelphia Eagles (2-4-1) [Last Week: 22]
- Denver Broncos (2-4) [Last Week: 23]
- New England Patriots (2-4) [Last Week: 17]
- Biggest Loser of Week 7: I don’t think I’ve ever handed the same team back-to-back “Biggest Loser of the Week” distinctions. That is, until the Patriots mustered just 12 points against the Denver Broncos, followed by a 33-6 beatdown by the 49ers, both games taking place at home and with a healthy Cam Newton. New England looked just fine through Week 3, but has now dropped three straight with the team quickly losing their idenity.
- Houston Texans (1-6) [Last Week: 21]
- The Texans, like the Chargers, are a team that I keep preaching plays better than their record. But now at 1-5, and with a 35-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers, Houston is running out of excuses and may just not be that good.
- Atlanta Falcons (1-6) [Last Week: 25]
- Minnesota Vikings (1-5) [Last Week: 27]
- Cincinnati Bengals (1-5-1) [Last Week: 28]
- Washington Football Team (2-5) [Last Week: 31]
- Washington is 2-5 with four losses by 14 points or more. But last week, they lost to the Giants by just one point, and this week, they shut down the Cowboys 25-3. With matchups against the Giants, Lions, Bengals, and Cowboys in the next four weeks, Washington could actually make some noise with a couple wins.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6) [Last Week: 29]
- New York Giants (1-6) [Last Week: 30]
- While the Giants could have easily flipped the script and beat the Eagles last Thursday Night (which would have raised their Power Ranking, aren’t these such fickle things?) the truth of the matter is, they didn’t. While this New York team is capable of playing good games, they don’t seem to have what it takes as a team to win football games.
- Dallas Cowboys (2-5) [Last Week: 26]
- Dallas may have been the biggest loser of Week 7… if there was any further to go. I’ll still put them above the Jets, but since Dak Prescott’s injury, the Cowboys have been plying like a JV Football team in the NFL. On paper, the switch to Andy Dalton (who left Week 7’s matchup early) shouldn’t have been so difficult. In the past two weeks, Dallas has lost 38-10 to Arizona and 25-3 to Washington. Ouch.
- New York Jets (0-7) [Last Week: 32]
- Five Straight Weeks At the Bottom: The Jets defense held the Buffalo Bills to all field goals on Sunday, and even kept New York in the game, as they lost 18-10 with the Bills scoring the final 18 points. If Sam Darnold could have done anything on offense, or not thrown two interceptions, the Jets may have gotten their first win of the season last week. But alas, they didn’t, and the Jets are one step closer to 0-16.
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Header Photo Credit: USA Today/AP