NFL Power Rankings Heading Into Week 7

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Photo Credit: Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports

Week six of the NFL season is in the books and well, it was an interesting week.

All four AFC North teams lost, including a shocking Steelers lost against the Dolphins. The Cowboys gained more followers into their hype train as they beat the Packers at Lambeau. The Bills continued rolling with their first four game win streak in years with a win over the 49ers. In a showdown of #1 offense versus #1 defense, the Seahawks came away with the win against the Falcons after a questionable no call on Richard Sherman. And who can forgot about the Carolina Panthers? Arguably the top surprise of the NFL season as they are at 1-5 with the fan base in panic mode

After six weeks of the NFL season, here are the NFL Power Rankings heading into week seven. Note – last week’s power rankings. 

  1. New England Patriots (5-1) – Ranked #3 last week
  • In week two of Tom Brady’s revenge tour, he showed no mercy. Brady went for 29/35 for 376 yards and three touchdown passes. In two games, Brady has completed 76% of passes with a QB rating 135.5. Many QB’s at the age of 39 are well into retirement and looking into another passion in life but Brady is unique. Gronk was also unstoppable against the Bengals as he went for 162 receiving yards and a touchdown reception. Gronk looks to be back in rhythm with Brady back as he looks ahead to next week’s game against the Steelers, a team that he has scored seven touchdowns against in just four games.
  1. Minnesota Vikings (5-0) – Ranked #1 last week
  • The Vikings held the top spot but with the Patriots impressive win over the Bengals, the Vikings dropped to #2. Minnesota were on their bye but they will head to Philadelphia next week to take on Carson Wentz and the Eagles.
  1. Dallas Cowboys (5-1) – Ranked #7 last week
  • Who would have predicted this? 5-1 start for Dallas after a huge 30-16 win against the Packers AT Lambeau. Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and the #1 offensive line in the NFL have received some well deserved credit but attention needs to go to Rod Marinelli’s defense. They have not allowed a 100 yard rusher or a 100 yard receiver. Sean Lee and Morris Claiborne have played at a high level and this defense has improved from what they were a year ago. A bye week is next and then the showdown versus Philadelphia is upcoming.
  1. Seattle Seahawks (4-1) – Ranked #10 last week
  • It was not easy but like in numerous past matchups, the #1 ranked defense defeated the #1 ranked offense. The Seahawks defense had a near flawless performance in the 1st half but it was a near failure in the 2nd half. Miscommunication, coverage errors and failure to contain Julio Jones were all big red flag for the Seahawks defense. With the offense, it is good to see Jimmy Graham get involved in more plays while rush offense, as expected, is ineffective as they rank #25 in the NFL with 88 yards per game.
  1. Atlanta Falcons (4-2) – Ranked #5 last week
  • The Falcons were a defensive pass interference call on Richard Sherman away from a 5-1 start and seen as the best team in the NFL. A heartbreaking loss but this team is still the real deal. Their 2nd half performance against the Seahawks showed the resilience and heart of this team and maybe these are not the same old Falcons. With a solid 4-2 start and in 1st place in the NFC South, head coach Dan Quinn needs to remind his team what happened last year. The 2015 Falcons got off to hot 6-1 start and they collapsed, falling to 8-8. They need to keep the momentum going with a win against the Chargers this Sunday.
  1. Denver Broncos (4-2) – Ranked #2 last week
  • A few weeks ago, the Broncos were the consensus #1 team in the NFL. They were rolling with the top defense in the NFL to go along with one of the surprise players of the season, Trevor Siemian. That is not the case after two straight losses to the Falcons and Chargers. The defense is far from being a trainwreck but the stagnant offense has been the major concern once again. Broncos fans should hope that the week and half that Siemian missed was just to halt his momentum and that he will continue to put up good numbers.
  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) – Ranked #5 last week
  • It was the typical “surprise letdown” game for the Steelers and sadly, it has become a tradition in the Mike Tomlin era. Jay Ajayi became the first player to rush for over 200 yards against the Steelers in over 15 years. The Steelers accumulated under 300 total yards of offense while the Dolphins went for 474. When the offense is in a groove, they can put up 30+ points with ease but they can also look like a complete mess like they did against Miami. Pass rush struggled once again as they had just two QB hits and zero sacks. No panic time in Pittsburgh… even though Big Ben will be out this week against the Patriots. 
  1. Buffalo Bills (4-2) – Ranked #11 last week
  • 312 rushing yards against the 49ers. 312! We are finally seeing glimpses of Eagles LeSean McCoy. This season, McCoy has rushed for 587 yards and six touchdowns. Bills are now on a four game win streak with a road game against the Dolphins up next and their first contender or pretender test against Tom Brady and the Patriots and against the Seahawks the following week.  
  1. Washington Redskins (4-2)– Ranked #13 last week
  • An under-the-radar four game win streak by the Redskins has them back in the NFC East race. Josh Norman and the Redskins defense helped silence the Carson Wentz hype with a 11-22 for 179 yards performance. Matt Jones rushed for 135 yards with a touchdown.
  1. Kansas City Chiefs (3-2) – Ranked #15 last week
  • The Chiefs are back in the top 10. After the beatdown at the hands of the Steelers, the Chiefs bounced back with a much needed win over the Raiders. They shut down MVP candidate Derek Carr to a 225 yard with a touchdown and interception game. Jamaal Charles had a quiet day but Spencer Ware went off for 131 rushing yards and a touchdown. Everything is back to normal in Kansas City.
  1. Oakland Raiders (4-2) – Ranked #6 last week
  • With a chance to go 5-1 for the first time in 15 years, hold 1st place in the division, and hold the #2 spot in the AFC, the Raiders blew their opportunity in a loss against the Chiefs. With a poor game by Carr and the offense, the defense needed to step up and prove to NFL fans that this can be a consistent two-way team. Well, that is not the case. The Raiders defense have allowed 163 points this season, 3rd worst in the AFC behind the Browns and Colts. Khalil Mack has had a quiet start to the season while the retirement of Charles Woodson has left this secondary in disarray.
  1. Houston Texans (4-2) – Ranked #14 last week
  • Someone has to win the AFC South division.. even though none of the teams have proven that they deserve it. A Colts defensive collapse gifted a win to the Texans and after a tough loss against the Vikings, Houston is back on track. They dominated the line of scrimmage with Lamar Miller going over 140 rushing yards and three sacks for the Texans front seven. This team is hovering between contender or pretender. No doubt this team can make the playoffs without J.J Watt but can they prove that they can make a deep run?
  1.  Green Bay Packers (3-2) – Ranked #8 last week
  • You know it is getting bad when some people in your own fan base are calling you “washed.” Aaron Rodgers has not had a game of at least 300 yards and aside from the four touchdown game against Detroit, he has six touchdowns and four interceptions. The Packers rank 26th in yards per game and 17th in points per game with 22.8. This offense does not intimidate opponents anymore. The playcalling has been predictable and the running game led by Eddie Lacy has been average at best.
  1. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) – Ranked #9 last week
  • The Eagles hype has cooled off a bit after two consecutive disappointing losses. In the Eagles last two games, opponents QBs have thrown for five touchdowns and one interception compared to zero touchdowns and four interceptions in their first three games. Having their bye week right after their huge win against the Steelers has slowed down their momentum.
  1. Arizona Cardinals (3-3) – Ranked #17 last week
  • Order is restored in Arizona. Against the Jets, the Cardinals looked like the top five offense that they were last year. Easy win for the Cardinals as they look ahead to a potential must win showdown against the Seahawks. With so many teams in wild card contention in the NFC this season, you do not want to fall behind. 
  1. New York Giants (3-3) – Ranked #23 last week
  • Odell Beckham Jr. put on a show on Sunday with an eight receptions, 223 yards with two touchdowns performance. At 3-3, they are two games behind the Cowboys for 1st place in the NFC East and with a game in London against the Rams, they need a win to keep pace with Dallas.
  1. Tennessee Titans (3-3) – Ranked #19 last week
  • Don’t look now but here come the Titans. A two game win streak has them one game behind the Texans for 1st place in the AFC South. After a 137 rushing yard performance against the Browns, the Titans now have the #3 ranked rush offense in the NFL. Does 5-3 sound good for Titans fans? It is a realistic goal with home games against the Colts and Jaguars upcoming.
  1.  Detroit Lions  (3-3) – Ranked #21 last week
  • A four touchdown performance by Matthew Stafford was enough to beat the Rams and put Detroit at 3-3. Lions wide receivers have stepped up with the retirement of Calvin Johnson. Marvin Jones, Golden Tate, and Anquan Boldin all have at least 20 receptions this season while Eric Ebron has improved very well with route running.
  1. Los Angeles Rams (3-3) – Ranked #12 last week
  • So far, the Rams have proven to be a pretender once again. Many fans jumped on their hype train after their 3-1 start but now the Rams have dropped two in a row. Todd Gurley has not had a 100 yard game so far this season and his longest run is of 16 yards. Gurley is capable of exploding for a big yard gain when he is in the open field but he has not had many opportunities to do so. Stafford had no problem throwing against the Rams secondary. This defense is now a concern with 61 points allowed in their past two games.
  1. San Diego Chargers (2-4)  – Ranked #27 last week
  • Unpredictable best defines the 2016 San Diego Chargers. Even with a 21-3 lead over Denver in the 4th quarter, the Chargers still found a way to give their fans a panic attack. The Chargers finally held on to a 4th quarter lead and ultimately saved Mike McCoy’s job… for now.
  1. Cincinnati Bengals (2-4) – Ranked #18 last week
  • The Bengals once again proved the doubters right as they lost yet another game to a powerhouse NFL team. Luckily for Cincinnati, the Steelers and Ravens lost their games too this past week. Andy Dalton and the Bengals are having no problem moving the ball downfield but they are struggling to turn long drives into touchdowns. They rank #30 points per game while their defense has not been as dominant as they were last season. 
  1. Baltimore Ravens (3-3) – Ranked #16 last week
  • In their three wins this season, the Ravens have a point differential of 10 points. In their three losses, a point differential of 11 points. They have been in every game this season up to the end of the 4th quarter but their performances have been below average. Terrell Suggs has played like 27-year-old Suggs as he has five sacks this season but it will be interesting to see how the Ravens handle his injury. Suggs has a torn biceps and to no one’s surprise, he wants to play through it.
  1. New Orleans Saints (2-4) – Ranked #25 last week
  • It is going to be a sad day when the legend Drew Brees retires. He carried the Saints once again in their win against the Panthers. As usual, this team will go as far as Drew Brees takes them because this defense is unreliable. For Brees, Brandin Cooks has been his favorite target so far with 25 receptions for 428 yards and three touchdowns.
  1. Miami Dolphins (2-4) – Ranked #30 last week
  • Finally, a good overall performance by the Dolphins. Ryan Tannehill silenced the doubters (for now) with 252 yard performance but the offensive line deserve all of the praise. Run blocking was superb as Jay Ajayi rushed for 204 yards. Tannehill was also relaxed in the pocket as he was not sacked and was hit just twice.
  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) – Ranked #22 last week
  • Bucs were on the bye this week but with the big wins by the Saints and Dolphins, they dropped in the rankings. Bucs head to San Francisco to take on the 49ers this week.
  1. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3) – Ranked #26 last week
  • This Jaguars team was projected to be one of the best in the AFC but they define inconsistency. They rank 21st in points and 29th in yards and if it wasn’t for a late Blake Bortles comeback against the Bears on Sunday, Gus Bradley probably would have been fired.
  1. Indianapolis Colts (2-4) – Ranked #20 last week
  • “I didn’t come here for this” – Frank Gore after the Colts collapse against the Texans. There is no excuse for the Colts to blow a 14 point lead late in the 4th quarter. Once again, this defense is desperate for a star playmaker. A dominant pass rusher like a 2009 Dwight Freeney or a strong safety like 2007 Bob Sanders. This is the Colts team identity, you never know which Colts team will show up.
  1. Carolina Panthers (1-5) – Ranked #24 last week
  • The Panthers have hit rock bottom. Their defense was beatdown by Drew Brees last Sunday and at 1-5, the Panthers are desperate for a win. This team was #1 in the turnover differential last year but they are ranked #30 this year. Luckily for them, they have a crucial bye week ahead. R-E-L-A-X and get some consistent pass blocking and stops on defense.
  1. New York Jets (1-5) – Ranked #28 last week
  • The last team to make the playoffs after a 1-5 start? Who can forget about the 2015 Chiefs and their 10 game win streak. That is really the only motivation that the Jets have right now. The Jets pass defense was the talk of the week but it was their rush defense that had a tough time against Cardinals running back David Johnson. Ryan Fitzpatrick had another lackluster performance and all Jets fans are wondering, what now? This team will continue to fight until the end but some fans are already looking ahead to the draft and… Tony Romo?
  1. Chicago Bears (1-5) – Ranked #29 last week
  • In today’s edition of “New Ways the Bears Can Lose a Game”, they successfully blew a 13 point lead in the 4th quarter. Brian Hoyer had another 300 yard game but they struggled to string together a couple of touchdown drives. On defense, they desperately need a couple playmakers and leaders. Willie Young has been effective getting to the QB with five sacks in last two games but the Bears also need top draft pick Leonard Floyd to step up.
  1. San Francisco 49ers (1-5) – Ranked #31 last week
  • The 49ers rush defense was embarrassed once again. The Bills rushed for 312 rushing yards. This is not College Football. This is the NFL, highest level of football (not soccer) in the world. With the quarterback situation, Colin Kaepernick performed better but then again, pretty much the majority of NFL QB’s can perform better than what Blaine Gabbert has done this year. Kaepernick completed under 50% of his passes for 187 passing yards and the 49ers were 3-13 on 3rd down. Short throws and read option plays were a vast majority of the 49ers offensive plays.
  1. Cleveland Browns (0-6) – Ranked #32 last week
  • Cody Kessler impressed once again. Kessler led the Browns to a 13 point 4th quarter but it was not enough to pull off the victory. Regardless, Kessler went 26/41 for 336 yards and two touchdowns passes. Kessler has been good throwing on the run and he has a good feel to the game considering that he is just a rookie. The Terrell Pryor wide receiver experiment has been a success so far. Other than that, the Browns have been atrocious. Browns need stops on defensive as they can not rely on the rookie Kessler to carry the team.

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