Week 7 NFL Power Rankings

Written by Emilio Peña

An 8th of the league spent week week 7 on BYE and got to watch as the rest of the league tore each other apart. Win streaks extended, losing streaks extended. Players returned from injury, some were traded, some were benched, and others lost for the season.

1. Philadelphia Eagles (-)

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The Philadelphia Eagles enjoyed a well deserved BYE week break after winning their first 6 games to stay undefeated. While this is where they wanted to be after 6 weeks, Jalen Hurts and co aren’t content. There’s more work to be done, including the battle for Pennsylvania as The Eagles play The Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday in Philly.

2. Buffalo Bills (-)

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Despite the loss to Miami Earlier in the year, The Buffalo Bills also are very happy with where they are after they had a week 7 BYE. Coming off an incredible win in Kansas City in week 6, Buffalo got a chance to rest up, get healthy and prepare for the rest of their season. Which starts back up on NBC for Sunday Night Football when they host the struggling Green Bay Packers who are desperate to get back on track.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (-)

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Speaking of getting back on track, The Kansas City Chiefs did exactly that when they bounced back from their week 6 loss to Buffalo by demolishing the San Francisco 49ers in a Super Bowl 54 rematch. An early interception from Patrick Mahomes gave the 49ers hope, but it was really all KC after that. The Chiefs certainly do not miss Tyreek Hill, as their other receivers have been stepping up as of late. Juju Smith Schuster, who joined the team in the offseason, mentioned how he, Mahomes, Kelce and Marquez Valdes-Scantling all played Call of Duty together over the weekend. Which appears to be helping their chemistry on the field too.

4. New York Giants (+1)

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Things have changed in New York this season. A last second win where the defense held Jacksonville a yard short from tying the game was not good enough for coach Brian Daboll and the squad. Now sitting at 6-1, the expectations have changed, and for the better. Notable draft picks in the last couple of seasons have developed into key contributors (Saquon, Daniel Jones, Dexter Lawrence, Andrew Thomas, etc). With a relatively easy schedule the next couple of weeks, they appear poised to make the playoffs, and if they can catch Philly, they could even win the division.

5. Minnesota Vikings (-1)

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The Minnesota Vikings entered their BYE week 5-1, which was their best start to a season since the 2016 season. There has been a lot left to be desired, the offense hasn’t been as dominant as expected when they hired head coach Kevin O’Connell, and neither has their defense. The key is that the team is winning these close games though. Something the 2021 Vikings couldn’t say. Fans of the team and those within the organization have to be happy with their progress, knowing they have room to improve as well.

6. Dallas Cowboys (-)

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He’s back. Dak Prescott has returned. He didn’t exactly light up the world in his first game back since the season opener, but he did what he needed to do. Down 3-6 going into the half, The Cowboys scored 21 points with no response from The Lions. Prescott progressively looked better as the game went on, helping Dallas bounce back after a divisional loss to Philly the week before. The Chicago Bears come to town this week, Prescott and The Cowboys look to stack another win as they try to keep pace with Philly and New York.

7. Cincinnati Bengals (+3)

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If the Cincinnati Bengals hadn’t looked like the Super Bowl team they were last season before their week 7 matchup with Atlanta, they certainly do now. The Bengals absolutely dominated the Atlanta Falcons. The game finished 35-17 but the score wasn’t as close as it appeared. Joe Burrow was 19 passing yards short of throwing for 500 yards, becoming the first player in NFL history to have five games of 400 or more passing yards in the first three years of his career. This team is starting to hit their stride. They have a chance to prove it on Halloween against their Ohio rival Cleveland.

8. Baltimore Ravens (-)

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They tried desperately to choke this game as they have 3 times already this season, but The Ravens held on to beat The Cleveland Browns. Just like they have had in every game so far this season, The Ravens held a double digit lead in the 4th quarter before things got close. As long as Lamar Jackson is playing, it’s impossible to count this team out. They need more out of their defense if they want to be considered a major player in the AFC race though.

9. Tennessee Titans (+2)

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Slowly but surely, The Tennessee Titans keep stacking up wins. During their 4 game win streak, they’ve beaten the Indianapolis Colts twice. The Titans are a tough, smash mouth football team that wants to run it down your throat, but they are definitely a tier below the top teams in the AFC right now. They collapsed in the postseason last year, in order to avoid that, they’ll need more production from their receivers.

10. New York Jets (-1)

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The Jets won again on Sunday, but they also lost some key contributors. Rookie sensation Breece Hall was lost for the season due to a torn ACL and 2nd year offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker was also lost due to a tricep injury. QB Zach Wilson is going to have to step up, he hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire since coming back from injury.

11. Miami Dolphins (+7)

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With the return of Tua Tagovailoa, The Miami Dolphins were able to end their 3 game losing streak. The Dolphins are 10-2 in their last 12 games that Tua has started, so his presence is absolutely affecting winning. Miami heads up to Detroit this weekend for a game that looks like a relatively easy one, although there are no freebies in this league.

12. Seattle Seahawks (+8)

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I feel dumber and dumber by the week for having this team ranked as low as I did in the preliminary rankings earlier in the season. As Geno Smith would say “they wrote us off, and we didn’t write back”. A dominant win over The Los Angeles Chargers off the backs of Geno as well as rookie sensation Ken Walker III. Walker already looks like a top 10 running back in this league. All 5 of their first 5 draft picks have been impact players for this franchise. The future is bright in Seattle, but the present is too.

13. San Francisco 49ers (-6)

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A few short days after adding running back Christian McCaffrey, the Niners had a Super Bowl 54 rematch against the Kansas City Chiefs. McCaffrey had 10 total touches, as they tried to incorporate the new player without overwhelming him. Unfortunately for the Niners, the running back position can only impact the game so much. Jimmy G took his second safety of the season and also threw an interception right before halftime. McCaffrey is a game changing running back that’ll surely fit right into Kyle Shanahan’s offense but this team will go as far as Jimmy G will take them.

14. Los Angeles Rams (+1)

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The last of the teams on the rankings to have spent week 7 on their BYE was The Rams. Fortunately for them, they were able to climb the rankings both here and in the real rankings. Rival 49ers lost, which put them half a game ahead in the divisional race. The two teams play again this weekend giving LA a chance to even the season series and firmly put them ahead of San Fran.

15. Los Angeles Chargers (-1)

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This team is excruciatingly hard to watch. They rarely appear dominant, and when they do, they allow their opponent to fight back. This past weekend they fell behind 17-0 before fighting back themselves, just to allow Seattle to put them away. Justin Herbert had just 5.7 yard per pass attempt which is unfathomable considering his natural arm talent. Something is wrong in LA, and maybe it’s something Sean Payton can fix come next season.

16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4)

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For the first time in 20 years a Tom Brady led team has fallen a game below .500. The Bucs are certainly not where they want to be at the moment. An easy walk-in touchdown was dropped by Mike Evans and things never got clicking after that happened. It’s not too late for Tampa to get going, as they technically are still tied for the division lead, but they had better get it going soon if they want to make a Super Bowl run.

17. Green Bay Packers (-4)

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Green Bay dropped their 3rd straight game, this time to backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke. It was quite frankly embarrassing. Aaron Rodgers went on to throw either teammates or coaches, or both under the bus on his weekly appearance on The Pat Mcafee Show. There doesn’t appear to be much hope for this team the way they’ve been playing. They still have Rodgers though, he should attempt throwing the ball more than 5 yards past the line of scrimmage and maybe they might produce.

18. Arizona Cardinals (+6)

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While The Saints spotted them 14 quick points (back to back pick sixes) to end the first half, The Cardinals still had one of their stronger performances of the year. Having DeAndre Hopkins return was an immediate game changer for them, as he added 10 catches for over 100 yards. They head to Minnesota this weekend and look to end their 4 game win streak.

19. Chicago Bears (+10)

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Justin Fields did what I’ve never seen a 1st or 2nd year quarterback do to a Bill Belichick team, and walked all over them. The Bears did whatever they wanted offensively against New England. Fields had arguably his best game as a pro on Monday night. They now head to Dallas with hopes of maintaining the momentum they picked up.

20. New England Patriots (-4)

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New England’s game on Monday was one of the more baffling ones this season. Mac Jones returned from injury this week just to play a couple of drives before getting benched in favor of Bailey Zappe. Zappe added an immediate spark, scoring touchdowns on their first two drives, but was stifled for the rest of the game. Belichick claimed it was their plan from the get go, but even if that were the case it’s strange they’d pull Mac so quickly.

21. New Orleans Saints (-)

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The Saints continue to be decimated by injuries at key skill positions, and continue to fight. If they hadn’t thrown two pick sixes to close out the first half, they’d have had a great chance to steal a game in Phoenix. Without their own 1st round pick next year, The Saints need to find some kind of silver lining this season before things get really rough.

22. Las Vegas Raiders (+4)

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If he wasn’t already, Josh Jacobs has been unleashed. In his second multi-score game of the season and third consecutive 100-yard effort on the ground, Jacobs helped lead Vegas back into the win column and potentially helped give them the recipe for success. With the Saints, Jags, Colts and Broncos next on the schedule, The Raiders could be above .500 by the time they face off against Seattle in week 12.

23. Washington Commanders (+5)

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After a miraculous win over The Chicago Bears on the previous Thursday, The Washington Commanders toughed out another win against The Green Bay Packers. Backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke was in for the injured Carson Wentz, and his chemistry with star receiver Terry Mclaurin was on full display. Not only did he find Mclaurin for a 37 yard touchdown in the 3rd quarter to take the lead, but he also caught the game icing 3rd down conversion. I don’t think that this team is that good, but they have some pieces to make games difficult for their opponents. With a matchup against Sam Ehlinger and The Colts this weekend, a 3rd win in a row puts Washington firmly in the NFC playoff race.

24. Atlanta Falcons (-5)

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After winning 3 in a row, the Atlanta Falcons turn back into the Atlanta Falcons. A team that is determined to run the ball, run the ball, and run the ball some more, it wasn’t ideal for them to fall behind so quickly to The Bengals. Fortunately for Atlanta though, they host The Carolina Panthers this weekend with a chance to get back to .500.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers (-)

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If The Steelers defense didn’t drop about 3 interceptions, The Steelers would be sitting in a much better spot than 25. But like they say, there’s a reason that defensive backs don’t play offense. Miami’s defensive backs held up their end of the bargain though, as they intercepted rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett 3 times, including on the final possession that all but ended the game. The record isn’t pretty, but The Steelers are in a good spot right now in my opinion. Let the kid learn, let him work through this. 

26. Cleveland Browns (-4)

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Cleveland’s season has gone from encouraging to discouraging. What started out as a strong start without their suspended quarterback has turned ugly. Their run defense is towards the bottom of the league, and they aren’t moving the ball the same way they did earlier in the year. A Monday night matchup against Cincy looks to be a get right game and see who will win the first leg of the Ohio showdown.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (-4)

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Jacksonville was literally a yard or so away from beating The Giants. Like we said last week after the Bears vs Commanders game, a game of inches taken to a literal level. The Jags shipped James Robinson out of town, so it is officially the Travis Etienne show moving forward. They head to their home away from home in London to take on the Broncos.

28. Indianapolis Colts (-11)

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After a crushing loss to divisional foe The Tennessee Titans, The Colts announced they would be benching quarterback Matt Ryan for backup Sam Ehlinger, who has never started a regular season game in the NFL. A shocking development, given the massive price tag for Ryan, as well as the lack of success Indy has had in the last couple of years. It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of their season plays out. 

29. Denver Broncos (-2)

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While The Denver Broncos were without starting quarterback Russell Wilson, you’d never have known by looking at the final score (16-9). The Broncos season is on the verge of already being over, which would be disastrous. A matchup in London against the equally struggling Jacksonville Jaguars is a must win for both teams. The winning team will have a chance to make a run while the losing team will be making arrangements for next season. 

30. Carolina Panthers (+2)

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A couple of days after trading away arguably their best player over the last 5 years or so in Christian McCaffrey, The Carolina Panthers won their second game of the season, defeating the reigning NFC South champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21-3. A dropped touchdown pass by Mike Evans certainly deflated The Bucs early on, but 3rd string QB PJ Walker did an admirable job filling in, as did Chuba Hubbard and D’Onta Foreman at running back. I doubt Panthers fans are thrilled about the win, but at least the ball club showed some sign of life after an abysmal start to this season. 

31. Houston Texans (-)

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Houston lost again which wasn’t unexpected, but like with every week they have had a few positive takeaways. Davis Mills had his best game of the year, going over 300 passing yards while throwing 2 touchdown passes. He also threw a pick six which essentially ended their chances. I don’t know if Lovie Smith is just a holdover coach like David Cauley was last season, but he’s done a solid job at keeping this team somewhat competitive while also vying for a top 5 pick next draft.

32. Detroit Lions (-2)

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The Lions had a BYE week in week 6, a chance to reflect on their 29-0 loss to New England the week before. They came out week 7 against the Dallas Cowboys and looked flat offensively as well. Credit where credit is due, The Dallas Defense was very impressive and had some takeaways while The Lions were in field goal range, but Detroit still only mustered 6 points on the day.