NFL Power Rankings - Week 7
Fri, Oct 21, 2022
Is there a clear frontrunner in the NFC? I know the obvious answer is undefeated Philly but are the Eagles peaking too early? Are they on par with AFC bullies like the Bills and Chiefs? And even if they are, who else could make a push in the conference? Let's take a look...
In the East, there are the surprising 5-1 Giants who have taken down the Packers and Ravens in back-to-back weeks. Dak Prescott is set to return to the 4-2 Cowboys this week which will add another dimension to the offense. The 2-4 Commanders are already looking forward to the 2023 draft.
In the West, the 49ers looked like they might run away with a weak division until they hit a wall named the Falcons last Sunday. The 3-3 Rams got back in the win column against a horrible Panthers team. The 3-3 Seahawks won yet another game against the rival Cardinals putting them at .500 for the season, but the aforementioned Cards (2-4) could finally generate some offense with the week 7 return of WR DeAndre Hopkins and the trade for deep ball specialist Robbie Anderson.
In the North, the 5-1 Vikings are starting to separate themselves from the Pack. The 3-3 Packers are fading due to a lack of offensive weapons. The upstart Lions have the worst defense in the league but their offense, when healthy, can score with anyone. That leaves us with the 2-4 Bears. No offensive identity. Poised for a top five pick in the draft.
Finally, there's the NFC South. On paper it was the 4-2 Bucs’ division to lose but lately they've been showing cracks. The 3-3 Falcons are playing their asses off. A wild card berth might be in their future. The Saints are dealing with multiple injuries but when their receiving corps is at full strength, they could easily rattle off a string of victories. And then there's the unmitigated disaster otherwise known as the Carolina Panthers. Wonder who'll be their coach and QB next year?
That about covers it. Power rankings on deck.
#1. Eagles — Who else? Efficient offense with playmakers at every position including a QB with a 600-pound squat and maybe the best O-line in football. The Eagles also feature a smothering and opportunistic defense that thrives on takeaways. Philly is +12 in the turnover margin, the stingiest team in the NFL. (same ranking as last week)
#2. Bills — QB Josh Allen was masterful against the Chiefs in Arrowhead on Sunday. 329 passing yards with 3 touchdowns plus that run on the go-ahead drive in the fourth where he broke to the outside and leaped over a defender. Bills have established themselves as the big dogs in the AFC. (up from 3rd last week)
#3. Chiefs — No shame in losing to Josh Allen. Even in Arrowhead. I have a feeling they'll meet again in January. It doesn't get much easier this Sunday. Mahomes and company will travel to Santa Clara to face a 49ers defense that is anxious to shake off a week six loss of their own. (dn from 2nd last week)
#4. Vikings — Don't look now but the Vikings are 5-1 and undefeated in their division. Nice way to roll into the bye week. (up from 6th last week)
#5. Giants — Back-to-back wins against perennial superpowers, Packers and Ravens, have legitimized this team. Brian Daboll is my Cell Door Lock for Coach of the Year. (up from 10th last week)
#6. Chargers — Number six by default. Back-to-back nail-biter wins against middling competition have exposed various holes in a leaky defense and patchwork O-line. But if they get healthy, look out. (up from 9th last week)
#7. Bengals — Big road win for Joe Burrow and Bengals. But doesn't it seem like they have to come from behind in every game? (up from 11th last week)
#8. Ravens — They've remained in the top ten despite their three losses. Untimely turnovers and historic comebacks from feisty opponents have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory this season. But another loss, close or not, would relocate them to power ranking purgatory. "You are what your record says you are." —Bill Parcels (dn from 4th last week)
#9. 49ers — Ouch. Jimmy GQ throws 2 costly picks and the League's best defense gets humiliated in Atl. Looks like another key injury on that side of the ball as well. CB Charvarius Ward. Not what you want with KC coming to town this weekend. (dn from 5th last week)
#10. Buccaneers — Pedestrian: not a word generally associated with a Brady led offense. Bucs are looking extremely human lately. Tampa Tom vows to right the ship this week against the 1-5 Panthers. If there was ever a get-right game... (dn from 7th last week)
#11. Cowboys — Remember when the hyperventilating sports media were gushing about how Cooper Rush should continue to start, even when Dak Prescott returns? Sunday night in Philly was a cold dose of reality. Rush played efficiently when his number was called, but Dallas needs their dynamic franchise QB under center in order to make a deep playoff run. It starts this Sunday. Dak is back! (dn from 8th last week)
#12. Rams — A 14-point victory against this year's version of the worst team in the NFL does not a turning point make. But a win is a win. Nice to see offseason acquisition WR Allen Robinson find the endzone again. They'll need him to revert to his dominant self if they are to make a push. (up from 15th last week)
#13. Colts — Matty Ice finally awakens. 42 of 58 for 389 yards and 3 TDs. No picks, no fumbles. Rookie WR Alec Pierce is proving to be the perfect complement to Michael Pittman. Big test this week at the Titans. Revenge. It'd be nice to have their full stable of RBs for this one. (up from 18th last week)
#14. Jets — Wow. In year two, HC Robert Saleh's defensive coordinator background is beginning to show up on the field. Back-to-back stifling performances. RB Breece Hall is a force of nature. (up from 19th last week)
#15. Patriots — The Pats are playing like a well-coached unit. No prima donnas. Just blue collar, hardnosed, run-first, defensive-minded football. QB Bailey Zappe is a great story. (up from 23rd last week)
#16. Titans — Might still be the Alphas of the AFC South. They will be well rested this week for the visiting Colts. (same ranking as last week)
#17. Falcons — Unbelievable performance by a shorthanded team facing a loaded opponent. QB Marcus Mariota is a perfect fit for this offense. He is literally reviving his career with every game. Falcons are 6-0 against the spread this year. (up from 25th last week)
#18. Packers — Ugh. Hard to watch the Pack. They were 7-point favorites against the Giants and lost head up. Then, they returned to Lambeau as a 7-point favorite again and lost head up. Letting WR Davante Adams go is proving to be a colossal error. (dn from 12th last week)
#19. Seahawks — Seahawks are playing excellent football. They control the line of scrimmage with an offensive line that Russell Wilson would've prayed for, WR DK Metcalf is loaded, and the defense gets better game by game. (up from 26th last week)
#20. Browns — When you're a one-dimensional team, the worst opponent you can face is a Bill Belichick defense. He takes your best piece off the chess board (RB Nick Chubb—12 carries for 56 yards, no TDs—season lows) and forces you to beat him with everyone else. No one stepped up for the Browns. The result was a blowout. (dn from 13th last week)
#21. Jaguars — Two wins followed by three consecutive losses. Welcome back to earth, Jaguars. Vegas still believes in them though. They opened as a 3.5 favorite over the Giants this Sunday. (dn from 17th last week)
#22. Raiders — They draw the Texans off the bye week. On paper, it looks like a winnable game but nothing comes easy for the Raiders this season. (same ranking as last week)
#23. Dolphins — So many storylines for this upcoming Sunday night primetime matchup against the Steelers. Brian Flores returns as the Pittsburgh's linebackers coach after being fired by the Dolphins last year. Injuries to the Dolphins secondary leave big question marks at the cornerback positions. But the biggest storyline is the return of QB Tua Tagovailoa. I hope he kicks ass. (dn from 14th last week)
#24. Saints — They played admirably for a team missing its top three receivers and starting cornerback. But admirable play is not enough to keep Nola in the top twenty. The good news is that everyone else in the division is slumping too. (dn from 20th last week)
#25. Steelers — Massive win over the Bucs for a proud franchise with a hobbled defense. Did QB Mitch Trubisky just win the starting job back? We'll find out on Sunday night versus the Dolphins. (up from 29th last week)
#26. Cardinals — Looking bad but there is a ray of hope: WR DeAndre Hopkins returns this week to face the visiting Saints. (dn from 21th last week)
#27. Lions — Hopefully the bye week allowed the surprisingly competitive Lions to get healthy. This weekend in Dallas should be a fun game to watch. (same ranking as last week)
#28. Texans — They're in every game. That's all I can say. HC Lovie Smith is doing a helluva job. And RB Dameon Pierce is a beast. (same ranking as last week)
#29. Broncos — Defense is for real. Offense, not so much. But there are still 11 games to play. Denver is not dead yet. (dn from 24th last week)
#30. Commanders — Taylor Heinicke will be the starting QB against the Packers this weekend. Hard to imagine Washington winning this game... or many for that matter. (up from 32nd last week)
#31. Bears — Monday Night in Foxborough. Who is the genius that scheduled all these primetime games for the Bears? Thursday night versus Washington was horrendous enough. Running game is impressive. Not much else. (dn from 30th last week)
#32. Panthers —HC Matt Rhule was sent packing last week. QBs Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold are banged up. WR Robbie Anderson was just traded to the Cardinals with Christian McCaffrey trade rumors in the air as well. Panthers appear to be waving the white flag. There's always next year. (dn from 31st last week)