NFL Power Rankings Week 7: Overrated Teams Set to Plummet
Power rankings have little impact on the NFL landscape. This isn't college football, where over-hyped teams ride cake schedules to high rankings and then demand respect.
The NFL decides its season on the field and the cream eventually rises.
The only problem is many fans base their perceptions on teams by what is said by national analysts in power rankings.
Some teams are being bolstered by good records against easy teams while others aren't getting respect due to perceived slights. One of each teams in that category will make this list, though.
The following teams are going to see their rankings drop significantly in coming weeks. Some may work their way back up the rankings, but a few are about to head south for the winter.
Baltimore Ravens, 4th in NFL.com Poll
There are two big issues facing the Ravens' ranking for at least the next few weeks.
First, the team has to travel and face a Houston Texans team that will be out for blood after a disappointing loss against the Green Bay Packers. The Texans want to be known as a balanced team on offense and defense, but they didn't show much of either on Monday night.
Don't expect Matt Schaub to let his team get down early in this one. He'll be attacking a weakened Ravens' secondary, which leads to point two...
The Ravens' defense has been defined by defensive play, but they have lost their three best players to injury. While some teams can adjust with the loss of key players, the Ravens have lost three Pro Bowl-quality stars. You don't simply replace Ray Lewis' impact on the field or in the locker room.
The Ravens go into their bye-week after this matchup and actually have a fairly favorable schedule once they return. They do have a pair of games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and face the San Diego Chargers in their next six contests, but both of those teams have issues.
The real test comes in the final three weeks. The Ravens face the Denver Broncos, New York Giants and then travel to possible settle the division against the Cincinnati Bengals.
A loss to the Texans and a bye week will keep the Ravens out of the Top Five, and wins over the Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders when they return won't earn them any street cred.
Seattle Seahawks, 7th
The Seahawks faced an early schedule that had some predicting a 1-5 start. However, they've beaten the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and Green bay Packers to surge up the rankings.
They've also seen hefty drops following a loss to the supposedly-terrible Arizona Cardinals and the up-and-down St. Louis Rams.
It feels as though writers are waiting for reasons to dump the team some feel were handed a victory against the Packers. That was a cute story to help force an end to the replacement officials, but botched calls also handed the Packers their only touchdown in the game. The better team on the field that day won.
Seattle has an almost insurmountable task this week: They are the visiting team on a short week headed into Thursday.
Visiting teams with just three days of preparation are just 1-4 so far this season. These matchups have given upsets such as the Tennessee Titans beating the Steelers and the Rams upsetting the Cardinals. The Giants are the only team to win in this scenario, a lopsided victory over the Carolina Panthers.
After a loss to the 49ers, the Seahawks could fall out of the Top 15 of the NFL rankings. Their following games against the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets aren't likely to give them any love from a strength-of-schedule perspective, either.
Seattle will need another statement win to impact national writers. The next opportunity will be Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.
Pittsburgh Steelers, 15th
The Steelers dropped six points after their loss against the Titans last Thursday. They are the highest-ranked team with a losing record.
They will hope to have the highest ranking of a four-loss team after this weekend.
Pittsburgh has had several injury issues on defense and added offense to the list the week after getting Rashard Mendenhall back.
The offensive line has posed issues for the Steelers. That unit will be without David DeCastro for around two months and Maurkice Pouncey and Marcus Gilbert won't likely be in the lineup in Cincinnati.
Mounting injuries aren't a good sign for an aging team that has already had their bye. Neither are road games against the Bengals and Giants sandwiching a matchup with the Washington Redskins.
New York Jets, 17th
There are 11 teams with a 3-3 record. Smack-dab in the middle sit the New York Jets.
Their next two games are against a pair of division rivals that will make life difficult.
The Patriots return home after a frustrating loss and will look to regain their dominant position in the division. Follow that up with a trip to Miami and a bye, and the Jets will begin to fade.
They travel to Seattle after their week off, which is a disaster in the making for a team lacking an identity on offense. The crowd and defensive stature of the Seahawks will make it difficult for the Jets to pull a win.
A 3-3 record will become 4-5 or 3-6 and have the Jets out of the playoff picture...and well down in the power rankings.
Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and Seattle Seahawks.
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