NFL Power Rankings Week 7: Assessing League's Biggest Risers and Fallers

Daine Pavloski@@dpavloskiAnalyst IIOctober 16, 2013

The Falcons went from big time contender to comically bad pretender in a matter of weeks.
The Falcons went from big time contender to comically bad pretender in a matter of weeks.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Week 6 in the NFL was wild and crazy. There were surprises all around the league from Denver's dance with Jacksonville, a huge day from Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles and a huge drop for the Atlanta Falcons. 

In what was a wild Week 6, Week 7 promises to be just as wacky with some huge match ups, but before the games go down this weekend let's take a look at how each NFL team stacks up and which teams climbed the ranks and which teams took a dive. 

Biggest changes are listed in italics.

1. Kansas City Chiefs

This might turn some heads, but the Kansas City Chiefs have earned the No. 1 spot in Week 7's power rankings. They have one of the best defensive units in the NFL who sacked Terrelle Pryor 10 times against the Raiders and have been strong all year. I mean come on, they've only allowed double digits three times this season. 

The offense still isn't quite there for the Chiefs, but they've managed to stay undefeated earning six victories, four more than they had all of last season. Andy Reid has really got things going in the right direction in Kansas City and the huge change from last season to this season earns them the No. 1 spot in this week's power rankings. 

2. Denver Broncos

It's tough to imagine a team like Denver dropping out of the No. 1 spot unless they lost, but their 35-19 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars is pretty darn close to a loss. The undefeated Broncos struggled against one of the worst teams in the NFL and showed that Peyton and his boys are indeed human. 

While they may be human, the Broncos are still pretty dang good. They have the best passing game in the NFL, no surprise there, and the best defense against the run in the league. Denver gets it done on both sides of the ball, and though they've struggled a little in the past few weeks they have a huge opportunity to get a confidence boosting victory against the 4-2 Indianapolis Colts in Week 7, which could very easily shoot them back into the No. 1 spot. 

3. Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks bounced back from their Week 5 loss to the Indianapolis Colts with a big division win over the Titans and are easily one of the best squads in the NFL with their running game that ranks as the second best in the NFL and their incredible defense. 

The Seahawks have been great so far but they haven't had any major tests. In the next few weeks their mettle will be put to task in back-to-back weeks against division opponents, the Cardinals in Week 7 and the Rams in Week 8, with both games coming on the road. 

The No. 3 spot will be home to the Seahawks for another week, but their true colors will be shown over their next couple games. 

Thanks to Tom Brady's late-game heroics, the Pats jumped up the rankings in a big way this week.
Thanks to Tom Brady's late-game heroics, the Pats jumped up the rankings in a big way this week.Rob Carr/Getty Images

4. New England Patriots

New England really showed what they're all about in Week 6. Even though Tom Brady doesn't have the weapons he's used to, he still got the job done when it really mattered against the New Orleans Saints to add another impressive late game victory to his resume. 

The Patriots only have one loss on the season, but they haven't really looked like major threats, up until Week 6 at least. The offense has been struggling, with passing numbers way down, and Tom Brady has had a hard time adjusting from Welker, Gronk and Hernandez to Thompkins, a hurt Amendola and relying more on Julian Edelman. 

The Saints game in Week 6 was huge, but could've been really bad. The Pats were coming off a loss to the Bengals and a second loss in a row really could've made this season go from bad to worse for Brady and his boys. 

Instead the Pats turned things around, got a huge win and made a huge climb in the power rankings. 

5. New Orleans Saints

The Saints played pretty well against the Patriots, but fell victim to a classic Tom Brady fourth quarter drive and took their first loss of the season. 

Obviously no one wants to lose, but the Saints aren't hurt that much from the Pats loss. They still lead their division and get a bye in Week 7 to regroup and construct a gameplan to take on the struggling Buffalo Bills in Week 8.

The Saints stay in the top five after a hard fought loss to Tom Brady. 

6. San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers moved to 4-2 in Week 6 as they got their consecutive win and, more importantly, got a division victory over the Cardinals. 

The 49ers are absolutely rolling right now, putting up at least 32 points in each of their last three games and it doesn't look like they show any signs of slowing down against Tennessee in Week 7. 

Green Bay put on an impressive show in Week 6 and look to keep rolling against the Browns in Week 7.
Green Bay put on an impressive show in Week 6 and look to keep rolling against the Browns in Week 7.Patrick Smith/Getty Images

7. Green bay Packers

The Packers got a HUGE win over the defending Super Bowl champs in Week 6. Green Bay's defense had a big game, making a few impressive stops in the redone, including a goal line stand on a fourth and short against a solid Ravens offense. 

The area the Packers are struggling in may come as a surprise to most people; their offense. The offense has struggled, especially the passing game and the injuries to Randall Cobb and James Jones certainly don't help things.

The Packers got a big win in Week 6, but they'll have to find a way to put points on the board until they get a few of their weapons back. 

For now, they'll stay in the top ten. 

8. Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are one of those teams that you kind of forget about. Out of nowhere they're 4-2, including wins over New England and Green Bay. They earned a hard fought win over a rough Buffalo team in overtime in Week 6, but won't have things that easy in Week 7 against the Detroit Lions. 

The Bengals have played well with a top ten defense and an offense with some major weapons. If the Bengals can pull off another big victory in Week 7 they could move up even higher in the rankings. 

The Colts took a tough loss in Week 6, but they could move right back up the rankings with a win over Denver.
The Colts took a tough loss in Week 6, but they could move right back up the rankings with a win over Denver.Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

9. Indianapolis Colts

The Colts are one of the best young teams in the NFL, but racked up an uncharacteristic loss to the San Diego Chargers on Monday night, earning them a bit of a drop in the power rankings. The Colts still hold first place in the AFC South but if they want to climb the power rankings this week they'll have to take down the Denver Broncos. 

Beating the Broncos in Week 7 would be absolutely huge for the Colts, not just to hand the Broncs their first loss of the year, but also for the Colts to regroup after a tough loss to the Chargers. 

10. Chicago Bears

The Bears have been great or bad this season, riding mostly on the arm of Jay Cutler. Cutler has thrown six picks but they've only come in three games. When he's bad, he's bad and his team struggles, but when he's good, he's great.

The Bears had the gift of taking on the New York Giants in Week 6 and while they only beat them by six, they still got another win. 

The Bears will have the opportunity to pick up a big win against RGIII and the Redskins in Week 7 before their bye in Week 8. 

11. Detroit Lions

The Lions have been getting the job done thanks to their sixth-best passing attack in the NFL and in Week 6 they took down the surprising buzzsaw that was the Cleveland Browns. The Lions still have some things to work out defensively with a squad that's 29th against the run and 21st against the pass, but if their offense can keep getting the job done, they'll hang around the top ten in the NFL. 

The Lions have a huge test against the Bengals in Week 7 and with Calvin Johnson getting healthier, a win over Cincy could propel the Lions into the top ten.

12. Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys continued to impress in Week 6, getting a 31-16 win over the Redskins, just one week after they lost a barn-burner against Denver, a game that saw the Boys put up 48 points in a losing effort. Tony Romo has been solid and the Cowboys defense has been "bend don't break" enough to keep America's team in the game. 

The Cowboys have been putting up a pile of points and if they can get past Philly in Week 7, they could see a big move up the leaderboard. 

13. Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens drop a few spots after a tough loss to the Green Bay in a game where they gave up 120 yards on the ground to rookie Eddie Lacy and couldn't capitalize on a few great opportunities in the red zone. 

There's not much Baltimore could do against the Packers ridiculous defense on Sunday, but if they want to stop their slide they need to pick up a win against their AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers this week. 

14. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins have been on a steady slide for the last few weeks, losing two games in a row before their Week 6 bye. After the bye they have the pleasure of taking on the Bills who are having a hard time on the offensive side of the ball. 

The Phins will need a big game against the Bills if they want to break their slide and get back to their winning ways. 

The Rams are looking to keep their winning streak alive and keep climbing up the ranks in the NFL.
The Rams are looking to keep their winning streak alive and keep climbing up the ranks in the NFL.Scott Halleran/Getty Images

15. St. Louis Rams

The Rams will be looking for their third win in a row against the Carolina Panthers in Week 7. They've beat a few lesser teams to start their streak against Jacksonville and Houston, but their matchup against the Panthers will require a lot more from the Rams 20th ranked passing attack and 28th ranked running game. 

The Rams move up in a big way heading into Week 7, riding a winning streak, but they'll have to keep it up against a tough Carolina squad this Sunday. 

16. Tennessee Titans

The Titans are at No. 16 because they're just that; middle of the pack. They come into Week 7 at 3-3 and don't really stand out offensively or defensively. They've slid a bit over the last few weeks losing two games in a row and will need a big day against a very talented San Francisco squad in Week 7 if they want to turn things around. 

If Nick Foles continues to play at a high level Mike Vick might have to stay on the sidelines.
If Nick Foles continues to play at a high level Mike Vick might have to stay on the sidelines.Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

17. Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are another one of the teams this week that really made a huge move in the power rankings. They've put up almost 70 points combined in the last two weeks and look to make it three wins in a row against the Cowboys in Week 7. 

Philly has a top ten offense and the best running game in the NFL with Chip Kelly's new high-octane playbook and, as if their last few weeks aren't impressive enough, they took down Tampa Bay last weekend with Nick Foles at the helm who threw for almost 300 yards and three touchdowns. 

The Eagles are rolling and if the offense can keep it up they'll keep movin' on up. 

18. San Diego Chargers

The Chargers will hang out near their usual spot after a big win over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football in Week 6. Phillip Rivers has lead the Chargers No. 3 passing attack and San Diego to .500 and looks like he's ready to take the jump into the elite section of QBs in the NFL. 

Rivers and the Chargers are just 3-3, but a few more performances like their game against the Colts will see them jet up the power rankings in the NFL. 

19. Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals were on a two game winning streak until they met the 49ers in Week 6. While things don't look to bright for the Cardinals, things could certainly be worse for the 3-3 squad in the very tough NFC West. 

The Cards have a make or break game coming on Thursday night against the Seattle Seahawks that could easily shoot them up the rankings or knock them down even farther. 

20. New York Jets

There aren't a lot of things going for the Jets. They have a passing game in the bottom ten, losses to New England, Tennessee and Pittsburgh and a shaky situation at quarterback. 

The Jets aren't great offensively but their defense has been surprisingly decent, allowing just 228 yards through the air per game and just 75 yards on the ground. 

21. Cleveland Browns

The Browns were absolutely cruising after they lost Trent Richardson to the Colts, but finally their momentum has been stopped at the hands of the Detroit Lions. Things won't get much easier as they prepare for the Packers in Week 7. 

The Browns have been solid defensively, ranked in the top ten against both the run and the pass, but their rough offense hasn't been able to stay consistent, averaging just over 240 yards passing and 88 yards running per game which won't be enough to take on the incredible defense of the Green Bay Packers. 

22. Buffalo Bills

The Bills are in a bad way. They've given up at least 20 points in every game this season and have one of the worst defensive units in the league. 

The only thing that they really have going for them is their two-headed rushing monster of Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller who both have over 340 yards on the ground this season. 

The Bills are definitely in the lower part of the league but the addition of Matt Flynn could definitely help things on the offensive side of things. 

23. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have been pretty bad this year, but they move up a tiny bit this week after picking up their first victory of the season against the New York Jets. The Steelers have one of the best passing games in the NFL with over 277 yards per game, but can't get much going on the ground with their almost non-existent rushing attack made up of Le'Veon Bell and Felix Jones, neither of which have 100 yards total on the season. 

The Steelers are rough, but hey, things are at least looking up. 

24. Oakland Raiders

The Raiders don't move much in this week's rankings after losing to the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs 24-7. The Raiders offensive line gave up 10 sacks to KC's defense and if they can't figure something out to protect Terrelle Pryor, they're going to struggle even more in the coming weeks against Pittsburgh and Philly after their bye in Week 7. 

25. Carolina Panthers

Carolina suddenly found their offense against Minnesota in Week 6, racking up 35 points on a three touchdown day for Cam Newton and 130-plus yards for the Panther running game. 

The Panthers are just 2-3, but if they can keep their offense going the way it did in Week 6 they could definitely move up a bit in the rankings. 

Atlanta's once potent offense is anything but in 2013.
Atlanta's once potent offense is anything but in 2013.Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

26. Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons riding what kids these days like to refer to as the "struggle bus." They are just 1-4 and have given up at least 23 points in every game this season. 

They give up almost 280 passing yards per game and have only mustered around 79 yards per contest on the ground. 

If the Falcons can't get things going on both sides of the ball they could very easily drop even farther down the NFL rankings. 

27. Washington Redskins

RGIII and the Redskins are still trying to get back to last year. After an incredibly impressive rookie campaign from Griffin, his second season has been less impressive. Griffin has thrown a boatload of picks, throwing at least one in every game except for their win over the Raiders, which hasn't helped a defense that ranks in the bottom eight of both rushing and passing defense. 

28. Houston Texans

The Texans have a top 15 passing game, the sixth best rushing attack in the NFL and the best passing defense in the NFL. So how are they just 2-4? They've lost four games in a row, that's how. 

Matt Schaub going down won't help things at all for a Houston squad that can't seem to do anything right, and until they figure out how to turn things around they'll be in the bottom of the NFL rankings. 

29. Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings have just one win this season that came over Pittsburgh in Week 4. The rest of their games have been pretty atrocious, giving up over 30 points in each contest. 

The hole has been dug pretty deep for the Vikes in a very strong NFC North and, barring any major miracles, they'll most likely be playing for a high draft pick in 2014. 

30. Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville moves up this week, not much, but it's up. They still are 0-6 but they at least kind of threatened the undefeated Broncos...kind of. They lost by 16 to one of the best teams in the NFL, which is pretty good for a Jags team that fields one of the worst offenses in the NFL, ranked 25th and 32nd in passing and rushing respectively, and a defense that allows over 150 yards on the ground per game. 

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Yeah, Tampa Bay is 0-5, but their losses have been pretty ugly thanks to their offense that hasn't put up more than 17 points this season. It's pretty bad when you release a quarterback and a couple weeks later he still leads your team in passing. 

The Bucs aren't good, but they'll get to take on another struggling team in the Atlanta Falcons in Week 7. 

To put it simply, at 0-6 the Giants are bad and they should feel bad.
To put it simply, at 0-6 the Giants are bad and they should feel bad.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

32. New York Giants

The New York Giants have the pleasure of earning the bottom slot in the NFL power rankings. They have given up at least 27 points in each of their games this season and, while their passing game is ranked eighth in the NFL with over 270 yards per game, they have a quarterback that has thrown six interceptions in his last two games. 

The Giants are bad and things won't get much easier as they still have matchups with Green Bay, Dallas, Detroit and Seattle on their schedule this season. 


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