NFL Power Rankings Week Seven: Saints Take Top Spot
After six weeks, just four teams remain unbeaten. Week Six had a little bit of everything. Numerous quarterbacks put up gargantuan numbers, the undefeated Giants were abused, the Eagles and Titans were embarrassed, though for different reasons, and that Favre guy was at it again.
Teams previous ranking in ( ).
1. New Orleans Saints (2): After two weeks of no touchdown passes, quarterback Drew Brees returned to form against the Giants throwing for 369 yards and four touchdowns. The Saints put up 48 points against the best defense in the NFC. The Saints are clearly the favorites in the NFC.
2. Denver Broncos (5): No one is more surprised than me that I have the Broncos No. 2. However I rarely move a team if they had a bye which keeps the Colts at No. 3 and I believe the Broncos win over the Pats was more impressive than the Vikings win over the Ravens.
3. Indianapolis Colts (3): With a bye week, any slight injury to Peyton Manning’s knee should be fine by now. Even if it’s not, the Colts face the Rams and could win that game with quarterback Jim Sorgi at the helm and a few wide receivers off the practice squad.
4. Minnesota Vikings (4): I have the Vikes remaining at No. 4 this week. Despite the irony, I can’t move them up because even though quarterback Brett Favre led another comeback, the Vikings got lucky. The Vikings could very easily be 4-2 right now. However they are 6-0 and as much as I hate to admit I was wrong, they are a better team with Favre behind center, at least through six weeks.
5. New York Giants (1): Whether or not the Giants are a top five team, I’m not sure. Yes, they were 5-0, but had played an easy schedule. When faced with a good team, they were destroyed. We might get a better read on this team depending on how they bounce back on Sunday night against another good offense against the Cards.
6. Atlanta Falcons (7): Nice win against a pretty good team on Sunday night. I can’t wait to see how they perform against the division leading Saints in a few weeks.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (9): Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger continues his aerial assault on the NFL. Big Ben recorded his second career 400-yard game this week against the Browns. The Steelers will face the task of taking down the undefeated Vikings in Week Seven.
8. New England Patriots (11): Tom Brady is back. Sure the Titans are a completely different team than last year, but five touchdown passes in one quarter is impressive. However, am I the only one that wanted to see Keith Bullock or any Titans defender bull rush Pats coach Bill Belicheck for not only putting Brady in to start the second half, but letting him continue to throw the ball up 45-0?
9. Cincinnati Bengals (8): I don’t put too much stock into their loss against the Texans. The Bengals have still beaten some very good teams this year. The defense is going to have to get a little bit better though if they want to hold off the Ravens and Steelers for the next 11 weeks.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (6): Quite frankly if you lose to the Raiders you do not deserve a spot in the top 10. With that said, every team does lay an egg at some point and I still believe the Eagles are one of the more talented teams in the league. They have got to get running back Brian Westbrook going though.
11. Baltimore Ravens (12): It’s not often I move a team up after a loss. It’s even less often when the team is just 3-3. However it’s clear that even though the Ravens have lost three straight, they are still a contender. Questionable calls by the refs in two games, and a game winning field goal missed wide left is all that stands in the way of the Ravens from being 6-0.
12. New York Jets (10): I wanted to drop this team out of the top 15, but their win against the Pats and running back Thomas Jones running for over 200 yards just made me not give up yet. Three losses in a row and quarterback Mark Sanchez has played like most rookie QBs do. If they don’t turn it around in a hurry, they may find themselves right where I had them to start the season at No. 21.
13. San Diego Chargers (13): The Bolts put up a great fight in the first half, but were unable to do much in the final 30 minutes. They have dug themselves quite a hole in the AFC West.
14. Green Bay Packers (18): Wide receiver Donald Driver became the Packers’ all time leading receiver this week and quarterback Aaron Rodgers played flawless football. The Packers are going to have to play football like this on a weekly basis if they have any hope of catching the Vikings.
15. San Francisco 49ers (15): The 49ers are coming off a bye, they should have their star running back Frank Gore back, and first round draft pick Michael Crabtree is set to start. Oh yeah, and they get to play the Texans. Nice week to be a 49ers fan.
16. Chicago Bears (14): I can’t quite get a good read on the Bears. It seems that their success depends on quarterback Jay Cutler. Six of his seven interceptions have come in their two losses and they very nearly lost to Seattle when he had one interception and a lost fumble.
17. Dallas Cowboys (17): The Cowboys had their best week of the season and they never took the field. The Giants got torched by the Saints, the Eagles found a way to play worse than the Raiders and the Redskins…well not much to say about them. A win against the Falcons in week seven would be huge for the ‘Boys.
18. Arizona Cardinals (19): A thorough beat down of the Seahawks in Week Six. The running game is still nowhere to be found. However the biggest concern right now is the health of wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
19. Houston Texans (21): Quarterback Matt Schaub looked excellent in a win over the Bengals. Steve Slaton had over 100 receiving yards, but has still struggled mightily in the ground game.
20. Miami Dolphins (20): The good news is the Dolphins are coming off a bye and should have most everyone pretty healthy. The bad news is they are facing Drew Brees and company.
21. Seattle Seahawks (16): The Seahawks have quickly turned into Jekyll and Hyde. A 41-0 drubbing of the Jags in Week Five and then they decide not to show up against the Cardinals in Week Six. They need to play more consistent football if they want to win the NFC West.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars (22): It took overtime for the Jags to beat the lowly Rams. Nonetheless the Jags have a pretty favorable schedule the rest of the way. If running back Maurice Jones-Drew can keep it up, they are a dark horse to make the playoffs.
23. Carolina Panthers (24): Two more turnovers for quarterback Jake Delhomme and he only threw for 65 yards. Yet it was enough to beat the Bucs by a touchdown.
Steve Smith owners are surely getting frustrated, but DeAngelo Williams’ owners (those of you that were patient enough to continue using him) finally got what they had been waiting for. Nonetheless the passing game has got to improve or the Panthers are going nowhere.
24. Detroit Lions (23): No Matthew Stafford and no Calvin Johnson turned out to mean no points for the Lions. It will be a much more competitive game when they face the Packers again on Thanksgiving.
25. Kansas City Chiefs (28): The Chiefs finally got their first win under new coach Todd Haley. Running back Larry Johnson wasn’t overly special but did have his best rushing game, running for 83 yards. The Chiefs just don’t have a whole lot of talent to work with right now.
26. Buffalo Bills (27): WR Terrell Owens is now averaging 2.5 catches per game and just under 36 yards and has scored one touchdown all year. Needless to say it’s not surprise the Bills are 2-4. A nice win over the Jets but when you intercept six passes, you shouldn’t need overtime to win the game.
27. Oakland Raiders (31): Jamarcus Russell outplayed Donovan McNabb? That may be up for debate, but Russell turned in his best performance of the season, despite throwing two picks. Tight end Zach Miller reeled in six catches for 139 yards and the lone touchdown of the game. Nonetheless, it’s only one game but perhaps Russell has finally turned a corner.
28. Tennessee Titans (26): Giving up 35 points is rough. Giving up 35 points in one quarter (in less than 10 minutes of game clock) is downright incredible. Losing 59-0 is embarrassing and thankfully the Titans have a bye this week.
29. Washington Redskins (25): The Redskins are a mess. Not counting the Giants, they have lost to the Lions, Panthers and Chiefs all of whom were winless at the time. The two wins for the ‘Skins? Those came against the Rams and Bucs, both teams are winless and both wins came by five total points. Yuck.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (29): Quarterback Josh Johnson fumbled five times but somehow managed to recover four of them. There is no nice way to say it, the Bucs are just awful. To make matters worse, they face the Patriots in Week Seven.
31. Cleveland Browns (30): On the bright side, quarterback Derek Anderson completed more than two passes this week. Unfortunately he threw one pass to the other team and lost two fumbles. As if that’s not bad enough, wide receiver Josh Cribbs was second on the team in rushing attempts (six) and led the team in rushing with 45 yards.
32. St. Louis Rams (32): The Rams came so close to getting their first win, but came up just short in overtime against the Jags. Quarterback Marc Bulger played well but the defense gave up over 460 yards of offense. I still believe the Rams will actually finish with a worse record than last season when they went 2-14.
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