2010 NFL Power Rankings: Week 7

Taylor SmithAnalyst IOctober 20, 2010

Another week of the NFL season has passed, and for the most part, we're still trying to figure out which teams are actually going to be contending long-term. 

Inconsistent teams like the Seahawks, Bears and Dolphins continue to muddle the standings, while we're still waiting for true breakout performances from the Packers, Vikings and Cowboys—teams we all thought would be leaving everyone in their wake before the season began.

While we wait, though, here's the latest rundown of the NFL's 32, from bottom-to-top.

In the Toilet

32. Buffalo Bills (0-5, Last Week: 32)

Week 7: at BAL

The good news: The Bills were off in Week 6, so we weren't subjected to some truly awful football.

The bad news: The Bills play in Baltimore this Sunday, so they may as well just take a second-straight bye week.

31. Carolina Panthers (0-5, Last Week: 31)

Week 7: vs. SF

The Panthers were also off last week, but they make the Bills look almost stable.

They'll be switching quarterbacks for the second time already this season against San Francisco this week, as lame duck coach John Fox is just clinging to straws while drowning at this juncture.


Improved Over '09, but Still Not Quite There Yet

30. Oakland Raiders (2-4, Last Week: 26)

Week 7: at DEN

The preseason notion that the Raiders could be making a charge back to the top of the AFC West is looking quite ill-conceived at this point.

To make matters worse, it looks like they may be forced to start third-string QB Kyle Boller this week against the Broncos.

29. Cleveland Browns (1-5, Last Week: 29)

Week 7: at NO

It will not be an easy task for Colt McCoy, as he'll have to follow up playing the Steelers with having to go on the road against the defending Super Bowl champions, assuming he's starting again this week.

Nevertheless, the former Texas Longhorn was impressive against the stout Steelers defense going 23-of-33 for 281 yards with a touchdown and a pair of interceptions.

28. Detroit Lions (1-5, Last Week: 25)

Week 7: BYE

The Lions are piling up tough loss after tough loss this season, but it's clear that they're far from the 0-16 team we saw a couple of years back.

It'll be exciting to see how they perform once Matthew Stafford returns following the bye.


The Enigmas

27. San Francisco 49ers (1-5, Last Week: 30)

Week 7: at CAR

San Francisco has a very good opportunity go improve to 2-5 this week and, embarrassingly enough, are not far from the top of the NFC West.

Is there finally a chemistry developing between Alex Smith and Michael Crabtree?

26. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3, Last Week: 19)

Week 7: at KC

Excluding a decent 105-yard with a TD performance in the win over the Colts, Maurice Jones-Drew has been a fantasy bust so far in 2010.

Could he rebound against a KC defense that was gashed in the second half by Houston in Week 6?

Seriously, I Know You're Not Really This Bad

25. Dallas Cowboys (1-4, Last Week: 23)

Week 7: vs. NYG

Despite ranking in the top four in the league in both total offense and total defense, the Cowboys are continually finding ways to lose on a weekly basis.

If they manage to lose this Monday night to the Giants at home, in the words of fake Terrell Owens, "Get ya tombstones ready" because the 2010 Cowboys will be officially dead.

24. San Diego Chargers (2-4, Last Week: 21)

Week 7: vs. NE

Speaking of teams that make no sense, the Chargers actually rank first in the league in both total offense and total defense.

I can't even begin to explain that one.

23. Cincinnati Bengals (2-3, Last Week: 24)

Week 7: at ATL

The Bengals move up by virtue of not playing last week, but face a tough test coming out of the bye against what's sure to be an upset Falcons team.


Who Are You?

22. Seattle Seahawks (3-2, Last Week: 28)

Week 7: vs. ARZ

Perhaps the Seahawks should change their name to the "D-Hawks" because despite an offense that ranks just 27th in the league, they're 3-2 headed into a very winnable home game against Arizona.

They rank fifth in the league in total defense. Can they keep it up?

21. Denver Broncos (2-4, Last Week: 17)

Week 7: vs. OAK

Three of Denver's four losses have come at the hands of the Colts, Ravens and Jets.

Their offense is impressive and they're still very much alive in the weak AFC West.

20. Arizona Cardinals (3-2, Last Week: 20)

Week 7: at SEA

With upcoming matchups with the Seahawks and Bucs, the Cardinals could very realistically be looking at an improbable 5-2 start.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2, Last Week: 9)

Week 7: vs. STL

Tampa has beaten the Browns, Panthers and Bengals this season, and they've gotten torched by the Steelers and Saints.

Clearly, the 3-1 start is an anomaly.


Consistently Inconsistent

18. Washington Redskins (3-3, Last Week: 15)

Week 7: at CHI

Other than the debacle loss to the Rams, the Redskins have been competitive in every game thus far.

Ryan Torain is one of the most painfully slow running backs I've ever seen, but he runs hard and is physical enough to turn himself into an impact player.

17. St. Louis Rams (3-3, Last Week: 27)

Week 7: at TB

St. Louis rebounded from their blowout loss in Detroit by beating the hapless Chargers at home.

No big-name receivers for Sam Bradford? No problem.

16. Chicago Bears (4-2, Last Week: 12)

Week 7: vs. WAS

Bears quarterbacks have been sacked 27 times on the season, seven more than the team that has allowed the second-most, the Philadelphia Eagles.

When your passer has no time to pass, you're in trouble.

15. Kansas City Chiefs (3-2, Last Week: 8)

Week 7: vs. JAX

Matt Cassel and company looked strong last week, but we must take into account the fact that they were facing the fluffy curtain that is the Texans' defense.

Fortunately, it won't get much tougher as they invite the recently-obliterated Jaguars into Arrowhead this week.

14. Minnesota Vikings (2-3, Last Week: 22)

Week 7: at GB

It wasn't easy against Dallas, but have the Vikings finally found "it?"

Brett Favre was 2-0 against the Packers last season, and a win at night at Lambeau could be the springboard the Vikings need in the NFC North.

13. Miami Dolphins (3-3, Last Week: 18)

Week 7: vs. PIT

Curiously, the Dolphins are 3-0 on the road but 0-2 at home this season.

With the Steelers coming to town, they'll try to square things up a bit.

Doomed By the Injury Bug

12. Green Bay Packers (3-3, Last Week: 7)

Week 7: vs. MIN

The once-formidable Packers have fallen on hard times of late, and this week's showdown with the Vikes at home could be the most important game of their season.


The Pretender?

11. Houston Texans (4-2, Last Week: 14)

Week 7: BYE

Houston is off to the best start in franchise history, aided by a pair of improbable fourth quarter comebacks against Washington and Kansas City.

However, until they show that they can actually stop somebody, they can only go so far.


Divisional Thieves?

10. Tennessee Titans (4-2, Last Week: 13)

Week 7: vs. PHI

The Titans lost Vince Young against the Jaguars, but Kerry Collins was solid enough to lead them to a dominating road win in Jacksonville.

Oh, right, and they have Chris Johnson.

9. Atlanta Falcons (4-2, Last Week: 4)

Week 7: vs. CIN

Atlanta appeared to take a major step back in Week 6 getting steamrolled by Kevin Kolb and the Eagles.

We're still waiting on Michael Turner to show up.

8. Philadelphia Eagles (4-2, Last Week: 16)

Week 7: at TEN

Kevin Kolb lost his job to Michael Vick due to injury, are we about to see Michael Vick lose his job to Kevin Kolb due to injury?

Crazy times.

7. New York Giants (4-2, Last Week: 11)

Week 7: at DAL

The G-Men can do the entire NFC East a big favor Monday when they travel down to Dallas to take on the floundering Cowboys.

Rushing and defense is a proven formula for success, and the Giants look like they excel in both areas.


OK, Fine, Maybe They Are Primed For a Repeat

6. New Orleans Saints (4-2, Last Week: 10)

Week 7: vs. CLE

We finally saw the 2009 version of the Saints show up in 2010, as they took down the Bucs on the road 31-6.

Young Chris Ivory had a huge day, rushing for 158 yards on just 15 carries, good for a gaudy average of 10.5 yards per carry.



5. Indianapolis Colts (4-2, Last Week: 6)

Week 7: BYE

The Colts are still the Colts, and their defense and running game are still question marks.

Clearly, the defense plus running game equal success formula doesn't necessarily hold true for every team.

4. New England Patriots (4-1, Last Week: 5)

Week 7: at SD

He isn't the same type of player, but Deion Branch looked like more than an adequate replacement for Randy Moss in the win over the Ravens.

He had nine catches for 98 yards with a touchdown.

Moss had nine catches all season in his four games with the Pats this season.

3. Baltimore Ravens (4-2, Last Week: 1)

Week 7: vs. BUF

Despite the loss, the Ravens continue to be one of the league's most impressive teams.

Taking the Patriots into overtime at home when Bill Belichick has two weeks to gameplan is impressive any way you shake it.

2. New York Jets (5-1, Last Week: 2)

Week 7: BYE

The Jets were a fourth-down pass interference call away from dropping one in Denver over the weekend.

Still, to win the Super Bowl, you have to have a little luck on your side.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1, Last Week: 3)

Week 7: at MIA

James Harrison is seriously considering retirement solely due to the helmet-to-helmet suspension rule? Really?

Melodramatic much?


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