NFL Power Rankings: Still Mr. Rodgers' Neighborhood as Packers Remain Unbeaten

Torey ZiskaCorrespondent IIOctober 25, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 23:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks down the line against the Minnesota Vikngs at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on October 23, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Adam Bettcher /Getty Images)
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

As expected, it was not the most riveting week of NFL football, as we had precisely zero games involving two teams over .500. Plus, the two most competitive games were among four of the worst teams in football.

Despite Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees having their way against their respective opponents, only three total quarterbacks passed for more than 300 yards. We should also mention the two Oakland quarterbacks nearly threw for 300 interceptions (OK, not quite, but that’s what it felt like).

We finished the week with one of the biggest upsets of the season, as the Jaguars used four field goals (three of more than 50 yards) from Josh Scobee to hand the Ravens their second loss of the season.

Here are the latest rankings as we look forward to Week 8.

(Teams’ previous ranking in parentheses.)

1. Green Bay Packers (1): Another day at the office for Aaron Rodgers. The Green Bay defense, however, is having issues. It must get things fixed quickly. The Packers have a bye this week to prepare for possibly their toughest remaining test: a road game against the Chargers.

2. New England Patriots (2): Coming off the bye, New England will be well prepared for its battle against the Steelers. 

3. San Francisco 49ers (3): The 49ers have a shot at a first-round playoff bye if they don’t have any slip-ups. They should be favored to win their next four games, leading up to their game on the road at Baltimore.

4. New Orleans Saints (6): The Saints scored 62 points in their game against the Colts. The St. Louis Rams (ironically, the Saints’ next opponent) have scored 52 points in their first six games. But is that more impressive than the fact that Drew Brees had more touchdowns (five) than incompletions (four)? 

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (9): At 5-2 the Steelers are showing they are once again a Super Bowl contender. How will they do the next two weeks as they face the Patriots and Ravens? 

6. Detroit Lions (4): Ranking the Lions’ concern on a scale of 1-10, two consecutive home losses ranks around a 6. The health of Matthew Stafford? We’ll put that around 50. 

7. New York Giants (7): Are the Giants worthy of their No. 7 rating? We’ll find out when the calendar flips to November, as they face the Patriots, 49ers and Saints on the road, and the Eagles at home (December isn’t much easier as they face the Packers, the Jets and the Cowboys twice). 

8. Baltimore Ravens (5): Monday night was a night to forget. I would hate to be their next opponent (which happens to be the Cardinals, and I would hate to be them, anyway). 

9. San Diego Chargers (8): Their four wins have come against teams with six total wins. Their two losses have come against teams with nine total wins. 

10. Houston Texans (14): Houston has just one team within its division that poses any threat. The Texans dismantled that team 41-7 on the road. The looming return of Andre Johnson will really make them scary.

11. Buffalo Bills (11): After such a tough start, the Bills have a legitimate chance of missing the playoffs.

12. New York Jets (16): The Jets showed how good they can be if they get consistency in the running game. The re-emergence of Plaxico Burress is a huge step for the Jets. 

13. Cincinnati Bengals (13): A two-point loss to the Broncos and five-point loss to San Fran are the only things keeping the Bengals from being undefeated. Cam Newton has been fantastic, but if the Bengals make the playoffs, how can Andy Dalton not be the Rookie of the Year? 

14. Chicago Bears (17): The Bears are 3-1 in their past four games and that defense is playing great. Could be a dangerous wild-card team if they keep this pace up. 

15. Atlanta Falcons (19): Impressive road win at Detroit to move to 4-3. Must become more consistent overall if they want to return to the postseason.

16. Dallas Cowboys (20): DeMarco Murray ruined a lot of fantasy football matchups (namely mine) with his 253-yard outburst. They could go on a winning streak very soon; after their Week 8 matchup against the Eagles, Dallas has five straight very winnable games. 

17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10): The Bucs are just not an easy team to figure out. At 4-3, they are going to have to start playing a little better, and that could be tough following their bye as they face the Saints, Texans and Packers. 

18. Kansas City Chiefs (23): The Chiefs have won three straight after dropping their first three. If they can beat the Chargers this week, they have a shot to be 6-3 with games against Miami and Denver following their matchup with San Diego. After that, the Chiefs have an absolutely brutal schedule. 

19. Oakland Raiders (12): The Raiders drop seven spots after getting shut out at home and throwing six interceptions (three apiece by Kyle Boller and Carson Palmer). An injury to Darren McFadden only makes things worse. However, with a bye this week, the Raiders have time to heal and get Palmer up to speed on the offense.

20. Tennessee Titans (15): What has happened to Chris Johnson? The holdout obviously affected him, but he should have righted things by now. The Titans are in trouble.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars (25): They played tough against the Steelers and came up just short, but they would not be denied on Monday Night Football against the equally tough Ravens. That Jags defense was stifling. Don’t look now, but the Jags are just two games out of first in the division. 

22. Philadelphia Eagles (22): Coming off a bye, the Eagles have three straight home game, beginning with a Sunday night affair against division-rival Dallas. 

23. Cleveland Browns (24): How the Browns are 3-3 is beyond me. They just aren’t very good. Luckily for them, they still have the Rams, Jags and Cardinals on their schedule so they could finish the season with a not-so-awful record. 

24. Carolina Panthers (27): Something special is brewing in Carolina. Not this year, but as soon as next year, I can see them being a competitive team. They have a chance to win three of their next four games before the schedule gets tough.

25. Washington Redskins (18): The early-season success of the Redskins has come to a screeching halt. Jon Beck played poorly in his first start of the season, and things only got worse as Tim Hightower suffered a season-ending injury, and Santana Moss will miss five to seven weeks with a broken hand.

26. Seattle Seahawks (21): Yuck. That’s about all there is to say about Seattle’s three-point offensive outburst against the lowly Browns. One has to wonder if Pete Carroll’s job is safe considering Seattle has decent talent outside of the quarterback position.

27. Denver Broncos (28): Everyone is talking about Tim Tebow. The fact is, he was absolutely awful for 57 minutes. Let’s talk about what impressed me most: Matt Prater. Did anyone else realize his 52-yard field goal nearly hit the top of the net? That kick would have been good from 70 yards.

28. Minnesota Vikings (26): Christian Ponder nearly got the Vikes a win in his first start. It looks like he might have some promise. Let’s see how he does against a team other than the defending champs. 

29. Arizona Cardinals (29): The losses keep piling up for Arizona. Expect another one this week as they face the Ravens. 

30. St. Louis Rams (30): The Rams have scored in single digits in three of their six games this year. They’ve also allowed over 30 in three of their games. They might give up 70 as they face the Saints this week. 

31. Miami Dolphins (32): "Suck for Luck" has officially begun. How else do you explain blowing a 15-0 lead with under four minutes to go against a woeful team? Nonetheless, the Dolphins actually move up one spot, thanks to the Colts. 

32. Indianapolis Colts (31): The look Reggie Wayne had in his eyes from the time the score was 28-0 simply cannot be put into words. The Colts took a major step backward (if a winless team can go backward) against the Saints. It’s almost time to start talking 0-16.


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