NFL Power Rankings: Week 7
Michael D. Wright
I believe I am going to continue doing these weekly; as ESPN posts their Power Rankings, I’ll post mine. Of course there has been a shake up at the top. The Titans go to #1 by default, after the Giants looked uninspired and stiff (no homo) against the Browns.
The Top 5 is pretty much true to form.
1. Tennessee Titans. They are coming off a bye and they’ll stay here until Kerry Collins kills them with the INTs he killed the Giants with over five years.
2. New York (Football) Giants. I don’t mind the loss. The goal isn’t to go undefeated (and have an arrogant locker room/fanbase like the Patriots had last year). The goal is to win the last game. The Giants are still the best team overall in the NFL aside from the egg they laid Monday.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers. I put them here by default, also. Their one loss was against a team that blitzes 80% of the time — their offensive line was (and still is) in shambles. The fact they’ve won their last three games is a testament to their tenacity.
4. Buffalo Bills. I was hesitant to put them in the Top 5 last week and did not. This week, they deserve it.
5. Arizona Cardinals. People will point to that 56-pt Jets debacle and think that is more indicative of the Cards than their wins vs. Dallas and Buffalo; which are REALLY more of a barometer of this team. They have the best WR tandem (and trio, with Breaston) in the NFL. The Jet game was an anomaly.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They are ugly. They win ugly. But they win. That’s all that matters. With Garcia in for Griese, they won’t commit turnovers — making them tough to beat. An easy game coming up vs. Dallas, which is missing half its original starting roster should put them 6-2 following that game.
7. Carolina Panthers. They are only here because they just lost to the Bucs. Otherwise, they’d be breathing down the Steelers’ necks for 3rd.
8. Washington Redskins. The Redskins get a pass much like the Jints get. They didn’t lay the egg that the Giants laid, but a loss to a winless team knocks you down a few spots. PERIOD.
9. Indianapolis Colts. Count me in the camp who believes that Sunday vs. Baltimore signals that they are back.
10. San Diego Chargers. A convincing win against the overrated Patriots helps, but they are going to have to tie more than one game together to be considered true contenders as they expected.
11. Atlanta Falcons. YES, the Falcons. Tell why I should not have them here.
12. Denver Broncos. I hate Denver, and I still think their record causes people to have loftier expectations of them than they should, but we will see over the next four games.
13. Jacksonville Jaguars. Steady, not spectacular, not bad. If there is a such thing as the best of the mediocre teams, the Jags are it.
14. Philadelphia Eagles. The Iggles SHOULD be done if Westbrook can’t play effectively. McNabb can have all the resurgence he wants, but without Westbrook, that offense is pedestrian at best.
15. New York Jets. The Jets are making me look bad by winning games I keep picking them to lose. You have to hand it to them, they aren’t that bad on defense, and Brett Favre, or Barve, as John Madden would call him, is keeping them in games instead of losing them with his wild INTs… for now, that is.
16. New England Patriots. The Patriots are closer to the team that lost to the Chargers Sunday than the team that won games vs. KC, SF and NYJ — all of which are very bad to below average teams (including the Jets and what I just said about them).
17. Dallas Cowboys. They were overrated from the get-go, with their defense that does not make big plays outside of DeMarcus Ware. Now half of their starters are either injured or suspended. Adam Jones might be out of the NFL for another couple of years after his latest infraction. Without Romo, they aren’t even going to have a fighter’s chance vs. defenses in Tampa and New York. They might not even beat the Rams this week. Brad Johnson is steady and Roy E. Williams does his thing, but Johnson might get sacked a half dozen times in TB and NY.
18. New Orleans Saints. I would put them higher, but they are like a huge lion with no teeth, like I said in my preview for Week 6. The offense is scary good, but they can’t stop anyone defensively, either. Their record (3-3) is fitting.
19. Baltimore Ravens. Throw out their record. They are a couple of good Troy Smith starts (Flacco isn’t ready to lead yet) and Ray Rice-featured games away from being back in the mix. The Steelers may have a tough couple of games vs. CLE and NYG (both potential losses) so the Ravens need to right the ship after three straight tough losses. They are still beasts defensively, despite the IND game.
20. Houston Texans. Again, throw out the record. What you saw Sunday is what this team is capable of.
21. Cleveland Browns. Their backs were against the wall against a team resting on its laurels Sunday. They have another game like that vs. PIT coming, they could get back into the mix as well. They aren’t as bad as their previous 1-3 record. Their play Monday was more along the lines of what Browns fans and handicappers such as myself expected.
22. Green Bay Packers. I don’t know how they are winning any games or staying in them. Rodgers is good, but that defense is like an old car that hasn’t had an oil change in 2 years.
23. Chicago Bears. The loss against Atlanta makes them hard to figure out, which I have said all season.
24. Minnesota Vikings. Notice a trend? If the Lions weren’t so abysmally bad, all four NFC North teams would be right here; appropriately the second worst division in the NFL (ahead of the NFC West).
25. Miami Dolphins. Overrated. That Wildcat offense isn’t rocket science.
26. Oakland Raiders. They figure to turn the corner soon… right?
27. Cincinnati Bengals. They aren’t 0-6 bad, but as Bill Parcells said many years ago — “You are what your record says you are.” There you have it.
28. Kansas City Chiefs. Part of this is me banking on them beating Tennessee this Sunday, but they are dead in the water. Herm Edwards better thank God for his friendship with Carl Peterson as the reason he still has a job.
29. San Francisco 49ers. Mike Nolan could get fired any week now.
30. Seattle Seahawks. Even if you hate Holmgren, Green Bay or Seattle, you have to feel bad that he’s going out like this.
31. St. Louis Rams. They have life now. The “win” (aided by fluke turnovers by the Redskins) Sunday rescued them from the basement. They’re still horrible, although a win vs. DAL would make them look good and make ME feel good.
32. Detroit Lions. They don’t deserve words.