2016 NFL Week 7 Powre Rankings
We are getting to the midpoint of the season, where some of the separation that generally occurs in divisions, while tiebreakers that will decide wild card seedings are in play — while teams who will be jockeying for the #1 pick in the 2017 Draft are squaring off, as well. Here are the rankings heading into Week 7.
1. Minnesota Vikings (5-0).
The Vikes are undefeated. The end.
2. Seattle Seahawks (4-1).
The Rams own Seattle, but other than that, they’re still Seattle of the past four years. And, a point that has been glossed over by many, Earl Thomas had not been himself since the shoulder injury that hampered him heading into Super Bowl XLIX… he is back to his old self now.
3. New England Patriots (5-1).
It would not come as a surprise that they find themselves embroiled in another accusation of cheating.
4. Dallas Cowboys (5-1).
This feels a lot like 2007 and 2014. Dallas fans better hope the fates of those seasons don’t befall their beloved Cowboys again.
5. Atlanta Falcons (4-2).
The Falcons showed signs for three quarters in Seattle (before the Seahawks began playing a ton of soft zone and surrendering 21 points in the process) where they began going on midseason slides as they’ve done in the past, but this team should be here to stay in 2016.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2).
The Steelers better win every game at home, because they have been awful on the road for the past couple of seasons.
7. Buffalo Bills (4-2).
A month ago, we mused about Rex Ryan getting fired. Then they won four straight. And all in dominant fashion, no less.
8. Denver Broncos (4-2).
The Broncos are in a quandary if Trevor Siemian can’t get going until teams call off the dogs defensively. Paxton Lynch came out firing in relief of Siemian against Tampa, but then he started the next game and looked as bad as Jared Goff did in preseason.
9. Oakland Raiders (4-2).
The Raiders were awful on the road for years; particularly back east. Now they’re awful at home. What sense does this make? And it cannot be about moving to Las Vegas, because that likely won’t happen for three more years. Most of the guys on the roster won’t be there in 2019.
10. Washington Redskins (4-2).
Flimsiest 4-2 record, and naturally their players are spouting off to the media as if they are world beaters.
11. Kansas City Chiefs (3-2).
The Chiefs can do damage if they stick with their formula with Jamaal Charles back.
12. Houston Texans (4-2).
Brock Osweiler pulled through in the end, but he had a brutal time of it for three quarters (and really most of the season thus far). With tensions mounting between him and head coach Bill O’Brien, it will bear watching whether the Texans turn to Tom Savage at any point this season.
13. New York Football Giants (3-3).
This is the most underachieving (offensively) team in the NFL.
14. Green Bay Packers (3-2).
The Packers and the Giants have similar issues in that their offenses are disjointed, and more predicated upon the efforts of receivers to win every single route, as opposed to play calls that are designed to exploit their abilities over the defenders they face. This is the chief reason why both offenses seem to stall for long stretches every week. The only difference is that Odell Beckham can consistently beat man coverage, none of the other receivers on either team has shown that he can do so, hence the struggles of the respective Super Bowl-winning QBs for each team.
15. Arizona Cardinals (3-3).
The Cards have underachieved on offense also, but their defense seems to have picked up traction in Week 6.
16. Tennessee Titans (3-3).
They are quietly just a game out of first place in the AFC South with some of the best smoke and mirrors work you’ll see.
17. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2).
The ridiculous talk about Carson Wentz finally slowed down, as he has struggled in back to back games, even failing to lead the offense to a single point until late in the game against Washington.
18. Detroit Lions (3-3).
The Lions’ offensive attack is more diversified without Calvin Johnson, but now their defense has become an issue again.
19. Baltimore Ravens (3-3).
The Ravens are an utter mess injury-wise. Terrell Suggs (5 sacks) SAYS he wants to play through a torn muscle in his arm, but that is ego and machismo talking. Defensive ends/linebackers need every muscle in their arms to be effective against mountain man offensive linemen.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3).
The division is not out of reach if they somehow run off a few wins and keep pace with the Falcons in advance of their second match up of the season, after defeating Atlanta in Week 1.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (2-4).
We have maintained that the Bengals miss Tyler Eifert dearly; particularly in the red zone. Despite the best efforts of AJ Green and Giovani Bernard, teams need a big in-line target in the red zone in order to free up their inside game and outside receiving targets.
22. St. Louis Rams (3-3).
7-9 or 8-8 isn’t out of the realm of possibilities after a 3-1 start. And some more Gregg Williams trifling behavior on the final kneel downs in their loss to the Lions.
23. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3).
The Jags have won two straight and really should be 4-1 right now, but Blake Bortles has to erase that disgusting hitch in his throwing motion which has become more prominent in each passing game. Defensive backs and linebackers only need that split second that a hitch provides to key on where passes are going and can break on the ball that much quicker. It’s the biggest issue for the Jags’ passing attack thus far this season.
24. San Diego Chargers (2-4).
The Chargers have responded very well to the massive losses of offensive talent due to injury (Keenan Allen, Steve Johnson, Danny Woodhead, Branden Oliver) and are still a very good offensive team. Of even more surprise is how well their defense has played this season when not much was expected from them; with and without Joey Bosa thus far, which they have been through three games in each scenario.
25. Miami Dolphins (2-4).
Do not be deceived; the Fins still are not good. The Steelers are shells of themselves on the road. You will see the real Dolphins against Buffalo in Week 7.
26. Indianapolis Colts (2-4).
The only player on this team that should be absolved of any blame is Franklin Delano Gore. That INCLUDES Andrew Luck.
27. Carolina Panthers (1-5).
Cam Newton is a sore loser and a front runner, and so are the Panthers.
28. New Orleans Saints (2-3).
Look at how the Saints have won games. No one cares about Drew Brees’ stats. This is a bad football team.
29. San Francisco 49ers (1-5).
Colin Kaepernick may be confident in his abilities, but if the idea for him to forfeit guaranteed injury protection monies in exchange for the right to play (thereby absolving the 49ers of any liability should he be injured), with THIS roster, was beyond foolish.
30. Chicago Bears (1-5).
The Bears have been competitive, but they are not good enough to rely on 3rd and 4th receivers to be the only players who can create separation for a middling QB like Brian Hoyer.
31. New York Jets (1-5).
The Jets season is over, and it is time for them to begin looking at who their long-term quarterback should be. Ryan Fitzpatrick should be benched and only available due to injury; even if Geno Smith, Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty (assuming he is recovered from injury and can at least play now) struggle even worse than Fitzpatrick — which is unfathomable at this point — before it costs several people their jobs; not the least being the general manager and head coach. The Jets did the smart thing not capitulating to Fitzpatrick’s demands for a long-term contract, because in the backs of their minds, they knew this was possible, and even probable, this year. If there is a silver lining to this, along with the bad news regarding Eric Decker (who will miss the rest of this season and POTENTIALLY all of next season), is that they can get good, long looks at young players like Cherone Peake, who Fitzpatrick nearly got killed in Arizona, Jalin Marshall, and Quincy Enunwa in an expanded role, should they choose.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-6).
The Browns are just too young, inexperienced, injured and lacking in depth to finish games. They’ve been competitive, and Hue Jackson has them trending in the right direction. But they are gonna be doormats for a while.