Week 7 NFL power rankings

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The sixth week of NFL football is officially in the books, and we are still seeing no shortage of surprises at this point in the season. Now we move ahead to the Week 7 edition of the XN Sports NFL Power Rankings.

Every week, XN Sports will rank every NFL team. Here is the Week 7 edition based on the Week 6 results and how teams are trending at this juncture of the season.

NFL Week 7 power rankings
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Week 7 NFL power rankings

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last week: 30)

The Jaguars remain winless, and with so many young players up and down the roster, it may be a while before they notch that clamored first win.

What to know: The winless Jags need a bright spot, and it’s Blake Bortles. The No. 3 overall pick was under duress 38.7 perfect of his dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus, but finished with a +1.8 grade under pressure.

(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

31. Oakland Raiders (Last week: 32)

No, they didn’t win a game yet, but I was impressed with Derek Carr and the Raiders’ effort against the superior Chargers. The players came out with an energy for Tony Sparano that hadn’t been seen in any game all year.

What to know: Derek Carr has more four touchdown games (1) than his brother, David Carr, did in an 11-year career.

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

30. Tennessee Titans (Last week: 31)

A win for Tennessee helps them move up a spot in the rankings. Bishop Sankey is starting to get opportunities as coach Ken Whisenhunt begins his blueprint for 2015.

What to know: According to Kansascity.com, Titans return specialist “Leon Washington had a 50-yard kickoff return in the first quarter and became the second active player and 11th in NFL history with 7,000 yards on kickoff returns.”

(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

29. New York Jets (Last week: 29)

The talk is heating up about Rex Ryan losing his job, and if that’s the move, then what does the team do about John Idzik? Geno Smith doesn’t look like he should be the future under center, which should set the franchise back another five years.

What to know: The Jets totaled eight rushing yards at halftime in their loss to Denver Sunday. That was the fewest they’ve had in a first half since Week 2 of the 2002 season.

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last week: 27)

These Bucs just don't have what it takes. Offensive line play is a major cause for concern, as is quarterback play.

What to know: According to ESPN, "The Buccaneers are the first team in the last 14 seasons to be outscored by at least 35 points in a half twice in a single season. Tampa Bay also trailed Atlanta 35-0 at halftime."

(AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

27. St. Louis Rams (Last week: 26)

I’m impressed watching the Rams week in and week out, but equally as frustrated. Austin Davis is the real deal, and if he continues to develop this year he should be the starter in 2015. But where’s the defense?

What to know: The vaunted Rams defensive line, which led the NFL in sacks a year ago, has the fewest sacks through five games of any team in NFL history.

(AP Photo/Scott Kane)

26. Washington (Last week: 25)

Some shakeups look like they’re in the cards in the nation’s capital, but I don’t think it should be benching Kirk Cousins. Three fourth-quarter picks is tough, but he was trying to make a play late. He’s done enough to earn this gig.

What to know: Kirk Cousins threw three fourth-quarter interceptions, becoming only the second Washington quarterback in the last 25 years with three fourth-quarter picks in one game, according to Elias Sports. Brad Johnson did it in a 15-10 loss at Detroit in 2000.

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

25. Minnesota Vikings (Last week: 25)

Teddy Bridgewater was a deer in the headlights against the much improved Lions defense. They should bounce back against Buffalo and Tampa the next two weeks.

What to know: Making the start for the first time since Week 4 against Atlanta, Teddy Bridgewater was held to a 2.5 QBR. Bridgewater went 23-of-37 for 188 yards with three picks.

(AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

24. Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 23)

The Chiefs are not a playoff team, but they’ll play tough week in and week out. This team just doesn’t remind me of an Andy Reid-coached team.

What to know: Good news, Chiefs fans. Safety Eric Berry returned to practice Monday for the first time since suffering a high-ankle sprain on Sept. 14 against the Broncos.

(AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

23. Buffalo Bills (Last week: 24)

The Bills were exposed by the Patriots in Orchard Park, perhaps dropping them back down to reality. Like Miami, I’m not sure the ceiling is high for this AFC East squad.

What to know: Sammy Watkins, meet Darrelle Revis. Revis, who started his first year in New England slowly, has rounded back into form. He held the first-round pick to a career-low two catches on three targets for 27 yards.

(AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)

22. Miami Dolphins (Last week: 21)

Miami gave Green Bay a tough test, but I don’t think anybody is considering the Dolphins a contender this season. Joe Philbin’s job is certainly on the line.

What to know: The Dolphins have alternated between a loss and a win after their bye week every year since 2005. Their losses have come on odd years and the wins have come in even years. They bucked the trend by losing in 2014.

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

21. Houston Texans (Last week: 19)

It’s been a tough stretch for the Texans, but no question this team will have some say down the stretch.

What to know: J.J. Watt has more batted passes than the entire Jets and Jaguars defenses from 2011 to 2013, according to FiveThirtyEight. Overall, the Houston defense has 70, 21 more than the Giants and Titans who share second place.

(AP Photo/Patric Schneider)

20. Atlanta Falcons (Last week: 18)

The Falcons are beginning to resemble the team we expected them to be before the season. The defense is a non-factor, and if they can’t outscore their opponents in a shootout then they stand no chance.

What to know: The Georgia Dome offers Matt Ryan a distinct home-field advantage. Ryan had completed 15-of-19 passes for 363 yards and a touchdown on deep throws in the first two home games, when the Falcons went 2-0. This week, Ryan was 4-of-11 for 90 yards and a pick on deep throws Sunday, coinciding with the loss.

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

19. New York Giants (Last week: 17)

Just when we started to believe in the G-Men, they come up with a stinker against the Eagles. I’m not ready to throw the towel in on New York’s season just yet, but this was a missed opportunity to earn a signature victory.

What to know: The Giants’ revamped O-line has been a main reason why the team has turned things around this season. They did not fare well against Philadelphia, though. Eli Manning was sacked or pressured 48 percent of his dropbacks Sunday, which is tied for the second-highest rate of any quarterback this season.

(AP Photo/Michael Perez)

18. New Orleans Saints (Last week: 20)

On the bye week, Rob Ryan needed to figure out his defensive personnel. Sean Payton needs to find a way to diversity the offense, too.

What to know: The bye week brought the Saints more bad news. All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham is expected to miss up to three weeks with a shoulder sprain. He could return Oct. 26 for the game against Green Bay or Oct. 30 when the team travels to Carolina.

(AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: (Last week: 13)

The Steelers are as disappointing a team as there is in the NFL. Defensively, injuries have taken a toll. But the offense deserves some blame as well.

What to know: No Ike Taylor, and Pittsburgh, we’ve got a problem. With Cortez Allen filling in as the No. 1 cornerback, he allowed 118 receiving yards and a touchdown while being thrown at six times, per Pro Football Focus.

(AP Photo/David Richard)

16. Cleveland Browns (Last week: 22)

Somebody break up the Browns! Winners of three in a row and continuing their stellar play of late, the Browns have made themselves a factor in the AFC North race.

What to know: Give the Browns’ front office some credit. Per ESPN Stats and Information, the Browns have had more snaps by undrafted free agents (1,106) at offensive skill positions than any other team in the NFL.

(AP Photo/David Richard)

15. Chicago Bears (Last week: 16)

Winning in the Georgia Dome is not a feat to be looked over, but if the Bears’ 2014 season has taught us anything, it’s not to believe too much in this team.

What to know: Jay Cutler threw for 381 yards targeting only five different players Sunday, the fourth instance of a quarterback targeting only five different players in a game (Aaron Rodgers Week 1 and 4, and Eli Manning in Week 3). Per ESPN Stats and Information, “In the previous three instances, the quarterback averaged only 241.7 yards in the game.”

(AP Photo/David Goldman)

14. Carolina Panthers (Last week: 14)

The Panthers are giving us a reason to believe they can repeat as NFC South champions, so long that Cam Newton wants to be a do-it-all star behind center.

What to know: According to ESPN Stats and Info, “Cam Newton was 7-of-18 for 119 yards and an interception on throws deeper than 10 yards downfield.”  He’s completed only one pass of that distance in his last seven attempts, including a fourth-quarter pick which set up a Cincinnati field goal.

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

13. Baltimore Ravens (Last week: 12)

The Ravens made a statement Sunday by quickly doing away with Tampa Bay. The AFC North is beginning to look like a three-horse race.

What to know: Joe Flacco had the quickest five-touchdown game since the NFL-AFL merger. Flacco threw his fifth touchdown after 16:03 minutes of play. Ben Roethlisberger previously held the record after doing it in 28:09 minutes.

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

12. Detroit Lions (Last week: 9)

Defense has been Detroit’s anchor this season, and I agree with keeping Calvin Johnson sidelined until he’s 100 percent. However, the offense is lacking without him.

What to know: The Lions are the third team in the last 40 years to miss 10 field goals in a team’s first six games. The last to do so was the 1981 Browns.

(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

11. San Francisco 49ers (Last week: 7)

At halftime on Monday night, I was close to pronouncing the 49ers a pretender. Instead, they fought back and rallied past the Rams to prove me wrong. Still, this team has holes.

What to know: The Niners’ Monday Night Football rally was nothing out of the norm. According to ESPN Stats and Info, The 49ers played in the 700th Monday Night Football game and earned their 46th victory on that stage, the most in the NFL.

(AP Photo/Scott Kane)

10. New England Patriots (Last week: 11)

Oh, so we counted out these Patriots? Tom Brady had a season-best performance in the rout of Buffalo. But injuries to Jerod Mayo and Stevan Ridley may be devastating in the long run.

What to know: Per ESPN, “Stephen Gostkowski missed a 36-yard field-goal attempt Sunday after not missing an attempt 40 yards or shorter since Week 12 of the 2012 season.”  He had 34 straight makes before that miss.

(AP Photo/Mike Groll)

9. Indianapolis Colts (Last week: 10)

A statement win by the Colts on Thursday night, as they held on for a win against their divisional rival to win their fourth consecutive game.

What to know: According to ESPN, “T.Y. Hilton‘s 223 receiving yards were the second-most in Colts franchise history. Raymond Berry set the record in 1957 with 224 yards.”

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

8. Green Bay Packers (Last week: 8)

Quietly, the Packers have just been cruising along and remain on top of the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers no doubt is putting his name in the MVP race, too.

What to know: Aaron Rodgers is the first player in NFL history with at least 15 passing touchdowns and one or fewer interceptions in his first six games of a season, according to Elias Sports.

(AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

7. Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 15)

Dallas leaped eight spots into the top 10 for the first time this season. That’s what you get when you start 5-1, accenting Week 6 with a defeat of the Seahawks in the Pacific Northwest. This won proved Dallas is legit.

What to know: According to SportsCenter’s twitter, “Tony Romo has led the Cowboys on 26-game winning drives since 2006, the most in the NFL.”

(AP Photo/Scott Eklund)

6. Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 4)

After a 4-0 start, the Bengals have lost and tied. This team needs A.J. Green back, but until then need to find a way to stay afloat. This time now needs a win.

What to know: According to ESPN Stats and Info, “Giovani Bernard‘s 89-yard touchdown run is the longest in the NFL this season. It is the longest run by a running back since Chris Johnson‘s 94-yard touchdown against the Jets in Week 15 of 2012.”

(AP Photo/AJ Mast)

5. Philadelphia Eagles (Last week: 6)

I was a non-believer in Philadelphia for two reasons: Nick Foles and this very bendable defense. Well, the shutout shut me up, but I still think Foles remains a weak link.

What to know: Philadelphia last shutout a team 18 years ago. Interestingly enough, that shutout was also against the Giants back in 1996 — a 24-0 victory at old Veterans Stadium.

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

4. Arizona Cardinals (Last week: 5)

Despite a rash of injuries on defense, the Cardinals are still pulling out the wins. Their resume to date is very impressive.

What to know: Targeted six times Sunday, Larry Fitzgerald hauled in every single pass thrown in his direction. Fitzgerald racked up 98 yards and his first touchdown since Week 4 of 2013, doubling his receptions and yardage average through the first five weeks of the year.

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

3. Seattle Seahawks (Last week: 1)

Right now it feels like the Seahawks’ defense is playing on its reputation, and as a result they’re failing to live up to the billing. Opposing teams have been able to pass on the vaunted Legion of Boom, and DeMarco Murray made running against them look easy.

What to know: Seattle is 1-4 when Richard Sherman commits multiple penalties. Sherman was flagged twice on Sunday. He previously had not been penalized since Week 16 in 2013 against Arizona, coincidentally the last time the Seahawks lost at home.

(AP Photo/Scott Eklund)

2. San Diego Chargers (Last week: 3)

No team in the league is hotter right now than these Chargers. Even though they just got by the Raiders, they’re still proving to be in an elite group in the AFC.

What to know: Per USA Today: San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers has posted a pass rating of 120 or better in five straight games this season, which is the longest such streak in NFL history.

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

1. Denver Broncos (Last week: 2)

We’re going to find out which team should be No. 1 in the power rankings when Denver takes on San Diego in Week 7. But for now, we let the defending AFC champs hold the honor — until their AFC West rivals knock them off.

What to know: Julius Thomas has joined Calvin Johnson as the only players with nine touchdowns through the first five games of an NFL season, according to Elias Sports.

(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)


Related links:
Week 7 fantasy football waiver wire buys
Cam Newton's fantasy resurgence
6 NFL teams we're sticking a fork in for 2014
Detroit Tigers offseason outlook: Is the window closing?

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