NFL Power Rankings: The Herd Begins to Thin


St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) scores his second touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

This week’s NFL power rankings sees nine of last week’s top ten keep their spots. The Steelers’ loss to the Chiefs made way for the Giants to slip into the top ten by way of a victory over the Eagles on Sunday night. As for the bottom of the rankings, there’s been some shuffling but all the usual suspects are there. Dallas and San Diego could find themselves among those bottom teams if they can’t put some wins together.

For the first time ever, there are five undefeated teams standing after Week 7. It won’t last for long. Green Bay faces off with Denver this week and they follow that up with a road trip to Carolina. New England hosts a resurgent Miami team on short rest after beating the Jets. Cincinnati travels to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers who might have Roethlisberger back for it. We could be down to two undefeated teams by Week 9.

As for the other end of the spectrum, all of the AFC South is under .500 and the Giants are the only team in the NFC East with a winning record. We probably won’t be seeing wildcard teams coming from those divisions.

As for Detroit, Caldwell finally pulled the trigger and fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi along with offensive line coaches Jeremiah Washburn and Terry Heffernan. Jim Bob Cooter has been promoted to OC in the interim and some other coaches have been shuffled to make up for the losses. I’d like to thank Caldwell for giving me a legitimate reason to type the word Cooter. Maybe, finally, the offense will be able to produce without the idiotic play calling and overly complicated blocking schemes. Don’t expect all of that to happen in the few days the Lions have before their Sunday matchup in London. The only question that remains is whether or not these moves will be enough for Caldwell to keep his job.

This week’s biggest riser is St. Louis. The Rams moved up six spots from18 to 12. Todd Gurley has given the Rams some offense and the defense is as good as ever. The Rams are still a ways out for a playoff spot, but if they can win their division games, who knows what could happen.

Our biggest drop this week came from the Philadelphia Eagles who fell six spots from 11 to 17. The Eagles certainly don’t look like playoff contenders at the moment. Being in the NFC East though, the Eagles will be in it until the end.

That about does it for the big movers and shakers in this week’s NFL power rankings, so without further ado:

The Packers are about to find out how good they really are with consecutive road trips to Denver and Carolina. Not to mention two games against the Lions!!! Hahahaha sorry I couldn’t resist.. (6-0). Previous: . Green Bay Packers. 1. team. 49

Previous: . New England Patriots. 2. team. 47. The Patriots just keep winning. Watch out for Thursday night though when New England has to play Miami on a short week after a bruising matchup with the Jets. If the Patriots win that one, and surely they’ll be favored, there’s not really any reason to think they’ll lose any of their remaining match ups.. (6-0)

Previous: . Cincinnati Bengals. 3. team. 56. Every team in the NFL would like to make it to their bye week undefeated. Cincinnati has. Hopefully they used the extra time to prepare for a Steelers team that could be getting its quarterback back in time for their matchup next week.. (6-0)

team. 87. I keep expecting the Panthers to lose and they just keep on winning. Similar to Denver, they’ve had quite an easy schedule so far, but winning in Seattle was certainly impressive. The Colts and Packers are up next so we should have a better idea just how good the Panthers are after those.. (6-0). Previous: . Carolina Panthers. 4

45. The Broncos are undefeated but they must have had the easiest schedule to date by far. Their opponents through the first six games: Baltimore, Kansas City, Detroit, Minnesota, Oakland, Cleveland. Those six teams are a combined 13-26 and only Minnesota has a winning record. They host the Packers on Sunday night and it may get ugly if Denver can’t get to Rodgers.. (6-0). Previous: . Denver Broncos. 5. team

The Falcons managed just 10 points against the Titans this week and last week they managed just 7 points through the first three quarters against New Orleans. Atlanta may be in a bit of a funk on offense. Luckily, they’ve got a couple weeks to work those kinks out with Tampa Bay and San Francisco up next.. (6-1). Previous: . Atlanta Falcons. 6. team. 44

The Jets lost this week to the Patriots. I’m not holding that against them. The offense is still scoring points and the defense is still really good. They should be able to win their next four. If they do, the Jets are a sure fire playoff team.. (4-2). Previous: . New York Jets. 7. team. 30

8. team. 32. The Cardinals got back in the win column on Monday night. Arizona can make splash plays and they can drive the length of the field a few yards at a time. Their offense is both dynamic and age-defying. The defense doesn’t get the credit it deserves.. (5-2). Previous: . Arizona Cardinals

Previous: . New York Giants. 9. team. 31. The G train derailed a bit last week after the L to Philly, but New York got back on the rails after chugging through a Dallas team that couldn’t keep up behind the arm of Matt Cassel. Also, Jason Pierre-Paul may be close to coming back. Sort of.. (4-3)

60. The Vikings are smack dab in the middle of the playoff race thanks in part to two wins against the Lions. They’ve still yet to beat a quality team, but they should get their chance in the weeks ahead. Not next week though, as they travel to Chicago. Haha, Bears burn!. (3-2). Previous: . Minnesota Vikings. 10. team

Pittsburgh Steelers. 11. team. 55. The Steelers are 4-3 and hosting the undefeated Bengals next week. Hopefully Ben Roethlisberger will be back for the marquee division game. If so, Cincinnati may actually have some competition in the North.. (4-3). Previous:

51. It’s hard to see the Rams being anything less than 4-2, maybe even 5-1, with a healthy Todd Gurley to start the season. In the three weeks he’s been a full go, he’s amassed 483 yards on 74 touches. That’s an average of 6.5 yards per touch. Suddenly the Rams have an offense.. (3-3). Previous: . St. Louis Rams. 12. team

(3-3). Previous: . Oakland Raiders. 13. team. 28. The Raiders aren’t supposed to be a good road team. They’re 2-1 on the road this season with a last second loss to the Bears as the lone blemish and they still travel to Tennessee and Detroit. The Raiders could quite possibly finish the season 5-3 in road games. They need to manage an even record in home games to have a shot at the playoffs. Unfortunately, with the Jets, Vikings and Packers coming to Oakland, I don’t think they can.

Seattle Seahawks. 14. team. 36. The Seahawks got their first road win of the season and not a moment too soon. There are still a few tough road games ahead, but Seattle is still just 1.5 games back from the Cardinals with both match ups still to be played. They’re one of a handful of 3-4 teams that still control their fate.. (3-4). Previous:

46. The way the Colts are playing so far this season, they should probably be 1-5 right now. Life in the AFC South makes things easier though. Instead, the Colts are 3-3 and 3-0 in the division. If anyone is going to challenge Indy for the division, it needs to happen in the next month. The Colts face Carolina, Denver and Atlanta with a bye week mixed in.. (3-4). Previous: . Indianapolis Colts. 15. team

Previous: . Miami Dolphins. 16. team. 59. Lamar Miller fantasy owners are finally getting their moneys worth. The running back racked up 236 yards and two touchdowns on 17 touches. That’s unreal production. Expectations should be tempered though, as the Dolphins travel to Gillette for Thursday Night Football this week.. (3-3)

54. The Eagles just aren’t good enough. Sam Bradford is inaccurate and when his passes are catchable, Eagles receivers are dropping them left and right. In the NFC East, it’s not like they’re out of contention by any means but they need to get to eight wins to have a chance and that means winning division games. They’re currently 1-2 in division play.. (3-4). Previous: . Philadelphia Eagles. 17. team

(3-4). Previous: . Buffalo Bills. 18. team. 16. The Bills have losses to the Patriots, Giants and Bengals. They now have a loss to the lowly Jaguars. Four turnovers were too much for Buffalo to overcome in London. They’ve got three straight division match ups ahead after their bye against three teams that are playing pretty good football at the moment.

15. At 3-4, the Saints are 1.5 games back from the final wild card spot that the Minnesota Vikings currently hold. I said last week if New Orleans can beat the Colts and the Giants, they could very well find themselves with a six game win streak at 7-4. One more down, four more to go.. (2-4). Previous: . New Orleans Saints. 19. team

Dallas hosts Seattle and Philly the next two weeks. After that, the cavalry should arrive. Even if Romo and Bryant come back without missing a beat, there are still two undefeated teams and the Jets left on the schedule. That means the Seattle and Philly games are must wins. I don’t think Dallas can win even one of them.. (2-4). Previous: . Dallas Cowboys. 20. team. 123

Previous: . San Diego Chargers. 21. team. 13. The Chargers forgot to show up for the first half against Oakland and Amari Cooper made them pay for it. The Chargers had a chance, a small chance, to salvage their season by beating the Raiders and going on a run (their next four opponents are a combined 7-19) but that is all but gone after losing this past Sunday. Even if they win their next four, they would be 6-5 with two match ups against Denver and road trips to Oakland and Kansas City with a home matchup against the resurgent Dolphins sandwiched in between. RIP San Diego.. (2-5)

team. 53. For the first time since Week 1, the Browns lost by more than one score. The Rams’ running game was too much for a Browns defense that can’t stop any rushing attack. The Browns are about to go off a cliff too. Up next they play Arizona, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati (twice).. (2-5). Previous: . Cleveland Browns. 23

(2-5). Previous: . San Francisco 49ers. 24. team. 42. The 49ers aren’t BAD bad, just bad compared to what they were supposed to be before the offseason. They can get to 6 or 7 wins. That’s bad, but it’s not top 5 draft pick bad.

team. 48. The Bucs lost a heartbreaker to Washington on the road and the defense can’t seem to stop anybody. In their last three games, against Carolina, Jacksonville and Washington, the Bucs have given up 37, 31, and 31 points. Yuck. They’ve got the Falcons up next.. (2-4). Previous: . Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 25

Chicago Bears. 26. team. 57. Chicago was on a bye this week which was actually pretty well timed for the Bears, who have been a little banged up on offense in the early going this season. Their new found health may be short lived though as they welcome the Minnesota Vikings and their bruising defense to Chicago next week.. (2-4). Previous:

team. 52. Jacksonville, who has been <a href=. (2-5). Previous: . Jacksonville Jaguars. 27

28. team. 124. The Chiefs ended their losing streak by managing to score 23 points at home against the Landry Jones led Steelers. Can they get two in a row with the Lions in London up next?. (2-5). Previous: . Kansas City Chiefs

(2-5). Previous: . Houston Texans. 29. team. 10. The Texans were demolished by the Dolphins. It was 41-0 at halftime. Tannehill was 18 of 19 for 282 yards and four touchdowns. Lamar Miller had 14 carries for 175 yards and a touchdown. Hoyer finished with respectable numbers but at one point was 1 for 12 passing, and at another point was 6 for 23. There was also a point in the second quarter where Hoyer had more yards passing to the defense, via a 23 yard pick six, than to his own team. Oh, also Arian Foster suffered a late non-contact injury that could be serious.

(1-6). Previous: . Baltimore Ravens. 30. team. 26. The Ravens are probably the only team with a fanbase as disgusted with its team’s performance as Lions fans are with theirs. Like Detroit, there may be changes coming for this Baltimore team before too long. They had a tough stretch to start the season but it looks like they’ve folded.

31. team. 50. The Lions had 160 yards of offense and two touchdowns in the first quarter. They managed just seven more yards through the next two quarters. Seven. SEVEN. They managed to add 107 yards in a fourth quarter push that ended with an incomplete fourth and goal pass. This team is garbage. Hot, hot garbage. They let the worst pass offense in the NFL go 25 of 35 for 285 yards and two passing touchdowns. Burn the whole thing down.. (1-6). Previous: . Detroit Lions

Tennessee Titans. 32. team. 35. Tennessee actually gave the Falcons a run for their money, but they came up short and dropped their fifth straight with Mettenberger under center. On a positive note, Mariota should be back next week and the Titans play the Texans.. (1-5). Previous:

Next: Joe Lombardi Fired

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