NFL Power Rankings Week 7, 2016

dak-prescottThe Dallas Cowboys continue to be the NFL’s surprise team, getting another win with rookie Dak Prescott under center. Prescott is playing so well that he’s causing a quarterback controversy over whether Tony Romo will start when healthy.

See how far the Cowboys have moved up in our Week 7 NFL power rankings. You can also take a look at the previous week’s rankings here.

1. New England Patriots (5-1); beat Cincinnati 35-17, same spot – More big numbers for the Patriots in Tom Brady’s return. The QB had 376 passing yards and 3 TDs, while tight end Rob Gronkowski tallied 162 receiving yards and a touchdown.

2. Minnesota Vikings (5-0); bye week, same spot – Minnesota puts their undefeated record on the line as they head to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles.

3. Seattle Seahawks (4-1); beat Atlanta 26-24, up 2 spots – Outside of a surprising third quarter, where Atlanta put up 21 points, Seattle dominated the other three quarters on offense and defense.

4. Dallas Cowboys (5-1); beat Green Bay 30-16, up 4 spots – A team that couldn’t buy a win last year without Romo, Dallas has run out to the NFC’s second-best record. This dominating win in Green Bay has been the highlight of their strong start.

5. Denver Broncos (4-2); lost to San Diego 21-13, down 2 spots – Two weeks ago, it was Paxton Lynch who couldn’t move Denver down the field. This week, QB Trevor Siemian and the running game both struggled. The Broncos need some offensive support behind their elite defense.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2); lost to Miami 30-15, down 2 spots – It was a forgettable week for the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger was hurt, and the defense gave up 204 yards to Jay Ajayi on the ground.

david-johnson-cardinals7. Arizona Cardinals (3-3); beat NY Jets 28-3, up 2 spots – Arizona is finally starting to resemble the elite team that we envisioned in our first power rankings.

8. Atlanta Falcons (4-2); lost to Seattle 26-24, down 1 spot – Credit Atlanta for battling back in this game. But the result is still a loss as they couldn’t hold Seattle in the end.

9. Kansas City Chiefs (3-2); beat Oakland 26-10, up 1 spot – Kansas City gets a big win over their division rival to stay in the AFC West hunt.

10. Green Bay Packers (3-2); lost to Dallas 30-16, down 4 spots – Aaron Rodgers hasn’t resembled the 2-time MVP that he is. And he believes that it’s all about poor accuracy.

11. Buffalo Bills (4-2); beat San Francisco 45-16, up 2 spots – After a slow start by Tyrod Taylor and the offense, Buffalo really got it going in the last three quarters to dominate San Francisco.

12. Oakland Raiders (4-2); lost to Kansas City 26-10, down 1 spot – Oakland got off to a hot start, scoring a TD on their first drive. But the offense couldn’t do anything against the Chiefs after this.

kirk-cousins-steelers13. Washington Redskins (4-2); beat Philadephia 27-20, up 2 spots – Washington looked like an offensive juggernaut, piling up 493 yards against a Philadelphia defense that was only giving up 267 yards per game. Although Washington still trails Dallas, they believe that they run the [NFC] East.

14. Cincinnati Bengals (2-4); lost to New England 35-17, down 1 spot – There’s no much shame in losing to the Patriots. But Cincinnati has to be worried about even making the playoffs this year.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2); lost to Washington 27-20, down 2 spots – For the first time this year, Philadelphia had no defensive answer for a run game, allowing Washington to rush for 230 yards.

16. New York Giants (3-3); beat Baltimore 27-23, up 4 spots – Odell Beckham has had his share of struggles this year. But that was put behind him in this contest, as he racked up 222 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.

17. Houston Texans (4-2); beat Indianapolis 26-23 (OT), up 2 spots – Brock Osweiler shook off a tough start and an earlier argument with coach Bill O’Brien to throw for 2 touchdowns in the final two minutes of regulation.

18. Detroit Lions (3-3); beat LA Rams 31-28, up 4 spots – After a 1-3 start, Detroit has claimed victories over solid teams in LA and Philadelphia.

joe-flacco19. Baltimore Ravens (3-3); lost to NY Giants 27-23, down 2 spots – Joe Flacco had over 300 yards passing, but his good game was spoiled by Baltimore’s inability to contain the Giants’ passing attack.

20. Indianapolis Colts (2-4); lost to Houston 26-23 (OT), down 2 spots – After controlling the Texans’ game for 58 minutes, Indianapolis let a win slip through their fingers.

21. LA Rams (3-3); lost to Detroit 31-28, down 1 spot – Case Keenum is playing really well for LA right now, connecting on 20 straight passes at one point in this game. But unfortunately, it wasn’t enough against Detroit.

22. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3); beat Chicago 17-16, up 2 spots – Down 13-0 in the fourth quarter, Jacksonville mounted a big comeback to win in the closing minutes. Blake Bortles’ 51-yard touchdown strike to Arrelious Benn was the defining moment.

23. Tennessee Titans (3-3); beat Cleveland 28-26, up 2 spots – Just six games into the season, Tennessee has already matched their win total from 2015.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3); bye week, down 1 spot – Tampa Bay will look to even their record at San Francisco this weekend.

jay-ajayi-dolphins25. Miami Dolphins (2-4); beat Pittsburgh 30-15, up 1 spot – Benched earlier this season for pouting, Jay Ajayi turned some heads with his 204-yard, 2-touchdown performance.

26. New Orleans Saints (2-4); beat Carolina 41-38, up 2 spots – Drew Brees torched the once-feared Carolina defense for 465 yards and four touchdowns.

27. Carolina Panthers (1-5); lost to New Orleans 41-38, down 11 spots – At what point does this become not just a slow start, but a bad football team?

28. San Diego Chargers (2-4); beat Denver 21-13, up 2 spots – This win may have saved coach Mike McCoy’s job, who’s been taking a lot of heat after a poor start.

29. New York Jets (1-5); lost to Arizona 28-3, down 2 spots – The Jets have become desperate enough that they’re going to start Geno Smith against the Baltimore Ravens.

30. Chicago Bears (1-5); lost to Jacksonville 17-16, down 1 spot – Not only did Chicago lose this game, but one of their fans got beatdown after getting mouthy.

31. San Francisco (1-5); lost to Buffalo 45-16, same spot – A different quarterback, same result as San Francisco was unable to move the ball after the first half.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-6); lost to New England 33-13, same spot – One more loss and the Browns will have equaled their worst start since 1999, when they were an expansion team.

NFL Power Rankings for Week 7 (Oct. 16, 2014)

demarco-murrayWhile the Dallas Cowboys have definitely exceeded expectations, few people thought they’d go out on the road and knock off defending Super Bowl champion Seattle. But that’s exactly what the Cowboys did on the strength of DeMarco Murray’s sixth-straight 100-yard rushing game, which is why they climb in our rankings yet again.

1. Denver Broncos (4-1); beat New York Jets 31-17, retains same ranking – Denver went out on the road against a desperate Jets team and grabbed another win behind Julius Thomas’ two touchdown catches.

2. San Diego Chargers (5-1); beat Oakland 31-28, moves up one spot – The Raiders made this more of a contest than most expected; but still, the Chargers are off to a 5-1 start for the first time since 2002.

3. San Francisco 49ers (4-2); beat St. Louis 31-17, moves up one spot – NFL coaches recently voted Colin Kaepernick over Peyton Manning as the QB they least like to face. Kaepernick gets a chance to prove why this week in Denver.

lesean-mccoy4. Philadelphia Eagles (5-1); beat New York Giants 27-0, moves up one spot – Philadelphia finally played some defense to go along with the offense while LeSean McCoy rushed for a season-high 149 yards.

5. Seattle Seahawks (3-2); lost to Dallas 30-23, drops three spots – Russell Wilson completed less than half of his passes at home, and Seattle heads out on the road for two games. Neither offers anything to cheer about right now.

6. Arizona Cardinals (4-1); beat Washington 30-20, retains same ranking – With Carson Palmer back from a shoulder injury, Arizona has a real shot at keeping their top spot in the dominating NFC West.

7. Indianapolis Colts (4-2); beat Houston 33-28, retains same ranking – Indianapolis welcomes a tough Bengals team that’s coming off a loss and a tie. This will definitely make for an interesting matchup.

tom-brady8. New England Patriots (3-2); beat Buffalo Bills 37-22, retains same ranking – Even with New England traveling to Buffalo, they never seemed threatened. Of course, Tom Brady’s 92% career-win rate against the Bills instills plenty of confidence.

9. Dallas Cowboys (5-1); beat Seattle 0-23, moves up two spots – Few would have predicted that the Cowboys would become a power running team this season. But with the way that Murray and the offensive line are playing, it makes sense.

10. Green Bay Packers (4-2); beat Miami 27-24, retains same ranking – Aaron Rodgers’ trick play towards the end even got plastered across mainstream news sites. What wasn’t in the headlines, though, is incredible his 15:1 TD-to-INT ratio.

11. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1-1); tied Carolina 37-37, drops two spots – What happened to the outstanding defense that we saw the first three weeks? Traveling to Indianapolis doesn’t seem like a very good place for the defense to find themselves again.

12. Detroit Lions (4-2); beat Minnesota 17-3, retains same ranking – Detroit beat a toothless Vikings squad on the road, but problems remain. Matthew Stafford can’t seem to play without Calvin Johnson and the Lions’ kickers have missed 10 field goals.

joe-flacco13. Baltimore Ravens (4-2); beat Tampa Bay 48-17, retains same ranking – Baltimore scored the most road points in franchise history while the team’s offense reappeared.

14. Chicago Bears (3-3); beat Atlanta 27-13, moves up two spots – Jay Cutler may have a little tunnel vision after targeting only five players against Atlanta. But as his 381 passing yards and 100-yard games by both Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall suggest, it worked!

15. Carolina Panthers (3-2-1); tied Cincinnati 37-37, drops one spot – Coming off of the first tie in franchise history, Carolina rolls into difficult matchups against Green Bay, Seattle, New Orleans and Philadelphia.

16. New Orleans Saints (2-3); bye week, drops one spot – New Orleans looks for their first road win of the season in Detroit this week.

17. Cleveland Browns (3-2); beat Pittsburgh 31-10, moves up five spots – After mounting a huge comeback only to fall short in Week 1, Cleveland hammered the Steelers at home.

18. Miami Dolphins (2-3); lost to Green Bay 27-24, moves up one spot – Miami might have lost, but at least they looked better than just about everybody else who lost this past week.

19. Buffalo Bills (3-3); lost to New England 37-22, drops one spot – The Bills have a good opportunity to bounce back at home against Minnesota this week.

20. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3); bye week, retains same ranking – Kansas City faces a near-impossible situation in San Diego this Sunday.

NFL Power Rankings for Week 7 (Oct. 15th, 2013)

justin-houston-chiefsAnother week of NFL action, another unbeaten falls. The New Orleans Saints saw their unblemished record take a hit when they fell to the New England Patriots by a score of 30-27. Now only the Broncos and Chiefs remain undefeated as we enter Week 7. Taking this into account, their November 17th showdown will be quite entertaining and offer plenty of regular and live wagering opportunities. Now let’s take a look at where all of the teams sit as we move closer to the midway point of the season.

1. Denver Broncos (6-0); beat Jacksonville 35-19, retains same ranking – The Broncos made sports betting history by being a four-touchdown favorite against Jacksonville. However, this gaudy line didn’t materialize as the Jags were actually able to move the ball against this mediocre Denver defense. However, we’ve yet to see a team that can stop the Broncos offense, even when they’re not playing perfect.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (6-0); beat Oakland 24-7, moves up 2 spots – Questions about Alex Smith’s arm strength aside, Kansas City has been as dominant a team as any. They’re beating opponents by an average of 14.5 points and might boast the league’s best defense.

3. New Orleans Saints (5-1); lost to New England 30-27, drops one spot – A 3-point loss on the road to the Patriots isn’t anything to be overly concerned about. This is still a great, well-rounded team that’s tabbed by many to make it to the NFC Championship.

4. Seattle Seahawks (5-1); beat Tennessee Titans, retains same ranking – With Percy Harvin’s return approaching, Seattle’s offense is definitely due for a boost. But they’ve still been doing well regardless, with Marshawn Lynch gaining 155 all-purpose yards and Russell Wilson adding 318 total yards last game.

5. New England Patriots (5-1); beat New Orleans 30-27, moves up one spot – For the stevan-ridley-patriotsfirst time since Shane Vereen got injured in Week 1, the Patriots showed a consistent ground game. Is Stevan Ridley finally back in Bill Belichik’s good graces?

6. San Francisco 49ers (4-2); beat Arizona 32-20, drops one spot – The 49ers grabbed a nice home win over an improving Cardinals team. With the focus shifting towards Frank Gore and the ground game, San Francisco looks like a different and better squad.

7. Green Bay Packers (3-2); beat Baltimore 19-17, moves up one spot – Green Bay got bad news about Randall Cobb since he’ll be out for several weeks. With their top receiver injured, expect Eddie Lacy to get a few more carries heading forward.

8. Chicago Bears (4-2); beat New York Giants 27-21, moves up one spot – This isn’t the Bears’ most impressive victory – especially when they got gashed by ancient running back Brandon Jacobs. But Jay Cutler and the offense continue to rack up points while the defense forces turnovers.

9. Indianapolis Colts (4-2); lost to San Diego 19-9, drops two spots – After an incredible stretch that saw the Colts win road games in both Seattle and San Francisco, they drop a tough road contest to the Chargers. Concerns about Trent Richardson are growing because his stats are subpar (191YDS, 3.1YPC in four games) since coming over from the Browns.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2); beat Buffalo 27-24, retains same ranking – Despite playing against a practice squad quarterback in Thaddeus Lewis, Cincinnati let Buffalo back in this game. Still, they escape with a win and remain on top of the AFC North.

11. Detroit Lions (4-2); beat Cleveland 31-17, retains same ranking – An ill-advised Brandon Weeden flip pass sealed the victory for Detroit. Matthew Stafford threw three second-half touchdowns to spark a turnaround.

12. Dallas Cowboys (3-3); beat Washington 31-16, moves up two spots – Dallas moves back into the upper echelon after making it look easy against their division foe. It wasn’t an entirely good day, though, since both DeMarcus Ware and DeMarco Murry were lost in this game. Both are expected to miss multiple weeks for the Cowboys.

13. Miami Dolphins (3-2); bye week, drops one spot – Miami will look to stop a two-lamar-miller-dolphinsgame skid as they host Buffalo. The Dolphins have to make more of a commitment to Lamar Miller and the running game to remain a multi-dimensional offense.

14. Baltimore Ravens (3-3); lost to Green Bay 19-17, drops two spots – Baltimore staged a nice late-game rally, but couldn’t do enough to pull ahead. The running attack is in disarray, with Ray Rice averaging less than 3 yards per carry.

15. San Diego Chargers (3-3); beat Indianapolis 19-9, moves up five spots – Credit the Chargers defense with slowing down Andrew Luck (202YDS, 0TD). Philip Rivers also did a good job of managing the game and leading the Chargers on some time-consuming scoring drives.

16. Arizona Cardinals (3-3); lost to San Francisco, moves up one spot – At this point of the rankings, it’s all about who lost to better teams. Arizona hung tough with the Niners for three quarters, but ran out of gas as they were outscored 10-0 in the fourth quarter.

17. Tennessee Titans (3-3); lost to Seattle 20-13, moves up one spot – The Titans have proven to be a very competitive team, even without Jake Locker. Despite the loss, they’re only one game behind Indianapolis in the AFC South.

18. Cleveland Browns (3-3); lost to Detroit 31-17, drops two spots – Browns fans have to be disappointed after their team was outscored 24-0 in the second half. Brandon Weeden played fairly well (292YDS, 2TD, 2INT) – save for throwing one of the worst interceptions ever. Somebody needs to tell him that shovel passes aren’t meant to be thrown over to the sideline.

19. Philadelphia Eagles (3-3); beat Tampa Bay 31-20, moves up three spots – Welcome back to relevancy Philadelphia! The Eagles kept pace with Dallas in the NFC East with a road victory against winless Tampa. Nick Foles might lock down the starting role for good if he keeps playing like this (296YDS, 3TD).

20. Houston Texans (2-4); lost to St. Louis 38-13, drops five spots – Fans have been calling for Matt Schaub to be benched, and now they get their wish after his right ankle injury. But it only gets uglier from here with T.J. Yates now starting under center.

21. New York Jets (3-3); lost to Pittsburgh 19-6, drops two spots – This was supposed to be an easy victory for the surprising Jets. However, rookie QB Geno Smith (201YDS, 2INT)  looked lost against a Pittsburgh defense that’s been in shambles all season.

22. Carolina Panthers (2-3); beat Minnesota 35-10, moves up three spots – Carolina cam-newtonis a tough team to figure out. Two weeks ago, they score just 6 points against Arizona; last game, they put up 35 on the Vikings and stifle them. Of course, it seems that Cam Newton’s swingy play decides the fate of the Panthers.

23. Atlanta Falcons (1-4); bye week, drops three spots – The Falcons were already struggling in the win-loss category. Then they found out that Julio Jones is done for the season and Roddy White might be out for 1-2 games. Harry Douglas is now their go-to receiver.

24. St. Louis Rams (3-3); beat Houston 38-13, moves up four spots – After suffering through a miserable three-game losing streak, the Rams are back to .500 with wins over Jacksonville and Houston. Nobody’s expecting St. Louis to make the playoffs in a division with Seattle and San Francisco, but they’re at least showing some heart.

25. Washington Redskins (1-4); lost to Dallas 31-16, drops two spots – The good news is that Washington didn’t get torched by Tony Romo, as many people expected. The bad news is that they got beat in just about every facet of the game.

26. Oakland Raiders (2-4); lost to Kansas City 24-7, retains same ranking – A very rough game for Terrelle Pryor, but they won’t all be as tough as playing in Arrowhead. Denarius Moore really seems to be developing as a nice target for Pryor.

27. Minnesota Vikings (1-4); lost to Carolina 35-10, drops three spots – This was a tough game to play for Minnesota following the death of Adrian Peterson’s son. When Josh Freeman learns the Vikings playbook, this team might bounce back with some victories.

28. Buffalo Bills (2-4); lost to Cincinnati Bengals 27-24, drops one spot – Thaddeus Lewis is a definite upgrade over undrafted free agent Jeff Tuel. If Lewis can continue playing like he did on the road against Cincinnati, he’ll produce some wins against weaker opponents.

29. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4); beat New York Jets 19-6, retains same ranking – Holding Geno Smith and the Jets to 6 points won’t bring back Steel Curtain comparisons. But this is still a nice performance by Pittsburgh’s defense.

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-5); lost to Philadelphia 31-20, retains same ranking – Ownership spent too much money in the offseason for a winless start. It’s looking less and less like Greg Schiano will make it through the season.

31. New York Giants (0-6); lost to Chicago 27-21, retains same ranking – With David Wilson knocked out of the game with an injury, Brandon Jacobs rumbled for 106 yards and two touchdowns. It’s too bad that Eli Manning threw another three interceptions.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6); lost to Denver 34-20, retains same ranking – The way they stayed with Denver through three quarters, this team could actually win a game with Chad Henne at QB.