NFL Power Rankings Week 7: Steelers take top spot, Bears crack top 10

Updated: Nov 16


(Tennessee Titans/NFL.com)

By: Thomas Gotzamanis


1. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-0)


PREVIOUS RANK: 4


Everything’s going right for the Steelers right now. The team is 5-0 for the second time in franchise history. Pittsburgh embarrassed the Browns at Heinz Field, blowing them out 38-7 in a completely one-sided victory. The Steelers shut down the Browns’ running game from the start and dared Baker Mayfield to throw the ball. Mayfield couldn’t do anything from the start, getting intercepted by Minkah Fitzpatrick for a pick-six on Cleveland’s first drive of the game. The only negative for the Steelers from Sunday was the loss of linebacker Devin Bush, who tore his ACL and is done for the year. A tough loss for this Pittsburgh defence.


2. Kansas City Chiefs (5-1)


PREVIOUS RANK: 2


The Chiefs ran over the Bills on Monday. With an offence not led by Patrick Mahomes but instead Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the Chiefs obliterated the Bills on the ground game, totalling 245 yards on 46 carries. Edwards-Helaire led the way for the Chiefs with 26 carries for 161 yards. For a team that has issues among their offensive line with guard Kelechi Osemele out Monday night and Mitchell Schwartz exiting in the first half, the ground domination was very impressive. 


3. Tennessee Titans (5-0)


PREVIOUS RANK: 6


It’s official; the Titans are the real deal. The team came out of an extended COVID-19 layoff to pull off two impressive victories in six days. On Sunday, Tennessee became the first team in NFL history to have a 350-yard passer and a 200-yard rusher in the same game. Derrick Henry was a monster, finishing with 264 yards total yards and two touchdowns on the day, including the game-winning touchdown in overtime. Derrick Henry is a freak of nature by not just being stronger than everyone, but having the speed to break away from defenders too. He’s the undisputed best running back in the league right now.


4. Seattle Seahawks (5-0)


PREVIOUS RANK: 3


The Seahawks entered their Week 6 bye satisfied with their results. The team is undefeated, and Russell Wilson is putting up his best numbers ever. Even after the bye week, Wilson is still leading the league in passing touchdowns. Still, the team has only won one game by more than eight points, and the defence ranks dead last for total yards and passing yards allowed in the league. An interesting match against the Cardinals ensues in Week 7.


5. Green Bay Packers (4-1)


PREVIOUS RANK: 1


Two minutes into the second quarter, Aaron Rodgers had the ball and a 10-point lead; the NFL’s best team was looking like their usual selves. Then came a pick-six, and everything started to fall apart for the Packers. Tom Brady and the Bucs proceeded to score 38 unanswered points in the ambushing of the Packers. Rodgers completed just 16 of 35 passes for 160 yards and two interceptions. The Packers had no answer for a Tampa Bay pass rush that sacked Rodgers four times and pressured him repeatedly through the game. It’s hard to imagine this was the same team that mopped the floor with every team in its path to start the season. The Packers will look to bounce back against the 1-5 Texans this week.


6. Baltimore Ravens (5-1)


PREVIOUS RANK: 5


The Ravens’ offence has been alright so far. The team continues to put up points and win games, but not in the same fashion as last season. Even though Lamar Jackson had a bounce-back game on the ground for the Ravens, he hasn’t been the same passer this season. The reigning MVP has only produced less than 1200 passing yards and 10 passing touchdowns so far. The team is nearly still putting up 30 points a game, but this Ravens team just doesn’t look as dominant on the offensive end as they did last season.


7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2)


PREVIOUS RANK: 11


In one of the most anticipated matchups this week between two of the greatest quarterbacks to ever throw the ball, it was surprisingly underwhelming. While the Packers looked like they were rolling after the first quarter, Jamel Dean intercepted Rodgers and took it to the house, and it was all the Bucs afterwards. The team put up 38 unanswered points and completely shut down the best team in the NFL going into Week 6. Brady threw for a mediocre 166 yards and two touchdowns, but the real star was Ronald Jones, who solidified his position in the backfield with 121 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns. However, the defence was even more impressive in its first game without Vita Vea, completely shutting down Rodgers. They pressured Rodgers 12 times and caused him to throw his first two turnovers of the season. The Bucs have an intriguing game against the Las Vegas Raiders this Sunday.


8. Buffalo Bills (4-2)


PREVIOUS RANK: 7


It’s been a tough couple of weeks for this Bills’ team after taking back to back losses against two AFC powerhouses in the Titans and Chiefs. Allen hasn’t looked like the quarterback who led his team to 4-0 these past two games, throwing for a combined four touchdowns and three interceptions in both losses after only throwing one interception in his first four games. The defence is now a problem too. The Bills defence got run over by the Chiefs for 245 rushing yards on only 46 attempts. With one last chance for redemption, the Bills couldn’t stop the Chiefs offence and were unable to prevent a clinching Chiefs field goal. The Bills will look to regain their form against the worst team in the NFL on Sunday; the New York Jets.


9. Chicago Bears (5-1)


PREVIOUS RANK: 15


The Bears are good? The team is 5-1 after shutting down the Panthers in a 23-16 win. The Panthers were rolling coming into this game but the Bears defence stopped Teddy and the Panthers, forcing three turnovers and getting four sacks. Nick Foles got the job done for the Bears throwing for almost 200 yards and a touchdown. The Bears are finding ways to win close games week after week, and are sitting atop the NFC North. The Bears will have to prove they’re the real deal with pending games against the Rams, Saints, and Titans on the way.


10. Los Angeles Rams (4-2)


PREVIOUS RANK: 8


The Rams tore through the terrible NFC East in their first four games, but are 0-2 now against the rest of the league. Jared Goff and Cooper Kupp weren’t clicking like they usually are in the Rams 24-16 loss against the 49ers, with missed opportunities inevitably costing the Rams this game. In a tough NFC West division, the Rams will have to prove themselves against a stingy Bears defence next week. 


11. New Orleans Saints (3-2)


PREVIOUS RANK: 10


The Saints have somewhat found their form again with back-to-back wins going into their Week 6 bye, but there are still some issues on both sides of the ball for these Saints. Michael Thomas’ absence has been a tough blow to the Saints offence, with him missing three previous weeks with an ankle injury and another game due to disciplinary reasons. Thomas threw a punch at his teammate and reportedly behaved disrespectfully toward coaches after the incident. When Thomas is clicking, he’s one of the best receivers in the NFL. Will the Saints get that version of Michael Thomas when he inevitably returns?


12. Arizona Cardinals (4-2)


PREVIOUS RANK: 16


Complete annihilation. The Cardinals blew out the Cowboys in a convincing 38-10 win, playing almost perfect on both sides of the field. Kyler totalled three scores in the game, including a nice deep throw to Christian Kirk for 80 yards that pretty much sealed the deal for the Cardinals. The defence suffocated the depleted Cowboys offence led by Andy Dalton. Safety Budda Baker was amazing, finishing with a sack, interception, two QB hits, and a forced fumble. A huge game looms on the horizon against the undefeated Seahawks this Sunday. 


13. New England Patriots (2-3)


PREVIOUS RANK: 12


The Patriots haven’t been able to practice that much over the past two weeks due to COVID-19 issues, and it showed in the 18-12 loss against the Broncos. The offence only managed to pull together 288 total yards and turned the ball over multiple times, including two Cam Newton interceptions. The defence played well enough, forcing the Broncos to take six field goals and even picked off Drew Lock a couple of times to try to rejuvenate the team. But it was all for naught, as the Pats are under .500 through for the first time in 18 years. 


14. Indianapolis Colts (4-2)


PREVIOUS RANK: 14


The Phillip Rivers breakout game Colts fans have been anticipating to see finally came in the 31-27 comeback win against the Bengals. Rivers threw for 371 yards and three touchdowns but also had his signature interception in the fourth quarter that kept the Bengals’ hopes alive. Even with the interception, it was still a great game for the veteran QB. Rivers was a monster in the second quarter, finishing 14-21 with 235 yards and two touchdowns while down 21-0. The Colts go into their Week 7 bye on a high note.


15. Las Vegas Raiders (3-2)


PREVIOUS RANK: 13


After a convincing win against the Super Bowl Champs in Week 5, it might’ve not been the best thing in the world for this Raiders team to go into a bye week. Nevertheless, it’s not the biggest issue in the world. The Raiders have a prime-time showdown against the Bucs Sunday night. It’ll be interesting to see which version of the Raiders show up against Tom Brady and the Bucs. This team showed they could hang around with anyone after their big win against the Chiefs, but they’ll have to show they’re the real deal with a win against the Bucs.


16. Cleveland Browns (4-2)


PREVIOUS RANK: 9


The Steelers might just be the Browns kryptonite. After a 38-7 beatdown against Big Ben and the Steelers, Browns fans probably weren’t expecting this in a year that’s supposed to be ‘different’. While Baker Mayfield was playing with bruised ribs, he inevitably cost his team the game with his turnovers, including an early pick-six that was the beginning of the end for these Browns. The Browns run game was shut down from the start and if there’s anything shown about this Browns team, it’s that if you stop their running game, you stop the offence. Having Nick Chubb sidelined didn’t help either, but the Browns don’t have much of an excuse since they have Kareem Hunt in their backfield too. Baker needs to start doing something productive on the field, or the Browns may have to make some tough decisions about the quarterback’s future.


17. San Francisco 49ers (3-3)


PREVIOUS RANK: 21


After a tough blowout loss to the Dolphins last week, things weren’t looking good for the 49ers. But the 49ers turned it around, getting a huge 24-16 win against a decent Los Angeles Rams team. The offensive line managed to do the impossible by preventing Aaron Donald from getting a sack and even limiting him to only two tackles and one QB hit, and Jimmy Garrapolo looked much better, throwing three touchdowns in a good performance. With a tough schedule up ahead, things look challenging for this 49ers team, but they might be up for the challenge. 


18. Miami Dolphins (3-3)


PREVIOUS RANK: 18


It’s Tua time! Late in a 24-0 pounding of the New York Jets, Tua Tagovailoa entered the game to loud cheers from Dolphins fans who were inside the stadium. Tua completed his first two NFL throws for nine yards, and it was all smiles from Miami until later in the week. The team decided to name Tua their starting quarterback, and Ryan Fitzpatrick was not happy after the news broke, saying how he was, “shocked by it” and how it, “broke [his] heart.” No one can blame Fitz, as he was playing well for the Fins before the surprising news. Did the Dolphins make a mistake by starting Tua too early? A measuring game against the Rams after their Week 7 bye will show if the Fins made the right choice. 


19. Carolina Panthers (3-3)


PREVIOUS RANK: 17


The Panthers were red hot coming into a game against the Bad News Bears. The team was on a three-game win streak, and the duo of Teddy Bridgewater and Mike Davis were playing pretty well. A tough loss against the Bears proved otherwise. Bridgewater was constantly running from a dangerous Bears pass rush being sacked four times after not being sacked once over the past two weeks. Mike Davis fumbled the ball deep in Carolina territory, and Bridgewater threw the game-sealing pick in the final minutes. The Panthers have shown they can win without Christian McCaffrey, but his absence is much more noticeable when the Panthers play better competition.


20. Los Angeles Chargers (1-4)


PREVIOUS RANK: 20


A change of plans because of COVID-19 moved the Chargers bye week up to Week 6, which honestly works in favour of the 1-4 Chargers. Joey Bosa gets a well-deserved rest after he was limited to just 28 defensive snaps against the Saints in Week 5 due to knee, ankle, and triceps injuries. Justin Herbert has shown his potential this season and is still a big piece of this Chargers offence. With a rested and healthier Chargers’ defence, the team should have no problem dispersing the lowly Jaguars this coming Sunday.


21. Detroit Lions (2-3)


PREVIOUS RANK: 25


The Lions finally put together a complete game against the Jaguars with a rare blowout victory that possibly saved head coach Matt Patricia’s job for the time being. The Lions defence was swarming Gardner Minshew, causing him to toss hurried throws and mistakes. D’Andre Swift, the rookie out of Georgia, had a breakout game with 14 rushes for 116 yards and two touchdowns. He became the first Lions rookie since Barry Sanders with 100 yards and two scores in a game. Now we’re not saying Swift is the next Barry Sanders, but he should be getting more touches in the backfield over the future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson, 35, who’s now near the end of his career. 


22. Denver Broncos (2-3)


PREVIOUS RANK: 27


The Broncos have stringed together two wins in a row after a long-awaited game against the New England Patriots in Week 6. Denver’s defence stepped on the throat of Cam Newton and the Patriots offence, only allowing 288 total yards and forcing three turnovers, including two Cam Newton interceptions. While Drew Lock did throw a couple of interceptions in the fourth quarter, the defence was able to hold back any life from the New England offence and hold on for the win. Brandon McManus drilled six field goals, providing all the points for Denver.


23. Atlanta Falcons (1-5)


PREVIOUS RANK: 29


Falcons fans felt rejuvenated after the return of Julio Jones. Jones caught eight of his 10 targets for 137 yards and two touchdowns, while Matt Ryan showed he still can be elite with 371 yards and four touchdowns in a 40-23 blowout of the Vikings. Both of these franchise superstars showed they still have a lot left in the tank in the win. Falcons fans should savour this Ryan-Jones connection; it’s hard to say how much longer they’ll be wearing the black and red.


24. Houston Texans (1-5)


PREVIOUS RANK: 23


A painful loss for the Texans, who had a chance to try to get back into the AFC South race but couldn’t top the Titans in a 42-36 overtime loss. The defence gave up 601 yards, with 264 of them coming from Derrick Henry. While the Texans interim coach Romeo Crennel did catch some criticism for going for a two-point conversion when up by seven, he knew what he was doing. He knew the defence wasn’t going to stop the Titans on the final drive, and going up two scores would be the only way to win. On the bright side for the Texans, Deshaun Watson is looking like his usual self again and is developing chemistry with his new supporting cast. The Texans need to find a way to beat the Packers this week, or it’s back to the drawing board for this Texans team. 


25. Dallas Cowboys (2-4)


PREVIOUS RANK: 19


The leaders of the NFC East aren’t looking too strong (but then again, who is in the NFC East) after a complete blow-out against the Cardinals at home. The absence of Dak Prescott was very noticeable, with Andy Dalton looking completely incapable of leading this Dallas offence. Dalton missed open receivers and threw two interceptions in a terrible performance. Ezekiel Elliott didn’t help either, fumbling the ball twice in the first-half leading to two scores and setting the tone for this game. After only fumbling the ball three times last season, Elliott now has put the ball on the carpet five times in only six games, matching this rookie season total. Things aren’t looking good for “America’s Team” right now. 


26. Philadelphia Eagles (1-4-1)


PREVIOUS RANK: 24


The Eagles almost pulled together an incredible comeback against the Ravens just failing to convert the two-point attempt to win the game as the Eagles fell to 1-4-1. While DeSean Jackson is getting ready to return to the lineup, the Eagles lose a key member of their offence in tight end Zach Ertz, who’s out for multiple weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain. While Ertz isn’t playing at his usual high level, it’s another tough loss for quarterback Carson Wentz. A big positive for the Eagles is no matter how bad they play, they’ll always have a chance to make the playoffs... because they’re in the NFC East.


27. Minnesota Vikings (1-5)


PREVIOUS RANK: 22


The Vikings barely showed up in a 40-23 blowout loss against the winless Falcons. Kirk Cousins threw three interceptions in the game and has thrown for 10 interceptions on the season. It makes general manager Rick Spielman consider what he was thinking when he offered Cousins a two-year extension back in March. With a Week 7 bye to try to collect themselves, a big game looms against the Packers in Week 8.


28. Cincinnati Bengals (1-4-1)


PREVIOUS RANK: 26


Things were looking good in Cincinnati. The Bengals were up 21-0 early in the second quarter, but that was all for naught as Phillip Rivers proceeded to torch the Bengals in the second quarter for 235 yards and two touchdowns. On the bright side for the Bengals, Joe Burrow was much better this week than he was against the Bengals and even found a connection with A.J. Green, who had eight catches for 96 yards in the loss. 


29. New York Giants (1-5)


PREVIOUS RANK: 31


The Giants finally won in a weird game against the Washington Football Team. In a close, very boring game, the Washington Football Team decided to spice the game up down 20-19 by going for a two-point conversion. The Giants locked up quarterback Kyle Allen, forcing him into a game-sealing incompletion. This is a team with a new head coach in Joe Judge and a still-young quarterback in Daniel Jones who is still only in his second season. Patience is needed, but will it amount to anything for these struggling Giants?


30. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)


PREVIOUS RANK: 28


The Jaguars aren’t looking too good after a 34-16 loss against the Lions, increasing their losing streak to five games. Minshew hasn’t been getting the job done for the Jags on the offensive side of the ball, and the defence has been struggling mightily. While Minshew can’t be the only one to blame for Jacksonville’s struggles this season, the Jaguars can’t ignore the quarterback position if they find themselves near the top of the draft board next spring.


31. Washington Football Team (1-5)


PREVIOUS RANK: 30


Ron Rivera is a genius. He purposely cost the Football Team the game potentially to help secure a bad record for the draft by deciding to go for a two-point conversion instead of the extra point to tie the game. This loss helps push the Football team to 1-5 and further secures their position for a higher draft pick in a close Tank Bowl versus the Giants. In all seriousness, Kyle Allen is not the move for Washington at their QB position. While it makes sense for the Football Team to give Haskins another chance, him being benched so early in the season shows us what we need to know about his future with the franchise. 


32. New York Jets (0-6)


PREVIOUS RANK: 32


Adam Gase still having a job is proof the Jets are doing all they can to go 0-16 this season.