Thanks to a game-winning field goal by Matthew Wright, the Jacksonville Jaguars got their first win this week in London over the equally terrible Miami Dolphins. With now just one undefeated and winless team left in the Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions, respectively, who will break first? It’s been another crazy week in the NFL full of injuries, but also insight into the legitimate contenders for the [Vince] Lombardi Trophy. Let’s take a look at this week’s NFL Power Rankings.
NFL Power Rankings: Week 7
1) Arizona Cardinals (6-0) (Last Week: 3)
Although the Arizona Cardinals were undefeated coming into Week 6, there were plenty of questions surrounding how good this team really was after a few lackluster performances. All those questions were answered emphatically in Cleveland, thanks to a 37-14 trouncing over the Browns. While Cleveland was without Nick Chubb, and Baker Mayfield and Kareem Hunt were injured in the game, it’s fair to say this was decided well before the injuries occurred.
Arizona jumped out to a 20-0 lead out of the gates and that was all she wrote. The defense looked good and Kyler Murray showed no signs of slowing down. With the addition of tight end Zach Ertz, there is little question that Arizona has the best offense in the league, lifting them to the top spot in the NFL Power Rankings.
2) Los Angeles Rams (5-1) (4)
After a Week 5 performance in which the Los Angeles Rams needed a late defensive stop to beat the Seattle Seahawks without Russell Wilson, the Rams had some questions to answer, much like Arizona. They had a fantastic matchup against a New York Giants team without Saquon Barkley and absolutely destroyed them, 38-11. Cooper Kupp returned to form and the Rams defense left next to nothing for the Giants. The Rams have an easy schedule going forward, with the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans on deck. They will be in a good spot in the NFC West if they can simply take care of business in the near future.
3) Baltimore Ravens (5-1) (10)
Apparently, me calling out the Baltimore Ravens lit a fire under them in Week 6. After mostly underwhelming wins to start the year, the Ravens made a statement by holding the high-powered Los Angeles Chargers offense to just six points. Even though Lamar Jackson threw two interceptions and was not efficient in the air, this was the most complete game we’ve seen from Baltimore. With Cincinnati on deck, they have a chance to get themselves some breathing room atop of the AFC North.
4) Buffalo Bills (4-2) (2)
The Buffalo Bills had a tough matchup on Monday against the Titans and were flat out mauled by Derrick Henry. The Titans running back ran for 143 yards on just 20 carries and added three touchdowns. This loss will be a tough one for Bills fans who were less than a yard away from a sure victory. Buffalo’s offense looked solid but some costly mistakes on defense and special teams hold them back from getting their fifth win. Luckily for Buffalo, they don’t play a team at or above .500 until Thanksgiving when they match up with the Saints.
5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-1) (1)
Tampa Bay had a short week, thanks to their Thursday night matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. When they claimed a 28-7 lead with under six minutes left in the third, just about everybody put a bow on the game. Thanks to Jalen Hurts’ legs and sheer will, the Eagles clawed their way all the way back to a deficit of just six with over five and a half minutes to play. Thanks to a questionable taunting penalty, Tampa was able to hang on. However, they did little to impress fans. Although they annihilated the Miami Dolphins a few days earlier, they barely beat the Patriots the week before and lost to the Rams in Week 4. Tampa’s defense is not what it was last season and they’ll need to get it there to have a shot at repeating.
6) Dallas Cowboys (5-1) (5)
The Dallas Cowboys had a seemingly easy matchup with the New England Patriots lined up but needed overtime to get the job done. Is anyone seriously impressed with this team? Their offense is undeniably elite, but they can never seem to get a convincing win against anyone of note. Dallas’ strength of schedule is 19th in the NFL and they’re still struggling to beat teams outside of their own division. Their strength of victory is tied for 14th, and that is buoyed by two blowouts against the lowly Giants and Eagles. Dallas doesn’t play competition until the Chiefs in late November. Even then, Kansas City has a historically bad defense. As always, we’ll see if this team can hang with the big boys come playoff time.
7) Green Bay Packers (5-1) (7)
Rivalry games are always tough, but when you have the owner of the other team directing your offense, it makes things just a tad easier. In an expected ugly game, the Green Bay Packers prevailed over Justin Fields and the Bears. The Packers defense only allowed 14 points, but more of that was due to below-average play from Fields than anything else. When it mattered though, the Packers made plays. This offensive line will get a big boost when David Bakhtiari returns soon. After their tune-up against Washington this upcoming week, the Packers face Arizona and Kansas City on the road. We’ll finally get to see what this defense is made of if anything.
8) Kansas City Chiefs (3-3) (8)
This defense is very very bad. Thanks to the wizardry of Patrick Mahomes, however, they were able to escape Washington with a victory. Down three at the half, the Kansas City Chiefs scored 21 unanswered in the second half to take a 31-13 victory. While the Chiefs did put up 31 points, their offense should be putting up a lot more on this defense. Although Mahomes’ two first-half interceptions were mostly not his fault, with this defense, Kansas City can’t even afford those come playoff time. With the Tennessee Titans on deck, this running defense will certainly be put to the test.
9) Cleveland Browns (3-3) (9)
Week 6 really could not have gone much worse for the Cleveland Browns. Not only did they get smacked around by Arizona, but they also lost Kareem Hunt and Baker Mayfield to injury during the game. While it does look like Hunt will be able to come back in three to five weeks, it’s still a massive blow to a team that relies heavily on their running backs. Mayfield’s injury is more concerning, however, as he’s dealing with a labrum tear that is clearly causing him a lot of pain. It’s hard to see this team going very far without a healthy Mayfield, who already has accuracy troubles at times. If Hunt doesn’t come back as planned, or they can’t figure out their passing attack, this team may not be making the playoffs and their defense is a big reason why.
10) Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) (16)
Nothing goes better with coming off a loss than a date with the Detroit Lions. Cincinnati took care of business and then some en route to a 34-11 clobbering of the Lions. The Bengals looked dangerous on both sides of the ball, although most of that was due to the bad play of Detroit. Down by just a game to the Ravens in the division, they have a well-timed date with Lamar Jackson and company in Baltimore. A win would set them up nicely with the New York Jets on deck the following week.
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