SQ NFL Power Rankings: Week 7

  

 

  RK (LW)

1 (1)

New

New England Patriots

The Patriots suffered a bit of a scare as the up-and-down Colts made things interesting in Indianapolis, but a big day from LeGarrette Blount saved the day for the Pats. Blount's 93 rushing yards was his highest total since Week 3 of the 2014 season. A home game against the streaking New York Jets will be an interesting matchup for the Pats, but expect them to come out firing. (Bobby E)

2 (4)

Cincinnati

Cincinnati Bengals

Week to week, it seems a new hero on offense emerges for QB Andy Dalton and the Bengals. In Cincy's most recent outing against the Bills, WR Marvin Jones took advantage of Buffalo cornerbacks for 95 yards on nine catches, including a miraculous TD run and catch. The Bengals continue to look like one of the NFL's most well-rounded teams, and at 6-0, Cincy has the pedal to the floor over the rest of the AFC North. (Nick C)

3 (2)

Green

Green Bay Packers

Similar to the undefeated Patriots, the Packers were caught in a close matchup. Thanks to the inability of Philip Rivers and the Chargers from scoring a touchdown from three yards out on four attempts, Green Bay was able to escape. Time-of-possession and total yards were dominated by the Chargers, but ultimately the turnover difference and small penalty discrepancy were enough to separate the two teams. Heading into the bye week 6-0, the Packers are feeling good. (Bobby E)

4 (8)

Carolina

Carolina Panthers

Doubters be gone? The Seahawks haven't been their dominant selves this season, but it's time to start believing that this 5-0 Panthers team is a legitimate NFC threat. Their defense is tied at the top with a +6 turnover differential, and Cam Newton was PFF highest graded quarterback last week (tied with Philip Rivers). (Cory R)

5 (3)

Denver

Denver Broncos

Another week, another win, and another awful game from Peyton. The Broncos might be the ugliest 6-0 team I've ever seen. But their defense is having a 2005 Bears-esque season, with four defensive touchdowns already. If this keeps up and Manning cuts out the interceptions, the Broncos may be the team best suited to take down New England. (Dominic K)

6 (5)

Atlanta

Atlanta Falcons

A five fumble nightmare, three of which were lost, struck the Falcons on the short week. Looking all out of sorts, the Falcons managed to lose by 10 despite outperforming the Saints offense in every other regard (7.1 YPC to the Saints' 2.5!). It'll be a tuneup week against the bottom-dwelling, Mariota-less Titans this week. (Cory R)

7 (13)

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Steelers

Michael Vick's ineptitude and Landry Jones' stellar play against the Cardinals makes you wonder why the Steelers catapulted Vick ahead of Jones upon his arrival. Jones, in relief duty, threw for 168 yards and two TDs, both to Martavis Bryant. Jones' understanding of the offense didn't outshine his execution. He is getting the start against the Chiefs, the NFL's 7th-worst passing defense, though a trip to Arrowhead in his first NFL start should make Pittsburgh just a bit uneasy. (Nick C)

8 (6)

Arizona

Arizona Cardinals

The streaky Cardinals are starting to look like the Arizona team we've seen the last couple years: a good team, but not good enough. In the games they've won, they've racked up 30+ points (40+ in 3/4 games). The remedy is easy to tell: the offense has to be consistently great. The defense put forth its worst effort of the season against an injury-decimated Steelers (no Big Ben or Vick), yet still failed to play well enough. Carson Palmer needs to step it up, as he'll get just that chance against a surprisingly struggling Ravens team. (Bobby E)

9 (10)

New

New York Jets

J-E-T-S, JETS JETS JETS! A 4-1 start has Jets fans feeling hopeful about this team. Ryan Fitzpatrick is making strong strides and finding a strong connection with Brandon Marshall, while Chris Ivory is quickly developing into a top NFL back with another big rushing effort. Back to back 140+ yards in the last two games, and Marshall's four consecutive games of 100+ receiving yards has Jets fans excited about their offense. Can they compete with the Patriots high-powered offense? We'll see in Week 7. (Bobby E)

10 (9)

Indianapolis

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts failed to upset the Patriots at home, but for the first time in the Andrew Luck era, Indy remained competitive and avoided the blowout. It didn't help them in our rankings this week, but it will hopefully help establish a standard by which the remaining games of the season will be played. The Colts still have a great chance to make the playoffs based on the division in which they play, and once you're in the playoffs, anything can happen. (Josh C)

11 (7)

Seattle

Seattle Seahawks

Back-to-back tough losses to elite teams make you wonder whether the Seahawks are on the wrong end of the stick, or simply not a good NFL team. Sitting at 2-4, Seattle needs to evaluate what the team needs to do better. Whether it's third down efficiency (4-14 last week), or having more of a balanced attack, something needs to change. A trip to San Francisco may be exactly what the Seahawks need. That is unless the 49ers decide to play spoiler and blacken Seattle's postseason chances. (Bobby E)

12 (11)

Minnesota

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings continue to show themselves as one of the most mysterious teams in the NFL. They lost to the low-caliber 49ers in Week 1, but since then have only suffered one other loss which was by three points to the Broncos. Their wins haven't been very impressive either, but being the 2nd ranked defense at 16.6 points/game isn't too shabby. Another game against the Lions may send Minnesota to a 4-2 record. (Bobby E)

13 (23)

Philadelphia

Philadelphia Eagles

DeMarco Murray has struggled through injury and a lack of touches in Chip Kelly's offense. But when given the opportunity, Murray took a season high 22 caries for 109 yards and scored on a powerful 12-yard run to seal the game in the third quarter. If the defense can keep up this kind of pressure and Murray plays like he did, Philadelphia might be back on track for the division lead. (Austin T)

14 (14)

San

San Diego Chargers

Could any other team get 503 passing yards in a game and lose? Could any other QB besides Philip Rivers rip into the Packer secondary for 59 minutes, only to miss a wide open Danny Woodhead for the tying score? That's two consecutive backbreaking losses for San Diego, a team that needs to win those games to snag a wild card playoff berth. But when your defense allows a league-worst 5.4 yards/rushing attempt, the entire team suffers. (Dominic K)

15 (12)

New

New York Giants

The offensive line for the New York Giants took a beating on Monday night. Eli was sacked three times and the offense generated only 81 rushing yards. The defense did it's job generating four turnovers, but after the opening drive, the Giants never made it back to the redzone. After looking so good for four weeks, this is a huge step back. (Austin T)

16 (16)

Buffalo

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo has been one of the most intriguing teams in the league. They have statement wins in Weeks 1 and 3 and barely beat the Titans in Week 5, but have lost to the Patriots, Giants, and Bengals in relatively close games. The Bills are an extremely average team if you look at every category both offensively and defensively. Taking the next step can be easily achieved on both sides of the football against the Jaguars this upcoming week. (Bobby E)

17 (15)

St.

St. Louis Rams

Fresh off a bye week, the Rams get a tasty matchup with the streaky Cleveland Browns. St. Louis has dropped four games this season, but all have been relatively close. It's up to Nick Foles and the offense to step up and lead the Rams, as the defense has really done it's job all season long limiting teams to 24 points or less (aside from Week 1's high scoring win). St. Louis ranks dead last in total offensive yards, yards per game, total points, and points per game. This week's matchup is exactly what they need. (Bobby E)

18 (17)

Dallas

Dallas Cowboys

A much-needed bye week stops the bleeding for now, but Dallas has a tough test again traveling to New York. The Cowboys need Matt Cassell to hand the ball off and convert on third down. The last time Cassell faced the New York Giants was in 2009 and he threw for 127 yards with a 47% completion rate and two touchdowns in a loss with the Kansas City Chiefs. He's going to have to do better than that if the Cowboys are going to stay in contention. (Austin T)

19 (26)

Miami

Miami Dolphins

After losing three straight games, we finally got a glimpse of the Miami Dolphins we were expecting this season. A route of the Titans isn't something to flaunt, but there were many positives to take from this game. The emergence of Lamar Miller and dedication to handing him the football was one takeaway, as he finished with 113 yards on 19 carries. Can Miami continue its success? A matchup with Houston could go either way for them. (Bobby E)

20 (20)

New

New Orleans Saints

When you rush the ball 32 times, it usually means you're doing something right. Getting 81 yards to show for that many attempts? Not so much. Despite facing the Falcons top run defense, the Saints are going to need production from their backfield to sustain the offense, especially this week when it'll mean keeping the ball out of Andrew Luck's hands. (Cory R)

21 (21)

Oakland

Oakland Raiders

Don't look now, but the 2-3 Raiders are 2nd place in the AFC West! Up next is an intriguing divisional tilt in San Diego. Look for Latavius Murray to have a nice afternoon, and for the Raiders to be frisky once again. This team is on the rise, and a win propels them into the playoff conversation. (Dominic K)

22 (22)

Washington

Washington Redskins

As Kirk Cousins goes, Washington goes, and Sunday's performance was the worst all season. Cousins completed less than 60% of his passes, and threw his 7th and 8th picks. For comparison, Cousins has 27 interceptions in the 20 games he has played. RGIII only threw 20 interceptions in his 37 games. I know you can't risk guaranteeing Griffin's contract but, yeesh, Washington will continue to struggle if Cousins is at the helm. (Austin T)

23 (31)

San

San Francisco 49ers

A win, finally. Beating the Ravens at home isn't the biggest achievement, but it's something worth smiling about. The biggest takeaway in this one that resembles the 49ers offense in one stat is Colin Kaepernick's average completion yardage. Throughout the season Kap had failed to exceed eight yards per game, but on Sunday he averaged almost 13 yards! If he can keep this aggressive passing mentality against the Seahawks, the 49ers could shock some people and knock off Seattle. (Bobby E)

24 (27)

Houston

Houston Texans

For the first time this season, the Texans scored more than 21 points, and they won the game because of it. The Jaguars may not be a strong opponent, but Houston needs any win it can get at this point. A trip to Miami will serve as an interesting test for both teams. The two teams have been inconsistent all season long, so this one will be a toss-up. (Bobby E)

25 (30)

Chicago

Chicago Bears

The Bears tried. And they failed. Despite sending the game into OT, Chicago just didn't have enough left in the tank. A big failure in Chicago's offense was the efficiency of Matt Forte's rushing. Averaging 2.88 yards per carry will not get the job done in this league, especially for a team like the Bears who rely on Forte so much. A bye week may be rightfully placed for this team. (Bobby E)

26 (28)

Cleveland

Cleveland Browns

Josh McCown did his best to withstand the high-pressured Denver pass rush, but in the end, the Cleveland offense was unable to make the critical play. Though the Browns didn't come away with a possible season-changing win, the results were encouraging. Cleveland's NFL-worst run defense (based on PFF grades) heads to St. Louis, and will be tasked with trying to stop rookie sensation Todd Gurley. Expect rookie NT Danny Shelton and the rest of the Browns' defense to either rise above or be exposed. (Nick C)

27 (18)

Kansas

Kansas City Chiefs

These are dark days for the Chiefs offense. So dark, in fact, that the Steelers head to Arrowhead as three point favorites with Landry Jones at QB. But hey, at least the Royals are looking good! (Dominic K)

28 (32)

Tampa

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Coming out of the bye, hopefully Jameis Winston worked on his chemistry with Mike Evans, whom he's hit on just 13-of-33 targets so far. They can boast a .500 record (!) with a win in Washington this week. Their defense has quietly allowed the 5th fewest yards per game. (Cory R)

29 (19)

Baltimore

Baltimore Ravens

Another test failed for the Ravens. QB Joe Flacco has come out publicly saying he has yet to transition into OC Marc Trestman's offense, and with no reliable receiver besides Steve Smith Sr. to lean on, his job becomes that much tougher. The Baltimore defense made Colin Kaepernick look better than he is, as short-lived star Jimmy Smith has garnered the worst PFF grade among Ravens' cornerbacks. A Monday night matchup with the Cardinals awaits, and it could get very ugly very quickly in the desert. (Nick C)

30 (24)

Detroit

Detroit Lions

The first win of the season finally came for the Detroit Lions. After suffering heart breaks week after week, the ball was on the Lions side at the end of this one. Matthew Stafford was a monster, as his four touchdown and one interception effort was clearly his best game of the year. Stafford posted a quarterback rating 117.7, 34.2 higher than his previous best this season. Can he continue his success against the Vikings? It may be difficult, but he'll have his home-crowd to support him. (Bobby E)

31 (25)

Tennessee

Tennessee Titans

Marcus Mariota may miss multiple games with a knee injury, which means the Titans may simply be playing out the schedule going forward. With Mariota, they have a chance, however small, to win the weakest division in football. Without him, they may not win another game. (Josh C)

32 (29)

Jacksonville

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville's loss to the Texans drops them back down to the bottom of our rankings. The Jags have shown great promise at times this year, but there has been no consistency, and that's what's killing their chances. Blake Bortles must continue to improve and lead this young offense. He has the talent to do so. (Josh C)

Upcoming Games

Aug 5th, 8:00 PM

Dallas +1.5 -110

Pittsburgh -1.5 -110

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Aug 12th, 7:30 PM

Washington -2 -110

New England +2 -110

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Aug 12th, 7:30 PM

Pittsburgh +1 -110

Philadelphia -1 -110

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