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NFL Power Rankings: Week 7

1. Arizona Cardinals
Last week:
 3

No Kliff? No problem for the Cards, who turned in maybe their most impressive win of the year given the circumstances and earned far more respect across the league than even their undefeated record would indicate.

2. Baltimore Ravens
Last week: 7

Lamar Jackson passed Dan Marino for the most wins by a QB before his 25th birthday, which will certainly be brought up when he goes back to the negotiating table for a contract extension with the front office. Maybe the only thing more impressive was the way the defense had an otherworldly game to hold the Chargers to just six points in their biggest statement yet.

3. Los Angeles Rams
Last week: 4

The toughest stretch of the season is now in the rearview mirror and the rest of October offers a chance to work on the little things while keeping pace with the Cardinals in the NFC West. The Rams can’t be fooled into coasting however, as they have to take hold of the opportunity that beckons to get right against the next three teams and their lackluster records.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last week:
 5

Another week, another fresh set of injury concerns for the aging Bucs. Despite the medical reports, it sure seems like they were just toying with the Eagles on Thursday night thanks to the ageless Tom Brady making a handful of “wow” throws again.

5. Dallas Cowboys
Last week: 6

Dak, Diggs and CeeDee Lamb bailed out Mike McCarthy’s end-of-game management once again and you can’t help but wonder if the latter is the biggest impediment to this team really breaking through and winning big this season.

6. Los Angeles Chargers
Last week:
 1

Their LA compatriots did just fine flying east and playing at 10am on the body clocks so perhaps we’ll chalk that up to just a bad, bad outing against a great team. Brandon Staley has a run defense problem on his hands though and that’s been clear long before losing to Baltimore.

7. Green Bay Packers
Last week:
 8

If that was Aaron Rodgers’ final visit to Soldier Field as a member of the Packers, he sure made it count. Even with the victory though, the team still needs to improve in all areas if they want to truly start making that 5-1 mark reverberate around the NFC.

8. Tennessee Titans
Last week: 19

It’s hard to square how this team just beat the Bills like that and just a few weeks ago lost to the Jets. Does. Not. Compute.

9. Buffalo Bills
Last week: 2

Credit to Sean McDermott for wanting to follow up that message sent after beating the Chiefs by trying to send another one in going for it on the final drive against the Titans on Monday night. It didn’t work out and maybe the Bills can use that entire game as fuel against a lackluster next month on the schedule to get back to being the top dog in the AFC again.

10. Cincinnati Bengals
Last week: 10

It wasn’t long ago that the Bengals looked as lifeless as the Lions once did. It wasn’t long ago that Cincinnati would have folded in a spot like that where they should have won convincingly. A good sign of progress under Zac Taylor is that the team did what they needed to in Detroit.

11. Kansas City Chiefs
Last week:
 11

Patrick Mahomes looked like his State Farm alter ego for a while there in D.C. before snapping out of it and going back to MVP form down the stretch. You hate to label a game must-win when it’s only mid-October but that was close.

12. Las Vegas Raiders
Last week:
 15

After an incredibly turbulent week for the franchise, the team went out and played about as well as they have all year for four quarters on the road against a division rival. Not a bad start for interim head coach Rich Bisaccia’s tenure.

13. Cleveland Browns
Last week:
 9

Baker Mayfield’s struggles when having to play from behind have to cast further doubt on any potential big-money extension, but the more concerning thing for Kevin Stefanski was just how out of sorts his defense looked against a team that was without their head coach/play-caller. Plus, that was another measuring-stick game the Browns walked out of the stadium having fallen short.

14. New Orleans Saints
Last week:
 12

The amount of players slated to return to the lineup after the Saints’ bye is borderline incredible. It’s good news they’re back too given a long trip to the Pacific Northwest is followed up by a schedule that ramps up quickly.

15. San Francisco 49ers
Last week: 13

A bye week to get healthy and tweak schemes combined with a winnable game after the break could allow for the 49ers to get back on track. If they can’t, things might get a little difficult once division play returns.

16. Minnesota Vikings
Last week: 22

This team just finds new ways to torment its fan base in the closing stages of every game. At least they got the walk-off, helmet-tossing winner in OT down in Carolina to make it worth it this time.

17. New England Patriots
Last week: 16

Somewhat incredible the Pats even managed to make it to OT the way they were largely outplayed throughout against Dallas. The record is reflective of how this team just can’t put a full four quarters together while having a rookie QB but they seem close to turning the corner and the fans are certainly full aboard the next 15 years of Mac Jones at the helm.

18. Carolina Panthers
Last week: 14

Sam Darnold won over a number of Panthers fans with that final drive in regulation to tie it up and force OT even despite some middling play for most of Sunday. That’s good news because the team lost those same fans with the way their defense played in the bonus frame.

19. Philadelphia Eagles
Last week: 18

The Eagles made things a little more interesting in terms of the final score on Thursday night, which helped cover up just how lifeless they were for the first three quarters. All the while, questions remain at pretty much every critical position after such an uneven start.

20. Indianapolis Colts
Last week: 25

A romp over the Texans is a good way to get over what happened on Monday night, even if it still stings. While most of the attention has been on Carson Wentz getting right, don’t discount how much better this team has gotten as Jonathan Taylor has likewise improved.

21. Washington Football Team
Last week: 21

For about a half, it looked like the WFT defense of old had returned. Then a switch seemed to get flipped that was equal parts this team melting down and Patrick Mahomes reverting to MVP form.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers
Last week: 23

Maybe it’s a good thing for the franchise that T.J. Watt got paid because after games like that, he might be underpaid again.

23. Denver Broncos
Last week:
 17

It turns out that playing teams with a pulse have turned the fortunes of this team around quite a bit after that hot 3-0 start. Never a great sign for the coaching staff when fans are streaming toward the exits with over five minutes left to go after getting shellacked by the Raiders.

24. Chicago Bears
Last week:
 20

Aaron Rodgers was briefly listed on Wikipedia as the owner of the franchise and… that actually checks out. Matt Nagy’s record against the team’s chief rival is a fireable offense all its own.

25. Seattle Seahawks
Last week:
 24

On the road at a place like Pittsburgh with your backup QB, taking the Steelers to OT might be viewed as a moral victory. But Pete Carroll is a coach who doesn’t believe in those and now the franchise is facing a slew of big decisions while sitting at 2-4.

26. Atlanta Falcons
Last week: 26

Suddenly the Falcons have a handful of winnable games coming up and should be fresh coming into them after their bye. Now it’s up to Arthur Smith to continue solidifying that red zone offense.

27. New York Jets
Last week: 28

The Jets got a week off and saw their in-city rivals get taken to the woodshed to own the back pages. If Zach Wilson can use the break to improve, then it was quite a productive bye for Gang Green.

28. New York Giants
Last week:
 29

Take a glance at the final score and you might forget the G-Men actually led in the second quarter. That lead felt like last week however as they proceeded to give up 38 points in a row and put even more heat on Joe Judge and the front office.

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