Week 7 Power Rankings

After a big moving week for the NFL, who has profited and who has lost from week 6's games?

Pickwatch

19 Oct, 2020

 

Rank

Change

Team

Record

1

 

+1

5-1

Back on top for a week. The Chiefs haven't been on form recently and Monday's conditions dictated a run-first gameplan, but they executed as well as possible and dominated another likely playoff team in Buffalo. The schedule eases up a little over the next few weeks too, starting with a trip to Denver in week 7.

2

 

 

1

5-0

As I've mentioned before, sometimes doing nothing while everyone around you flails wildly can lead to you gaining. Never more so than in the NFC, where the Seahawks now sit as the lone NFC team in the top 5. They also have an ace in hand - a 4 game stretch between weeks 12-15 where they face the NFC East and get the Jets thrown in as a bonus. They're a net 9-0 and they've only played 5 games.

3

 

 

2

5-0

This is a legitimately big-time defense who can take this team where it needs to go, but the time has come to also acknowledge that when the defense is rolling, the offense capitalizes. If they can win against Tennessee this week and Baltimore the week after, the division will likely be theirs, as their schedule eases up dramatically from that point.

4

 

 

=

5-1

Holding station for the second week in a row, the Ravens made hard work of the Eagles (as predicted in Upset Watch) but managed to squeak over the line. I can't see them missing the playoffs, but the Ravens have holes that will need addressing at some point, because the schedule is about to get bumpier.

5

 

 

2

5-0

Almost higher, this was a tough call because I believe the Titans would beat the Ravens today. The good news is that in week 11, we'll find that out for real, but the signs are very positive for Tennessee. Giving up 36pts to the Texans is the only reason to keep a lid on it for now...

6

 

 

5

  4-1

Thud. The Packers come back down to earth in spectacular fashion with possibly the worst game we've ever seen from Aaron Rodgers, who was sacked 5 times without LT David Bakhtiari. The Packers have three banana-skin games upcoming (Houston, Minnesota, San Francisco) which may define their season. They're still better than Chicago, but the gap is narrowing.

7

 

 

7

4-2

The Bucs haven't relied on their offense, oddly enough, despite preseason assumptions that it would be a strength. They handled the Packers on both sides of the ball, with the defense arguably now the dominant factor in their games. The Bucs are giving up a league-best 58.4 rushing yards per game, after leading the league in the same category last season.

8

 

 

5-1

Very nervous about whether the Bears can maintain the odd situation of being a mediocre team batting above their average for the whole season. There are strong points - the defense is good, the pass blocking is ok - but the Bears are really not that good. At some point, I expect that to be exposed, but if they win their next three games, they'll have earned this spot fair and square.

9

 

 

4

4-2

No overreaction to the 49ers loss. The Rams are a good team but they aren't playing unstoppable football by any stretch and they're extremely vulnerable. In a division where all four teams have a shot at the playoffs on merit, the divisional loss hurts more than most.

10

 

 

5

 

2-3

The aura of the Pats had already suffered heavily before the loss to Denver (did we mention we actually had this as pick of the week in Upset Watch?) but it is now officially time to acknowledge that teams are not afraid of New England. The only issue with Cam Newton is that while he's a great player, if a team really wants to take away the run and is good at it, the Pats will struggle. Another grind against San Francisco beckons this week.

11

 

 

1

3-2 

Moving up by standing still again are the Raiders. This week is an acid test for them against the Bucs. Can they capitalize on their momentum from beating the Chiefs? The Raiders have quietly established themselves as a top 10 offense, but that defense is bottom 5 and needs a lot of help. Very much a boom and bust team.

12

 

 

=

4-2

You think you get to move up after almost blowing it to the BENGALS? Absolutely not. Most worrying is that for the second consecutive game, the Colts ran for less than 70yds total, their third sub-100yd running game this season. When you have Philip Rivers and his 7:6 TD to interception ratio at QB, you need a run game.

13

 

 

9

 4-2

Another THUD for the Bills, and this is mainly due to a very poor defensive performance that gave up 245yds rushing when the opponents' gameplan was always going to be run-first in the rain. I still believe Miami have a shot in the AFC East as things stand, and nothing made me think otherwise last night.

14

 

 

1

4-2

Solid, but not exactly perfection from Arizona. I think the Catds are going to tear apart poor defenses and find life a lot tougher against the elite level teams in the league. The Cowboys definitely fell into the former category, but it was positive to see them get the ball moving on the ground again.

 

15

 

 

1

3-3

I can't yet get on board with the 49ers renaissance, but the beauty of the NFC West is that it will largely be dictated by the games they play against each other later in the season. Of major concern, zero sacks against the Rams (Suspects are SACKLESS I repeat SACKLESS) and arguably a win based more on the Rams struggling early on. Positives? Jimmy G managing that game like a boss. 

16

 

 

-7

4-2

Yikes. The Browns one of my favorite teams to watch (hello, it's the Twilight Zone), but what was worrying on Sunday was that they turned up knowing they had a weakness, but refused to adapt their gameplan for it. To see Baker Mayfield still trying to throw despite clearly broken ribs was not so much an indictment on their talent, but on their ability to adapt. Right now, there are a lot of questions. Thankfully, they have the Bengals next...

17

 

 

-

3-2

A non-mover as a result of their bye week, the Saints face real competition in the NFC South and this week's game against Carolina is huge. Their schedule is toughening up as the likes of the Panthers, Chicago, Tampa Bay and San Francisco can make a reasonable case that they're better than the Saints, so wins may become harder to find.

18

 

 

1

3-3

A .500 Dolphins team, blowing out teams. Yeah yeah, ok it was only the Jets, but that's still progress. In years gone by, the Dolphins would have been a prime target for a winless team to get off the board. Or more likely, they would have been the winless team. As I write this, Ryan Fitzpatrick has been benched for Tua Tagovaiola, which is a difficult sell here. The Dolphins have been moving in the right direction and the division is not gone. They either love Tua, or they hate Fitz. I'm leaning toward the former.

19

 

 

3

2-3 

Detroit are coming along now. They've been in every game this season except their blowout loss to the Packers in week 2 and finally got a running game going. Ok, it was again, just the Jags, but you have to win those games and they were convincing. The division has likely passed Detroit by, but in a weak NFC, they are only ever 2 wins from being a wild card contender.

20

 

 

2

 

3-3

The first bump in the Panthers' road for a while, they're still a good team and far from out of the NFC race, but losing to flawed teams like the Bears is what will likely cap their potential. Interestingly, Teddy Bridgewater has now thrown multiple interceptions in a game twice in 2020 - the last time was in week 6 of 2015.

21

 

 

-1

 1-4

I hate to punish a team on a bye, but teams around them made some good moves while the Chargers rested. The Chargers have 4 or 5 winnable games upcoming, but at 1-4, in this AFC, their moment has passed. The future looks promising however, and getting Justin Herbert wins will be more valuable than tanking.

22

 

 

2

2-3

The Broncos were never irredeemable, that's why we picked them. Every game this year, their defense has largely played hard in extremely difficult circumstances, so getting Drew Lock and Philip Lindsay back in week 6 was always likely to improve their chances of a win. The Broncos gave up less than 200yds passing for the second consecutive week, which will likely not continue against the Chiefs this week...

23

 

 

3

1-4-1

So close. The Bengals were in control against the Colts and then the loss of Joe Mixon removed their ability to keep their foot on the throat of Indy. Interestingly, there are plenty of winnable games later this season, but things will get rough over the next few weeks, with Cleveland, Tennessee and Pittsburgh their next opponents.

24

 

 

6

1-5

FINALLY. Whether it was the Vikings at fault or just the Falcons throwing off the shackles of Dan Quinn, Atlanta finally put together a good game. There are still problems - they've given up 299 yards passing or more in every single game this season, and rank last with 18 TD's given up through the air, but they're still the kind of team that are going to be in every game because of their ridiculous ability to pass the ball.

25

 

4

1-3

Wow. I'm going to be generous to Andy Dalton here and say that this was his first start, that if Zeke Elliott hadn't fumbled twice, the score may have remained respectable, but the scale of Dallas's capitulation was completely foreseeable. The Dallas defense is historically bad, even worse than the teams below it, so the chances of the team going anywhere now are pretty much zero. This may be the high water mark.

26

 

-4

 

 1-5

You can't win in this league without a QB, and it has become increasingly apparent that Kirk Cousins is not the answer for Minnesota. Absent Dalvin Cook, they looked incapable of moving the ball effectively and had just 32 yards rushing. That may be excusable if you don't have a backup RB, but the Vikings have a good one in Alexander Mattison. There are serious questions going to start in Minnesota soon about Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman's management of this roster.

27

 

1

  

1-5

The Texans showed guts, in fact they showed the kind of gung-ho bravery that you can only get away with at 1-4, by going for two while up 7 in an attempt to win the game. It backfired, but I loved the call. Ultimately, the longer the game wore on, the less chance the Texans had to win against a solid team like Tennessee with a strong run game. Hate the outcome, but don't hate the logic behind it.

28

 

2

1-4-1

Like Houston, Philly showed heart and I will say this about Carson Wentz, he is without doubt one of the toughest QB's in the league. He's gutting this out with very few pieces around him (only Jason Kelce is also a projected starter from week 1) and is somehow keeping them in games when there is really no other positive aspect to the Eagles. Incredibly, they're 28th here, but arguably favorites for the NFC East if the Dallas decline is as terminal as it looks.

29

 

5

1-5

Annnnnnd there goes the Minshew mania. Once again, he wasn't the main problem and will get way more criticism than he deserves, but the Jags are 100% done now and have an awful schedule ahead. They'll play the Chargers, Colts, Packers, Steelers, Browns, Titans, Ravens and Bears over the next 11 weeks, which leaves the Texans and Vikings as their best shots of upset victories. Grim.

30

 

1

1-5

YOU DID IT GUYS! The Giants get their win by virtue of the fact that the NFC East are compelled to play each other and cannot all lose. That's the only reason. The Giants have a good defense, arguably the best in their division, but the game they won was at least partially because Ron Rivera rolled the dice and tried to win a game where Washington had momentum. Just 108 passing yards and a single offensive touchdown (they average 1 per game) tells it's own story. They won't get many more wins. 

31

 

1

1-5

Oh dear. There were some positive signs, but Washington needs a bell cow back to compliment/carry Kyle Allen, something they are desperately missing. They once again failed to crack 3 figures for the third straight game and 4th time in 2020. Incredibly, the Football Team still had a chance to win Sunday's game, or at least tie it. Maybe save the heroic 2pt game winners for when you have a reliable team, eh Ron?

32

 





-

 

0-6

Somehow watching more of the Jets on Sunday live because of only 2 games being played in the late window just hit home how depressing they are. It's one thing to watch them while knowing the outcome, but watching each play unfold like some kind of slow motion car crash is somehow more troubling. It's now clear that the Jets are in full-tank mode and the only reason Adam Gase still has a job is to see that tank through to the bitter end.