The NFL has wrapped up Week 6 and we’re back for power rankings as Week 7 dawns. We’ve been doing power rankings all season, but we’re making a change and resetting these to a certain degree.
Through last week, we had five people submitting power rankings and then we added in the DraftKings Sportsbook Super Bowl odds. This week, we’re pivoting to just me doing rankings and offering up a sentence or two on each team or a combined group in some instances. I’ve decided to view this as a reset in that these rankings are moderately related to last week’s rankings, but this gives me a chance to re-assess how the league looks through six weeks.
I want to be clear about one thing with these rankings. There is a sizable drop-off after No. 3 in my rankings. And frankly, you could change the rankings for most of No. 4 through No. 16 or 17 and I could see an argument for most anything.
Here’s a look at each team with their record and Week 7 opponent.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (6-0), Bye
The Eagles remain undefeated and head into their bye with everything going their way. Coming out of the bye, they very well be 12-0 when they head to MetLife Stadium for their Week 14 matchup against the Giants. Upsets can always happen, but things are lining up nicely for them.
2. Buffalo Bills (5-1), Bye
3. Kansas City Chiefs (4-2), @ 49ers
The Bills-Chiefs game went about how we might have expected. It was a back-and-forth affair and both teams had a chance to win this one throughout. It wouldn’t surprise anybody to see these two squads facing off in the playoffs. The Bills are the better team, but the Chiefs are close behind, even with the loss.
Reminder: There’s a big drop-off after No. 3.
4. San Francisco 49ers (3-3), vs. Chiefs
5. Los Angeles Rams (3-3), Bye
It’s been a rough two weeks of injuries for the 49ers and losing in Atlanta stings. Meanwhile, the Rams have looked atrocious at times, but somehow are back at .500 and tied for first. Some will have a spit-take seeing them so high, but this goes more toward just how mediocre the NFL is after the top few best teams.
6. Baltimore Ravens (3-3), vs. Browns
7. Cincinnati Bengals (3-3), vs. Falcons
The Ravens won a wild one between these two in Week 5, and it’s safe to say the AFC North race will go down to the wire. And that doesn’t even factor in Deshaun Watson’s eventual return.
8. Dallas Cowboys (4-2), vs. Lions
The Cowboys lost clearly to the Eagles, but they offered some fight in the second half of a game that could have gotten really ugly in a hurry. Now, they get Dak Prescott back and Week 16’s Eagles-Cowboys game in Dallas is going to be must-watch TV. This ranking is a mix of how they’ve performed to date with where I see their ceiling with Dak back in the lineup.
9. Minnesota Vikings (5-1), Bye
10. New York Giants (5-1), @ Jaguars
11. New York Jets (4-2), @ Broncos
These three belong together because I just don’t know what to make of three of the best teams “record-wise” across the league. All three have accrued wins primarily against some shaky or bad teams. And yet, they just keep on winning. If they were bad teams, they would have found ways to lose some of their combined 14 wins. But instead they keep finding ways to win. Some would have them higher, some very well might have them lower. The Vikings seem likely to win a bad NFC North while the Giants and Jets are dealing with the Eagles and Bills as arguably the two best teams in the NFL.
12. Los Angeles Chargers (4-2), vs. Seahawks
It wasn’t pretty, but the Chargers won in overtime against the Broncos. They’re a clear couple steps back of the Chiefs in the AFC West, but they still find themselves tied for first.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3), @ Panthers
I really have no idea what to make of the Bucs. They won in Dallas and New Orleans to open the season, but have done nothing to show they’re a playoff contender since. They barely held off the Falcons, lost decisively to the Chiefs, and are coming off an ugly loss in Pittsburgh. Your guess about this team is as good as mine.
14. Tennessee Titans (3-2), vs. Colts
15. Indianapolis Colts (3-2-1), @ Titans
These two face off in the biggest game in the AFC South through seven weeks. The Titans already won in Indianapolis, so the head-to-head tiebreaker is on the line in Nashville. A Titans win gives them a huge leg up, while a Colts win turns this into much more of a fight.
16. Miami Dolphins (3-3), vs. Steelers
17. New England Patriots (3-3), vs. Bears
These two teams have intriguing QB storylines. Miami is getting Tua Tagovailoa back from his concussion while New England is getting solid play from Bailey Zappe with Mac Jones still sidelined by a high ankle sprain.
18. Atlanta Falcons (3-3), @ Bengals
19. Seattle Seahawks (3-3), @ Chargers
What to make of these two teams. Both came into the season with low expectations, and both now find themselves tied for first place in their respective divisions. They’re feeling like good “bad” teams.
20. Green Bay Packers (3-3), @ Commanders
21. Arizona Cardinals (2-4), vs. Saints
22. Denver Broncos (2-4), vs. Jets
On the other hand, are these teams bad “good” teams? All three seem like they should be a lot better than we’re seeing. They’re struggling for different reasons and regardless of this season will be in very different positions heading into the offseason. Nonetheless, they’ve both been huge disappointments this year.
23. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4), vs. Giants
Yet another team I just can’t figure out. After losing to the Commanders in Week 1, they thumped the Colts and Chargers in back-to-back weeks. They lost decisively to Philly, but did give them some trouble. And since then they’ve lost to Houston and Indy. Trevor Lawrence has flashed but been inconsistent of late. This game against the Giants is a fascinating one for odd perceptions.
24. Las Vegas Raiders (1-4), vs. Texans
The Raiders return from their bye looking to rebound from blowing a 17-0 lead to the Chiefs. They face Houston at home, travel to New Orleans and Jacksonville, then host Indianapolis before their next divisional game in Denver. The Raiders have enough talent for those four to be winnable, but they’ve shown enough issues that they could easily lose three of those four, if not all of them.
25. New Orleans Saints (2-4), @ Cardinals
The Saints are a competitive bunch, but they’re not a particularly good team. The injuries have been mounting, but they can’t find any consistency. Their two wins are over Atlanta and Seattle, but that loss to Carolina is pretty atrocious. They nearly upset the Vikings, and that plus the Bengals game show a squad that fights to the end.
26. Cleveland Browns (2-4), @ Ravens
27. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4), @ Dolphins
The bottom half of the AFC North features two teams with different expectations. The Browns are trying to tread water until Deshaun Watson returns from his suspension while the Steelers are trying to figure out their post-Ben Roethlisberger future. Cleveland probably finishes the season with a better record than Pittsburgh, but they’re close enough together that we’ll tie them together for now.
28. Detroit Lions (1-4), @ Cowboys
The bye came at a perfect time because Detroit had gone off the rails before last week. They gave the Eagles, Vikings, and Seahawks tough fights, and then got shut out by the Patriots. Detroit will be competitive bunch, but they’re going to lose a lot more than they’re going to win.
29. Houston Texans (1-3-1), @ Raiders
I was tempted to include Houston with some of the group below, but Houston gets a little creative for remaining competitive in spite of being a bad roster. Washington is arguably better, but Houston offers a “good job, good effort” vibe.
30. Washington Commanders (2-4), vs. Packers
31. Chicago Bears (2-4), @ Patriots
After seeing these two face off last Thursday, they deserve each other in our power rankings. Neither is any good and while they’ll spring an upset here or there, they’re going to play a lot of ugly football this year.
32. Carolina Panthers (1-5), vs. Bucs
The Panthers have unloaded Robbie Anderson since losing to the Rams on Sunday, and nobody would surprised to see a few more trades before the November 1st trade deadline. They’ll sneak in another win or two this season, but they really stink.